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Old 10-30-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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Extension cord size

Just brought the "new to me" TT home on Friday. It's now parked in it's winter spot and I'd like to run an extension cord out to it to keep the battery, plug it in one day a week to keep the charge up. I don't need to run the AC, but maybe the fridge at times. My question is: what size extension cord would be right for this? The outlet in my garage that I'd be plugging it into is only 20A, so is a 20A cord sufficient? Will this pose any risk of damage to my converter if it's not getting 30A? It's a 2009 Salem LA, and the converter is 3 stage. The heaviest 100' cord I can find at HD or Lowes is only 20A. Thanks!

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Old 10-30-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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It is not the amperage you need to worry about but the voltage drop. The longer the cord the more Voltage drop a heaver Gauge wire helps for longer runs most extension cords are 16 gauge get one that is a mininum of 12 gauge to 10 gauge the smaller the number the heaver the wire. If you want to test the cord plug it into unit and use a voltage tester to see what Voltage you have with just the converter it should be around 110 V - 100 V mininum any lower and you would burn out the converter.


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Old 10-30-2011, 09:09 AM   #3
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Most converters for campers pull less than 10 amps. As long as you are not running a cord more than 100' or so a regular 16-14 gauge extention cord should be just fine. If running a long way out I would get a heavier cord to compensate for the voltage drop.

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Old 10-31-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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Ok, so the extension cord saga continues. I've decided that I want a 10 gauge, 100', 20A cord. So off to Homey Depot, and they have one that's only rated at 15A. Ok, so I whip out the iPhone, open my Lowes app, and look it up. Of course, they have the same thing, only rated for 20A. And to top it off, my local Lowes is out of stock. Now, if they're both 10 gauge wire, how is one 15A and one 20A? Isn't 10 gauge 10 gauge, regardless of manufacturer? I'm annoyed...
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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10 ga wire is normally considered capable of 30 amps BUT it depends on
the length.
You say you're looking at 100' cords but don't plan to run the AC or Microwave.
I think 12 ga is going to do the job just fine even 14 would probably be OK.

10 ga just to run the charger is overkill IMO.
I can't tell you why one 10 ga cord is labeled different amps than another.

Another method would be to run a 16 ga cord out there and use a Battery
Tender (automatic trickle charger) to keep your batteries up.
You can buy one of those and a 100' 16 ga cord and have money left over
compared to a 100' 10 ga cord.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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10 gauge wire is normally rated for 30 amps but there a couple of factors that affect that, one the size and number of individual wires put together to make one wire affects surface area, and the insulation that is likely the reason for the different amp ratings.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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something like the ebay item listed will aslo work.
number 390353686474
Coleman Cable 02887 50 14/3 Yellow Jacket Extension Cord | eBay
I purchased 2 of them for my generator last fall - and they are heavy enough for the trailer.

The other option would be to unhook your battery and take it in the garage or basement - put it on a shelf and use the trickle chargers you can get at most Automotive stores for fairly cheap and keep it up for the winter.
Cold knocks the heck out of a battery just sitting and yours will be running stuff inside unless you throw all your breakers into off mode.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Another method would be to run a 16 ga cord out there and use a Battery
Tender (automatic trickle charger) to keep your batteries up.
You can buy one of those and a 100' 16 ga cord and have money left over
compared to a 100' 10 ga cord.
Exactly what I would do, well actually I do this with our Gator and tractors. I take the battery out of the trailer and store it on a wood shelf in the garage and hook a tender up to it once a month for a few days. Black and Decker makes a tender that you can buy extra pigtails for and hook them permantely to the battery in question and move the tender from unit to unit as it has a plug on the 12v side cord and pig tails.

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:04 PM   #9
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I agree with MilCop4523. I do have one addition. Purchase a (grounded) electronic timer, programme it to come on 3 times a week ( Monday, Thursday and Saturday) for about 3 hours. This is best in your basement or other heated area.
Why an electronic timer, because they don't loose the time or programme with power failures. Lead/acid batteries are good for 5 years when kept charged. No charge leads to sulphation which will prevent the battery from charging and early replacement.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:33 PM   #10
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the other option for an extension cord is - the cord that came with your trailer does not have a right angle head - cut the end off or take it apart - that goes into the trailer and put a female adapter on it and then go buy a new 50 cord with the right angle adapter - it did two things for me 1 - gave me an extension cord and 2 - I was able to get a longer 30 amp cord in yellow with the righ angle head to take the strain off of the plug on the side of the camper.

this is what I did and never looked back either.

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