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Old 09-02-2015, 03:50 PM   #1
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Electrician Help! Wiring to RV Power Pedestal

I just added a parking pad to my backyard to store my trailer. I am going to run full hookups out to it (for convenience and so it can be a guesthouse / AirBnB).

My question is for the electricians in the group - what is the appropriate wiring out to the power pedestal? My trailer is only 30A, but I have a 100A pedestal on its way (with one each 50A, 30A and 20A circuits). My wire run will be 65' in the ground, plus another 45' through a basement crawl space.

I'm getting confused looking at ampacity/voltage drop tables - do I need to use 100A in the tables, or 50A since that is what each of the two hot wires will carry.

My option A is to use 2-2-4-6 USE (Aluminum) Mobile Home Feeder. Is that large enough?

Another issue is USE needs to be in a conduit inside the house based on my understanding of the NEC. Is there an easier option (such as going right to a junction box inside the house and then using a wire type that does not need conduit through the house)? Suggestions on type of junction box / bus bar inside it / wire type?

I understand electricity, just not the NEC!!!

Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:26 PM   #2
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I'm going to bump this thread to the front of the line as I think you have an interesting question. We need an electrician Airstreamer to help out.

I ran a 30 amp circuit to my trailer pad. We had the house wired for a 30 amp RV connection when it was built. I simply ran outdoor conductor underground about 25 feet and wired it to a 30 amp receptacle. It was a much easier job than you are undertaking.

I think your trailer will make a great Airbnb location. It will be a lot more interesting than a Super 8.

David
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #3
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Not an electrician, but a stationary engineer listening in ...
Wondering why not a 30 or 50 amp box for a 30 amp trailer?
Curious about what the electrician will say about the capacity of the source box and total load.
Guessing 2-2-4-6 (hot-hot-neutral-ground) in conduit - both in the house and underground.
We used nothing but copper when doing additions in hospitals, but I never asked why.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:06 PM   #4
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I am not an licensed electrician, but I too understand electricity.


For 50 amp RV loads, each of the conductors must carry a full 50 amp load. Because none of the appliances are 240 volts, the neutral conductor gauge must equal to the line conductors.

I believe you are on the right track on using romex in the stud walls and splicing to the 2 ga inside an approved box in the crawl space.



We shall see what others say.


Regards,


JD
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:26 PM   #5
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The only comments I can make to this thread are:

• Retain the services of a licensed local electrician who is not only familiar with NEC, but also local electrical requirements

• I wouldn't use aluminum if you gave it to me for free

• I would have ALL conductors the same gauge. This is a requirement on marine wiring, and IMHO, should be followed on ANY wiring project! Minimal gauge neutrals and especially grounds are a recipe for problems. I would never use anything else for myself or my clients.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:39 PM   #6
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When I remember the hospital renovations, the wire was always the same gauge. I wonder why the code changes?
Give me Lewster's aluminum wire, I'll take it to recycle, buy copper.
Some places will let the property owner do their own work, but you still need a permit and pass inspections.
Now where is that electrician?
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
The only comments I can make to this thread are:



• Retain the services of a licensed local electrician who is not only familiar with NEC, but also local electrical requirements



• I wouldn't use aluminum if you gave it to me for free



• I would have ALL conductors the same gauge. This is a requirement on marine wiring, and IMHO, should be followed on ANY wiring project! Minimal gauge neutrals and especially grounds are a recipe for problems. I would never use anything else for myself or my clients.

Just wondering about the aluminum,
Lewster. I had a licensed electrician install a pedestal with 50amp on our rural property, aluminum was half the price, and the panel is almost 200' away from the pedestal so the savings was significant. ( can't remember what gauge, I would have to check). Works great, with everything on, 2 a/c's, electric water heater, microwave, and everything else I could turn on at once. I have a surge protector and the voltage is good. Just wondering, am I going to have problems in the future because I used aluminum?


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Old 09-02-2015, 09:55 PM   #8
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#6 Awg COPPER has 0.3951 Ohms per 1000ft

you are using 1/10th of 1000ft

at 30 amps usage...Volts=Amps X Ohms

V=30A X .03951Ohms = 1.1853 Volts dropped along 100ft

That is less than 1% of 120Volts

It will work.

Electricians onboard?
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:55 PM   #9
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I'm not an electrician either, but I have done some NEC work. I believe you need only to size the wire for the highest capacity receptacle, i.e. 50A.

338.12B says USE shall not be used above ground except for transitioning to another cable type in an approved box.

I'm having trouble finding the voltage drop calculations, but I presume that is why you went to #2 as #6 would be good for 50A at 30 degrees C per the ampacity tables.

Al
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:08 PM   #10
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You wrestle a #2 wire awhile...write back about the experience.
Stiff bugger will KICK YO BOOOOO-DEE
Try it
Ol #6 aint no punk
Refer to the calcs above
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:08 PM   #11
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You wrestle a #2 wire awhile...write back about the experience.
Stiff bugger will KICK YO BOOOOO-DEE
Try it
Ol #6 aint no punk
Refer to the calcs above
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:12 AM   #12
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Heck, I wrestled 6ga through conduit in the basement and up the outside of the house and that was bad enough. It was over kill for a 45' run, but the supply house was out of 8ga and I was impatient. It was only a 30 amp circuit.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:58 AM   #13
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I am surprised you could not find a 30 amp pedestal, they seem to be at MANY campgrounds. If you plan on having people stay in your backyard next to your trailer I can see wiring for 50 amps, but if you are only running 30 amps, it is much easier. Breaker only draws from one side of the panel, no confusing wires.

I think technically if you do wire up the 50 amp you actually need a second run of wire for the 30 amp outlet. If you put a full draw on the 50 and ALSO put a draw on the 30 you would be overcapacity and run your wire hot until the breaker went. Same for the 20/15 amp outlet. If you are ignoring code and never intend to use more than one outlet label it so. There should be a lockout to prevent more than one working, but I don't know of any pedestal that supports a lockout, they just have the extra circuits run.

Aluminum is GREAT. Copper bends easier as it doesn't need to be as thick for the same rating, and it's generally a softer metal. But aluminum is LIGHT, and CHEAP. Don't diss aluminum, it's why there are metal airplanes instead of coated fabric.

-Randy
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:06 AM   #14
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If it were me, I'd send the 100 amp box back, get a 30 amp box and run wire accordingly - much cheaper, easier.
Where is that electrician?
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