TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Charging at Campgrounds and RV Parks

Discussion in 'North America' started by doug, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #21 TEG, Jun 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
    Even though the Tesla MC240 says "30 amp capable" right on the front, I don't think it is compatible with the RV TT-30 socket. An adapter cable such as this:
    [​IMG]
    only provides 120V, and the MC240 expects 240V.
    I think the 'proper' way to hook to a TT-30 would be using the Tesla MC120 with a TT-30 to NEMA5-15 adapter like this:
    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately the MC120 is designed for lower current applications, typically drawing only 12amps. What would be nice is yet another charge cable that had a TT-30 end, 30amp GFCI, and the pilot signal electronics to tell the Roadster that it can draw 24 amps @ 120V from the circuit.


    The 50 amp RV socket (AKA "NEMA 14-50 Range socket") is used a little differently in RV campgrounds than it is in home use. Rather than powering a 240V device directly (such as electric range or welder), the RV typically splits the two "legs" of the 240V into two 120V circuits. One powers all the 120V outlets (e.g., TV, Microwave, lights) and the other is used solely for the air conditioner. Because some RV/campsites only have the 20amp 120V outlet + 30 AMP 120V outlet, and many RVs want the NEMA14-50 socket, some have created so called 'cheater cables' that let you take the two campground 120V outlets, pass them through the NEMA14-50 then split them right back to two 120V paths in the RV. Even though the NEMA14-50 socket & plug were used, no 240V devices would be drawing from both legs. Those wanting to charge a Tesla from a NEMA14-50 should be weary of these 'cheater cables', particularly with the "Roadster Foundry" kit. The circuit breakers behind the cheater cable probably don't have the right amp ratings to support full 40 or 50 amp charging. If you plugged both legs into TT-30s at separate camp sites you might get [email protected] (if the two TT-30s are different phase) which might work with the MC240, but if you use the NEMA5-15 adapter and have one leg hanging off of a 20 amp breaker, the max charge current could be very limited. (Is it possible to tell the VDS to draw [email protected] in this case?)

    By the way, much of what can be said for campground hook ups is also true for "shore power" at boat docks.
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #23 TEG, Jun 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
    A bit more on the TT-30 to NEMA14-50 adapter cables that can be found at some RV supply stores:

    NEMA14-50 based RV owners sometimes use them when stuck at a campsite with only a TT-30. Instead of running two out of phase 120V legs to the NEMA14-50, it takes the one 120V leg and presents it twice. This lets both RV circuits draw from the same 120V source, but could easily trip the breaker behind the TT-30 if you turned on all the appliances (including air conditioning) in an RV that was designed for a NEMA14-50 that has a 50 amp breaker.

    "Dog Bone Adapter"
    05_50AmpEnd.jpg
    Unlike a "normal" NEMA14-50, taking a reading between the two "hots" would likely produce 0V, not 240V, so I suspect the MC240 wouldn't work with this.

    I find that the RV community is rather lax about the term "50 amps".
    For instance, all sorts of places sell this as the "30 amp to 50 amp adapter":
    [​IMG]
    Just because you see a NEMA14-50 don't assume it has a 50amp breaker, or is even 240 volt capable.
    You really have to know what is behind the NEMA14-50 as I belabored in the "NEMA14-50: How much current can you pull?" topic.

    I gather some campgrounds dislike those adapters.
    http://www.sacredrocksreserve.com/rvpark/campsite/electric.html
     
  3. Tdave

    Tdave Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Any way to map out RV parks with true 14-50 outlets?

    For longer road trips, stopping for a one hour break to gain another 35 mile range would be convenient. But where are all the possible locations?
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    This site shows many RV parks with 50 amp service. Pick your state and search on "50 amp".
     
  5. Tdave

    Tdave Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Thanks, TEG. That looks useful for the west coasters and will be a good resource. For me, I'm interested in the east coast.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    East Verses West RV Parks
    Many who commented on the above site agreed with their assessment.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Google on things like RV 50 amp and a state and you may find some.
    For example, Maryland in particular:

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Antietam Hagerstown KOA
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]5 30-amp electric sites, 7 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Aqua-Land on the Potomac CG & Marina[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]84 30-amp electric sites, 2 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Bar Harbor RV Park and Marina
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]3 30-amp electric sites, 49 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Buttonwood Beach RV Resort
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]537 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Castaways RV Resort and Campground
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]18 30-amp electric sites, 318 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Cherry Hill Park
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]350 30-amp electric sites, 300 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Double G RV Park
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]130 30-amp electric sites, 48 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Duck Neck Campground
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]52 30-amp electric sites, 1 50-amp electric site

