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Old 05-21-2023, 08:22 PM   #1
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Electrical Plugs

Hi All, we are brand new to RV and are on our maiden voyage. We recently bought a sunset trail super lite 285ck.

We are camping on a friends farm. We have our battery hooked up and power is on, however, none of our plugs work on the battery? We have lights, bit thatís it. Are we missing something?
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Old 05-21-2023, 08:27 PM   #2
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Nope. The lights and several appliances and the water pump run on battery(12v).

If you want the AC and the outlets to run you'll need to connect to 120v (shore power).
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Old 05-21-2023, 08:30 PM   #3
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In order to make everything else work, you'll need a 30 or 50A 120v camper outlet. Most farmers won't have one unless they themselves had a camper or a previous owner of the farm did.

A qualified electrician will be needed.
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Old 05-21-2023, 09:02 PM   #4
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If you have a plug adapter to change from a 30A to a 20a plug (like you would see in most homes), you might be able to get the appliances and the TV on, but the AC will likely need at least 30A ( it looks like your camper comes standard with a 15k BTU AC unit). My 15K AC unit needs at least 30A to run.

If you run extension cords, the shorter and thicker the better.
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Old 05-22-2023, 09:00 AM   #5
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You might look into purchasing a generator if you’re going to do much dry camping. 4000 watt to run air conditioner. I have two 2000 Honda generators with a parallel kit to join together for a 4000. Why: for me makes it easier to load one at a time. And the I can use just one around the house if I need to run a saw or drill away from a power source.Actually starting the air conditioner is what takes the wattage. Hers a video about what size generator to buy for Rv use. Hope it helps. https://youtu.be/fASNeLn-UP8
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:20 AM   #6
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I would agree with @Papa-T. A generator is the best idea if you'll be boondocking.

I think I saw a Firman 4300 at my local Costco for $500 if I remember correctly.

There are pros and cons to both options.. having two smaller generators versus one larger one.

Twice the maintenance, lower fuel capacity with the small ones versus a larger, heavier generator to carry around.

For me, the larger generator I leave in the back of the truck is the way to go.
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Old 05-28-2023, 04:51 PM   #7
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Not quite true.

All RV's will plug into standard 120V 15A plugs (a regular house plug) however the AC unit will not operate. Everything else should be fine
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Old 05-28-2023, 05:43 PM   #8
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Not quite true.

All RV's will plug into standard 120V 15A plugs (a regular house plug) however the AC unit will not operate. Everything else should be fine
I don't know what you're referring to when you say "not quite true". A 15A outlet and a 20A outlet are pretty much identical. Some 20A outlets have a slightly different blade on one side.

Personally, I've never had good luck getting much to run off of a 15A outlet especially because most of the time, those are run in a series and you likely have other items plugged into that circuit as well.

20A outlets often are for heavier use and may just have one. The likelihood of running a single 13.5k BTU air conditioner off of that is greater.

Keep your extension cord asshort and large as possible.

A generator would really be the best if you're planning on prolonged use.
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Old 05-28-2023, 05:56 PM   #9
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In order to make everything else work, you'll need a 30 or 50A 120v camper outlet. Most farmers won't have one unless they themselves had a camper or a previous owner of the farm did.

A qualified electrician will be needed.

I don't know what you're referring to when you say "not quite true". A 15A outlet and a 20A outlet are pretty much identical. Some 20A outlets have a slightly different blade on one side.

Personally, I've never had good luck getting much to run off of a 15A outlet especially because most of the time, those are run in a series and you likely have other items plugged into that circuit as well.

20A outlets often are for heavier use and may just have one. The likelihood of running a single 13.5k BTU air conditioner off of that is greater.

Keep your extension cord asshort and large as possible.

A generator would really be the best if you're planning on prolonged use.

I was referring to the reply about making everything work and needing an electrician. As I said plugging into a STANDARD 120V/15A, receptacle everything should work just fine EXCEPT AC.

NOTHING in the 120V world is wired in SERIES. THAT is just so wrong and mis leading. EVERYTHING is in Parallel (SAME voltage).

