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Can I Safely Plug a 50 Amp RV Into 30 Amps?
by Elaine Overby
(St Augustine, FL)
How to Plug a 50 Amp RV Into 30 Amps
I have a 2002 Tiffin Allegro Bus. It is rated for 50amp service use. If I volunteer at a Park which only has 30 amp service will this damage my motor home's systems and/or appliances?
ANSWER: The good news is: Yes, you can safely plug your 50 Amp Motorhome into 30 Amp Electrical Service. All you need is a 50 amp female to 30 amp male electrical adapter (also known as Dog Bones) that will allow you to plug directly into 30 amp shore power at a campground. Using 30 Amps will not damage your RV.
OK now for the bad news, in most cases when your 50 amp RV is plugged into 30 amp shore power you will have some limitations on how many appliances you can run at one time. If your RV is equipped with 2 Air Conditioners, you may only be able to run one Air Conditioner unit at a time. If you try to use both AC units at the same time you may pop the shore powers 30 amp circuit breaker.
On some newer model RVs that have more energy efficient AC units you may be able to run two units on 30 Amps as long as you do not attempt to run other electrically demanding appliances such as a microwave, hair dryer, electric heating element for a water heater, etc.
The video below shows how to properly use Dog Bone Adapters to step down to 30 Amps or even to 15 or 20 Amps.
Some newer RVs are equipped with an Energy Management System (EMS). EMS is a system that automatically controls the appliances in your RV to stay within the power that is available to your RV. If you are using your AC on a 15 or 30 amp circuit it will turn off (shed) other appliances so that you do not trip the circuit breaker on the power source.
Some of these Energy Management Systems can even be programmed to start your RV's generator to provide additional power so that you do not trip a circuit breaker. One thing to keep in mind is that not all RV campgrounds allow generators to be used because it can disturb other RVers.
The bottom line is the only way you will know for sure how well your motorhome will function on 30 amps is to plug it into 30 amps and see if both air conditioners will run at the same time and what other appliances you can or cannot run at the same time and then you will know for sure if you can be comfortable in your motorhome when it is plugged into 30 amps.
I hope that this information has been helpful.
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