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Old 04-19-2023, 05:29 PM   #1
JamesDean334
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Yíall keep in mind, Iím from south AlabamaÖ

If our 2017 Montana 3791RD is under the camper barn, do I really need more than a heavy gauge, 15 amp power cord to keep the residential refrigerator and converter powered while waiting to take it out on the next trip? Iím struggling to see the need to spend $1,500 on wire and a box if itís only gonna sit there with the refrigerator on and house batteries charging. If Iím wrong, Iíll bite it off and do it, but is it necessary? Am I doing any damage by doing this?? I kept our previous TT like this for years with no problems, but this is our new to us Montana. Looking forward to hearing yíallís input. Thanks!!
 
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Old 04-19-2023, 05:36 PM   #2
Carl n Susan
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Your existing 15 amp service will be enough to keep the refer cold and the batteries charged. You can't do too much more electrically though when those two are running.
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Old 04-19-2023, 05:54 PM   #3
JamesDean334
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Thanks! That’s what I was thinking. We won’t be using any other electricity while it’s plugged in under the barn. I was really having difficulty justifying that cash outlay just for refrigeration and charging.
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Old 04-20-2023, 11:41 AM   #4
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Well, actually you "can" do more than just battery and refrigerator if you do it right. As long as you don't exceed the 15 amp draw, you can run any device in the camper you want. It's when you exceed the 15 amps the shore breaker (in the barn) will pop.

A couple years ago we were parked at my wife's uncle's house on their farm. I plugged into an outbuilding where they had 15 amp plugs. I used the adapters to step up from the 15, to a 30, to a 50. I also had to run a heavy duty electric cord I purchased from Harbor Frieght and it was 100 feet long, plus the 35 foot cord for my 50 amp Montana.

We shared the out building with another refrigerator inside, and we did just fine. We did not run the AC, we did watch some television, we ran lights from the battery only, plugged in no other electronic devices, used the water heater on gas. Meals were prepared inside their house. We had water in our tanks, but pretty much used only the bathroom in the camper at night. We were there for 3 night - 4 days and never popped that 15 amp breaker a single time.

So yea, it can be done. But it DOES require a lot of thoughtful power management. Yes, we have a residential refrigerator too, and it ran the entire time.

The most that will happen if you exceed the 15 amps is, the 15 amp breaker or fuse will pop or blow. Just reset it, or put in a new fuse and turn something off in the camper.

Just an FYI, there are several "charts" on the internet giving the AMP draw on different RV appliances. Here's a starter one. You can explore more. There are several of these "out there." Click here.
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Old 04-20-2023, 11:49 AM   #5
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Since yall are Alabama folks, yall know how warm it'll get under the barn in the summer months. (oven comes to mind)
Might want to consider at least 30 amp circuit for one AC while packing/unpacking.

Just an Arky thought.
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Old 04-20-2023, 12:25 PM   #6
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With my wife, everything that's coming out of the camper comes out of the camper and into the truck, or into the front basement before we pull out of the campsite. When I get to the barn, I back it in and plug it in and we're done till the next outing. Her system is exceptionally efficient. Either that or she's crazier'n a outhouse rat, but it works! LOL!
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Old 04-20-2023, 01:36 PM   #7
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That sound great!
What works good you is best.

Tho, sometime good to hear what works for other folks.

Sharing ideas is what makes this site great!
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Old 04-20-2023, 07:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesDean334 View Post
If our 2017 Montana 3791RD is under the camper barn, do I really need more than a heavy gauge, 15 amp power cord to keep the residential refrigerator and converter powered while waiting to take it out on the next trip? Iím struggling to see the need to spend $1,500 on wire and a box if itís only gonna sit there with the refrigerator on and house batteries charging. If Iím wrong, Iíll bite it off and do it, but is it necessary? Am I doing any damage by doing this?? I kept our previous TT like this for years with no problems, but this is our new to us Montana. Looking forward to hearing yíallís input. Thanks!!

To just confirm, you can do what you are inquiring about with an extension cord. You didn't mention the length or the gauge of wire that you intend to use. A 14ga. cord "can" carry 15A but if it is 50' long you will have problems. I have used a regular 20A outlet to run my RV and I always use/used a 12ga. extension cord no longer than 50'. I have "sort of" melted a 14ga. extension cord plug before.....
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Old 04-20-2023, 07:57 PM   #9
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Agreed. Iím using a 50í 10/3 extension cord from a dedicated 20A circuit.
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Old 06-07-2023, 05:50 AM   #10
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Are you a pool shooting boy, is your name Willy McCoy and back home do they call you Slim?
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Old 06-07-2023, 06:13 AM   #11
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Are you a pool shooting boy, is your name Willy McCoy and back home do they call you Slim?
That's right, and I'm looking for the king of 42nd street and he's driving a drop-top Cadillac. You got any leads on that dude? LOL!
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:04 AM   #12
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A friend in WV told me to go over to his house and pick up some steel but don’t take my camper cause I couldn’t get it turned around in the hollow he lives in.
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:18 AM   #13
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That's exactly why ours is parked in our "camper barn" across the road from our home. We live in a 'holler' down here as well. Affectionately called "Buzzard Bottom" because the buzzards roost up in the tops of the oak trees down by the beaver pond. If we go to town and buy a 1/2-gallon of ice cream, by the time we get back home with it we've got a 1/2-gallon milkshake.
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Old 06-07-2023, 12:06 PM   #14
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If you are just awaiting your next trip, turn the refer off. Then turn it on a day prior to loading cold food.
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Old 06-07-2023, 07:02 PM   #15
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If you didnít want to run your fridge off the batteries thru the inverter (reducing hours on the inverter) You can run the long extension to a surge protector/outlet then run a couple of short extensions. 1) unplug the outlet of the inverter that feeds the transfer switch and plug the transfer switch directly into one of the extensions. (I am assuming you have access to the inverter) You can also run another short extension and plug in an external battery charger to keep a float on the battery. When you do that you might consider opening the battery disconnects and only connecting the battery when you are using the trailer.
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Old 06-07-2023, 07:27 PM   #16
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesDean334 View Post
That's exactly why ours is parked in our "camper barn" across the road from our home. We live in a 'holler' down here as well. Affectionately called "Buzzard Bottom" because the buzzards roost up in the tops of the oak trees down by the beaver pond. If we go to town and buy a 1/2-gallon of ice cream, by the time we get back home with it we've got a 1/2-gallon milkshake.

I didnít tell the whole story. I thought some of yíall might be offended.
When my brother and I got back to the camper I called Stan, he worked for Douglas Rifle Barrels in Charleston and told him we had a problem. A family has underpined the camper and set up the Wast Virginia state flower, one of the 10 foot satellite dishes and we didnít know what to do. He said No problem they haft to have a permanent address to collect their welfare check. Darn I couldnít even get that one on him.
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:56 AM   #17
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There are 2 factors when you calculate voltage drop; one is obviously the wire length, the other is the load. Modern residential fridges draw very little current, we have a fairly new 25 cu. ft. that only draws 3.3 amps. I didn't research how much the converter draws, but wouldn't think it's very much more. Neither are considered continuous loads. With no battery draw the converter will hardly ever run. I believe the 10/3 extension cord will be more than adequate.
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