outside power - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2003, 08:29 PM   #1
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outside power

Has anyone installed a plug in on the outside of their fiberglass trailer? I would like to plug a fan in close to where we will sit since I find it helps keep the flying pests away. We are recently converted tent campers and are rookies at the whole hook up thing. Do most hook ups have a regular 110V plug in? If this is the case then I can just take an extension cord instead of installing an outlet.

We are heading out this Friday for Edisto Island in South Carolina for our first real trailering trip. Except for towing the Scamp back from Florida to Indiana and one weekend trip to Kentucky, we haven't had a real vacation yet!

Would be great to meat someone else from this Forum while we are on the road. You people are so helpful and knowlegeable.

Thanks again,
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Old 05-26-2003, 09:27 PM   #2
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Hi Adrian and Nichole:wave

Welcome to Fiberglass Forum. I have only been a member a fiew weeks and allready feel at home with these great folks. Everyone is excited to be a part of this elite group.

I don't know know that much about your scamp. Other Scamp owners could be better help. I think most travel trailers have some kind of 110 volt "shore power" (Boaters phrase for 110 hookup). Even my older 73 Compact II has a power cord. They are generally hooked to a separate 110 circut as in mine or hook to a 110volt to 12 volt Converter which converts most power for lighting and appliances to 12 volt. These also charge on board batteries for using lighting and appliances when not hooked up to 110 volt source. Some trailers also have an Inverter system which changes 12 volt power from batteries or tow vehicle to 110 power for lights and appliances. Usually both systems have a 110 volt circut for outlets at strategic places in your trailer. Some are in light fixtures as in my trailer plus a 110 outlet like your house plugs.
If you check a little you might find the power cord to your trailer and also the outlets which will let you "plug in" whenever you have 110 power.
Good luck on your trailering And welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-26-2003, 10:17 PM   #3
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Adrian, the power pole at the campsite will more than likely have a regular (15 amp?) 120vac outlet, in addition to the 30 amp outlet that you'll plug your shore power into. (For peace of mind, you might phone the campground ahead, and ask.)

Our first Casita had no outdoor outlet and we did just what you suggest: we carried a long extension cord and ran it under the trailer to the pole, for the fan or other electrical appliance we wanted to use ''on our front porch.''

Try it. You might decide it's not worth the bother of adding an outlet. Get a good extension cord, though... of course!

:sunny
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Old 05-27-2003, 06:39 AM   #4
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Hi guys!

Hey, most (key word is most) campsites have 30 amp electrical supply posts at each campsite ... which is where you plug in the trailer.

And most posts (key word is most) have an extra 110 outlet, into which you can plug an extension cord.

But, in answer to your question ... I had Casita install an exterior GFI outlet in my first trailer years ago (the outlet is now standard with the awning package).

If you are comfortable tinkering with electrical stuff and you want to install an exterior outlet, make sure you install an outlet rated for exterior, wet conditions, with a cover.

Another thing we've done occasionally ... is plug in an extension cord into an interior outlet, then run the extension cord through the inside of the trailer and out the power cord door (which is usually accessible from inside the rig).

You could also run the extension cord out the trailer door, but then you'd have to leave the door cracked open and bugs could fly in.
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Old 05-27-2003, 08:48 AM   #5
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I don't know about Scamps either, but every RV I've seen has a plug in the ref. box opening. my last three had either an extra outlet or half a wall plug left over from from where the ref is plugged in. so take a look see. you might have one.
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Old 05-27-2003, 10:25 AM   #6
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Outside plug

Hi A & N,

Welcome aboard.
It would be easy to add an outside plug if you want. You can get what you need at Home Depot or Lowe's. Make sure you buy parts for an outside location. I would run a wire from an existing inside plug. Route it inside through the cabinets close to the area where you would like the new plug to be. Check to make sure that a frame support or something isn't located below the floor. Then drill a hole through the floor and attach a electrical box on the bottom rather than cutting a hole in the side. Locate the hole and box so it isn't real close to the outside wall.
If the plug inside isn't a ground fault already, I would replace it with one and wire the new one according to the instructions that comes with the plug. This will make the inside and outside plugs ground fault protected.

