Understanding Your Shore Power Cord

Understanding Your Shore Power Cord

Article Objective: 

In this article, you will get to know the shore power system.

What is shore power?

Shore power is connecting your van to a reliable power source, essentially allowing for an unlimited amount of battery life. It is similar to plugging in a device into an outlet at home. Plugging into shore power allows your Vandoit electronics to operate without having the van turned on and running.

The plug for shore power is located underneath the back driver side of your van, on the left side of the panel that sticks out.

How does Shore power work?

The inverter is equipped with an automatic transfer switch, which allows electricity to flow directly to your devices being used. As a result, when you plug into shore power, the inverter charger and transfer switch will be on, providing DC and AC power. Shore power essentially bypasses the battery system in your van. However, should there be "left over" power, the system will charge the battery system. If more power is needed, the inverter will pull needed power from the batteries. 

Vandoit sets the inverter to only take in 13 amps maximum at a time. Therefore, even if you plugged into a 30 amp outlet, the van would only take 13 amps at a time. This keeps the cables from overheating/melting. An additional reason for adding the limit is most house outlets are on a 15 amp breaker. So, if devices are plugged into other outlets in the house connected to the same breaker, the house circuit breaker will not accidentally flip, leading to a result like having your air conditioner shut off while you are sleeping and/or draining the batteries. 

If the van will be plugged into a 30 amp outlet, you will need to use a 30 to 15-amp adapter.  Conduct a search on the internet for "30 to 15 amp adapter" and you should find a variety of products.  Just be sure to select one that has a 30 amp male end and 15 amp female end.

How do I know my van is charging from shore power?

Using an extension cord, plug the female end into your van's shore power outlet, and the male end into your power source's outlet. Your van should be charging now. To verify it is charging in the AGM battery system, locate your Go Power Remote. It should read "Bulk Charging" or "Multi Stg."  To verify it is charging in the Mastervolt lithium battery system, locate the Mastervolt Easyview 5 screen.  The Primary Time Remaining square should read "--:--:--" if shore power is plugged in, essentially indicating that "infinite" time remains in the battery system as long as the van is plugged in.
The cord Vandoit provides is a heavy duty, RVIA certified, 30-or 50-foot, 14 gauge extension cord. Using a smaller gauge cord, or linking more than one cord together, can cause melting to occur due to too much heat buildup.  Essentially, you would be trying to run a large amount of energy through a smaller cord, much like trying to push the same amount of water through a smaller pipe.

It is important to note that thickness of wire is measured in gauge; The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire, and the higher the capacity. i.e. 14 gauge cords can carry more power than 16 gauge cords.

Note: This article on a tripped circuit breaker may also be a helpful resource.

If you are experiencing any issues related to shore power, please read related articles or contact customer support by emailing support@vandoit.com or submitting a ticket through the Customer Support portal. Please provide as many details and photos as possible. 

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