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-   -   Connecting to Electricity (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/connecting-to-electricity-9309.html)

ssolid 02-10-2004 09:49 AM

Connecting to Electricity
 
Can anyone tell me what size extension cord I need to purcahse to get electricty to my A/S. I have an adapter for the 220 power cord, but my home extension cords are not heavy duty enough (got a spark which was not good). Any other tips on this subject would be greatly appreciated. I am such a greenhorn...

Thank You,
Steve

jcanavera 02-10-2004 09:54 AM

Steve, you don't have a 220 volt power cord. You probably have a 110 30 amp end on your cord. I'm assuming you are probably pluging into a standard household outlet which is either providing 15 or 20 amp service. In that case use a heavy duty cord of equal or better capacity but don't consider running the A/C which may cause you to exceed the capacity of that household circuit.

I'm seriously considering running a 30 amp circuit in the garage this year so I can turn on the A/C while prepping the trailer for an outing.

Jack

smily 02-10-2004 09:55 AM

voltage
 
To begin with your AS is definitely not 220 volts.

If you are trying to connect it to the 220, you will get big spark.

You need a 30 amp cord from Wal-mart that is made for RVs

It has a three prong plug that is typical of all campground 30 amp/120 volt connections.

You will probably get a little spark when you plug it in, that is becasue your converter is putting a load on the circuit. It is normal.

Smily

garry 02-10-2004 09:57 AM

Depends on how long it needs to be.
http://www.pljohnson.com/electrical/...voltdrop.shtml


the above gives the answer in size based on the distance.


Your A/S only uses 120 not 220.

Garry

TomW 02-10-2004 10:27 AM

Re: voltage
 
Quote:

Originally posted by smily
...You need a 30 amp cord from Wal-mart that is made for RVs.
Be extremely careful that whatever you buy is made of at least 10 gauge wire. The wire I saw at Walmart was really thick, and looked like it would light up NYC, but the wire size was only 12 gauge, which is only rated for 20 amps.

Remember, the smaller the wire gauge, the bigger the wire.

Silvertwinkie 02-10-2004 10:43 AM

Like Jack, I'll be installing a 30amp circuit. I already have the underground conduit between the hous and the garage....and I picked up the basic parts....just need to have an electrician install it. Also I agree, if you use the cheater, don't use the A/C.

Also, no way your coach is 220v (if it's factory)! :)

overlander63 02-10-2004 12:32 PM

Your coach, if it is still wired as from the factory, is 110v. If you manage to hook it up to 220, serious damage to the electrical equipment inside the trailer will almost certainly result. There is an adapter for going from the 30 amp plug your trailer most likely has, to a 15 amp (household) outlet, it usually costs a couple of dollars, just don't run the A/C with this, even if you don't pop a circuit breaker, it will starve the compressor, and burn out the motor.
Terry

ssolid 02-10-2004 01:51 PM

Thaks to all
 
Went to wal-mart and got what I needed. Thank you all so much for the education.

Steve

Janets Husband 02-10-2004 01:56 PM

I would recommend that if you are getting an arc when plugging in, you should probably go to your breaker box and turn off the breakers, plug in your trailer, then turn the breakers on.
I don't know how big your arc is but over time it will cause damage to your plug.

Find out what is causing your arc and correct it. You can hook a clamp on Ammeter on your power cord and see if the draw is equal to what is normally energized when you are plugging in.

To my knowlage extension cords are not rated to make or break a load of any kind. If all is well with your trailers' electrical system, try the breaker trick, your equipment to last a lot longer.
Arc cause power surges at the equipment.

When it comes to extension cords "Bigger is Better" no less than 10awg for a 30 amp circuit on a short cord 25' or less, and that is pushing it in a full load situation. It will heat up at the connectors watch for discoloration and try to keep flamables away from them.

Electrical Safety is worth the extra effort.

Silvertwinkie 02-10-2004 02:13 PM

I've been also thinking of getting one of those surge supressors for RVs.

john hd 02-10-2004 06:07 PM

arrestors
 
1 Attachment(s)
twink

save your money on a suppressor.

line surges are few and far between. unless your electrical service is directly hit by lightning you are wasting your money.

even if you have a "surge" protector a direct lightning hit will destroy everything including your suppressor! thats what you have insurance for.

in my years at the power company i have only seen one instance where a higher than required voltage was applied to a distrubution line, it was during an ice storm and the system operator reclosed the line 16 times hoping it would hold. we destroyed 30 customers equipment. and paid for every single light bulb, garage door opener, wasing machine, tv, vcr etc.

every single distrubution transformer in america is protected by a lightning arrestor 100 times better than you can buy! they blow to protect your equipment. i know, i have changed out 100's of them!

here is a pic...

john

CanoeStream 02-10-2004 08:30 PM

Keep asking SSteve... I'm only halfway to enlightenment and enjoying every visit to this website.

