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Old 12-21-2016, 10:36 AM   #1
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30 amp service to 50 amp RV. Problem with adapter/converter melting and failing

30 amp service to 50 amp RV. Problem with adapter/converter melting and failing. We have a 2011 CrossRoads Sahara Cruiser CF30ES with 50 amp service. Our last trailer was only 30 amp so that’s what I installed for service. My problem is my trailers 50 amp service is at the rear of the trailer and comes up 10' short of the service box. This requires a 30 amp RV cord to the 50 amp cord with the use of an adapter. My first adapter standard corded 18” failed, I was able to replace the outlet ends but it failed again. I replace with a different style without a cord and it didn’t last 2 months. What’s causing the failure is an additional ceramic safety heater during the winter and running a single AC during the summer. While running the RV’s factory electric fireplace furnace and the additional heater or the AC its drawing too much power for the adapter and causing the 30 amp female from the extra cord and the male end of the adapter to melt. Would an adapter like this https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Wiring/Camco/CAM55025.html solve my problem? As long I plug the 15 amp into a separate breaker!
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:05 AM   #2
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I highly recommend you call and talk with them about it. They are very helpful, and very knowledgeable on their products.
I have had very good results with them, and so has most everyone who has dealt with them.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:38 PM   #3
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STOP using under gauge cords/adapters before your burn down your rv or your house please ! It's a BIG hint that you are overloading the circuit when things melt !!!

You can't get 50 amp's worth of power out of 30 amps, so stop trying to run everything off the 30 amps.

We have the right adapters for ours and it works fine, but I don't use the 3 heat pumps and fireplace and tv when on 20 amps ! Heck one 1500w electric heater would tripped the breaker (whic is much better than melting cords and adapters)

Please, for your families safety, turn off some of that stuff ! (besides, electric heaters and fireplaces won't protect your water pipes, etc in the underbelly of your rv.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:25 PM   #4
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I highly recommend you call and talk with them about it. They are very helpful, and very knowledgeable on their products.
I have had very good results with them, and so has most everyone who has dealt with them.
What in my post made you believe I was running everything in the trailer or udergauge cords?

During the summer running one single AC for a long weekends when geust staying over it has happened, and during the winter when running an extra ceramic heater along with the factory electric heater. Thats all thats running. No tv, microwave, hairdryer, lights ect. Only other things runing is the onboard charger for the battery and fridge.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
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My apologies Lloyd! I meant to quote johnboytoo….
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:27 PM   #6
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driller, I was using hyperbole only no harm intended...
Just trying to help in that it is dangerous if stuff is melting.

Your rv is demanding too many of those lil electrons go through that wire at one time and that increases heat through the weakest point...

an example given to me is a wire is like a highway and the current is the cars going down that highway...
with 2 lanes you can only get so many cars thru at one time...

to double the flow you:
1) double the lanes or
2) double the speed BUT that increases the danger

Either the gauge of the wire, cord, adapter is not up to the load
or conversely, the load is too much for the cords, adapters, etc...

Like I said, I run my 50 amp coach on a 20 amp circuit at the storage yard and when I bring it home to load it up for a trip...
if I want to put a large electric load on it, I must use the generator as even my 50 amp extension cords have to be down sized to the 20 amp circuit sometime and for the 90 feet from the garage to street, it's just too much voltage drop and the cords get warm...

How long a run is your cord ?

longer runs = more resistance which means more heat especially if in a smaller gauge wire.

good luck.... and just trying to help


oh, on edit, just noticed you were in Red Oak !
Small world - Went to church there and my daughter graduated from Waxahachie
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:11 PM   #7
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During the summer running one single AC for a long weekends when geust staying over it has happened, and during the winter when running an extra ceramic heater along with the factory electric heater. Thats all thats running. No tv, microwave, hairdryer, lights ect. Only other things runing is the onboard charger for the battery and fridge.

With two electric heaters running, that is about 25 amps right there. Not knowing what the other stuff you said was running draws----I would say you have probably maxed out the 30 amp adapter, and that is the reason for the melt down.

Like I stated in my first post-----call Etrailer and talk with them.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:16 PM   #8
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Heaters are max 1500 watts, about 13 amps each. The converter can be another 10-13 amps. So you can easily go over 30 amps. If you have a 30 amp breaker for that outlet, it should trip. If you don't then add it, if it still doesn't trip, replace it. Also check voltage while load is on, if it is too low , then current will go even higher. Small gauge wire or too long a run could be the problem. Finally, most plugs overheat and fail because there is too much contact resistance at the prongs or internal screws. Clean them and use electrical grease.

