Basic Electrical Tutorial Needed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-06-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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Basic Electrical Tutorial Needed

I am at work on my 82 Burro and want/need the electrical updated. Someone has cut both the 12 volt to hitch connection and the propane line at the front of the trailer.

I don't think I want to keep the propane, mostly for safety issues. The thought of using the furnace space and the 3way frig space for storage is also appealing.

I have a friend who rebuilds vintage amps and believes he can handle the job of installing an inverter, deep cell battery, and wiring for both shore and batter power without a problem. I am confident he wouldn't offer if he didn't think he could do it. He is suggesting this inverter: WFCO WF-8935 RV POWER CENTER CONVERTER 35 amp W/PANEL http://r.ebay.com/1yctbGI need to know if this is a good choice. If not, what would you suggest instead. Keep in mind, I am on a budget. And I would like to eventually add solar to the mix. The other thing I need is to get a basic understanding of the electrical system in a trailer like mine. I have read many posts and most assume a basic understanding of electrical workings. I have a very basic understanding of positive, negative and ground. That's about it. Can anyone point me to a post/website/video to teach me the very basics? I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you for your time in advance.
-Shelley
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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Propane, electricity, gasoline, oil - all are dangerous if not installed and used correctly.
I assume your home has some sort of heating appliance and power supply.

The trailer is just your home away from home.
If you aren't qualified, then get somebody who is to repair your systems, and enjoy the comforts.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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I understand your point Glenn. Even if I do have someone else do the initial installation, I want to understand how the system works. I am a smart and capable person. I am a corporate software trainer and have no doubt I can learn what I need to know as a responsible FGRV owner.
Thanks,
Shelley
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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And, that makes sense.
I just wouldn't pull out the propane.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelley D View Post
Someone has cut both the 12 volt to hitch connection and the propane line at the front of the trailer.

I have a friend who rebuilds vintage amps and believes he can handle the job of installing an inverter, deep cell battery, and wiring for both shore and battery power without a problem.

I need to know if this is a good choice.
I think that converter is an OK choice for a small basic trailer like yours. It's an all-in-one power center which includes the circuit breakers (for AC shore power) and fuses (for DC battery power).
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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FWIW: WFCO and American (brand) power centers & converters are the cheepo end of the line, both in price and quality.

I recommend, install and personally use the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 Power center. It incorporates your AC breakers, a DC converter with 12 fused circuits and a 3 stage smart battery charger that will not overcharge your battery.

And, while electrical is electrical, RV's have some peculiarities of their own. I would suggest that you try to find someone with experience in RV's to do your work. You don't want you Burro to be someone's on-the-job training experience.

If you get rid of your LP you will substantially reduce the ability of your rig to be away from hookups, not to mention future resale value. LP systems, properly installed and operated, are as safe as the gas in your home.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:37 PM   #7
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Lightbulb There are actually 3 electrical systems in most trailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelley D View Post
The other thing I need is to get a basic understanding of the electrical system in a trailer like mine. I have read many posts and most assume a basic understanding of electrical workings. I have a very basic understanding of positive, negative and ground. That's about it.
There are actually 3 electrical systems in most trailers.
1. A battery operated DC system provides for basic living functions such as:
  1. Interior Lighting
  2. Pumping Water
  3. Turning fan blades
2. A power cord fed AC system provides for upgraded living functions like:
  1. Substituting converted "Shore Power" for Battery power to provide the basics mentioned above. That's why they're called "converters".
  2. Recharging the Battery so it can function during times when Shore Power is not available.
  3. Directly powering outlets just as in a stationary house.
3. A totally separate DC system to provide the vehicle functions from the Tow Vehicle such as:
  1. Stop Lights, Turn Signals, night time Running Lights, and sometimes Back-up Lights.
  2. Trailer brakes linked to operate in conjunction with the Tow Vehicle's brake pedal.
  3. A link to the Tow Vehicles electrical system to maintain Battery charge during driving-down-the-road times.
Portions of these 3 systems are linked together, and the common link is the Battery.
  • Think of all of system 1 as Battery Output.
  • System 2.2 and system 3.3 are battery Inputs.
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