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Old 01-16-2012, 03:25 AM   #1
MNSparky
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I am looking to upgrade my electrical panel from 30a to 50a. any suggestions, warnings etc? It appears that I can use the same converter. I have been thinking about it without being able to do the research in my 5er, my trailer is 500 miles away for the winter.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:33 AM   #2
dalemac377
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I believe you will need a complete new panel. Converter should be ok if it is not built into existing panel.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:53 AM   #3
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I remember sitting in on a live online video session with Gary Bunzer, "The RV Doctor" where the same question was asked. His response was that it is just not practical or cost effective to try and go from 30 to 50 amp. It seems as though much of the major wiring has to be redone as well as a new converter, etc.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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I would not attempt to switch from 30 to 50. What you need to do is split ALL your wiring into two separate circuits. Then, you feed one half from half the 50A and the other half from the other side. Not sure what you hope to gain. I can see some adantages but not sure it's worth the effort. You are better off putting in another outside receptacle to feed from the campground box with 20A and then have ONE outlet inside fed from that so you can use it for one heavier draw appliance taking the load off your 30A circuit. It would be bringing in to feeds, one for 30A that feeds the whole electrical system and then a separate 20A circuit for a heater, coffee pot, etc.

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #5
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Changing from 30A to 50A is not as big of a problem as many people claim. Provided you have room behind or very near the existing panel for another small breaker box. Cost is also minimal except a 50A shore power cord is not cheap. Excluding the power cord, cost is under $20 for the breaker box plus cost of the actual breakers. I converted our '04 Cruiser several yrs ago.

GE makes a small 6 or 8 slot panel, good for 200A. Two slots are taken by the dual 50A main. One slot with a single 30A breaker feeds the original panel which is now a sub-panel. Then it is a matter of deciding which circuits to move into the other remaining slots. Generally there is enough slack wire in each of the circuits, that if the new main can be located near the existing panel, it is a simple matter to unscrew them from the panel and move them to the new panel. As I recall, I moved three circuits, one on the same phase as the 30A feed to the old panel and two onto the opposite phase. One plus with this change, I was able to move the convertor onto it's own breaker in the old panel rather than having it share a breaker with another circuit.

I do agree that running a separate 20A circuit is cheaper (because of the cost of the 50A power cord) and may be easier. But 20A + 30A is only 50A, which is only 1/2 the total power of a true 50A setup. So it depends on your real needs and talents.

Edited by: Dayle1
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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I did what Horseman said I also wired a plug to the microwave which is on its own circuit. I can runa electric heater, coffee pot and electric grill all at the same time. Have been doing this since 05 with no problem.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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I would only caution this. Most of the wiring in the RV is #14 wire wich is really rated for 15amps continuios so you can cause excessive heat in the wire itself inside the outlets and walls. Just something to think about.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
cruzr4-2
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I'll just say that Sparky is a good name to be doing the mod you are talking about. LOL
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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I did this mod 4 years ago because my wife likes to cook on electric and we like to heat with it instead of the furnace. As stated easy change over if you direct hook into a sub panel.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:57 PM   #10
mdunlop
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Chris,
That's not true about the #14 wire. Any #14 that is feeding a load is protected by a 15 amp circuit breaker. The wire will never see more than its rated 15 amps because the breaker will pop. If you us a 20 or 30 amp breaker to feed a specific load and you use # 14 you would be correct, it would over heat. The 50 amp service just bring in two seperate phases. It will allow more circuits so you can run more stuff before the Main 50 amp breaker pops.

This is no different from your house. You probably have a 200 amp service. You have several 15 amp circuits and a few 20's. If you brought in a 300 amp service it just make the playground bigger.




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