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Old 12-19-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
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How to plug into my house

Have a 71 Sovereign and want to plug it into my house but the power cable is not compatible. See photo. What do i need to get? Bill
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

You have two choices.

1. Get an adapter at Wal-Mart and plug your Airstream into any 15 or 20 amp outlet at your house. Doing this, you can run everything except the air conditioning or heat pump ( if so equipped).


2. Install a 30 amp dedicated RV outlet at your house. Doing this, you can run the whole trailer.

Brian
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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Bill,

If you decide to go witih option #1, suggest you put red tape with a note on the switch to the air conditioning or heat pump.

Since you are talking about at home, you might think that you will be the only one to flick switches in your trailer, but your wife|children|close neighbour|whoever might not know that you think that.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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If you want the full capacity of power for the trailer. 30 amp at 120 volts AC. You should have a dedicated service installed with the appropriate receptacle installed. It should match the plug that is currently on your shore power cord. The receptacle is available at Home Depot and it is clearly marked "For recreational vehicle use". The receptacle should be wired to a single pole 30 amp circuit breaker and have the appropriate sized wires for the length from the panel to the trailer location.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:19 AM   #5
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Here's some links to adapters...

30-15 Adapter - $2.99

Camco Power Grip Dogbone Adapter 30F Amp to 15M Amp - $6.49

Get a good, heavy gauge extension cord if you have to run into your garage 15 amp receptacle - I'd use at least a 12/3 (12 ga/3 wire) extension cord...

Your old 'shore power' cord and plug look a bit aged...be sure the wires are clean and bright inside the plug - also take some fine sand paper or steel wool and make the prongs on the plug 'bright'...

You want nice clean connections at all of the plugs - dirty connections will cause resistance and heat under load and could cause problems!
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:50 AM   #6
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Bill

If you choose option one and connect to a 20 amp circuit breaker you should be able to run the air conditioner if you minimise the other loads- no fridge, water heater, vacuum cleaner etc, but maybe a few lights and a radio. If you do this make sure that your adopter is good for 20 amps, not just 15 amps.

Dan
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:05 AM   #7
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It is not hard to install a 30 A outlet if you have basic electrical skills. I put one in last night in about 30mins. The easiest way like most have said is to get an adapter so you can just plug it into the house wall sockets but heavy loads may be a problem. You can get the female receptical and outdoor box at Lowe's. You will need a 30A breaker for your breaker box and some #10 romex. A 30A single pole breaker is best but you can use one pole of a 220V breaker. If you are not up on basic AC electrical work then I don't recommend it. You can also use one pole of an oven or dryer outlet if you have one of those available. When I was visiting my folks over Thanksgiving with the trailer we hooked into an outlet that my dad used for welding. It used a 50A oven outlet. I made a pig tail out of some #10 wire and wired that into a female 30A 120V RV receptical. Both neutral and ground have to be wired to neutral on the oven plug. I hope I have not totally confused you. Any electrician can help you if you want to make a more or less permanant power outlet for your trailer.

Perry
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:26 AM   #8
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Thanks!

Thanks to all of you for this information. The only thing I know about electricity is that it can kill you so I am being very cautious. Your advice should keep me alive (for a while). Thanks again.
Bill
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:34 AM   #9
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There is a problem with using #10 wire on a 50 amp circuit breaker. The wire is only rated for 30 amps. So you would have little if any protection. It is also not legal or safe to "double up" or use one side of a 2 pole breaker for both the stove and the RV.
Do it once; do it right; do it for safety.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:05 AM   #10
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I never said to hook anything other than the trailer to the oven or dryer connection. #10 is good for 30A. The 30A main breaker in the trailer will protect the trailer from overloads. It is common for folks that have welders and air compressors to have high amperage 220V connections that are great to use for trailers. Many times dryer or oven connections are used for these. By the way, everyone should have a welder and air compression in their shop. When I get around to it I will wire my trailer for 220V 30A. Actually it will be split into two 120V 30A systems. Not quiet as good as 50A 220V but twice the power as 120V 30A.

Perry
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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Perry

Why would you wire your trailer for 30a 220v?

Dan
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Have a 71 Sovereign and want to plug it into my house but the power cable is not compatible. See photo. What do i need to get? Bill
Get an adapter like the ones Mexray suggests. Most RVers carry at least one. I carry two of them on my trailer at all times (so I have a spare).

