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Old 05-15-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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50 amp service for RV

Have existing 42 x 60 ft building to be used to house 4023 dsdp. My problem is that it presently has sufficent wiring for lights and a few recept. I would like to up grade to a 50 amp rv service. I now have number 6 copper. The meter with 200 amp service is 420 ft away. Can someone tell me what size of direct bury I can run for this distence (alum)? Thanks in advance. Roger
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:10 PM   #2
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Roger,

I'm in the process of building an RV garage and have been looking into electric and I have about a 200 ft run. What I have discovered is its much less expensive to have a second meter set.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:57 PM   #3
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There are many charts on the web for this. If your current wiring is in a 2" conduit, then it would be an easy retro. Pull the old wire out with a mule tape attached, then pull the new wire in. Much easier if you have a pull box or two in the middle.

I used #6 copper. I am slightly beyond the outer limits on length for #6 (165'), but I will never come close to using 50A on either leg.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:22 AM   #4
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You say you want to run that in aluminum? Might need 0 or 00 for that distance. I would check with your local building inspector office.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:00 AM   #5
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Seems I ran 0 aluminum wire to feed my sub panel-direct bury is the way to go,save a lot over copper.For your area check local laws,some are a pain.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:05 AM   #6
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Do you really need 50a service there? Only if planning to run multiple air conditioning on the coach.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:58 AM   #7
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Running my 50A coach on a 30A circuit and both A/C's have been running at times. Of course the power company came by this week and told me my meter had self-reported overheating. If I didn't resolve the problem, they would have to disconnect the meter due to fire danger. I think I will turn off one AC and raise the temp on the other to ease the draw. I also had my S&B A/C cleaned yesterday and the draw from that went down. We'll see how it helps when the outside temp goes back up. It's cold here today.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:59 AM   #8
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You must, of course, go with the local, county, state building codes. Whatever they require, that's what you need.

I too, would just replace the existing wire with new (larger) if at all possible. If you know where the current conduit is located, you can measure off 100' increments and install pull boxes to help with the new wire .

I recently built my rv garage (30x50) and supplied 50amps to it but only used a 30amp breaker for the mh's power. The rest I use for 20amp outlets and lots of lights. I ran new conduit (abs) wire (#6 copper) about 75'. I also keep my truck and two quads in the garage and have them on battery minders for the five months we are gone.

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Old 05-16-2014, 12:52 PM   #9
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Make tge trip to the inspectors office and ask about installeng a sub panel and how large you can go.

Panels are dirt cheap and cost of wire for bigger panel not as much more considering you will never need to do this again.

Labor biggest expense here and a trench is a trench...

The inspectors office can advise exactly what wire and panel size then you can get proper quotes without having some gc charge you for engineering that may not be correct


We installed 200 amp sub panel because it was only 77 bucks with a good selection of breakers, it does not have main breaker inside so main disconnect at main panel.

You may need a disconnect at the panel thus needing to visit the inspector.

NEC the n is for national but local jurisdictions often have additional requirements and the expense here due to distance simply is not worth trusting any opinion other than the inspector.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
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Most if not all inspector offices or city engineering offices will NOT give you any instruction on what is needed. You may be able to apply for a home owners permit but usually the minute you start asking questions as how to do the job or what do I need, they'll probably tell you to hire a licensed contractor. If you don't know this on your own I suggest hiring an electrical contractor to do the job. A city inspector is not going to make himself or his office liable for something that you install wrong by maybe not understanding what they're explaining to you. Hire it done and all will be safe.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog1965char View Post
Have existing 42 x 60 ft building to be used to house 4023 dsdp. My problem is that it presently has sufficent wiring for lights and a few recept. I would like to up grade to a 50 amp rv service. I now have number 6 copper. The meter with 200 amp service is 420 ft away. Can someone tell me what size of direct bury I can run for this distence (alum)? Thanks in advance. Roger
As mentioned get a local electrician/elect eng.

Generally, with out all of the required calculations (software is expensive, and I am not a engineer), you are looking somewhere around a #1 wire. The 420 feet kills it.
A 120 volt 50 amp through #6 at 420 feet you are looking around 20 volt drop.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:16 PM   #12
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NECMichigan National Electrical Code Update 2005 2008 2011

The above link will help you but as others have posted check your local requirements.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:48 PM   #13
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50 amp service for rv

First of all I would like to thank everyone for all the input on this matter. I had the utility co out today to locate the underground service from transformer to meter which they did. He would not locate any other wires that I had trenched in, stating that they are only responsible for the main service and that any future work that I did would be up to me. I have my own equipment such as backhoe and trencher but want to make sure that I am up to code since many things has changed over the last 5- 10 years. This being said I will contact a license electrician and pay him for his advice and guidance on this. At this point I am leaning toward using 00 alum (direct bury) and maybe upgrading my pedestal (meter socket and panel so that I will have more room for additional breakers. Again thanks for all the help. Roger
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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For the life of me, I don't know why anyone would place direct bury electrical wire unless it is low voltage control wiring. Often times, the additional shielding drives the price higher than the cost of pvc conduit. If anything ever happens to it, you are stuck. I recently added a 2500 gal storage tank and booster pump at one of my water wells. Wiring was too small for the 1 HP booster pump and well pump together. Pulled the old wire out and installed the larger wire (350'). If I hadn't used conduit, I would have had to start over again. The 8 year old wire was in perfect shape and most of it has been reassigned.
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