Electrical Problem - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
What's the difference between the battery directly operating the 12V appliances and lights rarther than running it through a converter?

My last three eggs have all had solar arrays that keep my battery charged and run all 12v items with ease.

I'm even in the process of installing a solar panel on my overhead truck camper.

When I do have hook ups I usually don't even use the 110v.

You don't need an expensive convertor with a solar array.

John
The 12 Volt system doesn't care whether it gets it power from a 12 volt battery or a converter. Older trailers had a switch that switched between battery and converter. A solar system does a nice job of keeping the battery charged, if the solar system is large enough. Other options are to install a Battery Tender like device to keep the battery charged, don't stay in one place longer than 3 or 4 days (the tow will charge enough for that), use a standard smart battery charger. The object is to charge the battery and then use the battery for powering the 12 Volt system.
I use three methods, depending on where the trailer is and traveling schedule. At home a battery tender keeps the battery charged, when moving from one place to another the tow does the charging, and when in one place for more than 3 days the solar does the job. NOTE: while camping I rarely have 120 Volt house current.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #44
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Two more questions and I will be gone, as I think we have beaten this thread to the ground, but it has been so very helpful for this novice.
I have decided to purchase the all in one PD4045 and planning to install myself with help from a friend.
The original wire from the battery to the original converter is only 16 gauge. What gauge wire should I use to replace it? I assume 8 gauge as the run is about 8 feet.
Question 2, Should I replace the shore power 3/14 gauge, 15 amp wire (standard 3 plug) with 30 amp gauge wire?
Thanks again, everyone, for their input. Jim
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:08 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by jimmied View Post
Question 2, Should I replace the shore power 3/14 gauge, 15 amp wire (standard 3 plug) with 30 amp gauge wire?
Thanks again, everyone, for their input. Jim
Cant answer your questions but I'm surprised that your shore power plug is 15 amp.... seems a bit strange ......sounds like someone may have already done a little electrical handy work on the trailer. Or perhaps I am just reading your post wrong.
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:27 PM   #46
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Cant answer your questions but I'm surprised that your shore power plug is 15 amp.... seems a bit strange ......sounds like someone may have already done a little electrical handy work on the trailer. Or perhaps I am just reading your post wrong.
I don't know when they started putting higher amperage connections on trailers as a matter of course, but my '78 Trillium came from the factory with a 15 amp 110v connection (which I still find adequate for my needs).

Jim's '81 trailer is only a couple of years newer than mine, so it seems plausible to me that his 15amp could well be the original service.

Francesca
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:55 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Jim's '81 trailer is only a couple of years newer than mine, so it seems plausible to me that his 15amp could well be the original service.
Good point Francesca, I guess I was thinking of newer mid 80's Bigfoot models that I know have 30 amp - it may well have been optional though.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:23 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by jimmied View Post
Two more questions and I will be gone, as I think we have beaten this thread to the ground, but it has been so very helpful for this novice.
I have decided to purchase the all in one PD4045 and planning to install myself with help from a friend.
The original wire from the battery to the original converter is only 16 gauge. What gauge wire should I use to replace it? I assume 8 gauge as the run is about 8 feet.
Question 2, Should I replace the shore power 3/14 gauge, 15 amp wire (standard 3 plug) with 30 amp gauge wire?
Thanks again, everyone, for their input. Jim
Hi Jim. The early "new" Trillium 1300's all came with PD4045 converters wired with 30 amp inputs. I suppose with the electric fridge, an air conditioner, microwave, etc. that might be necessary. They later reduced that to a 15 amp input on some of the lower option models like mine. I switched it over last year as the weight of the 30 amp plug caused the fiberglass body to flex and a 15 amp extension cord is much easier to handle.

Going to the battery they used 10 gauge wire with a 30 amp spade type fuse. I replaced the fuse holder to an inline screw type and reduced the fuse size to 20 amp. Raz
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #49
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Hi Jim. The early "new" Trillium 1300's all came with PD4045 converters wired with 30 amp inputs. I suppose with the electric fridge, an air conditioner, microwave, etc. that might be necessary. They later reduced that to a 15 amp input on some of the lower option models like mine. I switched it over last year as the weight of the 30 amp plug caused the fiberglass body to flex and a 15 amp extension cord is much easier to handle.

