May 1, 2014 - Personal    13 Comments

Haven Nearly With Power

My electrician asked me to be on site at 8:30 this morning, so I moseyed over around 8:10 thinking that I’d have at least an hour to clean up the yard. Ha. He rolled in at about 8:15! He discussed what he was going to do and where he was going to set up everything and I left him to it. I checked in on him at 10:30 and 1:00 and he was making good progress. When I went back around 3:15, he was gone and the work not quite where I expected it to be, but the important part was done. I imagine I’ll get an email from him tonight.

Here’s the first thing he did, installing posts and plywood to create a structure on which to screw the breaker box and outlets. This was the cheapest way to do it for now and I can later move the breaker box into a building if I so choose. The panel looks very neat and he used pressure-treated posts for the legs. I’ll be using posts like these for my clothesline.

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Here’s a closeup of the trench. The metal thing sticking out is the ground. It has to be about 2′ down.

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Because of the gravel pile, he was unable to get onto my property from Main Street and was very glad when I told him that there is a rear access through an easement. His trailer is unhooked because he had to go back to town for some conduit that his supplier forgot to ship him last week. I’m glad said conduit did arrive!

BTW, I plan to bring Miranda back to Haven through this rear access because the driveway entrance is so narrow and it takes a lot of work to get Miranda aligned just so to back her into it. Plus, why back in 100′ when I can drive in? 🙂

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Here is the ‘household’ socket into which SaskPower will plug their meter. It put it on a board that is attached directly to my power pole. You can see a conduit cover running down and into the ground.

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Here’s the board with the electrical panel. See that thing down to the right of it?

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A 30 amp outlet. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

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Close up of my pretty exterior-grade electrical box in oh-so-sexy contractor grey.

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I wanted a box I could lock. It is very difficult to open! You have to push the tab to the left and get it to fit through the door slot.

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I only have the main 100 amp breaker and the 30 amp breaker. We had discussed three 20 amp outlets as well, so that’s why I’m a little confused tonight. Not a big deal for now as I can always plug things into the RV exterior socket for now, but I really want a 20 amp outlet for my friend L to plug into when he gets here. I’ll see what the electrician says.

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Close up of the breakers. Top say 100, bottom says 30.

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Next step is that he will call SaskPower and tell them that I am ‘site ready’ and they will come and run cables down the pole to my household socket and plug in a meter. SaskPower says it will take at least 10 business days, but my electrician says it shouldn’t be more than two or three. We shall see…

I can’t believe that this is finally happening! Boondocking for most of 2013 was empowering, pun intended, but I’ll be glad this summer to not have to worry about powering the new internet booster, charging the laptops, using my external monitor, etc.

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13 Comments

  • Make sure that the 30 Amp outlet is wired for RV use, not for dryer use. I don’t remember if you ever invested in a power monitor such as a Progressive EMS or Surge Guard.

    See http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/testing.htm

    This falls into the “trust but verify” category.

    Dave

  • Good point Dave, but no worries. The electrician understood what I needed and the breaker is clearly marked ‘RV’ to further reinforce the point.

    I haven’t bothered with a power monitor because I’ve been boondocking so much and it wasn’t a priority, but I will be getting one next month with my next Amazon order. My new converter does offer a modicum of protection, though, as it protects me from brownouts, spikes, and reverse polarity.

  • You may want to ask the electrician to install a cover on the 30 amp outlet that will be weather proof while you are plugged in. The kind like the ones in an RV campground, maybe like this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Eaton-Power-Outlet-242306-CHU4S/dp/B00CXV0M7K/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1398990371&sr=8-10&keywords=rv+30+amp+outlet

  • Gary, that’s a good idea, but I plan to build the panel out a bit to make a box out of it and add a roof since I have some tin that would be a good fit. The outlet is also very sheltered where it is.

  • That is a great idea!

  • I would like to reiterate Dave Sand’s caution about the 30 Amp outlet. My electrician declared up and down he knew what I needed and wired it for 220 instead of 110, though with the right plug for a RV. Thank God I tested the outlet and caught it before plugging in. When I showed this sheet to him and he realized the mistake he’d made, he went white realizing the damage it could have caused to my RV:

    http://www.rvpowerprotection.com/Links_files/30-amp%20Service.pdf?

    I’m not saying your electrician got it wrong, just saying it happens, and it’s best to make sure! 🙂

  • I do intend to test the outlet before plugging in. Nothing to be done until the outlets are live.

  • Might be worth double checking with the electrician. A 30A outlet for an RV should only have one breaker not a double breaker as shown in the photo. A double breaker like shown in the photo typically connects to both legs (phases) of the power feed, in other words it provides 220 V (like a dryer would use) and not 110 V that an RV would use.

    Would be a good idea to ask he electrician to show you the voltage readings between each terminal on the outlet. Make sure the readings are in the 110 to 120 range and not above! Have heard several times about RVs being damaged with they are mistakenly wired for 220 V!

  • Again, I will test the outlets when they are live to make sure I’m in the right voltage range and that everything is wire correctly. If there is an issue, I’ll call the electrician and he’ll come fix it.

    I appreciate the concern and it’s good info for others, but I’m not an electrical novice and I know what to do to make sure everything is safe for my RV before I plug in. Thank you!

  • What a fantastic development, Rae! I am so happy for you. I look forward to photos of Miranda plugged in. 🙂

  • Thank you, Bast! *HUGS*

  • So exciting! How wonderful it will be to have unlimited power! I hope your rates are good ones.

  • Linda, unlimited within 100A. 😀 I know that using 15A 24/7 is $150ish a month, so we’ll see how it goes this summer. I can’t imagine electricity will be more than what I was paying in propane and gas last year…

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