Parts Required for Enclosed Trailer Auxiliary 110 Electric Hookupby John Cagney Nash
Creating a 110-volt electrical hookup to any trailer is a straightforward project. The parts required are a fuse-protected power supply, a dedicated outlet, a shore connection cord --- sometimes called an umbilical --- and a circuit breaker board. All are readily available at most home repair warehouses.
Determining How to Supply the Hookup's Power
An enclosed trailer is effectively a single appliance when plugged into shore power using a single cable, regardless of the outlets and appliances it contains. As such, it must be treated as an individual piece of equipment and fused by a single-pole, 30-amp circuit breaker shared with no other outlets or appliances. Locate or install such a power source at the electrical control panel of the building that will be supplying electricity to the trailer.
Creating the Outlet of the Hookup
Run a supply to a location convenient for the installation of a dedicated outlet, observing all regulations and advisements issued by the appropriate municipal authority. Route the wire with no loose loops that could create a trip hazard; ensure the wire is not so tight that strain points are created at corners and joins. Locate the outlet so as to maximize access while minimizing potential for accidental damage and exposure to rain. Use a deep-lid weatherproof box if the location is outside.
The Shore Connection Cable
To construct the shore connection cable, a length of three-core wire is typically connected at its trailer end inside a small cargo bay dedicated to its safe storage when not in use. It is wired directly to a circuit breaker board; choose a board with sufficient breaker points so that lighting, outlet and power converter are protected by separate breakers. For a 25-foot cord, use 10-gauge wire; for a 50-foot cord, use eight-gauge wire; for a 100-foot cord, use six-gauge wire. A plug designated "TT-30P" by the American National Standards Institute is required to terminate the cord at its supply end.
Recommended Accessory to the Hookup
If a 12-volt direct current electrical system is installed on the trailer, as suggested by the 110-volt system being described as "auxiliary," the coach batteries must be maintained in a charged state. A power converter uses shore power for this purpose, and is customarily located physically close to the trailer's circuit breaker board and hard-wired to a dedicated spur.
A Word of Caution
Live electricity is deadly. Always double-check power is off when working with electrical circuits.
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