Getting ready for the road - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #15
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Also, how do I how much power I can pull without overloading 45 Amps?
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #16
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Cat, I only have one 110 only light in the trailer so the LED/12 volt lights are used on or off the grid.. The one 110 light is the one and only one Scamp puts in their trailers when they originally build them. As its starting to show its age I may replace it in the not to distant future and it will probable be switched to a 12v LED light as well.

I used replacement LED bulbs on my trailer and I find them to be fine. You need to watch though what you buy as for lumens and whether you are wanting cool white or warm white. Most of the ones in mine are in the 90 to 120 lumens range but the ones over the rear bins used for reading I seem to think are in the 200 range. You should also be warned the prices are all over the map and its one of those things that it seems you get what you paid for ;-) There is thread called LED Lights that this was discussed yesterday with lots of good info.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Cat futrell View Post
Tom,

With this converter/charger will fuses/circuit breakers be necessary? Are those controls built in or is it safest to put circuit breakers regardless?

Also, how do I how much power I can pull without overloading 45 Amps?
If you just plug in this converter alone, you would not need a separate breaker box. The campsite plug in has a circuit breaker and your 12 volt circuits have fuses.

If you want to have 110 volt outlets in the trailer, then you have stepped up a notch in complexity. You would need to put in a breaker box with circuit breakers and ground fault protection (GFCI) for the outlets.

The 45 amps is what this converter can provide at 12 volts. In your trailer, you will never pull 45 amps at 12 volts even with all the lights, fans, 12 volt refrigerator, etc running. Actually you could use a much smaller converter in your application. I linked this one because with a built in smart charger, it is a good price on good charger.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #18
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Cathy, IF there was info about the original utility setup for the Love Bug, you would have the option of using that as a rough guide or blue print. As this sort of information is pretty scarce in original brochaures and even instruction manuals, you might examine the setup on a trailer of similar size and age such as a U-Haul.

I understand that you'd rather "get er did" with some concession to the length of human life, patience, and energy and the above approach might be protracted beyond the acceptable deadline for interior insulation and finish. With that in mind, here's my take:

Many small trailers "build" their electrical system on a combination of AC and DC power. The "base" level for illumination purposes is almost always the DC battery-powered system with a provision for recharging by several methods, most of which you know. I'd say plan your light system around DC only. The low wattage requirements of LED fixtures and LED replacement bulbs for incandescent fixtures have given DC a new lease on life in terms of a minimal energy requirement which stretches the time to recharge on the house battery. DC is also the optimal choice for powering a roof fan (always available/acceptable energy requirement). Water pumps and full-time blower motors on furnaces are the other customary DC powered devices.

Beyond this is AC territory. A shore power umbilical and a barebones fused powerstrip would be a minimum. I would suggest putting at least two duplex receptacles in a small trailer--one front and one rear where conventional AC lighting fixtures as well as small electrical appliances, chargers, radios, etc. can be used or not used with some flexibility.

I can't remember if you removed a converter/electrical service from your LB. I personally believe that a power distribution panel combining circuit interruption for both AC and DC with the DC power-supplying and charging function of a converter is desirable for reasons of safety and transparency of wiring conventions to third parties (RV repairmen, future owners). You might look at the Progressive Dynamics PD450.

The real answer to the limited power of a DC battery is the conservative habits you've learned tent camping. I believe the additional weight of a solar panel is worth the trouble. The weight of even a small genset and fuel combined with the operational, maintenance, safety, and social complications thereof don't make it a very desirable "accessory" energy source imo.

jack
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #19
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Jack,

Thanks for your input. The original wiring had been fooled with so many times we don't know what the original configuration was. The best clue that we have was the 110 plug on the front of the galley and the DC jack that looked like a large speaker or headphone jack beside it. I don't want the electrical plugs to protrude from the front of the galley so that access will be moved. I think that configuration is the same as some of the scamps.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Plus with no generator, your camping neighbors won't hate you.
LOL you have that right!! While in Death Valley last US Thanksgiving the one topic that you know was going to come up every night at the shared camp fire was the use of generators. Who was going to be the first one to get mad enough to sneak over and shut off someones generator? They are indeed becoming increasingly unpopular. While camping out in BML lands in Arizona and Calf I was pleased to see how many of the *Big* rigs have already made the switch to solar.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #21
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(one on each side of the trailer with the ability to turn on the light from inside the trailer!).


I am sure there are handy people who aren't afraid of electrical DYI projects that have done it. But if I had my glass trailer down to a shell, I would make that project happen somehow, someway! The only trailer I have seen it done on out of the factory is Escape (another reason I am in love with the Escape).


Cathy,
I too agree with others/Donna D's suggestion of putting outlets, lights anywhere you sit, work etc. I would also suggest putting lighting in larger cupboards. Good Luck with your project!
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:31 AM   #22
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I agree, that is why I am having so much trouble understanding the pressure from "some" to take a gen. The last time I camped at a state park in a tent, there were campers on both sides of me. Both running something. Maybe not a gen, as there was power available, maybe the ac. either way, the reason I camp is to reduce the over stimulating sounds of "civilization". I need the time to have peace.

I realize that long term camping will be a different animal as I am sure I will share space with noise. But enough already, I do like to hear myself think. (usually) lol
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #23
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What sort off plugs do any of you use for your dc? Do you use the cigaret lighter looking things?
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:40 AM   #24
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I have one DC plug such as the one you mention. I have a little plug in converter I can use with it when off the grid to recharge the phone and camera batteries & once in awhile the 12v vacuum ;-). I could use my TV with it as well but if I am trying to save on power thats not a good thing.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #25
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Cathy there is a lot of good info in regards to 12V usage and wiring at The 12 Volt Side of Life. There is a part one and two - both worth reading.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:01 AM   #26
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I have the PD 9245 converter posted by Tom. It is a stand alone converter but in my case replaces the "real dumb" converter part of my older Newmark distribution panel. It cycles thru bulk, float, and periodic equalization charging as it is supposed to (according to the idiot light on the Charge Wizard pigtail) and has given me no problems with a group 27 deep cycle. I have lightened the load slightly upfront with a fiberglass LP tank (lower tare wgt. per capacity) and think I will go with a heavier group 31 battery next time. I'd like to go with 2 6V golf cart batteries except for the tongue wgt. issue. For the sake of the frame and the tug suspension, it does make sense to evaluate these additions to tongue wgt.

jack
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:09 AM   #27
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Jack, the weight issue is a big concern for me as well. About everything else you said is way over my head. I think I'm going to go and read the 2 links that Carol left and then check back thanks everyone .
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:10 AM   #28
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Yes to the question of DC accessory (cigarette lighter) receptable. It is handy for the same uses as in your car or truck.

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