Household style lighted light switch, but meant for 12v? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #15
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On my boat I use Blue Seas wiring panels for switching. They come with 12v or 110v AC LEDs. Regarding Jon Vs comment on LED power draw, I have the first switch wired in to control the panel lights. The 12v LEDs are cheap and could be installed anywhere you like. Blue Seas panels are nice but pricey. I like the labels which can be custom ordered.

On my camper, I am migrating over to a combination of DIN Rail components for grounding with Blue Seas panels for switching. My camper is all aluminum so I am using the framing for DC ground and trying to decide how to ground the AC at the moment. I could tie it to shore power ground but that will not protect me if the AC is running off my inverter. On my boat I tie all my grounds together to sea water. It seems like a big pain to drive a rid in the ground for AC ground. A length of chain laying on the ground would not be effective in most situations.

I will probably just use AC when connected to shore power, and then only for hot water, charging batteries, and then run everything off my 12 Volt systems.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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If you have a converter with a combined 120V panel & 12V section, there should be a ground to the frame from the converter. Most large inverters have a case ground that should be run to the trailer frame. Since it is attached to the round pin on the inverter outlet, this should offer protection if you run anything on the inverter.

Be very cautious if you intend to connect the inverter neutral to a ground. This can be done with some; for others it will "let the smoke out".
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #17
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye
If you have a converter with a combined 120V panel & 12V section, there should be a ground to the frame from the converter. Most large inverters have a case ground that should be run to the trailer frame. Since it is attached to the round pin on the inverter outlet, this should offer protection if you run anything on the inverter.

Be very cautious if you intend to connect the inverter neutral to a ground. This can be done with some; for others it will "let the smoke out".
If the frame and primary ground is not well grounded to earth, there is the possibility that a short to ground would energize the frame. Although I suppose a metal camper would be better grounded than a person standing next to it, that touched it--unless that person was standing in a damp spot in bare feet. I do know that people conduct electricity well and it is not fun when we carry household current.

My underlying concerns are 1) how good is the ground path through the tires? And more importantly 2) what if the tires are themselves on a poor conductor like dry soil? 3) How conductive is asphalt? Dry sand? Bare rock?

I spent a lot of time while in the military developing and building grounding systems for fixed electrical systems at remote sites. It was at times difficult. I remember one location where it was too rocky to dig deep and we laid horizontal metal bars in shallow trenches surrounded by Bentonite clay, and still the ground was poor.

Is obtaining a safe AC ground in an aluminum camper is problematic? I don't know enough to say.

Even though I have a good quality sine wave 1800 Watt inverter I wonder how safe it would be.

So while the extra capability of AC wiring is appealing, it also worrying. I'll admit I don't know enough about tire conductivity or the surface area needed for a good ground, or ground quality through tires on various surfaces.

Regarding connecting inverter neutral to ground, I don't understand what you mean. I find the term converter confusing because it is really two things: An inverter and a 13.8 volt power supply/charger. Bonding neutral to ground has to be done somewhere. It is typically done at the source...which would be 1) at your shore power camp ground panel, 2) at your generator, or 3) at your inverter.

I don't see how it would let the smoke out unless you connected both shore power and inverter at the same time causing a possible ground loop.
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