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Old 02-20-2011, 07:29 PM   #11
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Interesting. I've never paid for a 50 amp site and we have parked in 65 ft long sites (pop-up or Class C plus two vehicles). Guess it depends on where you stay at. The private campground site we are currently in has 50 amp on the pole but the campground doesn't charge extra for 50 amp on the monthly (I don't think). Couldn't tell you what they charge for overnights.

Where are you people camping at? We've camped in FL, GA, SC, NC, TN, VA, NM and TX... mostly public campgrounds (State, NF, County and COE) You guys apparently stay in radically different campgrounds than we do.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:53 AM   #12
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

lorna, with us it was a matter of a few overnight stops. In Mn. Wis, and I think one in Indiana. there was no pattern, just up to the camp owner I guess.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:00 PM   #13
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnati_kid
... Why let your electric inside the bus be the limiting factor? You never know what you might want to add and its nice to have the extra capacity. If your building a custom system (like most of us are) why not build do 50 amp?
For folks like us, the amps our bus can take is not the problem, it's WHERE we camp at. If we don't have to be long term (which means a private campground... but we have spent 3 months in a state park...in the winter) then our #1 choice is a public campground. That means 30 amps are the norm for us. We can run a fair amount of stuff on 30 amps. Right now my biggest problem is I only have an ancient circa 1977 GE fuse box with 4 circuits in it. I have 30 amps main, 15 amp ground fault in the breaker box (DO NOT TRUST THE CAMPGROUNDS GROUND FAULTS... ADD ONE TO YOUR BREAKER BOX) another regular 15 amp breaker and a 20 amp breaker. The 20 amp has the A?C on it plus we plug the electric heater into it as well during winter. Right now, it also powers our big commercial electric pourover coffee maker (have to shut the heater down when it's plugged in). I also have 2 under counter refrigerators, 1 under counter freezer, a desktop computer/monitor plus printer, a 1000Watt microwave, 26" flat screen TV, DVD player (the VCR died and we are on park cable so I don't need the DISH box). All 10 of our lights are 12vDC. I cannot run the hair dryer on the HIGH setting on anything except the 20 amp circuit or I pop the breaker. This (and the coffee maker) will be on their own circuits in the bus. We never run everything all at the same time. That is something you need to understand when you set up your circuits. There are circuits that can only run specific things.

For the Bus...
We will still operate on a 30 amp main breaker with a ground fault circuit breaker in the panel box. I would rather my breaker trip and not rely on a possibly faulty campground breaker (and yes I have run across several). Our power cord is a 60amp/220vAC that we used as our welder's extension cord. We will simply plug the power cord into the generator when we need to use the generator. That is how we set the RV up and it has worked well for us. It's simple and we don't have to worry about feeding power backwards into an unprotected system.

30 AMP main breaker
30 AMP: 4 CF refrigerator, 12 CF upright freezer
30 AMP: Air conditioner
30 AMP: Water heater (for the heating system)
30 AMP: Washing machine
30 AMP: Auto Dishwasher (I loathe washing dishes)
20 AMP: microwave (& my gas range need ac to operate the electronic controls and piezoelectric system)
20 AMP: Galley counter duplexes
20 AMP: coffeemaker (will reside in a base cabinet on a roll out shelf and eventually will be replaced with my bread machine and slow cooker)
20 AMP: Living room (Any AC lights, receptacles, TV, Home theater/DVD system)
20 AMP: Bathroom (I can run my hair dryer on HIGH!!!)
20 AMP: Bedroom (Any lights, computer/monitor... monitor will double as a TV for movies and a printer)
CONVERTER/CHARGER: for all the 12vDC lighting, 12vDC fans, etc
The computer will be put on a UPS because I have already discovered that the power from our current POS Onan isn't up to running the computer (found that out on the way out here). While on the generator, every time the fridge or freezer (or AC) kicks on, the drain from the compressors start-up surge is enough to kick the computer off. So far, since putting the desktop in the RV, the power in the campgrounds has been pretty good and the computer has only kicked off a few times due to unstable power. But I had a convection microwave (in the pop-up) burn up once in a campground due to unstable power several years ago. I figure a UPS is a better choice for the potentially unstable power system.

