15 amp vs 20 amp circuits? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-09-2016, 04:31 PM   #15
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Name: John Michael
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The factory wiring in my Scamp is both solid and stranded. The 12 volt wiring is stranded copper. The 120 volt is all solid conductor Romex. That said I don't really consider Scamp designers electrical experts, not that I have had any problems. Their wiring techniques are pretty average RV quality, somewhat messy, but safe.

It seems to me that the boating industry is more careful with wiring than the RV industry. Is that your experience?

John
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:56 PM   #16
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In a small trailer like that, with the short runs you have, there is no need for more than 15A circuits, or use for anything larger than #14 wiring. Any more is a waste of time and money.

20A circuits in trailers are only used for the A/C if you plan on having that.

With the '76 Trillium 1300 I rebuilt, I just used one 15A circuit, just as the original did. Sure they can load up lots of devices at once, but there is little likelihood of that.

I just wired in a trickle charger to the the 120V circuit to charge the battery. Simple and effective.

I did run a 12V circuits from fused distribution panels I installed.

This trailer is for my daughter, and it would be very rare to have it plugged in, other than at home.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dave W. View Post
I would most definitely go with 20 amp circuits. A properly done 20 amp circuit matched with #12 wire poses no additional fire risk. You may at some point want to put additional loads on that circuit and then you will have the capacity to do so. ......Also if by leftover house wiring you mean solid wire, do not use that in a trailer. It will not hold up to vibrations like stranded wire does. And never use wire nuts for the same reason.
I too disagree with doing the 20A circuits, it is just unnecessary overkill.

Stranded wire is better for running, but costs a lot more, and is harder to properly connect in devices.

If you plan your circuits well, that there is no more than the feed and a load cable, you can connect you wires to the plugs, eliminating the need for wire nuts.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:09 PM   #18
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Here is a test: The next time you use your vacuum cleaner, feel how hot the cord when you are done. That is because of the thin wiring on that device.
This is very true with many appliances that should use heavier cords. Lamps are often the biggest culprit, often being #18 wire at the most. This is why here at least we now must use arc-fault breakers in bedrooms here in Alberta, and I am sure elsewhere too.

If the runs were possibly real long, like in many big homes, then using #12 wire could be beneficial, but the longest run in a Trillium is about 12'.

However, if you were to run a #14 circuit right at the full 15A capacity, you would feel next to no warming on the cable if you felt it.

I am all for everything being built strong enough, with a bit of a safety factor built in, but am not keen on over-building......well, just because. Having had to tear out 100's of home owner projects over the years, it is rare to find a job where they did not either underbuild or build improperly, or overbuild it to the nth degree just to be sure. Cutting the bottom half of a joist out to run plumbing is just wrong, but a 3" spike every 2" nailing one stud to another is not needed either.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:25 PM   #19
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What would be the cost savings on a 12 foot run using 14 gauge vers 12 gauge?

Here i. The US we can purchase the wire by the foot at places like Lowes and Home Depot.

I really think the extra cost will not put someone in the poor house or on the street.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:35 PM   #20
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I really think the extra cost will not put someone in the poor house or on the street.
Where do you stop? If #12 is better than #14 and only costs a few dollars more, why not #10, or #8 or #1?
You do what makes sense and no more.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:54 PM   #21
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I totally agree that we have the right to disagree.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:13 PM   #22
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