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Old 23-09-2009, 11:25   #1
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Connector Standards - Marine vs RV

Hi folks...

I can't believe I'm having trouble Googling a clear answer on this, though I think the answer is in the affirmative.

I'm familiar and comfy with the 30A shore-power system on my boat... all good, no problems. At the same time, I'm building a mobile lab in a 24-foot trailer to make the geek projects easier to manage without the current epic 4-hour round-trip commute, and the new rig is getting a mini replica of a typical marine power system (Blue Sea panels, inverter/charger, solar, coupla AGMs, etc). Using marine-grade hardware is overkill, but I like it and it is also the development system for the power-interface node on my Shipnet... might as well make all the mistakes on something non-critical that is also easy to reach.

Anyway, the pictures I see of RV-world shore-power cords show a very familiar-looking twist-lock connector at the vehicle end, and a flat-blade triangular assembly at the land end. I already have an outlet for the latter on my building, in fact, since I had an RV-based guest for a while.

To maximize interoperability of cables and adapters, it would be nice to know if the vehicle end of this is identical to the marine models. It looks like it from various product photos, but before I order the RV-flavored hardware and cord it would be nice to be certain. Also, being able to borrow the boat's cord in the situation of being close to a marina 30V outlet would be nice.

Thanks!
Steve
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Old 23-09-2009, 11:32   #2
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Take a marine shore power cord or adapter and see if it fits!

Bill
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Old 23-09-2009, 11:40   #3
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This is going to make a great blog entry, isn't it?
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Old 23-09-2009, 11:43   #4
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Well, yes, that would be most logical... but I haven't ordered the stuff yet. I could borrow the cord from my boat and visit an RV store, but I'm just hoping to find the answer online and order the right goodies... the hands-on test is about a day of running around. Probably a stupid question, but as we say in geekdom: "Standards are a good thing. That's why there are so many of them."

Cheers,
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Old 23-09-2009, 11:44   #5
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Maren -

*chortle*

-Steve
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Old 23-09-2009, 11:50   #6
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Quote:
*chortle*
I'm hoping that means "Yes". I like the way you write.

This might help... or not U-Haul moving supplies: Boat / RV accessories
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Old 23-09-2009, 12:07   #7
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Mmm, yes, that adapter widget does suggest they are the same. As I mentioned, I've been reasonably sure this is OK, but have been blindsided before (usually AFTER ordering something that ends up going on eBay).

And thanks for the nudge on blogging... it has been 2 months since the tale of near-disaster and a lot has been happening (even if not quite so dramatic).

Utterly off-topic: my paleo-geekery just emerged on YouTube, thanks to a fellow who unearthed an ancient video of my 1989 presentation at Xerox PARC. It's aggregated at Hackaday. Dang, I was skinny then. No wonder I need a 44-foot boat now instead of a Microship...

Anyway, thanks for the info; I'll just order the stock RV stuff and assume that the marine cable will work if/when I ever need to plug the lab into a dock.

Cheers!
Steve
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Old 23-09-2009, 12:25   #8
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Look for standard NEMA “Locking” configuration as follows:
30Amp 120Volt = L5-30 (L or P)

The standard Female Locking Connector (boat end of cable) for 30A 120V 1∅ 2-Pole 3-Wire is a NEMA L5-30R configuration.
The Inlet (on boat) is also a NEMA L5-30R
The Male Plug end (shore side of cable) is a NEMA L5-30P.

RV’s often use Straight Blade ("Crow Foot") devices, such as NEMA TT-30P (male plug), which you do NOT want.

Marinco has a good shore power website:
30 Amp Shore Power Products | Marinco

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Old 23-09-2009, 14:33   #9
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Yep, a twistlock is a twistlock- no need to buy "marine" stuff for this. Hubbell makes the best (avail at any electrical supply house)
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Old 23-09-2009, 14:51   #10
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Gord and S&S - many thanks! Yah, tacking on that marine qualifier sure does make stuff more valuable, eh? Occasionally for good reason, but not always...

I'll do a write-up on the mobile lab when it's done enough to be interesting... since I can't park the boat near my existing R&D facilities in the forest, I'm distilling the latter down to about 10% of the existing square footage and hauling it to the marina for extended work sessions. Should be amusing. Power, since that's the context of this thread, includes the aforementioned shore connection, the Prosine 2.0 extracted from the boat when I installed the new Outback inverter/charger, two repurposed 105 AH AGM batteries that were recently replaced, some recycled Microship solar panels with an old Trace C40, and a Honda 2000i generator.

Thanks again for the confirmation on the connector flavors,
Steve
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