chiefnolan

Coverting Coach From 30amp to 50amp

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I own a 2003 Fleetwood Southwind 36E that has only 30 amp service to the coach. Does anyone know of an aftermarket product that can assist me in converting to 50 amp. I've contacted Fleetwood to see if this could be done and their response was that they would not provide any information whatsoever.

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Guest BillAdams   
Guest BillAdams

I suspect that this response is what you will get from most anyone. 30 amp service means that you have wiring and breakers capable of handling a maximum of 30 amps throughout the coach. 50 amp service means that you have wiring and breakers capable of handling a maximum of 100 amps throughout the coach. You current have a 3 wire system wired into your coach (hot, neutral, ground). To wire 50 amp this incoming service needs to be converted to a 4 wires system with 2 hots (some call 240 but it's really 2-120V legs) plus a neutral and ground). Half the coach would use one leg of the 120V power and half the coach would use the other. You would need to provide new incoming wiring to the main fuse box, replace that box with one capable of using 2 incoming legs instead of your current one and then setup all of the various circuits onto the appropriate leg. If you are serious about getting this done you are going to need to find a professional electrician and plan on paying a large bill when it's all done (assuming it's even possible).

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I changed mine from 30 amp to 50 amp about 8 years ago. If you understand electricity and are familiar with 120 volt circuits its pretty easy. I bought some of the parts at a home improvement store, such as breaker box and breakers. Some items such as line transfer switch, 50 amp cord need to come from an rv parts house.

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I do have some information on the different wiring setups, the big items are the shore power cable, the wiring to the AC power panel box,a new power panel and circuit breakers.

Then you need to do some circuit changes to the inside wiring to take advantage of the added power.

Bill A. covered it quite well !!

Rich.

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Can be done for sure. I did mine. Some things that may need to be changed and/or rewired are: power cord, transfer switch, service wire to breaker panel, breaker panel itself and main breaker. Some rearranging of wiring circuits would also have to be done.

Unless you are real good with electrical work, I would suggest you hire an electrician.

Jerry

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The change from 30A (single phase) to 50A (two phase) could be done, but what is the motivation for doing it? Are you tripping breakers now? Do you want to add a second A/C? As Bill Adams detailed a 50A system is really dual wiring systems. One is 120V/50A via one phase of the source, and the other is 120V/50A from another phase of the source. (240V is available if you connect from phase A to phase B, but this is rarely used in RVs).

If you simple need to add a 2nd A/C you could wire the shore cord, transfer switch and new breaker box to the shore power, then use a 2phase/30A breaker for the main breaker. One phase would go the existing wiring (which is sized for 30A) with no changes, and the other phase could go to the 2nd A/C. This would not give you the total 100A of capability, but would allow two A/C's and a total of 60A of service. The only new wiring that would be needed would be from the breaker to the 2nd A/C. This might be a lower cost option than a complete re-wire of the coach.

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wolfe10   

DLDinsmore,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

I totally agree that there needs to be a compelling reason to spend the money to upgrade from 30 to 50 amp service-- not an inexpensive proposition.

However, while it could be done from an electrical standpoint, I am not sure I would recommend a "hybrid" electrical system. Too high a chance that someone in the future working on the system would not understand, since the wiring would be TOTALLY unique.

So, my recommendation is to live with 30, convert completely to 50 amp OR, if this is to run a second A/C, just add a 15/20 amp totally separate shore power cord and breaker just for the second A/C. Choose an A/C that will draw less than 12 amps and you will be able to run it on a house 15 amp outlet.

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One of the advantages with my changing to 50 amp is that with a cheater box I can run my rear air off of 15/20 amp outlet. A lot of pedestals that have only 30 amp also have 15/20 amp along side with separate breakers.

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wolfe10   

Actually, if the CG is wired to current code, the 20+30 to 50 cheater won't work, as code calls for the 15/20 to be GFI protected.

Yes, there are a lot of older CG's where it will work.

Brett

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I am not aware of any 50amp cheater box that will work with a GFCI in the circuit at the campground box. What are you using to combine these circuits?

Additionally, it's important to understand that adding a 30 amp circuit and a 20 amp circuit through a cheater box does not create a 50 amp circuit.

What you have with this setup is one leg with 30 amps available and another leg with 20 amps (or less) available.

With an actual 50 amp plug you have 50 amps on one leg plus 50 amps on the other leg available or a total of 100 amps.

