Extension Cords

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mpolsue1

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As some of you know, we got our first RV home in the driveway last week. We have a lot of questions, it seems, BUT the one I want ask first is what is the best kind/brand/whatever type extension cord to use to power the trailer (sitting in the driveway and later on). First we want some "juice" so that I can put my slide-out OUT so I can take pictures lol.

I remember seeing in a Youtube video that the orange ones aren't good enough to use. We got a large yellow "adapter?" with the large prongs that look like the one hooked up to the dryer in the house. How do we get an extension cord we can use that with? This is probably "easy" for most of you, but I'm not even sure if the question even makes sense the way I am asking it. 

Mark&Sandy
 

mpolsue1

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mpolsue1 said:
We got a large yellow "adapter?" with the large prongs that look like the one hooked up to the dryer in the house.

Mark&Sandy

DUH! I meant "plug" instead of adapter. My brain is fried.

Mark&Sandy
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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A little more information, please!

Is your RV 15, 30 or 50 amps?  Is your house outlet a normal household 15 amp circuit, or have you had a special RV outlet installed?  Does the RV have a permanently attached power cable, or just a place to attach a detachable cord?

A general rule is you want the thickest cord you can get.  If we are talking about a 15 amp cord, you want a MINIMUM of 3 conductor 12 gauge.  3 conductor 10 gauge would be even better.  These are available for contractors to run heavy tools at construction sites, you should be able to buy one at Lowes or Home Depot.  And of course, it needs to be rated for outdoor use.
 

Rene T

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You mentioned the word dryer outlet. Do not ever try to connect to one of them. That's 220 Volt AC. You'd fry everything in the RV. If you have a 30 Amp outlet installed, make sure the electrician knows it's for 110 Volt AC and NOT 220 Volt AC.
The juice used for opening your slide comes from the converter and battery. Once it draws from the battery, the converter recharges it off of the house current.
 

mpolsue1

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Optimistic Paranoid said:
A little more information, please!

Is your RV 15, 30 or 50 amps?  Is your house outlet a normal household 15 amp circuit, or have you had a special RV outlet installed?  Does the RV have a permanently attached power cable, or just a place to attach a detachable cord?

A general rule is you want the thickest cord you can get.  If we are talking about a 15 amp cord, you want a MINIMUM of 3 conductor 12 gauge.  3 conductor 10 gauge would be even better.  These are available for contractors to run heavy tools at construction sites, you should be able to buy one at Lowes or Home Depot.  And of course, it needs to be rated for outdoor use.

RV is 30 amps. No special RV outlet installed in the house. Our RV has the place to attach a detachable cord.

So, if I am just getting one for the house, then I will need the 15 amp cord and for camping and RV'ing, etc., I should buy a 30 amp cord, For the 30, what is a good gauge to look for?

So thickest 3 conductor, 10 gauge (next choice 12) 15 amp cord rated for outdoor use at Lowe's or Home Depot to get my slide out to working lol.

Thanks very much. Will go shopping tomorrow!

Mark&Sandy 
 

mpolsue1

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Rene T said:
You mentioned the word dryer outlet. Do not ever try to connect to one of them. That's 220 Volt AC. You'd fry everything in the RV. If you have a 30 Amp outlet installed, make sure the electrician knows it's for 110 Volt AC and NOT 220 Volt AC.
The juice used for opening your slide comes from the converter and battery. Once it draws from the battery, the converter recharges it off of the house current.

I mentioned the dryer plug when I was trying to describe what I was talking about and could not for the life of me think of the right word lol. Yup, DEFINITELY don't want to fry our new RV. Thank you for your concern!

In your opinion (or anyone reading this'), would it be a good idea to have a 30 amp outlet installed in the house? I know this will surprise you ;-) but I am not an electrician LOL! So, that being said, if the 15 amp cord works for us with getting the slide-out out, etc., I may just stay with that 15 amp cord that we hopefully buy tomorrow (for connecting the RV to the stick and brick house) as we hope to sell the house in a few years.

Mark&Sandy 
 

kdbgoat

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A 30 amp RV is 30 amps and 120 volt.  It plugs into a receptacle known as a TT30. A household dryer is 30 amps and 240 volts. Plugging into a dryer circuit will fry some of your electrical system. If you want to plug your RV into a normal 15 amp outlet on the house, you just need to attach the normal shore power cord into the camper, then attach a TT30/15 amp adapter on the shore power cord. From there, plug a normal extension cord to the adapter, then plug the extension cord into the outlet. The 30 amp to 15 probably came in the starter kit the dealer provided. It sounds like the yellow adapter you were speaking about. If you don't have a 30 to 15 amp adapter, a quick trip to Walmart will be in order. They usually carry them on the shelf. Us a good 12ga. extension cord, not a cheapie.
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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So, you have a 30 amp power cord, but it isn't long enough to reach the outlet at your house, is that it?  Cause if it would reach, you wouldn't need an extension cord, just plug the 30 amp to 15 amp adapter onto it's end and plug it in.

