converting belgian trailer to U.S. electrical 110 voltage - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2011, 03:59 AM   #1
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converting belgian trailer to U.S. electrical 110 voltage

hi there,
i'm the proud owner of a 73 constructam coral trailer, made in belgium. how a girl like myself living in california came to purchase this....well, that's the allure/haphazards of craigslist, i reckon!

so the caravan (as they call them) was shipped to the u.s. from holland, has a 240 volt electrolux refrigerator, and 240 volt wiring for the interior lights inside the little trailer--my problem: get the fridge and lights and whatever else electrical to get working and converted or possibly even rewired to u.s. 110 volt. and i'm on a budget---and i'd like to salvage the existing wiring and electrolux as much as i can.

does anyone have any clue on how to solve this european/u.s. crisis in caravan conversion?? thanks for any and all your help!!!
scratching my head,
django
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:04 AM   #2
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unfortunatly, with out a transformer, they can't be rewired to work on 120, everything may (I don't know everything) have to be replaced with the 120V equivalent. The other difference is also power cycle, they will be made to work with 50Hz power, not North American 60Hz power.

The wiring inside how ever can be retained and reused provided the insulation is in good shape.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:27 AM   #3
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The wiring inside how ever can be retained and reused provided the insulation is in good shape.
Even that isn't certain - 240v equipment requires only half the current (amps) that a 110v item will, so while things like lights will work fine at 110v with new bulbs, the extra current they draw may be too much for the wiring.

In practice, I doubt it will be enough of a problem to overheat the wiring to lights but it would be worth checking them by hand after switching the bulbs to make sure they aren't too hot. Wiring to big power users like refrigerator or heater is another matter - they may require new wiring all the way.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:33 AM   #4
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Couple of questions.

What is the fridge model number and/or wattage? (Does it have a current requirement listed on it?)

Do the bulbs have wattages on them?

Does the trailer contain a battery?

Does anly thing run off 12 volts?

Does the fridge run off propane as well as AC electricity?

Does the trailer have any other items that run off electricity?

Do you have a propane stove?
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:28 AM   #5
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220 wiring is smaller than ours. How do I know? Lived all over the world for many, many years. 50/60hz, you only have to worry about that if a motor is involved. Resistance items like lights, heater strips for the fridge don't care about hz.

I would rewire.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
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Question Devil's Advocate

I've seen travel adapters for converting stuff. Most of the new scales I sell come with universal AC adapters now so they can be configured for either American or European power. So it's easier/possible to convert American stuff for use in Europe? Not so much the other way around?

Can she use a generator set to European Power?
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Doh! Of course, Frederick, and Orcus79, have hit on the right solution - just put a transformer between the 110v supply and the 240v trailer (though you would need to carry a stock of 240v bulbs).

Here in Britain we use 110v tools on building sites, so we have the step-up transformer below to make 240v for equipment that needs it.

The 80 cost is about $120 and that's a pretty cheap solution. The transformer is a little under a foot cube and weighs 40 pounds.

It must be possible to buy the same thing in the US, though where?
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #8
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Wink electrical

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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Couple of questions.

What is the fridge model number and/or wattage? (Does it have a current requirement listed on it?)

Do the bulbs have wattages on them?

Does the trailer contain a battery?

Does anly thing run off 12 volts?

Does the fridge run off propane as well as AC electricity?

Does the trailer have any other items that run off electricity?

Do you have a propane stove?
hi,
i bought the trailer from a lady who used the trailer dry camping; there was no battery or propane tank on it when she used it (my plan is to gradually add all these things one by one). the first thing i had my rv mechanic do was to properly re-wire the trailer electrical to my TV, a ford explorer--there's a stove (that should work off propane) and the electrolux has two switches for either 12 volt and 240 volt.

so far, the signals and 12v interior lights work off the connection to my TV; i will have to check the back of the electrolux or do some research to get the technical aspects. there is, on the outside of the caravan, a socket where i imagine one plug in the electric cable (though i have no idea what size or what kind of plug--it's definitely not american) which had my mechanic scratching his head.

that's it in a nutshell. i should post some photos as soon as i have them (it's been rainy here in l.a. the past few). so--replace the electrolux with an american 110 volt fridge? rewire all the interior lights to 110 as well? just start over? get a transformer and a EU to US adapter?

i'll hit up lex on the board as someone advised--thanks for all your help.

i'll update.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:25 AM   #9
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Pictures would help.
Is there a place for a battery? Is there a place you could put one?
Battery compartments should be vented to the outdoors.
Is there any vestige of a propane system?
I would do a search on Electrolux and see if a 120 volt element is available for that fridge. You would probably have to email them with model and serial numbers of the fridge.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:54 AM   #10
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Would this be a photo of a trailer like yours?

Oldies (2) - A Bravenet.com Photocenter
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #11
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Django, very cool trailer!

You should consider coming to the Lake Casitas Rally at the end of the month. The main area "B" is full but you can camp in "E" which is close by. Here is the thread on the rally;
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...2-a-46039.html

I'm sure many people would love to see the trailer and help you with answers to your questions.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by django

hi,
i bought the trailer from a lady who used the trailer dry camping; there was no battery or propane tank on it when she used it (my plan is to gradually add all these things one by one). the first thing i had my rv mechanic do was to properly re-wire the trailer electrical to my TV, a ford explorer--there's a stove (that should work off propane) and the electrolux has two switches for either 12 volt and 240 volt.

so far, the signals and 12v interior lights work off the connection to my TV; i will have to check the back of the electrolux or do some research to get the technical aspects. there is, on the outside of the caravan, a socket where i imagine one plug in the electric cable (though i have no idea what size or what kind of plug--it's definitely not american) which had my mechanic scratching his head.

that's it in a nutshell. i should post some photos as soon as i have them (it's been rainy here in l.a. the past few). so--replace the electrolux with an american 110 volt fridge? rewire all the interior lights to 110 as well? just start over? get a transformer and a EU to US adapter?

i'll hit up lex on the board as someone advised--thanks for all your help.

i'll update.
Wait, hold the phone...
If your DOT running and brakes lights AND your interior 12V lighting are functional when connected to your TV, AND your existing fridge has a 12V option, why not just add an on- board battery? Other than your fridge, It's possible that you have no other high voltage requirements. If so, then no need to change any of the wiring... When shore power is available, then the transformer suggested above is your simplest option.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Loren G. Hedahl View Post
Would this be a photo of a trailer like yours?

Oldies (2) - A Bravenet.com Photocenter
hi loren--yes, my constructam looks like that one, but white. i posted a photo below from a dutch owner's site. mine is identical to but the one in the photo is in a bit better shape than mine.

i WILL get new photos uploaded for everyone's viewing pleasure soon.

see the constructam coral here:

http://home.kpn.nl/miii47fz/images/coral01.jpg
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:58 PM   #14
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Django, very cool trailer!

You should consider coming to the Lake Casitas Rally at the end of the month. The main area "B" is full but you can camp in "E" which is close by. Here is the thread on the rally;
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...2-a-46039.html

I'm sure many people would love to see the trailer and help you with answers to your questions.
hi lizbeth, thanks for the rally info! i've never 'rallied' before but it sounds intriguing...i'm not sure about halloween weekend, as that's filling up with kid stuff (we have a three year old) but if we can make it for one of those nights, we'll try. how fun. question--does everyone have kids or is this an adults-only event? thanks for your help and good ideas.
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