Going to the battery they used 10 gauge wire with a 30 amp spade type fuse. I replaced the fuse holder to an inline screw type and reduced the fuse size to 20 amp. Raz
Raz, I hate to keep this thread open as everyone must be so very bored reading my problem, which is pretty well solved.
This is probably a stupid question, but I will ask. Will the wire going from the battery to the new converter be a braided 10 gauge positive wire only and I will not have to run the negative wire to the converter, as I can ground it to the front of the trailer and what gauge should I use for the ground?
I will have a hard time getting the large 10 gauge wire to the converter, so will probably put it under the trailer, drill a hole in the floor and fish it up from there. Would this be OK? Thanks everyone, and I will be posting pics shortly on this part of the restoration as well as the interior.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:39 PM   #50
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Jimmied: I will have a hard time getting the large 10 gauge wire to the converter, so will probably put it under the trailer, drill a hole in the floor and fish it up from there.

Stranded wire 8 or 10 gauge will flex and B OK. Solid wire tends to break during flexing so use the stranded kind. You can purchase what ever length you require at Lowes or Home Depot in the US (Don't know about Canada).

What I do when running wires under the camper is to hang PVC water pipe or other type of plastic Conduit and run the wires inside that. They sell holders that you secure to the underside of the floor that hold the conduit.

If you connect the neg side of the battery to the frame, just use a normal battery cable that you would use on a car. Connecting to the frame is a subject that gets many opinions on this site.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:54 AM   #51
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As I said earlier, an electrician will know how to do it, know the codes, and make your insurance company happy. Wiring a converter is not a good first time project. Raz
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #52
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When I run wires under the trailer I use a corrugated flexible loom to add an additional level of abrasion protection. You can use the frame as a conductor, but you induce more risks of a poor connection. I'd just run a separate ground wire along with the positive wire.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:43 AM   #53
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Calling Tom: You are absolutely correct.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:37 PM   #54
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When I run wires under the trailer I use a corrugated flexible loom to add an additional level of abrasion protection. You can use the frame as a conductor, but you induce more risks of a poor connection. I'd just run a separate ground wire along with the positive wire.
Carlon makes a blue flexible plastic conduit with fittings and straps (Trade Name= Smurf Tube) The conduit is rot resistant and really hard to damage except in a Minnesota winter where it does gets brittle and shatter (-30 Deg F). You can even legally use it as a raceway in a concrete slab. Used it for years to protect wiring on machinery that was subject to chemicals and water . It held up great
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:10 PM   #55
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I picked up the PD4045 from my local rv dealer who I have been dealing with for the last 16 years and he gave me a great price, compared to buying from the States and having to add on duties, sales tax, etc and it only took 2 days to arrive.
I picked up a 30 amp main breaker from Home Depot as well as 2 15 amp sub breakers and the converter looks so very easy to install, even for a newbie like me. Only have to connect the black wire from shore power to the rear of the breaker and the white and green will attach to the panel where the other likewise wires are located. From there it will be very easy to connect the AC to my receptacles, and DC will be easy as well as, like someone posted, the pigtails are 12 inches. long so will be very easy to put in place. I had to purchase 15 amp DC fuses as well.
Thanks for all the great posts, as I really had no idea on what or how to do this, but will have help from my electrican friend, but very helpful for me to understand what is involved in doing this, and I believe it is a very simple job, and I would not hesitate to do it myself. The PD 4045 is an all in one unit, as everyone probably knows and does not need a distribution box and is very compact and will fit in the opening without modifications. Thanks, Again Jim
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:33 PM   #56
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The PD4045 was installed today, with help from my electrican friend. I would not have been able to do it myself, as the old converter was so old, and the wiring was all together so different from the new converter. If it was just a matter of installing a new converter to a trailer that was not so old, it would be very easy. I added more AC receptacles as well as a 12 volt receptacle.
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