I am not an electrical engineer... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-05-2011, 02:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam and Jess View Post
Matt- I think we have the room... somewhere.

Luke, I found one on ebay for about 153.00 with shipping.

RV Intelli Power Converter 45 Amp / Controll Center NEW - eBay (item 260468258689 end time Feb-17-11 12:53:02 PST)

The google link said it was used, but the ebay page states it is new. I went ahead and ordered one.
NICE! I think we would have room too, and this seems to be such a simpler solution for us non-eletrical engineers.

If you're okay with it Sam, I think I'll just keep letting you do the research, and I'll tag along It looks like we're looking at some similiar updates as you! Nice blog/pics by the way!
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:26 PM   #16
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Eletrical overhaul

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Originally Posted by Sam and Jess View Post
I need an all new 30A system in my Boler. I have done a fair amount of research on the internet and it seems to be hit and miss. There is a lot of information out there, but not specific to what I am looking for.

Does anyone out there have a list of parts needed or photographs of their electrical system rebuild. Mind you, I will be starting from ground zero. When we bought our Boler last year, most of the wiring (other than the trailer lights) had been removed.

I would like to wire several switched lights, a couple of outlets and have a 12V battery in there somewhere as well. If possible, I would like to wire in a stereo and a couple of speakers too. Thanks for your help. -Sam

P.S. I do not like working with electricity.
Sam

Sam:


I am not an electrical engineer either nor am I an electrician. I do have a background in boat building with the related demand for on-board wiring. I purchased a Trillium Jubilee on August of 2009 and with some major modifications ( including the electrical ) we took a trip to Alaska in July and August of 2010. Our new electrical systems worked very well.

There are a number of paths you can go down to re-wire your trailer. I opted to take out a very old non-functioning converter and install a 30 amp service. To feed the 12 volt frig and 12 volt lights, I installed a battery and a battery charger. The system works well and I now plan to put in a generator to feed the 30 amp service.

I purchased a service panel from Home Depot. It provides the entrance point for the power as well as the distribution point for the 5 circuits which I installed. This is probably overkill but it allows for greater flexibility when wiring. Presently the circuits are
  • Battery charger and 110v outlet at the forward berth/sofa
  • Outlets over the sink
  • External plugs
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave oven
  • Air conditioner and 110v rear berth plugs
I plan to add another circuit for some 110 volt interior lights and perhaps another external plug. ( I find these very handy when camping ! )

The power enters the panel through a newly installed 30amp Marinco inlet device which can be purchased through any RV outlet. ( Don’t use a marine device – they don’t accept a regular RV cable ! ).

When underway, the alternator in your tug will charge the battery. If you are using a seven pin connector, the black line will be linked to your vehicle charging circuit and thence into your trailer mounted battery. When camped and hooked up to “shore power” the battery charger will top it up.


I used standard boxes for all 110 volt wiring. I saw no need to equip the system with GFI outlets. One could use these for the external outlets if desired.

The entire system, including the service panel, battery charger, 50 ft cable, inlet device, appliance boxes, wiring, breakers and miscellaneous parts cost about $300.00.

I have a number of pictures which I will pull up and send along to you when I get them together.

Best of luck with you Boler

Bill Reilly
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:11 AM   #17
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Good choice with the PD4045! I have a 1973 Boler that I bought with no 12 volt system at all. The 4045 converter is an excellent unit for small trailers because the converter and the distribution for AC and DC is all neatly contained in a very small unit.

I chose to install mine under the front couch on the left side, it fits just perfectly and its an easy place to access all the fuses and breakers as necissary. It is also a good location because it is very close to the tounge of the trailer where my deep cycle battery will be installed, thus reducing the ammount of expensive heavy gauge cable I have to run between the converter and the battery.

The other possible location is under the left rear bench at the table. There is much more room in this stroage compartment but I like to use those sports to store clothes, blankets, tarps etc and putting the converter there would take away my storage. It is also a long run to the battery from there for the 12 volt lines.

I would send pictures but the trailer is away in storage for the winter, but feel free to ask me any questions about this unit in your Boler. I have had great success with mine.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #18
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Thanks Bill for explaining your set-up -- such a help. I particularly like the list of circuits, your suggestion for an exterior outlet, and I'm glad to hear you run a 12V fridge as we splurged (big time) on a Norcold AC/DC fridge the other day.

And John -- we're excited about the Intelli Power (well, as excited as one can be about a converter) and so glad to hear from someone who uses it. I like your reasoning for putting it up front -- we're still waffling on the best location and that spot seems to make a lot of sense.

