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Old 12-16-2011, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default 20 amp, 30 amp, 50 amp????

I got a camping book by Tom stienstra for my state. One of the thing I noticed in the descriptions is they say they have hook-ups with different number of amps. What are these different amps?

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Cheryl
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by inthepink View Post
I got a camping book by Tom stienstra for my state. One of the thing I noticed in the descriptions is they say they have hook-ups with different number of amps. What are these different amps?

Thanks,
Cheryl
Usually, you find only 30 and 50 Amp hook-ups at campgrounds. Generally speaking, if you are at a site with a 50-Amp hookup, there will also be a 30-Amp socket there too. If the site is 30-Amp though, it won't have the higher Amp socket. They MAY have 20-Amp outlets, and if so, they look like standard wall outlets.

You'll need a 30-Amp site to run the air conditioner, but most everything else will be fine with 20-Amps. You can buy a 30 to 20 Amp plug adapter for your power cord if all you have to supply it with is 20-Amps (like when you're at home). Only the BIG RVs need 50-Amps, and I don't know if any of our HiLos fall into that category.

You can also buy a 50-30 Amp adapter if there is any possibility that the hookup would only have a 50-Amp outlet and your cord is 30-Amp. The trailer will not pull more Amperage than it needs, so if your cord is 30-Amp, it is safe to connect to a higher Amp source. Just don't overload a 20-Amp source with a high trailer demand.

Edit: One thing that is confusing - most of the pedestals have circuit breakers that the campground would like you to turn off when you leave, so the outlets will likely not be "powered" when you arrive. I've noticed that these circuit breakers are not at all clear about which position is the "ON" setting. So, if you don't have AC power after plugging in, try flipping the breaker to the other position.

- Jack
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Most campgrounds have the 3 listed plug-ins available on their electrical pedestals on site. The 20 amp plug is like your wall outlets at home. They would be used by tent campers to plug in a coffee pot, small heater, etc. The 30 amp plug is used by most rv's, which the HiLo trailer uses. The 50 amp plug is used by the "big boys", the class A bus and any unit that uses two air conditioners. You cannot plug into the wrong plug due to the pin configuration of the male end of your cord. There are "cheaters" or adapters that can be utilized to make your electrical cord to fit any of these plugs (20 amp/30 amp/50 amp) but that is another story. Hope this helps.

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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Regarding the circuit breakers normally being off; I read somewhere that it is best to plug your RV cord into the outlet with the Circuit Breaker Off. This will prevent 'sparking' that has been suspected of having blown circuit packs in the refrigerator or other electronic device.

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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I agree with you Jerry. Something else we should check, but most of us don't, is to check the power outlet itself. They make inexpensive testers that plug right into the power source. The LED lights on the tester tells you if the plug is wired correctly and working properly. I know of several campers that had electrical problems in their rigs because of not checking. It only takes a few seconds to check it. I am guilty in not checking each time. Better safe than sorry.

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Old 12-16-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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A Polarity Checker would be a good idea to have in your tool kit and here is one for $79.00 (MSRP $99.00) Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable Surge Guard and Polarity Checker
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:06 AM   #7
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Default Electrical at the campsite

Open the electrical box carefully at the campsite. Several times we have found wasp nests. Always check the outside electrical to make sure it is wired correctly. Another good thing to keep in the trailer is a multimeter to check any sort of electrical problem that you may have. We picked up a cheap one at Harbor freight. It was defective,we took a battery(9V) with us to test it in the parking lot. The second one tested okay. Hubby has even helped neighbor campers with electrical problems.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:12 AM   #8
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Many campgrounds have electrical outlets that suffer from being poorly maintained. I have seen 20 amp outlets that would not hold the plug in place without closing the door on the box to hold onto the cord. Some 30 amp outlets suffer as well. Poor connections make for poor power conduction. If you have 50 amp outlets available use them because they get the least amount of use. So for your HiLo you will want the 50 to 30 amp "dog bone" converter cord. They make good Christmas stocking stuffers as well. You can find them at WallyWorld.

Reinforcing the previous posts: Always make sure the breakers in the outlet box are off before you plug in, and be sure to switch them off before you unplug.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:19 AM   #9
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I keep a 30 and a 50 adapter...just in case.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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Default Regarding Polarity Checker

I would recommend buying a less expensive polarity checker than the 30amp adapter/polarity guard suggested by NDGENT. All homes and businesses, including RV Parks, must meet the National Electrical Wiring Standards and RV Parks that 'follow' those guidelines will have wired their outlets per code. There is one feed going into each of the RV outlet stations. The feeds are split off among the 50 amp, 30 amp, and 20 amp outlets at each station. The wiring is standard throughout the country. That means that if wired correctly for 50 amp and wired accordidngly to the 30 amp and 20 amp outlets, a polarity checker plugged into a 20 amp [regular 110 volt outlet] at the Park Circuit Box, will find any problems that may be due to a wiring error. I keep one of these plugged into a vacant electrical outlet in the Hi-Lo at all times. Makes a good night light too! They are only about $10.

Klein Tools Rt200 Gfci Receptacle Tester: Compare Prices, View Price History and Read Reviews at Nextag

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