Good Luck
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:32 PM   #7
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Regardless of whether you are adding an outside outlet or just running an extension cord from an inside outlet, a wise person will be sure that there is GFCI protection for the outside stuf. Either install a GFCI outlet or replace your Egg's circuit breaker with a GFCI breaker.

Pete and Rats
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Old 05-27-2003, 03:06 PM   #8
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As long as we are talking safety, it should be noted some trailers may not be up to date with wireing. My Trillium has 16/2 wiring. The ground plug is not connected. I hope if somthing fails I am not a better ground then the trailer. Is fiberglass a conductor or insulator?

HTH
Rich
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Old 05-27-2003, 04:11 PM   #9
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Fiberglass is an insulator. It would still be a good idea, however, to upgrade the Tril's wiring, at least by replacing the power feed with a grounded variety. Replacing the circuit wiring would be great, but might be prohibitively difficult.

It should be noted that if you have non-grounded 2-conductor wiring, you can still install GFCI receptacles in the system. While they won't "ground" the circuit, they will still provide "ground-fault" protection, so you do get a modicum of protection that way. Short of replacing all the wiring, this is a very good idea.
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Old 05-27-2003, 04:56 PM   #10
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GFI

Paul,

Sorry but it won't work without ground. It works by measuring the difference in current between ground and neutral.
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Old 05-27-2003, 07:38 PM   #11
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Paul, sorry, I was joking when I asked if fiberglass was an insulator or conductor. My power cord is a 3 wire but that is pretty much worthless if the rest of the trailer is 2 wire. Yes, GFCI protection is the way to go (for everybody, not just use with 2 wire systems). It goes beyond modicum of protection though, it is really good protection. I would rather have my hands on a drill with no circuit breakers (or fuse) and a GFCI than the other way around.

Ron and Bernice: I disagree, GFCIs measure between the hot and netural, if it detects a difference of .005amps (or more), it indicates that electricty is going to ground (through the ground wire or through you) so for safety, it trips. It could be leaking through the ground wire but not nessaraly so or constantly, it can switch from running to ground through the wire and you and back again very fast and frequently does due to you moving and changing the resistance level.

Everybody: Remember, GFCIs are the only thing that will save you from frying like bacon, fuses and breakers only save from fire and buring out a appliance. If your trailer is not GFCI protected, it should be. Residental building code says any plug within 4 feet of a sink requires a GFCI. Construction codes (OSHA 1926.---) require either GFCI protection or an assured grounding program. Due to the elements these trailers opperate in, there is no reason to opperate under lesser rules. Seeing as how 90% of the contractors cant correctally tell me what the assured grounding program is, much less how to impliment it, I say go with a GFCI.

Rich
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Old 05-27-2003, 09:14 PM   #12
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GFI Outlet

I just added a GFI outlet just inside the old refer compartment on my Burro, which now is the home for an air conditioner and another storage area.
Just open the hatch and plug in. It was an easy addition.
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Old 05-27-2003, 10:11 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice

Thankyou all for your advice. I will check my refrigerator access tomorrow and if there is no receptacle, I will call the campground to see if they have one on the hook-up. I will deffinately look into GFI for the entire camper....probably replace breakers with GFI breakers.
Thanks again,
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:02 AM   #14
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Adrian, if in a pinch, you could get a GFCI "pig tail" from Home Depot. It basically adds 3 outlets for pluging in one (splits one to three) and has a GFCI breaker on it. The best is to have the trailer GFCI protected (you might lose the pigtail at some point) but you will always use the pigtail for other uses later. I bet its about $20 for a pig tail, which is the price of a GFCI outlet but like I said you will use it later, you always need more outlets for some reason, Christmas lights come to mind.

HTH
Rich
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