type of wire needed for trailers

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type of wire needed for trailers

Postby yycwrangler » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:11 pm

Hi Everyone

Building a cargo trailer conversion and posted this questions over there but now I see that this is the area to post it in. I'm wondering what type of product folks are using to wire 110volt to their trailers. Do I need to go to romex with the steel sheathing around it which can be hard to bend around corners. I'll put the GFI right at the beginning of each run. I'll have a least two runs. One for about 4 outlets. One of kitchen area and one for the AC.

Thoughts??

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Re: type of wire needed for trailers

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:54 am

Hello Al! I'm not an expert electrician (so somebody else chime in to confirm), but here's what I've learned about wiring through research and experience ...

I assume you're wanting to install a 110-volt power inlet receptacle in your cargo trailer? Something like a ParkPower RV inlet? And then run power to all your outlets and fixtures?

That steel-wrapped wiring you're talking about is Armored Cable (AC) wire. You've got different types. With some, you use the sheathing as the ground; others, you have a separate conductor, things like that. They're designed for wet (sometimes exterior) locations and should generally be used with metal junction boxes and cable clamps. It's overkill for a camper interior so long as you keep it dry.

I prefer standard vinyl-insulated Romex cable. Much cheaper, easier to work with, safe, can be used with plastic junction boxes, etc. If you plan to run it underneath your trailer, you can always snake it through conduit. If you're concerned about interior moisture, you can snake the Romex through split-loom tubing, which you can buy $20 for a 100' roll.

Most folks use 14/2 w/ G solid copper wiring (my favorite) just like what you'd use in a house. If you plan to run big appliances, you can upgrade to 12/2 w/ G solid wiring. If you really want the flexibility of stranded wire, you can use 2-conductor THHN wire, but then you have to supply your own grounding conductor.

Hope that helps! If it doesn't, let me know :)
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Re: type of wire needed for trailers

Postby yrock87 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:23 pm

Or use scrap extension cords. Just make sure they are sized correctly and in cord is in decent shape. I had some 14 gauge cords that were pulling from their sockets, so I cut one up and used in my trailer for at 15 amp leg on my 110v system. I will be using 12 Gauge for the trailer in-line to the breaker box to accommodate 20 amps. although I may just go 10 gauge to the breaker box so that I can plug into 30 amp plugs....
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Re: type of wire needed for trailers

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:45 pm

yrock87 wrote:Or use scrap extension cords. Just make sure they are sized correctly and in cord is in decent shape. I had some 14 gauge cords that were pulling from their sockets, so I cut one up and used in my trailer for at 15 amp leg on my 110v system. I will be using 12 Gauge for the trailer in-line to the breaker box to accommodate 20 amps. although I may just go 10 gauge to the breaker box so that I can plug into 30 amp plugs....


+1 on this advice. If you plan to run two separate 15-amp circuits, then the master line going to the breaker box needs to be able to handle 30 amps. All the power adds up!
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Re: type of wire needed for trailers

Postby aggie79 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:14 pm

yrock87 wrote:Or use scrap extension cords. Just make sure they are sized correctly and in cord is in decent shape. I had some 14 gauge cords that were pulling from their sockets, so I cut one up and used in my trailer for at 15 amp leg on my 110v system. I will be using 12 Gauge for the trailer in-line to the breaker box to accommodate 20 amps. although I may just go 10 gauge to the breaker box so that I can plug into 30 amp plugs....


For the short run to the power inlet, I just purchased a 4' length of 10/3 SOOW cord.
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Re: type of wire needed for trailers

Postby m.colley » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:53 pm

for the short run from the power inlet to my PD4045 I bought 10' each of #10 THNN, I still had about 5ft left over but put it to use elsewhere. I ran a combination of 12/2 and 14/2 w ground Romex for my circuits. If I do another I'll buy rolls of THNN. Its easier to maneuver/bend.


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