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Author Topic: How do you plug your coach in ?  (Read 2485 times)
travelingfools
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« on: April 04, 2010, 07:17:12 PM »

So as I'm getting deeper into the electric on my bus, I'm searching for ideas on how to get power from the "pole"  into my panel. I'm setting up a 50amp service. I know how to wire it, but what I'm asking is how do you guys get the chord to the panel. My old S&S had a fiberglass door that the chord pulled out through. I was considering a hole in the bay floor with some sort of cover for when the chords not going through it, but the thought of having to deal with the chord comming from under the bus when I get older isn't very appealing. Im guessing there is some very creative ways others have come up with.
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 07:34:24 PM »

I presently have the 50amp cord exiting through a 4" hole in the floor of the bay.

Its a pain to pull the cord back through the hole and coil it neatly, plus it takes valuable space.
I now have 50amp Marinco connectors to install in the coach sidewall, and the end of the cord.
They are available as a set on eBay, but there are other sources too.

This job also will have to wait in the job jar, until the new workshop is built.

Mark
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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2010, 08:01:46 PM »

I installed a marinco 50 amp receptacle into the side of the bus.  I then bought a matching cord on Ebay.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 08:20:10 PM »

I have the Marinco connector inside my bay with dump valves, cable hookup ,telephone jack, fresh water, and the tank fill  my 50 amp cable goes through the bottom of the bay where I have a 4 inch opening with a cap ( looks of like a sewer plug) I can either roll it up in that bay without unpluging from the coach or I can remove it and store the cable else where if I choose too, my bay doors stay shut when on full hook ups.
We all do it different but I don't like the plug on the outside skin of the bus


good luck
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 08:21:39 PM »

Marinco here too but give some thought to where you are going to store that 50 amp cord.  The builder of our coach neglected that detail.  That big cable doesn't have to be very cold before it gets real hard to coil up, not to mention wet and dirty if you happen to be breaking camp in wet weather.
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2010, 08:28:31 PM »

The real Marinco cords with the fully molded ends seem to be somewhat more flexible than other 50 amp cords.  Part of it is in the plastic used for the cord insulation and part to do with the number of strands in the wire.

I don't have a real Marinco cord and it is a bear to deal with.  It gets left at home almost every trip as I never stay at campgrounds and it takes up a lot of space in the bay.  I would have to come up with something better if I was visiting campgrounds on a regular basis.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 11:18:28 PM »

I use a 12GA extension cord that runs about 50'. Thats it!  It works great, I just have to make sure I run one thing at a time or my power bar circuit will trip.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 05:02:46 AM »

I also use hole in bay floor.The sharp edge is covered with a piece of heater hose slit long ways and glued and screwed in place..to store the water hose and elect cord I put a pair of bike hooks hanging from bay ceiling (about 10 inches from each side) and loop both water and electric around both hooks letting them sag to bay floor..The sewer hose I slide inside a piece of 4 inch thin wall plastic sewer pipe that runs about 7 ft across bay...the opening on the floor has a door that is held close by gravity when not in use...I also have a boat in a slip and use the marine set up on it but you still have to deal with the cord..It is simpler on bus to just pull threw hole and wrap around the hooks...its there and you can unwrap what you need...works for me...happy bussing. Bob
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 05:09:50 AM »

   We have the 50 amp Hubbell (similar to the Marinco). In addition to the 50 amp cord, we carry a 30 amp cord (much lighter and easier to handle) with a 50 amp Hubbell plug on the end.  We put a jumper between the 2 hot terminals in this plug so the 30 feeds both legs. This cord is much easier to handle when 30 (or 20) is all that is available.  We store our cables, and hoses, in a slide out try in the former OEM spare tire compartment.  Jack
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 05:23:33 AM »

Our 50 amp plug cord is hardwired to the main panel. It goes through the floor and is not too bad for handling. I just prefer it to be hardwired, less chance for potential problems with failing. I bought welding cable as it's easier to handle, more flexible.
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 05:39:32 AM »

I use the Marinco twist-lock and screw down outside socket on the side of the bus, and a 25 ft 30 amp power cord, and yeah, it's enough to try to move around and coil up when it's cold.  I carry a  second extension cord for if I need to be farther away from the outlet, and a 15 amp adaptor.  I don't have a well thought out way to store the cable, if/when I do it will probably be a powered wheel to roll it up on in the bay.

Brian
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 06:06:25 AM »

Brian, be careful with the reels and remember to you can not leave any cable on the reel when in use I did on another coach we had the reel was made by Duro  www.durohosereels.com/rec_vehicle it cost me a new cable and reel and almost a coach by not reading the manual you know the male thing LOL  



good luck
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 06:19:55 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 06:14:54 AM »

To store the shore power cord, go to Home Depot/Lowes and buy one of those large plastic tubs they sell with the poly rope handles. The tub stands about 14 inches tall and is about 20 inches in diameter.