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Duncan's Family Campground[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]225 30-amp electric sites, 20 50-amp electric sites[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Fort Whaley Campground
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]34 30-amp electric sites, 134 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Frontier Town Campground
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]50/30/20 amp electrical service on 544 sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Holiday Park[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]42 30-amp electric sites, 3 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Little Orleans Campground & Park Area
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]102 30-amp electric sites, 20 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Morris Meadows Recreation Farm
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]50 30-amp electric sites, 25 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Ramblin' Pines
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]4 30-amp electric sites, 147 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Take It Easy Campground
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]230 30-amp electric sites, 30 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Woodlands Camping Resort
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]56 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]80 30-amp electric sites, 91 50-amp electric sites

    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
     
  8. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    224
    Thanks for the info TEG! I never knew there were so many complications, but now I'll be on the lookout.

    When Tesla delivers my MC240 I'll be ready for roadtripping this summer.

    Another suggestion: if you want something more specific than a whole state, you can Google map a town, then do a "Search nearby" and look for RV Parks.

    One note though, I've found that some parks don't really have sites for travelers. Instead, they are full of folks who lease a site for the entire season. That's especially true near the beach and on the Chesapeake Bay.

    It's always a good idea to call first!
     
  9. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    I made up a set of Charger Adapters to use most plugs that have 240V service.

    An addition that I created was a "Y" adapter so that I could share the power with an RV and not need my own 14-50 receptacle. See Tesla Adapters for details of this "Y" cable. Here is my RV "Y" being used at the High Plains Raceway with my mobile version of the HPC: RV "Y" at HPR This RV owner had a 14-50 pass through to her race car workshop trailer that I tapped into.

    The "Y" works well in a sharing mode because most RVs don't pull anywhere close to the 50 Amp rating. In fact, because the RV at HPC was not doing much, I pulled 40 Amps most of the day with no problems.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    A few plug layouts from here:
    220voltdryer.JPG
    220voltrange.JPG
    110volt.JPG
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Mods: I think VFX's last two posts are better suited to be moved to this topic:

    Roadster Foundry mobile charging kit

    Those dryer and range plugs are not something typically found at a campground.
    (At least not out in the open).
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Thanks TEG,

    All these various charging threads are very confusing and spread out.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I don't know if I can ever make them non-confusing.
    Sorry about the spread out bit - I had a few different ideas of points to bring up but in the end they end up converging.

    In a way, it still makes sense to me the way they are separated, but I can see the pain with having to jump back and forth between topics to find everything.

    Perhaps when I have more time I will try to consolidate and organize them better. It was somewhat of a learning process and forum Q&A to get to this point, so there ended up being too much history mixed in with the facts.
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Yeah, I'm not blaming you. It just happens.

    Battery has it's own section, perhaps Charging should have one as well. As Model S' get delivered much of this will be repeated in that area.
     
  16. Tdave

    Tdave Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Yes! It deserves it. It is such a large and varied topic. Please don't merge threads. It will destroy the conversation flow.
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,080
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Yet another "cheater" cable that could mislead some into thinking that they could use it with their Roadster:

    Amazon.com: Camco 55025 RV Power Grip Maximizer 50 Amp Adapter: Automotive
    416-49q%2BGAL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

    So, they call it a "50 Amp" adapter but it doesn't provide 50 amps.

    In the features it says:
    (It takes power from a NEMA 5-15 plug and a TT-30 plug and provides those circuits presented on a NEMA 14-50 socket )

    So what they mean is that it provides one 15 amp 120V circuit to part of an RV, and another 120V (30 amp) circuit to another part of an RV (for instance if it had two 120V air conditioners).
    If you plugged an MC240 into that contraption it probably wouldn't work because:

    #1: The two 120V legs might be in phase and so the MC240 would see 0 volts across the two hots.
    #2: If you were lucky enough to get split phases, still one phase would be behind a 15 amp breaker, and so the MC240 would probably trip the breaker on the NEMA 5-15 side.

    (Someone please correct this if wrong - I never actually tried it myself)
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    If #2 is correct, wouldn't that happen just by plugging it (them) in?
     

Share This Page