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Old 08-03-2006, 11:02 AM   #1
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Is it OK to plug a regular heavy duty extension cord (with appropriate plug adapter) into a household outlet if all you want is to be able to use a couple of lights (but no AC/fridge/tv etc)? Don't want to damage the power center when visiting the in-laws.
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:02 AM   #2
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Is it OK to plug a regular heavy duty extension cord (with appropriate plug adapter) into a household outlet if all you want is to be able to use a couple of lights (but no AC/fridge/tv etc)? Don't want to damage the power center when visiting the in-laws.
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:30 AM   #3
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Yea you will be fine. Basically all you will be running is the converter/charger unit. The lights are 12V. As needed, the converter/charger will come on to recharge your house batteries which is supplying the power to your lights. Anything more than that, you would be wise to have either a 20amp or 30amp rated extension cord and control your power thru your management system assuming you have an outlet at your families house capable of 20+ amps.
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:08 PM   #4
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Absolutely! We've run refrigerator and lights on that kind of conneciton many times. during the night, we've run refrigerator and vent fans.
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Just like Paul we have run the Frig, Lights and at times the TV also many times while visiting relatives with our RV's.
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:49 PM   #6
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Gary,
If your going to use an extension, get one from Lowes or Home Depot that is rated for 30amps, this is being on the safe side. It should be have 10/3 on the outer covering. This tells you that the wire is size 10 and has 3 conductors, black, white and green. Some come with a 20amp plug on the end which has one prong vertical and one prong horizontial and the round ground. Most outlets on the outside of home have an outlet that won't except that style of plug. Check and make sure. If your going to be less than 40 feet from the house, you can get away with a 12/3 cord, but I would get the 50' 10/3 and play it safe. I carry two around with all the time. The outlet should like either one of these diagrams, I hope....
1. |- | or 2. - |
O O

Hope those come out okay. Good luck. If it won't come out right, the 'O' is the ground.


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Old 08-03-2006, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. At least now I know I won't have to sleep on the plastic covered sofa--YUCK!!!
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:47 PM   #8
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We volunteer a lot and sometimes we have to use 140 feet of cable and plug into a 15 amp receptical. We put the fridge and water heater on propane and we can run the a/c for two weeks. We turn off the air and run the microwave and never pop a breaker. All my cables are 10-3 extension (30 amp) and they are 50 feet apiece and the main cord which is 40 feet of 50 amp wire. NO PROBLEM while doing this we can run both tv sets and all lights. Wife and I also run electric blanket when needed. Yes with the air on. Nobody said I was normal.
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:35 AM   #9
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140 ft to a 15 AMP receptical is going to have voltage drop. Consider getting a meter and checking the voltage at your RV, with the appliance on. Then, following the instructions in the appliance owners manual, determine if you should be running the appliance. Appliances may run on low voltage, but it could be reducing the longevity of the appliance.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:28 AM   #10
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There's no problem in using a 12 or 14 gauge extension cord toa 15/20 amp household outlet. You can't get 30A out of it anyway, so using a 30A power cord is overkill unless the distance is very far, e.g. the 140 feet mentioned earlier..

But the usual orange cords that everybody calls "heavy duty" mostly are not. They are typically only 16 gauge wiring. Read the label on the cord and get at least 14 gauge. Use 12 gauge if the distance is very long.
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:33 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GaryKD:
140 ft to a 15 AMP receptical is going to have voltage drop. Consider getting a meter and checking the voltage at your RV, with the appliance on. Then, following the instructions in the appliance owners manual, determine if you should be running the appliance. Appliances may run on low voltage, but it could be reducing the longevity of the appliance. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My wire calculator says he's ok to run 15amp thru 10/3 copper for 140 feet.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:20 AM   #12
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The no load voltage at 140 feet was 117 at both ends of the wire. The loaded voltage was 114-115 and that includes loss in the MH wiring also. We were drawing @13-14 amps. 80% of the connectors are nickle plated and all are kept corrosion free. I could write a book on volunteering and the electrical available at many places. Monitoring power is not a option, but a necessity. Being a retired electrician I am very protective of my equipment. All voltages are monitored and checked with Fluke equipment.Actually if you have a long run with small wire, you will run low voltage long before you blow a breaker. I have more problem in some campgrounds with a regular cable and no extensions and supposidly a 30 amp plug. My 50-30 amp adaptor is all nickle plated and heavy duty.
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:08 AM   #13
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Jerry, I've been pricing 6/3 with ground UF for a 100 foot run and have found copper to be 3.00 to 3.60 per foot (just for the wire). I can buy 100 amp aluminum 4 wires underground for 1.50 per foot for all 4 wires combined but since there is an aluminum shortage this price won't last long.

Do you see any problem with aluminum wire (can't remember if it was # 2 or 4) fitting a 50amp circuit breaker and or any other problem? I know I have to use that electric grease stuff. (Sometimes my electrical work looks more like a Boris Karloff movie than I'd like - still alive though)

When you say nickel coated, is this something you did? how? or store bought.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:21 PM   #14
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I myself do not care to use aluminum and in a lot of places it is banned. If you must use it be sure to check the connections regularly to make sure they are tight. I purchased two 50 foot extension cables for about 35 dollars apiece at a rally. Both are 10-3. I bought the connectors nickle plated. They are at rallies.
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