A 20A receptacle will not run a 13.5K BTU unit as the In-Rush current is way over 20A and the breaker will trip. You may get lucky and the AC will start once, every so often NOT on a regular basis.

Also buying a generator is not the solution, UNLESS you buy one capable of supplying 2500 - 3000 watts. The reason being In-Rush current at start up.

However what do I know? I only taught electrical for over 40 years.
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Old 05-28-2023, 08:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by egrum View Post
In order to make everything else work, you'll need a 30 or 50A 120v camper outlet. Most farmers won't have one unless they themselves had a camper or a previous owner of the farm did.

A qualified electrician will be needed.

I don't know what you're referring to when you say "not quite true". A 15A outlet and a 20A outlet are pretty much identical. Some 20A outlets have a slightly different blade on one side.

Personally, I've never had good luck getting much to run off of a 15A outlet especially because most of the time, those are run in a series and you likely have other items plugged into that circuit as well.

20A outlets often are for heavier use and may just have one. The likelihood of running a single 13.5k BTU air conditioner off of that is greater.

Keep your extension cord asshort and large as possible.

A generator would really be the best if you're planning on prolonged use.

I was referring to the reply about making everything work and needing an electrician. As I said plugging into a STANDARD 120V/15A, receptacle everything should work just fine EXCEPT AC.

NOTHING in the 120V world is wired in SERIES. THAT is just so wrong and mis leading. EVERYTHING is in Parallel (SAME voltage).

A 20A receptacle will not run a 13.5K BTU unit as the In-Rush current is way over 20A and the breaker will trip. You may get lucky and the AC will start once, every so often NOT on a regular basis.

Also buying a generator is not the solution, UNLESS you buy one capable of supplying 2500 - 3000 watts. The reason being In-Rush current at start up.

However what do I know? I only taught electrical for over 40 years.
Yeah, you were right about my terms.. I should have said parallel.

I've been able to run my smaller unit off a 20A circuit if that's the only outlet that's being used. I don't know how it was able to work, but it did work as long as I didn't try to run anything else.

I was referring to a larger generator or two smaller ones wired together. That is what was mentioned previously in this post.

Personally, I have a 4650watt Champion that runs my larger unit just fine. I have never tried running both units.. I assume I'd need another generator or a soft-start to run those off of my current generator.. I haven't really researched it yet. If you have expertise, let me know.
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Old 05-29-2023, 07:44 AM   #11
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I just installed a softstartrv on my 15k a/c. Starting amps is 12.9a, after a short time running amp is 13.7a. It was an easy install on the Dometic a/c
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Old 05-29-2023, 02:04 PM   #12
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A the majority pf 15 amp outlets are connected to 14 gauged wire. Really not sufficient to safely operate anything but the lights in a RV.
20 amp outlets should be fed with a 12 gauge wire. It's code where I live.
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Old 05-29-2023, 02:42 PM   #13
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A the majority pf 15 amp outlets are connected to 14 gauged wire. Really not sufficient to safely operate anything but the lights in a RV.
20 amp outlets should be fed with a 12 gauge wire. It's code where I live.
Agreed.. nobody said it was safe or a good idea. Just that is possible. I know in my experience, it didn't work well. I know in the case I did this, I ended up paying for a new breaker in my BIL's house because we popped it several times.

If the OP wants to run everything, they should wire up a 50A RV outlet, get the equivalent to that though a generator, or install a soft start on the AC units so they can run a smaller generator. I wouldn't think it would be safe or possible to run a dual AC unit off of 15 or even 20A. I've heard it's possible off of 30A (if you have it configured properly).

I would never recommend running something that was unsafe. Please do your research. I'm not an expert.
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:25 PM   #14
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I have a dedicated (no other load - and I think this was in an earlier response misinterpretation) 20A outlet for my TT. I can run the AC and all 12 V circuits all day long including a few clocks. Cannot run Microwave, TV/VCR, Blow dryer or any other 110 load item if AC is starting. Otherwise all other 110 combos are fine so long as we are not in the high current draw startup of the AC.
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