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Old 01-16-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
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Extension Cable Size

Okay, I know this sounds like a simple question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. I'm getting stuff ready for our first big Airstrean Rally and don't have an electrical power extension cable. What the heck size do I need? Went to Home Depot yesterday and the guy in the electrical secton was all over the place with suggestions.

My land line is 30 amps, will a 50' extention, rated 15 amps., with number 10 wire work or not???????
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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It all depends... (just what you wanted to hear?) Will you be running the A/C? That pulls about 22 amps at compressor startup IIRC. Me? I always use a 30A-15A adapter and a heavy duty 15 amp rated extension cord to plug in in my driveway -- no A/C when there! Runs the fridge and other accessories with plenty to spare.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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Irishrover,
Canoestream is correct. It depends. I went ahead, spent the bucks and did it right. I bought a 25' RV extension cord from a RV dealer. A 25', 30 amp (10/3 gauge wire) runs about $45, a 50' runs about $82. Shop around for the best price. Piece of mind, knowing I have the right equipment is worth it. I don't mess with electricity...too easy to ruin something.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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Both suggestions make sense to me. My initial thought was basic power supply to charge the batteries and keep the refridg working. But the more I think about it, the bigger cable make sense. Heck, the price for the 10 gage, 15 amp. at Home Depot was almost $50. So, seems to me, I can spend the same amount and get the 30 amp and keep more options open.

We're going to the International Rally in Bozeman, the Boy Scout in me wants "To be prepared." This will be our first International and I'm uncertain what all I'll need. We paid for a 30 amp. site, but got stuff in the mail telling us we won't be able to run the A/C, or a coffee pot, etc.. . .

Suggestions??
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRover2
Okay, I know this sounds like a simple question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. I'm getting stuff ready for our first big Airstrean Rally and don't have an electrical power extension cable. What the heck size do I need? Went to Home Depot yesterday and the guy in the electrical secton was all over the place with suggestions.

My land line is 30 amps, will a 50' extention, rated 15 amps., with number 10 wire work or not???????
What size extension cord, depends on what you want to do.

If you want the full 30 amps, then the following specs will help you.

This is based on a 2 percent voltage drop.

The original 25 feet of cable, has been deducted from these numbers.

# 10 wire 13 feet

# 8 wire 35 feet

# 6 wire 70 feet

# 4 wire 125 feet

It is wise to have greater than, instead of less than.

Running the AC, under voltage, is the best way in the world to blow the compressor, in just a few minutes.

Also, be very careful of what kind of connector you will use. Connectors have current ratings too.

Andy
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:05 AM   #6
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Andy, what gauge is the "standard" RV cable coming out of the TT? (you refer to it as the original 30 ft...)

Thanks - Pat.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:08 AM   #7
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Andy,
Now you got me thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I bought a connector from the dealer when we purchase the trailer. I don't have a clue how to figure out it's rating.

Thanks for the info on lenghts of cord runs. I knew I didn't understand what I was looking for/asking and this info just confirmed it!

Like always, a simple questions answer is never simple.

Irishrover
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:17 AM   #8
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ScottW has a good approach. I do have an extra 25' 30A cord too but have used it ... twice? Unbeatable when you need it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRover2
We're going to the International Rally in Bozeman, the Boy Scout in me wants "To be prepared." This will be our first International and I'm uncertain what all I'll need. We paid for a 30 amp. site, but got stuff in the mail telling us we won't be able to run the A/C, or a coffee pot, etc.. . .

Suggestions??
The International is a different type of question. If you don't get an exact answer in this thread I'd suggest starting a new one, maybe 'Elec use at International.'
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRover2
Now you got me thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I bought a connector from the dealer when we purchase the trailer. I don't have a clue how to figure out it's rating.
Look closely at the connector. It will most likely have the rating embossed or printed on the connector somewhere.

Like this:

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
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What Andy gave is "2% drop" ratings what apply to very sensitive equpement. Do you have such in your RV? All motors are 110-115V rated, while working with 120V supply. You see where it is going?
So, without running AC, I wouldn't worry about running 100' of #12 wire for battery charging, fridge and lights.
Actually in my remodeling jobs I am running 2 HP compressor on 100' of #16 just fine. But this is the only compressor that can do it. Others will not turn over under the load.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRover2
Andy,
Now you got me thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I bought a connector from the dealer when we purchase the trailer. I don't have a clue how to figure out it's rating.

Thanks for the info on lenghts of cord runs. I knew I didn't understand what I was looking for/asking and this info just confirmed it!

Like always, a simple questions answer is never simple.

Irishrover
Sorry, I just revised the number of feet, upward.

Airstream uses a 25 foot cable, not 30 feet, as I originally stated.

Most questions are simple, and most answers are simple, too.

It's understanding the answers, that pose the problems.

Good connectors have the rating stamped on them.

Using 30 amp connectors is the way to go, just like you have on the trailer.

Andy
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:36 AM   #12
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For reference for starting out -- CW is usually more expensive than they have to be IMO - $45 for a 25', $75 for a 50'. I don't like the business practice of having to pay the Presidents Club yearly fee. But 30A cords will be pricey anyway. I'd double check prices at any local well-equipped RV dealer first.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:33 PM   #13
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Bob 'Canoestream' wins. I've never had to use mine. Still keep it loaded...just in case.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:23 PM   #14
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I have attended almost all the Internationals with full electric (except for Perry) and never had a problem using the AC. I normally shut off the AC when making coffee or using the micro. I do this even when at a campground as it is easier to interrupt the AC for a few minutes rather than worry about low voltage. Of course, I consult a meter before running AC under all circumstances
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