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Old 09-19-2020, 11:08 PM   #1
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Trailer electrical 101 help

Good evening! How is everyone doing? I am new to travel trailer, I have a 2003 forest river 23'. I attached pictures of the amps I have inside my trailer. I bought a 30ft 30amp extension wire to connect power to my house. My questions are;
1) is the 30amp power cord that I bought would be good to use for my trailer?
2) for now, i am plugging it to a bathroom outlet which I assume it has 20amps, will this be okay? Can I run my AC with it? What else can I use it with together?
3) on the picture, it says 45amps, does it mean that my trailer is running more than 30amps?
4)I am planning to buy that generator on the picture, will that be enough to run all of my appliances in the trailer? (Microwave, refrigerator, 13000btu ac, lights, fans and wall outlets)
5) should I install a 30, 40, or 50am outlet in my house?
I am lost with these electrical stuff. I don't want to break any of my appliances. Please advice. Thanks for all your help!
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:39 AM   #2
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Your power converter/charger is the determining factor. It's electrical rating is maximum main 30 amps 120 volts alternating current, so your camper has 30 amp service.
You can confirm this by looking at the shore power cable connector. It'll have three pins: two blades at an angel to each other and a half round ground.

You can plug into a 20 amp 120 volt outlet with an adapter. It won't run all your appliances at once by any stretch. It will run the microwave, television, outlets, lights, refrigerator, and keep the battery charged, etc. You can run a 13.5k BTU air conditioner on it, but the connection is likely to get hot and melt, so not a good idea.

That generator will run everything comfortably.

Many folks, myself included, install a full hook-up station at home for their camper. Mine is always plugged in. The refrigerator is full, the A/C or heat is on. I use the camper one way or another nearly every day.
My refrigerator has not been turned off since 2013.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:42 AM   #3
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I'm not an electric expert but I know some of the things.
The 45 amp listed is your charger. Has nothing to do with how much power the trailer is drawing.


The distribution panel shown is the 12 volt side of your system. You will have another breaker bow somewhere that is the 120V side.


If you are plugged into a wall socket on the house you are plugged into 20amps. That will not run your AC. Consider it being plugged into a single circuit in the house. You can only run a limited amount of things and then you will blow the breaker.


I'm assuming the unit is a 30 amp unit so there is no reason to run a 50 amp line outside. Just have a 30 amp line run.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:47 PM   #4
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Thank you for your responses. Do I have to disconnect the battery if I plug the rv power to the house? Any tips?
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailermenot View Post
Thank you for your responses. Do I have to disconnect the battery if I plug the rv power to the house? Any tips?
NO....
Converter/charger will maintain/charge your battery
Just check battery water levels routinely (once a month)

30A trailer..so you probably have a 13.5k BTU A/C Unit
AC Power via a 20A household outlet can run the A/C Unit
You will be limited to that 20A power...especially IF any other items on in house are on that same circuit

13.5K A/C ....roughly 19Amps starting and 10A running
15K A/C ......roughly 23Amps starting and 12.5A running

So really depends on what else is on that house circuit
And if you are running fridge/water heater on electric (propane to cut AC Amp draw) Microwave....NOT while A/C Unit is running

That Gen will be more than enough.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:31 PM   #6
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First, if the 30 amp cord fit your trailer WITHOUT an adaptor you have a 30 amp trailer.
You are most likely using an adaptor to plug the other end into your bathroom outlet.

Your pictures of your converter have little to do with with 120 volt service.
The 45 amp converter is for charging your batteries while on shore power. Leave the battery connected so it stays charged.

Yes, you can run your AC on 20 from your home outlet, I do often.

The generator is 3500 watts, 30 amps us 3600 watts, so yes it will run your AC and most other stuff together. It may not run the AC and microwave at the same time, that's a test you can do. Turn them both on and see what happens. If the generator can't do it, it will trip a breaker.. No harm.

Installing a 30 amp outlet in your house is all you need. BE SURE you specify 30 amps, 120 volts only ! Don't use dryer, water heater or stove outlets.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:14 PM   #7
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The breaker in the house panel that controls your bathroom outlet will be labeled either 15 or 20 which is how many amps your bathroom circuit is. That will be plenty to run anything in your trailer, even the AC or microwave but not all at once. You can run the AC with the lights and TV but not the microwave or the electric water heater element. Battery charger is a pretty big draw also so you may have to wait an hour or so after plugging in for it to switch from bulk charging mode before running high draw items.

If you are using an extension cord to plug your shore cord into it should be at least 10 guage wire for a 50 foot cord to not overheat.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:26 AM   #8
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I see lots of good advice above. Here is my take on your issues.

