Electrical Reccomendations - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #15
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Schematic

Hmmmm... I think I can figure out the French part, but it looks like T-1 is connected across several 12VDC sources, exactly how does that work?

And you need to isolate the battery completely from the computer power supply. A fully charged battery will be at about 13.5 volts, even higher when the charger is running. Something that computer power supplies are not designed to deal with is backflow current.

BTW: Budget (meaning cheap) battery chargers are notorious for poor filtering, meaning that there can also be some AC component drifting around.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tartosuc View Post
what do want to know exactly?

basicaly a computer PSU has 3 voltages, 12v, 5v and 3,3v

the wires colors are.:
black negative
yellow 12v
red 5v.
there are other wires that need to be connected to power up the psu but i dont have my plan with me..ill find out and let you know...
all 3 volatges are regualted, safe for a computer so it's very good PSU to use in a small RV to power LEDS, recharge ipods etc.
ther are like 25 wires coming out of the psu, but inside of it all black, all yellows and all reds are connected to 3 posts(one for each color).

the rest is designing a plan that works in your system.


heres my plan, i'm not done with it yet but that basically it.
power bar serve as the main 15A breaker and supply 110v to psu, charger depending on the demand. Its not a good thing to always charge the battery when you are on 110v.
sorry its in french but you get the idea.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brandegor View Post
Thanks, Steve. As I work things out on this ethereal paper, it occurs to me that what I am after is systems design. I have no intention of doing this work myself, but what I need is to have a very concrete plan when I hit the shop for the $45/hour labor. In fact, if I could even shop around for the components myself, I could construct my budget accordingly.
If its wiring design plans you are after then a good starting point may be to take a look at the original Scamp wiring diagram found in the Documents center if you havent already. There are actually a number of solar wiring diagrams to be found there as well.

Scamp sets up their trailers to run everything off of 12v with the exception of 1 fluorescent light in the kitchen area and a 3 AC plugs - which do not work when not plugged in. Which means all other light fixtures, fans, pumps etc are 12v. Fridge on mine is a 3 way but I dont run it on 12v due to its ability to drain the system fast. Suspect the fridge you are proposing to use will do the same. When off the grid I run the fridge on propane. There are some newer RV fridges that are far more efficient on 12v than what I have but as others have said the cost of them would eat up your whole budget and then some. Scamp uses a converter which also handles the charging of the battery when plugged in or towing. I use as do many others a group 27 battery & can get by for a few days of dry camping without plugging in the solar using LED bulbs in the fixtures. Adding a solar panel which I did was simply a matter of purchasing a simple solar controller connecting it to the battery and then plugging in the solar panel to it when needed.

Another great resource for even more efficient system designs than what Scamps uses is 12 Volt Side of Life.

If I had a limited budget I would seriously consider starting with having the trailer rewired for 12v and adding a battery, converter/inverter, changing over my lights, pumps, fan to 12v to start with, using a cooler to start with and adding the solar system & more efficient fridge later when funds allowed.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brandegor View Post
Hi Tom -

Good thoughts - I do realize that the refrigerator is, shall we say, less than ideal - but I also know my eating habits, and I'm more the icebox kind of gal - half and half for the coffee, some yogurt and Vitamin Water is about all that lives in my 'fridge. I like the idea of leaving the wiring as is - i.e., not rewiring the whole shebang but adding an inverter. So let me ask you this - what do you think of a kit like this:

Amazon.com : Windy Nation 100 Watt Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid Kit : Patio, Lawn & Garden

And, what size battery and inverter would be appropriate for such an array? Thanks.
Not a bad price on the Amazon kit. The controller is a pretty cheap one, though.

Alternatives:

Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers

or this:

Grape Solar 100 Watt Polycrystalline PV Solar Panel

And a controller like this:

Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers

If you are just running lights, a small 100 -200 watt inverter would work. I'd go with a group 27 deep cycle battery (Walmart or Costco)
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #18
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Mary, our 13' Scamp's Converter stopped working, so I just removed it & plugged in a smart charger into an under cabinet 110 volt outlet, and connected it directly to the group 27 battery, which also has a 100 watt solar panel much like the set-up you are looking at (Amazon.com : Windy Nation 100 Watt Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid Kit : Patio, Lawn & Garden). I also added a cheap 750 watt Black & Decker Inverter I had laying around, to charge our cell phones and lap top computer. We do have all LED lights, a NOVA KOOL 12 volt D/C only refrigerator/freezer, a Fantastic Fan, and a digital voltage readout that simply plugs into a 12 volt receptacle (lets you know how much charge is left in the battery). We rarely camp/travel where there is 110 volt hook-ups, and have been able to camp off the grid with this set-up for months at a time. Our tow vehicle is wired to charge the trailer battery when connected together, and have needed to use the tow vehicles batteries (I have 2 Marine Style batteries in our Jeep) when the solar panel didn't have optimal conditions to keep us toped off.
Best of Luck
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hmmmm... I think I can figure out the French part, but it looks like T-1 is connected across several 12VDC sources, exactly how does that work?

And you need to isolate the battery completely from the computer power supply. A fully charged battery will be at about 13.5 volts, even higher when the charger is running. Something that computer power supplies are not designed to deal with is backflow current.

BTW: Budget (meaning cheap) battery chargers are notorious for poor filtering, meaning that there can also be some AC component drifting around.

Like i said the plan need refining and is not the final one.

t1 is just a small dc dc converter to supply 5v to usbs... from 11 to 15v it will output a constant 5vdc...i figured it will not be affected by the 5v the psu will supply when on 110v..but my plan is to have it disconnecetd from the circuit when on 110v,(not drawned yet on the plan). I might also only use the 12v from psu and keep using the dcdc converter at all times to supply the usb ports...would make it simpler to wire and would only use 12v output from the psu.

The computer psu is isolated by the dpdt switch...only negatives are common and will not affect anything in the psu... I had a very similar setup in my other rv and worked like a charm.


I pesonnaly like doing things diffrently and find way to save money...I dont see how 45A would be neede in a small 13' trailer. So i dont want to pay for that...but i respect others choice...
Funny fact, i've been discussing m setup with a local rv repair guy and he's using a computer psu also in his tent trailer, in pretty much the same way i do it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by tartosuc View Post
Like i said the plan need refining and is not the final one.

t1 is just a small dc dc converter to supply 5v to usbs... from 11 to 15v it will output a constant 5vdc...i figured it will not be affected by the 5v the psu will supply when on 110v..but my plan is to have it disconnecetd from the circuit when on 110v,(not drawned yet on the plan). I might also only use the 12v from psu and keep using the dcdc converter at all times to supply the usb ports...would make it simpler to wire and would only use 12v output from the psu.

The computer psu is isolated by the dpdt switch...only negatives are common and will not affect anything in the psu... I had a very similar setup in my other rv and worked like a charm.


I pesonnaly like doing things diffrently and find way to save money...I dont see how 45A would be neede in a small 13' trailer. So i dont want to pay for that...but i respect others choice...
Funny fact, i've been discussing m setup with a local rv repair guy and he's using a computer psu also in his tent trailer, in pretty much the same way i do it.
Interesting concept, but for the OP this seems excessively complicated.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #21
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T-1 is still the designation for, and the symbol shown is for transformer.

Rather than all that for USB power, there are inexpensive 2amp USB charging devices that just plug into 12V DC outlets as well USB charging stations that, again, plug into or can be connected to battery power. The several I have used are voltage protected and deliver 5 VDC regardless of battery/charger/converter voltage.
Here is one:
P1010730_zps59583c12.jpg Photo by advocateone | Photobucket

It was about $21 and is hardwired to the battery via a fuse
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:29 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
You situation and common sense approach to solving it urges(?) me to make an observation that's occurred to me often reading other posts.

It is my sense that electricians go through a fair amount of training in their apprenticeship and subsequent supervision by a journeyman electrician before they are let out on their own. Some technically inclined amateurs can do a narrow part of what electricians do if we read up or are guided closely by knowledgeable supervision. It would probably take ten times as long for us to do it as a pro and longer still since we’re working in a built-up trailer making wiring runs more time consuming (taking “rewiring” at face value). Simple tasks such as swapping out a receptacle or switch are within most amateurs’ ability but even that needs a little research to be done properly. A complete rewiring of a trailer to include converter/charger and perhaps a solar option would give me pause. It’s not rocket science but it is potentially dangerous if not treated respectfully. Electricity follows well understood rules but if one isn’t prepared to do and understand the research I’d stay away. I observe business managers all the time pooh-poohing engineers about some process they don’t understand because we can’t reduce 4 years of engineering schooling down to a 5 minute presentation for them. So, too, with electricians.

