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Old 02-15-2017, 07:39 AM   #1
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50a Male / 30a Female adapter for 30a TT?

I'm picking up my new travel trailer next week and going directly to a fairgrounds for a few days where they have some RV spots with 30a and 50a service, and other spots with 50a only. I'm considering getting a 50a to 30a adapter, with the idea being I could then use whatever spot they have available that's best, regardless of electrical service...but do those adapters work safely? The 50a service is 240v, right? So to work right, the adapter would have to pull power from only one of the hot poles on the 50a service to 'downconvert' it to 120v...is that how these things work, or am I going to fry something?
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:05 AM   #2
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Yes, you're correct. In truth, even though a 50 amp service has 240 volts available (hot to hot), only the most extreme RVs use 240 volts for anything. For the vast majority, the circuit is treated as two separate 120 volt lines (hot to neutral). (generally to be able to run two ACs) That's exactly what that adapter does, is just take one of the two hots, along with neutral and ground, and feed it to the 30 amp outlet. The pedestal breaker will trip at 50 amps, but your main CB in the TT will trip at 30 amps. That's your limitation. As it should be, the wiring is sized for that. I'm not a big fan of adapters, but this one should be no problem.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MartyinSC View Post
Yes, you're correct. In truth, even though a 50 amp service has 240 volts available (hot to hot), only the most extreme RVs use 240 volts for anything. For the vast majority, the circuit is treated as two separate 120 volt lines (hot to neutral). (generally to be able to run two ACs) That's exactly what that adapter does, is just take one of the two hots, along with neutral and ground, and feed it to the 30 amp outlet. The pedestal breaker will trip at 50 amps, but your main CB in the TT will trip at 30 amps. That's your limitation. As it should be, the wiring is sized for that. I'm not a big fan of adapters, but this one should be no problem.
Thanks! I'll definitely plan on using it as a last resort. I just don't want to get caught out somewhere and not have it as an option.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:00 PM   #4
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They are perfectly safe to use.... and MOST 50 amp sites have 30 amp plug ins too, so you probably won't need an adapter, but if you do...

Obviously, if you rv is a 30 amp rv, you don't need one for 30 amp

but you will need a 30 amp female to 50 amp male to plug into 50 amp if it doesn't have a 30 amp plug in.

Eventually we get all the 30 to 20, etc... so we can plug into a house current too just for battery charging...
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:29 AM   #5
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I have used a 30 adapter many times. However I also use a progressive industries EMS-PT-50C portable power surge protector. So if I'm using 30 Amps I will plug in the adapter then plug the surge protector to the 50 Amp side of the adapter then plug the 50 Amp from our 5er to the surge protector. Have never had any problems. I would highly suggest you purchase a surge protector. I like the progressive because their guaranteed for life. Here is a break down on their protectors. However, I purchased mine from EBay and saved $100 and it's still new and guaranteed.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:08 PM   #6
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i have a 30 amp 5th wheel, i have gathered all adapters. 50 to 30, 30 to 50, even 30 to reg. 110v. Don't run a/c with a 30 to 110v, but runs everything else in a pinch.
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #7
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Here's a weird one: We have a local (very pretty) park run by the County. Just water and electric, no sewer. Judging by the tight spacing, and the age of the place, it must have been built in the 60's or 70's, for Shastas and pop-ups. (back when the little gray water you made went to the dirt, and bathroom needs were done in the bathhouse) The electricity is only 20 amp outlets. I mentioned it to the lady who comes around collecting camping fees, and she said "no, we upgraded several to 30 amp." I looked in the big breaker boxes, and some are 20, and some are 30. (they do also have TWO dedicated 50 amp sites). But the 30 amp breakers feed 20 amp outlets! (Yes, I know that's wrong) So you can use your step-down adapter, and still run the AC! Because of the load on that adapter, I'm thinking about making one using a 30 amp receptacle, wired to TWO parallel 15 amp plugs, that I can plug into both halves of the duplex outlet, thus sharing the load across two sets of connections. The good news (and secret) is that this site is always sparsely populated. I think many have come by, checked out the outlets, and said, "too small for us!" They do have a decent bathhouse with showers and toilets. If any of you are going to be in the smack dab middle of SC, PM me, and I'll give you the location! It's honor-code, if they come by when you are there, they charge you $10/night. 50 amp cost $15 or 20, not sure, because the signs conflict! Again, this is a small-town operation! LOL
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