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Old 01-13-2017, 04:22 PM   #1
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Parking at the parents house

Any tips on surviving on 20 amps in a 30 amp trailer? Also looking to run a couple extra extension cords in the trailer. Is the slide the best access spot for that? I will also have a 75 foot run of water hose to the trailer. Is there anything you can do to keep it from freezing other than leaving a faucet on? Additional tidbits appreciated.

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Old 01-13-2017, 04:49 PM   #2
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Don't use a GFCI protected 20A outlet in the house to plug in 30A connection. GFCI's do not like to be in series. If the extra extension cords are for heaters be sure to use HD cords and as short as possible. You can get heated water hoses, but they are expensive and usually short. Best case is disconnect water hose in evening when it gets cold and store in house/garage and reconnect in am. Running water will work if it does not get too cold and parents are not on septic system. Run water heater on propane. Before you use high current devices, Microwave, hairdryer, etc, inventory what else is running.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:46 PM   #3
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Don't use a GFCI protected 20A outlet in the house to plug in 30A connection. GFCI's do not like to be in series...
Flybob,

Can you cite a reference to support this assertion? I can find a lot of arguments on the web, but nothing in way of factual support.

Empirically, I can note that I sometimes feed my travel trailer from a 20 A GFCI circuit and have encountered no problems with either of the GFCIs.

Thanks,

John
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:44 PM   #4
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At least in my neck of the woods, all outside and garage outlets are now required by code to have GFCI. They are checked at time of sale by most home inspectors.

Only once when plugging my A-frame into the garage have I popped the GFCI (on the garage outlet). Could have popped for a variety of reasons since I only have a single 20 amp circuit in the garage. I have read that series GFCIs don't play nice, but have not experienced that problem myself. Perhaps the newer GFCIs installed in RVs no longer have the problem.

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Old 01-13-2017, 11:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by johnbryanpeters View Post
Flybob,

Can you cite a reference to support this assertion? I can find a lot of arguments on the web, but nothing in way of factual support.

Empirically, I can note that I sometimes feed my travel trailer from a 20 A GFCI circuit and have encountered no problems with either of the GFCIs.

Thanks,

John
Search around on here. There are probably dozens of threads about breakers tripping or just not being able to get 15amp adapters to work on house gfi outlets.
Pretty widely known issue in the rv world.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:20 PM   #6
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Search around on here. There are probably dozens of threads about breakers tripping or just not being able to get 15amp adapters to work on house gfi outlets.
Pretty widely known issue in the rv world.
X2, based on the many threads I've read.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:30 PM   #7
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Heres screen shots of 3 threads i just found
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:37 PM   #8
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If you're going to be there for any length of time, have a temporary 30 amp pigtail dropped out of the electric panel. If this is going to be reoccurring, have the correct receptacle installed. Depending on how cold you're going to be you could maybe run the hose through a small diameter piece of insulated duct which you could blow heated air through? I saw something like that at one of those little coffee shops in a parking lot here in South Dakota where it gets fairly cold.
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:28 AM   #9
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I think the temp 30 amp cord at the electrical box and insulated ducting for the hose is a great idea. I would also suggest that if your running multiple extension cords that you plug them in so they are not all on the same house circuit.

I would also come up with a back up plan just in case your parents live in a town or subdivision that does not allow it?
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:51 AM   #10
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IF you are going to install an outside RV box the 50A 240V will cost the same and allow for the next RV.

One caution is if you use a macerator pump to discharge Black waste , and the home is on a septic system , DO NOT use any sort of "no stink" in your black tank.

These can kill the "good" microbes in the septic tank and plug the home owners field , requiring replacement.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:24 AM   #11
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IF you are going to install an outside RV box the 50A 240V will cost the same and allow for the next RV.

One caution is if you use a macerator pump to discharge Black waste , and the home is on a septic system , DO NOT use any sort of "no stink" in your black tank.

These can kill the "good" microbes in the septic tank and plug the home owners field , requiring replacement.
Maybe someone smarter than I am can weigh in, and I'm willing to learn something new, but this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Almost every campground I've ever been in has been out in "the sticks." No sewer service. Therefore I assume they must have a septic system of some kind. And yet we all put this stuff in our black tanks.

Spot-checking some of the 80 items on Camping World's website, a few say on the container that they are septic safe and there were a few that CW said are septic safe in response to a question. I found one that said only to use once per month; most are silent on the subject, other than "environmentally friendly."

