Extension cord under the snow...... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-10-2016, 12:21 PM   #1
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Name: john
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Extension cord under the snow......

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.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:34 PM   #2
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Looks good to me! Just keep the outlet clear of snow 👍🏼


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Old 01-10-2016, 01:17 PM   #3
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Are you sure you have power? That GFI looks like it's been tripped.

Other than that, it looks OK to me.

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Old 01-10-2016, 01:57 PM   #4
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Make sure the steel wool is NOT near any bare wires. We had a house burn down on our street from that.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:13 PM   #5
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Is it a 14 gage wire or heavier cord ? Running an electric heater, I would want 14 or 12 gage wire. Many people think that because it's yellow or orange that it is a "heavy" cord. Not always true. The store that sold it may have called it a heavy duty cord but the only thing that really matters is wire size. Always use the shortest possible cord. The snow should have no effect if the insulation cord insulation is in good shape

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Old 01-10-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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Pick up an "in use" cover plate for that outdoor box. It replaces the present front plate with a shaped hood over the receptacles specifically to keep rain from getting to the connections. Red Dot 1-Gang Extra Duty Non-Metallic While-In-Use Weatherproof Horizontal/Vertical Receptacle Cover with Wasp Guard - Clear-CKPM - The Home Depot
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:32 PM   #7
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What are the orange pool noodles for?
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:40 PM   #8
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12 Gauge rated for outside use and make sure there are no cuts in the covering and that it is pluged into a GFI.

14 Gauge is just to small of an extension cord when you are running a 1500 Watt heater inside the camper.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:41 PM   #9
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lots of good advice, thanks to all !!

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?

And Donna, you have sharp eyes, those are swim noodles!

Here's a photo of my Compact under its winter tarp. I had wedged the noodles under the tarp along the side windows so I could have the windows open a crack and maybe get a little air into the camper.

But the noodles kept falling out. I just need to tighten up the tarp and figure out a better way to hold them in place.

The peak in the roof comes from a frame of 2x4's and helps the snow slide off the top.

I also have some noodles inside the camper. The lower photo shows my noodle "head-knocker" in place. One has to duck to exit the short door and sometimes I forget to duck.

Since this photo was taken I've also added another piece of noodle that hangs down from the black handle in the photo. That handle and wall are right at jaw level and I'm afraid of running into the wall some dark night in a sleepy state, given the cost of dental work!

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:51 PM   #10
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The wire conductor size is marked on the cord every few feet. Very small printing and hard to see but it should be there.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:19 PM   #11
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gauge molded into wire sheathing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
The wire conductor size is marked on the cord every few feet. Very small printing and hard to see but it should be there.
Often hard to see, but it's there.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post

14 Gauge is just to small of an extension cord when you are running a 1500 Watt heater inside the camper.

1500watts/120 volts = 12.5 amps

I'd only worry if the snow is melting Raz
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:19 AM   #13
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Why not just get a 30 amp. rv ext. cord and plug it into your rv shore power cord and then you do not need to go through a hole in the floor. Then you just use your 120 receptacles in trailer. Or am I missing something ?. That is what I do about once a month for a few days to keep battery charged. If I want to do something inside trailer I plug in a Heater to keep warm. Carl
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:06 AM   #14
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I used a light weight cord to plug my car in when I lived in the Great White North of Minnesota. It was good enough for the small draw of the tank heater I was using. However, when I went out to leave for work, I picked the cord up to move it away from the car and it was so cold that the cord "cracked" every inch for almost 10 feet up the length of the cord. Always use the right cord for the job.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:11 AM   #15
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Assuming that the cord is connected to a 15 amp GFI outlet the cord will not be a problem [worst case - a blown breaker] of more concern would be the condition and location of the heater in the unit.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:28 AM   #16
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Worst case with extension cord with cracked insulation is electrocution and death. GFIC breaker or not (they do malfunction).
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:37 AM   #17
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Worst case with extension cord with cracked insulation is electrocution and death. GFIC breaker or not (they do malfunction).
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:42 AM   #18
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reminds me of my neighbor, we pulled up the sidewalk blocks to his garage to pour a sidewalk and found a orange extension cord, 16 gauge running his whole garage. Next 2 days digging and installing plastic conduit and proper wiring!
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:40 PM   #19
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They make extension cords that are rated to 50 below F
They are called artic cords and they are more costly than standard cords . They stay flexible when it's cold but when it gets to 30 below F they do stiffen up . 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.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:28 PM   #20
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Love the idea of using a pool noodle to keep your noodle from being cracked on a low bridge! Wish we'd have thought of that years ago when we had a getaway van and I ran into the low areas about 300 times. Much nicer than whatever it was we did use. And softer.
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