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Old 03-22-2010, 10:42 AM   #61
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1974 Argosy 26
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#10 wire is the smallest you should use on a 30 amp circuit. In most areas it is not legal to use the Romex type wire in a conduit or pipe, especially underground. By Romex type, I mean the conductors a wrapped in a sheath. The wire is designed with a specific current rating based on the fact that it is not inside a conduit. Individual wires (conductors) should be used inside a conduit. If your receptacle is more than 50' from the power panel including the wire that is inside your house or building, you should be looking at #8 wire to compensate for the voltage drop.
Think of voltage like you would water pressure. If you hook a hose to the faucet on your house that is 25 feet long, you will get a certain flow of water out the end of the hose, now connect another section of hose to the first one and notice that the flow has slowed. The longer the hose the less flow you will get because of the pressure drop caused by the friction of the water traveling through the hose. The same goes for electrical current, the longer the wire the more voltage drop (pressure drop) you will get.
If the drop is too much, you could burn up the motor in your air conditioner or heat pump. That really gets expensive.
By using the correct wire size and receptacle you can save yourself a lot of headaches.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #62
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An accurate AC voltage meter inside the trailer is essential. Especially if you hook up at home as that is where you are likely to have wire too long and too thin. On the road is an issue as well, but you likely spend more time plugged in at home than anywhere. Of course if you do not use the electric heat or AC at home you get yourself less trouble. Then one hot day you figure you'll do a little job in the trailer, turn on the AC, and bang....
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