Help adding power source to Compact Jr - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2015, 10:56 AM   #1
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Name: Kath
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Help adding power source to Compact Jr

We have been restoring our Compact Jr and have now come to the wiring and what to do about adding a power source.

We have learned soooo much resently about deep cycle batteries we are confused!

We are trying to run something so we can hook up to 110v and use 12v.
We only plan on having a couple 12v lights and a small TV/DVR combo which is 3amps.

We loved the idea of the Yeti (Goal Zero Yeti) but it looks like it will not run our 3amp TV?

Pictures of what anyone has done showing wiring, battery placement, inverter info any thing would help us we are NEWBIES on this electrical stuff...HELP
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:36 AM   #2
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What you need is an ac input and breaker box and a converter/charger or just a charger. Although it would power your TV just fine, at $1800 it about twice the cost of an all new electrical system, including installation.


In our Hunter we have a Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 Power chassis/converter/charger , a group 27 battery and an inverter all stashed in the left dinette seat, directly aft of the water tank. There is provision for a second battery on the tongue.


I really think that you need to find someone locally that can help you set up your electrical system. Trying to do it without some basic background is akin to doing brain surgery by braille.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:10 PM   #3
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I would follow Bob's advice and purchase the PD-4045 converter panel. Yes you can buy less expensive converters but the battery chargers in the cheaper converters are often inferior to the PD' s battery charger . Damaging your trailer battery to save a couple dollars on a converter ,to me is a false savings.
Wiring your trailer correctly and to code the first time is safer , far cheaper and less time consuming than cutting corners and having to do the job over at a later date.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:04 PM   #4
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Thank you Bob ~ I loved the quote "doing brain surgery by braille" it sure has felt that way!!! any one near Roseville, CA that can help with setting up a system?
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
We have been restoring our Compact Jr and have now come to the wiring and what to do about adding a power source.

We have learned soooo much resently about deep cycle batteries we are confused!

We are trying to run something so we can hook up to 110v and use 12v.
We only plan on having a couple 12v lights and a small TV/DVR combo which is 3amps.

We loved the idea of the Yeti (Goal Zero Yeti) but it looks like it will not run our 3amp TV?

Pictures of what anyone has done showing wiring, battery placement, inverter info any thing would help us we are NEWBIES on this electrical stuff...HELP
Kath,

I'm just finishing up a project that involves Goal Zero's Yeti 400 Power Pack that has worked out great for me. Goal Zero sells a 6MM MALE TO RING TERMINAL ADAPTER that you can use to "sister" a small fuse panel onto the battery. I did this and am now running all of my LED lighting, fridge vent fan and fantastic fan off of the fuse panel, powered via the Yeti. For a fuse panel, I purchased a Blue Sea Systems unit off of Amazon.

I have a 90 watt solar panel that recharges the battery when dry camping. The Yeti power packs are on the spendy side, but you can use them for a variety of purposes outside of your trailer. Let me know if you have questions.

Ben
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
We are trying to run something so we can hook up to 110v and use 12v.
We only plan on having a couple 12v lights and a small TV/DVR combo which is 3amps... Pictures of what anyone has done showing wiring, battery placement, inverter info any thing would help...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
What you need is an ac input and breaker box and a converter/charger
My Compact Jr. is out at the Boat Canvass shop getting a new custom "Boot" made for the pop-up roof. This prevents me from adding close-up pictures that are specific to your question.
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  • 110 volt ac input
On the outside of the trailer is a 110 volt, 15 amp, ac electric port.
L K closely and you'll see it is a MALE receptacle.
It takes a standard heavy-duty extension cord to plug the trailer into the campsite pedestal's 15 or 20 amp household outlet.
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  • Circuit breaker box
Inside the kitchen cabinet, the MALE receptacle feeds a small circuit breaker box with a single 15 amp breaker. That feeds a "wet location" box next to it with a GFCI protected outlet. This in turn feeds (in series) 2 more regular outlets, that are GFCI protected by being connected to the LOAD terminals of the first outlet. (The power strip on the counter is plugged into this GFCI protected outlet) I used a 3 conductor 10 gauge black cord between the 3 outlets. You can see it exiting the kitchen cabinet on the right, over the wheel well. On the left you see the cord ending at the last outlet on the fridge/closet cabinet. Plugged into that outlet are the fridge and the PD4045 converter.
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  • Outlet wiring
  • Converter/Charger (still in the box)
The above pictures show how the 110 volt ac cord is mounted to the rail which will support the left bunk, and passes over the Fresh Water Tank with the 12 volt dc pump hidden forward of it. It then enters the front electrical boxes on the floor that are connected with conduit. They will be exposed to my feet under the dinette table, hence the conduits. One conduit is for 110 volt ac power to the front outlet under the dinette table which continues around from left to right, attached to the rail supporting the right bunk and ending at the outlet on the fridge/closet cabinet. Plugged into that outlet is the Converter/Charger, which changes the 110 volts ac into 12 volts dc.
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  • Converter/Charger
  • Battery Box
  • 12 volt dc fuse & switch panel
With the bunks in place you see the water tank under the left bunk and the vented battery box under the right bunk. The front 110 volt ac outlet (2nd of 3) is behind the electric cube heater. The Converter/Charger is forward of the battery box. The input is 110 volts ac and the output is 12 volts dc, which feeds my group 27 deep cycle, wet cell battery. The battery feeds the main 12 volt dc wires that enter the fridge/closet cabinet at the bottom and feed the 12 volt dc fuse & switch panel at the top. This panel distributes the 12 volts dc to 4 circuits:
  1. 12 volt Inside "Cabin" Lights
  2. 12 volt outside "Porch" Lights
  3. 12 volt dc outlet
  4. 12 volt Water Pump
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
The Converter/Charger is forward of the battery box. The input is 110 volts ac and the output is 12 volts dc, which feeds my group 27 deep cycle, wet cell battery.
Your question mentioned an inverter. That changes 12 volts dc into 110 volts ac. I don't have one of those.

