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Equipment & Gear => Power Equipment & RV => Topic started by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 07:10:47 PM

Title: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 07:10:47 PM
How do I keep from tripping a breaker in my house when I have the travel trailer plugged in and running the travel trailers AC unit? It runs for a few minutes, then off and I have to go to the garage and flip the breaker back on. The only things in the house on that breaker are lights in the kitchen and the porch light. No appliances.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: gramps on August 13, 2019, 07:16:11 PM
Most circuits for lights in a home are 15 amp.  Depending on the size of your A/C, you will need a 30 or 50 amp circuit.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 07:19:33 PM
For someone electrical stupid, would any plug in my house power that?
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: gramps on August 13, 2019, 07:22:30 PM
Not an electrician, but the only thing I can think of would be an electric stove/oven....would be 30 or 50
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 07:29:17 PM

OK, scratch that thought. The TT is not 240, duh.  So the big plug for the old electric range won't work.

Anyway to power this thing ?
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: JKEEN33 on August 13, 2019, 07:34:51 PM
We just went to a gas range, so the old electric range 240 plug is sitting empty behind the new gas range. Can I run some sort of adaptor from the 240 electric range plug to my normal extension cord that goes into an adaptor that plugs into the TT cord?

That should run your ac really fast for a short period of time.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 07:37:18 PM
We just went to a gas range, so the old electric range 240 plug is sitting empty behind the new gas range. Can I run some sort of adaptor from the 240 electric range plug to my normal extension cord that goes into an adaptor that plugs into the TT cord?

That should run your ac really fast for a short period of time.

Got it, scratch that!
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: Stein on August 13, 2019, 07:54:40 PM
240 is simply two 120 circuits together - think of it as + 120 and -120 which give you a total of 240 V.  Your house is fed with 240 at the main service panel and all the breakers either pull the full 240 or one side of that - roughly half are on one 120 V side and the other half are on the 120 V side.

You are tripping your breaker because the load (trailer) is more than the circuit you are plugging it into.  As mentioned, it is most likely 15 A, but could be 20.  The breaker you are flipping will have a number on it to tell you, but for a lighting circuit they are almost always 15 A.

The solution is to plug it into a circuit rated higher.  If you don't have one of those at your house, the best option would be to install a 20 A or higher circuit to feed the trailer (assuming it is a 15 A now).  Depending on where your trailer is and where the service panel is, this could cost $50 in parts or several hundred.

You could also look through your breaker box to see if you have a 20 A circuit somewhere, it is possible there could be one in the garage if the original house builder was a nice guy.

It is possible to feed it from the range circuit by pulling one side of the 120 off and assuming it is at least 40 A, but that is pretty janky and best left to professionals who would tell you not to do it.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: gramps on August 13, 2019, 08:17:34 PM
 :yeah:

I forgot the range would be 240V
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: baldopepper on August 13, 2019, 08:20:38 PM
Are you using a 30 amp cord plugged into an adaptor for regular household circuits?
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 08:31:22 PM
My kitchen disposal is 20amps, just ran my extension cord to it and have the AC running. It's been in for 45 seconds and still running....
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 08:40:02 PM
8 minutes running so far, sweet!!
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: Stein on August 13, 2019, 08:48:54 PM
Two points for creativity, get er done.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 13, 2019, 08:58:01 PM
3 points. The extension cord runs out the dog door I installed in the patio door, no need for the house door to be open.
Out in the TT now, temp is 70 degrees. It was 99. I think this is going to work just fine.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: Mudman on August 13, 2019, 10:52:20 PM
Keep in mind the length and wire (14awg) of ext cord.  Ya don't want long or small wire.  It will be hard on your AC and could cause premature failures.  I do same thing you are doing on occasion but I plug into my well house which is 240v split 40-50 amps I think.  Putting 20amp breakers in place of 15a can be a risk I think if house is wired with wire for 15amp circuits?  Risk of pulling to much load through small wire?  I am not great with electrical so just trying help.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: rasbo on August 14, 2019, 04:58:50 AM
Get a dedicated circuit put in outside. If you have room in the panel
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 05:00:34 AM
Keep in mind the length and wire (14awg) of ext cord.  Ya don't want long or small wire.  It will be hard on your AC and could cause premature failures.  I do same thing you are doing on occasion but I plug into my well house which is 240v split 40-50 amps I think.  Putting 20amp breakers in place of 15a can be a risk I think if house is wired with wire for 15amp circuits?  Risk of pulling to much load through small wire?  I am not great with electrical so just trying help.

