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Old 08-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
janeinthemtns
 
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AS plugged into house.

Sorry for being such a dolt, but can I plug in 110v appliances like a heater into the plugs in the Airstream when it's hooked up to the electricity in the house? I'm out here on a remote ranch trying to figure this thing out without blowing it up. Thanks for replies!
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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of course.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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Yes you can... If you're using your shore power cord with a 15-to-30-amp adapter and plugged into a regular household outlet, you can run everything, including appliances, except the AC. (A microwave might be a little iffy, too.)
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Since you specified a heater in your question, I think it's important to add a caveat. The circuit you plug into and any cord you use to connect from there to the Airstream need to be sized to handle the heater AND the length of cord. One 1500W electric space heater draws about 13A, which by itself is using nearly all of the capacity of a normal 15A residential socket. Your shore power cord will be fine, and if you're plugged into a 30A circuit directly with the shore power cord, you should be able to run a space heater and other lighter-load appliances, or a couple of space heaters on their own.

So, figure out the capacity of the circuit you're plugging into (if the house is wired properly, the size of the circuit breaker will tell you.) Add up the loads, and if you're using an extension cord or a 15A or 20A socket, pay attention to those limiting factors and you'll be OK. Pay attention to loads like an electric element in the water heater, running the refrigerator on electricity, etc.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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A heater may have to be run with, say lights, and nothing else. An easy rule of thumb, look on the appliance label and see how many watts it uses, divide by 100 (easier than 115v) and you have the amperage it uses.

For example, if you have a 900 watt heater figure it uses 9 amps. With a 15 amp circuit, you have less than 6 amps left before you overload the circuit and trip a breaker/blow a fuse. Some appliances with motors draw more amperage on startup, than running. Such as an air conditioner or hair dryer.

Amps = Watts divided by Volts. In some campgrounds the voltage is less than 115v due to high power usage (listen to all those A/C's running), so the amperage draw will be greater than from a true 115v power source.

(Voltages vary from place to place, and how much wiring is between, resistance in the length will drop the voltage. I think the actual standard is 117/234v.)

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Old 08-19-2013, 06:55 PM   #6
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i would also check each connection point for excessive heat at least every 10 minutes for the first half hour.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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Thank you for all that information! I appreciate it a lot. All the breakers in the house are 20 amps. There are two 30 amp breakers, but I can't find the outlets for them. I think they might be connected to the water pump in the spring behind the house which doesn't help me.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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Also an electric dryer is a 30 amp circuit along with the electric water heaters. Electric stoves are typically on a 50 amp breaker.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:49 AM   #9
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Yes, there is a dryer in the back part of the house I don't use. I never would have thought of that. That part of the house is sealed off. Do dryers have one of those big 3 prong plugs? I could easily run a cord through the bathroom window where the dryer is located. Thanks a lot for that suggestion!
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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Be sure the dryer is not 220 volts. Trailer needs 110 . Be careful. Jim
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:14 AM   #11
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Nearly all US appliances with 30 amp or higher circuits are 220 VAC. Thus any plug inserted that circuit will have two hot legs and a ground. In some cases, the 30 amp circuits will have 10-2 with ground wire which would typically be a black and a white wire which are both hot leads (fused) along with a bare wire as ground.

110Vac typically uses wire with the same colors, EXCEPT only the black wire is considered the hot wire (fused) and the white is a neutral and the bare wire is the ground.

An electrician would suggest going back to the electric panel and installing an appropriate sub panel with a properly wired receptacle for 30 amp 120Vac service so you do not burn the wiring in the trailer. They could even run the appropriate wire to an outside weatherproof receptacle box near the trailer.

Depending on the distance away from the panel, they might even run #8 (rated 40 amps) wire instead of #10 (rated 30 amps) wire to reduce voltage drop caused by distance.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #12
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If you deal with an electrician, make sure he/she knows that the trailer needs 110 volts. Many cases have been reported here in which a misinformed electrician wired an RV plug to 220 volts and the owner plugged in and burned up lots of stuff in the trailer.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimiandrews View Post
If you deal with an electrician, make sure he/she knows that the trailer needs 110 volts. Many cases have been reported here in which a misinformed electrician wired an RV plug to 220 volts and the owner plugged in and burned up lots of stuff in the trailer.
Just a minor clarification and a hobby horse I ride, not a criticism of anyone.

It is a very common stated error but we have not had a normal power company supplied voltage of 110 volt/220 volt in this country in 60 or 70 years. It is a 120/240 volt system we have now. In many locations the normal voltage is closer to 125/250.

I even found this error in the manual for my new 2014 Airstream. In one place it kept talking about a 110 volt outlet system, however in another it stated something about a 120 volt outlet.

I know this is a really minor point, just bugs me, like calling a driveway a "cement" drive and not a concrete drive. Cement is one material that goes into concrete, but then I digress....
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:50 AM   #14
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Ha. As a civil construction inspector I know exactly what you mean there about concrete. Since the owner of the ranch is an electrician, he's the one who wired this old adobe house. I feel like I'm not going to get a straight answer about this. If I could get rid of the annoying buzz under the couch, I could sleep there and close off the back bedroom and use one heater. I think I need a drill before I can move the couch and replace the buzzing thing. The buzz didn't sound very loud in Albuquerque, but out here in the silence it's very loud.

In the meantime, everything electrical is working and I'm still painting and sealing seams. Thanks a lot for all the information!
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