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Old 02-16-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
RKassl
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Suggestions how to manage 15 Amps

On our return trip to Alaska in May we will be staying at several campgrounds in the Yukon that offer only 15 AMPS for electrical. I have never been below a 30 AMP hookup so this will be different. I would guess that 15 Amps will just about keep the battery charged. Just about all of light are LED's so that is a plus. For hot water I would use propane to heat rather than electric.

Can you run an electrical coffee pot on 15 AMPS? Once we are plugged into the power how will it affect the Levelup or slide operation?

Thanks for any ideas or lessons from your travels.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:03 PM   #2
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Hi RKassl,

If your batteries a fully charged, 15 amp service will have no effect on the LevelUps or slide operation. If they aren't, plug in and wait 15 minutes before operating.

IF your batteries are charged, the converter will only have to supply 12vDC power to things like your lights, water pump, and furnace blower. So, the current draw at 120vAC for those items will only total a few AC amps. However, if your batteries need charging, the batteries will initially draw about 5 or more amps AC at 120vAC, add the above loads and you could be about 8 amps AC. After your batteries have been charging for at least 30 minutes, their amp AC draw will be cut in half.

In addition to running your water heater on Propane, you will need to also run your refrigerator on propane if you have an RV frig. If you have a residential type frig, when the compressor runs it will draw 2-4 amps AC.

If you have a tube type or plasma TV instead of a new flat screen LED TV, it will draw 2-3 amps AC as well.

So far, with all the above you're doing ok staying below your 15 amp AC limit. Where you will have problems is when you start using almost anything that produces heat: coffee pot, microwave, heater, hair dryer, etc. Each of these items will pretty much eat up your 15 amp AC capacity by themselves. The other big power hog is your air conditioner, it uses almost as much as the microwave. If you want to use any of these devices, make sure your batteries are charged and the water pump and furnace blower are not running.

So to sum it up, if your batteries are charged you will be ok running most things like lights, TV, frig, etc. But, if you want/need to run something that gets hot (or air conditioner) pretty much every thing else needs to be off.

Make sure to use your regular trailer power cord and have the 15amp adapter right at the outlet where you connect, don't use a home type extension cord.

I hope this give you some info to help you manage your limited power availability. If you end up tripping a breaker, just turn something off, reset the breaker, and you're back in business. If you do loose power it will most likely be that you tripped the 15 amp breaker supplying the outlet the rig is plugged into.

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Old 02-16-2017, 11:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for all the great information!
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:36 AM   #4
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For quite a while I used a 15A at home for setup and we mainly could run the fridge (RV type) to cool it down and the converter to top off the batteries as needed. We still had some headroom before we would be at 15A but you need to be careful adding much of an AC load, especially something with a heating element like a coffee pot
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions, we will be in the Yukon and Northern British Columbia in early July with the 15 AMPS, so maybe we can get some of the free AC from the cool weather up there. When we were there in 2013 we had a light snow storm on July 17!
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:32 AM   #6
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When you connect, make a note if the circuit breaker is at the post or at a central located box that may be locked. If at your post it's not a big deal to reset it, if it's in a locked box, then you have to find someone to reset it.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:44 AM   #7
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I would suggest that in order to help manage your electricity that you buy a small voltage meter that plugs in to one of you outlets in the kitchen and it will give you a heads up as how much you are drawing.

By watching it as we plug in different devices we now understand what we can run together BEFORE we trip the breaker in most cases.

Yep coffee maker and hair blow dryer usually don't work together.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:00 AM   #8
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That's really interesting where would a guy look to buy on?
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:08 AM   #9
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I would add a comment on the usage amps. When the furnace runs, I think the fan uses 7-9 amps. Also, when my batteries are low, the converter draws 6 or 7 amps for a few minutes and then slowly comes down to zero (over about 30-60 minutes). So don't plug in and turn the furnace on right away.
p.s. I know this because I have the Progressive surge protector with a digital readout of the amperage.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:38 AM   #10
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I just have to get one of these meters.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:39 AM   #11
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Question 15 amps?

If you remember the TV show "Green Acres" and remember the electric setup that Oliver and Lisa had in the house, think of it that way. Plug one item in, unplug another. You will be very limited in what you can run. Forget the AC, that will probably take it down. As to the converter, it pulls more than you think, especially if the batteries are down a bit. Also remember that the converter goes through a battery desulphatiion mode every so often, which pulls more power. As was suggested, get a volt meter and plug it in to check your voltage. It won't tell you your amp draw, but could alert you to a potential problem, voltage drop. On small circuits like that, voltage drop can be a problem. Optimum voltage these days is 115 to 125 volts. If the voltage drops, the amp draw goes up (Ohms Law) and things (especially motors) have to work harder and get hotter. You may actually have to turn your converter off, if things get really dicey, to be able to run the micro, hair dryer, etc.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKassl View Post
That's really interesting where would a guy look to buy on?
It's been with us awhile but pretty sure we found one at home depot. At any rate the one we have is simply a needle type meter with the operating range marked on green. Pretty sure it was less than $15.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:25 PM   #13
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Ok, I went out to the trailer to see what I have for a 15 AMP connection. Here is how I thought I would get the power to the trailer:

Use the heavy 50 AMPS line, then adapt it down to 30 AMPS, then finally adapt it down to 15 AMPS plugging into their pedestal.

Is this the right way to hook up to the 15 AMP power service?

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:07 PM   #14
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We can draw 2 t o 3 amps with nothing running as in indicated on our PT 50C. Alarms, clocks, etc. 15 amp limit is going to be a challenge with these new rigs. We have a Kil O watt meter to measure usage.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKassl View Post
Ok, I went out to the trailer to see what I have for a 15 AMP connection. Here is how I thought I would get the power to the trailer:

Use the heavy 50 AMPS line, then adapt it down to 30 AMPS, then finally adapt it down to 15 AMPS plugging into their pedestal.

Is this the right way to hook up to the 15 AMP power service?

Thanks
For 15 amp when our rig is parked in front of house we bought a 50 amp to 15 amp adapter. The adapter connects to the trailer like you OEM cord and even has the screw ring to lock it on. Out of that connection protrudes a maybe 6 inch cord with the 15 amp end with no need to pull out the anaconda cords.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:36 PM   #16
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I was wondering if I was shooting myself in the foot. I saw this at the RV dealer this morning but I thought I could use what I have.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:36 PM   #17
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Just remember, if you use a 15 amp extension cord, you're looking at voltage drop if more than a few feet. That was the reason for using the Big and Heavy 50 amp cord out to the outlet, then convert down to 15 amps.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:48 PM   #18
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I actually thought it was the opposite if I used the big 50 amp reduced down to 15 amps I would be loosing power in the connection. So are you saying to use my original setup adapting down from 50 to 30 to finally 15 amps?

That's why I ask lots of questions before I jump in.

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKassl View Post
I actually thought it was the opposite if I used the big 50 amp reduced down to 15 amps I would be loosing power in the connection. So are you saying to use my original setup adapting down from 50 to 30 to finally 15 amps?

That's why I ask lots of questions before I jump in.

Thanks
The voltage drop is lower the heavier gauge the cable. Simple way to think of it is the bigger the pipe (wire) the easier for the electricity (current) to flow. That's why using the heavy 50A cable for the run to the box is better. I use a 50A to 30A adapter then have a 30A to 15A adapter. If you don't have the 50-30 yet, it's best to get this setup as you'll use the 50-30 more than down to 15
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