Need info about adding more AC outlets - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-20-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
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Need info about adding more AC outlets

Many of you know my camper is in the shop being painted and other little things. I would like an outlet on the closet wall and one on the outside of the camper.

Since Ben, my body guy, isn't an expert on this part, he has called in an electrician. But they seemed confused, and I don't know enough to help them.

Is there something special about adding outlets? Do I need a more powerful converter box (or whatever it is)? Perhaps Ben misunderstood the electrician, but he thought the electrician said he wanted to put in another cord that goes directly into the camp hook up. All I could say is "I don't think that's what other people are doing when they add outlets."

What can I tell people about the camper electrical system if they aren't familiar with them. I did print out the scamp schematic from the docu. center and gave that to them just for a vague reference.

You guys make this all sound so easy---------
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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I had my camper rewired with additional outlets at the same time they installed my 30 amp breaker box (yes 30 amp is big, but it was cheap.) The breaker box is wired to an electrical power input/port on the outside of my trailer, and I plug a separate cord into that and into the park power. The outlets are wired back to the circuit box, just like in your home. I don't know know how the converter works into the whole wiring system, but I do know that when I plug into shore power, it will charge my battery. My converter was not upgraded at the time I installed my breaker panel (its original to my trailer) Your local RV place should be able to install the outlets. I hope this was not too confusing
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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more outlets

Your question does not provide enough information. Do you want 12 volt outlets, if so you can purchase these at an automobile store and wire them to one of your lights. Then you can use it as you would one in your auto, cell phone charger, computer. If you are talking about 120 volts then adding one additional outlet should not cause a need to upgrade. Purchase a surface mount outlet from Lowes or HomeDepot and tap into an existing outlet. Your electrician should be able to handle this. Another option is battery operated LED stick up lights. So dependent upon your wants of more lighting or more outlets, 12 or 120 v are available. If you can strip a wire then you can wire it yourself!
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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more outlets

I'm in the process of upgrading my eggcamper electrical. I have replaced all the bulbs inside with LEDS and ordered all new exterior LED replacements.
I also replaced the electric water heater with a new one and installed the winter bypass kit. I plan on adding 4 new 12v outlets for tv/computer/portable 12v refer/ and 12v blankets. I also am adding an exterior and interior 120v outlets. I'm adding 6 new interior/exterior LED lights for inside closets/inside storage areas/sewer hookups/step light/exterior hookups. I will post pictures once I finish everything.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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It may be worth looking over the wiring and breaker system while you have the camper apart. My 25-year-old wiring was downright scary! The insulation was cracked wherever the wires bent, and there were some char marks in the vicinity of the breakers. I wound up replacing virtually every inch of wire and installed a new distribution panel. You can get AC only or AC/DC panels and even a panel with an integral convertor. I used this panel with my Intellipower Convertor and mounted it in the kickpanel near the battery. I have two AC circuits and three breakers. One 30A breaker on the input side, two 15 amp breakers for AC distribution to the front and rear of the trailer. ONe of those branches has two outlets on it. I have a spare breaker for a roof mounted air conditioner, and I went ahead and ran that wiring.

Your own AC distribution system will have some breakers on it that should be appropriately rated to protect the wiring. If they are functioning properly, daisy chaining another AC outlet should not be a problem. That is it should not be a problem for the wires, but you could wind up overloading your circuitry if you are planning on plugging in a number of energy hogging appliances, like a microwave, hair dryer, blender, space heater or portable AC unit or some combination thereof on the same circuit. If the circuit is overloaded, the breaker should pop, but that can be annoying!

If that's the case you have to look at the whole load to make sure the wiring and fusing is appropriate to the expected loads. An independent breaker for the kitchen area isn't unreasonable. If you have a microwave and a 110V fridge option it's what you should do. And remember, your outlets should be wired with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, either at the outlet or the breaker.

Regards,

Matt
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:05 PM   #6
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Vickie,
With all of the work you're doing to the exterior, are you planning on upgrading your interior too? 'Cuz now's the time to make everything just the way you want it, in a fashion that removes all the mysteries and is easy to understand.

Including the electrical. Running new wire, and adding plugs, lights, and a new converter is no big deal. Knowing that everything is new (connections tight, wires organized, plugs everywhere you want them) is gonna will give you tremendous peace of mind.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:21 PM   #7
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That's what I wanted to do, Robert, but it seems my little camper is a bit of a mystery to the people working on it---so now I wonder what to do??
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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I can easily give you the details. Send me a PM if you want...
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Vickie do you have a wiring plan for the trailer? If so it should show you how many 120 outlets you can have on your current have on the system the way it is without having to add a new breaker panel. Or did the electrician look at the breaker panel you have see that it is full? If thats the case he could tap into an outlet that you rarely use or would not be using when you are using the new outside outlet thus avoiding an overload.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Thanks Robert, you WILL be hearing from me!
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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an alternative

Vicki, an alternate solution would be to wait on the electrical if you can and bring the "Bean" to the Duluth Eggfest in which you expressed an interest. I can guarantee you that there will be several folks there that have tackled this job.

D&D
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:04 PM   #12
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Thanks guys for all the great info! I'm going to let Ben finish up the body work (and he will be checking out the frame/axle/breaks.) But halted any interior work (except skylight.)

I really think it would be a good idea to get to know the workings of the camper, so we're not totally clueless. Robert J. has offered to talk me through the mysteries.

Diane: I had that very thought yesterday. I told my husband "we have to get our butts to a gathering so somebody can teach us this stuff!!!!" My biggest problem will be bringing the camper to a meet with the interior not up to par with the outside (pride goes before a fall!)-----But if I start to spruce it up (like tear off the wall covering and flooring), paint the cabinets, and so on--- that's the time I have to do all the brainiac stuff like converters/inverters, lights, etc. etc. etc. So I need to get to a gathering for help, but I want it done before I come to the gathering!!!! Stop The Insanity!!!!
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