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Old 07-14-2013, 09:13 PM   #11
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy WI
Most household outlets are 15 amp, right?
Yes, most outlets are the 15-amp style, though they are often fed by 20-amp wiring and circuit breakers. Any type of heating appliance running on AC will have a multi-amp draw. The hot plate, a coffee pot, or a hair dryer is more of a concern than the fridge. Our home Energy Star chest freezer draws less than an amp after start-up.

The cheap outdoor extension cords in the hardware store and home center bargain bins are typically made of 16 gauge wire for the budget seekers. You have to look through the bins to find the heavier cords with 14 gauge or 12 gauge wire. They probably do not commonly carry any 10 gauge cords due to the cost and low demand. If you are using a hot plate, I would use a 14 gauge shore line up to about 50 feet, and switch to 12 gauge for runs of 100 feet.

In my experience, most people in houses (not counting cheapo mobile homes) have 20-amp circuits, but use receptacles keyed for a 15-amp plug. 15-amp plugs have the hot and neutral blades parallel to each other. Plugs coded for use only in 20-amp circuits have one blade turned perpendicular to the other. Outlets made for 20-amp building wiring designed to take either type of plug will have one slot and one T-shaped opening, plus the U-ground, so either style plug will fit.

In my current camper, all appliances work on either 12-volts or propane. The only AC on board is the battery charger ("converter"). So I have no problem with using a 16 gauge cord for trips where we will not be boondocking.

I have ditched the heavy 30-amp cord that the manufacturer provided, and put in a piece of 12-gauge wire just long enough to reach from the breaker panel to an extension cord. I used a heavy-duty version of the common 15-amp style plug, so there will be no problem plugging into common extension cords or receptacles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
. . .I made my own 50 ft,buy buying V STABLE romex and 2 ends at lowes/home depot.
It doesn't store small because off stiff wire
Romex non-metallic cable (NM) is not a good choice for making shorelines. The advantage is that it is easy to find, and the price is lower because people use so much of it. It is designed to be nailed into walls and stay there. The solid wire conductors will break if they are bent back-and-forth too many times, just like snapping a coat hanger.

Also, the plastic jacket on Romex is not sunlight resistant. An outdoor version of Romex would be underground feeder (UF) type, which can be direct buried, or hung in the sunlight between a house and garage, or a tree with a security light. But this also has solid conductors.

The correct wire to use is called "cord." It will have conductors made of many fine strands of wire. Each conductor will have its own insulation inside the jacket, and there will be added pieces of a kind of cardboard-like paper between each insulated wire to stabilize them and protect them from damage. You will find reels of cord in the home centers and many hardware stores, and the "retail drones" (a term I first heard on Skoolies this week) will cut off a piece priced by the foot to whatever length you want.

Add a plug (male end) and "cap" (female end), and you have a shoreline you can trust, because you made it yourself. You can also repair it yourself if something untoward happens to it.

As for the outlet strip, check the wire size from the plug to the strip. It should be stamped into the plastic cord jacket. Now that you have made your own shoreline, you may want to tackle putting a higher-capacity cord on the strip, if it needs it. But that may involve soldering. It doesn't hurt to pull the screws out and check. If you don't feel like soldering to replace under-sized wire, then shorten it. Get another 15-amp plug from the hardware store, cut the strip's cord down to 6 inches, and put the replacement cord on the strip. Plug it into your new faithful shoreline close to the strip.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

Regarding the circuit breakers and popping or not: you may be surprised to learn that a breaker may not immediately pop if current is too high. As a point of reference, consider the characteristics for some Square D circuit breakers I randomly (via google) selected. The first graph, on page 2, is applicable to the thermal-magnetic style commonly used in residential service. It shows that for a current 2x the rated level it may actually take 30-100 seconds to break. In other words, you might run the A/C full-time and warm something for a minute in the microwave, pulling as much as 40 amps on a 20 amp breaker, without tripping it. To clear in 1 second you'd have to be pulling as much as 9-20x the rated current!