If you add every thing up, yes that's more than 30 amps. But everything does not run at that same time. We've sized electrical loads for houses for a long time. We will use probably either GE, Siemans or Square D circuit breakers. Be careful about what breaker box brand you use. We have GE breakers currently. But have seen breakers that are available in GA that we couldn't easily find in TX. I use GE in the Class C but a friend who was rebuilding a vintage RV in CA had the same exact breaker box I did (our RV's were only a few years apart but different manufacturers) but couldn't find the breakers for his box. I ended up giving him a link to exactly the right breaker so that he could order it online. If you are only going to be traveling in a small regional are then you can get away with an odd breaker make but if you are traveling all over, then you need to go with a mainstream manufacturer. If I remember correctly, Siemans will fit their own and another major manufacturers box but I don't remember which (either GE or Square D).
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:41 PM   #14
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Nuke .. yeah ..
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:53 PM   #15
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

I'm sorry. I don't quite understand what you mean. At our CURRENT campground, it's an unprotected circuit. But I have plugged into GA State Park circuits with Ground fault breakers on the 30 amp lines.



All I know is that one of the times we stayed in GA Veteran State Park. I plugged the Class C in to the 30 amp plug (Ground Fault on the breaker... I don't think the ground faults are on all the sites... because I have stayed at several sites in all three of the Loops over a 4+ year period... a few didn't have a ground fault breaker). The 15 amp Ground Fault breaker in the Class C tripped twice (not the main) but the one on the post did not. So I changed sites and told the park ranger after I got set up. They sent an electrician out to fix it. He came around and told me that the ground fault on the post had been damaged. It was a common occurrence and that some campers would (incorrectly) rewire the posts (I had already been told that by park rangers at Chester Frost in Chattanooga... one of our "neighbours" got lit up enough to go to the hospital). Maybe it doesn't work, but please don't tell me as it's working on our Class C and I plan on wiring the breaker box similar to the Class C's... just with more circuits. The circuit the Ground fault is on operates the double ganged duplex receptacle next to the galley sink. I use it often as that is what I plug the bread machine or crock pot in. The counter top toaster oven is on it for now.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:00 PM   #16
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Nuke .. again ..
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:07 PM   #17
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Nuke ..
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:24 PM   #18
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

I keep seeing the statement that a GFCI can't be downstream from another GFCI without tripping the upstream one. However, this is not the case unless something is wired or operating incorrectly.

I've personally never had a problem with GFCI downstream from another GFCI, unless something was miswired, or connections were loose somewhere. A GFCI properly installed and properly operating should NEVER trigger a fault event unless something plugged into it causes it, or someone pushes the test button. Loose neutral connections are a common cause for triggering a GFCI without an actual ground fault.

The way the GFCI works is by basically monitoring the current flow balance through the hot and neutral. In a proper circuit, they will be equal to each other, indicating that what goes out the hot line is returning via the neutral, maintaining balance. When they are imbalanced (in either direction), the difference in the current must have gone somewhere. This most often is a path to ground, but could be something else. Regardless, the imbalance is what trips the GFCI.

Imagine a see-saw with an equal weight on both ends, balanced perfectly horizontal. If any weight is added or removed from either end, it will teeter off balance. This is like 1 GFCI.

Now imagine a row of see-saws, with the weight on either side of the row balanced equally across all of them (could be 2, 3, 4, or more). Again, they will all balance if the weight is the same. But if any weight is added or removed from either side, they'll all teeter off balance. This is like several GFCIs in a sequence.

The only verifiable problem I've heard of is that if one trips, all the ones upstream from it should also trip. Most can't be reset until the upstreams are reset, and this can lead to confusion.

In the situations we're talking about, ie wiring a bus, then having GFCI breakers makes a LOT of sense. This puts all your "inside" protection in one spot. Making a note to yourself when you plug into the pedestal that it is GFCI protected will be a good reminder to yourself if you manage to trip it that you should reset the pedestal first before resetting the inside one. In all cases where you trip it, you should make sure you know WHY it got tripped before resetting.

Another thing to be aware of though... there are 2 RV appliances that are quite likely to trip a GFCI. These are the hot water heater, and the absorption fridge. Both of these items use an electric heating element. Such elements when worn can break down and actually bleed some current off to ground. Generally, such elements can be replaced with a model which won't have that kind of failure. This is just one more reason I won't be using standard RV appliances. I've personally experienced both, and still get tingles remembering it.

This forum thread might help shed some light on this.

I hope this information is helpful,
jim
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:43 PM   #19
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Nuke ..

.. no longer in the habit of giving any advice or opinions .. all fluffy and nothing but love for y'all ..
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #20
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Re: 30 Amp / 50 Amp

Nuke ..


.. sometimes I behave poorly ..
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