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I'm having a problem finding boat cable. Anyone have good sources online? The only places I've seen on Amazon want to sell 50 feet and I don't need that much. I can't find any local either. The only cable I can find local is some outdoor cable. I think one of the local suppliers called it SO cable. This is what I was able to find at home depot. (this type wire not necessarily this specific charge)

http://www.homedepot.com/p/250-ft-1...er-SOOW-Electrical-Cord-02725-85-01/301225480

Would this be ok to use instead of boat cable? That would be what I would use to run to my AC and outlets. Id get 10/3 awg for my 30A inlet to my 30 main breaker

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You don't need boat cable. You can buy stranded cable almost anywhere. Many people (including me) just buy regular 3 wire extension cords or cable in whatever gauge we need for the circuit and cut it to size. Don't make things difficult for yourself ;)

Yes, the cable in your link is perfect for what you want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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It is, but wire varies a lot and can be aluminum or copper- you want stranded and copper with finer strands being more flexible and less likely to break due to vibration which is why we generally advise against ROMEX although I have some in my van. The wire cover on wire is generally tough enough despite it’s intended use but protect it and wire-tie it to keep chafing to a minimum. Chafing shows up after the vehicle has been used a lot and can become a real nuisance. I know I have an early 2000’s era BMW motorcycle when the wire coverings were not so good!
 

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http://www.homedepot.com/p/250-ft-1...er-SOOW-Electrical-Cord-02725-85-01/301225480

Would this be ok to use instead of boat cable? That would be what I would use to run to my AC and outlets. Id get 10/3 awg for my 30A inlet to my 30 main breaker
A lot of DIY van builders use SO cord. The 12/3 would be ok for your inside outlets. And the 10/3 for your 30A shore power. For added safety, we ran ours inside smurf tube but many don't. Solid wire should be avoided in mobile applications.

couple photos:




Lower Box is main is where AC circuits coming from inverter enter smurf tube routed in wall cavities. Smaller upper box is for 12VDC circuits so no smurf for those.
 

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Yes cable is cheap! Always buy more. Your best deal is usually just buy 14/3 or12/3 extension cords from the big box stores (just cut the ends off). Very few conversions have any need for #12 wire unless you have 20 amp AC circuits and also, don't waste your money on so called "marine grade" wire unless you are planning on building an amphibious camper;)
 

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hi,
I don't think that using extension cords with the ends cut off is a good idea. Buy wire that is built to a spec that is stamped on the wire.

Some of the extension cords are likely fine, but you have no idea what the quality is. I've had extension cords that showed significant deterioration in the outer jacket in just a couple years.

I'd go for wire that has the spec its built to printed on the wire.

Explanation of the specs (SO, SOJ, ...) here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_cord

SOW seems like a good choice having both oil and water resistance.


Gary
 

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If you buy decent extention cords that info should be stamped on the cord! If it isn't then it's junk cord but there are plenty of high quality extention cords out there - buyer beware as always;)
 

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https://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/

According to my electrical guy, "We've bought boat cable from this site before for work, at one point they were the cheapest for what we needed. The Marine Battery Cable looks good for the 4AWG and 2/0, looks like fine strands so it should be flexible." They are super quick with shipping too! As soon as my electrical guy saw the cable he was excited to start working with it. That's what I need, keep those helping happy!
 

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https://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/

According to my electrical guy, "We've bought boat cable from this site before for work, at one point they were the cheapest for what we needed. The Marine Battery Cable looks good for the 4AWG and 2/0, looks like fine strands so it should be flexible." They are super quick with shipping too! As soon as my electrical guy say the cable he was excited to start working with it. That's what I need, keep those helping happy!
I bought several spools of marine wire from that site (via amazon and ebay) and had good experiences.
 

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Just use welding cable. You can get it at most any auto parts or farm store if you need it ASAP.
 

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Since we are talking about cable, what is everyone using for their DC 12v stuff? I see many people using 14AWG. Is there any reasons to go down to 12AWG or will 14AWG be fine for most applications?
 

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Since we are talking about cable, what is everyone using for their DC 12v stuff? I see many people using 14AWG. Is there any reasons to go down to 12AWG or will 14AWG be fine for most applications?
Hi,
14 AWG is normally used for DC loads up to 15 amps, normally used with a 15 amp DC fuse.

12 AWG is normally used for DC loads up to 20 amps, normally used with a 20 amp DC fuse.

On my conversion, only one DC load required #12 wire.

Gary
 
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