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Old 01-11-2016, 02:39 PM   #21
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Kind of sounds like your describing SO cord, ( heavy duty flexible,yellow ) If it is it will be stamped all along the length of the cord along with the size. Thats what we used in the petro chemical industry for outdoor extension cords because of its ability to be used and abused. If that's what you have and its 12 gauge you should be fine.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:52 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=john madill;566263]I'll be in the neighborhood of a Home Depot tomorrow and will look for an "in-use" cover.

regarding the gauge of the cord, is that info likely stamped into the plug somewhere?

REPLY: The wire gauge is stamped into the cord all along its length. Just hold it up the light. It will show something like 14AWG and other stuff.

The correct term is GFCI - Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Captleemo View Post
Kind of sounds like your describing SO cord, ( heavy duty flexible,yellow ) If it is it will be stamped all along the length of the cord along with the size. Thats what we used in the petro chemical industry for outdoor extension cords because of its ability to be used and abused. If that's what you have and its 12 gauge you should be fine.
SO cord is 600 VAC rated , hard service cord with the outer jacket being oil resistant. SOW cord has the same specs except it is rated for wet locations. Both make great extension cords but not necessarily in extremely cold temperatures. I worked in an oil refinery . a Taconic plant and constructiin in northern Minnesota and when you get to 40 or 50 below zero every thing has a tendancy
to crack , snap or break especially plastic / rubber .
If you go to Art 400 of the NEC you will find a list of what the various letter designations for flexible cords mean.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:48 PM   #24
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More thanks for more great advice!!

Thanks for the additional comments.

Carl, the hole in the floor that my extension cord runs into is the hole that the big, heavy shore power cord snakes out of underneath the cupboard under the seat.

I didn't use that cord as it won't reach the deck outlet.

I went out there this morning to see what info was marked on the extension cord.

It was about 12 degrees. Talk about a frozen rope!!

I unplugged it and when the temps get back up in the 30's in a few days I'll look at it closely and probably put it in the garage and just run it out to the camper when I need it rather than leaving it out in the snow.

Or I'll fire up the propane catalytic heater. It's just a tiny Coleman heater with a dish about 10" in diameter that runs off a one-pound propane tank.

Doesn't put out a lot of heat but does take the edge off.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:39 PM   #25
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Hi

My Compact Jr. is sitting on a field stone patio in the backyard. I've run a 25' extension cord to the trailer from an outlet on a post at my deck.

It runs into the trailer from a hole in the floor in a cabinet. The rest of the hole is stuffed with steel wool to prevent mice from coming aboard.

With the cord thus attached I have lights and the ability to turn on a small heater in the event I want to make a winter visit.

But this being Michigan the cord is now running under a few inches of snow.

Is there a potential problem with this?

The cord is a heavy, yellow, three-pronged cord, which seems thicker and more flexible than the standard orange cords.

And the outlet is about a foot off the ground, a bit out of the wind and weather but it is conceivable that snow could pile around it. The outlet has a springloaded door but that is open with the cord plugged in.

Comments from experts much appreciate!

Here's a composite photo that shows the situation.
John, you know from our WWPotter Sailboat days that I consider myself an expert on almost everything...but, actually know nothing!

But, lack of real knowledge has never keep me from offering advice...

Just wrap the electrical outlet with a WalMart Plastic Sack/bag and wrap some duck tape around the mess, and call it snow and water proof!

No thanks required...I'm just being a good friend...

Bill
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:53 PM   #26
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Not much to add but leaving a cord in the snow is not really a problem provided you don't run a snow blower with an auger bit into it. Snow shovels can be hard on a cord too.


Don't ask how I know that the auger can wind up about 6 foot of extension cord by the time one can release the drive.


I would be surprised if an electric space heater could do much to warm up a camper except at the start and end of winter when temps climb up around 40* F. I know my little cube heater won't do a whole lot, does as they say take a little chill off.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:21 PM   #27
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Temp outside this morning was about 40F. I turned on my 1,500 watt space heater to high and let it run for four hours. Got up to 57F in that time.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:11 AM   #28
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I was curious

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
. By the way we woke up to 26 below this morning ( Actual temp not wind chill) , and I moved the cord feeding our trailer with no damage to the cord.
Resistance is directly proportional to temperature. So as the temperature goes down, resistance does too. At 26 below a 16 gauge extension cord would have about the same resistance (same wire loss) as a 14 gauge cord at room temperature. Bonus?

Keep warm Steve , Raz
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:39 AM   #29
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... I would be surprised if an electric space heater could do much to warm up a camper except at the start and end of winter when temps climb up around 40* F. I know my little cube heater won't do a whole lot, does as they say take a little chill off.
Perhaps the following information regarding the use of a 1500 watt electric portable Ceramic heater (with fan) in a Scamp 16 (layout 4) will be of interest if it is not too far off topic for this thread:

Heater was started at 8:15 am in my unheated trailer and then left on for two hours. If it can bring the temperature up from 24 degrees than I am confident it could hold a comfortable (or at least livable) temperature in similar conditions.

