All new electrical system - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-30-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
Trailer: Burro 13 ft
Posts: 51
I recently bought an '85 Burro 13' and began cleaning it out and discovered a rats nest of an electrical system that included lots of melted wires and burned wood. Needless to say, I ripped it all out, every inch and am starting from scratch. I bought an Inteli-Power 4000 Series Mighty Mini AC/DC Distribution Panel and Inteli-Power Converter with Charge Wizard : as the basis of my rewire. I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion or thoughts on the location of the new panel. Previously the wiring collected and distributed from under the sink. I'm not a huge fan of placing the nerve center under a water source. I was thinking of maybe placing it under the bench seat next to the cooktop which would be right where the tow wiring comes in. I'm thinking of locating the battery in there as well to keep everything collected in one spot. Does anyone have any thoughts or alternative suggestions?

In addition to the wiring, I am replacing all the lighting with LED. I'm planning on running a strip of LED's all the way across the center line of the ceiling as general lighting on a dimmer. I'll have puck lights for the kitchen and flexible map lights on each end for the bed/seating. All of this will be 12v. I don't really see a reason to have 110v lighting if I'm running everything of the converter/panel. Am I missing something?


Previous "elect. panel":
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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Name: Paul McEwan
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 47
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Great Questions. I was just about to post the same thing myself but I will now await your replies.

One of the things I'm going to do aside from rewire everything is to add solar charging. I want my panel to tell me what's happening too. (Power consumption and the lot). So the panel needs to be in a convenient location and look like something when complete. One of two places comes to mind.
  • Building a stitch-and-glue cabinet to match forward of the kitchenette cabinets. Simply adding one more in the line of overheads. Running a conduit up from below so all the wiring terminates there
  • Installing the panel right at the door on the closet wall. This location is most convenient in not having to build anything and monitoring ease but poses a problem for rewiring. The 110 shore cable runs out the exterior from below the closet so it may make a great pigtail for the solar panels.

Caveat to my ideas are this: I know nothing about any of it. I just purchased "RVers' Guide To Solar Battery Charging" from RV Solar Electric online and am strumming my fingers as I wait for it to arrive.

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
Trailer: Bigfoot 13.5 ft
Posts: 88

I too just purchased a Mighty Mini from Progressive as I am rewiring my Lil Bigfoot. I also have been considering locating it under the front bench for the same reasons - water and electricity just don't do well together. I do believe that you will want to avoid placing the battery in the same location as the power center due to the possible corrosive effects of the battery and the chance of hydrogen gas above the battery. You do, however, want the distance from the charger to the battery to be fairly short due to voltage drop.

I'll let you know how about my progress as soon as I get to that stage of my restoration. Right now I'm concentraing on installing a new MDO floor.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:03 AM   #4
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Name: Matt
Trailer: U-Haul VT16, Escape 19
Posts: 985
I'm relocating my battery forward into a vented box in one seat of the front dinette. I have a similar 5000 series AC/DC panel coming from progressive and that will go into the kick panel of the front dinette, which joins up with the same storage area.

I will be changing the hard-wired 30A shore power to a removable cord.

I could have moved the battery out to the tongue, but there are a couple if 20lb propane tanks out there already, and another 50-60 lbs would need to be offset, somehow.

I think it's very important to have the battery and converter as close together as possible. It's convenient if the panel is also nearby. Having a combined panel & converter gives fewer placement options, but will probably save space in the long run.
Planning our next Escape!
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
Trailer: Burro 13 ft
Posts: 51
So after a little more consideration, I'm thinking I want the elect panel/converter on the left bench (next to the cooktop) in the front so I can run wiring under the kitchen and around to the back. And, put the battery in the right bench (near the door) and run a relatively short lead either under the floor or along the interior wall to connect to the panel/converter. Does anyone have a really strong preference for gel batteries over conventional for the interior location I have described? Thanks

btw, I have removed the catalytic heater on the right bench in the pic below.
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