Johnboytoo is also on the right track, while you might have the proper gauge wire for 30 amps, too many intermediate connections or too long of a total run adds too much total resistance in which case you need to increase wire size to compensate.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:13 AM   #9
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I will add this, your point of failure is exactly what would be expected with the setup if too much current is the issue. The connection at the RV isn't going to be a problem, the larger surface area of the 50 amp contacts will have a lower contact resistance and there is a 50% chance that the heaters are on opposite hot legs. The 30 amp outlet at the wall may also work ok, the brass and plastic base has air (inside the box) that can circulate around it and dissipate heat and some heat will be dissipated thru the frame. Meanwhile, molded connectors have the least ability to dissipate heat. Even replacement connectors have limited ability to dissipate heat. If the contact resistance is say 0.10 ohm and two heater plus extras are pulling 30 amps, then there will be 75 watts of heat at each contact ( hot + neutral ) so 150 watts total. So, figure out how hot the connector can get.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:16 AM   #10
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Dayle1 hit it on the head. But, why not get a correctly wired 50 amp plug for the RV?


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Old 12-22-2016, 07:15 PM   #11
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Dayle1 hit it on the head. But, why not get a correctly wired 50 amp plug for the RV?


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Agree. First you need to upgrade your service box to 50 amp, which will probably mean a new wire lay (with two hots, i.e. 4-conductor). If possible, while laying new wire, position your service box closer so that the TT cord can make it to the box without any extension cord. That's the way to do it!
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:35 AM   #12
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I understand his not wanting to change out the 30 to 50 amp... but if he is not going to do that, he just needs to ensure that he doesn't pull more than 30 amps (or better yet pull more power than any of the components can handle - cords, plugs, etc)
and what concerns me is why didn't the breaker to that outlet not trip ??? That's the purpose of breakers - to protect the downstream circuit
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:15 AM   #13
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and what concerns me is why didn't the breaker to that outlet not trip ??? That's the purpose of breakers - to protect the downstream circuit
We had a similar situation with our 30 Amp service plugged into a 30 Amp extension cord, then into a 30 Amp surge protector and ultimately, into a 30 Amp outlet. The male plug from the trailer, the molded type, started getting hot, where it plugged into the extension cord. Mostly from running the AC, and of course, the converter. Every plug-in is subject to a less than perfect connection. Once you get even just a little bit of carbon arcing, resistance enters the equation, and drops some voltage. That shows up as heat. Have since replaced the male plug, and don't use the surge protector at home, since the electric company's protector is on the same service box. The moral of the story is that every connection presents possibilities for problems, and amp-reducing-adapters often bring problems. Like you say, it works if you know what you're doing!
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:18 PM   #14
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what concerns me is why didn't the breaker to that outlet not trip ??? That's the purpose of breakers - to protect the downstream circuit
Age and temperature are also variables that impact when a breaker trips. And breakers near their trip point do get hot. But a single hot breaker in a main panel can easily dissipate a lot of heat to the rest of the panel. When we setup a temp RV park in the summer, sometimes we keep the main panel open and use a small fan to keep the breakers cooler so they won't trip.

Also, a molded connector can experience what is called thermal runaway. It gets hot, expands and distorts and looses pressure holding the connection tight, so the contact resistance increases which increases the heat, which further degrades the connection, etc., until it fails completely. Meanwhile the breaker is staying cool and doesn't trip, in fact total current drops slightly in this scenario since the contact resistance is increasing. Voltage drop across the connector increases (with more heat) and less voltage is available to the load, so the electric heater is producing less heat and the connector is generating more heat than it can handle.

Bottom line, breakers do a good job of tripped when current spikes significantly higher than the breaker rating, but they are not that accurate or dependable when the current is very close to the breaker rating.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:34 AM   #15
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I have 50Amp on my 2016 and use a 50 to 30 plug because I had a 30Amp box installed at the house when I had a unit with 30Amps years ago. However I only use mine when I'm getting ready for a camping trip. Just for the fridge a maybe a light. I also use a Progressive EMS PT-50C surge protector.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:50 AM   #16
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Ted, I certainly don't see any thing wrong with that.
Problems start when a person tries to take to many amps off one leg, or, you are running to light of a cord for the job.
Without tracing the different outlets back to the breaker panel, you just don't know what they hooked together at the factory.
I have run the AC, or an electric heater at different times with a 15 amp adapter. Our AC is only a 13500 so not drawing quite what a 15000 would.
Some of the wires CR runs in the walls are marginal at best, and so are the outlets.
That is the reason I ran a separate line to run the electric heater.
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