time to add a battery system, could use input please - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-13-2011, 02:53 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler 1300, 1972
Alberta
Posts: 28
time to add a battery system, could use input please

I have been happily reno-ing and restoring our '72 B-1300 Boler this summer, and I can no longer put off the electrical. I am comfortable doing the work, I just want to make sure it is done safe and sound.

Currently, there is no battery system. There is shore power that has been wired from the primary junction box to a receptacle in the counter, and a power bar for multiple plug points. The wiring splits off from the receptacle to run to a mini florescent light that was mounted above the sink. There is a mini fridge, about 1.7 cu.ft. (unable to find the spec sticker to get fridge draw) that is plugged into the power bar.

Post renovations, I have removed the florescent fixture, and installed dome style lights to both ends of the top cabinet and both sides of the closet.

For the wiring, I will be replacing the old shore 120v wiring, keeping the receptacle and fridge, and adding a 1000w inverter/charger (overkill for what I will be running off it, but it was a killer sale, so I splurged!)

As I can sort out, the inverter doesn't have flow through DC, so I will have to wire the lights straight to the battery (a single 12v 24 series deep cycle). The Inverter will be hardwired from the 120v shore line, via the existing junction box, as well as hardwired to the 12v battery.

From the inverter I will have a line running to the existing counter receptacle, and I will plug the fridge into the GFCI installed on the inverter. I don;t intend to use the fridge often, so I will have the option of unplugging it from the system easily.

As I understand it, on shore power the inverter will charge the battery when it receives shore power, and will power the fridge when plugged in and power the receptacle in the counter. The dome lights will still run off the battery, but the inverter will manage the battery charge. Off shore power, the inverter will power the receptacle, the fridge (if plugged in), and provide alerts for the battery charge status.

I intend to individually ground each 'power station' to the frame individually. Battery, inverter, and shore junction box.

Here is where the questions start:

Do I need to run separate wires from each light to the battery, or can I run one line to the closet and split off it, and another line to the cupboard and split it as well? Will one fuse for each line be sufficient, or do I need to fuse each light individually?

What gauge wiring should I be looking a from battery to inverter?
What guage wire should I be using for grounding at each system?

Does my plan sound feasible, or should I rethink how I intend to do this install? Any information would be appreciated, If I am on the right track I would love to know as well!

Thanks, sorry for the winded posting, I think just writing this all out has cleared my mind a fair bit as well!

Adam
__________________

__________________
adriemel83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
LukeP's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1972 13 ft Boler American
Iowa
Posts: 261
Registry
Adam,
I have a converter, not an inverter, so somebody else can tackle those specifics.

However, especially if you're using LED lights, they'll have such a low draw that you'll have no problem running 1 set of wires to the closet/cupboard and splitting. I put all of my lights on the same circuit/fuse as well.

On a side note, have you bought the battery already? If not, you may consider a Group 29 battery if you're going to be using an inverter and have a large power need. Unless of course you'll charging frequently. You sound like you've calculated it all out well, so maybe I don't even need to throw that out! Good luck!
__________________

__________________
LukeP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler 1300, 1972
Alberta
Posts: 28
already picked up the battery, but haven't installed yet. most trips will be 2-3 nights, so I leaned towards the 24 series. How much more benificial would a 29 series be?
__________________
adriemel83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler 1300, 1972
Alberta
Posts: 28
I guess I should outline the power needs...

-the dome lights are simple 1141 series bulbs, about 1.5amp draw each

-fridge.. .a mystery, need to sort thatone out, but chances are not using it unless plugged into shore anyway

-receptacle will be used primarily for laptop computer a 7amp draw I believe

- charging mini lantern (not sure of draw, but again, not a common usage item)

That is the main power items I can think of off the top of my head. Lights will be primary, everything else is minimal usage
__________________
adriemel83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325




There is a mini fridge, about 1.7 cu.ft. (unable to find the spec sticker to get fridge draw) that is plugged into the power bar.

Your fridge will probably pull 10-12 amps when on 12 volt. (If it is a 3 way fridge) Not feasible to use the 12 volt on the fridge unless you have a battery charging system that can keep up with it. If it is a 3 way then operate on propane when you have no power. Even if you don't use the fridge often it usually takes a day to cool down. 24 hours x 10 amps = 240 amps. More than your battery can supply.

Post renovations, I have removed the florescent fixture, and installed dome style lights to both ends of the top cabinet and both sides of the closet.

Might want to consider LED lights such as these from IKEA. 21 ft of these draw less amperage than One 1156 car bulb.

Ikea 12 volt lights - YouTube

For the wiring, I will be replacing the old shore 120v wiring, keeping the receptacle and fridge, and adding a 1000w inverter/charger (overkill for what I will be running off it, but it was a killer sale, so I splurged!)

I put a 1000 watt inverter in mine and truthfully, I rarely use it. To install correctly it needs to be wired in with larger cable, adding expense to your reno. For my low power needs I find the smaller $20 units from Canadian Tire do the job nicely. Up to you though.


