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Old 02-22-2003, 06:55 AM   #1
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30 amp outlet

just curious what some of you have done to power your trailer when at home.

this is my plug on my garage, 30 amp in a raintite bell box. fed by a 60 amp sub panel that is supplied by 1/0 underground triplex from the house.

it allows full use of the trailer when we have guests stay with us. (mother in laws included!)

john
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:04 AM   #2
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Wintering too?

Howdy. Thanks for starting and sharing. While I do not have my trailer yet, I imagine I will have something similar so I also am curious.

I wanted to find out whether you do or will use this in winter also? I figured that if I don't have water, I probably could use mine as a guest room, albeit primative.
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:10 AM   #3
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yes and no!

phil and or sue

it depends, i usually have it winterized. but if i were to have extra folks around i could have the batteries in it and plugged in in less than 15 min.

it gets alot more use as extra space in the summer.

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Old 02-22-2003, 07:20 AM   #4
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I have installed a 30 amp outlet also. Mine is located just inside the garage door so I didn't need the weather proof box. The cord fits in a groove at the weatherstrip, so the garage door can still be closed.

I haven't used the trailer as a guest house, but I do power up the air conditioner while we prepare for a trip or if I am working on it during a hot day.
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:26 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Guest Hook-up

John,
Good thinking..
This is what I use here. Slightly different because I wanted an outlet for power tool, etc as well. This is spliced off of the 200 amp service box. Shown with the lid cover down.
ciao
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:28 AM   #6
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2nd shot

This shows the internal plug jacks. 30 amp service, plus regular 115v outlet w/GIFP
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:34 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Amazing!!

To you all,

That's so cool that you all have 30A service !!

OK- now who has the sewer connection?

John
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:40 AM   #8
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buddy with a backhoe...

john

thats next!

john

p.s. water too, no more driving over the hose!
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Old 02-22-2003, 08:01 AM   #9
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I dropped a 30 AMP breaker off the main (Door open to show breaker) and then split off that for a 30 AMP RV plug on the left, and a 20 AMP receptical on the right to backfeed the house from my generator if the power goes out. You MUST turn off the main breaker to prevent backfeeding the utility pole before using the generator.
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Old 02-22-2003, 08:07 AM   #10
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John hd

We built a post and beam barn onto our house several years ago. When we did so, I put a 30A box in the barn. The trailer is stored in the barn and plugged in to keep the batteries up to snuff. Very convenient to use the trailer, load and un load for trips.

We built the barn because our previous trailer, and Award, suffered so much damage from the weather seeping in. I know the AS is built so much better than the award, However we have the land and the use for the barn, why not?
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Old 02-22-2003, 08:11 AM   #11
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Exclamation line man likes!

randy

us linemen thank you!

many have been killed by generator backfeed!

most consumers don't understand power pole transformers work both ways!

a proper generator disconnect would be better, but if you open your main disconnect that is ok also.

be careful!

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Old 02-25-2003, 08:04 PM   #12
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Ok, then I'll ask the newbie dumb question.

What if you don't have a 30amp connection? I have an adapter that allows the factory supplied cable to connect to a standard house outlet.

In my travels with my family, on the rare times we had connections to AC power, a fair number of places only had the standard outlets. Few had the large round 30amp connections.

The dealership told me not to use the A/C off the standard wall outlet in my garage since the adapter would most likely melt (even though they were the ones that gave me the adapter to use).

Any truth to that? I can understand doing the 30amp at home an all since I do have a 30 wired circuit to the garage, but what happens when you all run into one of those campgrounds that doesn't have the proper 30amp connector and you want to run your A/C among other things like fridge, etc?

Eric
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:11 PM   #13
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Newbie yes, dumb no.

You can run you AC on the 15 amp small plug using an adapter. It WILL lead to a premature failure of the compressor or fan motor or both.

Most RV AC units need between 15 and 20 amps to cycle properly. This will overload the outlet and could also cause a fire, not to mention a melted plug converter. I would verify the draw on your AC unit and be sure you have the necessary power available when you plug in.

One other thing to consider is that if the campground only has 15 amp boxes, it is more than likely an older one and the wiring may not even feed a full 15 amps.
Almost all of the campgrounds we have stayed in have had not only the 30 amp outlets but a 50 amp as well. The 50 amp feed is for the newer Motorhomes because they have 2 roof AC units.
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:47 PM   #14
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Brett,

So if I read you right, besides checking the loads from the A/C, having a dedicated 20amp circuit to the garage (using standard household outlets) might not be sufficent for running the A/C and fridge (I think those take the most amps to run) using the cheater adapter and factory supplied (10 gauge I think) power cable to that 20 amp garage circuit. More over, when in Rome, don't do what the rest do if they only have what appears to be a 15 amp circuit at some of the older parks.

I guess the real question here would be just cause I have a 20 amp circuit might not mean that I am going to get 20 amps out of the outlet in the garage even though it is the only thing drawing power on that circuit. It sounds like the standard house outlets are only rated at 15amps if I read you right so in my wildest, I'd never really get much more than 15amps out of a standard wall outlet. So here is yet another question, how do home window A/C units work since some have more BTUs than this roof mount unit and still work on the same 15 amp house outlet? By design?

So in the best of circumstances regarding the camper, I would just pull a seperate circuit to the detached garage (about 50 feet) through the existing burried conduit to support a real 30 amp circuit for the camper. Any particular gauge wire I should consider to do this?

