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Old 06-15-2015, 06:59 AM   #1
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Coiled Electrical Cable

Hi all

For ease of use I leave the electrical cable coiled in the back of my X17Z and use an extension cable to connect my trailer to the campsite's hydro box.

Can anyone tell me if thus coiled cable could produce some sort of electrical or magnetic field while plugged in? If so, could extended use be harmful?

Thanks.

Bob
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:44 AM   #2
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I have read all type horror stories about heat buildup and induced fields but I have had 3 campers with the power cord stuffed in the rat hole and never pulled out any more than I needed. Never had any indication of a problem.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:47 AM   #3
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From my owner's manual:

The power cord must be fully extended
when in use and not left coiled in the
electrical compartment or on the ground. If
the power cord is left coiled, it may
potentially create enough heat to melt its
protective casing.

And:

Do not connect the power cord to an
extension cord. Use of an improper
extension cord will cause overheating
of the cord as well as potentially
causing premature failure of the AC
equipment.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:51 AM   #4
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Technically, yes. You have heat and stronger magnetic fields on a bunched up cord than a stretched out one.


However, these cords are 12ga wire and capable of carrying much more power than a small camper can possibly use.


Leaving the cord crumpled inside will have no ill effects on the cord, the trailer, users of the trailer or the environment.


Bear in mind though, that the cord you actually use may only be 14ga or (gasp) 16ga wire and will not carry the power your trailer needs without significant loss.


Have you considered cutting the cord and converting over to a power inlet?
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:10 AM   #5
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Also remember that the legal department clears all these statements!
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norty1 View Post
Also remember that the legal department clears all these statements!
What? Mealy-mouthed, uncommitted double-talk isn't good enough?
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:18 AM   #7
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A full draw of 30A @ 120V through a 12AWG cable that is 25 feet long results in about a 2% voltage drop (about 2.5 volts) That "missing" voltage turns into heat. Your cable needs to dissipate that heat and it can't do that effectively when it's in a tight coil. In worst case situation, the outer jacket of the wire melts and all the bad stuff happens.

However:
The likelihood of that happening is pretty miniscule. The 2% voltage drop is very small - and that's based on max draw - something my trailer has never seen and unlikely yours as well.

In a wound coil, AC magnetic fields come into play that can change the above math, but not to any seriously significant way. Loosely stacked / crammed in the rat hole is not going to cause any issues.

All the above said, manual says stretch it out, I say stretch it out.

Not that it applies here, but a high output DC circuit (like a welder output) has to be run out. The magnetic flux in that situation can cause erratic low output and will certainly overheat when left coiled.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:40 AM   #8
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I would be more concerned about what you use for an extension cord. I commonly only pull out a bit more than what I really need, and leave the rest in the hole. When I have used the AC a lot, the plug is warm, and so is the cable near the plug. The more you use the big black cord the softer it gets, so the easier it is to pull out and push in.

Personally, unless you are using a heavy duty extension cord, I would not use the AC and keep the use of microwave and coffee maker like devices to a minimum.

With that said, my HTT is kept at home. I run a 25’ 14 gage extension cord from the garage to the HTT. I pull out a few feet of power cord and pull the cords together. Been doing this for years, no issues, no heat buildup that I have noticed. At home, about the only thing running is the on board battery charger, and the frig a for a few days before a trip. At a campsite, there would be a lot more current pull.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:54 AM   #9
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This is one of those issues where theory is interpreted incorrectly when applied to the real world situations.

The biggest problem encountered is the possible poor connection from a worn campground receptacle than a coiled service cable.

Magnetic field? Insignificant.
Extension cord? Use the appropriate one and there will be no problem.

As with most electrical issues understanding is key.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnchuck100 View Post
...snip...

The biggest problem encountered is the possible poor connection from a worn campground receptacle ...
Regardless of too long/short/coiled/stretched ^^^THAT^^^ is a huge problem!
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