As I can sort out, the inverter doesn't have flow through DC, so I will have to wire the lights straight to the battery (a single 12v 24 series deep cycle).

You should install a 12 volt fuse panel and a circuit breaker in your positive line.


The Inverter will be hardwired from the 120v shore line, via the existing junction box, as well as hardwired to the 12v battery.

From inverter to battery is where your larger cables and fuses will be installed.

From the inverter I will have a line running to the existing counter receptacle,

I'm not exactly sure how the inverter can be wired to your receptacle in conjunction with the shorepower. It can be done with some inverters, however I found it easier to run a dedicated line to one receptacle with an on/off switch. If I want to run an appliance I turn the switch on, plug in, and the 12 volt is inverted to 120V to operate the appliance. This dedicated receptacle is not hooked up directly to 120v.

and I will plug the fridge into the GFCI installed on the inverter. I don;t intend to use the fridge often, so I will have the option of unplugging it from the system easily.

If you are trying to run your fridge with inverted power from your battery without having an adequate charging system re-supplying your battery at the same time then you will deplete your battery in a few hours.

As I understand it, on shore power the inverter will charge the battery when it receives shore power,

The Inverter simply inverts 12 volt to 120 volt. It does not charge your battery. It depletes your battery. A Converter/Charger or a Charger alone will charge your battery.

and will power the fridge when plugged in and power the receptacle in the counter. The dome lights will still run off the battery, but the inverter will manage the battery charge. Off shore power, the inverter will power the receptacle, the fridge (if plugged in), and provide alerts for the battery charge status.

I intend to individually ground each 'power station' to the frame individually. Battery, inverter, and shore junction box.

Here is where the questions start:

Do I need to run separate wires from each light to the battery, or can I run one line to the closet and split off it, and another line to the cupboard and split it as well? Will one fuse for each line be sufficient, or do I need to fuse each light individually?

What gauge wiring should I be looking a from battery to inverter?
What guage wire should I be using for grounding at each system?

Does my plan sound feasible, or should I rethink how I intend to do this install? Any information would be appreciated, If I am on the right track I would love to know as well!

Thanks, sorry for the winded posting, I think just writing this all out has cleared my mind a fair bit as well!

I'm in Calgary, next time you 're in town drop by and I can give you the introductory 12 volt electrical course.
I know electrical seems a bit confusing at first but with time it starts to make sense.

Inside trailer electrical_0001.wmv - YouTube





If you come to town, bring your trailer.

Adam[/QUOTE]
__________________
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 04:46 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler 1300, 1972
Alberta
Posts: 28
Kevin61 - wowza, heaps there. fantastic. the fridge is a bar fridge that a previous owner installed, I am guessing there was an icebox originally. No 3-way system in this trailer, unfortuately or I this would be all much easier!

The unit I picked up is an inverter/charger, which I thought would charge the battery while on shore power. Hope I am not mistaken or that is an expensive oops!
__________________
adriemel83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by adriemel83 View Post
Kevin61 - wowza, heaps there. fantastic. the fridge is a bar fridge that a previous owner installed, I am guessing there was an icebox originally. No 3-way system in this trailer, unfortuately or I this would be all much easier!

The unit I picked up is an inverter/charger, which I thought would charge the battery while on shore power. Hope I am not mistaken or that is an expensive oops!
I just checked online and there is such an animal so it should charge and invert at the same time.

I believe Adam has the Canadian Tire house brand of this unit and it will do much of what he asked his questions about.

http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Inv...Rev-A%29-1.pdf
__________________
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler 1300, 1972
Alberta
Posts: 28
kevin61- on a side note, grounding the trailer towing lights, I am looking at the diagram posted on bolerlife.com My interpretation is that the ground runs from the plug to the frame, then at each light to the frame. Am I reading this correctly? Currently the old ground appears to run the entire circuit then ground to the frame at one point
__________________
adriemel83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
LukeP's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1972 13 ft Boler American
Iowa
Posts: 261
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by adriemel83 View Post
already picked up the battery, but haven't installed yet. most trips will be 2-3 nights, so I leaned towards the 24 series. How much more benificial would a 29 series be?
Adam, I believe that my 29 is rated at 125 amp hours. I believe that a 24 is somewhere around 80 amp hours? If so, then a 29 would have about 20+ hours more for use (half of the 45 hour difference).

But it all has to do with individual needs.... If your 24 Series has 80 amp hours of power, and you're okay using half of that before recharging (to avoid damaging the battery over time) - then you've got 40 hours to work with. Simple math would say just under 6 hours for your laptop per trip with no lights. Or 4 dome lights x 1.5 amp = 6 amps/hour so you'd get 6+ hours of light per trip, but no laptop.

