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Old 05-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
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better off with a short cord?

I replaced the load center on my 66 Overlander. The 30 amp power cord drops out of a hole in the rear floor. I'm not sure how long of a power cord to install. Should I put a short one just to get out it of the trailer a few feet and use an extension cord? Or should I put a 20 or 30 footer which means I will have to shove all the cord up the hole into the rear floor area which gets pretty crowded? I'm not even sure what the original setup was.

Thanks TomE
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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The original was about 25 feet long, which included the part going up inside to the breaker panel.
I have had a lot of positive feedback from buying a 50 foot 30 amp RV extension cord, cutting about 5 feet off the female end, and using that as a shore cord. If you do that, in 95% of situations you will never have to use an extension cord. Whenever I get some free time (ha ha ha ha...), I intend to replace our 25 foot cord in this manner.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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I just hauled mine completely out of my 1975 Sovereign, I think mine has been shortened a few times. I am going back with a modern screw base fitting, I want the cord OUT of the bumper compartment. If you plan to keep the same cord set up I would go with about 15' in the compartment, then buy an extension cord just to cover your bases. I have found that in about 90% of my cases 15' of cord was all I needed. Another reason I am doing the upgrade I want molded plugs on mine versus the add on plugs of the old style cords. The suggestion to buy a new extension cord and cut the female end off is a good one.

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Old 05-27-2012, 09:15 AM   #4
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This is the set up on my Bambi II:



It is a PITA to stuff all that cable back in the belly of the beast. On my list of things to do is to shorten the cable (10 to 15 feet?) and use an extension cord for longer distances. It is currently about 25 feet. I have a 50 extension cord that I use at home to plug the trailer in. My shore/city water intake is also up in the hole.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by project66 View Post
I replaced the load center on my 66 Overlander. The 30 amp power cord drops out of a hole in the rear floor. I'm not sure how long of a power cord to install. Should I put a short one just to get out it of the trailer a few feet and use an extension cord? Or should I put a 20 or 30 footer which means I will have to shove all the cord up the hole into the rear floor area which gets pretty crowded? I'm not even sure what the original setup was.

Thanks TomE
The original city power cable which was 25 or 30 feet long, was stored in the sewer hose compartment.

Also, that length started at the circuit breaker panel, not at the bottom of the floor.

A short cord is ok, but make sure the extension cord is the proper gauge for the length.

The longer the cable, the greater the wire size must be. In wire sizes, the smaller the number, the greater the size.

Andy
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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For What Itís Worth

To the degree that you can handle the additional weight consider ďupgradingĒ to a larger diameter cable. Although I am still using the OEM cable on my 2002 ASCL 31 foot, it is not long enough to reach my homeís 20 amp receptacle which is about 3 feet below my home breaker box.

Having been gifted over 300 feet of #2 gage braided insulated copper cable (the copper is the size of your little finger) some years back, I decided to make my own extension cord which is over 150 feet long, by cutting the cable in half and adding a ground wire.

The result is that I have absolutely negligible voltage drop even though the total cable length (including the AS cable) is over 180 feet. I can run the AC and converter with negligible voltage drop, the connectors donít heat up and the home 20 amp breaker doesnít break.

The down side is that #2 gage is REALLY HEAVY, and I have to use a piano dolly to coil it up and stow it.

So if I needed to replace my OEM cable (and I donít), I would buy the largest gage and length available that I could handle, so as to lessen the voltage drop, thereby lessening the strain on the AC, connectors and breaker.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I Another reason I am doing the upgrade I want molded plugs on mine versus the add on plugs of the old style cords. The suggestion to buy a new extension cord and cut the female end off is a good one.

Aaron
Molded plugs and outlets are nice, but only if you get good ones. Unfortunately, my experience is that there are a lot of truly bad ones out there on the market, and it is impossible to tell a good one from a bad one. The good ones have quality brass plug legs and sockets, well attached internally to the wires, but of course you can't see that. The bad ones have poor quality brass, or plated metal prongs and sockets, poorly attached to the internal wires. But of course you can't see that. The good ones hold up and do not heat up and melt under load. The poor ones do.

Like you, I am not fond of the add on plugs and outlets, but at least I can see the attachment points and overall quality of the internal parts. So, it is a quality issue with me.

The newer AS products, I believe, are available with twist lock high quality add on cords and inlet ports. If you price them you will find sticker shock. The reason is that they are very well made, industrial products. It is a fact of RV life that many cord sets and adaptors are built down to a price and simply do not last very long under hi loads.

Rant off.... lol.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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Molded plugs and outlets are nice, but only if you get good ones. Unfortunately, my experience is that there are a lot of truly bad ones out there on the market, and it is impossible to tell a good one from a bad one. The good ones have quality brass plug legs and sockets, well attached internally to the wires, but of course you can't see that. The bad ones have poor quality brass, or plated metal prongs and sockets, poorly attached to the internal wires. But of course you can't see that. The good ones hold up and do not heat up and melt under load. The poor ones do.

Like you, I am not fond of the add on plugs and outlets, but at least I can see the attachment points and overall quality of the internal parts. So, it is a quality issue with me.

The newer AS products, I believe, are available with twist lock high quality add on cords and inlet ports. If you price them you will find sticker shock. The reason is that they are very well made, industrial products. It is a fact of RV life that many cord sets and adaptors are built down to a price and simply do not last very long under hi loads.

Rant off.... lol.
Define "sticker shock"

I typically buy the best, names like Marinco or Hubbel are fine by me. I also look for things that I have used in the past. I know that many RV manufacturers as well as after market parts suppliers go with the absolute cheapest suppliers they can con contain costs. I do my research and buy what is going to work for me, price is usually secondary.

Aaron
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:36 PM   #9
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Is a shorter 30amp cordset even available in 15 or 20 foot lengths that have molded plugs? I can't find any. Was planning on making one.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
This is the set up on my Bambi II:



It is a PITA to stuff all that cable back in the belly of the beast. On my list of things to do is to shorten the cable (10 to 15 feet?) and use an extension cord for longer distances. It is currently about 25 feet. I have a 50 extension cord that I use at home to plug the trailer in. My shore/city water intake is also up in the hole.
I have that same set up in my Overland. I think it a perfect compartment. 30 foot of cord fits in it like it"s made for it. I have actually created these hatches on models that did not have them before and everyone raves about them. The only down side is CG put the pole on the street side about center in the space and it is usually a just far enough to need to pull out a 30 amp extension cord. To each his own, but that is the very first time I have heard anyone complain about the belly hatch.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Well, I got the load center in this weekend and the A/C and new microwave outlet work fine, but I noticed something missing. I've done enough home wiring to know there should be a heavy gauge copper wire going to ground. Should I run a similar ground to the frame, or is everything grounded "enough" with all the outlets rivited to the body? I just want to make sure before I button things up.

TomE
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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pics

Here are pics of the the new microwave outlet and the load center. As you can see, I'm still feeding the box with some 12-2 until I get my 30 amp power cord and decide if I need some sort of ground wire. Thanks for all of your feedback.

TomE
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:22 PM   #13
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PS PS I did take someone's advice and ran an extra wire to the water heater area in case I ever want to upgrade to gas/electric. Thanks for that tidbit of info. TomE
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:59 PM   #14
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On my parents 93 there is a ground wire connected to the frame near the bumper so, it would probably be a good idea to add one.
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