Thanks for you help. I really want to do this the right way. I know some of my questions are kind of simple, but I'm a bit excessive complusive!

Eric
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:49 PM   #15
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Eric,

I am right with you in the retentive boat. I will pull the left oar, you get the right one!

Home AC units are supposed to be on a dedicated 15 or 20 amp outlet, most people just plug them in and do not think about it. A $250.00 window unit is very different than the $750-1000 AC on your Airstream. If I am not mistaken your AS has a Duo therm Penguin. This uses a scroll type compressor that is quieter, more eficent cooling and a larger amp draw that a typical window unit that will use a "cheaper" compressor. Most of the high end Central Ac systems use a scroll compressor and then are wired to a 30- 50 amp 2 phase circuit.

The fridge is not a large amp draw, but it would be the second largest when compared to most of the other coach systems. Running the fridge and other basics(anything but the AC) should be no problem on a 15 amp outlet.

The real key to all of this is the voltage drop. 120 Volts at 15 amps will allow the AC to work, but when the compressor cycles it will want to draw more amps. It may be able to draw up to 20 amps but the voltage will drop to 100 Volts. That low voltage makes the motor work much harder beacuse the flow of current is less than the system really wants. This creates extra heat in the AC unit and all of the wiring, and the system will struggle to start.

I know there are formulas to calculate loss over distance and come up with the proper size wire, but you could just ask the guy at HD for a 50 amp rated wire and you should be fine. That way you have built in extra capacity for the loss over the 50 foot run. It comes in single strand or Romex (encased in plastic with all 3 wires, hot, neutral, and ground)

When I have done it I add a dedicated 30 amp single phase breaker into the main panel and try to keep it on the side of the panel away from the other big loads( I don't know if it makes a difference but it makes me feel better). Be sure to throw the main disconnect PRIOR to pulling the panel cover and hooking in new breakers. Remember to get a single phase 30 amp breaker or you will toast stuff on the trailer when you plug it into a 2 phase outlet!

Use the wiring in the panel as your guide. Black (Hot) to the breaker, ground (green) to the ground buss, and Neutral(White) to the neutral buss.

The back of the 30 amp outlet has the wiring codes on it for the hot neutral and ground.

In the outdoor wiring aisle ther are covers that will protect the outlet and allow you to be pluged in so the outlet can be out in the elements.

Please consider this work as dangerous. If there is any part of the process that you are not comfortable with pay someone to do it and be assured that no one will rib you for it. Saving $150.00 and electrocuting yourself is not a good way to go.!

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:36 AM   #16
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So, would running the AC off a 20 amp outlet make said AC seem to not work that great?

I've never actually used mine, except for at home. Doesn't seem to work that well. It would blow the breaker using a standard sized extension cord, so I got a more "heavy duty" one. (can't remember exactly what the specs on it are, but it doesn't blow the breaker on this cord). Anyway, when I took the trailer on vaca last summer, I either didn't have a hookup at all, or didn't need the a/c. My in-laws took it during a much warmer week, (had full 30 amp hookup), and they used it..said it worked fine.

in my driveway, on the extension cord off a 20 amp outlet, it would blow cold air...just not "really cold". and it would seldom cycle. compressor just stayed on most of the time.
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:58 AM   #17
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The air-conditioner in my trailer is on its own 20A breaker wired with 12AWG.

I have a 20A outlet in my garage (with the 20A key in the left prong slot) running 12AWG to the main house breaker panel.

Using a 25' 30A extension cord on the 23' trailer cord, and a 30A female to 15A male adapter, my AC runs fine with the refrigerator and converter on with a coupla lights. The voltage reads 118V and maybe drops as low as 112V during compressor startup.

Obviously, I don't run the microwave, or even the coffee maker or vacuum cleaner when the AC is on.

Yes, I'd love to have a 30A service box for the trailer, but this house is being sold to full-time in the trailer.
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:03 AM   #18
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Thanks! The last thing I want to do is screw up my new toy!

I won't do the electrical connections myself. When I replaced the line to the garage (detached garage), I had them place a 1.5-2" pipe a few feet underground. For me, connecting it correctly should be the most difficult part for the electrician. All he has to do really to get from point A to point B is pull about 50ft of wire and set me up with a dedicated breaker and an outlet to match the Silvertwinkie cord.

Speaking of Silvertwinkie, I thought I was the only warped on out here. Turns out that silvertwinkie.com is taken! :-)

Eric
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:48 AM   #19
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I've got one too...

The actual outlet can be purchased at HD or Lowes for around $7.50, then the 30A breaker, boxes and wire. I was lucky, as I put the outlet on the outside of my farm market building on the other side of the breaker panel, so I had less than a 3' run. I think all the parts cost around $25.

My septic tank top is exposed in my back yard. I am going to pour a new lid for it with a plastic sewer connection. It is easy access to back the Airstream up to it, as it is close to the garage driveway.
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:41 PM   #20
 
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If you want to build a sewer connection that will allow to park every time without sweat, you can check our photo gallery for more pictures. Showing how we manage to live in our AS all year round.
http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...r=1847&thumb=1

Mike has spend several years carefully designing & tinkering with his sytem !!!
It swivels vertically & horizontally, and telescopes.
The dead freezer handles our water & electrecity.

Chantal
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