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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Why 30 amp and not 50 amp

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time2roll

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Posted: 06/21/20 08:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sometimes it is easier to compare 30 amp at 3,600 watts to 50 amp at 12,000 watts.


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DrewE

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Posted: 06/22/20 12:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bobbo wrote:

DrewE wrote:


That's half true; 50A service is 50A, 120/240V service, but it's not in any way a 100A circuit: you cannot connect a single 120V, 100A device to it should that odd need come up. It is correct that it provides a nominal 12 kW rather than 3.6 kW for the 120V, 30A service.

Saying it's a 100A service is about like saying that a semi tractor pulling dual trailers is really travelling at 120 mph, because it's pulling two trailers traveling at 60 mph apiece.

But, it is also true that a 50 amp trailer has access to 100 amps of power. You just have to use two circuits to access it. Sometimes, simplifying a subject can get the concept across even though the technical details are wrong.


I think it is both simpler and more correct to use units of power when comparing power, rather than units of current--doubly so when one of the current values must be incorrectly stated for the comparison to work out. "Amps of power" is a nonsensical phrase, if taken at face value. In the context, it is a shorthand form (or a shorthand way of thinking) based on the assumption that the voltage is invariant, when in fact the different voltages are at the heart of the matter. Similarly, saying that a 50A circuit supplies 100A is also something of an absurdity, and is also forced by incorrect assumptions about the voltages. Comparing power using the proper units--watts or kilowatts--avoids all the confusion.





pianotuna

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Posted: 06/22/20 12:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So 50 amp = 2 legs of 6000 watts each.


Regards, Don
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bikendan

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Posted: 06/22/20 02:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skipg wrote:

Why not build all RV’s with 50 amp service ? With AC, microwaves, electronic water heaters plus numerous other electrical appliances we take with us it seems to make More sense to have 50 amp


Not all of us need all that power because we use our RV to camp, not as a house.
Plus many public campgrounds don't have 50 amp available. you're lucky to get 30 amp in many. i've never been in a public campground that even offered 50 amp.
i'm betting that most RVs that are sold, are 30 amp. And most don't even care for more power.


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Posted: 06/22/20 05:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

linnemj wrote:

I wonder if the market would pay more for improved axles and suspension, higher quality tires, better furniture and better quality control? Every new buyer doesn’t understand the value of these items but experienced buyer certainly would!


Companies have tried it. They are pretty much all bankrupt now.

It's a tiny percentage of the RV crowd that have that experience. Plus if their rigs last 40yrs, they likely won't ever buy another, so it's one sale and they are gone.


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Bobbo

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Posted: 06/22/20 06:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

Bobbo wrote:

But, it is also true that a 50 amp trailer has access to 100 amps of power. You just have to use two circuits to access it. Sometimes, simplifying a subject can get the concept across even though the technical details are wrong.


I think it is both simpler and more correct to use units of power when comparing power, rather than units of current--doubly so when one of the current values must be incorrectly stated for the comparison to work out. "Amps of power" is a nonsensical phrase, if taken at face value. In the context, it is a shorthand form (or a shorthand way of thinking) based on the assumption that the voltage is invariant, when in fact the different voltages are at the heart of the matter. Similarly, saying that a 50A circuit supplies 100A is also something of an absurdity, and is also forced by incorrect assumptions about the voltages. Comparing power using the proper units--watts or kilowatts--avoids all the confusion.

You have just made my case for me. If Joe Blow, who knows less than nothing about electricity, were to read your statement and my statement, which one would he understand better? There is no reason, at all, for him to understand the nitty gritty details.

Also, please note that I did not say "that a 50A circuit supplies 100A." I said a 50a RV has access to 100a of power. You just have to use 2 circuits to get it.

Remember that I am not trying to educate Mr Blow about electricity. I am just trying to get him to understand that his 50 amp RV has more than 3 times the amount of power available than a 30 amp RV. The phrase "30 amps of power" vs "100 amps of power", while you say is "nonsensical", Mr Blow can understand.

I understand being a purist and wanting it technically correct. I, as a Pharmacist, often explained to patients if they asked, that aspirin prevents heart attacks by "greasing platelets" so they don't stick together to form a clot in the heart. My wife, as a Specialist In Blood Banking, understood the chemistry of how platelets clot in biochemical detail. However, she agreed that "greasing the platelets", while wildly inaccurate, was understandable, and would accomplish the goal. That was enough understanding for Mr Blow.


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CavemanCharlie

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Posted: 06/24/20 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skipg wrote:

Why not build all RV’s with 50 amp service ? With AC, microwaves, electronic water heaters plus numerous other electrical appliances we take with us it seems to make More sense to have 50 amp


I'm wonder if it doesn't, at least somewhat, have to do with History.

There were once campers that had no electric at all and had things like Propane Gas Lanterns build into the camper. Then they had 15 amp campers. (I once had a camper that had no AC and only had a 15 amp plug.) Then there was 30. Now they have 50.

Times change and it takes awhile for the infrastructure to catch up.

pnichols

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Posted: 06/28/20 11:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CavemanCharlie wrote:

Skipg wrote:

Why not build all RV’s with 50 amp service ? With AC, microwaves, electronic water heaters plus numerous other electrical appliances we take with us it seems to make More sense to have 50 amp


I'm wonder if it doesn't, at least somewhat, have to do with History.

There were once campers that had no electric at all and had things like Propane Gas Lanterns build into the camper. Then they had 15 amp campers. (I once had a camper that had no AC and only had a 15 amp plug.) Then there was 30. Now they have 50.

Times change and it takes awhile for the infrastructure to catch up.


FWIW, our first 1969 Class C RV had both 12V lights and propane lights in it. It also had a vented, pilot-light-lit propane furnace with no circulation fan - but it worked well to heat the interior without draining the battery while it did it.

And ... it's absorption refrigerator worked fine.

Boy ... for the good old days of RV designs.


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Fisherman

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Posted: 06/29/20 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWIW, our first 1969 Class C RV had both 12V lights and propane lights in it. It also had a vented, pilot-light-lit propane furnace with no circulation fan - but it worked well to heat the interior without draining the battery while it did it.

And ... it's absorption refrigerator worked fine.

Boy ... for the good old days of RV designs.

I wish we could still get those old convection furnaces, no noise, no battery use.

time2roll

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Posted: 06/29/20 03:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fisherman wrote:

I wish we could still get those old convection furnaces, no noise, no battery use.
??? Very much available for self install.

https://www.ecomfort.com/heating/williams-direct-vent-furnaces.html?

Combine with a Mini-split A/C for efficiency and you should be very comfortable.

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