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Old 05-26-2016, 07:07 AM   #1
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Extension Cord Question

WE have moved to a new location (primary residence) where the Jayco 5th wheel will be approximately 175 feet from the closest 110 v house outlet. I ran three regular extension cords the distance to charge the battery, etc without any issues. I then tried to run one (1) A.C. and it didn't quite have the power to run the A.C.

My question is: If i purchase (very expensive) a 10/3 or a 12/3 heavy duty extension cord (will still require 2 for distance); will I be able to run the A.C. ?

On the house breaker, it shows the outside plugs to be 50 amp circuit, but obviously I would only try running one A.C.

Thanks in advance.

David
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:06 AM   #2
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175 feet of extension cord is going to produce an appreciable voltage drop at your camper. That's likely not helping things.

http://www.rvpowerprotection.com/Lin...sion-cords.pdf
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link; that is good information and just saved me over $200.00 minimum. At least I can hook it up prior to any upcoming trips to get the refrigerator cool, etc. That worked without problems with a normal residential extension cord.

I eventually want to check the cost of a 2nd meter at the RV location with a 50 amp plug.

David
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:30 AM   #4
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I would skip the second meter, just use the proper size wire and run it out to an outlet. May need to go to #8 or #6 wire though.

Not sure about where you, but in our area a second meter's rates are not as cheap as your main residential meter. The second meter's rates are at the commercial rate.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:09 AM   #5
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Since most extension cords are fairly small wire, there's a large voltage drop for long lengths. Running a separate permanent line to the location would be better, because you can use much larger conductor, and set up a dedicated circuit breaker on that line for safety. Large voltage drops cause the motor on your AC compressor to draw much higher amperage. That makes them run hotter, and can force thermal shutdown. Repeatedly getting into that range will certainly shorten the life of that compressor motor. A large enough conductor, probably much like the wire in your 50 amp cable, or larger, helps reduce that voltage drop.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtglenn View Post
WE have moved to a new location (primary residence) where the Jayco 5th wheel will be approximately 175 feet from the closest 110 v house outlet. I ran three regular extension cords the distance to charge the battery, etc without any issues. I then tried to run one (1) A.C. and it didn't quite have the power to run the A.C.

My question is: If i purchase (very expensive) a 10/3 or a 12/3 heavy duty extension cord (will still require 2 for distance); will I be able to run the A.C. ?

On the house breaker, it shows the outside plugs to be 50 amp circuit, but obviously I would only try running one A.C.

Thanks in advance.

David
I doubt your regular outside outlets are on a 50 amp breaker, that would be very unsafe. Also being outside they should be on a GFCI breaker. A standard outlet should never be on any circuit controlled by a breaker larger than 20 amps. Good Luck...
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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120V/30 amp at 175 ft w/3% drop would require #4 copper or #3 aluminum.
120V/15 amp at 175 ft w/3% drop would require #6 copper or aluminum.

7 - 10 amp would probably cover charging the battery but even that would need to be #8 wire gauge.

Running your air conditioner at that distance is going to require some serious wire investment or possibly sacrificing your air conditioner.

As wags pointed out there are no standard 120V 50 amp outside outlets. Maybe cobbled together but not by code.

Another point is you do not want to plug an RV into a GFCI circuit. Sometimes it may work. Most of the time it will trip the GFCI. There is nothing wrong but it is a complex explanation on why this happens.
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