Time-----Inside temp-----Outside temp
0815-----------24-------------24
0915-----------45-------------27
1015-----------56-------------31—Heater turned off
1045-----------53-------------36
1115-----------50-------------38

All readings are in Fahrenheit degrees. Trailer was in shade the entire time. The large roof vent, as well as some of the windows, were covered with Reflectix and all were closed. The heater was placed on the raised floor under the rear table. The transmitting temperature sensor was on the sofa behind the bathroom wall where it was not in the airflow. The trailer was warmer in the rear, closer to the heater. At the end of the two hours the rear was almost 60 and quite comfortable. Electric cost for the two hours was less than thirty cents. There was light, sporadic wind.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:38 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
SO cord is 600 VAC rated , hard service cord with the outer jacket being oil resistant. SOW cord has the same specs except it is rated for wet locations. Both make great extension cords but not necessarily in extremely cold temperatures. I worked in an oil refinery . a Taconic plant and constructiin in northern Minnesota and when you get to 40 or 50 below zero every thing has a tendancy
to crack , snap or break especially plastic / rubber .
If you go to Art 400 of the NEC you will find a list of what the various letter designations for flexible cords mean.
If you want cord that is flexible at low temperatures, try Carol (General Cable) Super Vu-Tron jackets. Available as S, SO, SOOW & SJOOW (The "J" in a description stands for 300v junior hard service insulation - a lighter jacket). Their catalog has lots of good information about cable.

Another good brand for winter flexibility is Coleman Seoprene 105C SEOOW. Good to -50°C.

Be careful of the descriptions of cable. Thermoplastic (the least expensive jacket material) will be stiff at low temperatures. Rubber is more flexible, and Thermoset insulation is the most flexible (and, generally, most expensive).
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:21 PM   #31
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It’s getting cold enough that I’d worry about getting frozen electricity. I know super conductors only “super conduct” at about -100C, colder being better. Your extension might go all “zero resistance” on you. (I think Buffalo, NY has this problem some winters.) Best to stay home in bed with a book, or with somebody who’s read one.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:07 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Resistance is directly proportional to temperature. So as the temperature goes down, resistance does too. At 26 below a 16 gauge extension cord would have about the same resistance (same wire loss) as a 14 gauge cord at room temperature. Bonus?

Keep warm Steve , Raz
We're having a warm spell Raz . This morning it was only 10 below zero and the winds died down so the 35 below wind chill factor has improved. When we woke up this morning the cabin was down to 52 deg F . I should have put more wood in the stove last night before bed . Today we are making sausage and our outdoor refrigerator is working well.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:21 PM   #33
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Steve, Been there done that. Lived 1 year at the Stanley R Mickelson anti missile complex in Langdon, ND. 35 below one day and 30 above the next. Snow blew by horizontal mixed with local farm land and was called Snurt.

Throw a log on the fire and stay warm.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:54 PM   #34
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Steve, Been there done that. Lived 1 year at the Stanley R Mickelson anti missile complex in Langdon, ND. 35 below one day and 30 above the next. Snow blew by horizontal mixed with local farm land and was called Snurt.

Throw a log on the fire and stay warm.
Made 20 lbs of Italian Sausage , brought in 4 armloads of fire wood
,shoveled the driveway and just stoked the wood stove. Langdon is where we go in the Winter to warm up.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:41 AM   #35
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It's a balmy 15 degrees here this morning and my seed order arrives today. Time to plant the onions. Keep warm. Raz
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:22 PM   #36
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Interesting to read all the comments about extension cords under the snow. Living in Yukon where it can often get a bit chilly at -41 (F and C cross at that point) we use extension cords under the snow for Christmas lights, vehicle plug-ins, etc with no problem at all. Never have problems with it. And still laughing at comment about the Dakotas, Minn., etc. as being the great white north. We're above the 60th parallel and consider those places part of the Banana Belt....
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:02 AM   #37
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Yes, clean snow and clean water (distilled) do not conduct electricity. (-40C = -40F)
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:28 AM   #38
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If the wire/cord is going to be left there permanently, I wouldnt use anything "covered" underground unless it's RATED for underground use. I did this for a carport where I have my Scamp stored. I have a plug on my deck that plugs into a GFI circuit. This works well and I dont worry about deterioration of my cord. Just my $.02 worth.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:41 AM   #39
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Interesting to read all the comments about extension cords under the snow. Living in Yukon where it can often get a bit chilly at -41 (F and C cross at that point) we use extension cords under the snow for Christmas lights, vehicle plug-ins, etc with no problem at all. Never have problems with it. And still laughing at comment about the Dakotas, Minn., etc. as being the great white north. We're above the 60th parallel and consider those places part of the Banana Belt....
When I worked on Minnesota's Iron Range , I saw temps as low as -56 Deg F and for 40 days straight the temps never climbed above zero F . Hardly the Banana Belt. . It is often warmer in Alaska / Yukon than it is in Minnesota or North Dakota. . Last week on Thursday it was 57 Deg F at 2:00 PM .
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