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Old 11-20-2022, 12:54 PM   #1
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infrared heater

My camper is permanently set up and I recently bought a 1500w infrared heater because propane is ridiculous now. My RV is 30A so it will trip the breakers after a while. Im guessing its the electric water heater and such just overloads it.
On the campsite pedestal there is the normal hookup for the RV (30A),A 50a and two extra GFI 110 plugins. My question is, can I run a outdoor grade drop cord into my RV from the 110 pedestal plug and use that to power my infrared heater?
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:09 PM   #2
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In theory yes but I've been told it's not a good idea to plug heaters into extension cords.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:10 PM   #3
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Yes you can. In my case I mounted a plate on the outside with the male plug, wired it to a single outlet on the inside. My extra extension cord runs between the pedestal and the plate so I don't need to run through a window or door with it.

The plate is Leviton 5278-CWP Straight Blade Flanged Male Power Inlet Receptacle.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:34 PM   #4
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The actual 30a service comes in behind a large blank panel. I could just use a retrofit box and run the same type cable to it for power instead of a drop cord
I only considered a drop cord (outside heavy duty style) because it would only be 15ft long and temporary
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Old 11-20-2022, 06:01 PM   #5
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You can use an extension cord, just be sure it rated for the wattage being used. If it is heavy enough nor of excessive length, it is no different/less safe than the wiring inside your R/V.

Also, switch the water heater to propane... water heaters sip propane compared to furnaces but will free up some watts.
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:42 PM   #6
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the 1500w heater will pull about 12.5 amps not much more than an air conditioner.
so in theory as long as your NOT making coffee and using the microwave the heater should play nice with 30amp .... power management

biggest item to look at is the water heater .... if you switch it to electric it will draw a lot of amps... switch it on 30 minutes before bath time (turn heater off ) ,
wash dishes with water heated on the stove.

you can use the extra power outlet from the pedestal
get a 12g Contractors grade cord and try not to run anything else off it.
BUT getting it INSIDE without leaving a window cracked open etc will require some thought..


If you are full time living .... may be a good idea to look at a permanent solution
get an electrician to wire in a 50amp plug ........... instead of the 30amp
he can then add another inside distribution panel
or swap out the 30 amp distribution panel for a 50amp panel
+ add some circuits / and outlets that use the second leg of the 50amp connection

you will then have more than enough power
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Old 11-20-2022, 08:44 PM   #7
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Buy a good 10awg extension cord that you can use at home when loading up and want to use the AC as well. That's what I bought for ours. And ran the air conditioner for a month while we stayed at a relative's house off a 20amp outlet.

https://a.co/4GE25Qc
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Old 11-21-2022, 07:54 AM   #8
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getting an extension cord INSIDE is the problem
without leaving a window/door cracked open

something like this for boats that use chargers for trolling motors

https://www.amazon.com/Minn-Kota-186...27886327&psc=1
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Old 11-21-2022, 07:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
In theory yes but I've been told it's not a good idea to plug heaters into extension cords.
Because people tend to do it improperly. They use cords not heavy duty enough, they run them under rugs, they run them places where they get stepped on or exposed to other damage risks. All of this things can create heat and risk of fire.
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Old 11-21-2022, 08:59 AM   #10
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If you are on a 50A site you can do this if the proper size wiring /connections are used. If you are on a 30A site, I recommend not doing it. Many 30A configurations have a second 30A breaker upstream in a locked location to protect the wiring to the pedestal. Using over 30A from the pedestal can cause that breaker to trip. if it is at night, you may end up with no power until morning when staff returns.
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Old 11-21-2022, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
getting an extension cord INSIDE is the problem
without leaving a window/door cracked open

something like this for boats that use chargers for trolling motors
If you have a slide, the corner seal area often has enough room for an extension cord plug to fit through and then the rubber seal does a pretty good job of closing up the area. No need to leave a window or door partially open.

Your trolling motor receptacle is a good idea and there are similar ones made for R/Vs too. I've put a couple of these in past R/Vs... some even have an extension cord type connection on the back for those not electrically inclined.

Dumble Power Inlet Port Plug 125v 2-Pole 3-Wire AC Cord Port Plug 15 Amp RV Electrical Outlet Outdoor Enclosed Trailer



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Old 11-21-2022, 09:18 AM   #12
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Study up on loads of various items.

Remember the converter runs all the time. Likely 5 amps.

Running a water heater and 1500 watt heater is very likely over 30 amps.

I have run an ac unit on the 100’ extension cord I use. However the fireplace, about 1000 watts will not work long.

Many folks run a separate line to a outlet in the rv for, that extra 15 amps. Might not work on a “true” 30 amp only shore power outlet. Only the 50 amp ones!

Remember as well most rv’s rely on the furnace in cold weather to heat water pipes.

