30 amp vs 15 amp camp ground service?

cmaccmac Member Posts: 90
Hi all:
I've been thinking about using only 15 amp service this fall on our trip to VT, NH, ME, and Prince Edward and Nova Scotia, Canada since we probably will not need the AC.  I usually use a hot pot to heat water for dishes and coffee or a small electric skillet for breakfast - but not at the same time since they are both rated for ~12 amps.

So I'm thinking about using a 12 gauge 25' extension cord instead of the 30 amp cord for convenience purposes and ease of handling.  I will not use the hot pot or skillet at the same time due to their amp draws.

So should I just plug into the 15 amp outlet in the pedestal without a surge protector, or, plug my 30 amp surge protector into the 30 amp outlet and then use my 30 to 15 amp adapter to plug the extension cord into in order to have surge protection?  There are 15 amp circuit breakers in the [email protected]

Please let me know of potential electrical downfalls you might see with this kind of set-up.

John
John & Cheryl
2007 [email protected] ClamShell by Dutchman "[email protected]"
2018 Chevy Colorado V-6
Edmond, OK

Comments

  • PhotomomPhotomom Member Posts: 2,216
    I don’t understand your goal. If you have a 30 amp outlet on the pedestal why not use that (with a surge protector)?
    John and Henrietta, Late 2016 [email protected] S Max in Western New York
  • cmaccmac Member Posts: 90
    My goal is to be able to use the lighter weight cord which is easier and lighter to handle on a day-to-day basis, rather than the 30 amp cord which is heavier and more awkward to store.  I'm thinking the lighter cord will handle the current draw of the trailer if I am careful when using the hot pot or skillet.

    Note: I will still have the 30 amp cord with me just in case we need the AC or get a pedestal that doesn't have a 15 amp outlet.

    When not cooking, all the cord has to do is power the converter to charge the battery and run the refrigerator.
    John & Cheryl
    2007 [email protected] ClamShell by Dutchman "[email protected]"
    2018 Chevy Colorado V-6
    Edmond, OK
  • PhotomomPhotomom Member Posts: 2,216
    I think to make this work you’d have to plug the surge protector into the pedestal and attach a 30a to 15a adapter to it so you could use a regular extension cord. Then how would you attach the extension cord to the camper? 
    John and Henrietta, Late 2016 [email protected] S Max in Western New York
  • cmaccmac Member Posts: 90
    I have an adapter on order from RV Parts Country like this:


    John

    John & Cheryl
    2007 [email protected] ClamShell by Dutchman "[email protected]"
    2018 Chevy Colorado V-6
    Edmond, OK
  • PhotomomPhotomom Member Posts: 2,216
    I suppose it will work. We connect our [email protected] to a 15amp outlet in the garage between camping trips. But frankly the regular 30amp cord is very flexible and compact when rolled up.
    John and Henrietta, Late 2016 [email protected] S Max in Western New York
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,558
    @cmac, so let's assume you have your [email protected] conveniently hooked up on a 15 amp circuit. Just so you know, we have our [email protected] on a 15 amp circuit from our house. That 15 amp has handled the refrigerator  on the electric setting while the danby a/c kicked on and off to maintain  a cool temp in the summer. I have also used a 700 watt microwave occasionally while running the fridge and a/c. Either we've been incredibly lucky, or a single 15 amp circuit from the house can handle the load. We've been hooked up this way since May 2016, and have never tripped the house or [email protected] breaker. I am not suggesting you do the same, but will offer that you might first test the load/draw before making your travel plans. I  think what you are proposing is very doable, and easily within the limits you have set for yourself. You may even be surprised at what you can utilize at the same time with the power draw.
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 995
    cmac said:
    - - the Question - -

    So should I just plug into the 15 amp outlet in the pedestal without a surge protector, or, plug my 30 amp surge protector into the 30 amp outlet and then use my 30 to 15 amp adapter to plug the extension cord into in order to have surge protection? 

