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Old 01-16-2019, 09:56 AM   #1
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Running extension cord INTO my minnie?

Trying to figure out the best way to run an extension cord INTO my 2500RL minnie to take advantage of the 120v receptacles on the power pole. Could I also maybe add an inlet plug I can plug into from the outside that will run to an outlet plug inside the trailer. I understand that I would have to add a plug inside. Has anyone added plugs to their trailer? Lots of questions I know. Our first hardside and I'm trying to learn.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
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I am probably missing something but why not just plug the 30 amp power cord into the "power pole" using an adapter. If all you need is the outlets to work that would do it. Obviously running high load appliances like the AC would not be a good idea.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:36 AM   #3
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Why not use an adapter and plug your 30AMP cord into the power pole and limit what you use on the rig to 20 amps or less? Maybe I don't understand the whole picture...
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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Clearing it up.

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Originally Posted by Dave11 View Post
I am probably missing something but why not just plug the 30 amp power cord into the "power pole" using an adapter. If all you need is the outlets to work that would do it. Obviously running high load appliances like the AC would not be a good idea.
Thanks for your reply Dave 11 and IOS 3

Let me try to clear it up a bit.

My main purpose and thought is that I want to use a space heater to help heat the trailer instead of burning my propane. By plugging into the poles 120v plug, I could use my toaster, hair dryer, etc without popping the breakers. I will still utilize my 30A plug to power the trailer but this will give me more power. Am I thinking this all wrong?
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:11 PM   #5
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See my reply IOS 3 and thank you for yours.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:09 PM   #6
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I see. It would seem like you would be OK running a single space heater off your 30 amp service since it is likely similar in power draw to the roof air, which you wouldn't be running. So maybe you don't need the additional cord... I have a surge protector that I use between my RV and the power pole. The surge protector tells me the amp load on the rig at any time, and I have been able to do things like you are discussing safely since I can see how much current these various things draw. I would suggest plugging the space heater into a non GFI plug, and a circuit separate from toasters and hair dryers given the load of each of these… Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:19 PM   #7
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Thank you sir!
Now my next problem is how to get the cord into the trailer without going through a window or door. I have looked all around the slide and there doesn't seem to be an opening large enough to slip a plug through. I hate drilling holes (especially if I don't know what's behind it) and I can't see any possible openings from underneath the trailer. I have thought of maybe going into a cargo space and coming in through underneath the bed storage box. What got me to thinking about all this is the artic blast coming our way. The campsite temps were to be in the teens overnight. Just looking for some options.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
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The RV Geeks did a on this very topic that you might get some ideas from. If the link isn't working, it's on YouTube called "Installing Our Winter RVing Secret Weapon"
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Critters View Post
Thank you sir!
Now my next problem is how to get the cord into the trailer without going through a window or door. I have looked all around the slide and there doesn't seem to be an opening large enough to slip a plug through. I hate drilling holes (especially if I don't know what's behind it) and I can't see any possible openings from underneath the trailer. I have thought of maybe going into a cargo space and coming in through underneath the bed storage box. What got me to thinking about all this is the artic blast coming our way. The campsite temps were to be in the teens overnight. Just looking for some options.
You may have missed the points made previous here.

If you have AC sockets in your trailer, you will have an AC cord from the trailer to plug into your hookup pole. Have you done that?

As mentioned, depending on your extension cord, you need to be careful to not overload it. Cords are rated for certain amps. Learn what you have, what you're going to power, and add up the amps/watts. All appliances are labeled with their power requirements, such as a small space heater can require 750 to 1500 watts, which is about 7 to 13amps (1500watts/120V=12.5amps). Do the math, and plug your trailer into the pole instead of bringing an extension cord into your trailer.

If you already have your trailer plugged to the pole and you're popping a circuit breaker in the trailer, then your idea of an extension cord for more power makes sense, somewhat. In that case bringing in a second line seems logical, however it's not easy for the reasons you point out. Trailers were NOT designed to do that, due to safety hazards. It's really not advised, but I'm sure folks in Arkansas are doing it (no offense to my brother who lives in Arkansas, hah!), and living to tell about it.

