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Old 09-27-2006, 11:23 AM   #1
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how do you hook up electrical?

I just baught an Airstream!!! I want to plug it in to check the electric system but I'm not sure what to do yet. I have a 30 amp big 3 prong (like a dryer hookup) 125 volt plug. Can I buy a converter that will plug that directly into a household outlet??? I don't know and I won't try it until I do. Also, if it is possible, isn't a household outlet 120 volts? The 30 amp plug says 125 volts? Obviuosly I don't know what's going on yet so please help if you can. Thanks. Glad to be part of this community.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:32 AM   #2
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Adapter plug

Any RV parts store will have an adapter plug to go from your 3 prong to a standard house outlet. May even find one at Wal Mart if they have RV supplies.

You must remember that yopu will only have 15 amps on a household outlet. You can run one system at a time like AC, hot water. If you run more than one you may pop the breaker in the house. Reset and start again.

Have fun.
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:28 PM   #3
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Don't run the A/C for any length of time as it may not get enough power and could burn up the compressor motor (sorry, not an electrician so I don't know technically if it needs watts or amps here). Also, you won't be able to run the microwave and any other high draw system. Mostly what you will be able to run are the lights and vents. That's about it. You can check systems one at a time to make sure they operate, but again, that's about it.
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:32 PM   #4
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You need one (or two, just incase) of these:

http://www.camco.net/Menu.cfm?SupCat...ProductId=2537

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Old 09-27-2006, 12:59 PM   #5
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Some thing else to think about when plugging into your home outlet. You should really have a 10 gauge wire on that circuit, you can get by with a 20 amp breaker but be very very cautious as Minnie said you can cause damage to items in your AS. Your home should be protected by the breakers in the box but if you do not know what you have call an electrician that you can trust.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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Yikes, I have been plugged into my home for the last two weeks working on things inside and have been running ac. I noticed reading about different rv parks that there is something like 20 amp, 30 amp and 50 amp sites. Which one would I want for '70 overlander, I'm guessing 20 amp. Do these sites have the plug or do you need to use adapter? So whenever one uses the adapter its not wise to use AC??? Don't mean to hijake.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:50 PM   #7
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If you have an airconditioner on the trailer and intend to use it, you need a 30 amp site. This site has the 30 amp type receptical at the site. If you are not going to use the air conditioner you could get away with a 20 amp site. If you are a big motor home with 2 air conditioners you need a 50 amp site. If you are traveling alot and using commercial campgrounds, it pays to have all adapters.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:24 PM   #8
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Mclogger...Are you referring to a 20 amp breaker in the house?? Also, which wire should be 10 guage? I really only need to use lights at this point. One more question, with the 12 volt battery and 30 amp 120 volt univolt system, how much power can I consume at any given time. My stove will be gas, refrigerator electric of course and a gas water heater. No microwave either but I do have a factory AC. I am a sucker for lights so I plan to have lots of christmas lights run through the trailer. What do you think. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
If you have an airconditioner on the trailer and intend to use it, you need a 30 amp site. This site has the 30 amp type receptical at the site. If you are not going to use the air conditioner you could get away with a 20 amp site. If you are a big motor home with 2 air conditioners you need a 50 amp site. If you are traveling alot and using commercial campgrounds, it pays to have all adapters.
Dwight -- I have an A/C unit on my '63 Safari and it runs just fine plugging in my extention cord to a 20A receptacle at home. Am I mis-understanding something?
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverAaron
Dwight -- I have an A/C unit on my '63 Safari and it runs just fine plugging in my extention cord to a 20A receptacle at home. Am I mis-understanding something?
I'm not Dwight, but he hasn't answered yet, and it is important that you know why it is a no-no.
Basically, you are trying to pull a fire-hose's worth of electricity through a straw, and you need to have the 30 amps available to you. Imagine covering your nostrils, and being able to breathe only through a drinking straw. You may be okay for a while, but if you have to exert yourself, you will run out of air and pass out, maybe permanently. That is what your air conditioner is going through now using the smaller amp outlet.
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:16 AM   #11
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Okay, Terry. But what if milk comes out the straw thru my nose? Does the A/C unit get contaminated??

