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Old 08-09-2022, 07:26 PM   #1
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conduit or UF cable

I need to run wire from an inverter-charger to be located in the basement pass-thru to the rear of my trailer.

I would prefer not to drop the coroplast, but instead run the wire along the frame. Obviously needs to be Wx-proof.


I'm not a professional electrician and need advice. Would it be best to run individual wires inside a flexible pvc conduit, or use 6-3 UF cable (rated for burial).

Either way, securing it with many cable clamps screwed to the frame.


PS for those wondering why 6-3 and not 10-3, it's because the Victron Multiplus inverter has a "power assist" mode for supplementing shore power. So while the shore power comes in on 10-3, it goes out of the inverter on 6-3
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:41 PM   #2
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The RV tech who installed my inverter used flexible conduit to run shore power from the rear of the rig to the inverter in the generator compartment at the front of my 5er. It runs under the Coroplast, and bridges between underbelly sections without additional supports. He foamed the areas where the conduit enters/exits the Coroplast, to seal things up.

It looked like a pretty simple way to install the wire, and is also quite robust.

I did not watch the install, but I think the guy simply removed one or two Tek screws and fished the conduit over the Coroplast.

In a previous project (ORV 24KRS) I used metal conduit with watertight connections to go from the load center to the generator compartment. I considered running Romex over the Coroplast, but was concerned about durability. The flexible PVC is probably durable and easier.

Individual wires are supposed to be easier to run through conduit than sheathed NM wire (Romex). I put 10-ga Romex in the conduit under my ORV (that would be a wet application according to the National Electrical Code, and Romex would be prohibited) and managing the bends in the conduit was a challenge. Your plan to use individual wires (THWN) is good.

I donít think Iíd run exposed wire under a trailer without consideration of exposure to debris and chafing.

I am not an electrician. I am just sharing what little experience I have.
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Old 08-10-2022, 04:47 AM   #3
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#6 NM cable is pretty stiff, but if you don't have to make any tight bends then that is what I would use. Otherwise use flexible conduit or rigid, with individual wires for flexibility.

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Old 08-10-2022, 12:23 PM   #4
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Iím not sure what your hoping to get out of the power assist of your Victron inverter but if the trailer is wired for 30A you probably do not want to exceed the 30A. I have the 3000 VA model and I use the power assist when hooked up to 15A shore power. I used 10 AWG marine wire and ran it inside the Coroplast but had to build a bridge between two chassis spans because the weight of the wire would be flopping on the Coroplast and would probably just break through.

If you have the save size inverter, good luck putting those into the inverter connectors. They barely fit the 10 AWG.
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Old 08-10-2022, 12:36 PM   #5
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The 10 AWG did not sound right so I went back and checked and I also used 6 AWG. Everything else is fine. You may have to strip back a few strands to get it to fit into the Victron connector.
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Old 08-10-2022, 02:04 PM   #6
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thanks for all the info everyone!


MarCatRV - you're correct, the trailer is wired for 30A, and power assist would only be good for 15A shore situations (in which case 10 ga is fine). I had thought that maybe in the future I'd upgrade the PD4060k, but then I'm really kidding myself. That would be a horrendous job. So 10AWG wires should be good.



MarCatRV , you say you used 6AWG, not 10AWG? why? Also, you said I might have to strip back a few strands to fit in the Multiplus. Stranded wire?



It seems that a flex conduit with individual wires would avoid some of the chassis span issues. It would also accommodate the wiring for another project (tank sensors). Once conduit in place, relatively easy to pull more through.
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Old 08-10-2022, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulStafford View Post
I need to run wire from an inverter-charger to be located in the basement pass-thru to the rear of my trailer.

I would prefer not to drop the coroplast, but instead run the wire along the frame. Obviously needs to be Wx-proof.


I'm not a professional electrician and need advice. Would it be best to run individual wires inside a flexible pvc conduit, or use 6-3 UF cable (rated for burial).

Either way, securing it with many cable clamps screwed to the frame.


