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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > 50 amp service

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Posted: 02/21/12 06:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We like to camp year round. Been where it has been in the single digits with a wind chill. Using 4 space heaters, electric element in the main A/C, electric water heater, convection oven, and coffee pot all at once plus the usual things like the TV, ceiling fan, lights, etc.. Would not be able to do it if it were anything but 50 amp. I have added 2 additional dedicated outlets to run the coffee pot and one space heater, each on their own breaker. Never had a problem and was comfortable at the same time. I have a plug in volt meter plugged in one outlet in the kitchen to monitor voltage and have not experienced any damaging low voltage.


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ASPENMAN

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Posted: 02/21/12 06:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

keep in mind that if you go to 50amps - you will also have to upgrade to the larger generator. Additionaly most CG's now charge extra for 50amps. To me it's a question of if you can afford the cost of the 50amp upgrade and the cost of the generator upgrade - go for it. Will you really need it??????????
I decided not to do the upgrade on my NEXUS.


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Posted: 02/21/12 08:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One other thing you should consider:
Most RV parks charge more for 50 amp service, because
you are expected to use more of their power.

Jim Cindy

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Posted: 02/21/12 07:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMHO if you opt for 50 amp, you are not automatically required to go to a larger generator or even have a generator. Our Cameo is 50 amp and I have a 30 amp Marinco marine cord I use when the weather is mild or the CG does not have 50 amp. 50 amp gives you options and unless it broke the bank, we will always opt for 50 amp if given the choice.


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Posted: 02/22/12 08:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well certainly a 4.0 Gen could not support 50amps - the same as a 30 amp service could not support 50 amps. So IMHO if you want/need 50 amps you need a Gen that can support 50 amps.

NewsW

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Posted: 02/22/12 09:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Giving this issue a second thought...

Assuming you have no real need for 50 amp service.

The cost to upgrade to a 50amp panel (wiring from the plug and generator to the panel) is nominal.

However, that does not mean they are going to upgrade the wiring to your individual appliances.

To seriously use this capability, you are into 20A wiring.

That means changing over from 14 gauge to 12 gauge wiring.

Now, that does add a fair amount of weight.

If you are going to be through, upgrading to 12 gauge is essential.

But before I throw money that that, one thing I learned from my own RV is that Romex (commonly used) is not necessarily the best solution if the RV is being used for a lot of miles full time.

Vibration, rubbing, abrasion, etc. all take a toll on wiring.

If I were to do it again, I would:

a) go armor cable

b) for short runs, in a small RV 14-2

c) for a bigger MH, if I can specify, it would be 12-2 with amour cable.

Needless to say, I would upgrade to 50 amp or bigger panels as well.

Sandy & Shirley

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Posted: 02/22/12 03:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have 50-amp and have been in sites with just 30-amp hookups, there is an adapter for that.

Inside we were running our AC, had the coffee pot brewing, I put something in the microwave while Shirley was drying her hair. You guessed it, popped the outside breaker.

As long as you don’t try to plug in a number of multiple things at once, you will be fine. If you don’t want to worry about that, get the 50-amp.


What is all this wiring stuff? There is no need for that at all.
Your house has a 200-amp feeder line. The breakers in the box are rated for how many amps they will allow through each breaker before they pop. The size of the wire is determined by the breaker, nor what is feeding it.
When you have a 30-amp panel in your RV, all of your breakers are feeding off the same 30-amps coming from the box outside the RV. You can have 5 15 amp breakers as long as each one is only has an average of 6 amps plugged into it.
When you have a 50-amp panel in your RV, half of the breakers are fed by one side of the 50-amp circuit and the other half are fed by the opposite side of the 50-amp circuit. Both sides supply 50-amp, so you have a total of 100-amps available.
The wire that runs from the panel to an outlet is rated according to the breaker in the panel, not the 30 or 50 amps that is feeding the panel.

* This post was edited 02/22/12 03:30pm by Sandy & Shirley *


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Posted: 02/22/12 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NewsW wrote:

Giving this issue a second thought...

Assuming you have no real need for 50 amp service.

The cost to upgrade to a 50amp panel (wiring from the plug and generator to the panel) is nominal.

However, that does not mean they are going to upgrade the wiring to your individual appliances.

To seriously use this capability, you are into 20A wiring.

That means changing over from 14 gauge to 12 gauge wiring.

Now, that does add a fair amount of weight.

If you are going to be through, upgrading to 12 gauge is essential.

But before I throw money that that, one thing I learned from my own RV is that Romex (commonly used) is not necessarily the best solution if the RV is being used for a lot of miles full time.

Vibration, rubbing, abrasion, etc. all take a toll on wiring.

If I were to do it again, I would:

a) go armor cable

b) for short runs, in a small RV 14-2

c) for a bigger MH, if I can specify, it would be 12-2 with amour cable.

Needless to say, I would upgrade to 50 amp or bigger panels as well.


I'm sorry, but WHAT? Why would would you need to upgrade the wiring going to the appliances just because you are upgrading the "service" to 50A? That's like saying you need to rewire your house when you change your electric panel from 100A to 200A.

The individual loads (i.e. the 14AWG wire on the 15A circuits) is not changing. So there is no need to change that wiring.

The voltage is still going to be 120V. It's just now you you have 2 legs.

Also, quite possibly, the panel would not even need to be changed if there is enough room in there to install a 2 pole 50A breaker and it is set up as a 2 pole panel.

Also, the only reason to upsize the wire is due to the amperage. 15A circuits get 14AWG and 20A circuits get 12AWG. Even in a big motorhome/trailer, the distance is just not long enough to justify upsizing the wire to counter the voltage drop.

More importantly, most RV wiring usually has an insulated ground. This prevents inadvertent contact with hot conductors due to the tighter spaces.

Another important key about RV wiring is that it should be STRANDED instead of solid. This way, there is less chance of the wire breaking at a connection due to vibration.

BTW, armor cable (AC) is less flexible than nonmetallic (NM) cable and will add more weight. The armor is there to protect the wire during installation. Once it is in place, it offers some protection, but not much. That is why the NEC does not allow it's use in areas subject to physical damage. AC is not used as much as MC, which has the same restrictions.

* This post was edited 02/22/12 11:10am by randrx2 *


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Posted: 02/22/12 03:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting,
Your saying this 50 amp service would be an option on a Class C?

I have never seen a 50 amp Class C unless it was a Super C......


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NewsW

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Posted: 02/22/12 12:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Correct me if I am wrong, I thought that solid wire was allowed by NFPA 1192 and there is no requirement for stranded wiring?

It seems that there are just as much failures from crimp connector terminations of stranded as there are from solid copper.

I recognize the runs are short in an RV, but if I were going to do a 50A or higher panel, I would go 12ga just to have the higher current available at every individual plug.

The reason I am inclined toward armor is because I found that Romex is too vulnerable to accidental damage (e.g. with drilling etc.) as things are moved around over time.

Installed in a proper conduit / utility enclosure, that is not an issue.

Part of the problem is I am working with very tight spaces --- having to run the wiring on the roof - wall area to offer them maximum protection from damage.

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