Hooking up power at home

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Matt T, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    As an electrician you should also point out that a breaker doesn't instantly trip the moment it's rating is exceeded but rather the trip is based on time / temperature / load. Even though a typical roof mount A/C's LRA (Locked Rotor Amps) may be 60 amps it's of such short duration (measured in milliseconds) that even that load won't trip a 15 amp breaker. A 13,500 BTU A/C typically pulls 14 amps or less with the fan motor and compressor both running, a bit less if the fan is switched to it's lowest speed, so even over a long duration it will not trip a 15 amp breaker provided the conditions I posted earlier are met. To further aid the A/C in starting using a 120 vac / 15 amp source supply one can easily rewire the A/C thermostat so the compressor powers up first, then the fan motor, just as I did with my own Coleman Mach 3+ 13,500 BTU A/C, as I demonstrated in this video.

    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=VG02OU80ZjZwVE5tS0pyN3JVNkNQay1KY1laTDFB
     
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  2. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    First, your 30amp trailer is 120v. It is NOT 220v. NEVER plug it into a 220v outlet of any amperage.

    Yes, you can plug your 30amp trailer into a standard household 15/20amp outlet with the following understandings:

    1. You will need to use a 30/15 adapter. Due to the very short length of puck adapters, they are prone to overheating and melting. Get yourself a dogbone adapter instead.

    2. If you need an extension cord to reach the outlet, get a 30amp extension cord and 30/15 dogbone adapter Or a #10 or #8 gauge 30-to-15 amp extension cord. It will be made with a larger wire that can handle the draw better. A standard #12 or #14 extension cord will be prone to overheating and melting.

    3. Make sure there is nothing else drawing on the outlet OR the circuit breaker.

    4. You may be able to run the AC if all the above are met and you are not trying to run any other appliances/devices in the trailer.

    If you wish to be able to vacuum with the AC on, use the microwave, and so on, you are better off installing a dedicated 30amp outlet. Make sure to get an RV 30amp outlet for 120v (NOT a dryer 30amp outlet for 220v). Give it its own 30amp circuit breaker and run at least a #10 wire (#8 if more than 25ft, #6 if more than 100ft).

    If you think you might get go dark (get a non-popup) in the future, you might consider installing a 50amp outlet, or a 50/30/20 combo pedestal.
     
  3. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    16 amps is not going to trip it right away. When it gets hot it's going to trip. There is a reason they are wired with a 20 amp circuit, but you do you.
     
  4. Matt T

    Matt T Member

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    Does anyone have a link to a 30 -15 amp extension cord?
     
  5. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Why? Just use standard 10 gauge 30 amp RV extension cables along with a couple of dogbones that will allow you to plug into 15 amp, 20 amp, and 50 amp campground service.
     
  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Get the 30 to 30 extention cord, then use the adapter. That way your covered for all.
     
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  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I agree. You'll want a straight 30-30 extension cord anyway for some campgrounds, so this keeps you from having to buy both.
     
  8. Matt T

    Matt T Member

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    Good point, it’ll be more beneficial that way
     
  9. darrenandmelissa

    darrenandmelissa Member

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    Agree 100%, just trying not to get to technical and give people information that is useful. But it is worth explaining this for people know why a smaller breaker can hold such a big load for a moment.
     
  10. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I have a 30 amp RV extension cord (some site it's a stretch to the power from a level spot) and this 20-30 dog bone for connecting to the house. Note that this will not plug into a 15 amp outlet, but there are 15 amp versions available. If you need a 30 - 15 search for "15 amp to 30 amp rv adapter" and you will get plenty of results.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  11. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Since a NEMA 5-20R receptacle will accept both a NEMA 5-15P and NEMA 5-20P plug there's no advantage to owning a 30/20 dogbone when a 30/15 will plug into both styles of receptacle. Truth be known, the lug size and weight used to manufacture these NEMA 20 amp plugs & receptacles is exactly the same as those used to manufacture 15 amp plugs. Buy a dogbone with a 5-15P plug on the one end and you can then plug it into both services, 15 amp & 20 amp.
     
  12. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    But the 20 amp I bought specified 12 gauge wire, the 15 amps I found didn't specify wire gauge.
     
  13. davido

    davido Active Member

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    With an adapter I can power everything except the air conditioner. And I cannot power the air conditioner even just by itself. Maybe my extension cord is too anemic, but it's a pretty beefy one.

    If you don't have AC, or don't intend to try to run it in your driveway, a simple adapter is fine.

    Is your main electrical service panel anywhere near where you park your trailer? If so, and if you find that you really do need 30A service (because you like running the AC while working on the trailer, for example), it's not too expensive or hard to add a 30A outlet to an existing service panel.
     
  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Running the ac depends on cord leanth, size and outlet. I can run mine, but i dont run other stuff with it. I have 0 problems with the hockey puck adapter. You milage may very. I also have a pretty hefty extention cord, hooked up to a deticated 20 amp outlet. Its not expensive to run the 30 amp service, if you have room and aren't at the max power on your box. It all depends on what you have. I have 0 room for new breakers, i can add a sub panel, but my home has 3 allready. So for me not so easy.
     

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