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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone installed a Coleman Cable user-attachable CGFI (like this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CGRLQQ/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i01) on their extension cord as part of their travel kit?

I have a 50-foot extension cord that I travel with. I've only used it once, and was lucky enough to have a CGFI outlet, but I know I can't always count on luck. I bought the user-attachable CGFI plug above. It's rated for outdoor use. However, it has to plug in flat and takes up some space. I'm worried that I won't be able to use it if the outlet is recessed in any way.

Have any of you put one of these on your extension cord? What has been your experience with it? Any better alternatives?
 

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A GFCI on a 120v charging cable

My understanding of the portable charger cable with the Volt is this:

The 120v charging cable for the Volt is just a means to safely get 120v from a typical wall outlet to the Volt via the J1772 connector. The cable unit housing only contains a special GFCI device to monitor conditions of the power supplied to the car and any anomalies from the connection that may prove unsafe. The cable housing "is" itself a GFCI system that can correctly disconnect the car's on-board charging system from the 120v source if any conditions out of spec occure. I would, myself, not install another "standardized GFCI" type device to this 120v cord system.

If you MUST use an extension cord, I would advise a 12awg size and nothing lighter, using 8amp charge setting, and only long enough charge to get the car in a better situation for charging.

Seen many portible A.C. units burn up cords and melt plug/socket ends on extension cords and your Volt isn't worth that risk. Hope this helps,
 

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Without knowing the OPs concerns, it's hard to come up with a good answer.

GFCI is designed to prevent people from getting electrocuted, and can help prevent fires in some cases. I don't think equipment damage is normally the concern with GFCI.

But in any case, most places where the Volt would be plugged in should have GFCI (most garages and outdoor outlets) per the electric code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
According to an earlier thread, the 2010 owner's manual says: "An extension cord should not be used to charge the vehicle. Use of an extension cord may increase the risk of electric shock or other hazards. If an extension cord is used because of limited access to 120V AC power, use the following safeguards:
- The 120V AC outlet should be GFCI protected
- The extension cord should be GFCI protected, 12 or 14 gauge, 3 conductor, rated for outdoor"

However, I checked the 2013 manual, and it says nothing about using an extension cord besides "don't do it." It does not say anything about a GFCI outlet, either.

I've used a 12 ga 50' extension cord once when my charge cord wouldn't reach. I charged at 8 a and it seemed fine. Didn't heat up at all, charged fine.
 

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My guess is the difference between MY 2011 and MY 2013 manuals just represents a changed view by legal. By saying that you shouldn't use an extension cord and then saying to use a GFCI outlet if you do might be interpreted as giving an implied permission to use the extension cord. Hence the flat prohibition in the 2013 manual.

It's up to you to decide if the prohibition against extension cords is wise or just CYA gone wild. However, if you're comfortable using an extension cord, note that code has required that outdoor outlets be GFCI protected for at least forty years. My guess is that for commercial buildings with outdoor outlets the outlet is probably protected by a GFCI breaker. I don't have any experience with this so maybe someone can jump in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My guess is the difference between MY 2011 and MY 2013 manuals just represents a changed view by legal. By saying that you shouldn't use an extension cord and then saying to use a GFCI outlet if you do might be interpreted as giving an implied permission to use the extension cord. Hence the flat prohibition in the 2013 manual.
That was my assumption as well.

Some have posted that they run an extension cord indoors, through a window or door, to plug into an inside outlet at a motel.. Absent such a device, I guess they are taking a risk.

Originally, I was wondering whether anyone uses such a device and what their experience has been. Maybe nobody does.
 
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