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Old 10-26-2015, 12:41 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by CaptainInsaneo View Post
As a side note the more I hear about the RVIA and industry standards, the less I care what their accepted practices are.
I expected somebody would bring this up. To a large degree I feel the same way: sticks and staples seems a terrible way to build a vehicle. And I'm not concerned about maintaining minimum separation distance between my shore power, city water connection, and holding tank drains because I think I can manage not getting the connections mixed up. Those are just the first two areas that come to mind where our non-compliant ways here are perfectly acceptable to me/us!

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Looks like Im dying in an electrical fire. At least I tried to do it all right!

So much of this is code based and anecdotal. I wish someone with some money and time would hurry up and do a study already
Oh come on, like I said in the beginning I'm not calling anybody out and not proclaiming it'll all end in ruin if done any other way. There's a good chance nothing bad will happen.

As far as someone with time and money doing a study: that's what NFPA is all about. Sometimes I feel like they go to extremes, but they are THE organization that studies fire and electrical safety.

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the longest biggest extension cord that they have that will probably cost in the $1-1.4 per foot range. I plan on laying out the electrics putting the electric control panel in a place that is central to the distribution and not effecting other systems. I can't really see needing more than 150 feet of wire.
I truly don't know why NFPA, OSHA, and virtually every other safety organization disapprove of extension cords used as permanent wiring. Note that they're not saying to use solid wire -- stranded is perfectly fine by them, just not in the form of an extension cord. A budget of $1-1.4 is sufficient for black rubberized SO-type cable which has much tougher insulation than run of the mill cord. It's also enough for the marine cable jazty linked to, or for stranded THHN/THWN in conduit.

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Old 10-26-2015, 04:47 PM   #132
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I can tell you why they disapprove of them as permanent wiring, for starters it is a lot easier to put a nail through them (I don't see any of us hanging too many pictures in a bus and solved by use of conduit). From personal experience I do feel there is a difference in carrying capacity at the smaller end of the gauge spectrum (16/3). If pushed too hard the higher flexibility will allow for easier contact between strands if insulation melts. That said I think that would be reallllllly hard to do in a bus as there just isn't space to hook up your induction crucible and we don't run enough 220 circuits inside the bus to worry about welders nor is there room to to use 4 hair dryers in any bathroom in an RV. If you have a lady friend who needs to have a blow dryer, curling and flat iron plugged in at the same time plan accordingly and run 2 or more circuits to the bathroom, or get a new lady friend.

I will concede that there are plenty of common sense rules in the RVIA standards, but you wold have followed those anyways, and those that you won't don't matter because you designed them and are fully aware about the issues they could pose.

I really feel that one should treat a bus build like a boat build, lets face it a 40' motor home is a land yacht. While we don't have to worry about drowning if we have to abandon ship, we should still take every reasonable step to ensure that we shouldn't need to. I also suggest using the heavy duty sockets they really do grip the plugs better and if you have something plugged in as you are driving you don't want it to get unplugged due to road vibration.

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Yes, I should have mentioned that there are many suppliers of the triplex boat cable. Any marine store worth its salt () will have some in their suppliers catalogue. I've seen it come untinned as well
No the tinning might actually com in handy in a situation of it over heating as it will melt and help dissipate the heat a bit better, of course if that happens you would probably need to replace the wire anyways, but hey it might help avert a fire. Not to mention the high humidity RVs are known for.

I get the feeling it is like a catholic/ protestant type debate, and really in the end comes down to personal faith and politics.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:19 PM   #133
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I wanted to use this, but couldn't find it locally: Ancor - Triplex Boat Cable


I'm ok with the solid 12/3 I used since it's encased in the spray foam (except for the device boxes, of course), but the boat cable would have been nicer all around.
This is sexy, I must have it in my bus.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:51 PM   #134
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Can't you use regular outlet boxes with Smurf tube? They sell special snap together fittings for it, but you can also solvent weld regular PVC conduit fittings to it if I'm not mistaken. My intent is to do all 120VAC wiring that is in wall or otherwise concealed with stranded THHN in Smurf tube, and then transition to EMT with the cheap metal boxes for visible, surface mounted stuff. The EMT is for aesthetics although there is the bonus that it meets code.

The shore power feed cable will be SJOOW, probably 10/3 with a 30A plug, but that's a personal choice based on expected amperage.

I considered the extension cord route, and I am in the camp that says it will be okay if you use good heavy gauge ones and derate. But cheap extension cords are mostly 16AWG with flimsy insulation - when I priced it out, I found that the cost to buy new 10AWG or 12AWG extension cords for house wiring use was comparable to running THHN in Smurf tube, which gives better protection and is NEC compliant.

Romex is most likely the cheapest option. There's been lots of discussion about whether solid wire is really appropriate in a moving vehicle, so I'm using stranded out of an abundance of caution. But lots of factory RVs use it.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:42 PM   #135
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I get the feeling it is like a catholic/ protestant type debate, and really in the end comes down to personal faith and politics.

Finally, something I can speak intelligently on!
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:56 PM   #136
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I get the feeling it is like a catholic/ protestant type debate, and really in the end comes down to personal faith and politics.
So- six of one, half dozen of the other?
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:23 PM   #137
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I also suggest using the heavy duty sockets they really do grip the plugs better and if you have something plugged in as you are driving you don't want it to get unplugged due to road vibration.
You said lots of good things in your post, but this one was best of all. So often people reach for the bulk bin of 70-cent duplex receptacles not realizing that on the shelf above in neat individual boxes there are vastly superior alternatives. Nylon construction instead of phenolic, much better terminals on the inside and also better terminal options on the outside. Yeah, they cost a few dollars more, but so worth it in locations like kitchen, bathroom, and garage/workshop where things are plugged and unplugged frequently and/or they may be treated a bit roughly.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:48 PM   #138
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They are worth it everywhere, even in your house. If you ever have to install/replace one, replace it with a heavy duty one.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:52 AM   #139
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Gfi

Magnum inverter manual recommends using GFI circuit protection, surprised there has been no mention of this?
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:56 PM   #140
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Magnum inverter manual recommends using GFI circuit protection, surprised there has been no mention of this?
All, I repeat, All of my duplex receptacles will be GFCI protected.

I don't screw around with electric shock or electrical fires...I've been on too many jobsites, been through too many safety classes and had my OSHA 30 for too long to risk dealing with any of these hazards.

I kinda thought it was a given.
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