chrisg4242

Motorhome Will Only Provide 30 Amps Even When Plugged Into 50 Amp Power

26 posts in this topic

Hi - I'm a newbie. We've had our 2005 Winnebago Journey 39ft since the Summer and I'm struggling to get 50 amp power inside the motorhome.

We've plugged into many 50 amp outlets at different campsites but all I can see on the panel is 30 amp.

Part of the problem is that I'm a real novice with electrics so I'm not really sure where to look...the inverter? the panel etc...

Perhaps there's someone kind enough to point me in the right direction?

By the way, we're on a winter trip from our home near Mt Rainer, WA to Vegas, Anneheim, San Diego, Sonoma and in January back home - we're enjoying RVing a lot.

Many thanks!

Chris

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If your coach is wired for 30 amps then it does not matter what you plug into as you will never get more than 30 amps. 30 amp service provides a total of 30 amps throughout the entire coach (assuming you have a gauge showing your amps you will only have one). With 50 amp service you would actually have 2 separate 50 amp legs for a total of 100 amps available.

You are not going to be able to get more than the coach is wired for just by plugged into a circuit with the capability of providing more.

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To follow up on Bill's post, to tell if you have 30 amp or 50 amp coach, look at the male end of the shore power cord:

30 amp has 3 prongs.

50 amp has 4 prongs.

If your shore power cord is 50 amp and you are plugged into a properly wired 50 amp RV receptacle, you should have 50 amp (two hots) service.

IF YOU ARE SAFE WORKING AROUND 120 VAC, start by verifying that the CG receptacle is properly wired:

Outer straight (either) to center straight= 120 VAC

Outer straight (either) to center round= 120 VAC

Outer straight to outer straight= 240 VAC

Center round to center straight= 0 VAC

If not, AND YOU ARE SAFE WORKING AROUND 120 VAC electricity, remove the cover from the ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) and check from black to white and then from red to white on the "IN" from shore power and also on the "OUT" to the coach 120 VAC breaker box. Readings from black (hot) to white (neutral)= 120 VAC. Reading from red (other hot) to white (neutral)= 120 VAC. Reading from black to red= 240 VAC.

If that is OK, then you need to contact Winnebago, as they likely have an energy management system that could have a problem. But you do want to be able to tell them that indeed two hots are are there and properly wired.

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One additional item. If a breaker is off in your main power panel (not the main breaker), a power management system may "think" that only 30 amp service is available. The power management system must sense both legs of the 50 amp service to recognize that the service is 50 amp service. Without actually testing the input, if you have a double pole breaker in your main panel that is marked 50, you have 50 amp service. The other breakers will be single pole and marked 30, 20, or 15 depending on the size of the circuit attached.

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mrboyer is correct, IF, repeat IF the CG outlet is properly wired. Many energy management systems need to see 240 VAC between the hots in order to operate properly.

If the outlet is wired incorrectly, with both hots coming from the same side of the CG main breaker box you coach will not sense "proper 50 amp power".

That is why I suggested measuring hot to hot (outer straight to outer straight) to VERIFY that the outlet is properly wired.

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Many thanks - it's definately a 50 amp coach

I'm thing that as mr boyer says 'a breaker is off in your main power panel (not the main breaker), a power management system may "think" that only 30 amp service is available'

Only problem is that I don't know where the main power panel is or what it looks like or how I access the breakers.

Thanks for your advice so far

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Chris if you will be passing through the Stockton area on your way to Sonoma let me know. I'd be happy to take a look. I have over 40+ year in the electrical industry. Also have a small private rv park.

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hi Chris

for whatever its worth, check where your power cord is located + take a good hard look

in the compartment .you might see a selector switch 30/50amp. make shure its flipped

to whatever power you are conecting to. our coach is set up like this ,and if you are

hooking up to a 50 amp but the switch is still at the 30amp position ,then all you get

is 30amp .take a look + if you cant find it call winnebago for the location,good luck

old marine

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OK, so you appear to have a 50 amp coach. Under no circumstances should you only be able to get 30 amps (maybe only 50 amps on one leg instead of 50 on each) so what kinds of problems are you encountering that would make you feel like you are only getting 30 amp service.

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There is a button on my EMS that I have to push to tell the EMS what I am plugged into. It will cycle through the readings as it is pushed.

Maybe yours is the same.

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Normallly, the EMS would not show amps if there is 120/240 volt, 50 amp power entering the system. If only 120 volt power is sensed, the EMS system should indicate 30 amps available. If you have connected with adapters to 20 or 15 amp power, you would need to set the correct current available. The EMS will then shed loads as needed for the power you have if it has been set up.

As to where to locate the main power panel, it may be in a very inconvenient location; but it is normally accessable from the inside. Have you called Winnebago to ask where your main panel is located? Most manufacturers will be able to tell you if you give them your VIN number. Ask them t you question regarding only 30 amp power entering the coach. Also ask to have the electrical, both 120 volt and 12 volt, drawings sent to you. Fleetwood has been able to email to me my drawings. If nothing else if you have the drawings in hand, asking questions of them is easier. If you cannot reach Winnebago, open every cabinet door to look for the location.

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Many thanks for the advice. I found the main power panel, it is accessable from the front of the coach, next to the generator. How do you tell if a circuit breaker is good, does it pop out if it's tripped?