A 50 amp cord will coil very neatly around the perimeter of the tub leaving lots of room for water hoses, cleaning supplies or whatever else you wish to store. You can put a wet dirty cord away without damaging anything in the bus.

Once stored in the tub for a short while, the cord will take a set making subsequent coiling very easy, even when cold.

The tub will hold up to a 50 foot long, 50 amp power cord.
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2010, 06:34:40 AM »

We all do it different...just to add to post about a tight wound cord on a partial reel it will create heat and at a near max load can create enough heat to melt and start a fire.Been there done that! thats why I should have mentioned it in my partial unwound method of hanging unused cord;it is loose wound and able to cool while draped on hooks...safe bussing is the best
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2010, 07:04:33 AM »

Brian, be careful with the reels and remember to you can not leave any cable on the reel when in use I did on another coach we had the reel was made by Duro  www.durohosereels.com/rec_vehicle it cost me a new cable and reel and almost a coach by not reading the manual you know the male thing LOL  



good luck



Why can't you leave some cable on the reel?  Does this apply to only to 50 amp?   I have a manual reel for 30 amp by Safe-T-Reel and I don't recall this warning.  Especially as I pull off only what I need.   Thanks for your experience.
 
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bevans6
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 07:30:42 AM »

It can actually apply to any cable on a reel, or otherwise not exposed to open air, as I understand it.  Extension cords are rated for the current carrying capacity based on the wire gauge and insulation type and anticipated use.  As a general rule, extension cord wire is rated for open air use.  So the portion of the cord on the reel is prone to overheating, if used at close to it's rated load.  I can imagine some inductive coupling from the coil, as well, but couldn't easily find a cite for that. 
 
I have experienced a hot extension cord from just having it coiled on the ground, but it was a cheap orange 14 gauge cord and I was running a power saw, so it was at full rated load.  Now, I have extension cords that come on a reel and I often just unroll as much as I need, so I need to now think about that a little more.  I've known of this issue for years, but didn't make the connection to the new cord on a reel that I just bought.  There are also extension cords on retractable reels, you don't have much option about them being on a reel.

This bears a little more thought, I do believe!

Brian
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2010, 07:56:50 AM »

Have actually had a cord wound on a reel and it looked great but wouldn't work;;un wound it and found it actually fused together about half way down....was in a continous use situation and prob near or over rated capacity;proper breaker would mabe have prevented it.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2010, 09:01:51 AM »

Wire will heat up as current is passed thru it - more current = more heat. Unless this heat is dissipated, the temperature of the wire will continue to rise until the insulation melts or burns. If left on a roll, the heat has no where to go. Then there is the possibility of induction heating. . . .

20 amps is a lot of power & I've seen lots of smoke & sparks without tripping the breaker. 15 amp breakers usually trip without as many theatrics.

If the wire is sized so that the temperature rise is negligible while in use & the reel is nonconductive, being left on a roll probably won't matter.

However, wire costs more the bigger it gets & we all spend only what we have to . . . Why buy a 100Amp rated cord when all we're pulling is 50 max? Also, the 100 amp cord is going to be lots harder to work with.
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2010, 09:21:08 AM »

We have one of those marine-type connectors on the outside skin.  One end of the cord plugs into that, the other to shore power.  Our cord has only 3 #6 wires, so we only draw one leg at 50 amps.  It's funny but I set up my last bus like that since we did not use any 240v, and it made the cord 25% lighter and more manageable.  When we bought this coach, it was set up the same way.  I generally coil the electric cord last and lay it on the bay floor.  The sewer hose is just fed into a 5 gallon bucket which also stores other dump plumbing parts.
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2010, 07:58:48 PM »

all I can remember is that wire in coils makes heat.

Whether circled on the ground or wound on a reel.

Coils do funny things, who remembers the theory?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2010, 05:40:34 AM »

Then there is the possibility of induction heating. . . .

Doesn't induction heating require a piece of metal in the middle of the coil?  Jack
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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2010, 06:52:06 PM »

We have a powertech quiet box, so i coil the 50a cable on top of it when stored, pull it out to use.  nothing else fits up there anyway, and i don't want some mess on top of the genset box getting warm and smelling hot or worse.  so the cable works well in unused storage space.  we have a twist lock plug that comes up thru the floor thru a 4 inch sewer pipe type opeing to the cable receptacle.  the other end goes to 50a shore power.  i carry a 75 foot 30a adaptor cable just in case i have to go that far.  it stays in the van most of the time. 

also, someone mentioned old and pushing the cable thru the floor being tough.  i am old and that's the least of my issues.  Sad Roll Eyes
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« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2010, 06:33:12 AM »

Then there is the possibility of induction heating. . . .

Doesn't induction heating require a piece of metal in the middle of the coil?  Jack

Induction heating works directly only with conductive materials ( normally metals, but any conductive material will be heated - some more efficiently than others ). Plastics and other non-conductive materials can often be heated indirectly by first heating a conductive material which then transfers heat to the non-conductive material - this would apply to the insulation on the power wire.

So, while it may not be likely, there is a possibility that we should be aware of.

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