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Old 01-16-2013, 07:32 PM   #1
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RV Plug Questions


I have an RV and the manual says it has:

40 Amp Solid State Converter w/Built-In Battery Charger

So I'm guessing it has 40 Amp electrical system. Well, I have a power pole that is 100 ft away (can't get any close unfortunately) with a 30 Amp plug which I'd like to plug up to.

My questions:

1. Would my RV be limited by the 30 Amp plug?

2. Could I use a heavy-duty extension cord with two adaptors on each end over a 100 ft run and still run the air conditioner? If so, what guage cord would I need?

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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That seems like a little long for a lead cord. How long will you be using it and will you be using everything in your RV?

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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I'll be using it for as long as it takes me to build my house, which is probably a year or more. And yea I plan to use everything in there that is possible.

What are the risks of running that load over 100 ft?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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I would put a pole near the RV and go overhead with heavier wire and install a 40 amp receptacle on the pole. Or go underground from your service pole to where the RV will be and install a 40 amp receptacle. I think you will have a lot of trouble with doing this with a lead cord especially when rodents decide to chew on the wire.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Your RV most probably has a 30 amp AC system. Check the size of the main breaker in the breaker box.

The 40 amps of the converter charger is most likely measured at 12V DC. So, with conversion losses (at full load) it would be pulling about 5 amps at 120V AC.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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The 40 amps refers to the 12 VDC output of the converter not the 120 VAC system. 40 amps at 12 VDC is only 4 amps (plus a little for converter inefficency) on the 120 VAC side.

Use #10 extension cords for the 100 run to the power pole.//
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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You didn't state whether your RV was a travel trailer (TT) or a motorhome. Most TT's are equipped with a 30 Amp external connections. Most coaches are equipped with a 50 Amp external connection. As stated, your "40 amp converter/charger" is rated for 12vDC, not 120vAC. As stated: You could use a #10 ga. extension cord to do this but the best thing would be to install the pole as recommended.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

To clarify, my RV is a travel trailer.

I'm unable to move the pole because it's an underground permanent meter pole. And it's near the road and there is 100 ft of trees from the main rd to the RV. So I'd have to clear a ton of trees to move the RV or pay the electric company several thousand dollars to move the pole.

My dad has an electrician friend and said it might be possible to put together a #8 Romex cord or bigger for just the cost of parts. I'm not really sure what that means, but I'll suppose you guys know and can tell me if that's a good idea?
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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No, no, no. Romex is a baaaad idea.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #10
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#8 is a good idea, just not romex. Use SO or SJ cord.
Or better, use THWN in pvc conduit underground.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:42 PM   #11
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Ok no Romex

So #8 is sufficient without risk of damaging the components in the trailer?

I wish I could go underground but I'm afraid that going through all the trees-very thick trees!-the roots will make it hell. Perhaps I could go overhead. Could I run the cord through the trees? Perhaps fastening it to the trees themselves?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #12
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I would run the wire with some sort of protection. not from the trees. SO cord will get chewed by rodents quickly. Could just run some conduit along the ground and run some wire through it temporarily. It's not ideal but you could put aluminum wire in conduit to a pedestal to save on cost. Aluminum wire is cheap and would be fine for a cheap temporary run.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrolleston View Post
I would run the wire with some sort of protection. not from the trees. SO cord will get chewed by rodents quickly. Could just run some conduit along the ground and run some wire through it temporarily. It's not ideal but you could put aluminum wire in conduit to a pedestal to save on cost. Aluminum wire is cheap and would be fine for a cheap temporary run.
I'm always open to saving money if possible.

What kind of aluminum wire should I be looking for? Does it have a special name or keyword I could search for?

I'm also not sure what you mean by pedestal, can you direct me explain a bit please?

Would the wiring just be connected to plugs on each end?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:12 AM   #14
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Let me put out one more question before I go to bed.

Being that it's the winter months, I won't be using my AC until at least March (I'm in Texas). So that would leave the refrigerator and microwave, and I think that's all. I'm pretty sure my water heater has the option to run on LP and for sure my heater is LP.

So with that in mind, could I maybe get by with a #10 100 ft extension cord for now, while I figure out what to do for a more permanent power cord?

I'm on board with the conduit, so I could go ahead and buy 100 ft of maybe PVC or whatever and and so have the extension cord housed in that. Then after a few months, I'll use that same conduit to run the more permanent cord. What do you guys think?
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGriff View Post
Let me put out one more question before I go to bed.

Being that it's the winter months, I won't be using my AC until at least March (I'm in Texas). So that would leave the refrigerator and microwave, and I think that's all. I'm pretty sure my water heater has the option to run on LP and for sure my heater is LP.

So with that in mind, could I maybe get by with a #10 100 ft extension cord for now, while I figure out what to do for a more permanent power cord?

I'm on board with the conduit, so I could go ahead and buy 100 ft of maybe PVC or whatever and and so have the extension cord housed in that. Then after a few months, I'll use that same conduit to run the more permanent cord. What do you guys think?
Good plan but stick to it before summer.

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