Just a quick blog about hooking up Power at a campground. When we first started this journey I wasn’t sure how all these systems worked together so I looked around on the Internet and found a few videos but had to piece some of the information together myself. I hope this helps for all of you doing the same type of research.
When we purchased our camper it came with most of the stuff we needed, but not everything. The first item that we added to the cart, after toilet paper of course, was a 30 Amp surge protector for our 30 Amp travel trailer. We have since purchased a step-down transformer for 50 Amp to 30 Amp service, and an adapter to run the camper off of a household 20 Amp outlet. If we plug the camper into a 20 Amp outlet at home it is only to chill down the fridges and run the lights and a fan, not the Air Conditioner. I will warn you, DO NOT run your air conditioner on 20 Amp household power as the household wiring is not designed for this. Some people opt to put in a dedicated 30 Amp or 50 Amp circuit and outlet off of their garage or home. We plan on doing this and will cover it in another blog when we do. If you ever have a question, read your manuals. YouTube, the Internet, Google and I don’t know your whole situation. But enough about that, you’re hear to learn how we hook up our trailer.
Here we have a travel trailer at the KOA. Assuming our intrepid camper made it this far it is now time to “safely” connect the trailer to an electrical grid. We start by making sure we are on dry land and not standing in a puddle.
PRO TIP: Electricity does interesting things in water. You want to read about this or see it on the internet – not experience it.
Assuming you are on dry land locate the electrical pedestal for your site, it should look like this. I have labeled the breakers and corresponding outlets with their Amperage (Amps) rating for reference.
I always start with a visual inspection of the breakers and outlets. These show wear, but are in good shape. There is no cracking or discoloration or other indications of malfunction. As you can see this site could be used by a 30 or 50 Amp trailer or camper. Next we shut off the breaker we are planning on connecting to. This will prevent a surge or accidental discharge while hooking up. Then we plug in the aformentioned surge protector. Once it is securely in place we reset the breaker and check to see what the power looks like to our surge protector. Some people will go as far as checking the outlet with an electrical multi-meter. For us, the surge protector usually gives all the information we need.
There is a handy guide on this surge protector, an Arcon 30Amp – 120Volt Surge Protector, that gives you four LEDs and a chart for how to read those lights and what it means. In this case we got indications that power was on, correct wiring and no low amperage indication, so we are good to go to connect up the trailer.
At this point we shut off the breaker before connecting the rest of the cabling. I added a 30′ foot connector cable and used the twist lock fitting on the cable to connect to the trailer. Then it is back to the pedestal to flip the breaker back on. Success means the AC unit on the roof fires up and you have cold beverages.
For neatness and organization, we keep all of the electrical stuff in one large plastic tote box. That way we don’t get cross contamination with other equipment like hoses, and everything we need for the electrical system is kept in one place. You don’t have to go looking for adapters, extension cords, dielectric grease and fuses when you know right were they are. This becomes more important as we move on to our next subject Water.
Tearing Down Camp (coming soon)
See also: Choosing a Tow Vehicle
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