Help please with 30 amp cord - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2017, 04:49 PM   #1
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Name: karen
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Help please with 30 amp cord

Hi there all of you wonderful helpers on this forum. I need to purchase an extra 25 feet of extension cord to extent to 50 feet my Casita power. I see outdoor extension cords (like at Harbor Freight). Can I purchase a 10 gauge one which I understand is 30 amp? Thank you for the help. First trip is in late May for a music venue. Happy Trails to you all!
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by artsykaren View Post
Hi there all of you wonderful helpers on this forum. I need to purchase an extra 25 feet of extension cord to extent to 50 feet my Casita power. I see outdoor extension cords (like at Harbor Freight). Can I purchase a 10 gauge one which I understand is 30 amp? Thank you for the help. First trip is in late May for a music venue. Happy Trails to you all!
Amazon , Walmart , Camping World etc. sell 25 ft 30 amp RV extension cords with the proper cord caps .
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Amazon , Walmart , Camping World etc. sell 25 ft 30 amp RV extension cords with the,proper cord caps .
...yep, just like Steve sez...I bought my 30' 30amp extension from WallyWorld, ready made with proper ends...believe I saw one at Lowes as well...sorry, don't remember price......
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:28 PM   #4
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I used a heavy duty 20 amp extension for mine for a long time. It will keep the battery charged and let you use lights. It may or may not let you run heavier loads. I popped a circuit breaker trying to use the heater coil but could use a 750 Watt space heater.

If you have a 30 amp outlet, then by all means, spend the money on a 30 amp cord as suggested. I have a 25 foot cord that I got from Amazon for less than $50. Sorry I don't remember exactly what I paid but it was worth it.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
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One more point , trying to make your own cord will cost your more money for the parts than buying a factory pre-made cord
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:57 PM   #6
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We use a 12 Gauge and they have them at Costco in a 2 pack
And we Use an adapter that we got at Walmart.

Can run the Airconditioner or the microwave but not both at the same time and this has not proved to be incovenient.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:22 AM   #7
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Go with the 10 gauge. I think I paid around $45 at Walmart for a 30'. I think that with a larger gauge, you may have problems with it heating up or even melting if you run the A/C and the two cords connected, and could possibly put a strain on the A/C compressor, etc. Just my $.02 cents worth.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #8
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Go with the 10 gauge. I think I paid around $45 at Walmart for a 30'. I think that with a larger gauge, you may have problems with it heating up or even melting if you run the A/C and the two cords connected, and could possibly put a strain on the A/C compressor, etc. Just my $.02 cents worth.
Just a note on melting conductors . In a night school class for an experiment , we used a piece of bare #12 cu wire as a fuse link.
It took 168 amps of load to get that piece of #12 wire to melt.
Overloading a cord usually damages the cord connections and can lead to voltage drop or insulation damage.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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Yes, but a wire encased in two layers of plastic will get hot at much lower amperage. That heat is wasted power that is being paid for. And it's generally the connector that fails first.
Standard household plug connections cannot stand a 30 amp continuous load. Getting an adapter to go from house style to twist lock doesn't solve the problem. With the #10 trailer twist lock connector you can run 30 amps continuous.

Best thing is to get a #10 cord long enough to go from the trailer to the outlet.
Next best is to get a #10 extension cord to make up the difference between your cord and the outlet. Get one with twist lock on both ends
Third would be to run a #12 cord to make up the difference and put on a twist lock connector.
Fourth would be to run a #12 cord and use a twist lock adapter to the standard household plug that comes on extension cords.

If you choose number 3 or 4, try to keep the load down to 20 amps. An electric heater and a microwave, plus a couple of lights and maybe a battery charger will put you at 30 amps. You can turn off the heater to run the microwave.

