This can supply power to many smaller tent trailers, some small trailers, and most pickup campers. A GFCI type will be required. Make sure it is rated at 20 amps, not the normal 15 amps most home outlets use. Commonly used by larger tent trailers, most camp trailers, and smaller motorhomes.
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A 50 amp outlet: These are common on larger trailers, most fifth wheels, and larger motorhomes. Click thumbnail to view full-size. Other Materials Needed In addition to the outlet you will some other materials: A GFCI will need wire, a 30 amp outlet requires , wire and a 50 amp outlet will need wire. All of these need a ground in them as well.
Make sure they are appropriately sized for the wire.
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Make sure your new breaker is designed for your specific panel and sized according to the outlet being used, whether 20, 30, or 50 amps. The label inside your box will likely list what brand and style of breaker you need. A 20 or 30 amp breaker will be "single pole" it has just one handle and one spot for wire , while a 50 amp breaker must be "double pole" it has two handles, connected, and two spots for wire to go to. Choosing a Location and Box Here's where it begins to get interesting, for there is a very wide variety of options here.
Indoor Mounting If you're fortunate enough to park your RV indoors, perhaps in a garage or a dedicated shed, it is a little easier. Types of Boxes Click thumbnail to view full-size. Outdoor Mounting Mounting your new outlet outdoors presents so many options that it is impossible to discuss them all here.
There are some general considerations, though: Consider the location carefully. While it will depend on where the RV is to be parked, you will very likely end up opening the inside wall at that location to facilitate running the wire. It will be much more convenient if that wall is inside a garage rather than your living room! If the outlet is to be mounted to brick or other masonry, you're going to have to drill a hole through that material to get the wire to the outlet.
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Better if it is wood or vinyl, something easy to handle. If flush-mounted, the outlet will require backing, and uneven or non-vertical surfaces will be very difficult to handle. You will probably want to mount it on the surface of the wall rather than putting it inside the wall.
The flush-mounted outlet pictured below was in an unfinished shop, where there was no wall covering inside the building and it was easy to run wire and supply backing to the outlet. Exterior boxes must be waterproof and require a cover that can be closed while the RV is plugged in, preferably a metal cover rather than a plastic one. Bear in mind such things as lawn mowers or weed eaters; is a box extending out from the wall several inches going to be a problem? Will you bump it with the lawnmower until it is destroyed?
Will your teenager, already irritated at mowing the lawn, do so? If the box is mounted remote from the building, what will it mount to and, more importantly, how will you get wire to it?
Type UF wire can be buried two feet underground, but how will you get it out of the wall and underground without leaving any exposed wire? Don't forget there is a concrete foundation and footer under that wall! Any exterior work must be waterproofed.
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The edges of any boxes must be caulked. If the wire enters through a hole drilled into siding, that area must be made waterproof so that dripping rainwater cannot enter the building there. Exterior Mounted Boxes Click thumbnail to view full-size. Running the Wire to the New Outlet With the planning finished and materials purchased and on hand, it's time to install the new wire between the electrical panel and the new outlet.
Wiring the Breaker Panel Now comes the only tricky part of the entire project—entering the panel box. Turn off the power, and be careful!
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This can be achieved with a single 12 volt battery or several 12 volt batteries wired together in a parallel circuit. However, using two 6 volt batteries wired together in a series circuit to essentially create a 12 volt battery is typically better than using a single 12 volt battery. The trade-off for using two 6 volt batteries is that two batteries take up more space than one.
However, that trade-off may be worth it if your camping needs require that extended battery life. Almost all RVs come with a power cord to plug into the electrical pedestal at a campground campgrounds with available hookups, anyway.
They come in two amperages: A 30 amp cord has three prongs, and a 50 amp has four. While many campgrounds do have RV electrical hook ups for both 50 amp and 30 amp cords, some campgrounds have only 30 amp hookups available. And an overload causes the same result in every case — a tripped breaker and, possibly, a burned-out plugin. Ultimately, Finch asks owners of amp rigs to consider the economics.
They may be saving a few dollars per night by plugging into amp service. But the continued strain on an air conditioner or microwave, especially when either struggles to start running on substandard power, might end up damaging the appliance.
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