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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Suggestions for RV panel install, long run

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Stoic_J

Houston TX

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Posted: 04/16/19 05:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Greetings, everyone! I tried a forum search but could not find what I wanted. I recently purchased my 1st trailer and joined this group.

I'd like to set up RV hookup on my sister's property in the country. She has 200-amp service to her home there, and I would like to run 50 amps from that. Thing is the run is 240'. Any thoughts or ideas? Water and septic are already at the RV spot. We travel a little bit and would be at the site for long stretches. The water and septic are proper, and extended RV parking is fine in this area.

I'd like to have the wire buried, probably UF, but in conduit might be okay. My trailer is 30-amp. Would like to be able to run another 20-30 amps to a second RV or a very small manufactured home at the site. Just wanting ideas from folks who have experience with this sort of thing. Things to look for.

JASON

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 04/16/19 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

would would need to find 6/3 with ground direct burial wire or run 1.5 inch conduit with 3 #6 wires plus a #10 ground.
Personnally I would use 3 #4 wires plus #10 ground.


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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 04/16/19 06:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At that distance, if you are really drawing 50 amps then #4 copper is the minimum to have your voltage drop below 3%. If you want to save some money you could run #2 aluminum. However, with just one 30 amp trailer initially the situation isn't as good. Pulling 30 amps at 120v means you would need #3 copper or #1 Aluminum as a minimum to be under 3% voltage drop.
Personally, I would run aluminum to save some money. Also, I put everything underground in conduit. Conduit is cheap versus getting the cable damaged, finding the damage, digging it back, up, etc.
Don't try to pull a multiwire cable thur conduit. That is extremely difficult. You would pull individual wires thru the conduit. Alumiium wiring will be type XHHW, copper will be type THHN.
Individual conductors in conduit are usually less expensive than UF cable and much easier to work with.

azrving

Oatman

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Posted: 04/16/19 06:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Consult a wire chart. You would most likely be running 100 amps out there. As mentioned above you need four wires because you are running a sub panel out there. Two hot, neutral and a ground and it's NOT bonded. The bond is already in your house main panel so you remove the green bond screw in the sub panel.

Neutal and ground are bonded at the source so your house is the source now and should be bonded.

Will you be coming off the main panel for service to the house?

Also be extremely careful if wiring a 30 amp RV pedestal. It's very common for electricians to mistake it for 240 plug and smoke your RV appliances.

If using aluminum it needs the proper compound at the connections. Be sure there are zero Nick's in the wire or it wire corrode to powder even if in conduit. Go big on the conduit so you are fighting it.

I just pulled out three strands of number 6 180 feet because the last owner dipstick didn't run a ground. It was a pita because it was only one inch PVC. Place n 8 foot ground rod near the panel and another one 8 feet from the first rod. Use the appropriate gauge of bare stranded copper ground from sub panel to first rod then continue on to second rod. Use acorn nuts. You can cover it with dirt but keep it outside the drip line of any structures.

* This post was last edited 04/16/19 06:54pm by azrving *   View edit history

Stoic_J

Houston TX

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Posted: 04/16/19 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for the responses. So perhaps run underground in 1.5" non-metallic PVC (25 x 10' sticks @ $6/ea), skip cable and go with individual wire. I WOULD like to save money, so maybe 750' of #1 aluminum, plus 250' of ground. I haven't priced thick aluminum, but I'm guessing maybe $.50, $.60 per foot?

I'd be running off the service pole which is 200. That feeds my sister's house, and they run crazy power, so I don't want to try to pull a whole lot. azrving, why do you say I will likely be running 100 amps?

Yeah, I was thinking with #1 aluminum I might need to go 2" PVC.

azrving

Oatman

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Posted: 04/16/19 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just thinking that if you run a mobile home and an rv it's common to run 100 amps. Doesn't mean you must. If you were running two AC units and two microwaves you'd be hitting 60 plus amps probably. Doesn't mean you will be doing that but...

I have a 30 amp FW and micro and ac pull 30 amps together. No matter what you want the wire sized and breaker sized so the wire doesn't become the fuse.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 04/16/19 09:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would noty use aluminum wire. You have to run one size larger then copper.
Your rig will not pull a full 50 amps oneach leg.
Properly wired rig would have one ac unit on each leg.

azrving

Oatman

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Posted: 04/17/19 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you don't need a permit wire as you like. If you are supposed to get a permit wire it as required in case you get popped. At least that's how I cheat. I cheat but I don't leave myself open to double the cost. Risk reward I suppose

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/17/19 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

#4 copper wire in conduit. Use four wires.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 04/17/19 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would go with either copper or aluminum and oversize it to allow for voltage drop to suit your situation. UF type cable is about as economical as you can go and can be direct buried. Conduit & wire is usually more. Big cost jump from 1 to 1-1/2" conduit and you may get away with 1". Note that there is a min. code burial depth and unless you're young & strong, will need to hire someone to trench it with a backhoe. A 240' run isn't really that long and you'll often find that in CGs. HD, Lowes, etc. will have what you need. Sometimes electrical wholesalers will sell directly to the public and you can save a lot when you need a lot of stuff.

Nothing wrong with aluminum if installed properly. The ground wire doesn't need to be the same size as hot & neutrals and the NEC will give you the min. size allowed. If using conduit, max. 4 90 degree bends are allowed (or equivalent total) in a run and if more, you'll need a pullbox. Pulling 240' of wire in conduit can be a challenge. Just go UF cable!

Voltage drop should def. be considered. Check a voltage drop table. Start with the actual voltage at the house's panel under load (like in summer with AC running), not nominal 120/240 volts. Include the shore power cord length and any ups/downs at the house (not line of site distance). There is no code allowable maximum % voltage drop, it's only a recommendation and 3% what you normally want to aim for which is only 4 volts (at 120 volts). Voltage drop in a CG usually gets waay more than that, especially in the summer due to many ACs running and often in the 105-110 range.

You don't want to unnecessarily oversize the wire due to cost. Do you really want/need the full 50 amps @ 120/240 volts available? You might well be able to use smaller wire. I wouldn't allow more than a min. voltage of 105 volts which is 12.5%. An EMS or Surge Guard will automatically shut you off at 104 & 102 volts. Voltage less than 105 can lead to AC unit damage over time.

Another consideration could be voltage drop during the startup of an AC unit. An RV AC unit has a momentary inrush current of around 50-60 amps and with long wiring runs can cause ACs to struggle to start. A hard start capacitor can help that in some cases. Inrush current would be added to whatever else happens to be running in the RV at the same time.

A Hughes autoformer may be an option which will automatically boost voltage it it gets too low. Another option would be to use a step up transformer at the house to 480 volts and step down at the RV to allow smaller wire. You would want an electrician to do that, however that added cost of electrician and transformers would probably negate the benefit.


Gil, Deb & Dougal a 15 year old Springer Spaniel
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2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD crew cab, Bilstein shocks, heavy duty trailering option


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