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  1. #1
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    Setting up shore power

    Hi,

    New to the travel trailer world and am setting up my trailer as a "destination" camper at a partially improved campsite. We have city water, a sceptic system and I have power to an entry pole. I am going to have an electrician run power from the entry pole about 160 feet to 2 gravel pads that a buddy and I have made, and have asked him to hook up a standard 50A/30A/20AGFCI RV pedestal at each pad. I have solicited 3 bids, and they're very close in price, but I don't know what I don't know....and I know that I've always paid someone to deal with electricity because I don't want to get fried. Now I'm more concerned about frying my trailer... Two bids are using 4 strand 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 and one bid proposed 3 strand 4/0-4/0-2/0 with a ground rod at the trailer. I'm using a Progressive Industries 50A surge protector at the pedestal of my trailer. Questions:

    1. Which type of wire (4 or 3 strand) do I want and why?

    2. Even with a grounding wire in the supply line, do I need to run a grounding rod from the trailer frame?

    Thanks in advance!
    2019 Transcend Xplor 31RLS

    Yes, I'm a newbie!

  2. #2
    Setting Up Camp
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    I am not a licensed electrician but 4/0 cable is rather excessive. Are you sure they are not recommending #4 wire?

    The number of strands per conductor is not an issue for you. More strands make the wire more flexible and easier to install. The current carrying capability is the same.

    Like I said, I am not a licensed electrician but I don’t understand the need for the ground rod at the pedestal but there might be some special code requirements that I am not aware of.
    2021 Solitude 310GK

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PappaJohn View Post
    I am not a licensed electrician but 4/0 cable is rather excessive. Are you sure they are not recommending #4 wire?
    I was told I needed either a ground wire in the bundle or a ground at the trailer, but I'm an electrical idiot. The service at the pole is 200 amps, which will initially cover just 2 campers with growth for a couple more, and it's a fairly long run. Those were the cable sizes on the estimates.

    Cheaper is better for me, with the caveat I don't ever want to fry my camper. I'm building out that place to be my respite, and I don't want issues from doing something wrong.

    Thanks!
    2019 Transcend Xplor 31RLS

    Yes, I'm a newbie!

  4. #4
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    50 amp requires 4 wires, 2 hot 1 neutral 1 ground. 6awg wire will work on a short runs, but since it's so far 4awg wire will lessen the voltage drop. Both hot legs for the 50amp, he'll steal one hot leg for the 30amp, and the other for the 20amp. By code the ground rod should be at your main panel. You don't need a separate ground at your trailer, as it will get ground through your cord.
    2022 reflection 303rls (on order)
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  5. #5
    Setting Up Camp
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    OK. I forgot that you are providing power to two pedestals.

    I would suggest that you bring the ground wire from your electrical panel which will be directly connected to the neutral wire at the service entrance. People often think ground is ground is ground meaning that the ground is at the same potential all over. This is pretty much true under normal circumstances.

    The most dramatic case where the ground voltage is not constant is if there is a lightning strike close to your house. I have seen cases where the voltage can vary thousands of volts over the distance you are talking about. The issue becomes that the 120/240 is referenced to one ground and your trailer is referenced to another ground that instantaneously is thousands of volts different. I have seem this do many thousands of dollars of damage at industrial sites.

    John
    2021 Solitude 310GK

  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper
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    I would go with the 4 wire and I would go ahead and put in a ground rod at the pedestal. It is not necessary but in the overall pricing of this project the cost of a ground rod will be negligible and it will give you an added margin of safety.

    I am not sure about putting GFCI at the pedestal, I have seen lots of posts on forums about problems with the GFCI outlets in the RV’s tripping because having a GFCI in the trailer protected by a GFCI in the pedestal sometimes makes them trip for no good reason.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogercwhite View Post
    Hi,

    New to the travel trailer world and am setting up my trailer as a "destination" camper at a partially improved campsite. We have city water, a sceptic system and I have power to an entry pole. I am going to have an electrician run power from the entry pole about 160 feet to 2 gravel pads that a buddy and I have made, and have asked him to hook up a standard 50A/30A/20AGFCI RV pedestal at each pad. I have solicited 3 bids, and they're very close in price, but I don't know what I don't know....and I know that I've always paid someone to deal with electricity because I don't want to get fried. Now I'm more concerned about frying my trailer... Two bids are using 4 strand 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 and one bid proposed 3 strand 4/0-4/0-2/0 with a ground rod at the trailer. I'm using a Progressive Industries 50A surge protector at the pedestal of my trailer. Questions:

    1. Which type of wire (4 or 3 strand) do I want and why?

    2. Even with a grounding wire in the supply line, do I need to run a grounding rod from the trailer frame?

    Thanks in advance!
    One issue that is very common with 30a (TT-30) outlet installs is that they are wired incorrectly by Electricians. The TT-30 connector is the same/similar to a 240 volt residential dryer outlet. Many Electricians have ignored/not remembered that the TT-30 is actually a 120v outlet and not a 240v outlet.

    Please ensure your Electrician knows the TT-30 is to be wired as a 120v outlet and that that is specifically written into the contract (so they can't say later that you did not specify 120v [even though it is their responsibility]).

    Additionally, I think the responses in the above posts have eliminated one Electrician from your consideration.
    David and Peggy
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  8. #8
    Site Sponsor Jerryr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbking View Post
    50 amp requires 4 wires, 2 hot 1 neutral 1 ground. 6awg wire will work on a short runs, but since it's so far 4awg wire will lessen the voltage drop. Both hot legs for the 50amp, he'll steal one hot leg for the 30amp, and the other for the 20amp. By code the ground rod should be at your main panel. You don't need a separate ground at your trailer, as it will get ground through your cord.
    Itís not just a 50 amp 14-50R NEMA receptacle requiring 6 AWG wire. Heís talking of installing 2 each 50/30/20 RV 100 amp pedestals. They are all ready wired internally and have 3 circuit breakers in each box. Itís hard for an electrician to misswire the pre wired the individual receptacles in the RV box.

    It will be a nice setup.

    This is a picture of one like it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jerry & Linda
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougW9876 View Post
    I am not sure about putting GFCI at the pedestal, I have seen lots of posts on forums about problems with the GFCI outlets in the RV’s tripping because having a GFCI in the trailer protected by a GFCI in the pedestal sometimes makes them trip for no good reason.
    The GFCI is only for the 110V 20A circuit. That will be used to run external electrical devices like a compressor or electric pressure washer so I don't risk running through my trailer.
    2019 Transcend Xplor 31RLS

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  10. #10
    Site Sponsor SolarPoweredRV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogercwhite View Post
    The GFCI is only for the 110V 20A circuit. That will be used to run external electrical devices like a compressor or electric pressure washer so I don't risk running through my trailer.
    Yes, the GFCI would be required for the 120v outlet because it is an outdoor outlet.
    David and Peggy
    2019 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.7L Diesel, Dually, Long Bed
    Running with 20k Reese Goosebox (Love It) and Ford Factory "Puck" system.
    Stopping with 8,000 lb Disc Brakes and Titan Hydraulic over Electric Brakes system.
    Powering all this fun with 1200 Watts of Solar, two Tesla, Model S, battery modules, 24 volt Victron Inverter.
    2018 Solitude 310 GK

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