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Old 02-27-2015, 08:23 PM   #1
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Extension cords

I'm new to the RV world and was wondering what might be the best extension cord to run to my camper while it is home. It's about 50 feet from an outlet to where I have to park it. Any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
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Most any outdoor rated extension order, of a heavy gauge, will do fine. I like extension cords with a light in the end so you can tell at a glance it's got power. Orange color is good to help with trip hazard. Green is good if you want it to be unobtrusive across a grass area. Home Depot, Lowes, or other big box store will likely have a selection to choose from.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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If you only plugging in to charge batteries from a 15 amp plug, a good extension cord is all you need. if you want to run the AC or other high draw appliance then look into one that matches your regular RV plug.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:05 PM   #4
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If your camper has a 30 amp. service, you will need an adaptor to "down convert" to match a "standard" home 15 or 20 amp. outlet. Amazon or Walmart are good sources for this item.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:20 PM   #5
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Shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't try to run too many heavy draw appliances. If your plugging into an outdoor outlet that is gfci protected you may have issues with popping the gfci, your coach has a gfci circuit so plugging into another puts them in series and will cause them to trip.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:15 AM   #6
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Use this electricians calculator to determine the correct wire size extension cord.
NECMichigan National Electrical Code Update 2005 2008 2011
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
If you only plugging in to charge batteries from a 15 amp plug, a good extension cord is all you need. if you want to run the AC or other high draw appliance then look into one that matches your regular RV plug.

For 14 years I've used a 50' 12/3 from Harbor Freight, plugged into a 15 amp outlet, to keep my batteries up, for as long as 4-7 months each winter and whenever my coach sits unused at my stick house.
50 Ft. Extension Cord - 12 Gauge Outdoor Extension Cord
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:39 AM   #8
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I recommend using the same as your RV. Get another 30 amp cord.
I have two rolls of 30 amp cords to add onto the end of my RVs 50 amp cord.
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Old 02-28-2015, 05:45 AM   #9
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Depends on how much of the RV you want to run.

Reddy Kilowatt's rules are as follows:

First: Big Ticket Stuff
Air Conditioenrs (the biggest) Water heaters, Space heaters, Microwaves and in some cases when the batteries are low.. The converter/charger.

Fridge at around 350-450 watts is a medium ticket

TV, Sat Receiver, Radio (usually) and converter/charger when batteries are full,, Small ticket items.

The Rules:
Small items (TV) do not count.
On 15 amp you can run ONE big ticket item, and if the batteries are full the converter and TV.
On 20 amps, One big ticket, and converter & tv as above, plus the fridge

On 30 amps 2 big ticket items (BUT NOT two Air Conditioners)

On 50 amps, all you can eat.

For 15/20 amp use a 12ga extension cord (K-mart or Sears with the push button on the outlet) and an adapter

For 30 amps use a proper 30 amp RV extension cord see note below

For 50, Same as 30, use a proper RV extension cord.

NOTE:
IF you have an electrician install an outlet for RV use have him put in a 50 (And i your RV is a 30 use a dog bone also called pigtail adapter).

Reason: Electricans tend to look at the TT-30 outlet and make an assumption, this assumption is not correct so they wire the outlet wrong and do hundreds of dollars of damage to your RV.

30 amps is 120 volt. Single breaker,

50 amp is 120/240 volt, Dual breaker.. That one they get right

Reason #2: If you ever upgrade, upgrading the outlet to 50 amps will cost $0.00 if you put a 50 in to start with.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:44 AM   #10
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"Heavy gauge" needs some elaboration, especially for a 50 ft distance. Those orange cords sold in most stores for "heavy duty" probably have decent outdoor insulation but are rarely "heavy gauge". Typically they have 16 gauge wire and that is adequate for only 6-8 amps at 50 feet. To use as much as 15 amps form a house/garage outlet, you need at least 14 gauge wire and I would suggest 12 gauge for a 50 foot run. You can find outdoor extension cords with that rating at Lowes, Depot and Harbor Freight. HF has 25 foot, 12 gauge cords at a good price - I own a couple of them.

If you have a 120v, 30A outlet to plug to, you need 10 gauge wire wit an appropriate plug on the end. Make sure that outlet is 120v and not 220 - they look identical.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
"Heavy gauge" needs some elaboration, especially for a 50 ft distance. Those orange cords sold in most stores for "heavy duty" probably have decent outdoor insulation but are rarely "heavy gauge". Typically they have 16 gauge wire and that is adequate for only 6-8 amps at 50 feet. To use as much as 15 amps form a house/garage outlet, you need at least 14 gauge wire and I would suggest 12 gauge for a 50 foot run. You can find outdoor extension cords with that rating at Lowes, Depot and Harbor Freight. HF has 25 foot, 12 gauge cords at a good price - I own a couple of them.

If you have a 120v, 30A outlet to plug to, you need 10 gauge wire wit an appropriate plug on the end. Make sure that outlet is 120v and not 220 - they look identical.
By heavy gauge, yes, agree 12 gauge.
Such as: http://www.amazon.com/US-Wire-99050-...xtension+cords
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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I buy my extension cords at Big Lots, but they're not used in my RV's.

With my new fifth wheel, I'll be comparing prices at Home Depot/Lowes and Harbor Freight--for the 12/3 cords.

I do recognize they have their limitations, especially with the converter, fridge and other electrical drawing items.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:02 PM   #13
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Actually, you can get some downright good Junque at big lots.. Though I have never gotten an HD extension cord there.. There is another store, I think it's called Ollie's bargaines or something like that and they actually had a 12ga (Confirmed) cord.. I split it into two cords and use one or two thirds of it (I split at the 1/3 point) for my bedroom A/C in 30 amp parks,, sometimes (rare) I use all 3/3 of it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:32 PM   #14
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Smile Extension cord

Guess my only thought would to go heavy enough. !2 ga. minimum and when your out, sometimes being able to connect just to 120 when on a visit to a relation, maybe having 100' wouldn't be so bad. Think Harbor Freight has a 100' 10ga. for a reasonable price. You can always make it shorter. Not longer. lol What I did for home, purchased 1" pvc electrical conduit and 10 ga. outdoor wire and buried to to the parking site. Wasn't much work and now it's below ground. Just had a stand pipe supporting the outlet with a weather tight box. Only other thought, maybe you would want to put in a dedicated circuit to run it. I went to a dedicated 20 amp. If not comfortable doing it, ask around. You probably have a neighbor or friend that would gladly do it for you for a beer and some chat time. (nothing to it) lol
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