If you run a #12 cord on a 30 amp breaker you can gradually heat it up to failure without tripping the breaker. That means you can start a fire if the connector is laying an a pile of leaves or in the garage with gasoline fumes, etc.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by artsykaren View Post
Hi there all of you wonderful helpers on this forum. I need to purchase an extra 25 feet of extension cord to extent to 50 feet my Casita power. I see outdoor extension cords (like at Harbor Freight). Can I purchase a 10 gauge one which I understand is 30 amp? Thank you for the help. First trip is in late May for a music venue. Happy Trails to you all!
Just buy a good 30 amp cord from Walmart or another place that has them with the proper ends. The longer the cord the more likely of overheating and damaging an appliance. Could also cause a fire. If you life is worth $35-50 then buy a properly made cord. We did and have had no problems running the A/C, microwave, etc. No overheating either. If you make a cord it will not be waterproof and that is a necessity also. A homemade will also cost you almost a store bought one. An RV fire is not worth a homemade cord. Especially if you are asleep. Friends almost died in an RV fire. Please just spend the money and be safe.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:28 PM   #11
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A 12 /3 cord has a rated ampacity of 20 or 25 amps based on the type of conductor insulation according to NEC Table 400 -5(A)
** Based on an ambient temperature of 30 deg C (86 deg F) **
In 40 years as an electrician I have never seen a properly rated cord used according to the code , melt except if physically damaged .
I have seen the cord caps damaged by heat due to poor / loose connections .
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:40 PM   #12
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A 12 /3 cord has a rated ampacity of 20 or 25 amps based on the type of conductor insulation according to NEC Table 400 -5(A)
** Based on an ambient temperature of 30 deg C (86 deg F) **
In 40 years as an electrician I have never seen a properly rated cord used according to the code , melt except if physically damaged .
I have seen the cord caps damaged by heat due to poor / loose connections .
The problem is the 30 amp breaker with a #12 wire and conventional household ends. That is not properly rated. The factory cord caps cannot stand the load. I've got a couple of melted ones in the garage myself.

It's not possible to predict how much power someone will use, but eventually it will be at full load. Best to go with a #10 cord and twist lock connectors. Or use a #12 cord and switch the breaker to a 20 amp.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
A 12 /3 cord has a rated ampacity of 20 or 25 amps based on the type of conductor insulation according to NEC Table 400 -5(A)
** Based on an ambient temperature of 30 deg C (86 deg F) **
In 40 years as an electrician I have never seen a properly rated cord used according to the code , melt except if physically damaged .
I have seen the cord caps damaged by heat due to poor / loose connections .
The trailers have a 30 amp cord not 20 or 25. Trying to put on ends and using them eventually will loosen them. So why not just buy a 30 amp cord made for the purpose with sealed ends. The ambient temperature in many places will be over 86 degrees. When a cord lays out in the sun it heats up. So it will be more like 120 degrees possibly. Have you ever felt your cord in the sun on a very warm day. It is extremely hot due to the sun. I agree with all you said though. I've never seen a cord used as designed melt. The key words here are used as designed.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:03 PM   #14
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Go with 30 amp

Using a second #10 cable with good connectors will work. Getting #10 that will run the full distance will last longer and be safer. There are water tight boxes to encase cord connections for wet conditions. Use one and you'll never know what it saved you.
The breaker is only made to protect the conductor, not equipment. This protects against a fire in the conductors and contectors if the connectors have good contact. If there is not in good contact there will be damaged overtime. A 30 amp breaker will let #12 conductor burn and melt without shutting off. It may never happen, but if it does its to late.The # 12 may or may not under power the equipment in your camper and cause permanent damage over time. You won't know till the damage is done.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:03 PM   #15
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My trailer has everything available from the factory plus a bunch and has never drawn anything near 30A.
Fact is when my 30A cord won't reach I use a 12g extension cord and plug it in to the 15/20A outlet at the post. Never popped a breaker yet.
Luckily, before I started to read this thread, I had my Salt Shaker at the ready with a couple of holes drilled out for efficiency!
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:49 PM   #16
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I got several 20A (or may be 15A?) breaker pop ups when water heater (hot rod), 5K BTU AC and small microwave did run at the same time.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:50 PM   #17
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My trailer has everything available from the factory plus a bunch and has never drawn anything near 30A.
Fact is when my 30A cord won't reach I use a 12g extension cord and plug it in to the 15/20A outlet at the post. Never popped a breaker yet.
Luckily, before I started to read this thread, I had my Salt Shaker at the ready with a couple of holes drilled out for efficiency!
Could it be that some people take "multitasking" too seriously, switch everything on at once and turn the dials to 11?
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:24 PM   #18
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Could it be that some people take "multitasking" too seriously, switch everything on at once and turn the dials to 11?
I don't pay any more attention when on shore power than I do at home. I know I have had the heat strip or at other times the A/C on while at the same time running the microwave, television, lights etc with no problem.
in the interest of full disclosure, I do have an extra 30A cord which I have considered adding to the stuff I lug around with us on every trip.
Fact is I use the 12G cord more often for other things at Scampcamps, like potlucks and other outdoor events where power is needed. So the extra 30A would be added to the camping gear not used to replace the 12g.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:24 PM   #19
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floyd,

