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Workamping w/ only 30amp available

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I am brand new to Workamping and have an electrical question. I have an '05 Monaco Diplomat 40PDQ with W/D, micro, satellite, etc. I have been offered a Workamping position in Central CA but the campground only has 30amp service. I will be onsite for 5 months. What types of limits will that put on me? I know I wouldn't be able to run everything at the same time. Can anyone offer some advice on this?? Thx Bill

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It will severely limit the appliances you can run.  Add up the amperage on each appliance and  when you hit 30 amps, that is all.  One A/C and the microwave will max you out.  If you want to run the coffee maker or a hair drier, yo will need to shut off the microwave or A/C unit.

We have a 40 ft 5th wheel and 50 amps.  I will only go to 30 amp sites in the spring or fall when I can get by minimal A/C.  WE turn down 30 amp positions.

Ken

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You will be able to do most everything on 30 amps. The only major restriction is running the air conditioner. You will only be able to run one a/c. You can make your coffee and then run the microwave but not both at the same time. Where in Central CA will you be? It does get hot in the summer in the Central Valley.

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About half of our volunteering (not work camping) positions at State Parks and National Wildlife Refuges are on 30 amp services. It isn't a make or break consideration for us.  If we like the area and the work we adapt. We have to be a bit more careful with managing appliances but it doesn't really impact our lifestyle. 

Now if we were going to be in a very hot or cold climate where we needed to be running the A/C constantly or our heat pump and ceramic heaters a good bit we might consider it more critically, but it hasn't been an issue for us. The biggest issue with your coach would likely be the inability to run two A/C's simultaneously. 

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We live all summer on 30  amp hookups. The position sounds lovely, based on the limited knowledge we have of California summers. We agree with the above posters, and will simplify things further; you'll be able to run any 2 items at the same time. This is said with the understanding that you won't run them all day long. The coffee pot and the frying pan can get along. The microwave and small heater, too. Just don't get crazy with the loads. 

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When on 30 amp service we turn the water heater and refrigerator to lp and we can usually get by unless we need the AC a lot.  Then it becomes a little more complicated. As stated above maybe 2 things running at the same time anymore and the breaker may trip.  Even with only 2 things running it may be pushing the circuit beyond engineering specs but one can get by.  I think it comes down to how bad do you want to be there.

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5 hours ago, Randyretired said:

As stated above maybe 2 things running at the same time anymore and the breaker may trip.

Any 2 large loads at one time, along with the smaller things that operate on a routine basis. If you are used to living with 50a service you probably will sometimes have restrictions. 

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Being on 30 amps for a long period would impact our lifestyle and we avoid it if at all possible. You can use 30 amps max on 30 amp service  vs 100 amps max on 50 amp service(two legs of 50 amps).Yes you can do it and we have done it. It is a matter of managing your power usage.

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I workamped one year in NH with a 50 amp rig on a 30 amp site.  Popped the site breaker a few times.  Would not do it again...just too much hassle for me.

If you get free propane, and your water heater and fridge will run on propane, that takes a load off the electric.  I did not have that option in NH.

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We've volunteered at parks with only 30A and it's very doable if you're not in extremely hot or cold areas.  Running only one AC works well for moderate temps.  We use propane hot water and propane refrigerator and a stovetop perculator which makes excellent coffee.  Other than that only one appliance at a time works.  It's certainly not a hardship.  Since we boondocked on public lands for long period of time have 30A was like winning the lottery!

Guess it depends on how much you want the job.  I certainly wouldn't pass it down because of 30A.

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We spend several weeks each summer in the PNW and are often at RV parks that only have 30 amps.  Since it is very unusual for it to be so hot as to need both A/Cs, we never have a problem.  We keep water heater on electric, refrigerator on electric, etc.  Most of the time we don't need A/C, often just running fans is enough cooling.   We have been in 100°+ weather with only 30 amps, which means only 1 A/C and can't get it below 90 until the sun goes down.  It is what it is, you just make do.   Now, if in the California Central Valley, with our size coach, no way would we be without 50 amps.  Of course, we don't work camp, so we can be selective about where we go. 

 

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13 hours ago, richfaa said:

Being on 30 amps for a long period would impact our lifestyle and we avoid it if at all possible. You can use 30 amps max on 30 amp service  vs 100 amps max on 50 amp service(two legs of 50 amps).Yes you can do it and we have done it. It is a matter of managing your power usage.

Actually for 50A that is theoretical, it assumes you have every electrical consuming device in your RV split exactly between both 120V incoming legs. It seldom happens in real life, as each leg is limited to 50A.

One can use the full 30A intermittently only. Continuous-duty of most breakers is rated at 80% capacity, between 80% and 100% generated heat may trip the breaker.

Edited by Ray,IN

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You are correct like I said    "Yes you can do it and we have done it. It is a matter of managing your power usage."

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If the site has one of those boxes that has both a 30 amp and a 20 amp outlet, you can bring in a heavy duty extension cord plugged into the second outlet to provide power for particular items. I would never have thought of doing this until friends pointed out our tent camper could have power just by using an extension cord. 

Linda Sand

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On 1/13/2020 at 6:08 PM, sandsys said:

If the site has one of those boxes that has both a 30 amp and a 20 amp outlet, you can bring in a heavy duty extension cord plugged into the second outlet to provide power for particular items. I would never have thought of doing this until friends pointed out our tent camper could have power just by using an extension cord. 

Linda Sand

Will not work everywhere and can be dangerous .  One of the large state parks I volunteered at had this set up but it had a maximum availabe  at the site was 30A.  It is risky for your wiring and the wiring at the post.

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On 1/13/2020 at 4:10 PM, ARGO said:

Get a "2x30 to 50" & use a feed off another site if unoccupied. 

Do they make such a thing? If so, here's your answer.

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We never let 30 amp deter us from a volunteer position we are interested in.  It is true we have eased into boondocking from 3-4 days till tanks were full or empty about ten days.  Finally we got up to ten weeks volunteering on gen for power, septic holding tank and hauling our potable water 80 miles when needed.  So now unless the temps require 2 AC's or there is no on site W/D we manage fine on 30amp and our fridge now is residential. 

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The key here is Central California.  If the poster is talking about the central valley in California, daytime temps can average 110 to 120 during the summer, which is not at all comparable to a lot of workcampers' experiences.  Many places are so hot as to require two AC units, or sweltering in the summer heat. 

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