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Old 09-28-2012, 12:14 AM   #1
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RV Hook Up and Panel for Tiny House


I will be building a Tiny House like these: tumbleweedhouses.com. My plan is to have a RV electrical hook up that will be either 30 amp or 50 amp, that part seems pretty straight forward to me.

Where I get a little fuzzy is what panel to do inside the Tiny House.

Making things a little more complex is I want to use a product called eMonitor, which measures the power usage of each circuit. It comes with 14 sensors that surround the wire for each circuit inside the panel, so I can measure up to 14 circuits power usage.

So if I have a 30 amp or 50 amp hook up what panel should I be using inside the tiny house so I have at least 14 different circuits, but taking into account the 30 or 50 amp hookup.

Things that I will be powering in the house (complete list):

  • Fujitsu 9rls2 Mini-split Air Conditioner - 20 amp circuit
  • Computer
  • Propane RV Water heater - 12 volt with adapter for 110
  • Car Stereo and two small outdoor speakers
  • 9 LED lights
  • four circuits with 2 outlets each (mostly not used)
  • mini fridge

I plan to bring in an electrician to do this work, I just wanted to see what people thought so I know a general direction I should be heading when I sit down with them. Any help would be great!

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Old 09-28-2012, 04:44 AM   #2
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RV Hook Up and Panel for Tiny House


It is difficult to tell you what is your best option as it is hard to know what this structure will be classified as. Is it going to have its own meter or be fed from an existing service?

My initial thought is to put in a 100A 20 circuit panel and fuse it down to your 50A, but if this is going to have its own meter, you may be required to have a 100A service anyway so fusing it down will not be necessary.

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Old 09-28-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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RV Hook Up and Panel for Tiny House


Is this structure going to be trailer-mounted, or fixed? Permanently occupied? Might make a big difference in your plans. You should consult your local building department before going too far. The tiny house concept is pretty new, and some jurisdictions don't yet accommodate them in their building codes. For example, some require a minimum number of square feet for a structure to be considered a livable house. That could make it difficult to get an occupancy permit (or even a building permit). I don't think that would be a problem if the house is mobile like an RV, but then there may be other conditions that apply since it would need to be inspected and licensed for towing on public roads.

I also notice that the list of things to be powered doesn't include heat or a stove.

Last edited by md2lgyk; 09-28-2012 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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RV Hook Up and Panel for Tiny House


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
It is difficult to tell you what is your best option as it is hard to know what this structure will be classified as. Is it going to have its own meter or be fed from an existing service?
It will not have it own meter, so it will be fed from existing service

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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Is this structure going to be trailer-mounted, or fixed? Permanently occupied?

I also notice that the list of things to be powered doesn't include heat or a stove.
It will be trailer mounted and fall under RV trailer codes, not normal building codes, so code enforcement will not be involved because its under a different governing body. The stove will be propane and the AC unit listed also does heat.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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RV Hook Up and Panel for Tiny House


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Originally Posted by ryan112ryan View Post
It will be trailer mounted and fall under RV trailer codes, not normal building codes, so code enforcement will not be involved because its under a different governing body. The stove will be propane and the AC unit listed also does heat.
Have you checked into these "trailer codes?" Complying with those might actually be worse than building codes. Oh, and does the AC unit that also does heat cook meals as well??
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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RV Hook Up and Panel for Tiny House


I know of several fellows who built their own camper and the way they got by getting the unit registered was to have the trailer registered and tagged before building the camper. It worked for them, may not be the best way but it is one way.

Another way is to have the camper where it can be off loaded, that way it wouldn't be classified as a camper, or would it?

As for the electrical, our small camper has a breaker box and is wired 110AC and 12V DC. The DC box is fuses like a car and there is an inverter and battery charger on board.

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