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 > Using Dryer's NEMA 14-30 outlet for RV shore power

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audiodane

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey folks,

UPDATE:
Skip all the banter and jump to the CURRENT PLAN using this link!

Original Post:
I've been reading lots of posts about using dryer hookups for RV shore power at home and lots of them are outdated (using the older NEMA 10-30 outlets). This question is about the newer NEMA 14-30 hookups.

(Edited to add this DISCLAIMER: For the sake of clarity, I am a degreed electrical engineer with ~20yrs experience and have worked around electricity my entire life. I have done plenty of wiring jobs at my own house and at the houses of friends and family. I understand electricity and the risks involved significantly well. I do plenty of electrical work, but do draw the line at installation of a new subpanel or main service entrance. [emoticon] I believe this thread is entirely useful for others who may wish to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in their garage (whether for their RV or their Tesla). But, if you are not qualified to work on electrical systems, PLEASE do not take this thread as a suggestion that such a job is easy and without significant risk. I will not, nor will any other contributor to this thread, be responsible for anything you do as a result of this thread.)


For reference..

OLD style:
Link: Wikipedia NEMA 10 Style
Example:
[image]

NEW style:
Link: Wikipedia NEMA 14 Style
Example:
[image]

My house (build circa 2007) has the newer style NEMA 14-30 connector. When I put a multi-meter on it, it measures like this:

[image]

That seems to me equivalent to the necessary 50A hookup on an RV (albeit with only 30A's "actual"):

[image]

It also seems to me that I could use a 2-phase (DPDT) 30A switch to switch between my dryer outlet (inside) and a RV outlet (garage), using a switch such as the Leviton 1288 to switch power between the dryer and the garage outlets.

Leviton 1288:
[image]

However, I read over and over about people frying their RV trying to hook up shore power various ways from their house. SO I wanted to try and clarify what I think would work and get feedback.

It seems to me that I can use my dryer dual-30A hookup to power a 50A RV hookup with the stipulation that it will be limited to 30A per leg at the breaker box.

To be clear, our goals would be:

  • Park the RV in front of the house before/after trip for loading/unloading
  • Have Lights, A/C, and fridge running while loading/unloading
  • *NOT* planning on daily living use (microwave, etc)


It would seem to me that this circuit would be able to do the job.

My plan currently is:

  • Turn off dryer circuit breaker (safety first!)
  • Disconnect existing circuit from dryer outlet
  • Connect circuit from breaker to a DPDT switch such as the Leviton 1288 (linked above)
  • Connect one set of switch outputs to Dryer outlet
  • Connect second set of switch outputs to Garage RV outlet


Lastly, I want to again point out that this scenario would only supply 30A to each 120V leg even though we would be using a 14-50 style 50A RV hookup plug. This limitation comes from the breaker box itself. I cannot replace the breaker with a 50A because it would involve pulling new 50A wiring, and might violate dryer safety.

So, ..... thoughts?

cheers,
..dane

* This post was last edited 09/08/19 10:02pm by audiodane *   View edit history


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Learjet

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sounds like a lot of work...do it right and add a outlet for the RV.


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 50A recep powered by a 30 A duplex breaker. Works great.

Nobody ever gets close to 30A per side.


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audiodane

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Learjet wrote:

sounds like a lot of work...do it right and add a outlet for the RV.


Well we don't have any spare slots on our panel or I'd do JUST THAT. And having a new panel installed is PRICEY. I'm an EE by trade so would do the work myself.

It's actually very little work. The dryer is on the other side of the garage. [emoticon] I was simply VERY detailed in my post so that the knee-jerk naysayers didn't waste everyone's time due to their own misunderstanding.

audiodane

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Big Katuna wrote:

I have a 50A recep powered by a 30 A duplex breaker. Works great.

Nobody ever gets close to 30A per side.


That's what I was figuring. (We only have a single A/C unit)

Do you have a dedicated circuit or did you scab off your dryer circuit like I'm suggesting above?

Dutch_12078

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What you propose will work, and probably 99% of the time you won't even notice the 30 amp current limit per leg. You could even parallel the two outlets, just not using the dryer while the RV is plugged in. It won't meet code, of course, but it will work...


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audiodane

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dutch_12078 wrote:

What you propose will work, and probably 99% of the time you won't even notice the 30 amp current limit per leg. You could even parallel the two outlets, just not using the dryer while the RV is plugged in. It won't meet code, of course, but it will work...


Right- I was hoping the switch would allow it to meet code. I'm already maknig a small hole in the garage side of the wall for the outlet, might as well make another on the laundry room side for a switch. That SHOULD meet code, I would think, and provide a very simple safety precaution against one of our teenagers forgetting and starting the dryer while wife and I were outside getting the RV ready for a trip.

And the switch would have the added benefit of when someone inside goes to start the dryer and it doesn't work, it's easy to see if the switch is in the wrong position before they come hollering for "daaaaaaaaaaaaad!!!" [emoticon]

Dutch_12078

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Posted: 09/07/19 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, just a thought to save you the $60+ for the switch, box, etc... [emoticon]

Big Katuna

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Posted: 09/07/19 06:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

audiodane wrote:

Big Katuna wrote:

I have a 50A recep powered by a 30 A duplex breaker. Works great.

Nobody ever gets close to 30A per side.


That's what I was figuring. (We only have a single A/C unit)

Do you have a dedicated circuit or did you scab off your dryer circuit like I'm suggesting above?


It was existing in the house we bought a few years ago. Kind of a cluge. The breakers were added to the outside main panel to power a four wire 30A recep as a poor mans genset feed to the house for extended power outages. Florida-man did it.
I changed the recep as it’s exactly where I keep the RV.

audiodane

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Posted: 09/07/19 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dutch_12078 wrote:

Ok, just a thought to save you the $60+ for the switch, box, etc... [emoticon]


[emoticon]

I appreciate it! I might as well while I'm already in there behind the existing and cutting a hole for the new... I don't mind the $60 extra for peace-of-mind (no both-at-same-timing it), and hopefully to avoid any code issues if/when we ever sell the house.

Now the $600+ to put in a new subpanel or have an electrician come out and do the work? Nah, that kind of price tag I can't justify.

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