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Old 12-01-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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120 VAC Circuits / Escape 21

How many and what amperage 120 VAC circuits are provided in an Escape 21
The pictures I have seen only show 3-15 amp circuits which is inadequate for a 21 ft trailer IMHO
I rewired my Scamp and Casita in order to get a separate 20 amp circuit to the kitchen area and to the outside GFCI receptacle . I was hoping that a new Escape would not require me to rewire a trailer for the third time.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
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One one hand, I can sympathize... some idiot at Damon thought that two general-use circuits (aside from dedicated circuits for microwave, etc) were enough for my large class-A motorhome.

On the other hand, an Escape has the electrical service typical and appropriate for a small travel trailer, which is 30 amps. How many circuits can you really use within that total?

I would want two available in addition to any dedicated circuits, with both of them accessible in the kitchen area.

The Escape Trailer Owner's Manual is not specific to model; the distribution panel illustrated (on page 39) has four positions, each of which can hold a double-circuit breaker, with a total of four circuits installed. One of those is the back-fed main breaker, so there are three branch circuits:
  • converter
  • fridge / plugs
  • plugs
That doesn't look like enough, but this is presumably a trailer without either air conditioner or microwave, and if those get their own circuits, having two to share other loads doesn't seem so bad to me.

In the electrical schematic topic, Abby linked to a 21' electrical plan which shows outlet locations. A version which identifies which circuit each outlet is on would be helpful.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
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I added one on the face of the opposite dinette bench, and one on the 45 degree face at the corner of the bed. Had the external 120V moved to the rear awning mount area (under the awning.) Also added 12V looped drops inside the upper cabinets and under the bed, an additional 12V on the face of the upper cabinet to power a 12V TV/DVD player, and an external 12V next to the rear awning mount. Now wifey can power any kind of awning lights she want to hang........
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:49 PM   #4
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FWIW

This is from the fifth wheel, as you can see there are 3 modules, each a double breaker. The Fridge is actually tied in with the converter so it not powered off the inverter if installed. The guy making the labels messed up. The upper breaker on the 2nd module is the microwave/loft plugs. The lower portion being the main cabin and outside plugs. There is room for 2 more modules although the bottom is half blocked by the metal cover so it'd take a little persuasion to use it. I did not open up the unit to see if the actual contacts exist for both slots.

Pretty much as Brian says.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Is your question the number of outlets or the number of circuits. With 3 x15 amp circuits your are exceeding the 30 amp capacity, if you used each to their fullest. But outlets, there are 5 duplex which are standard, in a house these all 5 could be on one 15 amp circuit.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
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My Scamp had the kitchen outlet ,microwave and outside outlet on the same 15 amp circuit
You could only run one appliance at a time . IE: You could not make coffee and toast at the same time . My Casita has basically the same set up . In both trailers I ran a separate 20 amp circuit to the kitchen area and to the outside GFCI receptacle . I assumed that Escape would do a better job of wiring than Scamp but it appears my assumptions were wrong. My buddy recently bought a $45K fifth wheel trailer and has the same problem . Come Spring we are going to spend a day rewiring his brand new trailer just so he can make coffee and toast at the same time. The problem is not with the 30 amp service but with using 14-2 branch circuit wiring and not splitting up the load based on their intended usage.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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Perhaps the trailer builders are following electrical code and would not get certification if they wired it your way?
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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Perhaps the trailer builders are following electrical code and would not get certification if they wired it your way?
I did some checking and there is appears to be no requirement to meet codes federally or any state. There are DOT regs on exterior lighting etc.

More searching it seems like there is a lot of controversy about it and it appears WA state may be enforcing permits for mods to RVs.

That's how trailer manufacturers can cut costs by doing it however they want as long as it works for the 'average' camper.

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Old 12-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #9
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Steve,
I'm sure when you are ready to order one that ETI will wire your circuits for just one appliance each. Just ask on your build sheet. I have never had any breaker trip using mine, with or without the a/c, and making coffee.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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Well, there's this.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Come Spring we are going to spend a day rewiring his brand new trailer just so he can make coffee and toast at the same time. The problem is not with the 30 amp service but with using 14-2 branch circuit wiring and not splitting up the load based on their intended usage.
Don't know why you'd have to rewire to do that. On the 19 the outlet at the end of the counter is on one circuit and the one near the bed is on another.