Roger that.
Nothing was changed in the owner. I just opened it up, found all the 20s and figured out which one had an outlet associated with it. The disposal was the only thing with a normal 120 outlet. So the others were for appliances.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 05:02:39 AM
Get a dedicated circuit put in outside. If you have room in the panel

Eventually that's the plan.
For this weekend, the disposal outlet looks to work.
I will run the AC unit like this maybe 3 days a year, and no more this year after this weekend.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: trophyhunt on August 14, 2019, 06:25:38 AM
I thought I was the only one with this problem.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 06:33:55 AM
I thought I was the only one with this problem.

Once I found that 20amp outlet, it ran like a champ last night for over an hour of testing it.  Travel trailer got down to a real nice temperature so sleeping for the folks should not be an issue.  We should have the exact same ac unit, so go find a 20amp in your house panel that has an outlet associated with it
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: trophyhunt on August 14, 2019, 06:43:04 AM
Yeah, I have a 50 amp I had installed in the garage for a welder when it was being built, since then I used it for a hot tub and now I've gotten rid of the hot tub. Soooo, I will be turning that into a 20 and 30 amp.  I'm not electrician, but I think one of my buddies said that would work. Then I'll run 20 to my new shed and put a 30 on the shed for the trailer, hope it works.  This brings up a question I have, is it good to leave your trailer plugged in all the time to keep your batteries full?
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 07:11:09 AM
I don't think its bad but I also don't think it's needed.
When I park mine I turn the main battery kill switch off and leave it unhooked.  24 hours before a trip I will plug it in to the house to charge the batteries.  They seem to get full, plus the truck trickle charges them when hooked up and on the road.  Ive never go somewhere and had uncharged batteries this way.  I've thought about getting a tiny solar trickle charger while it's not in use, but I'm not sure its needed with my routine that i do.
Maybe someone more experience and knowledgeable will chime in.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: birddogdad on August 14, 2019, 07:17:58 AM
one AC unit 30 amp service, 2 you will need 50 amp service. if you plan long term to use a specific spot and connection, get a exterior plug installed professionally. The trip is happening for a reason to prevent overheating of wiring.. don't press your luck with breaker resetting often~!
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: baker5150 on August 14, 2019, 07:42:54 AM
I don't think its bad but I also don't think it's needed.
When I park mine I turn the main battery kill switch off and leave it unhooked.  24 hours before a trip I will plug it in to the house to charge the batteries.  They seem to get full, plus the truck trickle charges them when hooked up and on the road.  Ive never go somewhere and had uncharged batteries this way.  I've thought about getting a tiny solar trickle charger while it's not in use, but I'm not sure its needed with my routine that i do.
Maybe someone more experience and knowledgeable will chime in.

I leave mine plugged in year round.
I run a dehumidifier in it, so power is a must.

Most RV charging systems are slow to charge.
Not all tow rigs send dedicated 12v thru the plug to the trailer for charging.  It's worth putting a meter on it to test.
If it's an aftermarket plug on the truck, it most likely doesn't.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 08:00:39 AM
I don't think its bad but I also don't think it's needed.
When I park mine I turn the main battery kill switch off and leave it unhooked.  24 hours before a trip I will plug it in to the house to charge the batteries.  They seem to get full, plus the truck trickle charges them when hooked up and on the road.  Ive never go somewhere and had uncharged batteries this way.  I've thought about getting a tiny solar trickle charger while it's not in use, but I'm not sure its needed with my routine that i do.
Maybe someone more experience and knowledgeable will chime in.

I leave mine plugged in year round.
I run a dehumidifier in it, so power is a must.

Most RV charging systems are slow to charge.
Not all tow rigs send dedicated 12v thru the plug to the trailer for charging.  It's worth putting a meter on it to test.
If it's an aftermarket plug on the truck, it most likely doesn't.

Gotcha,
Luckily I'm on the dryside so no need for the dehumidifier.  Though, I wish I could run the AC 24/7 throughout the summer.  The heat build up, even with all the windows open is insane and does a number on the plastics as random plastic soap shampoo bottles we forget to take inside the house after a trip.
My truck does send the power during hook-up, so that's a plus for me.
I do wish my batteries had a gauge on them, like my fuel tank gauge.  The TT control panel tells me volts when in use but I want something a little better that I can just hook in line and leave so I don't have to uncover the batteries each time I want to check fullness level. I'm sure it is out there, I just have not spent the time to look yet. 
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: syoungs on August 14, 2019, 08:26:25 AM
They do make products that do that.
Back in my cheaper days I bought a 5$ ohmmeter from harbor freight, cut the ends and crimped on lugs to attach to the battery post, and ran them outside of the battery cabinet in a boat. When I wanted to check I just hooked the meter up real fast to the 2 leads and was able to get voltage. Used to have a chart that showed voltage vs "fullness".
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 08:39:00 AM
Cheaper days were days when things got done no matter what.  I almost miss those days.