So my conclusion is that this may be true for some "no stinks," but is not a universal truth; you need to check whichever one you're using.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:03 PM   #12
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Hooking up a GFCI to another GFCI might or might not work. The only way to determine this is to try. My trailer has no issues with the GFCI in the garage. The trailer is just like hooking up inductive loads (motors, fridge, freezer, etc) to GFCI outlets. It might or might not trip the breaker. This is why code allows you not use them under some circumstances. Depending upon how the house is wired it might just be easier to install a single dedicated non-GFCI protected receptacle. This is what I did for our freezer as it doesn't play well with a GFCI receptacle.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:11 PM   #13
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I haven't tried this and don't know if it is a good idea or not...
For your water hose, how about getting a bunch of the foam pipe insulating wraps commonly available at the big box hardware stores:
http://www.menards.com/main/plumbing...23225304914908

Add to this a run of the roof de-icing cable running along your water hose inside the insulation (or not):
http://www.menards.com/main/plumbing...4444947433.htm

You might be able to use just the de-icing cable wrapped around the water hose...
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:01 PM   #14
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For water I would consider filling up the fresh water tank and then only connecting hose to fill when temperature is best suited. Good Luck!
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:53 PM   #15
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I lived in my 5er through the winter while doing a remodel on my house three years ago. Was a record cold winter for us. 16" of snow and down to single digits. I bought heat tape for the water hose and faucet and put the foam pipe insulation around that. I also added the heat tape to the dump valves, pipes and holding tanks under the trailer. I still had one of the dump valves freeze up but it didn't break. The GFCI outlet in the garage tripped when I plugged in, so I removed it. The 20 amp circuit I was plugged into was good enough to keep a portable electric heater running and operate the lights, tv, furnace blower fan and other small loads. The breaker would trip if I used the microwave and heater at the same time.
I was able to run the A/C during the summer from the 20 amp circuit as well, but had to turn if off while operating the microwave.
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Old 01-14-2017, 03:17 PM   #16
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Maybe someone smarter than I am can weigh in, and I'm willing to learn something new, but this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Almost every campground I've ever been in has been out in "the sticks." No sewer service. Therefore I assume they must have a septic system of some kind. And yet we all put this stuff in our black tanks.

Spot-checking some of the 80 items on Camping World's website, a few say on the container that they are septic safe and there were a few that CW said are septic safe in response to a question. I found one that said only to use once per month; most are silent on the subject, other than "environmentally friendly."

So my conclusion is that this may be true for some "no stinks," but is not a universal truth; you need to check whichever one you're using.
Certainly not claiming any smarter than you, but our home has septic tank system. When dumping black tank if necessary, I treat same as we do for the home ~ that is no bleach, no antimicrobial soaps (personal or laundry), use Dawn dish washing soap (prevents any grease build-up) and in the septic tank I use Rid-X. Doing this prevents the need for having the system pumped out on a constant basis. Camp grounds more than likely monitor their dump tanks and have much larger ones than for homes. The good microbes need to dissolve the waste so everything can go out into the leach field. Just saying, no argumentation intended.
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Old 01-14-2017, 03:24 PM   #17
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20 amp shouldn't be a real problem just run your hot water heater on LP and turn your furnace off when you are using the microwave. I go to a military fam camp and sometimes all I can get is 20 amps and I use my a/c , I just can't use it and the microwave at the same time. When I dry camp and run my Honda's I only have 26 amps to run a 50amp camper


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Old 01-14-2017, 03:40 PM   #18
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Our rig is plugged into a 15amp GFI circuit when we are home. We rarely trip the GFI. The only other draw on this circuit is a garage fridge.

I was just out there running a carpet shampoo machine, lights, and the TV. When company stays in it they can run a electric heater, lights, and TV.

You soon learn what you can and can't run together. I never have had any problems with the double GFI situation everyone seems to harp on. Give it a shot and see how you fare!!
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:25 PM   #19
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Maybe someone smarter than I am can weigh in, and I'm willing to learn something new, but this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Almost every campground I've ever been in has been out in "the sticks." No sewer service. Therefore I assume they must have a septic system of some kind. And yet we all put this stuff in our black tanks.

Spot-checking some of the 80 items on Camping World's website, a few say on the container that they are septic safe and there were a few that CW said are septic safe in response to a question. I found one that said only to use once per month; most are silent on the subject, other than "environmentally friendly."

So my conclusion is that this may be true for some "no stinks," but is not a universal truth; you need to check whichever one you're using.

The campground we are seasonals at has a large septic system with a very large sludge tank and drain field similar to those at homes in the country. They have about 400 sites. 150 seasonal sites. The dump station can do 2 campers at once. They pump the seasonal sites once a week and dump that into their dump station. The shower/restroom buildings and outhouses for the weekenders are pumped out when needed and that is also emptied at the dump station. At the end of the season in mid October they have a septic company pump out the dump station and inject the sludge into the fields surrounding the campground. The sludge tank is large enough that it takes a full day to empty.
I use regular Scott's TP, Rid-X, Dawn dish soap and Calgone in my Tank without problems. The way to check if the TP is safe to use in your black tank is to put 3-4 sheets into a quart jar with water, close the jar tightly and give the jar a vigorous shaking. If the TP disintegrates quickly it is good use.
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:29 PM   #20
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Thanks for the replies! I think I may just fill the fresh water tanks and refill as needed. I bought this trailer new and other than the PDI i have never used the fresh water tank. The trailer is a smidgen over two years old. What do I need to do to ensure the water is potable?

As for the plug ins. I have never taken this trailer over to my folks. My old trailer I would take over and it didn't take much to blow the circuit I was on. Basically no a/c and even a vacuum cleaner would make it trip after a few minutes.

Unfortunately this trip isn't for fun. Mom has lung cancer and is the primary care giver for my dad who hasn't fully recovered from a heart attack a couple years ago. Packing up the wife and 4 kids to try and give some much needed assistance.


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