Another shore power question...

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by Chrismtl, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    So I am currently in the process of fixing up my PUP, and have a question about wiring. I have removed the 12v wiring (only going to use 110/120v shore hookup).

    I am going to be adding a dorm fridge and built-in radio (using a "modified" home amplifier), and I am wondering if I should upgrade to a 30a wire, and use two 15a breakers. My idea is to use one breaker for just the fridge and radio (outlet installed under the counter near the fridge), and the other to power the other two outlets that I use for a coffee maker, a small lamp, or a portable dvd player for those rainy days (and of course phone charging). What does everyone think? Overkill? Should I just wire in a third outlet to the existing 15a system? Thanks for the input!

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  2. mcbrew

    mcbrew Member

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    Your BIG loads are things that heat: coffee maker, toaster, microwave, space heater, etc. you usually don't want two of these on the same 15a breaker at the same time. Radio, lights, cell phone chargers, etc. use very little power compared to those heating appliances. Your dorm fridge will be in the middle... Most use about 75-90 watts, maybe a little higher to start the compressor.
     
  3. n2cruzn

    n2cruzn New Member

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    +1
     
  4. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office Gold Supporting Member

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    Guess it's too late now but I'm confused why you would have torn out the 12V wiring. It doesn't hurt anything, gives you more camping options, and it surely hurts resale value to remove it.
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    ^^^Agree. Resale value just propped a lot.
     
  6. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    Re: Another shore power question...

    The only items hooked up to the 12v system were the interior lights, and every cg I go to has shore power. The battery tray was located under the bench seat, with no vent. I now have a lot more storage space.

    *Edit* I realize now I shouldn't have said torn out, more like relocated/hid the 12v wiring..

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  7. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    Re: Another shore power question...

    Resale isn't the question here,. I plan to keep this trailer a long time, and I can always re-attach the 12v if I decide to sell.

    But anyways, back on topic.. (which isn't what will give me the best Resale value..)

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  8. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    Re: Another shore power question...

    So does that mean I should run two breakers? Since the radio (small load) and fridge (med/big load) would be isolated, and the coffee maker (med/big load) would be with the remainder of the small load items..

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  9. mcbrew

    mcbrew Member

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    Not a bad idea, unless you see yourself using another big load while you're making coffee.
     
  10. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    Other than an ac or hair dryer, what would be considered a big load?

    We 100% won't have ac, and the wife (or 5 yr old daughter) doesn't use a hair dryer at home let alone while camping LOL.

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  11. gerryrobinson

    gerryrobinson New Member

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    Mcbrew above answered your big load items. I would throw a microwave in there also if you plan on having one of those. Running 2 of any of these items off the same 15 amp circuit will cause it to throw the breaker. So if you had 1 15a circuit and were careful not to run the fridge and coffee maker at the same time on the same circuit, you will be fine. But 2 would be better. 30 amp would only really be necessary for AC.
     
  12. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    Guess I should have reread...
    Thank you for all the answers!

    I think I'm going to run a 30a plug, 10ga wire, and two 15a breakers.

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  13. Hoomi

    Hoomi I write everything the voices in my head tell me.

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    Simple answer is, when it comes to electrical wiring, a bit of "overkill" is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have 30 A wiring and breakers, but only draw maybe 15 - 20 A peak, 5 - 10 A average, you're staying well below the rating of the wire, and face little risk of the wiring getting hot, or tripping a breaker at the most inconvenient time. In any electrical system, you want to design in a certain amount of "margin for safety" anyway. Since in you're in the process of doing it, and the additional cost of going with the heavier wiring is inconsequential compared to the potential cost of damage from insufficient wiring, why not go ahead with the better stuff?

    We have our battery mounted out on the a-frame of the tongue, offering no impact on the internal storage. Since all lights inside were on the 12 V system anyway, I changed all the bulbs over to white LED, which offers good lighting at a fraction of the current draw of the old incandescent bulbs. When we are on shore power, there is a 12 V supply that runs off the 110 VAC to both charge the battery and power the 12 V system, so on shore power or battery, our lighting is the same. It's convenient, and gives us good options for campsites (and options if there's a power outage).
     
  14. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    ^ thank you for the great response!
    I will definitely be moving ahead as I stated above, but possibly with a 30A breaker for the fridge.
    As for the 12v system, it is something I might look into down the road, but as it stands, coming from tent camping with NO power what so ever we are prepared for power outages.

    In the meantime, we have installed some AA powered push lights, and like I said, we have a small desk lamp for those rainy/colder evenings.

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  15. Hoomi

    Hoomi I write everything the voices in my head tell me.

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    Just to clarify - be certain that the combined values of your breakers do not exceed the rating of your input plug or breaker. I.E. if you're running a 30A plug, you can run two 15A breakers, but not a 15A and a 30A. Theoretically, with a 15A and a 30A breaker, you can be drawing up to 45A before one of the breakers will trip, though it's more likely you'll trip the shore power breaker first. If you're lucky, you'll trip the breaker first, instead of heating up the wiring to the point that it becomes a fire hazard.

    I've worked in electrical and electronic maintenance for some 35 years. I've seen AC lines that have gone into meltdown, and it's not a pretty sight.
     
  16. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    I am very familiar with 12v systems (having been a mechanic), but I've never worked on a 120v system. Heck, I haven't even changed am outlet!

    I came here to seek out help, and that is exactly what I've received! Back to the original plan, 10ga 30a wire and plug, two 15a breakers. Thank you again!

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  17. GMD

    GMD Member

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    Hello, I carry with me a heavy duty Extension to plug into the camp site panel and bypass the pup. I only use it if I am running anything with a heavy load.
     
  18. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    So if you have disconnected the 12V system how do you intend to power those items that operate on 12V such as the overhead lights, water pump, heater fan, gas detectors, porch light?
     
  19. Ziggs76

    Ziggs76 Member

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    Sounds like you are on the right track. The only suggestion I would add is too consider making one of the circuits a 20 amp with a 20 amp breaker, 12 AWG wire and a 20 amp GFCI receptacle. In Ontario that is how the plugs are required to be run in kitchens. To be honest, the first plug in each circuit should be a GFCI. Not trying to make this more complicated. By adding a 20 amp circuit (which I would locate close to the kitchen area) you could run a couple of high draw devices off that plug. It would be overkill, but would give you piece of mind.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the fridge being separate. In my PUP its the plug beside my galley and the outside plug that get the highest draw and all 4 of my plugs are wired off one 15 amp breaker. The 20 amp breaker in my PUP is for an air conditioner I don't have and is just wired to a blank junction box under the dinette. So I run everything off of 15 amps with no problems. Good Luck.
    Jeff
     
  20. Chrismtl

    Chrismtl Active Member

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    Re: Another shore power question...

    Overhead lights: don't need em, (see post #14)

    Water pump: no sink!

    Heater fan: don't have one.

    Gas detector: don't have one.

    Porch light = flashlight

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