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Old 05-13-2014, 01:15 AM   #1
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Running power to trailer storage pad -- what amperage?

We're widening our driveway and levelling an area to store our Escape 21. Once this stump is removed and the area becomes a level gravel pad, we plan to run AC power to it.

Not being electrically savvy, I'm unsure what amperage will be required. The line would run underground up the driveway for about 70 feet.

We would like to be able to have guests stay in the trailer occasionally and use the lights and perhaps the furnace. We'd also like to run a small electric heater in the rainy season, plug in a vacuum cleaner once in a while, and power six or so LED lights up the driveway.

The trailer does not have AC, and guests would not be using the fridge or cooking in it.

Can we get by with 15-amp service for this, or should we spend the extra money to install a 30-amp line? Thanks for your expertise on this.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:42 AM   #2
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I know nothing about electrical, but I really wish I had a septic dump at home.
Twice I've had to use the sani-dump at the only nearby campground, where they charge $16.50 to dump, camping extra.
Handy when you just don't feel like lining up for your turn and when winterizing.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:33 AM   #3
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BTW. I run an extension cord ( heavy duty, about 50' ) from a house outlet in the shop to the trailer. It's plugged in all winter.
I have blown a breaker when I forget that I'm running the 1,500 watt heater ( which I do occasionally ) in the trailer and turn on another 1,500 watt heater in the house that's on the same circuit.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:38 AM   #4
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Larry Gamble has a sticky post on the CasitaForum that addresses power for travel trailers. Folks that know Larry's reputation, know he is extremely knowledgable and his full time business is 100% all molded towables. I think it would be in your best interest to read the thread. You must be a CasitaForum member to access the information. It's easy to join, just like it was easy to join here:

Adding 30 amp electric service at home A must read for all who hire this done

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Old 05-13-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
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I have had my Escape 19 and 21 plugged in at my garage on a 15 amp circuit without any issues for 3 years. I leave a 400 watt heater plugged in for the winter, otherwise the solar and converter takes care of the battery. Water and sewer would be nice as well as cable/wifi for guests.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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I would do the 30-amp, but for your use as you described it (no air conditioner, no large heater, no electric cooking) a dedicated 15-amp circuit would be more than enough.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:04 AM   #7
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30 amps. The only added cost is a different breaker (probably the same price) and a bit more wire; labor and piping costs are the same.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:05 AM   #8
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Install a 30 amp circuit and you will not regret having not done so in the future. Do it right the first time if you are installing a new circuit.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:05 AM   #9
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The extra cost is for the wire - the breakers and outlets cost about the same. And running it, the inside wiring, etc. should be the same. If you are trenching that may cost more than anything else.

So I would go with 30 - that way you can run an electric heater and run the water heater on 110V. By the same cost logic I would run 20 rather than 15.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:10 AM   #10
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I would install a 30 amp service using 10 gauge wire running through PVC conduit.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for those very helpful posts, everyone.

Donna D., that sticky thread on the Casita forum was also enlightening about the dangers of getting it wrong.

We're going to go with a 30 amp connection. As well as handling our trailer without issues, it will enable RVers we know to come and "camp" in our driveway without tripping breakers or putting their appliances at risk.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I know nothing about electrical, but I really wish I had a septic dump at home.
Twice I've had to use the sani-dump at the only nearby campground, where they charge $16.50 to dump, camping extra.
Handy when you just don't feel like lining up for your turn and when winterizing.
Baglo

If you come through Mission on your way home they have a Municipal one that is free. It's in the industrial area at the foot of the Mission Bridge.

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Old 05-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #13
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30 amps will let you have full use of your trailer and everything in it. Be aware if you are planning on visitors, that the very large RVs have 50 amp service. They can still use 30, they just can't turn on everything at once. I wouldn't spend the money since it's mostly for your Escape.

Also, if you think you might have an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle in your future that you might want to park out there it might be worth laying the wires you will need now. It would be cheaper than trenching a second time to run more wire.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
Thanks for those very helpful posts, everyone.

Donna D., that sticky thread on the Casita forum was also enlightening about the dangers of getting it wrong....
You are MORE than welcome. You'd think journeymen electricians would know the rules... but bad stuff can happen when dealing with RV issues. They ARE different. It's not about the plug... it's about the need!

Don't fry your electronics!
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:34 AM   #15
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Catchlight,

Since you decided on a 30A circuit, you may find this thread, especially jamman's links, useful: What size circuit at home for the Escape?.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:04 PM   #16
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Thanks for the excellent link, abby. Very informative, and confirmed our choice.
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