    IMHO use the 30A Outlet and your surge protector.  You are planning to connect the 15A power cord to your [email protected] 30A input socket so the [email protected] power system will "see" any issues if the 15A power cord was directly powered by the pedestal 15A outlet (without a surge protector)


    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  36   Nights:  204 
  • cmaccmac Member Posts: 90
    I was talking with my neighbor across the street, he is an engineer, and shared my question with him.

    He is loaning me his amp tester and adapter so I can measure in real life the amp draw of each item individually.  This will give me a better idea of the true amp draw.

    I know to calculate amps equals:    watts/volts = amps  but this will test the accuracy of the factory supplied info for the appliances.  The big question will be the AC draw - full on, and fan only.

    I will post the results if anyone is interested.
    John
    John & Cheryl
    2007 [email protected] ClamShell by Dutchman "[email protected]"
    2018 Chevy Colorado V-6
    Edmond, OK
  • RatkityRatkity Member Posts: 3,756
    Whatever you do, do not coil the extension cord you plug in. With a large amp draw, it'll get slightly warm. This is normally not an issue if it's not coiled. It can get so hot when coiled it'll melt. My BIL found that out running a rotisseri on one very long coiled up extension cord. I know that's an extreme example, but I just want to let you know the insulation and the resistance in the 30A cord prevents it from heating up like an extension cord can. Don't use an 18g extension cord. Find the 14 or 12g ones if you insist on using 20A service.
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 4,660
    I'll add stick with the 12g cord minimum--if you can find one. 14g is only rated for 15A. 30A requires 10g.
  • RatkityRatkity Member Posts: 3,756
    "Wise, this V person is" ~Yoda
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,979
    You said with a #12 extension cord. Yep, you can definitely do that. Yes, do add the surge protector.
    But I tend to agree with all those that are saying, 'why bother?'. 
    That 30A cord (that came with our Tab) is surprisingly flexible and easy to coil, even when cold.
    We usually extend that 30A cord with a #12 also.
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl 
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • LuckyjLuckyj Member Posts: 286
    If you go ahead with this, like someone said here, use a heavy gauge 110 volt extentension cord.  The heavier gauge make it more pricy but it will run colder.

    the 30 amps cord are a bit overkill for our little trailer usage, but they went with safety in mind and the campground standard of 30 amos for peace of mind and cover for abuse by ignorant or carless users that would choose to bring house 1500 watts heater to heat up pup-ups and other stuff like that.

    i run the ac with a standard 110 utiliy extension (but in good shape) at the end on my 30 amps cord from my house 110 15 amps breaker outlet and the cable does not get hot.
    2017 [email protected] Max Outback "Le Refuge"
    TV 2005 jeep TJ unlimited
    and/or 2005 Nissan X-Trail 4wd
    Alaskan Malamuthe on board!

    Les Escoumins and Petite-Riviere-St-Francois QC
  • rkj__rkj__ Member Posts: 641
    I agree that the big heavy 30A extension cords are a little heavy and bulky, but since I've got 'em, I use 'em.  I always transport them in the back of my pickup truck, so I don't have to worry about coiling them tightly, or making sure they are clean. 

    I'm not sure how warm a 12ga cord would actually get, but I can say that when running the Alde full power on electric, and the fridge, the 30A cord does not even melt a snowflake.  It stays icy cold on its exterior. 
    2016 [email protected] 320 CS-S - 2018 GMC Sierra - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • RatkityRatkity Member Posts: 3,756
    One thing no one has mentioned is that the connection of the 30A at the trailer side is pretty much waterproof. Most people don't know that the cord turns 1/8 turn to lock in and THEN you rotate the lock ring to tighten.
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • rfuss928rfuss928 Member Posts: 704
    Well to take this in a direction the OP was trying to avoid........

    I carry a 30 foot 30A RV extension cord like this:


    I don't use it that often but it is nice not to be limited to 30 feet from the power post at some campsites.  With this I am sure I have a secure, robust connection.

