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Old 04-09-2015, 08:51 PM   #21
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If it were me I would use a 10 ga. wire. With the distance the code may call for an 8ga. but I would go with the 10ga. it should serve your needs.

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Old 04-09-2015, 08:56 PM   #22
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Or, if you have easy access to your breaker box, put in a 30 amp breaker and run some #10 wire to a 30 amp outlet placed where you can plug into it. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself find a friend who is and buy him supper for the work. Or hire it out.

I already had 60 amp service to my garage and just had to do the above.

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Old 04-09-2015, 09:15 PM   #23
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I haven't tried running both air and fridge in my current fifth but I had no problems running both in my prior (smaller) camper.

A 20 amp circuit (and 150 of heavy wire) allowed 124 volts at the entrance plug.

We often used it that way for overflow company; I know it easily runs the new fridge. I guess I should separately test the air before we place guests in it. If that works then I'll again try both air and fridge.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:29 PM   #24
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If you want between 25 and 30 amps available at the plug in, and not more than 5% voltage drop, you would need #8 copper or #6 Aluminum based on the slide chart I have.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:49 PM   #25
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The largest item in your camper is probably the ac unit unless you also have an electric water heater. The ac unit draws approximately 13 amps at 120 volts. The ac unit will also draw a heavy starting load, however that load is only for a few seconds. The circuit breaker must be 125% greater than the load, which means 125% of 13 amps = 16.25 amps. The closest breaker for the ac is then 20 amps as it is the closest breaker that will satisfy the load. As such, you can safely operate your ac unit off a 20 amp breaker if the ONLY load on in the camper is the ac unit.

The ONLY way to determine the circuit size is to look at your circuit breaker. Generally, residential receptacles are 15 or 20 amp. The receptacle shown by norty1 above is a 15 amp receptacle. If one of the receptacle legs looks like a "T" rather than a straight line, then the receptacle is a 20 amp receptacle fed by a 20 amp breaker. But, a 15 amp receptacle may be used on a 20 amp circuit if there is more than one receptacle on the circuit.

If you plug your shore power cord into a 15 amp circuit, that is fine as long as you keep your loads below 12 amps (80% of 15 amps). Turning on your ac unit will not harm the ac unit, but you will probably pop the breaker because you will be pulling too many amps. Regardless of load, the voltage remains at 120 volts.

If you plug into a 20 amp circuit, you are better off because you have the ability to pull more amps before the breaker trips. Again, you still are using 120 volts.

Should you then run a long extension cord and connect to a 20 amp receptacle? NO, NO, NO!! Unless you have a very large very expensive 12 gauge extension cord, do not do this. Most outdoor orange extension cords are 16 gauge wire, some are 14 gauge. At that wire size (larger gauge is a smaller wire), attempting to pull a large amount of amps will cause extensive heating in the cord due to wire resistance. This heat adds load in series to the circuit, which in turn causes voltage loss. This then adds load, amps, and more heat. Sad things then happen.

The short answer is you can plug your unit into any 15, 20, or 30 amp receptacle, however you must keep your load within the limits of the circuit. I had my fifth wheel with a 30 amp plugged into the garage 15 amp receptacle until I was able to wire up a dedicated circuit. I ran lights, the fridge, and the charger all off the 15 amp circuit.

Best answer is to set up a dedicated 30 amp rv receptacle within a few feet of where you park your camper in the yard. I've had mine for years now and it makes everything clean, easy, and safe.

My issue now is that my soon to arrive new fifth wheel needs a 240 volt 50 amp set up, so it looks like I have work to do.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:36 AM   #26
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I had a electrician run mine. It was about 100' in conduit. He used #10 copper.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:48 AM   #27
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X2. We keep ours plugged in all the time, mainly because we aren't sure how to disconnect the batteries and don't like being wakened at 2 a.m. with the batteries-are-low shriek the thing gives off! (We don't have air co on our current unit, and don't plan to use it on the new one, but we do like cooling the 'fridge a few hours before we pack to go.)
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:41 PM   #28
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The simple answer is open the panel in your trailer and see what size breakers are there. If the A/C is on a 15 amp breaker in the trailer, it will not be damaged running it off a 20 amp circuit in your house even with a 15 amp receptacle.

Run your water heater on propane as well as your fridge and you are good to go. Don't run the microwave if the A/C is turned on or you will likely trip the house breaker. Once the battery is fully charged and the trailer cools down, the A/C will only run periodically you shouldn't have any problems turning on lights.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:07 PM   #29
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you will NOT damage your a/c if run on a 15 amp circuit, if the a/c draws more than 15 amps it will trip your breaker in your house, but will not harm your a/c
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:15 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by rjackson View Post
you will NOT damage your a/c if run on a 15 amp circuit, if the a/c draws more than 15 amps it will trip your breaker in your house, but will not harm your a/c
It's not so much the amperage draw that harms the A/C compressor motor, but the voltage draw. I burned up a compressor at a campground in KY because of low voltage. That goofy campground had their system overloaded - very hot weather and lots of RVs running A/C. The voltage was very low. This is one reason to use a protection device on your shore power plug. The better ones will shut you down in those situations so you don't damage things - as well as power surges.


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