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Author Topic: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!  (Read 35467 times)

joerilla

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110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« on: June 26, 2012, 11:35:32 AM »
Hello brand new to the forum. I need advice on how to power my RV. I will be running a 27" tv, small water heater, few lights, microwave, hot plate, lap top, small convection/toaster oven, heater, and Ac. I will mostly be in parks and friends back yards getting power from them. I dont know whether i need 110, 220, both, or something else. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks alot Joe!

Just Lou

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2012, 11:45:31 AM »
You need to tell us what kind (make, model,year) RV you have.  There are many variations of the spec's that you list.

How many pins on the end of your power cord?
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Ned

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 11:47:48 AM »
You'll plug your shore power cord into whatever outlet is available.  In an RV park, that would be the 30A or 50A outlet at the campsite, depending on how your RV is wired.  At a residence you'll probably only have access to 15A or 20A and will need an adapter(s) to plug in.  Your RV is all 120VAC, doubt that you have any 240V appliances unless it's a very high end. What make and model is your RV?
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Wizard46

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 11:49:00 AM »
You need 110 volts. If you have a 30 amp service that will be a 30 amp single phase service. It you have a 50 amp service that would be 2 separate 50 amp, 110 volt lines.

You can tell by looking at the plug on your cord. 3 prongs on the plug is a 30 amp service, 4 prongs is a 50 amp service.

Almost all RV appliances operate from 110 volt, some higher end models may use 220 volt but I have never seen one.
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Jim Logan

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 11:56:49 AM »
  Your RV should have a sticker near the power cord that will tell you what you need, 120 volt 30 amp with 3 prongs on the cord end or 120/240 volt 50amp with 4 prongs. If it's a 50 amp service you can all so run it on 30 amp with an adapter,you can't run all that you listed at the same time you'll need to keep an eye on the amprage you are pulling.

joerilla

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 11:57:06 AM »
Wow thanks for the quick response!!!! Well its actually a tiny house/travel trailer... and its completely wired with just a regular extension cord that plugs into it to power the whole thing but that doesnt allow it enough power to run even a few of the appliances at the same time. I dont expect to be able to run everthying but i domt want to have to turn of my tv and water heater to microwave something! :P

SeilerBird

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 12:12:46 PM »
It would probably not be too difficult to replace the regular extension cord with a heavy duty one and that might allow you to run more items at the same time.
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Water Dog

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 12:20:33 PM »
I will be running a 27" tv, small water heater, few lights, microwave, hot plate, lap top, small convection/toaster oven, heater, and Ac.

The water heater, hot plate, microwave, toaster oven, and AC are power hogs, and you would be hard pressed to run more than a couple at a time on a 20 amp circuit. If you are plugged in at a friend's house, there is a chance you will only be plugged into a 15 amp circuit with other things in the house already being powered on that circuit. There is only so much you can do given what little resources you are starting with. You will most likely have to learn to budget your power usage by turning some things off before powering up others. You can run your water heater on propane and get rid of that draw.
Dennis

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joerilla

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 05:54:34 PM »
Ok so i have a cord that powers the house now and it hangs out of the trailer but its just a regular male end that plugs into a regular extension cord that plugs into a regular 3 prong house outlet but its not drawing enough power. i understand i can only get the power that is offered but what about a camp site that offers plenty of power how do i go about making sure that my tiny house on a trailer gets all the power it can get? do i need breakers and a box or just an adaptor?!?!? i have no clue and my electrician is also clueless.... thanks for all the help so far i never thought i would get a response like this!  :)

Lou Schneider

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 06:51:37 PM »
The amount of electricity you can use is limited by the weakest link in the supply chain.  In this case, it sounds like you are limited to 15 amps by the plug and extension cord, even if you use an adapter to plug into a higher rated outlet.

But in order to upgrade the plug and cord, you first have to look at the rest of the trailer's electrical system, to ensure it can safely carry the extra power to your appliances.

At a minimum you'll have to get a 120 volt, 30 amp plug and cord and run that to a circuit breaker box in the trailer.  It will have a 30 amp main breaker and 15 or 20 amp branch breakers feeding the various plugs and appliances.   It might involve a total rewiring of the trailer - or you may have existing pieces that can be reused to reduce the cost.

It's too bad your current electrician doesn't understand this.  I'd find a more qualified electrician and let him look at what you have and suggest how to proceed.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 07:04:58 PM by Lou Schneider »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 08:58:30 PM »
I suspect your trailer probably has its own internal 20A circuit breaker as well. You can't use more power than the trailer was designed to handle, even if you have an entire power plant available to you. As Lou says, whatever is the weakest link sets the limit.
Gary
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joerilla

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 01:36:25 PM »
Thanks alot guys! i will talk to my friend/electrician and tell him what yall said! Yall have been very helpful!!!

ArdraF

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Re: 110 or 220?!? How to power my RV. Please help!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 08:17:59 PM »
And, I might add that as you've described it, you definitely will NOT be using 220.  Sometimes people who don't understand the various plugs think a 50-amp plug can be plugged into a 220-volt receptacle which is what stick and brick houses use for electric clothes dryers.  Don't do that because you might "fry" your electronics!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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