Kevin has a great write-up and his videos are very nice, I watched them some time ago (thanks Kevin!). He's right, you can get lots of LED light for minimal draw. I changed my bulbs to LEDs - there are other threads going that you may have read too, for reasonable prices.

All of that said - when I had a 24, I'd get thru a wkend fine with it powering a small 12v fan at night and minimal usage of inefficient lights. But when I re-did all of my electrical, I focused on more efficient draw and a 29 - we just camped for 8 days without power and I was glad for it! Which is why power needs are all individual eh?!
__________________
LukeP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 05:07 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Ed Harris's Avatar
 
Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
Posts: 1,776
I have a feeling you are confusing the term "Inverter" when you mean "Converter"?

It is important as they do exactly opposite functions.

An inverter will turn 12vdc into AC Power but a Converter will turn AC Power into 12vdc.

See what I mean?

From what you describe I think you mean to say CONVERTER?

A converter will supply 12vdc for devices needing this like your lights and will also charge your battery. They also usually have a place available to connect your AC powered things so that when the converter is connected to shore power it runs the fridge in your case,charges the battery and powers the 12vdc stuff too.

So before being able to really help......am I right about the confusion?
It is a common thing.

Ed
__________________
Ed Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 05:37 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Name: Adam
Trailer: Boler 1300, 1972
Alberta
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
I have a feeling you are confusing the term "Inverter" when you mean "Converter"?

It is important as they do exactly opposite functions.

An inverter will turn 12vdc into AC Power but a Converter will turn AC Power into 12vdc.


Ed
I think that is the simplest way I have seen yet on the comparison of the two.

I think, emphasis on the think, my goal is primarily 12vDC into AC power, However, not used very often. the AC that is. My fiance wants/needs the AC power for her computer (writing off camping trips as travel accommodation), and was thinking the fridge, but not looking like the battery will sustain the fridge.... might be looking into some of Kevin61's 3-way fridges in the future.

I think I am wanting the inverter, as 99% of trips will be with no hook-ups for 2-3 nights. Hoping that is right, cause I already own it!

but yeah, slightly confusing!
__________________
adriemel83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
LukeP's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1972 13 ft Boler American
Iowa
Posts: 261
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by adriemel83 View Post
I think that is the simplest way I have seen yet on the comparison of the two.

I think, emphasis on the think, my goal is primarily 12vDC into AC power, However, not used very often. the AC that is. My fiance wants/needs the AC power for her computer (writing off camping trips as travel accommodation), and was thinking the fridge, but not looking like the battery will sustain the fridge.... might be looking into some of Kevin61's 3-way fridges in the future.

I think I am wanting the inverter, as 99% of trips will be with no hook-ups for 2-3 nights. Hoping that is right, cause I already own it!

but yeah, slightly confusing!
The key is to narrow down what you're trying to power, and when. If you're looking to power 110v / AC items away from shore power (including your fiance's laptop) then you'll need the inverter to run these off the battery. So I too, think you're on the right track!
__________________
LukeP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 06:16 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Ed Harris's Avatar
 
Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
Posts: 1,776
OK
If this is what you want to do then you really will want both in a sense.
Most Battery chargers will also operate as a converter really and you will need a way to charge and maintain the battery if using an inverter as a main source of power.
I am afraid the fridge is a fairly high power demand item so the bigger the battery the better and it may make more sense to switch to a fridge that already operates on 12vdc as the inversion process will require a lot of battery and also waste power as heat.

Computers already run on low voltage supplies so that would also be easy to find a 12vdc adapter for to avoid needing AC power for that.

I am not sure what you mean by "flow thru dc" but since the inverter will be running from the battery it could just share a connection with other 12vdc sources?

There is a $30.00 device I have seen at Lowes that plugs in between the AC power and a device that will tell you exactly how much current it is drawing.
Seems like a handy thing to have if trying to figure this out.

Sorry to assume I knew what you were thinking too but it is easy to confuse the two.
__________________
Ed Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 07:03 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,398
Registry
You do realize that converting dc to ac to operate a computer that operates off dc is inefficient. Try to obtain as many 12v accessories and install 12v outlets and 12v LED lights. then you can run off your battery. I'm sure you can find a 12v adapter to operate your computer, likewise most LED tv's are also 12v, but they have a little black box that converts 120 to 12v. That is what converter does. You purchase a converter and when you plug in electric, it will operate your 12v and charge your battery.
An inverter just converts 12v to 120v inefficiently (maybe 80%) the rest is lost to heat.
Here is a good reference source

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
__________________

__________________
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
12v system - got to redo the Suehaul input please Pat B Ohio Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 20 04-11-2009 05:14 PM
New battery- what type for future solar system? LizP Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 15 02-26-2009 06:30 AM
Dual Battery System ???? Gerry Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 6 10-18-2006 05:31 AM
12v system work just on battery McClure Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 9 08-21-2006 09:50 PM
I NEED YOUR INPUT ; Legacy Posts General Chat 23 08-03-2003 01:10 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.