You should see our spreadsheet of items researched/ordered/received/installed. The "installed" column is looking a little pathetic, but at least the "ordered" one is filling up!

-- Jess
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jesse View Post
Good choice with the PD4045! I have a 1973 Boler that I bought with no 12 volt system at all. The 4045 converter is an excellent unit for small trailers because the converter and the distribution for AC and DC is all neatly contained in a very small unit.

I chose to install mine under the front couch on the left side, it fits just perfectly and its an easy place to access all the fuses and breakers as necissary. It is also a good location because it is very close to the tounge of the trailer where my deep cycle battery will be installed, thus reducing the ammount of expensive heavy gauge cable I have to run between the converter and the battery.

The other possible location is under the left rear bench at the table. There is much more room in this stroage compartment but I like to use those sports to store clothes, blankets, tarps etc and putting the converter there would take away my storage. It is also a long run to the battery from there for the 12 volt lines.

I would send pictures but the trailer is away in storage for the winter, but feel free to ask me any questions about this unit in your Boler. I have had great success with mine.
John,
Thank you for the update on this. I am about to pull the trigger on this unit. Luckily it came about before I bought the other PD unit (9245 I think). I was considering using the closet. I have the same vintage boler and I was thinking about the bottom of the long closet. The wheel well comes down there and makes that very bottom useless for much of anything. Perhaps it could face the bench (right by the door), or out facing the kitchen. Problem one, would you have room down there. My boler like yours is hibernating off site. I can't get at it to test. Also, I would have to run 120 from the opposite side of the trailer where the external plug is. Not a big issue, but it would have to run all the way around to the closet. Also, have to run to the battery and that would mean underneath the trailer. How is the 120 connection hooked up to the 4045? I have to replace the external plug. I am considering replacing it with just a port, and wire the 120 into a box but not necessarily fastened to the external wall of the boler. I'm looking for the thread where I saw that done. Would you have any external plugs independent of the 4045? Something right off the panel the 120 goes into?
anyway, hope to hear of great success from you and Sam, we are all doing the same thing. I am bare bones and no 12 volt at all at this point. spring is just around the corner.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:48 PM   #20
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Our Inteli-Power 45 amp converter arrived today. Very fast shipping. I only ordered it on Friday afternoon. Very pleased. Here are a few pictures.



Front cover


Right at 12 inches wide.


When mounted flush, it is right at six inches.


Back of the unit.


All wires are numbered.


Front of the unit with the cover off.


Front with the cover on, but the access panel open.

If there is anything you want to see a close up picture of, just let me know. It looks to be pretty well built. Better yet, it is starting to make sense in my brain.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #21
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I think it's built by the same folks that did my AC/DC distribution panel. I found a couple things:

#1 it came with no instructions (maybe you were luckier?) I think mine was the OEM model.
#2 Some brands of breakers fit more securely than others, so take it with you when you buy your breakers.
#3 It isn't clear from the instructions (well maybe it is if you got them) but you use one of the breaker positions for the AC mains INLET - 30A. The incoming 110V LINE (HOT or BLACK) from your incoming trailer power cord goes through one breaker. That lets it connect electrically to the metal plate (bus) there and be distributed out to your other two (or more) breakers, which might be, for example, maybe 20A to your Air Con, and 15A to your sockets, or maybe 2 branches of 15A for your sockets if you don't have Air Con, whatever. Ground and Neutral from your big power cord connect directly to screw terminals on the two big bus bars you have there. Ground (Green) at the bottom, Neutral (White) on the right.

#4 You can get half-size breakers if you need more positions, say to dedicate one to the black lead floating there, which I believe, is your convertor's power HOT wire. If you're wiring from scratch I would probably put the kitchen on one half breaker and the rest of the trailer 110VAC on the other. Definitely put the Airconditioner on its own breaker.

By designating one breaker for your AC in, you'll never** fry your power cord, and burn down the trailer and campsite by overdrawing on the 30A cord, even if the individual legs add up to more than 30A.

Regards,

Matt

**Did I say NEVER? I meant ALMOST never - I am an electrical engineer but that doesn't mean much in the scheme of not electrocuting one's self.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:18 PM   #22
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Astroboy,

I think the bottom of the closet could work as well. Do remember there will be a large number of wire connections right behind the converter as you will need to tie in all the 12 volt circuits both to the converter but also to some sort of ground bus bar for a common ground. I found that there was plenty of room behind my converter under the front bench for everything while still not wasting too much storage space. You will need to experiment when you get the unit and see what works.

