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 > Suggestions for RV panel install, long run

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allen8106

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Posted: 04/18/19 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At 240' you could go as small as #8 if you use a 3 strand with ground. Maximum voltage drop is 5%. My voltage calculator shows 4.19% with a 3 strand #8 w/ground. Anything bigger is better. A #6 will get you to a 2.63% voltage drop and a #4 will get you to a 1.66% drop.


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Stoic_J

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Posted: 04/19/19 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, got the conduit yesterday, hoping to get the wire I need today. Lowes has #4 copper by-the-foot for $.91 and there's a 10% Pro discount the next 2 days, but only black was in stock. Rolls are much better priced, and available in black/red/white, but we're talking 500 feet per. Might hit a handful of stores and see what comes up.

enblethen

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Posted: 04/19/19 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What isulation are you looking at? XHHW would be my preferred but THWN will work.
You can use all black wires if you mark them at each end with colored tape or paint.
Remember that the ground size can be smaller gauge, #10


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myredracer

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Posted: 04/19/19 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stoic_J wrote:

OK, got the conduit yesterday, hoping to get the wire I need today. Lowes has #4 copper by-the-foot for $.91 and there's a 10% Pro discount the next 2 days, but only black was in stock. Rolls are much better priced, and available in black/red/white, but we're talking 500 feet per. Might hit a handful of stores and see what comes up.
Curious what prices per foot are you finding? Looks to me like the going price today is over a buck a foot for #4 THHN copper. That's going to be around a kilobuck for 240'! Ouch. And there's conduit on top of that.

Note that you don't have to buy two #4 in black and one in white. You can re-identify the neutral with some white electricians tape on each end. Might be able to get a little better pricing on all black (need the ground in green of course). The thing about buying long runs of wire like that is not buying an excessive amount, but if you come up short, you are scr*wed. 250' is a common length in rolls.

What size conduit did you get? You should be able to pull 3-#4 + ground into 1" but at 240' would be a real challenge. 2" thin wall DBII PVC conduit is cost effective sometimes. Don't know about today's prices, but it used to be cheaper than the next size up from 1" sched. 40 PVC and makes pulling much easier.

Another option would be to buy individual #4 wire that is rated for direct burial. Then you can use cheap poly water pipe for conduit. That is done sometimes and meets code.

For pulling 240' wire that gauge, you'll want some pulling socks, nylon rope and some liquid dish soap. You might want to leave the vertical bends off if you can for pulling to reduce the tension required. Might be able to pull it by hand if fairly straight. There are online calculators for pulling tension.

* This post was edited 04/19/19 11:43am by myredracer *


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Posted: 04/19/19 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stoic_J wrote:

OK, got the conduit yesterday, hoping to get the wire I need today. Lowes has #4 copper by-the-foot for $.91 and there's a 10% Pro discount the next 2 days, but only black was in stock. Rolls are much better priced, and available in black/red/white, but we're talking 500 feet per. Might hit a handful of stores and see what comes up.
Have you checked code for minimum trench depth etc?
Conduit is usually for pulling individual wires. Make sure the direct burial or bundle is OK in the conduit.
There are codes to prevent overfilling conduit also.

Honestly I would ask an electrician to go over the plan before spending money. If you dig the trench and supply the correct materials the job may not be that expensive to have the pro do the work.

If you are in a city jurisdiction I also recommend a permit and inspection.


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Posted: 04/19/19 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you running 120V or 240V?
If it's simply for a travel trailer you don't need to run 240V (2 conductors).
I'd run #6 copper max (I'd cheat and run #8 unless you're thinking fridge, microwave, AC, toaster and a hairdryer at the same time).

Long term and full 50A capacity for that length, #6 wire is the proper choice.


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Stoic_J

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Posted: 04/19/19 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

myredracer wrote:

Curious what prices per foot are you finding? Looks to me like the going price today is over a buck a foot for #4 THHN copper. That's going to be around a kilobuck for 240'! Ouch. And there's conduit on top of that.

What size conduit did you get?
I think #4 THHN was $1.02 per foot at Lowe's. If you go 500+' there was a discount to something like $.91 per foot. With a Lowes Pro Account you get 5% off, and today and tomorrow there's an addt'l 5% off. So about $0.817 per foot before tax.

Home Depot had a 500' roll for $414.

I ended up getting 1" conduit. Will see over the next couple of days if that was a good call or not.

myredracer

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Posted: 04/19/19 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stoic_J wrote:

myredracer wrote:

Curious what prices per foot are you finding? Looks to me like the going price today is over a buck a foot for #4 THHN copper. That's going to be around a kilobuck for 240'! Ouch. And there's conduit on top of that.

What size conduit did you get?
I think #4 THHN was $1.02 per foot at Lowe's. If you go 500+' there was a discount to something like $.91 per foot. With a Lowes Pro Account you get 5% off, and today and tomorrow there's an addt'l 5% off. So about $0.817 per foot before tax.

Home Depot had a 500' roll for $414.

I ended up getting 1" conduit. Will see over the next couple of days if that was a good call or not.
I bet the cut price to get another 240' will be more! That could be a tough pull at 240'. You could always install a plastic pull box 1/2 way if needed. You may need a come-along or winch tied to a tree or truck. I always used to use the rule of thumb that the max. code allowable in 1" conduit is 100 amp wire at 120/240 volts and that was before THHN was around which is smaller dia. and a bit slippier. As I said before, it you can leave 90 degree bends off at each end it will help a lot. A 1" PVC bend is a bit of a tight radius for 3 x #4 wires and will make it harder to pull.

Have fun!!

Stoic_J

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Posted: 04/19/19 08:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Getting THHN. Just running 120V.

There's a trench now where the water supply line is. There's some dirt above it, so conduit will be a little over 12" down. Putting dirt, yellow tape, then more dirt above that. It's out in an orchard. If the property changed hands I'd pull the wires just to avoid issues.

I'll have an electrician look it over and probably tie in to the panel.

Stoic_J

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Posted: 04/19/19 08:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

myredracer wrote:

I bet the cut price to get another 240' will be more! That could be a tough pull at 240'. You could always install a plastic pull box 1/2 way if needed. You may need a come-along or winch tied to a tree or truck. I always used to use the rule of thumb that the max. code allowable in 1" conduit is 100 amp wire at 120/240 volts and that was before THHN was around which is smaller dia. and a bit slippier. As I said before, it you can leave 90 degree bends off at each end it will help a lot. A 1" PVC bend is a bit of a tight radius for 3 x #4 wires and will make it harder to pull.

Have fun!!
So, my thought was to lay out the wire, then slide the conduit down from the house panel to the RV panel. I'd cleanly cement each section as I went along. Perhaps I'm missing something but seems to me like that'd work. If you're working with an existing conduit run then, yeah, you gotta fish it through, but I don't see why my idea wouldn't work. If it turns out I'm missing something, maybe I could go with 45's (these aren't hard 90's they're sweeps, but yes the sweeps aren't very long) and use the other suggestions.

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