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Old 09-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #1
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2nd electrical cord to trailer from home

We're going to be moving our 30RL onto the building lot where our house is being built and I'm wondering what I can run in the way of electrical appliances.
I don't expect there to be any special outlets on the house or garage, just standard 15 or 20 amp household circuits. I have several heavy duty 15 amp extension cords and expect the distance from RV to outlet to be 50 feet in one case and maybe 75 to the other.

Obviously this whole setup is poor but its only for about 6-8 weeks. The first extension cord would go to the RV cord and with just that one I could run one major appliance at a time -- microwave/space heater/furnace, etc. I might be able to run a second cord in to the main slideout's storage bin which comes up under the dining room bench seats ( some heat loss that way ).

We're moving into the rainy season in NW Washington so I don't expect to need the AC. I have a 2500 watt generator also, but would rather not have the noise of that.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:21 PM   #2
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The building contractor will need electricity on the site so someone will drop a temporary meter with a load center and few outlets to accomodate the contractor.

You could tie into the load center to service the 30RL without running extension cords. Drop yourself 30 or 50 amps closer to the RV, that way no extension cords.

It'll cost a few bucks to run the appropriate size wire to do this but you won't be limited to one appliance at a time. After the house is finished the wire could be used again for the RV on a permanent basis or just be written off as a part of building cost.

Being familiar with construction problems I wouldn't base your original idea on being for 6 or 8 weeks, things happen and Mother Nature has her own agenda.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Sundancer. The house is all closed in now, shingles went on last week along with windows -- still 8 weeks to completion is an estimate. The contractor already opted to not do temporary power. He's been running on generators since work began mid-June. The electrician has put in some of the power panels ( no circuit breakers yet ) so we're waiting for he and the power company to finish up before we move out there -- no electricity means no well water.

Guess there's no magic bullet here but living there and not having to drive an hour round trip to the lot every day will make the "low electricity" situation bearable.

I'll have a large propane tank nearby so can heat exclusively with gas -- I don't think the furnace uses a ton of juice. Also can live without the microwave.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:03 PM   #4
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Dang, kind of between a rock and a hard spot but not impossible. If only,,,,,,,,,,

About the furnace, the furnace in my 3800 toy hauler is rated at 30k BTUs, I think. I do know it sucks the propane so you'll need that pig out there to feed it when it gets damp and chilly. The blower motor is 12 volt, or should be anyway so you're OK in that respect.

Will you be on septic and if so will you have an aerobic septic treatment system?
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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Yes we'll be hooked into the septic tank. That system has the drain field uphill from the tank so also requires juice. Without drilling holes , bringing in a second extension cord under the dining room table bench seat in the slide out seems like a viable option.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:26 PM   #6
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Without needing the air conditioner, everything else should be well within a single standard 15A plug rating when run individually. I'd have the water heater and refrigerator on gas if you're going to run any other high-load 120V electronics (microwave, electric space heater, etc). Also keep in mind that your camper's onboard AC-to-DC converter will be drawing AC power whenever you're plugged in and if your batteries are low it could be pulling a fairly heavy 120V load to charge them back up.

The furnace runs on propane and 12V electric and it will consume a lot of your 12V battery power, so you'll need to be able to allow your camper's converter/charger to recharge the batteries. As in plugged in full time or at least for several hours per day following furnace use.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:30 PM   #7
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Thanks ewarnerusa. Yes we run our fridge and water heater on propane exclusively. Never use the battery. I'd be interested in a rough idea of the amps or watts the furnace motor draws.
Yes I plan to be plugged into house AC 24/7 Can live without microwave and AC. Running a space heater occasionally would be nice but not critical -- with no rent I can afford to burn lots of propane. The TV and our laptops don't use much juice.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:01 PM   #8
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I've read between 7-11 amps for the blower motor of the furnace.
Alternative Heat Sources for an RV
I'm not suggesting or recommending any of the advice from that link, I just provided it because it discusses the amp draw of the furnace blower motor. I know that many boondockers switch to propane catalytic heaters because they don't use a fan and therefore use no 12V power. While our family camping is always boondocking, I like the furnace and rely on solar to charge the batteries.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:09 PM   #9
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What gauge wire are your 15A extension cords, if they are 14 gauge, 50 feet is getting a little
on the long side. I got rid of all my 14G cords and replaced the with 12G. I did that about 40 years ago, when my tablesaw went up in smoke, silly me, instead of getting a shorter cord, I just plugged it into a fifty foot cord that happened to be handy. New motor cost me $100 that was kind much for 1975 dollars.

They might be OK for just running the converter, but I wouldn't run anything that has a high draw.
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