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Old 06-07-2009, 01:26 PM   #1
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Best home electrical hookup?

Hi Everyone:
Anxiously waiting the delivery of my first airstream this coming Saturday (a 16' International). I want to be able to power it from my driveway, so I am trying to figure out the best way to get it set up this week. I have a 60 amp box in my garage (which has a lot of open circuits and will only be 10 feet from where we will park the trailer), but I am not sure it can take a 30amp circuit, due to it's size. Will the garage box work, or do I need to wire from the 200 amp box in the house (which is 100 feet away)? Also, what sort of plug/connection/wire is recommended?
Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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Hi Everyone:
Anxiously waiting the delivery of my first airstream this coming Saturday (a 16' International). I want to be able to power it from my driveway, so I am trying to figure out the best way to get it set up this week. I have a 60 amp box in my garage (which has a lot of open circuits and will only be 10 feet from where we will park the trailer), but I am not sure it can take a 30amp circuit, due to it's size. Will the garage box work, or do I need to wire from the 200 amp box in the house (which is 100 feet away)? Also, what sort of plug/connection/wire is recommended?
Thanks.
Welcome to the forums. If your 60 amp box is 120 volt, you should be able to add a 30 amp breaker, and wire in a 30 amp circuit for your trailer. A piece of conduit, a length of suitable wire, an outlet box, and a 30 amp RV plug with cover should be all you need. MAKE SURE THE ELECTRICIAN KNOWS IT IS 120 VOLTS!
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
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Your garage sub panel should be OK. You won't be able to run more than the 60 amp total while in the AS. Chances are if you're in it, you won't be in the garage too. Unless of course you doing some MIG welding on the frame with the A/C running. Use a standard electric dryer outlet. Make sure it's hooked up for 110 volts, not 220. A short run of 20' can use 10 gauge wire. Run it in conduit on the outside unless you fish romex through the wall into the back of outlet box.

Ricky
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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1. Are you basing the 60 amp rating on the actual wiring and breakers feeding the subpanel, or is that what the label inside the box cover says? You should have at least #6 wire feeding the box if it is fully rated for 60 amps. A 60 amp box is just the maximum rating of a standard subpanel box, the actual capacity depends on the breaker in the main panel that feeds the garage panel. It could be anywhere from 20 amps to 60 amps.

2. Don't use a dryer receptacle. There is a special receptacle for this purpose called a RV-30 or NEMA TT-30, available at most large home supply stores.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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2. Don't use a dryer receptacle. There is a special receptacle for this purpose called a RV-30 or NEMA TT-30, available at most large home supply stores.
It will look like this:
LEVITON RV FLUSH MOUNTPOWER RECEPTACLE
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for the good info, I am also getting ready to do the same at my house. Only I will run about 25' of wire from the box to the 30 amp recepticle. Is 10 gauge wire the right size? Adios, John
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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A dryer receptacle is for 220v and has a different pattern. Finding a 110v 30 amp receptacle sometimes is a little difficult because there aren't that many uses for it. If you go to a hardware store with people who help you, make sure they don't give you a 220v one because of their ignorance.

If the receptacle is outside, you will need a waterproof box and make sure the 120v receptacle fits in it—you'll need a 4" square exterior box with cover. If your garage doesn't have drywall inside and the studs are exposed, you can run romex through the studs and avoid having to learn about conduit (and bending it around the inevitable corner). Conduit will require single conductors, not romex, and color coding to make it legal. You are supposed to get it inspected and get a permit almost anywhere. I am aware few people do get a permit for this kind of thing.

Is the 60 amp box in the garage 10' from where the trailer will be parked, or is the garage 10' from where the trailer will be parked and the box is further away? If the latter, the distance to the receptacle will be longer and you might want to get #8 AWG romex (depending on distance). Since you may only need a short length of romex, make sure you get enough to get to the breaker in the box and to the receptacle (8" inside receptacle box required) with some extra feet because it's easy to buy too little and have to start over. Make sure you get the right breaker for the brand of box. If it's 25', short rolls are available and may cost less than 20' cut off a big roll.

There's a lot of other things to know and if you want to do it yourself, get a book on residential wiring and read it a few times. The book should tell you what gauge wire to use for the distance involved. You'll also need some tools such as a wire stripper, and insulated screwdrivers, linesman's pliers and needle nose pliers for ex.—all with rubber insulation on the handles. Also get a multitester so you can check what you are doing and make sure you have the power off to what you're doing because volts can be nasty, especially when you're standing in a puddle of water.

A lot of people learn to do it themselves, and I'm not trying to make this sound impossible, but it is potentially dangerous and if you do it wrong, you can blow out your nice new converter in the trailer, or give yourself a nice jolt. Some people like to feel 120v., but most don't. The 60 amp box may be crowded and difficult. Best to turn off the power at the main breaker box and then test the 60 amp box to see if it's hot. Make sure no one back at the house turns it back on when you are working in the garage—you can sometimes lock the main box with a padlock. Or tape the cover shut and tie up anyone at home.

If the garage box won't work, you'll either have get underground cable (quite expensive) and dig a ditch—I think it's supposed to be 18" down, but not sure), or hang it in the air and that's a different kind of cable.

Of course, you can hire an electrician.

Gene
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:46 PM   #8
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30 amp would be ideal to power the trailer, however if you are not going to live it in and use ac and other power drawing appliances you can get by with less. I have 30 now but have used a 20 amp circuit many times with no problems.
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