While you're drilling out the holes in your salt shaker, consider a cold winter night at a site somewhere in the high desert. You're plugged in and snug. Now imagine coyotes howling and the wind whistling. Nice to be inside and comfortable. The mysteries of the desert, it's unforgiving nature, gnaw at your thoughts. Best to stay inside tonight. What was that sound?

The electric heater is on. Your drill is charging, as it prepares for salt shaker duty, and your computer is charging. Now it's time for dinner and you heat something in the microwave while considering your next rebuttal to a recent post. Unwittingly, you left the electric water heater on after doing the dishes earlier.

As the planets line up and the moon approaches the horizon, your water heater (1500 watts), your microwave (1000-1400 watts), and your electric heater (on low, thankfully and only 750 watts) come on. With your salt shaker at the ready, the drill charger draws 100 or so watts and the lights draw 50 more, give or take. The battery charger is on too. And then the water pump cycles on as you get a drink ready to sit down and write. Realistic? Could be. Probable? Maybe. But wait! We only have 30 amps available! The lowly circuit breaker is teetering on the edge of depriving you of a non eventful evening. And your cord is attracting critters seeking warmth.

So far, you have avoided the problem. Cool. Maybe your use is far less than what can be expected in other trailers. I had to burn out a shore tie connector on my boat and a couple of cords with trailers, before I decided to be more conscious of use. I don't worry too much about use at home either, but I have 200 amps available there.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:11 AM   #20
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floyd,

While you're drilling out the holes in your salt shaker, consider a cold winter night at a site somewhere in the high desert. You're plugged in and snug. Now imagine coyotes howling and the wind whistling. Nice to be inside and comfortable. The mysteries of the desert, it's unforgiving nature, gnaw at your thoughts. Best to stay inside tonight. What was that sound?

The electric heater is on. Your drill is charging, as it prepares for salt shaker duty, and your computer is charging. Now it's time for dinner and you heat something in the microwave while considering your next rebuttal to a recent post. Unwittingly, you left the electric water heater on after doing the dishes earlier.

As the planets line up and the moon approaches the horizon, your water heater (1500 watts), your microwave (1000-1400 watts), and your electric heater (on low, thankfully and only 750 watts) come on. With your salt shaker at the ready, the drill charger draws 100 or so watts and the lights draw 50 more, give or take. The battery charger is on too. And then the water pump cycles on as you get a drink ready to sit down and write. Realistic? Could be. Probable? Maybe. But wait! We only have 30 amps available! The lowly circuit breaker is teetering on the edge of depriving you of a non eventful evening. And your cord is attracting critters seeking warmth.

So far, you have avoided the problem. Cool. Maybe your use is far less than what can be expected in other trailers. I had to burn out a shore tie connector on my boat and a couple of cords with trailers, before I decided to be more conscious of use. I don't worry too much about use at home either, but I have 200 amps available there.
So far so good! Guess I have always been conscious when I plug in.
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