I'm thinking I've an issue because the Intellitec panel inside the motorhome indicates 30 amp even when I'm plugged into 50. The electrical heat pump also seems to struggle below 30 degrees (which may be normal)

We'll be in Vegas tomorrow at which time I'll see if I can get in touch with Winnebago for advice

Many thanks!

Chris

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In my coach you have to select the incoming amps...from 50 to 30 to 20 to 15. Could this be your case as well...meaning you have to select 50 amps in order to receive it?

I would also check the breakers on your inverter. You may have one tripped.

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Chris,

I don't know if I can help with anything other than looking around with you, but we are in Vegas at the Circus Circus KOA if you would like a second head in the coach. I don't believe that you can expect your heat pump to work below about 40 degrees as there is just not enough warmth in the outside air to pull out.

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Bill is correct, heat pumps are only efficient into the mid 40's. After that you are using more energy (electricity) to run it than you are getting out of the unit. You would be better off with a small electric space heater - or switch to the propane furnace.

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My Sister and brother in law have a 2002 Georgie Boy Suite (28') and it came with only 30 amp service in the coach but with a 50 amp power cord. Maybe that is what Chrisg has.

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Thanks for all your help. I spoke with Winnebago today. I looks likely that the Intellitec smart energy management circuit board is faulty and needs replacement. On my coach this unit is behind the main circuit breaker switch near the front of the bed. As long as I disconnect all electrical supplies then it looks like a simple replacement. It costs somewhere between $4-500 for the unit so I'll take another quick look before taking the plunge.

I'll post another note if it works (or not).

Many thanks!

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Chris,

A statement in your first post "Part of the problem is that I'm a real novice with electrics..." is revealing. That is not a derogatory statement, just plan fact for most people -- RVers included.

The statement "...it looks like a simple replacement." is not necessarily so. Particularly with energy management systems. They can have separate control boards, remote relays/solenoids, current and voltage sensors -- some on the circuit board, some not, and lots of control wiring. Many wire harnesses have keyed plugs, but many harnesses require individual wire connection to terminal strips. The latter requires far greater attention to rewiring in the proper sequence.

Don't forget to open (turn off) any circuit breakers on the output the inverter/charger as well as the shore power in breakers. Also keep in mind many panels/systems use 12 vdc from the house batteries to control the circuit board logic and this must be taken into account when removing/replacing boards.

I encourage folks to do more of their own maintenance and repair on their rigs. But unlike water or sewer repairs, roof repairs, window leaks, etc.; 120 vac circuits and LPG systems can hurt you, and some basic knowledge and safety procedures are required.

Chuck

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I have a 2006 Winnebago Tour model with the same setup and the same problem. In my case, If I am plugged into a 50 amps source and will need my AC units I remove the fuse on the Intellitech circuit board, located behind the cover on the AC distribution panel. This, in effect, disables the systems ability to cut out loads if it sees more than 30 amps. I haven't bothered to replace the circuit board due to the cost and fact that most RV parks have 50 amp service. Keep in mind that many older coaches with 50 amp AC Services don't have this type of control, when plugged into a 30 amp supply you just had to be careful of what all you ran, primarily air conditioning units.

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As for not knowing whether or not a breaker has tripped, it's easy to shut them off and turn them on again feeling for a firm click as they reset. Hope you have the remedy in hand already.

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I came across this post because this weekend when I swapped my shore power cord from the 120vac 20A I used at home to keep chargers in service to my 240vac 50A cord so that I could turn on the air conditioner while working in there I noticed that my Powerline Energy Monitoring System was also showing that only 30A service was available. I checked incoming voltages all along the way and had 120v on both Line 1 and Line 2 (and 240 across both Lines) so I was quite puzzled. Thankfully I found that I wasn't the only person who had scratched my head over this.

I found a link to the Powerline EMS Manual online. While reviewing the manual it realized that in order for the system recognize the presence of 240vac, it must see that there is 120vac on Line 1 and 120vac on Line 2. It does this by monitoring two circuit breakers - one serviced by Line 1 and one serviced by Line 2. Then I remembered that I had shut off a few circuit breakers.

Low and behold, I had shut off one of those two breakers that is monitored by the EMS. When I flipped it back on my Powerline EMS Display showed that 50A service was available.

So, if you're having this issue, the first thing to check is to make sure you haven't shut off a circuit breaker and made the EMS "think" only 30A service is available?

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I have a 2006 Winnebago Tour with the same electrical system and power management system as your rig. I also have the same problem, the system will not recognize a 50 amp hookup. I have run all of the diagnostics recommended by Intelletech and concluded that I needed a new system control board. I have seen a number of other coaches with this equipment have the same problem.

An easy and inexpensive solution (free) on a Winnebago made MH is to remove the 12v control power fuse for the Intelletech system, located behind the circuit breaker panel cover under the bed (on your coach). As long as you are plugged into a 50 amp service, this solution allows everything to work just fine, you don't need the monitor features unless you are connected to a 30 or lower amp service.

If you get stuck somewhere without a 50 amp connection, replace the fuse.

You will notice that your A/C unit will work more effectively with 50 amps (or the fuse pulled) as the system will cut out one half of your cooling unit if it senses 30 amps or less.

Pulling the fuse may not work on other manufacturers MHs, my friend's 2005 Beaver has the same system with the same problem, removing the fuse blocks a bunch of circuits and equipment from working.

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