To fill in a few details from past threads:

Walmart 30A cords are not heavy enough gauge. Camping World's 30A cords are 10ga I seem to recall and are the correct item -- http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...5&skunum=24488

Although mention is made above about your air conditioning -- really really really don't run the A/C on a lower amperage circuit even if you buy an adapter. It will destroy the compressor and cause a big repair bill. Folks have had an electrician wire a dedicated 30A circuit to the garage or wherever if they need to run their A/C at home.

Davydd 02-10-2004 08:46 PM

30 amp circuit at my garage
 
I went 20 years with no electricity in my remote garage 100 ft from my house. Getting the Airstream finally gave me the impetus to do something. The power company changing from NSP to Excel also helped. They changed their policy and gave me a separate meter--something they refused when I built and again about 10 years ago. I have a separate 100 amp service to my garage and a dedicated 30 amp outside water repellent boxed outlet for my Airstream. The cord on my Airstream is fairly long and reaches all the way around the back of the trailer to the outlet with length to spare.

I now have a 200 amp general service to the house. A separate 200 amp service for radiant heat in the house and a 100 amp service to the garage. A whopping 500 amps! I wish my cylinder index was as high. :) :::ugh, ugh, ugh:::

Silvertwinkie 02-10-2004 08:46 PM

You know, the old power cord on my '03 looked much thicker than the one that came with my '04.

Wonder if they still have the same wire inside.

WayWard Wind 02-10-2004 08:47 PM

John --I was also thinking of installing a suppressor, not so much for high voltage from the power company, but from the campground system. If I'm reading you right I should have little concern regarding this happening. While I know strange things can happen, are we, or could we be, at some risk of an overcharge from a campground system? Some of those suppressors are downright expensive & if I don't need one, it would be great.
Best,

john hd 02-10-2004 11:45 PM

low vs. high
 
a.e.,

you are much more likely to get low voltage in a campground than high, perhaps so low you can damage your a.c. unit.

checking with a voltmeter when you have load running is your best bet to avoid problems. at home or away.

one other thing that can cause high voltage in electrical services is an open neutral. also quite rare, but this usually only can cause problems in a 240 volt system. you get high voltage on high resistance items such as t.v. microwave computers etc. and low voltage on low resistance loads such as motors and heaters.

99% of "surge suppressors" won't catch this either.

go ahead and get one if you want, again you could spend your money on better things like beer!:D

john

overlander63 02-11-2004 08:14 PM

Re: low vs. high
 
Quote:

Originally posted by john hd
a.e.,

you are much more likely to get low voltage in a campground than high, perhaps so low you can damage your a.c. unit.

checking with a voltmeter when you have load running is your best bet to avoid problems. at home or away.

one other thing that can cause high voltage in electrical services is an open neutral. also quite rare, but this usually only can cause problems in a 240 volt system. you get high voltage on high resistance items such as t.v. microwave computers etc. and low voltage on low resistance loads such as motors and heaters.

99% of "surge suppressors" won't catch this either.

go ahead and get one if you want, again you could spend your money on better things like beer!:D

john

My home was directly struck by lightning a few years ago, the only thing the surge supressors did was allow me to collect for some of the damage from their manufacturers' warranties...
Terry

WayWard Wind 02-11-2004 09:44 PM

John --Thanks for the info. One less thing to buy. I want to install a permanent voltage meter where I can somewhat monitor the voltage, both ac & dc. Any suggestions on a meter type that is a permanent mount?
Best,

john hd 02-11-2004 11:31 PM

a.e.

i suppose you could go to radio shack and see what they have, some sort of panel could be constructed.

for the same amount of money you could buy a good quality volt/ohm meter and keep it in the trailer.

then you would always have one with you on the road to troubleshoot problems.

what the heck, get both!:D

john

Silvertwinky 02-12-2004 02:05 AM

Question for John HD !
 
I was told by a someone at a dealership (not A/S) that in one campground near us the power supply would sometimes take a big swing in voltage that would cause the control card to burn up; say, on your refrigerator.

I find it difficult to believe there would be such a swing in power that this would be likely. I guess the voltage would drop in say a "brown out" or something like that but could it fluctuate such that it would cause this to happen?

I think that the newer cards might have fuses on them which would protect that from happening anyway. Does anyone know if this is the case?


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