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Old 08-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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What size of extension cord do you use?

What gauge and length of extension cord are you guys using to plug your trailer in while it's being stored in the driveway? I have a 15A outlet right beside my camper so a 10 foot cord is plenty. I've been using an outdoor rated cord meant for a vehicle block heater but have been considering it might not be thick enough for when we pre-cool our fridge, have a few lights on, watch a movie, and the battery charging.

I tried to find a 10 foot 10 gauge outdoor cord, but apparently those don't exist. Input?

On a second note, I suppose plugging my camper's 30A cord into a dog-bone adapter might work too and eliminate the need for an extension cord altogether...
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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I've run everything except the A/C on a 50' 16ga cord before without issue. This is while parked in the street in front of my house before or after a trip.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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As an electrician 16ga cord is too small. There is a thing called voltage drop. The longer the distance the more the voltage drop.You need a higher guage cord. You will screw things up with the voltage drop. JMHO
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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JMHO X 2

Voltage Drop does funny things to sensitive electronic gadgets.

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by swburbguy View Post
As an electrician 16ga cord is too small. There is a thing called voltage drop. The longer the distance the more the voltage drop.You need a higher guage cord. You will screw things up with the voltage drop. JMHO
Agree 100%

My answer to the OP's question is as short as possible and as big as possible. I've never heard of anybody having problems because the size or gauge of their extension cord was too big.

On the other hand, I have seen some cords with melted insulation or plugs because they were too small or excessively long.

I have IIRC a 25' 30 amp cord and a 50' 30 amp cord, both 10 gauge I believe. I hardly ever use the 50' and seldom use the 25' since the trailer cord is usually sufficient to reach the plug in.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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I get a kick out of people buying cords looking at price instead of capacity. 16-3 0-50Ft-10amps, over 50-7amps. 12-3 0-50FT 20 amps, over 50 15 amps. Bottom line spend the money be safe.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
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Put a 30A single pole breaker in my garage/shop panel box,ran a few feet of 10/2 romex to a dedicated 30A rv box and plug the TT cord into it --- good to go,a/c and all.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #8
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Put a 30A single pole breaker in my garage/shop panel box,ran a few feet of 10/2 romex to a dedicated 30A rv box and plug the TT cord into it --- good to go,a/c and all.
Did the same thing, and used a dogbone to plug my trailer's 50A plug into the dedicated 30A receptacle. Works great, no overheating, and can run the A/C.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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What size of extension cord do you use?

Hi Skybound,
I am an electrical contractor and my best advice would be to use a "dog bone" to plug the TT cord directly into the outlet. A couple of other things to consider would be to make sure the outlet is in good shape. The plug should fit snug and there should be a fair amount of resistance when you unplug a cord from the outlet. As outlets Age the spring tension of the contacts inside can weaken and this will lead to a poor connection and addition voltage drop along with heating problems. If this is an outdoor outlet it should also be a GFCI with an in-use (bubble) cover. This will allow you to plug in the dog none and still close the cover to keep the connection dry. Water in the outlet will deteriorate the contacts as well. Lastly you want to make sure that the ground on the outlet is good. Sorry that turned out to be a little longer than I intended😀
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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I use a 12 gauge cord that is 25 ft. It is connected to a 20 amp breaker. We never use AC or microwave when parked by the shop. We do use the carpet shampooer and vacuum cleaner.
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