Monday, February 19, 2018

30 Amp Life

Our coach, Miss Emmy,  was built back in the day when 30 amp power reigned. And making the transition for household power to campground power has had it challenges.

Here’s a peek at how we handle our 30 amp life.

Spoiler alert - It does not look like this:

(Sorry abou tthe overrun into the sidebar. I don't know enough about html to fix it - If the video doesn't work, try this: )

On second thought,  it does feel that way sometimes 😊 But we do have to remember what appliances draw what power so we don’t pop a circuit breaker!

The biggest one, and easiest to remember. We can only use one air conditioner at a time, even though Miss Emmy has two rooftop units.

When we run our supplemental (portable) electric heaters, we have to pay attention there too. Our two most powerful ones can run 750 watts or 1500 watts. 1500 watts is out. That’s the absolute max on a circuit for us, and only for a very short time. So, we’ll use one in the bedroom area at 750 watts, and one up front at 750 watts. For a little extra heat, we then add a small 250 watt heater on a separate outlet. Pretty handy, considering we still need to get the bedroom furnace fixed. It also helps us save on propane and helps to minimize additional water vapor in the air.

And that system works pretty well…until I need to cook. Here’s where it can sort of feel like that scene from the old Green Acres TV show.

Since it depends on what I’m cooking, I’ll use a breakfast as an example. (That's the most elaborate one oddly enough)

-First, I turn off the portable heaters in the living area

-Next task is make tea, so I plug in the electric kettle ( ours draws 1500 watts), boil water. Unplug.

-Turn heater back on

-Plug in our induction burner. (I set it at 600 watts, that way we can keep the one heater on) Finish cooking, turn off and unplug.

-Plug in toaster ( ours draws 750 watts) and make toast, unplug

If I run our Instant Pot, that draws 1000 watts, so heat is off until I can turn it off for pressure release. Our Microwave/Convection oven is on a completely separate circuit. (For inquiring minds that want to know, that draws 1500 watts)

Oh, and the galley just one GFCI electrical outlet. That's where the heater, and all appliances get plugged in. Yes, you guessed it. The coach was built before people had multiple devices to plug in and charge.

Sure felt a bit cumbersome at first, but it quickly became a systematic habit, and it’s a little easier now since were in warmer parts. We can skip the whole bit about the heaters, and I can run the induction burner and toaster at the same long as I remember run the induction burner at 600 watts that is 😊

Yes, 30 amp coaches have some limitations, but with a little planning, you can work around them.

Now, if we only had enough outlets…


  1. HA! Very nice! I loved the video. (Actually brings back memories of watching that!) Gosh..we haven't started full-timing yet, but with an older home like mine (91 RexAir) I'm SURE I'll have some similar issues. Hmm, maybe I'll make chart like that...makes sense to me! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this TriMoot! You'll have to share your chart if you do make one :-)