We set the furnace at 60 degrees and run two 800 watt heaters typically set to 74 degrees. 37’ fifth wheel on 50 amp shore power. Works well. Uses little propane.
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Old 11-21-2022, 09:43 AM   #13
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30 amp should be able to run heater 1500 watt and water heater 1440 watts adding a 3rd high draw like microwave will trip breaker . but the 30 amp should run both heater and water heater and other small 120 loads like converter , If the breaker is tripping using the 2 you may just have a weak old breaker . I've never had problems running loads like that on the 30 amp unless i turn on microwave while to other 2 loads were running .



Wiring in an additional 20 amp to supply the heater alone is something to consider or a 10 gauge outdoor extension cord S/B fine
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Old 11-22-2022, 03:01 PM   #14
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The hookup at the camp ground has a 50,30 and two 110 outlets. My camper is 30. I can run the heater for about 30 min and it trips the breaker. I ordered a 15ft 12/3 outside grade drop cord. I can run it in the same panel my 30 service line comes in which is right behind a panel under the cabinet. One small hole in the panel and its inside.
The breaker is warm when it trips so it must be a little to much for it. I just replaced the converter a few weeks ago also. It always trips the bottom half of a split breaker. I will check exactly what both parts do next time Im there. (maybe this weekend). Its a 07 so its possible the breakers are just "old"
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Old 11-22-2022, 03:57 PM   #15
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Breakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc99 View Post
The hookup at the camp ground has a 50,30 and two 110 outlets. My camper is 30. I can run the heater for about 30 min and it trips the breaker. I ordered a 15ft 12/3 outside grade drop cord. I can run it in the same panel my 30 service line comes in which is right behind a panel under the cabinet. One small hole in the panel and its inside.
The breaker is warm when it trips so it must be a little to much for it. I just replaced the converter a few weeks ago also. It always trips the bottom half of a split breaker. I will check exactly what both parts do next time Im there. (maybe this weekend). Its a 07 so its possible the breakers are just "old"
A breaker has two different trip mechanisms:
  • Big overload (e.g., 500% of rating), .00833 seconds (8.3 milliseconds or 1/2 AC cycle) by the electromagnetic trip mechanism
  • Small overload (e.g., 110% of rating), 1 hour at 70°F (25°C) by the thermal trip mechanism
Clearly, yours is the second case. The breaker could be worn, or the ambient temperature within the panel could be greater than 70°F.

Our trailer is also permanently sited in a rural area. I have five or six 30lb. propane tanks and whenever two are empty, I shuttle them home to the big house and refill them at the nearby Costco. This has worked well for us.

A 20lb. tank (the size usually used with BBQs) costs around $10 to fill at Costco. A 30 lb. tank would cost around $15. Since our electricity is metered (and seems expensive), propane is the right solution for us--and the heat is much more even.
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:09 PM   #16
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Your about 65mi east of me. My costco is 25mi N. My propane heater works fine but like most its a little loud. I was really just going to use the infrared as a helper and not as the main source. My plan was to use the normal heater to get it warm and the infrared to keep it close to that temp.
I was going to just put a big tank there till I found out how much they charge to come fill it.
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:07 PM   #17
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You have to remember that an infrared heater does very little to heat the air. It will heat objects, which in turn helps increase the heat inside.You have to be careful about objects in front of the infrared heater. You need to keep things at least 2-3 feet away from the front of the heater. A ceramic heater uses a ceramic element and a fan. Produces the same 5200 BTU's About the same power draw and much safer, plus it blows the warm air around. With the infrared, you have to be in front of it to get warm.
We use one ceramic heater in our 28 foot trailer and it stays warm as low as 45º outside air temp.
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:38 PM   #18
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You can use an extension cord, just be sure it rated for the wattage being used. If it is heavy enough nor of excessive length, it is no different/less safe than the wiring inside your R/V.

Also, switch the water heater to propane... water heaters sip propane compared to furnaces but will free up some watts.

My 28 foot trailer uses heavy solid core house wiring for all AC circuits. I sure hope new trailers don't use what is effectively extension cord wiring.
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:57 PM   #19
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My 28 foot trailer uses heavy solid core house wiring for all AC circuits. I sure hope new trailers don't use what is effectively extension cord wiring.
The OP was asking about using an extension cord from the pedestal as an extra circuit.

There was no mention of the wires within the R/V being any different than yours.

But... on a slightly different note, yet related to your comment... every R/V I've seen with a slide uses stranded SO cord (because of movement) to feed any outlets in the slide so yes, there is effectively extension cord wiring in R/Vs.

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Old 11-29-2022, 05:59 AM   #20
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Separate 110 or 50A

Hi,
YES!!! We've been doing that forever and love it. Husband installed the outlet at the back of the trailer near where the 30A plug goes, so we have the outlet inside that is totally separate from the trailer's 30A system. I also use it for our new Max Air Oven (electric), which also keeps the trailer warm when I cook in cold weather. Sometimes there's no 110 on the posts, so we just convert to the 50A from that extra outlet. Works great.
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