need help 50 amp 30 amp is this 220 volt ?

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  ok trying to understand is 50 a & 30 a a 220v split in two i have 50 amp and have been testing things with a 50 - 30 a adaper then
  a 15 a adaper and 200 ft ex cord i have a long 220 volt cord for my welder 3 wire can i plug the 30 amp in to this ??
  thanks crown

Rv connections are 50 amp, four wire (hot, hot,neutral and ground), 240 volt or 30 amp, three wire (hot, neutral and ground), 120 volt.  Your welding cable can run 240 through three wires by using the out of phase hot as a neutral, so it has 2 hots and a ground.  This configuration used to be used for dryers, etc, but I do not think it meets modern codes.  In any case, you can not plug your 30 amp, 120, rv cord into a 240 volt connection.  If however, you are asking if you can take your welding cord and make it into a 120 volt extension cord by changing its plug and receptacle-- you could.

your welder cord even though it looks like a 30 amp receptable is 220 volts and more  should have a different plug pattern than the 30 amp rv 120 v0lt it your welder 120? if so should work..mine that looks simular is 220 like a electric stove or dryer plug.was typing same time lin was.but will post anyway...Bob

Going from highest to lowest...

A 50 amp RV service is 220 volts across two hot legs, each at 50 amps, so you get a total of 100 amps of service.  Each leg is 110 volts referenced to neutral and ground, so you get two 110 volt supplies in your  distribution box, and you balance the loads in the RV across them.  You can also ignore one of the legs, and treat it as a 50 amp 110 volt supply.  If you have appliances that use 220 volt, you connect them across both legs.  This connector and outlet has four leads, two power, one neutral and one ground.  The cord for a 50 amp service uses 6 gauge wire.

A 30 amp RV service is 110 volts on one hot lead, with neutral and ground.  You get 30 amps of 110 volts service.  If you want to plug in a 30 amp cord to a 50 amp RV service outlet, you can use an adaptor that connects your 30 amp plug to one of the hot legs of the 50 amp service only, and connects both neutral and ground to the outlet.  A 30 amp RV plug has three leads - power, neutral and ground.  The cord for a 30 amp service uses 10 gauge wire.  If you use an adaptor to connect your 30 amp RV plug and cord into a 50 amp outlet, it's very important to have a 30 amp main breaker in your distribution panel to protect the cord, since the outlet breaker is 50 amps which is well over what a 10 gauge cord can support.

You can adapt a 30 amp RV service to a 15 or 20 amp outlet using adaptors.  It's important to remember that you can only use up to 80% of the outlet rated amperage on a continuous basis, so you should only draw 12 amps from a 15 amp outlet, and 16 amps from a 20 amp outlet.  If you overload, you will simply trip the breaker, if there is one and it's working properly.

If you have a 200 foot extension cord, you can use it up to it's capacity to carry current and recognizing that a cord that long is going to have a voltage drop that may affect things you need to run in your bus.  You need to know the gauge of the cord wire to tell what will happen.  Personally, most common 14 gauge extension cords are going to be working pretty hard at 200 feet and I would maybe run a TV or some lights, not more than maybe 8 amps of load, but that is off the top of my head.

Your welder extension cord is designed to run a 220 volt welder, so it has two hot legs and ground, but no neutral.  Welders draw a lot of current, usually, so it is probably a heavier gauge wire, but you have  to know what it is and how long it is to understand what will happen.  Since it has no neutral, you can't use it for a proper 50 amp service extension.  You can re-purpose one of the hot leads to neutral and use it to extend a 30 amp or lower service, but you have to be careful about keeping track of what connections you have made.  The common twist-lock three prong outlet and plug is rated for both 110 volt and 220 volt use, you could use that standard, probably, I haven't checked to see what the connection standards are, but my preference would be to put new ends on it that match your bus cords.

There is more detail to all of this, but this is the readers digest version...should help get you started...   ;)



Chopper Scott:
I do know one thing. I just know enough about electricity to get myself in trouble. OK. I know 2 things. I cannot plug my 50 amp 3 pronged plug from my bus into my shop 220 outlets that I use for my welders and such. It blows breakers as I tried to do that once. My main plug to the bus is just a typical 3 pronged 50 amp outlet and when I change it to the shore power the male end of that cord is a 4 pronged 50 amp that I can put adapters from 50 amp to 30 amp to 110. Other than that I am clueless!!! :D


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