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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Electrical issue

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RoyB

King George, VA

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Joined: 04/13/2008

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Posted: 08/19/12 01:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My success in using the house/garage 20AMP service for my two RV trailers has been using a good quality contractor grade 10-gauge (10-3) 50-foot extension cord plugged into a 20AMP receptacle for one trailer and a 15-amp receptacle for the second extension cord. Both garage circuits have a 20AMP circuit breaker on the house main circuit breaker panel and the garage is wired with 12-Gauge wiring. My 20AMP receptacle was installed to operate a air compressor and is no longer in use. The 15AMP garage receptacle is used with three or four other 15AMP receptacles on the same circuit and is on a different 20AMP circuit breaker the 20AMP garage circuit is.

On the end of the 50-foot 10-gauge extension cords I use the the RV30A-15A 18-inch long adapter (Walmart) where I plug in the 30AMP Trailer shore power cable. I originally used one of those small round RV30A-15A adapters but it got hot on me. I have never got any heat is using the 18-inch long "dogbone" adapter

I also use a RV 120VAC plug-in meter inside each trailer to allow me to keep track on the AC Line voltage before I turn on anything like the 13,500BTU Air Conditioners or the high wattage microwave in each trailer.

Been doing this 24/7 for the past five years when the trailers are parked in my camp backyard without any issues.

I keep my batteries re-charged ion both trailer and will run a low setting oil-filled heater in the winter months.

We camp out regularly in both both trailers sitting in CAMP BACKYARD and enjoy having them available to use. We use the big trailer fridge for a second fridge to support the house fridge.

We use these items:

It seems alot of folks will get away with using 12GAUGE (12-3) Extensions cord.

We do not use these items:

Photos from google images

This is my hookup and has worked flawlessly over the years. I have the same problems others have as I cannot be using the air conditioner then turn on the high wattage microwave unit as it will trip the garage breaker when I do this.

I also carry the same type 18-long RV30A-15A "dogbone" adapter on trips with a 25-foot 12-gauge 12-3) extension cord. It has helped me out of several problem areas where I needed to hook the trailer 30AMP Shore power Cable. Good thing to have aboard for a PLAN B situation.


My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me
Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
K9PHT (Since 1957) 146.52M
2010 F150, 5.4,3:73 Gears,SCab
2008 Starcraft 14RT EU2000i GEN
2005 Flagstaff 8528RESS
POPUP PHOTOs-Pg52


loggenrock

New Hampshire

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Joined: 06/28/2007

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Posted: 08/19/12 10:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi again - Roadtreks are "a different beast" - I know - driven to 49 states and most of Canada in mine - in your RT the monitor panel WILL show the battery being "FULL" (all lights on up to GREEN) when you push the test button when you are plugged in to shore (120v) power. Those test panels simply are looking at the voltage on the 12v "side" of the system. Your converter (what changes the 120v AC to 12v DC) is putting out correct charging voltage for your house battery(s), so the panel "thinks" you have a very well-charged battery. As I stated previously, the way Roadtrek hooks things up, IF you want to charge your batteries in the van (house battery)when you connect to shore power, the battery switch near your monitor panel MUST be in the ON position PRIOR to you connecting to 120v house current. If you plug in 1st and THEN turn that switch ON, you will NOT be charging your battery! Running your on-board genny will charge the battery, but that is not a very efficient way to do it. You will need to run the genny for many hours to fully charge a low house battery. The house battery will also charge simply as you drive from the electricity created by the engine alternator, independent of the position that the disconnect switch is set. This is the fastest way to charge the house batteries. ST


Two and a hound in a 2003 Roadtrek 190P and a pair of Limmers...
First 50 done, working on the second pass!


MarshaNichols

Salinas

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Joined: 05/18/2012

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Posted: 08/19/12 11:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Loggenrock...thank you..especially for explaining(so I could actually understand) that I needed to turn the Battery Disconnect "ON" before I plug into the shore power (my house).

It's good to speak to people who also own RT's. You're correct...they are a different beast...a great one, however!

Thanks again! Marsha

MarshaNichols

Salinas

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Posted: 08/19/12 11:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Loggenrock...when driving to charge the house battery, should the battery disconnect also be on then? Does it matter if it's turned on before my van engine? Wow, you certainly have driven to many states! Have a favorite place?

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/19/12 11:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Marsha,

When ever you are actively using the RV the house battery switch should be in the on position.

The only time to turn the switch off is between trips when the RV is in storage.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3000 watt PSW inverter.

MarshaNichols

Salinas

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Posted: 08/20/12 08:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks, pianotuna...love that name!

loggenrock

New Hampshire

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Posted: 08/20/12 09:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Marsha - when driving the RT the engine alternator will charge both the engine battery up front under the hood AND the house battery(s) that run the stuff in the van, even if that disconnect switch is OFF. As 'tuna states, just leave the disconnect switch "ON" until you are not living in the van. When we go out on a trip that switch is on from the time I start to put food in the cabinets until it is back home in the garage. Longest trip 3.5 months, NH to AK and back. Favorite state? Home! Ones we like to visit? All the rest! Heck, we've even found places we liked in NJ (sorry, NOT Newark...). High on the list are SD, MT, NM, OR. Just 'cuz they are sooo different from New England. ST

dougrainer

Carrolton, Texas

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Posted: 08/21/12 05:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi Marsha,

When ever you are actively using the RV the house battery switch should be in the on position.

The only time to turn the switch off is between trips when the RV is in storage.


Storage means when you have NO 120 Shore power to the RV. IF you leave it plugged in at wherever you store it, leave the battery disconnect ON. You also need to check the coach battery water at least once a month. Doug

MarshaNichols

Salinas

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Posted: 08/22/12 09:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all! The electric "stuff" is the most confusing for me...but with your help, I think I have it (or getting closer!)! Happy trails!! Marsha

wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 08/23/12 08:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of good advice above but nobody posted the Rules according to Oliver Douglass (TV Show Green Acres, ok, That part is a joke, WIll continue the joke later)

When plugged into 15 amps you are very limited, the MIcrowave may be used, Air conditioners are iffy, depends on the size of the A/C

BiG ticket items include: Air conditinoer(s) Water heater, Microwave, Space heaters and if the batteries are low and you have a smart 3-stage converter, the converter (If batteries are full up (IE: six hours later) The converter is a small item.

Small items include the Television, Radio, Sat receiver and the converter when batteries are full

Fridge is a medium (300-500 watts) if RV type.

Back to the rules:

20 amp: One bit ticket item
30 amp: Two big ticket items
50 Amp: "All you can eat"

NOTE: if using an extension cord on 15/20 amp please use a heavy duty, at least 12GA as the smaller ones may just melt and that is not a good thing.

Also monitor voltage inside the RV, If you have any length of cord as the loads go up the voltage in the RV will go down. Several voltage monitors were recommended above. 105 is the absolut floor, 108 is a better minimum and I like to see 110 minimum when A/C is running. Longer cords, and smaller cords = greater drop in voltage.

With 30 amp and smaller, every time you use it inspect the plug, clean pongs as needed, Keep a spare replacement plug on hand, you will need it.

ON 50 amps this is not such a big problem but do inspect regularry

NOTE: 50 amp comments only apply to 50 amp RV's if yours is a 30 disregard all 50 amp statements save this one.


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377


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