I have a converter. It changes 110 volts ac into 12 volts dc.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:12 PM   #8
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Just as an example: we put two 20 watt panels on our pop top and haven't plugged in since. They keep the group 27 gel battery topped up and run fans LED lights and 2/12V plugs to charge electronics, which are usually the biggest draw. We put in a 110 charge system but only used it once to test if it worked properly.
We usually boondock. The one time we had a plug available it was 30A service and we didn't have the adaptor.
Once you figure out how you camp, you can figure out what kind of electrical system will best fit your needs. That may save you some $$


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Old 04-02-2015, 03:57 PM   #9
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Cool What you don't know

Can kill you. Consider, you will sleep in a rig that you wired. Not knowing some basic skills which are not always covered in the DIY articles could cause a fire and be fatal.

Hire a professional electrician/RV electrician and be safe.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:05 AM   #10
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Name: Kath
Trailer: Compact Jr
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Originally Posted by kellyben View Post
Kath,

I'm just finishing up a project that involves Goal Zero's Yeti 400 Power Pack that has worked out great for me. Goal Zero sells a 6MM MALE TO RING TERMINAL ADAPTER that you can use to "sister" a small fuse panel onto the battery. I did this and am now running all of my LED lighting, fridge vent fan and fantastic fan off of the fuse panel, powered via the Yeti. For a fuse panel, I purchased a Blue Sea Systems unit off of Amazon.

I have a 90 watt solar panel that recharges the battery when dry camping. The Yeti power packs are on the spendy side, but you can use them for a variety of purposes outside of your trailer. Let me know if you have questions.

Ben
Ben,

How many total amps are you useing? And how much does just the refrigerator use? My husband talked to some reps from Yeti and they told him the Yeti 400 would not run our 3amp TV/DVR. I love the idea of going with the Yeti and it seems the refrigerator would use more amps then our small TV???
Thanks Kathleen
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:32 PM   #11
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Just a thought here....
Most RV refridgerators run on gas or electric. On gas they draw nothing. That is what most people use at the campsite.
On the other hand, 12V fridges are a very heavy draw. As would be trying to run a 110V fridge off an invertor where in addition to the juice used to cool the box, you have a loss due to the change from DC to AC would drain most RV batteries very quickly. That is why this is the choice when you can plug in your rig.




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Old 05-07-2015, 08:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Ben,

How many total amps are you useing? And how much does just the refrigerator use? My husband talked to some reps from Yeti and they told him the Yeti 400 would not run our 3amp TV/DVR. I love the idea of going with the Yeti and it seems the refrigerator would use more amps then our small TV???
Thanks Kathleen
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that there may be some confusion, maybe at YETI, maybe not.

IF your TV/DVR is rated at 3 amps on 120 VAC that's 360 watts and yes, it wouldn't run it for long. BUT if it's 3 amps at 12VDC, that's only 36 watts and it should run for hours.

BUT, the capacity of the Yeti 400 is only about 33 amp hours so don't expect to be able to do an overnight Big Bang Marathon and have much left in the morning.

And while convenient, the YETI is much more expensive than a conventional Converter/Inverter/Battery system, yet only has about 1/3 the capacity if using a single group 27 battery.

As a reference, our Hunter uses a PD-4045 power chassis (of course!), 2 batteries and a stand alone 400 watt inverter and we never run out of power for up to 5 nights, including TV, DVD player, numerous chargers, LED lights, two water pumps and a furnace. And even all that will cost less than list price for a YETI-400.
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