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Old 09-16-2007, 05:26 PM   #1
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Can anyone tell me what it would take to upgrade my existing 30 amp service to 50 amp service. Obviously I would need a new cord (cable) for the service, and I suspect a new breaker panel and converter. What else would be involved?
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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Can anyone tell me what it would take to upgrade my existing 30 amp service to 50 amp service. Obviously I would need a new cord (cable) for the service, and I suspect a new breaker panel and converter. What else would be involved?
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:00 AM   #3
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tom..do a search on "50 amp conversion" and get some past posts..they are pretty comprehensive..jim
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:24 AM   #4
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I just went through the process of reverse engineering the 120 volt electrical system on my 2005 Winne Adventurer. It came with 30 Amp power. 30 Amp power works well most of the time, but falls short on hot days when my wife is cooking up a storm. An electric frying pan and the microwave kill AC number 2 (AC 2). I am sure most of you have figured this out. This is a pain on hot days.

There is no easy way to convert directly to 50 Amp power cable. The reason is, that the Aux. set of contacts in the auto generator switch are used to switch the neutral and hot for AC2.

I did come up with a way to add a second 20 Amp aux. power cord that will supply just AC 2. I have a diagram that will install a 20 Amp aux cord and DPDT switch to the auto power switch box. The new switch enables and disables the aux power cord. When enabled the 20 Amp power cord can be plugged into the 20 Amp outlet on the RV park power post along with the 30 Amp plug. When disabled all power is as it was from the factory. When enabled this switch gives 20 extra amps of power for the power managment to system to use. This comes out to about 2400 watts.
Electric fry pan 1200 watts
Microwave 1500 watts
This project was just completed and tested yesterday. My wife will stress test it this weekend. If there is interest in the diagram of the "Parallax Automatic RV Line / Generator Transfer Switch" and my addition to the box perhaps I can post it to the WEB site.

Ok I see the updates and have looked at Bob Hatch's solution which is excellent and well done. If your are going to do the entire 50 Amp conversion what he did is exactly the way to go.

What I did is similiar to what Bob talks about that is posted on the Wolfwords site
http://www.wolfswords.com/motorhome/50_amp.html
Materials required for my change are:
25 foot 12 gauge extension cord about $22.00
Double Pole Double Throw switch from Home Depot $7.00.
Right now I am looking for a site to post the pictures of what I did on. I am also known in some circles as Captian Cheap.
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:50 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fix it Dave:
If there is interest in the diagram of the "Parallax Automatic RV Line / Generator Transfer Switch" and my addition to the box perhaps I can post it to the WEB site. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely Dave. Even though I have a 50amp service, I'd like to know how this is done. Please post - (pictures help this feeble brain too). Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:03 AM   #6
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Thanks Dave I would like to see it as well.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:08 AM   #7
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DITTO and thanks in advance.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:34 AM   #8
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Download the wiring diagram for your coach from Winnebago's website. The diagram will show both the 30 anp and 50 amp diagrams.

-Tom
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:46 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kazoo Tom:
Can anyone tell me what it would take to upgrade my existing 30 amp service to 50 amp service. Obviously I would need a new cord (cable) for the service, and I suspect a new breaker panel and converter. What else would be involved? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here it is:
http://www.bobhatch.com/electricStuff/30to50amp.htm

My rig is a 1999, and had a 30/50 amp ATS, and 120/240 volt main already installed. If yours has a 30 amp ATS you will have to replace that, and if yours has a 120 volt main, that will require replacement as well.

Your ATS is most likely a Todd, and Todd is no longer in business, so if you need to replace you will have to go with a different brand ATS.

The converter will not require replacement, but if it's the original I would change it over to a Progressive Dynamics with Charge Wizard.

If you need clarification on any of the steps I took, let me know.
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:09 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your replies. Bob Hatch, I do not have an ATS in my unit. I need to plug in to the generator output to use the generator. Clearly that outlet would need to be replaced too. What I don't understand, I can run both A/C units when the generator is on, but only occasionally can I run both from 30 amp park power. I am using the same plug to access the generator as I do the park power. Could it be that the park is not supplying a full 30 amps? I frequently use a 50-30 dogbone and can use both A/C's more often, but not always. Generally the only other appliance being used is the TV. I will download your information, thanks again.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:36 PM   #11
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i already have the 50 amp ats and main circuit board ...does this mean all i have to do is replace the 30 amp shore power cord..thanks..jim
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:46 PM   #12
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Tom, the reason you can "easily" run both AC's on generator is that the generator has 2 breakers. One controls the coach power, and one is a dedicated feed to the second AC. This of course assumes that the generator was a factory install.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:51 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jim:
i already have the 50 amp ats and main circuit board ...does this mean all i have to do is replace the 30 amp shore power cord..thanks..jim </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it means nothing like that. What it means is that you will have to rewire the ATS, redo the breakers in the main breaker box, replace the 10/2 wire that runs from the ATS to the main breaker with 6/3 wire, get new breakers for the generator, and reset the jumpers on the Power Management System.