PS for those wondering why 6-3 and not 10-3, it's because the Victron Multiplus inverter has a "power assist" mode for supplementing shore power. So while the shore power comes in on 10-3, it goes out of the inverter on 6-3
You don’t have to use conduit.
Measure the distance from your breaker panel to your preferred mounting location for the inverter/charger. It’s probably well under 15ft. If the distance is 12ft or so, buy a 30ft rv 30amp shore power cord and cut it in half. The cord is Wx proof and nearly impervious to anything that may damage it under the chassis.

If you’re planning to mount in the pass-thru, cut holes in the floor nearest to the frame member underneath. Run the two 30 amp cords down thru the floor alongside the frame rail on the side of the trailer where your panel is located. Come back up thru the floor in a place where it’s easy to connect the cord ends to the panel. Use expanding foam to keep critters out of your hole cuts.

If you cut the holes in the right place, you don’t have to drop the corroplast. Secure the two cords to frame with zip ties. You may want to use a loom to route your control wires from the inverter to the remote display, using the same holes. I ran my wires and came back up into the trailer under the sink. From there, it was easy to connect 30amp to panel, and remote control wires to cabinet near the entry door.
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Old 08-10-2022, 02:27 PM   #8
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The reason I ended up going with 6AWG is because the batteries and inverter are under the bed in the front, shore power is in the back, and I have the built in generator in the front with the transfer switch close to the shore power in the back. I wired from the output of the transfer switch to the inverter then from the inverter back to the where the transfer switch is and used the existing wiring in a junction box to get back to the service panel.

So I added approximately 60!ft to the existing wiring and the 6AWG was a better choice to reduce voltage drop over that span. I did stay with a single run of 10AWG for the equipment ground and itís the largest that the transfer switch would accommodate.
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Old 08-10-2022, 03:02 PM   #9
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No transfer switch needed with an inverter/charger.
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Old 08-10-2022, 08:19 PM   #10
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Just so thereís no confusion, having an inverter/charger has nothing to do with needing a transfer switch. Having a built in generator (which I do) and shore power has everything to do with a transfer switch. By connecting the inverter/charger to the load side of the transfer switch my batteries will always charge regardless of which source Iím using to power the trailer.
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Old 08-11-2022, 12:19 PM   #11
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My comment intended for OP. Not directed to the universe with a potentially different setup.
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Old 08-11-2022, 05:12 PM   #12
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Marine359- thanks, that's a great idea! I could hang it under the chassis with cable clamps. It's stranded, flexible, Wx/waterproof, and armored. Do you have a preferred brand?


I have another related question. The inverter is in the pass through (front of RV), and both the shore power and breaker box are in the rear. Unless one is moved, that's an up and back routing. Expensive and a hassle.

Is there any reason not to mount a new shore power receptacle on the exterior side wall of the pass through? then the shore power in to Inverter is only 5 ft. You're only left with the one ugly job of running inverter AC out back to the breaker box.
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Old 08-11-2022, 05:41 PM   #13
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No hassle Paul.
I just bought a suitable 30amp shore power cord from Amazon. I Don’t remember the brand.
That’s why you cut the 30ft shore power cord in half. It gives you enough length for an up and back run. It’s cheaper and just as easy to run two cords back than installing a thru the sidewall SP receptacle near the inverter/charger. You run both cords from the inverter/charger back down along the frame rail, and up near the breaker panel. You don’t need a new shore power inlet. Same one is used, connected to the panel, the cord to the inverter Carries it forward from there. You do need to disconnect the existing charger/converter from the panel. You’ll need to locate the battery as close to the inverter/charger as possible. This is quite easy if you have a LiFePo4 battery which can be placed in the pass-thru.
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Old 08-11-2022, 07:56 PM   #14
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You might look at wireandcableyourway.com if you are doing much electrical work. They have a huge variety of material, and sell it by the foot.

If you are adding batteries you can get welding cable in black and red, and probably the same thing as a shore power cord but without the terminals. It might or might not be cheaper than buying a shore power cord on Amazon.

If you live in a major city you might be able to get material locally. When I was working on mine I could get 4/0 welding cable in black at a local supply house but not in red. The on-line vendor had many colors.

Of course buying on line requires knowing what you are looking for. When I looked for shore power cord there were so many flexible and portable cables available that I could not tell what was what 😳

Just a resource if you are looking for wire.
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