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Old 12-01-2014, 06:34 PM   #12
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I did some checking and there is appears to be no requirement to meet codes federally or any state. There are DOT regs on exterior lighting etc.
National Electric Code (NEC) Article 551: Recreational Vehicles & RV Parks. If you are plugging your travel trailer into 120V or 120/240V "shore-power" systems, you are to comply with NEC art. 551. Just sayin'.

From what I saw, and what was discussed, when we visited ETI in November, they are compliant with Canadian Electric Code, which is largely in harmony with the NEC.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klem View Post
I did some checking and there is appears to be no requirement to meet codes federally or any state. There are DOT regs on exterior lighting etc.

More searching it seems like there is a lot of controversy about it and it appears WA state may be enforcing permits for mods to RVs.

That's how trailer manufacturers can cut costs by doing it however they want as long as it works for the 'average' camper.

Mel
In the US, Article 551 of the NEC covers both Recreational Vehicles and parks. While there is no maximum number of receptacles, it does state a maximum of 5 15 or 20 amp circuits with a 30 amp main. An exception is made that allows additional circuits if there is a listed energy management system rated at a maximum of 30 amps as part of the system.

Lots of interesting information in the Article - hard copies are expensive, but the code is available on line. While the NEC has an on line version, the reader is difficult to use. Instead, I use the Minnesota Electrical Code which is one or two versions old of the NEC (Current is 2008 ), and is available in a wide number of formats.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Come Spring we are going to spend a day rewiring his brand new trailer just so he can make coffee and toast at the same time. The problem is not with the 30 amp service but with using 14-2 branch circuit wiring and not splitting up the load based on their intended usage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Don't know why you'd have to rewire to do that. On the 19 the outlet at the end of the counter is on one circuit and the one near the bed is on another.

Ron
It would seem to me that Ron's solution would work, but if for some reason that is not satisfactory, why go through the time and expense of rewiring. Make the coffee and turn the coffee maker off. Then make the toast, which takes maybe one minute. The coffee is not going to get cold in the time that it takes to toast bread. Then turn the coffee maker back on to keep what is in the carafe warm. If using a Keurig one cupper, the coffee still isn't going to get cold in the short time it takes to make toast.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:35 PM   #15
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Why not just use room service?
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:44 PM   #16
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This thread really demonstrates the wide range of requirements that people have for their trailers. The OP is concerned that the new Escapes do not have adequate electrical capacity wrt AC current. I on the other hand have had my Escape for two camping seasons, have probably spent 70 nights in it, and have not yet used any of the AC outlets. For my purposes, the Escapes circuit design is entirely adequate.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:11 PM   #17
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I believe my question has been answered
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:12 PM   #18
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This thread really demonstrates the wide range of requirements that people have for their trailers. The OP is concerned that the new Escapes do not have adequate electrical capacity wrt AC current. I on the other hand have had my Escape for two camping seasons, have probably spent 70 nights in it, and have not yet used any of the AC outlets. For my purposes, the Escapes circuit design is entirely adequate.
That may be true, Dave, but just wait until you decide you want to do some arc welding at the camp site, or you want to host a rock concert with all the electric guitars, amplifiers, and monster speakers. That's when you'll realize just how woefully underpowered your Escape is! :LOL

But you are so right. Everyone is different and we all have varying expectations for our trailers.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:38 PM   #19
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That may be true, Dave, but just wait until you decide you want to do some arc welding at the camp site, or you want to host a rock concert with all the electric guitars, amplifiers, and monster speakers. That's when you'll realize just how woefully underpowered your Escape is! :LOL

But you are so right. Everyone is different and we all have varying expectations for our trailers.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:59 PM   #20
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We play guitars around the campfire all the time, just not the type that plug in. And trust me, we have no need to amplify.
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