If you DO need an extension cord, rather than buying one from Lowes with 15 amp ends on it, consider buying an RV extension cord with the 30 amp ends on it.  This will be useful at camp sites if your regular power cord can't reach the power pedestal.  Here's an example:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Extension-PowerGrip-Handles-55191/dp/B000BUU5YU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1533432131&sr=8-3&keywords=30+amp+rv+extension+cord&dpID=41xwyMjfTHL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

As far as having a 30 amp outlet installed at your home, if you want to use the RV as, say, guest quarters, and be able to run the RV's air conditioning during hot weather, it would be a good idea.  Otherwise, a normal 15 amp outlet should be enough to work the slides and keep the house batteries charged, if that's all you need to do.
 

mpolsue1

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kdbgoat said:
A 30 amp RV is 30 amps and 120 volt.  It plugs into a receptacle known as a TT30. A household dryer is 30 amps and 240 volts. Plugging into a dryer circuit will fry some of your electrical system. If you want to plug your RV into a normal 15 amp outlet on the house, you just need to attach the normal shore power cord into the camper, then attach a TT30/15 amp adapter on the shore power cord. From there, plug a normal extension cord to the adapter, then plug the extension cord into the outlet. The 30 amp to 15 probably came in the starter kit the dealer provided. It sounds like the yellow adapter you were speaking about. If you don't have a 30 to 15 amp adapter, a quick trip to Walmart will be in order. They usually carry them on the shelf. Us a good 12ga. extension cord, not a cheapie.

      It is starting to make sense now lol.

      The yellow adapter we got with our starter kit is marked with "15A" and "125 VAC."  Is that the 30 to 15 amp adapter?

Mark&Sandy

 

 

mpolsue1

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Optimistic Paranoid said:
So, you have a 30 amp power cord, but it isn't long enough to reach the outlet at your house, is that it?  Cause if it would reach, you wouldn't need an extension cord, just plug the 30 amp to 15 amp adapter onto it's end and plug it in.

If you DO need an extension cord, rather than buying one from Lowes with 15 amp ends on it, consider buying an RV extension cord with the 30 amp ends on it.  This will be useful at camp sites if your regular power cord can't reach the power pedestal.  Here's an example:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Extension-PowerGrip-Handles-55191/dp/B000BUU5YU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1533432131&sr=8-3&keywords=30+amp+rv+extension+cord&dpID=41xwyMjfTHL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

As far as having a 30 amp outlet installed at your home, if you want to use the RV as, say, guest quarters, and be able to run the RV's air conditioning during hot weather, it would be a good idea.  Otherwise, a normal 15 amp outlet should be enough to work the slides and keep the house batteries charged, if that's all you need to do.

No lol! I just figured I needed an  extension cord. It sounds like I could use a cord like the Camco one you linked to and attach the adapter onto the 30 amp cord and plug it in. Now it's really making sense!

And it seems I will not need to worry about having a 30 amp outlet installed at my home, thanks. Yep, what I am hoping to accomplish tomorrow should get the slide-out OUT lol and battery charged. 

Mark&Sandy
 

Larry N.

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mpolsue1 said:
      It is starting to make sense now lol.

      The yellow adapter we got with our starter kit is marked with "15A" and "125 VAC."  Is that the 30 to 15 amp adapter?

Mark&Sandy
Depends on the plugs/receptacles on the cord. The 15A plug is a standard household plug, and the 30A looks somewhat like that dryer plug, so two types of adapters could exist: One for the 30A cord to plug into the adapter, then a 15A plug on the adapter to go into a house outlet. The other could go the other direction, but those would be rare. The 15A/125 VAC markings just tell you its capacity, not its use.
 

Lou Schneider

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Let me try to simplify this discussion a bit.  ;)

If all you want to do is charge the batteries, get the slide out, run some lights, etc. a regular orange extension cord will work fine.  Just plug the trailer into it using the adapter that came with the trailer.

You only need the higher amperage cords and/or a 30 amp outlet if you want to use a high wattage appliance like the air conditioner or microwave.
 

mpolsue1

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Lou Schneider said:
Let me try to simplify this discussion a bit.  ;)

If all you want to do is charge the batteries, get the slide out, run some lights, etc. a regular orange extension cord will work fine.  Just plug the trailer into it using the adapter that came with the trailer.

You only need the higher amperage cords and/or a 30 amp outlet if you want to use a high wattage appliance like the air conditioner or microwave.

Thank you, Lou. We may very  well just do that with the regular orange cord, tomorrow. I think we will still go shopping for the 30 amp extension cord tomorrow, also, as we'll need it eventually, anyway.

