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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 06-07-2009
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Lonewolf Lonewolf is offline
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Default How to stay cool and not fry the dog on 30amps.

With the heat of summer kicking in, I am very challenged managing my load on 30amp shore power at these state parks. It seems as though even with everything except the fridge turned off, we still are unable to run more than one AC. The front and rear are on the same leg, so I have tried to use the center and one of the others, but something else seems to be pulling down amps and overloading the system. We have a dog with us and I am worried about a breaker blowing while we are away from the coach. What would be better to use. Gen.autostart with low amps or no amps? And how to I calculate the best combination to prevent blowing a circuit breaker on the pole? Conny
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2009
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Allen I'm only going to address your dog cooling issue. If your AC is working and you want a backup (just-in-case) then I recommend you leave a wet towel on the floor for the dog. If the AC fails the dog will lie on the wet towel to cool himself.
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Old 06-08-2009
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Allen with 30 amp power it really does not matter if the A/Cs are on different legs in the motor home. All the power is coming from one leg on the 30 amp pole. 30 amp plugs have three prongs but only one is power. A 50 amp plug has four prongs and two of them have power. That is why there are two legs on 50 amp power. Therefore you need to add the power (amps) pulled by both legs and be sure you are pulling 30 amps or less when connected to a 30 amp pole.

Thoughts:

If you have a gas/electric fridge you can make it run on gas and that will save some amps.

If you are running the Aqua Hot/Hydro Hot you could pull the breaker for the electric heater element and run diesel fuel only. You could also pull the breaker for the engine block heater and the instant hot water faucet or anything else you don't have to have on.

Another possiblity is if there is two 30 amp plugs available or another 20 amp plug you may be able to use something like John was working on: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...-adapter/25774 These require the two plugs be on separate circuits to work. I have never used this but John was looking into it maybe he will let us know if he tried it and if it worked. Also please note the cautions listed on the web page.

Those are my thoughts for now.

This advice is worth what you paid for it.
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Last edited by bwinter1946; 06-08-2009 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009
Frank W. Frank W. is offline
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Just for thought....

A few year ago we traveled south in the summer...and caught a big heat wave, like 113F in S. Dakota. We have a dog and were having the same issues...needed 2 A/C's running to cool entire coach, on 30 amp service.

First, if at all possible, have shade on bus. Plan your excursions in early AM or in the early evening. Have plenty of water available for dog. This prevents your dog from being exposed while alone on bus to the worst part of the day as far as temps.

Method 1: close interior door and cool one smaller area well with one A/C.
Method 2: (I do not know if the newer coaches have the Kool-a-tron fan but your high volume fantastic fans would likely work too), keep a couple of windows open with the high powered fan running. Yes, it is hot on the bus, but with water and dog resting, there is no danger IMO of heat stroke. This will work with or without AC power to coach.

Here is why we like option 2: Just because you control your amp load, doesn't mean that your neighbor will. What if HE blows the campground circuit and your bus is without power while your away? What if there is an area power outage? A sealed up coach without ventilation is a death box.
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2009
davidmbrady
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Conny,

I would add that to guard against campground AC failure set your Auto Genny Start at the dash to "on", and set the "low AC"/"no AC" at the driver's side console to "no AC". This will auto start the generator in the event of no shore power. Campground folks won't like the genny running, but you gotta take care of your own. Go outside and switch off the shore power circuit breaker and verify that your genny stalrts.

Unfortunately 30 amp shore means 1 AC, unless you have a dog-leg to attach to 2 30 shore hookups (frowned upon by most campgrounds).
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Old 06-08-2009
jwasnewski jwasnewski is offline
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Unfortunately you cannot manage power that you do not have. If you have 30 amps at the pole hooked to the dog bone you have two legs showing in the coach and 30 amps total, not 60. Not enough to run two a/c's on a single leg or opposite legs. Or an a/c and a microwave, or electric water heater and a convection oven. On a 50 amp service you have 50 amps per leg or 100 amps. So, you can operate equipment totaling approx. 3600 watts on the 30 amp hookup 30ax120v and a total of about 12000 watts on the 50 amp hookup 240vx50a or 120vx50ax2legs.
I think that is right coming from a layman. If not, I am sure someone will correct me.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2009
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Leroy , that is how my calculator works, huge difference 3600 or 12,000 watts
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Old 06-08-2009
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What we do in our travels and get into a park with 30 amps is to run the front a/c only. Put the fridge on gas only.
We also made up a curtain that divides the front from the back. We leave the back windows open with the roof fan running.
The cats can go between the front where the food is to the back bed, if they want.
No problems then when we are gone.
Presently workcamping at Ft. DeSoto, St. Pete, Fla
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Old 06-08-2009
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We use a multi-faceted approach when we leave our cat or dog or both in the coach. This applies to 50-amp as well as 30-amp service, because I don't count on a lack of power outages.

Air conditioners (one or two, depending on amps) on and set for upper 70s. Kool-O-matic set for 85. Window with Window/Maxx vent on it open. Auto-Gen start set to run at 85 degrees, or less than 12-volts on the batteries. Plenty of water available for the pets.

With all of that I'm confident that they won't cook!
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonB View Post
We use a multi-faceted approach when we leave our cat or dog or both in the coach. This applies to 50-amp as well as 30-amp service, because I don't count on a lack of power outages.

Air conditioners (one or two, depending on amps) on and set for upper 70s. Kool-O-matic set for 85. Window with Window/Maxx vent on it open. Auto-Gen start set to run at 85 degrees, or less than 12-volts on the batteries. Plenty of water available for the pets.

With all of that I'm confident that they won't cook!
Don I once had a lady tell me she put a wet towel down on the floor just in case her single AC went out. She said pets are smart enough to lay on it to cool down.
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