You do not require a seperate 120 volt breaker panel with the 4045 converter. It has room for 5 branch circuit breakers if you use double circuit breakers. I found the Siemens ones listed in the manual worked well. The incoming power from your port on the side of the trailer feeds into the 6 th breaker.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:52 AM   #23
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Astroboy,

I found that there was plenty of room behind my converter under the front bench for everything while still not wasting too much storage space. You will need to experiment when you get the unit and see what works.
John,
Thank you for the reply. I think I misunderstand this unit. Why do you have this behind your 'converter', doesn't this unit replace the converter? I assumed you ran your 110 into this unit, and hooked it up to the battery as well, so the battery is able to be charged, and the return line is used to run 12 volt. From the unit, the 110 is also run to plugs and lights (I have no appliances of any kind to worry about).
Regards,
Kyle
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:05 AM   #24
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John,
Thank you for the reply. I think I misunderstand this unit. Why do you have this behind your 'converter', doesn't this unit replace the converter?
Kyle: (and John, please correct me if I'm wrong), I see where you're going, but I read it thinking John is using "converter" to mean this particular unit. So, he's saying you need plenty of room behind the unit itself (the converter/PD4045) for all the wires that run into it, not that there's another device in the space with the one we're talking about. Hope that helps!

-- Jess
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:42 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sam and Jess View Post
Kyle: (and John, please correct me if I'm wrong), I see where you're going, but I read it thinking John is using "converter" to mean this particular unit. So, he's saying you need plenty of room behind the unit itself (the converter/PD4045) for all the wires that run into it, not that there's another device in the space with the one we're talking about. Hope that helps!

-- Jess
Jess, Thanks for your re-interpretation. I am reading it again feeling silly. a few thoughts about my possible placement in the cupboard. How many issues are there running the cable to the tongue underneath the boler. I'm not sure how I feel about drilling a hole in the bottom of the trailer. Also, not sure how I feel about running the cable under the boler, even if it's encased in a heavy plastic case. If I chose to run it inside the boler, the choice would be to run all around the benches and under the kitchen back to the front of the trailer. Two issues with that. First, the cost of the heavy gauge cable. Also, would there be a significant loss of return to the 4045 unit from the battery having to travel that distance? One other question i have about this unit. Imagine I am in Lake superior Provincial park and want a water side lot that doesn't have power. Ok, who is really worried, right, because you have a battery running your limited 12 volt lighting and plug requirements. However, you want to stay a week and need to charge your battery. My question what is the best option. Should I bring a basic Canadian Tire battery charger to plug into the battery that I politely ask a neighbor who has a plug to let me charge my battery overnight? Or, should I invest in a small solar panel? What about plugging in to use this 4045 unit? could you run a standard extension cord instead of the 30 amp plug (that I'm replacing) and park the boler somewhere I can borrow a bit of power for the duration of a charge? Thoughts would be appreciated, I hope I have explained myself. Remember, I have no appliances, just some basic 12 volt lighting requirements. Another option may be to get two batteries if i"m going to boondock it often. I only have a 4 pin connector to the vehicle. I want to keep my electrical self contained on the trailer if that makes sense.
Thanks all. Having a snowy day here in Midland Ontario! I can barely see the boler anymore! Wow, crazy, I'll have to post a pic.
Kyle
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #26
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I had written a very long answer to your questions and this website timed me out. When I went to post it promped a login and forgot everything I had typed. Needless to say I am frustrated.

After looking back at all the theads I have participated in based on this topic I have decided to write a document discussing all the aspects of adding or upgrading the electrical system in a small trailer. I will add pictures and videos once I have my trailer back this spring. I would welcome the input of any other members interested, both from the side of expertise and advice as well as members who have questions and concepts they would like addressed.

One thing I will give you now though is a link to another thread about the 4045 that contains a picture of the unit installed showing all the stuff behind it that I was referreing to. Progressive Dynamics PD4045
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #27
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I had written a very long answer to your questions and this website timed me out. When I went to post it promped a login and forgot everything I had typed. Needless to say I am frustrated.
John, when you know you'll be posting a long answer, I suggest you open a text editor... like Notepad and type your answer there first. It also gives you plenty of time to put your thoughts together, cut and paste to move stuff around etc. When you're finally satisfied with what you wrote, THEN open a reply window... copy and paste from Notepad into the reply. This would surely save you a lot of grief and aggrevation
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #28
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Cool Yes, that happens to me a lot

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I had written a very long answer to your questions and this website timed me out. When I went to post it prompted a login and forgot everything I had typed. Needless to say I am frustrated.
I have learned that for long answer replies to posts I must highlight the whole thing and copy and paste it into a word document before I "Submit Reply". This has saved more than one of my long-winded soliloquies from internet oblivion.
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