I would suggest try running the cord through a sliding window if this is a temporary situation, and use a strip of closed cell foam to fill the crack above the cord. Be careful.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
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You may have missed the points made previous here.

If you have AC sockets in your trailer, you will have an AC cord from the trailer to plug into your hookup pole. Have you done that?

As mentioned, depending on your extension cord, you need to be careful to not overload it. Cords are rated for certain amps. Learn what you have, what you're going to power, and add up the amps/watts. All appliances are labeled with their power requirements, such as a small space heater can require 750 to 1500 watts, which is about 7 to 13amps (1500watts/120V=12.5amps). Do the math, and plug your trailer into the pole instead of bringing an extension cord into your trailer.

If you already have your trailer plugged to the pole and you're popping a circuit breaker in the trailer, then your idea of an extension cord for more power makes sense, somewhat. In that case bringing in a second line seems logical, however it's not easy for the reasons you point out. Trailers were NOT designed to do that, due to safety hazards. It's really not advised, but I'm sure folks in Arkansas are doing it (no offense to my brother who lives in Arkansas, hah!), and living to tell about it.

I would suggest try running the cord through a sliding window if this is a temporary situation, and use a strip of closed cell foam to fill the crack above the cord. Be careful.
John, I totally understand the points made here. I'm well aware that I have a 30 amp power cord to plug into the pole or shore power as some call it. All my appliances, plugs, receptacles, work just fine. What I am asking is in extreme cold weather, if I want to run a small ceramic space heater to heat my trailer or just supplement the propane (after all, isn't the parks electricity that I have already paid for cheaper than my propane?) I also understand wattage and amps. Running a small heater plugged into an outside source would allow me more wattage/amps to do other things without overloading my circuits and having to reset breakers. And it would be cost saving too. I was just needing to find an opening without going thru a window or door. I hope this clears it up some.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:41 PM   #11
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Thank you very much. This is exactly what I want to do long term. My only problem is with the TT I don't have the power cord opening the guy in the video has. I don't want to leave a cargo hatch open so I was hoping I could find another opening I could slip a cord and plug through with short term use. I appreciate you sharing the video. It's what I needed to see.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:21 PM   #12
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You could install one of these at a convenient location for an outlet on the inside:

https://www.amazon.com/ParkPower-150.../dp/B002QALLOQ

Although it qualifies as a long-term solution, it wouldn't take too long to install. They're also available in 20A versions.

Otherwise, my vote is for the foam in the window, or alternatively, cut some foam to seal a cargo hatch that has access to the inside of your coach.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:18 PM   #13
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Thank you Bob!
This definitely is the best way to go long term. Safer, better looking than cords across the floor and it all blends in with the interior. I just didn't want to leave a hatch door open if I could help it. I have the minnie TT. Thank you for the suggestion and your research.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:36 PM   #14
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Have you actually tried to plug the small ceramic space heater into your existing 30A system? You may be trying to do something that is not necessary. What "other things" are you figuring on using that will trip breakers if the heater is also in use?
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:29 PM   #15
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What I did on our previous 30 amp service trailer was add a 20 amp inlet and an interior outlet. This was to handle a space heater, a counter top convection oven and/or the wife's hair drier and not have to worry about what else might be running. It is only useful if the pedestal supports 50 amps. It might or might not work for a 30 amp pedestal depending upon how the park was wired. In many older parks there would be a good chance of tripping the branch circuit breaker if other pedestals on that branch are in use.



I have thought about modding our 2106FBS. The cabinet they call the pantry has a false end to allow for plumbing. There is enough room to add an inlet there and an interior outlet in the cabinet base board. I've also thought about putting it on the back side coming into the wardrobe base cabinet. This would let me follow the interior plumbing channels to add an outlet under the kitchen sink area. I'm not familiar with your trailer model but suspect you should be able to find similar areas.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:00 AM   #16
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I lived fairly comfortably using several small heaters on low in a RV up in Fairbanks in the spring and fall when it would fall into the teens at night. I did use other heaters supplied by extension cords in the basement compartments where the water was. This was in a 30 amp, dual paned windows, winterized, Class A. Used lots of that bubble insulation in the windows too.