Don't try to run the air conditioner or microwave, and if you're using an extension cord, use a heavy one, 12 gauge or larger if possible.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:21 PM   #13
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If you get a standard 220V breaker box like you would use in a sub panel you can run 220V into that. There would be a 2 pole 30A breaker as the main. Now each rail has 120V on it from a different 30A circuit. If you need to run off a 120V 30A connection you would make an adapter that shorts both legs of the 220V connector. Now you still have 120V on both sides of the box but they are all from the same circuit. Now you can run full 20A plugs where ever you want. I would put one in the bedroom below the beds for running space heaters etc. I would run another to the microwave and yet another to the AC. The existing wall plugs would be on a 4th 15A circuit. So really you really don't have to dig into the walls you just add more circuits. I have a center bath so the box is in the middle already. All I have to do is run 10-4 wire to the new box. On the outside you would use 10-4 SO cable (extension cord). You would have a standard 50A RV plug on the end of that. You could also run off 120V 30A but you would need a female 50A socket with the two hots hooked together and a male 30A RV plug on the other end of that. The only down side to this is you are relying on the supply pole breaker (external to the trailer) to trip if you put more than 30A on the system in 120V mode. You are not going to exceed the amperage for each circuit but you could draw more than 30A total in which case the pole breaker will trip. There are probably ways around this issue but I have not thought about it in detail yet. What you donít want to do is have a switch inside that shorts the two hots together because if you forget to flip it back when in 220V mode you will have some fireworks. Wiring it into the 120V adapter makes sure that you will not have 220V on it when the hots are shorted.

Perry

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Perry

Why would you wire your trailer for 30a 220v?

Dan
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:04 PM   #14
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Perry

None of this has anything to do with the question asked and very little of it has to do with the way RVs are usually wired.

I don't think it's especially welcoming to launch into a dissertation on the advantages of some non-standard way to wire RVs when someone new to Airstreaming and new to the forum asks a simple question that has a simple answer.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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Go to Walmart, in their trailer supply section (often very small section in automotive) is a trailer connector to home 120V adaptor. That is what you need for everything EXCEPT running the AC. Remember - the longer the extension cord the greater the loss of amperage and therefore the less you have to use in the trailer. Keep the distance short, look at what else in the house is on the same circuit you plug into, that will be a draw on the power too. SEE LINK BELOW

Hire an electrician or do it yourself (it's not that hard) buy all the supplies at Home Depot and install a dedicated circuit and weatherproof service box and never have this problem again. Coast about $120, you will be the envy of the neighborhood.



http://www.walmart.com/ip/Road-Power...-Cord/16817356
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #16
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Not realising that there was a 30/15 amp adapter available, I had an electrician fit a 30 amp "RV Only" outlet in my garage. It wasn't cheap but it does allow me to use the trailer as a guest room in the summer.

In researching the matter, I'd read that contractors don't always understand the need for a 120V supply rather than 220V, so I printed something off from the Internet and showed it to the contractor, hoping he wouldn't be offended. The guy that did the work said that he knew about the 120v supply but agreed that many contractors just assume 240. If the OP is going to get a 30 amp outlet fitted, make sure the contractor knows about the voltage!
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:53 AM   #17
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So, I got an adapter and plugged the trailer into my house. So far, everything I have turned on works - fridge, lights, bathroom fan, radio. I also turned on the microwave and it worked. Just to be sure I understand, are you saying that I need a 30 amp breaker to safely use this? Thabks. Bill
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
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So, I got an adapter and plugged the trailer into my house. So far, everything I have turned on works - fridge, lights, bathroom fan, radio. I also turned on the microwave and it worked. Just to be sure I understand, are you saying that I need a 30 amp breaker to safely use this? Thabks. Bill
No, in fact you probably do not want one bigger than a 20 amp in that circuit. The adaptor is generally used for the basic power supply to an RV. Lights, radio, fans can be used on the adapter - the microwave and the AC will need the more substantial dedicated 30 amp plug in. They may work on the adapter but over time the cord will overheat and there will be damage to the electronics in the AC and microwave.

Did you need an extension cord too (other than the RV cord)? That will limit the number of items you can power up at one time. Check the circuit, see what else in the house is using it - if you are not home and it trips the breaker in the house you don't want a home freezer to go off.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:29 AM   #19
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I had an electrician install a dedicated 30amp plug in the garage. Well worth the money, all power/ac/ and microwave options available. Being in south coastal ga, I run a dehumidifier in the AS when not in use. The 30amp outlet gives me a little more peace of mind (capacity wise) since the AS is always powered when parked.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:23 AM   #20
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Hello CeloNC. Welcome to the forum!

You've been properly steered to the inexpensive adapters that will allow you to plug into a standard house grounded 15 amp outlet. You may then operate most of the Airstream's systems -- lights, pump, HW heater, furnace, fridge and the like.

The A/C unit will attempt to draw the available 15 amps and then some. We have seen several threads asking why the extension cord plug melted at the wall outlet. At startup the A/C compressor tries to draw something like 22-23 amps. Lacking that, it still tries to start up -- lugging all the way and this is hard on the compressor, shortens service life, etc. It may seem to work after a fashion (ie, the air may cool a bit), but all around not a good plan at all.

Some (member Chuck) have a 20A outlet and they'll run the A/C only if running no other high-draw appliances like hair dryer, coffee pot, toaster or microwave.

I regularly plug into 15A when I'm readying my Safari for a trip -- just never run the A/C in the driveway. You certainly can ask an electrician about what running a 30A 120V outlet might cost if you want overflow beds in summer heat.
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