My trailer isn't gutted but I'm about to gut at least the entire electrical
system and start anew.
In planning an electrical
system, I believe you must not only consider your own needs, but also the needs of the next owner. One day you will sell this trailer, and if for example your electrical
system is mostly AC-based (120V fridge
, heater, hot plate), anyone who'd like a trailer like yours to camp off-grid will turn away.
We mostly camp without hookups, this means on the battery
only. We have very limited need for electricity, mainly lights
at night, occasional use of the furnace
if it's cold, and some way to recharge the iPhones.
I'm planning on a single Group27 deep cycle battery
. The size was appropriate with our popup camper which had similar power requirements. Our trailer already has 2 small 15W solar
panels and charge controller that I intend to keep (and maybe eventually upgrade to larger panels).
All interior and exterior lights
will be LEDs. 12V dual USB sockets front and rear.
Although we won't be using it much, I will upgrade the outdated converter with a newer unit, from either Progressive Dynamics or Iota, model to be determined, but it looks like a 30A unit should be more than enough. We could live without a converter, but IMO a trailer needs
a converter, and if it's not for us it'll be for the next owners. I don't think a trailer would sell well without a converter and decent AC system.
So I will also update the 120AC side of the system. Right now the trailer has a 15A system, which I think is enough for our needs, but I might as well look at upgrading it to 30A. We may never need the higher amperage, but who knows, maybe one day the next owner (in 50 years from now
) may want to add air conditioning
or recharge his iPhone... version 57!). I will install new 120V outlets, GFCI where required. If my newer converter is a standalone unit, I will need to add my own DC fuse box, and appropriate AC circuit breakers.
There will be appropriate fuses at the battery, converter and solar panels. To monitor everything, I will install 12VDC and 120VAC voltmeters and amp meters. I will also install a battery master switch, to turn everything off in the trailer when we're not camping. I will install a charge line to allow my tow vehicle to recharge the battery and power the fridge
I've already bought pretty much all I need at my local electronic shop, Amazon and DealExtreme. All I need now is more time to work on the trailer!