The best heaters are the ceramic. You can save a bit of current using them. And of course, I'd just shut off one heater or two to run the M/W, or the toaster. Only took 4-5 minutes max and the heaters would be turned back on. After getting into a routine, stopped tripping breakers so stopped trying to find some way to snake a 20 amp power extension cord inside the RV. But I spent a lot of time figuring how to do that. Best ideas involved drilling holes though. Into the bedroom under the bed, and into the kitchen, under the sink.

Best thing I added to my RV was a queen sized electric blanket. Sure made the nights comfortable, and quiet, and efficient. While the stores were asking $150 for a queen size blanket, I found one in a thrift shop for $15. Still use it to this day.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:22 PM   #17
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I plug my RV electrical cable to the house (actually garage) outlet using a 30 amp adapter to power my ceramic heater and run the holding tank heaters in winter. I've had no problems doing this.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:43 PM   #18
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Add an outlet!

I don't know how your rig is set up, but if your 30A power cable routes into an outside compartment, you may be able to run an extension cord right next to the 30A cord. Add a Male receptacle to the compartment and run wire from that to the nearest interior wall or cabinet. Install a 110V receptacle and label it for Auxiliary Power Only!

On my Sightseer, the 30A cable enters a storage compartment where my water fill valve is located. Right under the bedroom slide out .
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:02 PM   #19
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Hi critters,

Reading your post I think I can help. I have a 26HE and I use an electric heater when I am plugged into shore power to save on propane. I just plug my 30 amp chord in and run my heater off of one of my internal 110v wall plugins. If 3O amp isn’t available then I use the 30amp to 110v extension cord adapter that allows me to plug a heavy duty extension chord into the end of the 30amp chord. I haven’t had any trouble popping breakers. The electric heater I am using is a comfort zone “ceramic” heater with a very fine mesh screen so nothing can accidentally come in contact with the heating element. This heater has a fan and two heat settings. Low is 750 watts and high is 1500 watts. It also has a trip over safety switch and a overheat shutoff safety switch. My rig is 26 feet long and high ceilings and this heater will run you out if you set it to high. Here is a link on Amazon to the same heater I use.

https://smile.amazon.com/Comfort-Zon.../dp/B01N7W8X1F

On 30 amp power I can run the heater, microwave, water pump etcetera and have never had any issues. My propane lasts about 3 to 4 times longer depending on how often I fire up the water heater.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:24 PM   #20
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Same As You

We full time in our 38J Itasca. I'm always looking at new ways to run cables in to the bus with the least destruction... I've run extra SAT cables, I run my cell booster coax, remote cables for my telescope, phone land line from the park (cause I didn't like where it was in the bus prewired), and I've also run an extra 120v extension for just exactly as you've pointed out. We only have 30amp. There are times when we run two heaters, (we're parked in Phoenix this winter), one heater runs off the bus 30amp power and one runs off the extra 120v power that I connected. I remember Green Acres tv show years ago where Eddie Albert was trying to explain to his city wife that she has to be careful what she turns on in the house so he colour coded everything ... anyway... we've got our list on the wall beside our power display box so we can see what the bus is drawing and what most of our appliances draw to determine if there's room, but it's nice not to have to always check if we want heat. Our Microwave draws 13amp, the toaster 11, the kettle 12, water heater 11... and when the nights drop down into the mid 30's (F) you can use up your propane in a hurry.

So, to your question, I've run cables between the slide out seals... I find that at the bottom there is enough room to put almost any head of a cable though. I've drilled up through the floor of a closet and since my basement doors have a large rubber cushion seal I wasn't worried about the air leakage to get it there. I've got a spot where my steps and batteries are that had a easy way to get under my fridge. If you look at your fridge vent panel, could you go through an inside wall there? And last but not least, they do have flat cables for going through window openings... I don't like them because you can't close or lock your window... I've seen people even use them in a drivers door as long as you don't open and close it too often.

If you want to be warm, you'll have to be creative.
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