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Old 07-15-2020, 08:26 PM   #1
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150-foot 50 amp extension cable

Hi. "Long-time lurker, first time poster"

I had a pad made for my Forza and an electrician and plumber installed a proper 50 amp hookup like the ones you find at campsites.

However, from time to time I want the coach in my driveway close to my house, which is ~175 ft from the hookup.

I wonder if I could make a cable using 4awg conductors and plugs.

A few questions for input:
1. Is this possible and safe?

2. Would the following aluminum wire work (this application is a simple extension cord, would not be buried):
https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...ion-cable.html

I could use some 4/4 SOOW which is copper but it is 4x the price and I think unnecessary for the length we're talking about (e.g. https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...0aAgSfEALw_wcB)

3. Seems that the standard Camco plugs can take up to 4ga wire so would those work ok? Would they be compatible with aluminum wire which is typically less flexible? I have no experience with those terminations so not sure how the bindings work on the inside. https://www.amazon.com/Camco-PowerGr...000PGVZ30?th=1

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or input.

Matt
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
Hi. "Long-time lurker, first time poster"

I had a pad made for my Forza and an electrician and plumber installed a proper 50 amp hookup like the ones you find at campsites.

However, from time to time I want the coach in my driveway close to my house, which is ~175 ft from the hookup.

I wonder if I could make a cable using 4awg conductors and plugs.

A few questions for input:
1. Is this possible and safe?

2. Would the following aluminum wire work (this application is a simple extension cord, would not be buried):
https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...ion-cable.html

I could use some 4/4 SOOW which is copper but it is 4x the price and I think unnecessary for the length we're talking about (e.g. https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...0aAgSfEALw_wcB)

3. Seems that the standard Camco plugs can take up to 4ga wire so would those work ok? Would they be compatible with aluminum wire which is typically less flexible? I have no experience with those terminations so not sure how the bindings work on the inside. https://www.amazon.com/Camco-PowerGr...000PGVZ30?th=1

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or input.

Matt
If I follow correctly, this should be easy. Have your electrician come back out and simply add a 50 amp service at your house. You don't need a plumber. The money you will save on the wiring will pay for the electrician. You can even get a simple 50 amp box, but I would get a subpanel that serves 50/30/20. It is only about $130.

That cord otherwise would be awfully heavy to run that long. Sounds like you got the real deal set up, make it even nicer, we will all be jealous
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:59 PM   #3
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Yes, thatís an option. But itís a bit more complicated...the property has 300 amp service and the RV pad is being run from the panel at the house where the service comes in. The driveway is in front of the garage which is actually also a guest house with 100 amp service and a very full panel. It is possible but complicated. For the amount of time Iím going to have the RV in the driveway Iím basically trying to figure out if a really simple solution could work that doesnít involve a permanent install.

Btw the pad has 20/30/50 on the h frame and a panel that can be added-to so there is flexibility if we want to put anything else there in the future. It is indeed a sweet setup!
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:14 PM   #4
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When you move the RV by the house for this "temporary" time will you really need 50 amp service? Or do you simply need power for the fridge and maybe just 1 A/C? Would a 20 or 30 amp extension cord do the trick for this case?
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:18 PM   #5
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I would not use aluminum wire for that distance, the conductivity is only like 3/5th's (60%) of copper wire, you will drop more voltage then you would with copper and it could potentially run hotter.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:26 PM   #6
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This might help:
(https://www.thespruce.com/extension-...hart-1152866);

(https://www.calculator.net/voltage-d...culator.html);

(https://www.southwire.com/calculator-vdrop)
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:44 PM   #7
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If you not going to use that much, the extension cord off 20/30 suggested is simply enough.

In my view getting a 175 ft 50 amp extension cord is a non starter Way to heavy to move around.

Since we brainstorming, here is another option. Not sure how / where run from house to your pad is, but have the electrician find a sweet spot closest to driveway between run from house to new RV pad. Have him mount an external switch on the line of the existing breaker ( I am guessing it it is 50 or 60 amps) from the 300 amp service. You could then run a 2nd line to driveway location using same 50 or 60 amp breaker. With the Switch, you should be able to send power to RV Pad, or Driveway or Off. Given what you already have, this is what I would do, you would have two cakes and eat them both too
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
If you not going to use that much, the extension cord off 20/30 suggested is simply enough.

In my view getting a 175 ft 50 amp extension cord is a non starter Way to heavy to move around.

Since we brainstorming, here is another option. Not sure how / where run from house to your pad is, but have the electrician find a sweet spot closest to driveway between run from house to new RV pad. Have him mount an external switch on the line of the existing breaker ( I am guessing it it is 50 or 60 amps) from the 300 amp service. You could then run a 2nd line to driveway location using same 50 or 60 amp breaker. With the Switch, you should be able to send power to RV Pad, or Driveway or Off. Given what you already have, this is what I would do, you would have two cakes and eat them both too
^^^ This ^^^

A switch is probably the easiest way to use a single service. I drag some 4/4 SO around and 100 ft is no fun at all. A 175' run would require wheels and maybe an assistant.
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:32 AM   #9
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I have 100’ of 50 amp cord I bought ill-advisedly. I used it one time. It’s far too heavy to work with, or at least I am not of a mind to mess with it. 30 amp on the other hand, is much more user friendly.
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:59 AM   #10
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Buy a portable generator that is large enough for what you need....unless you are going to have it parked there for days on end.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:51 AM   #11
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Super helpful everyone. Many thanks.

I agree that running another line from the main service with a switch is the best solution, but probably major overkill.

Right now I am plugged into an exterior 20a wall outlet using an adapter and the energy management system in the coach is working to try and keep it cool. But the power is insufficient and the breaker trips all the time because the same circuit runs a very important family fridge and chest freezer in the garage as well as a large garage dehumidifier. Plus I had to disconnect the aerator in the pond which yields an unhappy wife (a 100-ft 10 awg extension to run that from an outlet off another circuit is arriving tomorrow!).

I get all the points about weight...I had sort of discounted them as "annoying details" but they are of course good points. Also there is the issue of "yet another thing to store in the garage"...that cord would be bulky indeed!!!
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:55 AM   #12
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Btw the voltage drop calculator is a great resource. The diff btw Al and Cu is not as big as I expected.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:44 AM   #13
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I was going to say just run the onboard gen. A portable would have much more flexibility in the long run.
Good call Xrated.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:44 AM   #14
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The aluminum wire you linked to is not flexible at all and would be a pain to use. Also, this type of wire has no protective covering and is designed to be in conduit unless you get a direct bury type cable which adds even more rigidity to the cable.



You say that you have a guest house with a 100 amp service. I would take a look at it and see if you could make some changes to add a double pole breaker for a 50 amp plug. You possible could add a small subpanel and move some wires around, depending on access.

I dis this on one of the two 200 amp panels I have in order to add a 50 amp plug for my RV parking.
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