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For what it's worth, I have a Xantrex Freedom XC inverter/charger. The directions state there needs to be a fuse between the shore power outlet and the inverter. I installed a Blue Seas 30 amp main. No problems to date. This inverter has an internal GFI outlet with 2 plugs built in. No need to add more; I very rarely use them.
My GoPower inverter-charger (IC) also spec'd a separate main breaker and I used the same BlueSea 30A main. The first IC unit I got also had a problem and they replaced it. I've never had a problem with the second one, and I run shorepower through it all the time. But it doesn't have internal surge protection, and I'm pretty sure most other ICs don't either. RV surge protectors are readily available though.
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Hi,
It seems like the shore power pedestal should have a breaker to protect your shore power cord - maybe they are just being extra cautious in requiring a 2nd breaker?

Gary
Yes, I think I'm being extra careful. I'm biting the bullet. I got a third battery (because I got it for $611 and I like hot water and occasional shots of heat too much). I also got this ice free cube thing. Soon as the battery arrives I'm going to install the shore power port on the bumper (right now it's just resting in the van's garage, waiting for me to make a decision), I'll plug in the ice free cube, and let the heater run on cold nights to keep things from freezing. I'll run it during the day as a test to make sure no inverter alarms go off, and if al goes well, I will be fully winterized!!

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/short rant
16 guage extension cords should not be used for much of anything, especially longer length cords. They are straight junk and one of the most common fire hazards in the average household.
/end rant

Any inverter that meets the UL listing requirements will have built-in fuses on both the input and output. Power can safely be run from shore, through the inverter, and to your outlets. If it is also a charger, excess power will charge batteries up to amount of excess and the chargers capability. Devices will be powered directly from the shore power and the unit is not inverting - it's just acting as a large, expensive power strip. Fuses will blow/trip if excess power is drawn from the shore power or if the unit for some reason attempts too much output towards the battery(s).

I do, however, also use a dedicated extension cord(12awg) at times routed through one of the trailer wiring holes below the bumper if I have access to multiple circuits. This allows me to isolate a space heater or other high draw appliances (power tools, in my normal use case) from any other devices in my system.

I replaced the original 3' AC input cable to my inverter/charger with a longer one (also 12awg) routed through the cavity in the passenger b pillar (where the upfitter block I don't have would live), through a hole I made in the larger black plug under the van where the cab step-up is (this cavity is wide open if the upfitter block isn't there), and then to a weatherproof outlet box to just cover the cord end. I think I have pictures somewhere and can edit to post them if found.

Photos: (can't find the interior/cavity shots, but my inverter in near the cab rather than rear, so the route may not be great in other cases anyway. A cord will also fit through the smaller plugs, but I put the entire length in plastic tubing for peace of mind and because I had it. The tubing could fit through the larger plug and the hole through the plug got silicone on both sides before reinstalled. The in-use weatherproof box/cover allows both cord ends to be encased + they are fully under the van and well above the axels)

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Short rant appreciated, but I don't recall anyone saying they are using #16 cord. I also use 12/3.

The under the bumper INlet mount I have seems a bit easier to get to for "this 'ol guy"... from there, wires are inside thru a hole about 6" away

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The under the bumper INlet mount I have seems a bit easier to get to for "this 'ol guy"... from there, wires are inside thru a hole about 6" away
That's a good set up. No chance of leaving a cord dangling or exposing contacts to road dirt/spray. One hand hook up, be good for me as well.
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I got this one with this Adapter. I plan to run the 10/3 wire through the bumper. I might have to buy another 12/3 with just on plug inlet (Mine has 3), but I really don't want to because they're really expensive right now.
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Looks like the black ring on the adapter locks the connector in place. The way the regular plug protrudes, I think you could use one of the outlets on a typical 3 way split extension cord.

My only concern is that they don't make a 30A standard receptacle for inside to plug your heater into. With a 30A input plug, and 10/3 wire going to the outlet, the outlet for your heater will be the weakest link...you can get a 20A heavy duty duplex outlet, but they don;t sell them rated for 30A. And with 30A, a short AC breaker cord won't be available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
Looks like the black ring on the adapter locks the connector in place. The way the regular plug protrudes, I think you could use one of the outlets on a typical 3 way split extension cord.

My only concern is that they don't make a 30A standard receptacle for inside to plug your heater into. With a 30A input plug, and 10/3 wire going to the outlet, the outlet for your heater will be the weakest link...you can get a 20A heavy duty duplex outlet, but they don;t sell them rated for 30A. And with 30A, a short AC breaker cord won't be available.
The 10/3 goes to the inverter charger. I'm giving up on shore power directly to the heater and I'm going to trust the inverter charger. That way I'll just pug the heater into one of the outlets that I installed. The thing I don't like about the 3 way extension chord is that 2 of the outlets will be empty. What if water gets in them, like snow? do they sell something I can plug into those openings with so they're not exposed, or does it not matter?

Another option would be to get a 30A cord and then use the adapter on the end that plugs into the house. Do you think that would be better? It has the twist lock thing at the bumper to keep it free of weather, and nothing would be hanging out unprotected. Plus this has to be a good size cord.
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The 10/3 goes to the inverter charger. I'm giving up on shore power directly to the heater and I'm going to trust the inverter charger. That way I'll just pug the heater into one of the outlets that I installed. The thing I don't like about the 3 way extension chord is that 2 of the outlets will be empty. What if water gets in them, like snow? do they sell something I can plug into those openings with so they're not exposed, or does it not matter?
Hi,
I'd say it does not matter - I've had the ends of extension cords buried in snow for weeks - water is not all that conductive.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Hi,
I'd say it does not matter - I've had the ends of extension cords buried in snow for weeks - water is not all that conductive.

Gary
Cool. The plug end of the 30amp cord doesn't match the the adaptor that would make it 15 amp anyway. Weird that the female end and the male end are different configurations. I guess those cords aren't designed to go into a regular wall outlet.
 

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Rather than use that outlet plug you showed, cut the inside end of the extension cord off and wire it into a standard outlet.

NOCO -> extension cord -> standard outlet
Bingo, this is exactly what the white wallplate in my second and third pictures covers. If I want to isolate the power supply and/or inverter then I simply unplug them. @Lolaeliz, one of the cords you see coming from this outlet (which is shore power direct) is wired into the "input" section of the inverter like your pictured Renogy shows. The "output" section from your Renogy gets wired directly to normal AC outlets inside your van where your AC loads will plug into. The "on-off connect" could likely be wired to a switch somewhere more convenient in your van. The two "Protect" buttons in your picture are (likely) AC breakers on the input and output sides, respectively.

IMO it's probably not critical to have a surge protector with these built-in Renogy "protectors" (breakers on the hot leg) in place, but there are some good ones that help create a cleaner AC signal from a dirty one so that would be ideal.

I have tried three different brands of these (cheaper) AC input ports on the outside (rear corner) of my van and recommend the NoCo brand, which you can get without the pre-attached 14-AWG wires (I'm using 12 AWG).

I have also wired an AC LED with lamp cord from the shore power outlet to my dash to help avoid a(nother) "senior moment" driving away while plugged in.
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There is another option I learned about here, which I would use if drawing significant power (and/or have significant budget). It's called SmartPlug - you basically buy the input port for your van and then a wiring kit that comes with a plug you can attach to an extension cord for whatever you'll be plugging into on shore (NEMA, etc.). The value proposition claimed by the manufacturer is these are much safer (and easier to use) than the twist-lock and other options due to the mechanical tolerances and electrical contact surfaces.
 
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