RV Power Outlet Box

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  #1  
Old 07-15-15, 04:35 PM
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RV Power Outlet Box

I have an rv parked behind my house and tired of running extension cords all the time. Okay, I've trenched min 20 inches deep and bought a power panel prewired with circuit breakers and 1ea 50 amp outlet, 1ea 30 amp outlet and 1ea 20 amp gfci outlet. Panel is 165 feet from 100 amp sub panel in basement and will use
1 1/2" sch 40 pvc from 60 amp 2 pole cb using 3ea 4ga (hots & neutral) and 1ea 6 ga ground wire. I filled out all the permit papers and going to the building dept. I found out they "will not issue a permit for permanent power to anything with wheels". My dilemma is go ahead and do it to code and safety without permit, or refile for a sub panel for welder and gfci outlet then remove those outlets and add conduit for my rv power after final is done? They told me to remove the rv batteries and charge them inside - that I didn't need power at the rv. Your input please.
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 07-15-15, 04:51 PM
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You will need to continue using an extension cord.

You would install the receptacles as you described. With a little luck and strategic positioning, will require an extension cord of no more than ten feet from the RV side inlet to the wall receptacle.

A cord and plug arrangement is not a permanent connection.

The inspector was probably thinking of a lug panel to which you would attach conductors of a cable from the RV using wing nuts. That would look "too permanent" even though traveling carnivals use that type of connection to their portable subpanels.
 
  #3  
Old 07-15-15, 07:40 PM
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I found out they "will not issue a permit for permanent power to anything with wheels".
This sounds like a technicality to me about the way you filled out your permit application unless the RV outlet box has wheels. You are not applying to run permanent power to the RV, just to the outlet box. You don't even have to own an RV to install one of these.
 
  #4  
Old 07-15-15, 08:16 PM
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They never even looked at the paperwork. When I told them it was a power box to plug in the Rv both inspectors said no way.
 
  #5  
Old 07-16-15, 12:24 AM
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Do you live in a "planned community" or have to answer to a Home Owner's Association? It may be that your community has an ordinance against parking RVs anywhere that they would be visible from the street and THAT is why they won't allow the receptacle.

Otherwise, simply ask them what part of the electrical code prohibits the receptacle you want to install. My guess it won't be an electrical code issue as much as a land use issue.
 
  #6  
Old 07-16-15, 12:56 AM
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And just a word of non-technical advice...it's best to go in person or set an informal appointment. Just take the basic plan and ask for advice. They may recommend an electrician draw up the actual permit submission. I mean, jeez, in CA, no one has an outlet for their RV?
 
  #7  
Old 07-16-15, 06:59 AM
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Agree that this sounds like a home owner association or similar non-code rule. There is no electrical code issue with what you proposed. The problem with doing the "welder plug" is that I'm assuming you don't have a welder to spec the circuit to (input amps, duty cycle, etc). It really should be none of their business what you plug in to the receptacles -- that is beyond the scope of the electrical code which ends at the receptacle.
 
  #8  
Old 07-16-15, 07:18 AM
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Yes I have two welders that would qualify. I do live in a Homeowners (59ea 5 acre parcels) and I'm on the board. I had an appt and we never even got to any of the paperwork or CCR's (which are not an issue). I had two plan checkers helping me and even a third chimed in to tell me to remove the batteries and charge them inside. Evidently it's a land use thing in the county, I guess they don't want any rental or people living in trailers. It's really none of their business what I do with my RV. I'm going to call today with a few more questions ( one of them about the welder scenario)
 
  #9  
Old 07-16-15, 07:49 AM
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Not to mention that charging lead acid batteries indoors is a significant health and fire hazard. They can off gas hydrogen creating a fire and explosion hazard. That is something the codes do cover. Battery charging stations or permanent battery installations need proper ventilation, acid absorber chemical, nearby eye wash stations and so forth.
 
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Old 07-18-15, 08:26 AM
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RV Power Outlet box - Part 2

Well the county permit is out, so will proceed on my own. I will use 1 1/2" sch 40 for for total 165 ft run - 130 ft of it in trench min. 20 inches deep, the other 35 feet in unfinished basement. Fed by 60 amp 2 pole cb using 3ea 4 ga, 1ea 6 ga ground to 50/30/20gfci RV power outlet panel on post. Questions I have
1. Do I need an expansion joint in 130 feet of underground pvc run?
2. Do I need (or suggest) a ground rod at Rv panel?
3. Do I need sch 80 coming out of ground?
Thanks
 
  #11  
Old 07-18-15, 08:40 AM
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I think you should not start this project yet. Find out what modifications you will need to get a permit.

You do not want unpermitted wiring hard wired into your panel. That could void your homeowners insurance.

I am trying to think of something almost identical to what you have described but with a (60 amp) cord and plug connection under your main panel. It would best be equivalent to a buried extension cord regardless of the materials and techniques used so I am not sure whether even that would be legal although it could be safe.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 07-18-15 at 09:02 AM.
  #12  
Old 07-18-15, 09:46 AM
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I merged your two threads otherwise all the questions will be asked again.

So we can assume that you were turned down for the permit you required. I'm not understanding that. If the electrical department shot it down..... a specific reason must be cited.


To answer your questions directly....

1. Do I need an expansion joint in 130 feet of underground pvc run? Not particularly. As far as I know an expansion joint is used on a surface mounted PVC run. If the PVC is exposed from the ground to your receptacle box..... one would be used in that vertical run.

2. Do I need (or suggest) a ground rod at Rv panel? No.

3. Do I need sch 80 coming out of ground? No. Isn't the conduit coming up inside a power pole ? The conduit needs to be supported by or attached to something for strength.
 
  #13  
Old 07-18-15, 11:42 AM
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County said I could not have "permanent power for anything with wheels". I'm going to visit the building dept again next week for other options - ie welder power.
Thanks, I read the NEMA pdf on expansion joints after my post and it stated not needed when buried. Both ends of pvc will be exposed coming out of ground,
6 inches on one end and 3 ft on post for power panel.
 
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Old 07-18-15, 11:53 AM
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Put a picnic table and a portable barbeque there and call it your picnic grove.
 
  #15  
Old 07-21-15, 12:53 PM
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Update

Return trip to the county building dept. with a request for welder power box. After several minutes of discussion it was decided an rv outlet box would be allowed if planning dept. would approve it. Planning person looked at it and said "I've had an RV and you need power to it", no problem. So I get my 60 amp service to a 50/30/20 rv power panel. At least this is the start.
 
  #16  
Old 07-21-15, 01:24 PM
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Glad to hear it's going in the right direction. The aspects of the plan described above look good.
 
  #17  
Old 07-21-15, 07:03 PM
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Planning person looked at it and said "I've had an RV and you need power to it", no problem.
You finally found the voice of sanity. That guy should be running the building department too.
 
  #18  
Old 08-04-15, 01:59 PM
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Smile Final

Got the final permit done today. The inspector was sorry to hear of the initial trouble I had starting the permit process. Total run of 160 feet, using 1 1/2 inch sch 40 pvc, 3 ea 4 ga, 1 ea 6ga ground, and a 50/30/20 RV power panel by Eaton.
Thanks for all the input.
 
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