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Author Topic: Shore Power?  (Read 1418 times)

Bill McKelvey

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Shore Power?
« on: July 27, 2017, 01:19:45 pm »

At one of the venues I work at is looking to install an outlet for the tour buss to plug into. What is the "standard" plug that would be used, if there is one?
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 01:58:52 pm »

At one of the venues I work at is looking to install an outlet for the tour buss to plug into. What is the "standard" plug that would be used, if there is one?

I can't speak for all tour buses, but most RVs use a standard NEMA TT-30 receptacle for 125V 30A. Some larger RVs use NEMA 14-50 receptacle for 125/250V 50A (range receptacle). I imagine tour buses are really just fancy RVs with a name-you've-heard-of painted on the side. (And I've seen a few non-fancy RVs with name-you've-never-heard-of painted on the side, too.)

A panel like this would probably serve 99% of the buses and RVs that show up:

Home Depot: GE 1LU532SS 100 Amp 3-Space 3-Circuit 240-Volt Unmetered RV Outlet Box with 50/30/20 Amp GCFI Circuit Protected Receptacles

(There are other manufacturers, models, and distribution channels; I just posted the link above because it's something that Home Depot probably has in stock in the local store. The venue may have a standardized product line they use for electrical equipment; check with the facilities department or the electrical contractor that services the venue.)

« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 02:31:43 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 02:11:46 pm »

A point of safety:

A shore power connection should have a disconnect switch (such as a circuit breaker) accessible adjacent to the plug connection. The plugs and receptacles are NOT rated for "make/break" connections with a load.

To prevent arcing (which can damage contacts in the receptacle and the prongs on the plug), the disconnect switch should be opened prior to making or breaking the plug connection.

When I put an RV plug in at my house (I don't have an RV, but sometimes family visits and drags one along), I place a label on the panel that says something to the effect of "To prevent arcing, turn switch OFF before connecting or disconnecting RV." No guarantee that they'll pay attention, but at least the instructions are right there.

I think that the "To prevent arcing" part is important. If people don't know the reason for a rule, they are less likely to abide by it.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 02:13:40 pm »

The box Jonathan shows is exactly what was installed at our arena downtown.

It may be useful to install a couple of extra 50 amp fused disconnect switches for overflow or other uses... most coaches carry a set of :tails to 14-50R: for times when there is no outlet.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Ray Aberle

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2017, 02:23:30 pm »

At one of the venues I work at is looking to install an outlet for the tour buss to plug into. What is the "standard" plug that would be used, if there is one?
Something else to remember: Are they expecting only one bus(s?) at a time, or is there the possibility of a group coming in with 3, 4 or more vehicles?

As always, easier and cheaper to over-install now (based on expectations for X number of years) than to find yourself lacking and have to go back and retrofit more in...

-Ray
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Bill McKelvey

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 04:04:04 pm »

Thanks for all the info everybody. I have given the information to "the powers that be" and will see what happens.
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Brian Adams

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 10:28:54 am »

The box Jonathan shows is exactly what was installed at our arena downtown.

It may be useful to install a couple of extra 50 amp fused disconnect switches for overflow or other uses... most coaches carry a set of :tails to 14-50R: for times when there is no outlet.

I just did a county fair this weekend, 7,000 people max for a typical country act, nothing too crazy but they did have an unusually large crew for this type of act. The venue had 6 standard 50A range plugs for bus power spaced along the bus parking area. One bus had its generator running, which surprised me since there's so much power available back there, so I stopped to count the buses and there were 7 buses for 2 acts. Well, 6 for the headliner and 1 for the opener. It was a tight fit in the lot that night.

I guess my point is that you're right, the OP might want to consider more than one shore power panel. I'd probably plan for at least 3, unless there's literally only one place you could possibly park a bus.
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Brian Adams
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 11:20:39 am »

I can't speak for all tour buses, but most RVs use a standard NEMA TT-30 receptacle for 125V 30A. Some larger RVs use NEMA 14-50 receptacle for 125/250V 50A (range receptacle). I imagine tour buses are really just fancy RVs with a name-you've-heard-of painted on the side. (And I've seen a few non-fancy RVs with name-you've-never-heard-of painted on the side, too.)

A panel like this would probably serve 99% of the buses and RVs that show up:


Exactly correct. That's what the RV guys call a Campsite Power Pedestal, and it's an industry standard. Just about all tour buss shore power will use the 50-amp/240-volt receptacle, but smaller ones will use the 30-amp/120-volt one. And the 20-amp/120-volt receptacle should have it's own GFCI in the box. Don't let them feed this panel with a 50-amp/240-volt GFCI breaker or you'll have a lot of random trips that won't make you any friends.

Bill McKelvey

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 11:40:19 am »

I just did a county fair this weekend, 7,000 people max for a typical country act, nothing too crazy but they did have an unusually large crew for this type of act. The venue had 6 standard 50A range plugs for bus power spaced along the bus parking area. One bus had its generator running, which surprised me since there's so much power available back there, so I stopped to count the buses and there were 7 buses for 2 acts. Well, 6 for the headliner and 1 for the opener. It was a tight fit in the lot that night.

I guess my point is that you're right, the OP might want to consider more than one shore power panel. I'd probably plan for at least 3, unless there's literally only one place you could possibly park a bus.
There is only room for one bus with trailer.
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Brian Adams

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Re: Shore Power?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 11:43:16 am »

There is only room for one bus with trailer.

If you're absolutely sure of that. Never underestimate an artist who is determined to get their bus as close to the building as possible and the lengths they'll go to in order to accomplish that.
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Brian Adams
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