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.