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Cabin Wiring #7991123 09/28/20 08:15 PM
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I'm working on wiring up a bunkhouse (10'x20') for a hunting cabin. There are already 30amp RV plugs in place. My question is, if I wire the interior of the building with a sub-panel for a 10 or so outlets and 3 overhead lights can I then take a standard 30amp RV extension cord, cut the female end off and wire that into my panel inside the bunkhouse and just plug right into the RV plug for power in the bunkhouse? Seems like that would be a simple solution to getting power run into my sub-panel in the bunkhouse. What am I overlooking? Is this a patently bad idea? Only thing that MIGHT get left running power while we are away would be a standard fridge.

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7991186 09/28/20 09:06 PM
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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7991215 09/28/20 09:31 PM
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With a 30 amp 220 volt feed you will have two legs of 110 with 30 amps each. That’s not much. Can you tap the panel that feeds the RV power receptacle? Barring that, can you add a 50 amp RV power receptacle?


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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7991217 09/28/20 09:34 PM
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Plan on 1.5 amps per DCO and at least 15 amp breakers. Max of 10 DCO per breaker. LED lights don't draw much but put them on a separate breaker. Same with AC and a heater circuit.

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Cast] #7991299 09/28/20 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Cast
With a 30 amp 220 volt feed you will have two legs of 110 with 30 amps each. That’s not much. Can you tap the panel that feeds the RV power receptacle? Barring that, can you add a 50 amp RV power receptacle?


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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7991311 09/28/20 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill_OA
I'm working on wiring up a bunkhouse (10'x20') for a hunting cabin. There are already 30amp RV plugs in place. My question is, if I wire the interior of the building with a sub-panel for a 10 or so outlets and 3 overhead lights can I then take a standard 30amp RV extension cord, cut the female end off and wire that into my panel inside the bunkhouse and just plug right into the RV plug for power in the bunkhouse? Seems like that would be a simple solution to getting power run into my sub-panel in the bunkhouse. What am I overlooking? Is this a patently bad idea? Only thing that MIGHT get left running power while we are away would be a standard fridge.

yes two 15 amp circuits. one for lights one for recepticles. you are talking 30 amp 120 volt? correct?

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Cast] #7991671 09/29/20 03:13 AM
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I can (probably) tap into the main panel for power but it would be a fairly long run back to main. Upgrading to a 50 amp is a definite option. Can the RV plug be pulled out and wire direct into the sub panel from there? May just have to bite the bullet and make the longer run to do it right.

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7991786 09/29/20 10:32 AM
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I run 40’ container cabin off 30amp sub panel. It’s pretty straight forward

30amps roughly 3300 usable watts.
10 LED light
1500W Hotwater heater(turn it off and in and don’t leave it running)
8k AC unit with heat strip
5k AC unit
Mini fridge

Winter I may run additional 1500w heater until Heatstrip catches up

50amp would give you almost double the wattage essentially but do you need it?




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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Cast] #7991973 09/29/20 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Cast
With a 30 amp 220 volt feed you will have two legs of 110 with 30 amps each. That’s not much. Can you tap the panel that feeds the RV power receptacle? Barring that, can you add a 50 amp RV power receptacle?


^ This, Plus I would hard-wire a ground (10ga or 8ga) from cabin panel to ground rod nearby
- an extra safety measure for several reasons (faulty ground/neutral at 'temporary' receptacle, lightning, etc).

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7992221 09/29/20 04:26 PM
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If you can get a 50 amp RV circuit installed that will do it just fine. But instead of installing a plug? Install a rain tight box and wire both ends directly (no connectors).


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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Cast] #7992284 09/29/20 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Cast
If you can get a 50 amp RV circuit installed that will do it just fine. But instead of installing a plug? Install a rain tight box and wire both ends directly (no connectors).



You can take it to the bank when Cast post it.


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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7992396 09/29/20 06:42 PM
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Appreciate the input from all. Plan to be down to get things wired up soon and will try to remember to report back what I wind up doing. Going to have an electrician give a final seal of approval on the setup even if it is just a video review. Sounds like I've got a couple of different options of good ways to run it that would work. Just need to see which will apply to the existing setup with the least adjustment and best supply of power.

