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Old 04-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #11
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

Thanks Smitty, I am very familiar with 12V wiring, but wasn't sure about the gauge requirements of 110V. I know that when it comes to 12V, 8 gauge is common for connecting small inverters and ofter 1/0 or larger is needed due to the current draw. No wonder those cords on RVs equipped for 50amp service are larger than a garden hose!
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:31 PM   #12
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

I'm going to have to play the other side of the card here and disagree with Smitty. Yes, stapling the solid wire properly will go a long ways towards keeping it alive and with the amount of miles the average bus sees it might not ever be a problem, but stranded wire is the correct material to use. ANY vibrations transmitted to the wire will cause it to work harden which will eventually cause it to break. Stapling it ever 12 inches might go a long ways towards preventing this, but what a pain. Stranded wire costs substantially more than solid wire, but if you want evidence that it is the correct choice for a moving vehicle. If you want evidence look at any vehicle on the road with it's hundreds and hundreds of feet of wiring, all done with stranded wire. Car manufacturers don't do anything more expensive unless legally required to or out of necessity.

As a side note, stranded wire can safely carry more current than the equivalent size of solid core wire. This is because the electrons only flow on the surface of the conductor itself. Stranded wire has more surface area in a given gauge than solid core assuming you have good SO rated wire that has more than 6 strands. This is why you'll often see one size smaller extension cords (14 gauge versus 12 gauge solid wire) rated for the same loads.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:43 PM   #13
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

blunder was wired before with extension cords wire nut tied together on both 110v and 12v systems
im going to have to have sum one else help with the electric aspect of the bus its so complex
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:47 PM   #14
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
As a side note, stranded wire can safely carry more current than the equivalent size of solid core wire. This is because the electrons only flow on the surface of the conductor itself. Stranded wire has more surface area in a given gauge than solid core assuming you have good SO rated wire that has more than 6 strands. This is why you'll often see one size smaller extension cords (14 gauge versus 12 gauge solid wire) rated for the same loads.
Ah yes, this is true. All my previous experience has been with stranded wire. In fact some of the best automotive wire I have used has higher strand count (very fine strands, but thousands of them) and is usually oxygen free copper. But that stuff gets expensive fast! As for solid wire, most RV manufacturers use it and it seems to work okay. Not saying which is better, but either can and have been used successfully.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:54 PM   #15
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Wire-size & Max amps
#14-15 amps
#12-20 amps
#10-30 amps
#8-40 amps
#6-50 amps

That is for 110v.

Smitty
It's pretty much the same for any voltage - it's the current that heats up the wire if the wire size is too small and the resistance is high. Electrical code adds temperature ratings into the mix, but I don't have a copy of the "bible."

Higher voltages (more pressure)provide more watts with less current, so the wires are less likely to heat up and can be smaller. But high voltages can arc, and need better insulation. Most wires where I've seen the ratings have insulation rated at either 32 or 600 volts.

It's usual practice with the DC to up-size the wires a couple of notches, because more current is needed to get wattage out at the lower pressure. For example, police car radios usually use #6 wires for 25 amp transmitter draw with a 30 or 40 amp fuse, when #10 should have been OK. Longer wires also need to be up-sized, but one end of the bus to the other won't be long enough to affect this on AC, only on very high-current DC.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:57 PM   #16
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

That fine stranded wire can't be used with most listed AC devices, such as circuit breakers. Don't put tinned wires under a screw (compression) connector.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:31 AM   #17
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
DUDE! I just went from being called the "King" to this?? You sure know how to harsh a guys buzz

OK, could you name one single example of ANY romex failing (which was properly installed) in an RV, bus, housetruck...
Don't worry Smitty, I plan to use stranded wire for my 12V circuits and solid wire for my 110V system except for places where there will be subject to repetitive movement like on the cord to the generator and shore line. Most 110V parts are made for solid wire. Stranded wire is too easy to have a 'loose strand' cause short circuits and other nasty problems.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:23 PM   #18
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

Although I am new to dual system powering, I'm not new to 12v and battery systems. The best and most sure way to make your batts last longer is to disconnect them if you are not using them. I don't care what the meter says, what books say- I have been there done that. I went through too many trolling motor batts until I disconnected them- you'll get way more life out of them if you take 15 seconds to disconnect.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:35 AM   #19
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

Smitty,what's your reason for running only the water pump dc? Unless a converter is used,it can't use shore power.What's your plan?
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:39 PM   #20
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Re: Question: Simple solution to having electricity??

I intend to use stranded wire for the Silver Snail. I like the idea of cutting up extension cords. In fact, I have a couple of "dead" ones (missing, broken plug ends) laying around the garage. The bus will be moving a lot and I think that road vibrations MAY play a factor, so we'll be going with mostly 12v-type wiring (stranded), not 110v (Romex).

I think that in Smitty's case, he intends to be relatively sedentary with his bus while others (like me) are on the move. I'd say it makes sense to use 110v-type Romex if you're sedentary and 12v-type stranded wire if you're on the move a lot. I think we need to look at the purpose of the bus, and design accordingly. That's just my 1/50th of a dollar.

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