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You answered your own question in the next to the last sentence. The circuits are not combined. Just think of it as two separate rv's plugged into the same pedestal. One plugged into the 30 and the other into the 20.

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I didn't answer anything so I would very much appreciate a response. A combiner combines the 2 circuits. If you have setup some kind of a thing that lets you take a 20 amp and feed it separately from the 30 amp I would very much like to know how you are doing this. It's not something that is currently available on the market so I am most interested in what you are using.

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wolfe10   

Agree with RVerOnTheMove.

A "regular" 20+30 to 50 cheater:

Connects the hot from the 20 to one hot on the 50 amp female end of the adapter.

Connects the hot from the 30 to the other hot on the 50 amp female end of the adapter.

It connects the neutral from BOTH the 20 and 30 to the neutral on the 50 amp female end of the adapter.

It connects the ground from BOTH the 20 and 30 to the ground on the 50 amp female end of the adapter.

This will NOT work if the CG outlet 15/20 is to code and is GFI protected.

As I mentioned in my first post, you could pull a totally separate shore power and breaker (separate hot, neutral and ground) that could feed, say the rear A/C. It would be in no way connected to the original shore power system. Perhaps that is what he did??

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The ones they sell at the conventions will not work if you plug them into a GFCI circuit due to the neutral and ground issues.

The "thing" you say you made could no have the necessary safety connections made or it would not work as you describe. It sounds like you have come up with something unique that is similar to having 2 separate plugs connected to 2 separate outlets without the common connections. If you don't mind, I would like to see the wiring diagram of the unit you built.

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Sorta related, will a regular 30 to 50 adapter work, (30A Female - to take my shore power cord, with a 50A Male to plug in at a CG that only has 50A service). I was told I can do this with my 30A RV, (just need to be careful how much load I put on the system).

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wolfe10   

As RVerOnTheMove said, the 30 amp male to 50 amp female adapter will work just fine, but would allow be limited by your coach main breaker to 30 amps total draw.

The adapter connects just one of the 50 amp's hot to the 30 amp's hot.

Brett

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dalltop   

I have a 1995 35' Fleetwood Bounder that is also a 30 amp coach. I have thought about this topic ever since I bought my unit. Why? Because I have a daughter and she sleeps out in the living room area but when I am on shore power i can only run one of the two roof top AC units.

The coach has a 7500 watt generator that will support both AC units and all onboard devices. The Pedestal 30 amp restricts me to running either the front or rear AC. I have not opened the acces to the service to see but it would seem that at the generator/shore cutover there should be a way to provide 50 amp service to the shore side of that cutover switch.

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dalltop   

I hate to fix something that is really not broken. As old as my unit is you need to think hard about taking apart something that is working as designed.

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Rigit   

No way to do it through your setup and have it go through your breaker box and the rest of it. Your wiring configuration/capacity isn't set up for it. However, I've got a friend who wanted 50 amp like I have so he can run dual AC.

What he did was take everything in the galley, all outlets, microwaves, coffee pots etc and pulled them from the breaker box. He then installed a standard 110v plug next to the main 30amp plug. So now he has an outlet next to the main line. He built himself and extension cord that has 2 male fittings. One at each end. He plugs the extension cord into the 20amp side of the outside box and into the new outlet. The galley is now off the breaker box inside and checked at the box outside. This leaves him with 30amp for everything else. Lighting outlets stuff like that. DO NOT put the water heater on electric. Let it burn propane. It only uses a small amount of propane and once hot it rarely kicks in anyway unless it's pretty cool outside and/or your using hot water causing it to run more frequently but even then it's still not all that much. Also using CFL for lighting is a huge gain power wise. Using only the 12V DC lighting is probably even cheaper powerwise. He then wired for a second AC. It's worked out rather well for him. Running both AC units eats up much of the 30amp but there's enough room left for lights, television and various other things like satellite TV or stereo etc. Poor man's 50 amp.

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wolfe10   

Rigit,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Using an extension with male on both ends is inviting electrocution if anyone not familiar with that setup tries to use it. I would NEVER recommend it!

Why didn't he get an RV or marine male 15 amp shore power receptacle and use a standard HD extension cord? Here is one:

http://marinco.com/p...wer-inlet-white

And, as stated, there is a lot to changing from 30 to 50 amp service requiring replacement of: shore power cord, new coach inlet receptacle, new wiring from receptacle to ATS, new ATS, new wiring from ATS to Breaker Box and new Breaker Box. Yes, it can be done, but it is not inexpensive.

Brett

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