    The problem with inadequate power cords is the voltage drop at higher currents.  The low voltage causes motors, like the AC compressor to draw more current and overheat.  The AC unit will fail prematurely if run too long on a low voltage supply.  The damage to motor is cumulative and deteriorates the motor every minute it is subject to the higher current.   Other devices including the 12V converter are much less sensitive to the low voltage.  Some "surge protectors" like those from Progressive Industries will disconnect if the voltage drops too low.  They should always be used at the camper end of the cord.

    Just the perspective from a well traveled [email protected] - YMMV!
    Have Fun!!

    Bob




  • LuckyjLuckyj Member Posts: 286
    When I made a comment, I have forgot to mentionned that we do not have a micro-wave nore the alde heater and water heater.

    so the only big power draw is the small ac or a small space heater.
    2017 [email protected] Max Outback "Le Refuge"
    TV 2005 jeep TJ unlimited
    and/or 2005 Nissan X-Trail 4wd
    Alaskan Malamuthe on board!

    Les Escoumins and Petite-Riviere-St-Francois QC
  • HopsHops Member Posts: 45
    Verna said:
    By the time you spend money on the adapter, pay for a suitable gauge of extension cord, try to coil the new extension cord when done, find a place to store it in the [email protected], I think it may have been a lot easier to have just stuck with the 30 amp cord. My 30 amp cord has a memory and returns easily to the coiled shape. My personal opinion, for what it’s worth. 
    Verna: do have a link to your cord that you have? I agree with @cmac the cord I have is hard to coil, store, and manipulate.
    Hops and Cascade
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S
    2014 Ford Escape 2.0 EcoBoost
  • MouseketabMouseketab Member Posts: 1,093
    rfuss928 said:
    Well to take this in a direction the OP was trying to avoid........

    I carry a 30 foot 30A RV extension cord like this:


    I don't use it that often but it is nice not to be limited to 30 feet from the power post at some campsites.  With this I am sure I have a secure, robust connection.

    The problem with inadequate power cords is the voltage drop at higher currents.  The low voltage causes motors, like the AC compressor to draw more current and overheat.  The AC unit will fail prematurely if run too long on a low voltage supply.  The damage to motor is cumulative and deteriorates the motor every minute it is subject to the higher current.   Other devices including the 12V converter are much less sensitive to the low voltage.  Some "surge protectors" like those from Progressive Industries will disconnect if the voltage drops too low.  They should always be used at the camper end of the cord.

    Just the perspective from a well traveled [email protected] - YMMV!
    Have Fun!!

    Bob



    What Bob said!! Your 30 Amp cord, a 30 Amp extension, and the various dogbone adapters is what you need!! Now I do have a small bin of regular outdoor extension cords, but those are for my toaster oven, tacky lights, microwave, etc, that I plug directly into the pole into the 110 plug that is usually there in addition to the 30 Amp.
    Carol
    [email protected]
    #2741
    2007 Dutchmen [email protected] Clamshell, 2021 F-150 502A Lariat SuperCrew, 3.5 EcoBoost 4x2
    Harvest, AL
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,817
    @Hops, @rfuss928 has a link to a similar cord. Mine is actually heavier than that one, but I don’t find it on Amazon any longer. I bought it in 2012 with my first teardrop and I never wanted to worry about having too light of a gauge of electrical cord. 

    By the way, the cords that have lights on them to show when the cords are energized, the LED lights don’t always have a long life, so don’t worry if the light goes out. The cord is probably still good. 
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock “The [email protected]
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost “The Truck”
    [email protected] Administrator
  • gulfareagulfarea Member Posts: 330
    As it sounds like the OP does not have the water heater which when on both elements does need 30 amp service he would have no trouble with 20 amp. Most of us have the heater - hot water model that needs 30 amp if we use it. I have run just my Damby A/C from the house with 20 amp.  Art
    2019 TaB 320 S Boondock Edge
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,292
    The OP has a DM TaB, so not Alde or electric hot water heater, and the biggest electrical load is the AC (if equipped) followed by the WFCO Electric converter/charger unit.  So the trailer should run in 20 amp service just fine.
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
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