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The Risks of Electrical Adapters
By: Jean Hillis

Never use an electrical adapter and reduce your electric down. If available always use the original plug on your RV. Campground owners might consider adopting a policy stating "No electric adapters allowed,” if they provide the proper plug ins. Damage can occur to the park’s hookups and to your RV.

For example, a 50 amp RV has a larger cord with four large prongs. "Do not reduce down" to a three prong or less electrical receptacle by using a reducer, adapter or pigtail on the end of the 50 amp cord. A 30 amp RV has a cord with three large prongs. "Do not reduce down" to a two prong electrical receptacle by using a reducer, adapter or pigtail on the end of the 30 amp cord. A 20 amp RV looks like a household plug in, many vans and truck campers without air conditioners have the 20 amp plug. When available always plug in with the original cord that came with your RV.

We built our campground (Camelot RV, Missouri) in 1982 and we have experienced many situations with what people call electric reducers, adapters and pigtails. All campgrounds back then had 20 or 30 amp electrical receptacles; we had 30 amp. When the RV industry came out with the 50 amp RVs our customers had to reduce down to our 30-amp service we provided at that time. We found out when the 50 amp RVs reduced down to our 30-amp service this would cause damage to our 30 amp electrical system. Campgrounds were forced to upgrade their electrical services to stay competitive, but be aware of the new upgraded electrical boards in the 50 amp RVs nowadays--another upgrade is required. The 50 amp RV requires a little different type of 50 amp electrical service and many parks have not upgraded to the "true" 50 amp standards. Our park has upgraded to the latest standards and we have upgraded three times since we have been in business. The RV industry keeps changing and this is very expensive for campground owners.

Also, when reducing from a 50 amp to a 30 amp in many cases you are only getting 25 amps; it has something to do with the way the prongs on the plug you reduced with work. When you plug in many of your appliances change over to electric. These items combined will pull 30 amp: the refrigerator, hot water heater element and your air conditioner, electric heater or heat strips. This does not include other items you may need to use.

This "amp" list is provided by Woodalls:

-Air conditioner - 15,000 BTU 12.5 amps
-Electric water heater 6 gallons 12.5 amps
-Microwave oven 12.8 amps
-Electric coffee pot 9.0 amps
-Toaster 10.0 amps
-Hair dryer 10.0 amps
-TV only 2.0 amps
-Small Dirt Devil hand vacuum 2.0 amps
-Electric fry pan 10.0 amps
-Iron 10.0 amps
-Food processor 6.0 amps
-Crock pot 1.5 amps
-Heating pad .5 amps

These are other items not mentioned by Woodalls you may be using:

-Convection ovens require a "true 50 amp electrical service"--they use many amps
-Electric heaters or heat strips
-Refrigerator on electric
-Satellite dish
-VCR players
-DVD players
-Curling iron
-Computer, fax, copier
-Outside cookers
-Additional appliances, tools or chargers
-Outside freezer/refrigerator
-Heat tape in cold weather
-Electric blankets in cold weather
-Extra plug-in for vehicle battery in cold weather
-Extra plug-in for a storage unit

Published: 8/11/2004
Source: Great Camping Spots

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