Electrical help and condensation issues - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #15
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The simplest solution, (imho) would be to get a new power cord form an RV centre, 12 gauge minimum, and a new mini breaker box, wire the cord to feed the breaker-box, from the breaker box feed one receptacle, then plug in the power bar to that receptacle.
this should be a cheap fix, even at an RV dealership, about 2 hours labour, and maybe $200. in parts, even at dealer pricing.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
You weren't the only one whose windows were dripping with condensation. At the scrambled egg meet last weekend between the cool weather and rainy conditions we also had wet windows. But if there hadn't been high winds and blowing rain we would have had our windows cracked open and that would have reduced the condensation. Ventilation is the key.
Ron, you really need to pick up at least one Maxi Window vent cover for the rear side windows. It allowed me to open my side window up a few inches and as a result I as you know where in the same conditions but I didnt have any condensation issues. I did though have an lot of water on the floor of the shower which was the result of having left the bathroom window wide open when the big wind & rains hit and it blow the rain right into the bathroom! LOL it was a wild storm!
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #17
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David and Darwin,
I fully agree with you when it comes to the permanent trailer wiring. My comments about using 14 vs 12 gauge were in regards to an extension cord because this is what the OP intends to use instead of permanent wiring. In case of the extension cord, I rather spend on getting sufficient gauge (14) but good quality cord than, for the same money an over-sized gauge, lower quality cord. A good quality cord will remain flexible at higher range of temperatures and will be more resistant to elements and will serve a long, long time. Cheap cords... well, they are cheap. Used outdoors, in a short time insulation will get brittle and will start to crack, plug / receptacle will be getting hot (poor connection = voltage drops). Basically, in short order they will become unsafe to use.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #18
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wire size

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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Andrew said: May I ask, why? Sure, 12 Gauge can have 20 Amp protection but, 15 Amp is standard campsite outlet and trying to draw more will pop the breaker on the outlet anyway.

It's just plain safer in the long run by being over engineered and the cost is totally minimal.
The over sizing of conductors is not necessarily safer but is always more expensive . ( wire cost , box size etc. etc) When I was in Vocational school this principle was described as over built and under engineered .. Since the length of wire used in most trailers is short , voltage drop (120 VAC) is not a factor , cost and amperage load are the deciding factors. The limiting factor in our small trailers is the 30 amp feed . The Air conditioner heat strip in my Scamp draws 1750 watts or approx 15 amps leaving 10 to 15 amps for other uses. All the 20 amp circuits in the world will not solve this problem
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:08 PM   #19
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As a quick fix so you can use your camper before doing electrical work extension cord and power strip will work. On the power strip get one that has a). a circut breaker. b). has what look like regular wall plugs coming through the housing.

b) is because the flat plastic power strips with the plug slots molded in are incredibly low quality inside. The ones that are a box with real outlets in them are much better, and safer.

As noted by others you will have more plugs than your extension cord/circut breaker can handle, fridge draws extra power to start, anything that produces heat like a heater, coffee pot, toaster, blow dryer etc. will draw a lot. Charging you cell phone or laptop not so much.

So brewing coffee, with the heater going and having the fridge start I'm pretty sure will trip your breaker.

Long term you really want a small box that has a circut breaker or two, with a really heavy "pig tail" extension cord of moderate length wired to the circut breakers. You pass the pig tail out of the trailer (through a cord port I'm sure you have) to plug in, only use an extension cord outside on that pigtail if your not close to electric hookup.

Wiring in a breaker box and a couple of outlets and lights is not a complicated job, I bet you know someone who has added an outlet or light to their home, not any different in the camper. Invite them over to help, make em something good on the BBQ grill.

Do one outlet and light with help I'm sure you you can do the rest. But it's always easier to get started with a little help and advice on the scene. Do a little google time on wiring a plug, and you will see it's not as difficult as a lot of things you are already experienced at. Just new.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:04 PM   #20
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This is the stock electrical config on an older scamp. Thought the picture might make it clearer.

The black wire coming off the left is a heavy extension cord feeding the circut breaker box (regular 3 prong plug on the other end)


White wire is standard romex house wire going to the plug.


You can not see another wire running off the top of the box, wire runs behind the ensolite and goes to a light over the sink.

Yes Scamp put the main outlet under the sink, fridge 110 cord and plug is run to this outlet.

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #21
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What I do not understand is why some of the experts on this forum quibble about the small over engering things like installing 12 gauge instead of 14 gauge wiring in these small fiberglass campers.

The Electrical code quotes the minimum essentual sizes so upgrading to a heavier wire just gives the user a better installation and the cost is absolutely MINIMIAL.

Price the several feet of 14 gauge Romex against the cost of 12 gauge and I predict it will not break the bank.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #22
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14 awg vs 12 awg

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Originally Posted by Art VanDelay View Post
What I do not understand is why some of the experts on this forum quibble about the small over engering things like installing 12 gauge instead of 14 gauge wiring in these small fiberglass campers.

The Electrical code quotes the minimum essentual sizes so upgrading to a heavier wire just gives the user a better installation and the cost is absolutely MINIMIAL.

Price the several feet of 14 gauge Romex against the cost of 12 gauge and I predict it will not break the bank.
I agree the cost of 14 vs 12 in a single trailer is minimal but it is not necessarily a better installation . Installing 12 awg wire to feed a low amperage load is wasting money. The majority of the wiring in homes is 14 AWG because of cost but still complies with the code. I have done competitive bidding on Electrical projects of over $500.000 and the cost of using larger wire than the code specifies will guarantee you won't get the job. Why don't we run 1" water lines in our trailers , isn't bigger better??
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Trillium.Stella View Post
Hey Everyone,

...... We plan to run the following devices off the surge protector: 110V fridge, 110V ceramic heater, charging laptops, ipad, etc. Is this recommended and considered safe? It should be noted that we no longer have 12V lighting. We're using battery powered led lights.

We are clueless when it comes to electrical. Any feedback on his idea would be greatly appreciated.......

Ashley
There are clearly some people on the forum who are very experienced in electrical work. The OP is not one of them so what do they need to know?

What information will help them get the best advice?

What would you experienced folks use for the extension cord (length/gauge) and power strip given what they hope to run? Can they run it off of a typical park 15 amp circut? Or should they have a second electrical cord just for the fridge?

Going forward what should they purchase to re-do the electrical? Like a parts list, or what it might cost to have someone do it?

I would know the parts to pick them out from the store (or ask our kid, the one that is journeyman electrician) but not the proper names or any idea of what an electrician would charge to do something like wire a FG trailer with some outlets. Sounds like some folks here can provide that info.

I "over engineered" some outlet circuts in my basement with 12 ga so if at some future point I wanted to make that circut a 20 amp circut I could, I used 14 ga for the overhead CFL lights. There are solid reasoned arguments and situations that make either choice a "good" or "bad" choice.

Some of it just comes down to opinion. My own opinion is not code based, I just find 12 ga romex harder to work with because it's stiffer and harder to bend than 14 ga, but if I was running individual wires behind ensolite that might be an advantage for 12 ga.
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