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Old 08-04-2016, 03:14 PM   #1
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Campground electrical questions .

I've been a camper all my life, but it's always been in tents and mostly backcountry off the grid type camping. Mid 50s now and I'm giving up the tents and just purchased my first travel trailer. My travel trailer came with a 25 foot electrical extension cord . My question is this . I want to purchase an additional 50 or 100 foot extension cord which will enable me to reach most if not all campground plug-ins for power . I know extension cords come in different gauges such as 14, 12 or 10 gauge wire. I do not understand amperage . Could somebody tell me how to select the correct extension cord for my camper.

My travel trailer has AC, a refrigerator, furnace and hot water heater . I do a lot of cold-weather camping in the fall and early winter , so I will be running the furnace fan regularly.

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Old 08-04-2016, 03:21 PM   #2
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What amperage is your TT? That'll tell you what to buy. No need for a 100ft extension. 25 or at the most 50 will do.


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Old 08-04-2016, 03:24 PM   #3
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How many sites have you been in where 25ft was not enough?

Not sure what yo have in your TT, but you likely have a water connection (easy solution) and a sewer connection...you may not be concerned with this.

Most sites that i have used, we are always parked next to the pedestal.

If you are just talking about a 20amp 110V circuit, alwasy buy a 12Ga cord which is fine for 50ft or 100ft.

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Old 08-04-2016, 04:33 PM   #4
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Best thing to do is walk around a camp site. Most will get close to the gang box as possible. Stay away from extension cords. Better yet, the person/salesman selling the trailer. Have them walk you through a set up, they should be happy to do so
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Old 08-05-2016, 01:40 AM   #5
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It sounds like he probably has a 30A system. They sell a 25' extension cord for your RV at WalMart for about 30 bucks if I remember right. You really don't want to go any further than that or you get what they call line loss, which is a voltage drop. We've never had to use our extra cord. And have never seen any place where you needed anymore than 25'.
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:38 AM   #6
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We have a 35' cord on our RV. I have rarely needed more than that, although I have had to position the rig a little farther forward or back on the site than I normally would have a couple of times to reach the electrical pedestal. Even though our rig is 50 amp, I carry a 25' 30-amp extension just in case (50-amp cords are too expensive and too heavy for me). I have only used it maybe 4 times in 10 years of full-timing.

In view of what I said above, I recommend one of the 30-amp extensions Walmart sells for around $30 that somebody already mentioned, especially since your TT has only a 25' cord. Even if your rig is 30 amp, you will still be able to operate your rig plugged into a 30-amp outlet.
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:52 AM   #7
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We have a 50 amp rig with a 30 ft cord. I bought a 25 ft 50 amp extension and have yet to use it.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:28 AM   #8
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To gain a better understanding of amperage (current) and what to choose it's always easier to compare it to water flowing through a pipe or hose.

Some items that require larger amounts of amperage (current) are the AC, electric water heater, toaster or hair dryer. The greater amperage flow requires a larger pipe or gauge (12 or 10) wire. If the wire diameter is to small the electrons can't flow easily which means higher resistance the wire gets hotter and a breaker will trip.

We had a visitor in our driveway for a few days. They had a 50 amp unit and I told them they could use one AC and just a few other items. They tripped the 30 amp breaker a few times in their short stay. After they pulled out they had melted the ends of the extension chord that they borrowed.

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Old 08-05-2016, 06:09 AM   #9
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The smaller the number, the larger the wire, the larger the wire the better you are. If your TT has a 30 amp plug use one of the 30 amp cords from Walmart or an RV store that has the proper connectors and handles on those connectors (good for separating the plugs). Do not use more than 1 extension. If you TT has a 15/20 amp plug you could use a 10 gauge cord but not more than 100'. Do not use the power adaptors (50 to 30, 30 to 20, etc) that are available unless you limit the electrical consumption in the TT, otherwise you could burn up the connections as mentioned above without ever tripping a breaker, also keep the metal ends clean. You are always better with the larger gauge (smaller number, 10 is better than 12, 12 is better than 14, etc) cable to carry your current needs, if your cable is too small you could trip a breaker, if you are lucky, or burn up the cable.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:12 AM   #10
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We bought a good 25 or 30 foot 30 amp extension cord and carried it for about a year and never used it at a campground except for a few times to reach our generator in the bed of our F150 when dry camping . Then we bought a bigger TT and it has the built in cord coming out of the back of the TT instead of the side. Subsequently, we've used the extension a few times to reach campground power pedestals. So, yes, I would recommend having one of the appropriate capacity for your rig.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:19 AM   #11
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I have an older Mirada with 30 amp service. I made a 25 ft extension cord and use it several times a year.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:46 AM   #12
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I carry a 30a RV extension. Use it only occasionally. Also carry a 100' heavy duty regular extension. Use it occasionally (Ok for all excepting air conditionin).

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