I am wanting to do exactly like you did.  Run leads off of each battery that extend outside of the battery box.  At the end of the leads have some sort of connector.  Then, just have a little hand held screen that I plug into a lead and see 55% full / 11.9V, unplug and go to the next battery, plug in the screen and read it.  If I can find a screen with a plug, I'll run leads on all the batteries that I own to have a quick and easy way to check them. 
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: baker5150 on August 14, 2019, 08:42:51 AM
Cheaper days were days when things got done no matter what.  I almost miss those days.

I am wanting to do exactly like you did.  Run leads off of each battery that extend outside of the battery box.  At the end of the leads have some sort of connector.  Then, just have a little hand held screen that I plug into a lead and see 55% full / 11.9V, unplug and go to the next battery, plug in the screen and read it.  If I can find a screen with a plug, I'll run leads on all the batteries that I own to have a quick and easy way to check them.

They have digital ones for like 20 bucks on amazon
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: 92xj on August 14, 2019, 08:50:36 AM
Something like this should work, i think.

https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Programmable-Temperature-Percentage-Indicator/dp/B07759SLYP/ref=sr_1_20?keywords=digital+battery+gauge&qid=1565797628&s=gateway&sr=8-20#customerReviews

With these installed on the batteries...
https://www.amazon.com/MUYI-Waterproof-Connector-1-5mm-Terminal/dp/B01A6LTK44/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=12v+connectors&qid=1565797917&s=gateway&sr=8-4
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: BDildine on August 14, 2019, 10:57:36 AM
your compressor is overloading your circuit when it kicks in, add a soft start and you can run it off almost any circuit (seen one run off a 2k honda)
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: ballpark on August 14, 2019, 11:04:44 AM
Get a dedicated circuit put in outside. If you have room in the panel

Eventually that's the plan.
For this weekend, the disposal outlet looks to work.
I will run the AC unit like this maybe 3 days a year, and no more this year after this weekend.
And don't run your coffee pot or microwave or curling iron at the same time :chuckle: :tup:
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: syoungs on August 14, 2019, 11:06:26 AM
Something like this should work, i think.

https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Programmable-Temperature-Percentage-Indicator/dp/B07759SLYP/ref=sr_1_20?keywords=digital+battery+gauge&qid=1565797628&s=gateway&sr=8-20#customerReviews

With these installed on the batteries...
https://www.amazon.com/MUYI-Waterproof-Connector-1-5mm-Terminal/dp/B01A6LTK44/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=12v+connectors&qid=1565797917&s=gateway&sr=8-4

looks like a sweet setup for sure, I'm sure that would accomplish exactly what your looking to do.
Title: Re: Travel trailer shore power
Post by: Igor on August 14, 2019, 11:34:46 AM
Yeah, I have a 50 amp I had installed in the garage for a welder when it was being built, since then I used it for a hot tub and now I've gotten rid of the hot tub. Soooo, I will be turning that into a 20 and 30 amp.  I'm not electrician, but I think one of my buddies said that would work. Then I'll run 20 to my new shed and put a 30 on the shed for the trailer, hope it works.  This brings up a question I have, is it good to leave your trailer plugged in all the time to keep your batteries full?

It is NOT good to leave your trailer plugged in all the time to keep your batteries full.  I ruined two sets of expensive RV batteries before I figured this out.  Over a fairly short period of time you will cook the water out of the batteries, and then they are toast.

I found something called the Battery Tender.  It will keep your batteries fully charged all winter, and will not run them dry.  It is different than a traditional trickle charger, and well worth the $$ it cost.  I have had the same set of batteries on my trailer for 5 years now, and they are totally healthy.  I permanently affixed the Battery Tender to the frame, right beside the batteries.  I leave the leads hooked up to the batteries, and simply connect to the AC extension cord when the trailer is being stored.

I bought mine at Napa Auto Parts, but you can find them in most auto parts stores.  Here is the model I use:

https://www.batterymart.com/p-022-0185g-dl-wh-12v-1_25a-int-battery-charger.html