Seriously, if you don't have a really good working knowledge of electricity and electrical wiring, don't even try this. You could do major damage to yourself and your MH.
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Old 09-18-2007, 02:36 PM   #14
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Bob, there are some campgrounds that I have no trouble using both A/C units when connected to their 30 amp feed, others I can't. Anyway, it sounds like I would be better off simply buying a 50 amp service surrounded by a newer motorhome!
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:35 PM   #15
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Tom, That's what I did! Had a 30A service ('00 Journey) and now I have a 50A service ('07 Journey)!

Gotta have some justification on purchasing a new coach....
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:22 AM   #16
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Here is the rest of the information on the addition of an Aux. 20 amp. power cord. I drew a diagram and took pictures as I went along. Here is a link to them. Have a look.
Link to 20 Amp Aux. upgrade

I agree with the need for 50 Amp power and will upgrade my own moterhome in the future, but it is more work and more expensive to do.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:51 AM   #17
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Tom, you're correct. The easiest way is to buy the 50 amp system with a new MH wrapped around it, but it's sure not the cheapest.

I did my conversion back in Dec of '02, and had owned the MH for less than 24 months. I didn't really need 50 am, I wanted 50 amp, and wanted the experience of doing the conversion. So I did it.

My guess as to why you can use both AC's at some CG's and not others has to do with the CG's wiring. I'm here in Yellowstone NP, and when we try to run both AC's we will pop the breaker for the entire circle we're on. There are 12 sites per 100 amp double pole breaker. With the little ceramic heater and the coffee pot both on, our voltage drops to under 104 volts.

You can do the conversion, it just ain't cheap. My guess is that it could run you "up to" $600.00 +/- depending on what you have to replace. Anything with copper in it is "very" expensive today. The shore power cord cost me $141.00 in '02. No idea what the cost is now.

The cheapest way is to do it like Fix It Dave did it, or take a look at the way this guy made the conversion.

http://www.wolfswords.com/motorhome/50_amp.html

I've never regretted the time and $ spent to do the conversion, and we're pretty happy with our current rig. It's never made financial sense to me to buy a whole new house to get a new TV, or a whole new MH to get a new color flooring, so we remodel, change and rebuild. That keeps my MH payments pretty cheap. Less than the cost of a candy bar per month.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:09 PM   #18
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I bought an 01 Suncruiser with 30-amp service. Following Bob Hatch's excellent information as help, I was able to rewire the coach for 50 amps.

The most expensive part of the conversion is the 50-amp cable and the #6 wire run to the breaker panel from the plug/transfer switch. If you don't have a transfer switch, I would imagine it's still doable. You'll need to replace the 30-amp female socket with a 50-amp one so it can accept the 50-amp plug on the new wire. You'll also need to run a big enough cable to the breaker panel.

The breaker panel is most likely a greater capacity than 50 amps. Mine had a jumper between the two sides of the panel that I had to remove. I also had to rewire the energy management system and move around some of the breakers to accomodate the two 50-amp breakers feeding the panel. You'll also need to redirect the wiring for the 2nd AC compressor back to the panel.

As for your generator, it puts out more than 30 amps of power. If it's like mine, it puts out 5500 watts on two 25-amp circuits. That's a total of 50 amps of 110v. I am not quite sure how they pass that through a 30-amp plug.

It's a challenge, but it can be done.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:26 PM   #19
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mr, the way it's done is that his generator most likely has a 30 amp and a 20 amp breaker. The 30 amp feeds the main, and the 20 is dedicated to the rear AC.

It's set up the same way yours was, or at least mine was, and why we had to redirect the rear AC wire to the main.

By the way, the breaker panel is a 100 amp 120/240.
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:50 AM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bob Hatch:
mr, the way it's done is that his generator most likely has a 30 amp and a 20 amp breaker. The 30 amp feeds the main, and the 20 is dedicated to the rear AC.

It's set up the same way yours was, or at least mine was, and why we had to redirect the rear AC wire to the main.

By the way, the breaker panel is a 100 amp 120/240. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Does that mean that you cannot use the 2nd AC when on shore power?

I know that my panel was 100 amps. I wasn't sure his was.
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