Anyway.. I guess my point is that "breaker didn't immediately pop" does not imply that the current is actually reasonable at any instant. A breaker might allow a load of 25 amps indefinitely, for example, but there will still be heating in the conductors and in the plugs/receptacles. Keep an eye on those; they can get hot!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:07 AM   #13
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

How about something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Milspec-Direct-12 ... uctDetails

Would it be better to use a heavy extension cord like this with multiple outlets, or to use a single plug extension cord with a power strip?
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #14
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

I ran 100ft worth of the orange outdoor 10/3 wiring. When I moved I rolled it back up and am keeping it for later uses for the Camper. Also have a 50ft length of the same stuff not currently being used, will probably add ends to it same as Bansil, if I don't use it to wire up a shed for three outlets (I'm a dreadful pseudo-architect, I have 'houseplans' and floor plans for everything).

Of your two options you're thinking about, I'd probably go with option 2, at least until you get comfortable enough to run wires to the places you need to.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:16 PM   #15
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

i agree it's not the best way, it works and yes it will break eventually

I made the one cord 13 years ago or so and it has been outside on the ground eversence

I original made it as an "extension cord" for my welder, the guy at box store said I couldn't it was too long of a run for the 20/25 amps i then said why do you sell it in 250 foot rolls?

His answer was "you could use that much as you wire a run in a house"

I said "thats not too far of a pull?"

he said "no Sir"

I said "it's longer than the 75 ft I'm doing"

his responce was "your making an extension cord"

I bought it and left and havent had an issue yet
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #16
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy WI
How about something like this: AMAZON LINK

Would it be better to use a heavy extension cord like this with multiple outlets, or to use a single plug extension cord with a power strip?
If the power strip is hefty and has a good amp rating, "you pays your money and you makes your choice." If the power strip is for lower amps, then the multi-outlet cable would provide more power, and eliminate one connection. If the power strip is heavy-duty, it may add the benefits of an on-off switch and easy-to-access circuit breaker. Plus, hard plastic may hold the contact pins snugly for more years than molded rubber or whatever.

Note: I think I read that in Kalifornistan it is illegal to plug two cords together to reach an RV, the cable connected to the pedestal must connect to the RV. Just a note for folks affected to find out for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
i agree it's not the best way, it works and yes it will break eventually . . .
I wasn't trying to dump on you, I'm sure it works, and I have done some questionable things in my life and times, like creating one or two (gasp) bootleg grounds. I just wanted to point out that there is another option that would pass inspection and take more abuse . . .

Of course, the best thing is to befriend a stick-n-staples pilot with bad ends on his $450 factory cord, and intercept them on the way to the dumpster after they buy another factory-new assembly.
Just buy a new end or two and you have a cord that handles plenty of power!
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #17
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

No worries :cheers:

I normally use my 6 gage frikin anaconda.....for real,wrestling that thing out 50 foot 50 amp cord,its when I have to then throw the 30 adapter and then its like okay the plugin for my fridge is where? Then the 10ga solid gets dumped on the ground so beer stays cold and pizza stay frozen withe meat....

I do take my cord apart every year check connectors replace and trim ends if needed and I do my best to keep up on the broken ground/nuetral testin

Now the whole BLG thing it is like saying smile for. The camera.....CHEESE!....and an elephant shiats on your head its hard to grasp
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:13 AM   #18
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Re: Simple way to plug in?

OK, I'll 'fess up on the BLG - the one I do remember was for radio remote control. The county highway and engineering offices had all these remotes that ran a shared radio in the attic by putting up to 150 VDC across the audio line when talking. There were so many of them that the TX was delayed by charging all the parallel DC blocking capacitors in the other remotes. So the boss sent me to change the operation for all units to put DC between the audio and ground instead. One of the outlets in a drafting office had a three-prong outlet with no ground wire inside. The modified remote would not TX until a little wire somehow showed up inside the box . . . .
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