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What Appliances Can I Run In My Trailer With A 3 amp vs. 30 amp Hookup

by anonymous

I have a 26' 1961 Airstream Overlander that I would like to bring to a gathering of vintage trailers.

My trailer has two 15 amp fuses.

The registration for the vintage trailer gathering said that they only have 3 amp set ups.

What in a trailer would run on 3 amps?

Am I misunderstanding this? Can I hook up my trailer?

ANSWER Thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I believe the vintage trailer gathering you are talking about is the The Vintage Trailer Jam 2009 sponsored by Airstream Life Magazine at Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs NY running from August 12-16.

I visited the informational webpage for the gathering and indeed the electric hookups available on-site are limited to 3 amps. Yes you can hook up your trailer to it, but you will have limitations on what electrical items you will be able to use.

Since the gathering is taking place in New York in August the first thing you need to know is that you will not be able to run any Air Conditioning unit that you might have installed on your trailer (these trailers did not come with A/C originally). Only having 3 amps available to you is going to severely limit what appliances you can run. If you have an evaporative cooler, you might be able to use it. You could also run a small fan or two.

Now for other appliances, you will not be able to use a coffee maker or microwave that you may have added to this trailer. You will be able to run a laptop computer and small TV. Now here is the sticky part, in the early 60s Airstream started installing 12 volt lighting systems and Uni-Volt electrical converters. I am not sure if your particular model has a power converter or not. If it does I am not sure how many amps the power converter will consume.

If you do not have a 12 volt lighting system in your RV and you are using standard 120 volt lighting, you have to remember that a standard 100 watt Incandescent light bulb uses approximately .85 amps.

The only other suggestion I can give you is to get access to a small gas generator and use that while you are at the gathering. If you had 30 amps available to your trailer, you could run most everything without any problems. Without a generator, the only other alternative is to stay at one of the campgrounds near the gathering site.

I hope that I have answered most of your questions. If any of our visitors have further suggestions for you they leave them by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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