Seriously, how am I "suppose" to connect my A/S when docked at home? Surely I do not want to burn my circuits, either in the trailer or at home. So I want to make sure I'm connecting things correctly. But my trailer cord has a typical 3-prong grounded plug, and it connects nicely to my home outlets with a heavy-duty extension cord. What SHOULD I be doing instead to better my performance -- or better yet, how can I "remove the straws outta my nostrils?"
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:13 AM   #12
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Time to make a list......

Ok, here is what I have had to do. Take out your manuals, look on the appliances mauufactures plates, call the company or do what ever it takes to make a list of all your electrical STUFF and their peak power usage so that you determing the current draw while all this stuff is on. (OR BUY A CURRENT METER AND INSTALL IT INLINE FROM THE POWER SOURCE).

Once you have compiled this list look at what you are operating and what the total current draw (theoretical) would be. Make SURE you look at the STARTING AMPERAGE for things like AC units. Then determine what you can safely run through the STRAW of an extension cord off the HOUSEHOLD CIRCUIT. Most house circuits are 15 amps BUT REMEMBER - THE AIRSTREM is not the only APPLIANCE pluged into that circuit. For instance - if that plug is in the garage - the washer or deep freeze may be on that same circuit and will be using some of that amperage. That may burn up the compressor or motor on the appliance if you draw too much amperage. Even better - you may be using the AC in the camper when the BETTER HALF starts the laundy and there goes your amps, the AC starts to squeal and poof one fried compressor.

BEST THING - for about $80 (PARTS ONLY) you can wire a dedicated 30 or 50 amp breaker an outlet for use by the camper. For another $150 hire an electrician, cheap at the cost of RV appliances, not to mentiuon the stuff in your house.


BTW - have you looked at the rating on your extension cord yet???? BUY COPPER
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:06 AM   #13
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OK, guys, time for education. I got mine the hard way.
It does not matter at all about the amps or watts when it comes to protecting your equipment, but rather VOLTS getting there. The breakers take care of too large of a demand.
If you get 120 volts at your receptacle your trailer is plugged to, great. The condition of your cord and plug is very important to get good voltage to the equipment you are running. Clean any connections, and use heavy gauge wire for any repairs or new trailer hookup cords. Bad connections and/or too small gauge wire causes resistance, lowering voltage.
Now, most appliances will suffer no damage if the in voltage to the equipment is between 106 and 128 although, it will not operate to the highest efficiency. Anything higher or lower is a definite way to ruin things.

The amps pulled by each appliance can be added together, and if they total less than the breaker is rated, will cause nothing to happen, When they exceed it, then the breaker trips. Normally, a breaker will hold 10% greater than it's rating for a short period of time. Many A/C's and other appliances will bounce the amp draw off the scale for a second or so, but the breaker will allow for that and not trip.
Bottom line, find out how much VOLTAGE you are getting to the cord of the appliance.
If you cherish your STUFF, get a prtector from any number of sources that will interrupt the electricity before any damage is done.
Last, but not least, if your trailer plug prongs are black, polish them until they are bright brass. The black causes resistance great enough to overheat the plug to the point the rubber on the plug will melt! Simple, cheap, and very effective.
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverAaron
Seriously, how am I "suppose" to connect my A/S when docked at home?
Don't use the A/C!

We live in Atlanta...Hot and Humid in the summer. We don't use our Airstream as a guest house, yet anyway, and all we use are lights, refridgerator overnight before a camping trip, and fantastic vents when we are packing. And we don't use all at one time! (at least not for any length of time)

Over the week end we were in the mountains and used the heat pump. Each morning since we discovered the breaker had tripped. That is how we discovered the heat pump had been left on. 15 amps can't handle much more than lights and refridgerator.
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