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Old 09-03-2007, 06:00 AM   #1
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I was out with a buddy of mine when he was hooking up at the campground. He laid the electric cord out in a straight line and then doubled it back to the post. His wife asked him why he did that. He said that by coiling it up in the compartment, it would create a coil and change the resistance. I alway have left my extra cord coiled up and have never thought about it. Is he onto something or just being overly concerned about nothing? What do you guys and gals do?
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:00 AM   #2
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I was out with a buddy of mine when he was hooking up at the campground. He laid the electric cord out in a straight line and then doubled it back to the post. His wife asked him why he did that. He said that by coiling it up in the compartment, it would create a coil and change the resistance. I alway have left my extra cord coiled up and have never thought about it. Is he onto something or just being overly concerned about nothing? What do you guys and gals do?
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:10 AM   #3
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Thats exactly the way it was explained to me by the electrician at our local RV dealer.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:43 AM   #4
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You will get some induction from a coil of wire. However, without a huge number of coils or an iron core the induction would be small and I believe negligible. Another thing is that with a power cord you have both the current and the return current going in opposite directions. These will cancel out the effect of any induction either 100% or nearly 100%. The latter would be true if there were some very small time differences in the two currents. So don't worry about a coil for the power line.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:52 AM   #5
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Any time you have a wire that current flows through you will create a magnetic field. If you have a coil, that fields collapses upon the neightboring loop of the coil and creates resistance in it. The resistance can reduce the voltage to your coach and will also heat up the cord. Of course this will depend on how many amps you are pulling.

I have noticed that on my automatic cord reel, the cable is noticeably warmer if running heavy loads and I'm only using a few feet of the cord when compared to running the whole thing out. But that's a 50 amp #6 cord that's 30' long. I do know of one RVer who ran a smaller cord that was looped up underneath his RV. Eventually it got so hot that it started fire in the dry grass and leaves. So, not every situation is the same. If I had a cord that was laying loose on the ground, I'd scatter it rather than let it be neatly coiled.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:31 AM   #6
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Coiling the power cord does not cause any problems. When I installed mainframe computers I always coiled the extra cord under the computer room floor in a tight coil as per instructions from our engineers. Many of those computers pulled 400-amps and there was never a problem.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:36 AM   #7
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Coiled electrical cords can be a hazzard depending on their usage. Back when I was active in the volunteer fire dept. we assisted at a fire that destroyed a house because of a similar situation. It was winter and the guy wanted to keep his engine heater on his 18-wheeler tractor plugged in over night. His 18GA extension cord was on a reel mounted on a wall in the garage and he pulled out about 15 feet to reach outside. It became so hot it ignited the wall and that was that!
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:00 PM   #8
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The magic word there is 18 gage. Not enough current carrying capacity for a block heater. A coil of wire does produce inductive reactance in an AC circuit, however in all the cases mentioned above, this reactance would be negelegable. Would not produce enough heat due to reactance to be a hazard. Pulling too much amperage through a conductor, coiled or not, is another matter.

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Old 09-03-2007, 05:19 PM   #9
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The OP asked about changing the resistance by coiling the wire and that won't happen. But the heat from ohmic resistance in a coil could be a problem since it is harder for the heat to escape from the coiled wire than when it is rolled out.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:59 AM   #10
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With proper size wiring for the load, there will be no heat coiled or otherwise. The resistive load is greatly increased with too small of a conductor.

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Old 09-04-2007, 10:24 AM   #11
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There may be a little more inductive reactance with the power cord rapped on a take-up reel. Especially if the reel is of metal. However, surely the engineers have taken this into consideration. Also, as has been stated earlier, there is return current going back to the source which will create MMFs in the opposite direction.
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:08 PM   #12
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So reading between the lines for this new to
class A's should I run all the cord off the
reel or reel off the lenght needed to box?

thanks
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:49 PM   #13
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Just pull out the length needed and leave the rest on the reel. Happy camping.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:43 PM   #14
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The 'inductance' you could create by the cord being 'coiled' is extremely small, and the frequency is only 60 hz. You are not going to be able to detect it. You will have a bigger issue running a heavy load on the wire if its not big enough , therefore I^2*R of the wire and is what we call HEAT!! Now if you were up in the HF freq range, a few turns does help with antenna's if properly done.
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