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7996808 10/03/20 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill_OA
Appreciate the input from all. Plan to be down to get things wired up soon and will try to remember to report back what I wind up doing. Going to have an electrician give a final seal of approval on the setup even if it is just a video review. Sounds like I've got a couple of different options of good ways to run it that would work. Just need to see which will apply to the existing setup with the least adjustment and best supply of power.


Did you get anything done on your cabin?
Note, a 30 amp RV outlet is 120 volt
I have a cabin that runs on 30 amps. It only has a wall AC unit and lights, it is plenty of power for that. Plumbing but no water heater. I can run a microwave with no problem.
What all do you have in the cabin?


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Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7997594 10/04/20 11:49 AM
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Got most of the electrical roughed in. Ran 3 LED overhead lights, and 7 outlet receptacles. Plan to run a window AC unit inside, lights and small fridge. Outlets are on one branch circuit. Lights and fridge on one branch and then a dedicated circuit just for the AC. That is going to be the most power hungry. Calculated it up and there should be plenty of power. The branch circuit I'm pulling off of is a 70amp circuit. If I need to up grade the service inside my cabin I will be able to either tie the line direct into the 70 amp service or upgrade to a 50amp RV outlet. The plugs inside will be used for things like charging phones and computers. Don't expect they will get much use beyond that. No stove and not likely to use a microwave.

For hot water I plan to use a propane fired water heater. Runs off a standard 20lb BBQ tank. Worth looking into Simple Searcher. They run about 2-300 bucks and will give you plenty of hot water for a shower or cleaning dishes. I plan to set that up to be easily removed to store inside when not in use. Probably be working on getting setup finalized in the cabin for several more trips down.

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7997632 10/04/20 12:44 PM
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Just an FYI. NOT an electrician.

Amperage determines wire size. Wire size determines breaker size.

For panel load capacity, I would determine total wattage load.

Example, using Ohms law.

30 amps at 120 volts.... 30X120=3600 watts
50 amps at 240 volts.....50X240= 12000 watts

Estimated watt loads
Regular portable heater 1500 watts
Microwave 1200 watts
Small water heater 1500 to 4500 watts
120 volt window unit 2400 watts

A regular15 amp 120 volt circuit is good for (15X120) 1800 watts.


Upgrading to 50 amp 240 volt cord will provide 3 times the power.

Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7997643 10/04/20 12:56 PM
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Question?
We are assuming you have 70 amps at 240 volts avaiable. Is the panel supplied with 240 volts are just 120 volts?

I have seen panels in remote locations with a jumper from L1 and L2 lugs. At first glance user think they have plenty of power only to discover they have over built.

Last edited by Lazyjack; 10/04/20 12:56 PM.
Re: Cabin Wiring [Re: Bill_OA] #7997783 10/04/20 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill_OA
Got most of the electrical roughed in. Ran 3 LED overhead lights, and 7 outlet receptacles. Plan to run a window AC unit inside, lights and small fridge. Outlets are on one branch circuit. Lights and fridge on one branch and then a dedicated circuit just for the AC. That is going to be the most power hungry. Calculated it up and there should be plenty of power. The branch circuit I'm pulling off of is a 70amp circuit. If I need to up grade the service inside my cabin I will be able to either tie the line direct into the 70 amp service or upgrade to a 50amp RV outlet. The plugs inside will be used for things like charging phones and computers. Don't expect they will get much use beyond that. No stove and not likely to use a microwave.

For hot water I plan to use a propane fired water heater. Runs off a standard 20lb BBQ tank. Worth looking into Simple Searcher. They run about 2-300 bucks and will give you plenty of hot water for a shower or cleaning dishes. I plan to set that up to be easily removed to store inside when not in use. Probably be working on getting setup finalized in the cabin for several more trips down.


It’s hard to beat a propane heater, with that said I have a little 5 or 6gal POI electric water heater and if you use a RV style head, it will last for a couple showers with smart water usage. But then again propane means less watts over all needed.

If you get a combo 8k Btu AC unit with heat strip you are only looking at 800 watts roughly on AC. Also a low watt heater that works well for smaller 10x10 rooms is The Envi™ Wall-mounted Electric Panel Heater(<700 watts)

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