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Author Topic: Trailer to camper conversion, electric question  (Read 512 times)


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Trailer to camper conversion, electric question
« on: July 24, 2017, 05:59:49 PM »
Hi all I'm new here and will try to be brief. I have an enclosed aluminum cargo trailer that I've slowly been turning into a multi purpose rig that I can camp in, haul my atv, and still use as a cargo trailer. I've already done a simple addition of 120v electric by installing a port the outside that a cord can be plugged into, either from a generator, or power post. On the inside that is feeding power to a single 15 amp gfci outlet and a seperate feed for a switched 120v cfl light fixture. I'm looking to add both an exterior and additional interior outlet. I'm planning on using gfci outlets again. For my basic needs in the this circumstance will these outlets act enough like breakers that I won't need to install a complete breaker panel?


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Re: Trailer to camper conversion, electric question
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 09:59:29 PM »
I have a cargo trailer that I had setup to camp in before I got my Motorhome.
I added electric outlets and a breaker panel and 3 breakers.  I could hook to a 30amp box or 120v plug from home.
I use a small breaker box that holds 6 or 8 breakers even though I only used 3 breakers in the panel.

I don't think I would use a GFI plug as a breaker as that is NOT what their purpose is - to detect over amp use like a breaker does.
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Re: Trailer to camper conversion, electric question
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 06:28:12 AM »
A GFCI receptacle is designed to detect a ground fault as it's name implies. It does absolutely nothing to provide overcurrent protection like a breaker. Maybe run the power through a fused disconnect similar to what is used on outside air conditioner units on homes, and tap your lighting/receptacles off of that.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Trailer to camper conversion, electric question
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 08:01:50 AM »
You really need to use a small breaker box and do it right.  As noted the GFCI is not a breaker. You could fuse/breaker the GFCI and then chain the other outlets after it (still a 15 or 20A circuit).

Ernie 'n Tara

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Trailer to camper conversion, electric question
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 09:26:34 AM »
A GFCI provides no overload protection - you need breaker(s). A simple and inexpensive 4-breaker main or sub-panel will do the job nicely. Here's one:

Note/caution: the neutral and ground bus in any breaker panel in a vehicle must NOT be bonded (wired) together. Per the electrical code, the neutral-to-ground bond is provided by the external power source.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 09:30:13 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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