In this case time and resources both are tight. I think you’re wise to know your limitations and I like the suggestion to find someone off the grid to do it. There are no building permits for this sort of thing. I wish you success.
I spent 2 years at a Vo Tech school (full time) ,served a 4 year (8000 Hr) apprenticeship , attended 1200 hours of night school during my apprenticeship plus 2- 80 hour summer classes then took 2 -6 hour exams to obtain my journeymans ticket (Total of 6 years to obtain my ticket) I also am required to attend yearly updating classes to retain my electricians license .It becomes very frustrating for me when people offer advice on this forum about electrical matters when it is obvious they know nothing or little of what they speak and advise people to do an unsafe installation just to save a little money or out of ignorance. The more you know about a subject ,the more you know that there is no simple question or answer.. On the job many things I do are by instinct and training and I don't even think about it but to explain why I did something to a novice would take hours or even days
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
T-1 is still the designation for, and the symbol shown is for transformer.

Rather than all that for USB power, there are inexpensive 2amp USB charging devices that just plug into 12V DC outlets as well USB charging stations that, again, plug into or can be connected to battery power. The several I have used are voltage protected and deliver 5 VDC regardless of battery/charger/converter voltage.
Here is one:
P1010730_zps59583c12.jpg Photo by advocateone | Photobucket

It was about $21 and is hardwired to the battery via a fuse
Well it transform from 12v to 5v, it the only sylmbol i had in the free cad software i found that show what it does for me to build my plan..no big deal.

I know there are severall device to have usb charging ports...the fun part of my project for me is to use anything i can find for free, psu/usb ports all comes from old computer we have at work. Same for all the fans i have .
I'm not against better solutions...
I dont do anything that will not be safe and tested in my shop prior to use in my trailer. I'm an electronic technician with 20years experience, and will not take chances with safety.

The op was looking for cheap solutions, mine is one, i knew it would raise a bit of controversy.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I spent 2 years at a Vo Tech school (full time) ,served a 4 year (8000 Hr) apprenticeship , attended 1200 hours of night school during my apprenticeship plus 2- 80 hour summer classes then took 2 -6 hour exams to obtain my journeymans ticket (Total of 6 years to obtain my ticket) I also am required to attend yearly updating classes to retain my electricians license .It becomes very frustrating for me when people offer advice on this forum about electrical matters when it is obvious they know nothing or little of what they speak and advise people to do an unsafe installation just to save a little money or out of ignorance. The more you know about a subject ,the more you know that there is no simple question or answer.. On the job many things I do are by instinct and training and I don't even think about it but to explain why I did something to a novice would take hours or even days
So, how much would you charge the OP to rewire her trailer?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #25
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So, how much would you charge the OP to rewire her trailer?
Tom ,I was an electrician not a contractor . I did the work , the owner of the shop set the price .When I retired the shop was charging $110.00 / hr for my time. I did go to the University of Michigan electrical estimating school and have estimated jobs in the $600,000 range but that is all behind me. You tend to loose your trade skills rather rapidly after retirement
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:28 PM   #26
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Hmmmm... Do it right the first time and you won't have top do it again.....

After doing more than a few re-wires of FGRV's I usually start out with the Converter/Charger. The weapon of choice, hands down, is the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power center. That gives you a 12 circuit 45 amp converter, a 3 stage battery charger and a AC dist panel. Best price (<$160?) seems to be from Frank Bear at his teardrop trailer site.

If boon docking is on your schedule, I would also suggest the somewhat larger Group 27 battery vs. the smaller Group 24, it's good for about 50% more usage and is only slightly larger/more expensive.

Also consider resale value, that nice new, modern, converter is a real plus in Scamps. A Disneyesque solution will be minus for most buyers.

$45/hr seems to be about 1/2 of what most dealers charge for labor and is a very good price. It takes about 2-3 hours to install a new power center in a stock Scamp and it might take longer if non-standard wiring is an issue..

To save further you might consider advertising for an electrician with RV experience on your local Craigslist etc. I was charging $25 an hour for RV work at my home garage and hardly ever burned down anything (LOL)

Good Luck
Bob - Thank you very much for the concrete recommendation - it's exactly what I need.
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