The 20 amp outlet in your bathroom is protected by a 20 amp circuit breaker in your home's service entrance. Breaker will trip if you overload it. One or two trips will not hurt anything. Tripping says you are trying to use more than the outlet is capable of.

Using the 30 amp RV cord with a 15/20 amp adapter will work well. If you use a common 120 volt extension cord, make sure it is at least 12 gauge. 10 gauge will be more efficient.

Most extension cords are 14 gauge lighting cords. 14 gauge is too small. Cords that do not list the gauge size on the packaging are usually 14 gauge. Find one the specifically says 10 gauge.

The 30 amp service in your Forest River TT also has circuit breakers. They are not shown in your pictures. The circuit breakers will protect your TT circuits.

2003 forest river 23'. I attached pictures of the amps I have inside my trailer. I bought a 30ft 30amp extension wire to connect power to my house. My questions are;
1) is the 30amp power cord that I bought would be good to use for my trailer?


Most likely the answer is "yes". A picture of the plug and socket on the cord would confirm. 30 amps is the correct current.

The Forest River probably came with a 30 amp cord that attaches to a plug on the side of the TT. The other end has a three blade "RV" 30 amp 120 volt plug. It will plug into some generators or a grid shore power pedestal.

You can have a socket wired into your house that will supply 30 amps at 120 volts. As posted above, be careful when having an electrician install the socket. Not all qualified electricians are aware the RV needs 120 volts. They are usually more familiar with 240 volt 30 amp outlets and have made expensive mistakes for some people.

2) for now, i am plugging it to a bathroom outlet which I assume it has 20amps, will this be okay? Can I run my AC with it? What else can I use it with together?

Yes it is OK to plug into your bathroom outlet using an adapter on the end of the 30 amp cord. The home circuit breaker will trip if you try to draw too much current.

Your A/C will probably work OK plugged into that outlet. The A/C will draw about 10 amps when running.

I see conflicting advice posted above. Be aware the home circuit breaker will trip if you exceed 20 amps. So any other heating or cooling appliances like a hair dryer run at the same time on the same circuit will probably trip the home breaker.

The distance from your home electrical service entrance to your TT matters. Wiring code specifies 12 gauge wire for up to 50 feet. Beyond that, 10 gauges wire is required. The 30 amp RV power cord is usually 25 feet and is 10 gauge wire. You can add another RV extension cord for another 25 feet and usually be under 100 feet. Further than that and you must consider other requirements.

3) on the picture, it says 45amps, does it mean that my trailer is running more than 30amps?

As posted above the picture shows the 12 volt converter/charger. It is a 45 amp 12 volt DC unit. It is great for charging a one or two battery, battery bank (70 to 200 amp hours total). It will fully charge a depleted battery bank in 14 to 18 hours. It can charge from 10% SOC (state of charge) to 80% SOC in about 4 hours.

Do the 18 hour full charge before storing the TT regardless of starting SOC. Storing fully charged is required for long battery life.

The converter/charger will also power 12 volt lights, water pump, furnace, vent fan, and control boards for furnace, water heater, and refrigerator.

4)I am planning to buy that generator on the picture, will that be enough to run all of my appliances in the trailer? (Microwave, refrigerator, 13000btu ac, lights, fans and wall outlets)

The generator in the picture will be fully adequate for your TT. Like your home, running absolutely everything at once will overload and cause the TT or generator circuit breaker to trip. However, people rarely do that.

Many campers run on battery and propane for days. I get 5 days using a 200 amp hour battery bank. I use propane for the refrigerator and water heater. Running the air conditioner or microwave requires the generator or plugging into shore power at the campground.

I have a generator. I camp in Wisconsin often. I have not used the generator except to test it for the last 15 years.

5) should I install a 30, 40, or 50am outlet in my house?
I am lost with these electrical stuff. I don't want to break any of my appliances. Please advice. Thanks for all your help!


Are you going to use the TT to live in? If so you would do well to install a 30 amp 120 volt outlet.

If you only need to maintain the battery and prepare the TT for travel, an existing 20 amp outlet should be fine.

If the TT is more than 50 feet from the house you may wish to have an electrical pedestal installed near the place you plan to store it.

Ask your electrician the difference in cost for a 20 amp or 30 amp outlet. You need 20 amps. 30 amps is more convenient.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:38 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your responses and to Persistent for a very detailed response. I now understand what to do and your responses gave me the confidence test it out.. my TT circuit panel where it says "MAIN" has 2 switches, 1 is 30amp and next to it is 20amp.. I tested my AC running for 7hours and it works great. Kept checking the cord every now and then if it is okay. But so far works. Tried also the microwave when the ac is off. Thank you again. I will have somebody to install 120volts 30amps outlet by my garage.
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