Mark&Sandy
 

Alfa38User

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You will not likely find a 30 amp extension cord that will plug into the standard household outlet so I suggest you eliminate that terminology from your vocabulary when shopping, as you may end up with the wrong thing. Standard household outlets and extension cords are limited to 15/20 amp in most cases.  I presume the  adapter you have is like the one pictured below.

A thirty amp cord should have the same plugs/sockets as the one you already have and you will have to install a proper connector and wiring in your home to use it or use the adapter you have. You will likely find those in RV stores.Should you go this route make sure the electrician understands EXACTLY what you need before starting (120V, 30 amp).
 

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Optimistic Paranoid

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Just to clarify, you need a 30 amp FEMALE to 15 amp MAKE adapter, like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-PowerGrip-Adapter-Contoured-55223/dp/B00192JGA8/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474239&sr=8-5&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter&dpID=31qOsjzI-NL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

This will allow you to plug your 30 amp cord into a 15 amp outlet.

They also make a 30 amp MALE to 15 amp FEMALE adapter, like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Leisure-Adapter-Generator-Electrical-Converter/dp/B07BWQ5CY4/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474335&sr=8-25&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter

In case you are curious, this type would be for a guy with a small camper that uses a 15 amp cord.  If he got to a campground and discovered that the 15 amp outlet in his site was broken or otherwise not working, he could plug this into the 30 amp outlet and then plug his 15 amp cord into that.  I can't see you needing one of these.

You may, however, at some point, also want to get a 50 amp MALE to 30 amp Female adapter like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-55173-18-Electric-Adapter/dp/B00PCI432G/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474871&sr=8-22&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter&refinements=p_89%3ACamco

This would allow you to plug into the 50 amp outlet at your camp site if you discovered that the 30 amp outlet isn't working.  You wouldn't need this at your house.
 

lynnmor

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Optimistic Paranoid said:
You may, however, at some point, also want to get a 50 amp MALE to 30 amp Female adapter like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-55173-18-Electric-Adapter/dp/B00PCI432G/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474871&sr=8-22&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter&refinements=p_89%3ACamco

This would allow you to plug into the 50 amp outlet at your camp site if you discovered that the 30 amp outlet isn't working.  You wouldn't need this at your house.


Check the price at Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Camco-18-in-Power-Grip-Dog-Bone-Adapter-55173/205808405
 

mpolsue1

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Alfa38User said:
You will not likely find a 30 amp extension cord that will plug into the standard household outlet so I suggest you eliminate that terminology from your vocabulary when shopping, as you may end up with the wrong thing. Standard household outlets and extension cords are limited to 15/20 amp in most cases.  I presume the  adapter you have is like the one pictured below.

A thirty amp cord should have the same plugs/sockets as the one you already have and you will have to install a proper connector and wiring in your home to use it or use the adapter you have. You will likely find those in RV stores.Should you go this route make sure the electrician understands EXACTLY what you need before starting (120V, 30 amp).
quote]

Thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate it as using the wrong word at Lowe's could end up confusing everyone and worse, cost me a lot of $. Yes, the adapter you pictured is the one I got in my starter kit.


Thanks again. I will not be going that route as we plan to sell this house eventually. Now that I am a bit better educated than I was last night, I see there is no need to do all that.


Mark&Sandy
 

mpolsue1

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Spring Branch, TX
Optimistic Paranoid said:
Just to clarify, you need a 30 amp FEMALE to 15 amp MAKE adapter, like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-PowerGrip-Adapter-Contoured-55223/dp/B00192JGA8/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474239&sr=8-5&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter&dpID=31qOsjzI-NL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

This will allow you to plug your 30 amp cord into a 15 amp outlet.

They also make a 30 amp MALE to 15 amp FEMALE adapter, like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Leisure-Adapter-Generator-Electrical-Converter/dp/B07BWQ5CY4/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474335&sr=8-25&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter

In case you are curious, this type would be for a guy with a small camper that uses a 15 amp cord.  If he got to a campground and discovered that the 15 amp outlet in his site was broken or otherwise not working, he could plug this into the 30 amp outlet and then plug his 15 amp cord into that.  I can't see you needing one of these.

You may, however, at some point, also want to get a 50 amp MALE to 30 amp Female adapter like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-55173-18-Electric-Adapter/dp/B00PCI432G/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1533474871&sr=8-22&keywords=rv+30+amp+adapter&refinements=p_89%3ACamco

This would allow you to plug into the 50 amp outlet at your camp site if you discovered that the 30 amp outlet isn't working.  You wouldn't need this at your house.

Thank you, and everyone for taking the time to try and make sure I have an idea of what I am doing now lol. I Do appreciate it.

The first link you sent is what the RV dealer gave us in the starter kit. The second link I don't need, but know what it is now. The last I will want to have in case that 50 amp is all that is available at a campsite, but will just get the 30 amp cord today.

Mark&Sandy
 
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