Safely wire 50 AMP service to Travel Trailer

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  #1  
Old 12-25-10, 01:04 PM
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Safely wire 50 AMP service to Travel Trailer

Hi everyone,
I am planning to rewire my travel trailer. I want to be able to plug into the 120/240 50 AMP service supplied at trailer parks. I am planning to install a main lug panel inside my trailer and then run 4 or 5 circuits to power the roof A/C, Fridge, microwave, water heater, etc. Can someone review these photos and notes and tell me if I have a safe plan???

This line cord plugs into the campground pedestal. Right?
http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...MPLineCord.jpg

Can I use this 70 AMP main Lug Box ??
http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...der9-15025.jpg
http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...AMPMainLug.jpg

If so, do I add a ground bar kit for the bare wire? Something like this?
http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/...91/SquareD.jpg

Is the sub panel box labeled correctly? The bare wire goes to the newly installed Ground Bar Kit?

Thanks for any help/guidance you can provide.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-25-10, 02:09 PM
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I have not looked at any of your pictures or notes as I was just “lurking” on the site before Xmas dinner, but please be aware that the 50 Amp supply at the trailer park that you referred to is not 120/240 it will be 120v only. Rv’s are NOT wired for 240v.
I mention this because you say it is a travel trailer not a mobile home.

Merry Christmas!
 
  #3  
Old 12-25-10, 02:16 PM
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Yes, I am sure I used the wrong terminology. Inside the trailer I don't need 240V, only 120V. It is my understanding that the supply circuit splits into two 120V circuits, but how many AMPs are on each of these legs?
 
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Old 12-25-10, 02:51 PM
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My apologies I may have mislead you, I didn’t realize the 50 amp Rv connection was any different than the 30 amp one but it looks like it is.
Check out the link below and click on the “50 amp service”

RV Electric
 
  #5  
Old 12-25-10, 03:25 PM
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That is an excellent site. Explains how to wire the receptacle at the pedestal. I would like someone to check the photos attached and let me know if I can safely wire the sub panel I have on hand to provide this type of 50 amp service inside the trailer. Then I need someone to explain if I can divide the incoming power into 5 120V circuits. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-25-10, 03:57 PM
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Then I need someone to explain if I can divide the incoming power into 5 120V circuits.
If you use a standard 240v breaker box, yes. You would use 4 conductor SOW cable, red, black, white, green. Red and black go to X and Y on the plug and to the "hot" lugs on the breaker box. Which to which doesn't matter. Green to G at the plug and ground bar of the panel. White to W at the plug and The neutral bar at the panel, Be sure the neutral bar is isolated and ground is bonded. Additional bonding of the trailer frame may be required. The pros will tell you about that.

Instead of a 70 amp main lug panel I would suggest a 100 amp main breaker package. It will be cheaper usually, it gives you room for expansion, and provides a main disconnect in the form of the included 100a breaker. While a main disconnect isn't required with 6 throws are less since you are already at 5 throws might as well give yourself the option of more then six breakers.

Answers based on my understanding of the NEC. Trailer regulations may vary based on DOT and other codes.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 05:07 AM
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Thanks Ray2047, I really appreciate your knowledge.

To keep costs low, I would like to use the 70 amp main lug box that I have on hand; provided it can be used safely. You indicated that it could be used as long as I insured that "the neutral bar is isolated and the ground is bonded". I'm not sure what these phrases mean. Can whether or not "the neutral bar is isolated" be determined from the photos attached in original post?

Also, does the "ground is bonded" mean I should install a ground bar kit (photo attached)? How is a ground bar properly installed? and what does "bonded" mean?

The box has space for two breakers. If they are double breakers, I guess I have room for 4 circuits. Can circuits be doubled up in any other way so that I could have a fifth circuit as needed?

Again, I would like to say "thanks" for all the help you are giving me.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 06:34 AM
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The box has space for two breakers. If they are double breakers, I guess I have room for 4 circuits. Can circuits be doubled up in any other way so that I could have a fifth circuit as needed?
I only see space for one 2 pole breaker (or two 1 pole breakers) in that panel
 
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Old 12-26-10, 07:08 AM
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This may work better for you if you backfeed a 40 or 50a circut breaker.

Shop Square D 12-Circuit 6 Space 100-Amp QO® Main Lug Load Center at Lowes.com
 
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Old 12-26-10, 07:30 AM
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As you can see on the site that Buzz linked, you would get more then triple the capacity with a 120/240 volt service.
I also agree with Justin that a panel with more circuits is advisable. The one he linked is less than $20. When your making morning breakfast with the toaster, coffee pot, and microwave running, the split up circuits will serve you better.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 07:34 AM
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The main lug panel in your photo simply won't be good for this in my opinion. As others stated it can only handle one 240v breaker or two 120v breakers.

The main lug panel Justin linked to is a much better choice and under $25 in my area. However if you keep it under six breakers you don't need a back feed breaker. If you think you will ever need to go to more then 6 breakers I suggest going to a main breaker panel. In fact you may find a main panel package with breakers almost as cheap as a main lug which usually doesn't include breakers.

Since you are tight on cost have you considered the cost of #6-4 SOW cable? The price will be $3-$4 dollars per foot. Depending on how long a cable you need it may cost more then the box. You may also want to add an inlet to the trailer so the cord can be stored away when not in use.

The cord shown in your photo isn't what you plan to use is it. I blew up the photo and it appears to be 3 conductor not 4 conductor SOW cable.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-26-10 at 08:09 AM.
  #12  
Old 12-26-10, 08:59 AM
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Thanks to all for the input,

I think this main breaker load center will work. It even comes with 5 20A breakers.
Homeline 100 Amp, Main, HOMVP5, HOM20M100C Main Breaker Load Center - 88407 at The Home Depot
Plenty of room for expansion.

Happy Holidays!!
 
  #13  
Old 12-26-10, 09:21 AM
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Looks good but I think it doesn't include the main breaker. Also look at GE boxes. Most of the pros here are a bit "cold" to them but they are the cheapest price you'll find usually. I use GE in my house and no problems.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Most of the pros here are a bit "cold" to them but they are the cheapest price you'll find usually. I use GE in my house and no problems.
The one in my house BUZZES very loudly, and it is quite annoying.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 10:11 AM
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You can get good deals like to panel you posted at the big box stores for around $50 and will cover all the bases. Might be a little overkill since I know space is limited in trailers, Maybe this might be better. Same cost (although no breakers) but smaller footprint: 100 amp 8-Space 16-Circuit Indoor Main Breaker Load Center - 06131 at The Home Depot

Oh, and you may want to check out NEC Art. 551
 
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