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Old 09-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #1
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Location: Fayetteville, GA
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What a difference a gauge makes

Back in 2008 when I got my 5th wheel trailer home I decided it would be best to store it with “yard power” applied to keep the batteries topped off and the fridge powered up. (and that's all, mostly) I purchased a 100 ft., 14 gauge extension cord and made my own adapter to fit between the trailer and the female 15 amp outlet on the cord. This is plugged into a standard household 15 amp outlet on the side of the house.

After eight years of UV light, rain, mold, dirt, corrosion and having been run over once with a lawn mower, this past week I replaced all that with a new 12 gauge extension cord (that weighs a whopping 15 pounds) and a fancy store bought adapter that features a positive mechanical and water tight connection to the trailer that my home made adapter was lacking.

https://www.campingworld.com/shoppin...mart-led/69586

The extension cord I got at Harbor Freight, list $70 but I had the 20% off coupon and got the free with purchase stuff, too.

Then the test engineer in me thought I’d see if the expense was worth it.
A few definitions for our test: Minimal Load = The 12 converter is running, with the fridge, a Vortex fan and 1 LED light fixture. A/C on = All of that and of course the 13.5 ducted air conditioner is running. Measurements were taken at an outlet inside the trailer.

14 gauge
Minimal Load = 121 volts
A/C on = 108 volts

12 gauge
Minimal Load = 121 volts
A/C on = 113 volts

So I got back 5 volts of drop with the new, heaver cable (with non-corroded connections). Don’t seem like much, and I might not want to camp out there like that, but I sure feel better about running the A/C while I’m out there working/cleaning/stocking up. As long as I don’t use the toaster and the A/C at the same time….
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:37 PM   #2
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You just proved Ohm's Law.
E=I x R

You can look up Ohm's Law for more details.
Now with that said you can also increase your present voltage by shortening the 100ft extension cord or if you want to go up to #10 AWG wire to help you off set the long distance.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
... you can also increase your present voltage by shortening the 100ft extension cord or if you want to go up to #10 AWG wire to help you off set the long distance.
If I shorten the cord it won't reach the trailer.

The cheapest 10 AWG was $120 plus shipping. That exceeded my budget for this project.
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