Recommendations on electrical setup - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-29-2013, 08:32 PM   #1
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Recommendations on electrical setup

I just purchased a 78 Burro. I'd like to get recommendations from folks regarding the electrical setup. Currently none of the tail or side lights work. So I am going to get that checked out. It has a 220 cord that goes to an external hook up. Can be converted to 110 with an adapter. That goes to one box in the camp with 2 two prong outlets (no ground). Both work. There is a breaker box under the sink. There are also connectors for a battery in the rear that go to 2 internal lights. No battery yet so I am not sure if it works.

If I need to get this re-wired what do you all recommend regarding the setup? 110 vs. 220? Definitely 3 prong outlets? Should I replace the old breaker box with something more modern?

Any suggestions are appreciate - I am new to all of this!! Todd
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Are you sure it's a 220 plug and not a 30 amp RV plug? I would probably put in a new power converter, interior lights, 110 outlets, rewire the 12 volt lights. I used a Progressive Dynamics 4045 converter as it has 12 volt fused circuits and 110 breakers. Other opinions will follow.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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I'll take a picture and post it tomorrow. It looks like the outlet on a kitchen stove.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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I have never seen a 220 RV built on this side of the pond. I am sure you will find that it is a 30 amp RV plug for 120VAC. If in doubt, don't connect to 220 until you have an electrician look it over first.

I second looking into a Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power chassis. It will give you a new a/c distribution/breaker panel, a AC-DC Converter, a 12 circuit 12 VDC fuse panel and a 3 stage smart charger for your battery. I have installed about 6 of them.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
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Is this what you are looking at? If so, it's not 220.
You can get an adapter that allows you to plug into a standard 120 for less than $10.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I have never seen a 220 RV built on this side of the pond.
I believe that even on the other side of the pond it's nominally 240 volts, not 220. Here, 240 volt is common, but only for larger RVs; the common high-power service is 50 amps at 240 volts, via a NEMA 14-50 connector just like those typically used for electric home kitchen ranges.


If it does not actually look like a kitchen stove plug, but instead like the TT-30 mentioned and illustrated above, that would be the 30 amp 120 volt service which is much more common in our size of RV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
If in doubt, don't connect to 220 until you have an electrician look it over first.
I agree that it's a good idea to get it checked; however, if the plug is correct for the intended voltage it will not fit into any inappropriate receptacle.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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In the US Receptacles and cord caps are designed and built to conform to NEMA standards Each device based on voltage , amperage ,grounding , 1 phase or 3 phase, and if it has a neutral will have a different physical layout .There are some old NEMA standard devices around but not many . A 120 volt cord cap will not fit in a 240 V or a 277 V or a 380 V or a 480 V or a 600 V receptacle nor will a 20 amp cord fit in a 15 A or a 30 A or a 50 or a 100 A ETC receptacle ! The problem I see in most trailers is not enough and poorly balanced branch circuits . My Scamp had the refrigerator ,microwave , kitchen receptacle and the outside GFCI on 1 circuit and the receptacle on the face of the side dinette on the other circuit ,not exactly balancing the load as called for in the code . We could not run the coffee pot and another appliance at the same time . This is not unique to Scamp my buddy bought a new 34 ft 5th wheeler
same problem the refrigerator , kitchen counter receptacles and outside GFCI are all on the same circuit . I would run a sufficient number of branch circuits to be able to properly split the load . I would not go with a 50 amp 120/240 volt service , you do not require that much power and in a lot of campgrounds 50 amp 120/240 volt is not available .
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #8
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I restored an old tin can trailer that came with wiring up to the ceiling vent. I bought a small ceiling A/C unit that fit right into the vent hole, but first had to put a new load center in. I didn't have to fool with the converter at all, but did want more than one circuit in the trailer. It was last year, so I don't remember all the specifics, but I have pics in the computer at home of the products I used and what I did if that would help.

I would almost bet your outside light problems are either bad bulbs and/or poor or non-existent grounds. When I renovated my first trailer I also had to "fix" the exterior driving lights. All that stuff runs between the outer and inner walls. I did it in the least painful way possible, running all new wire, including a ground to each and every light. Especially in a 'glass trailer, you want grounds to every light if you can.

Good luck!

Frank
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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Other side of the pond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I believe that even on the other side of the pond it's nominally 240 volts, not 220. Here, 240 volt is common, but only for larger RVs; the common high-power service is 50 amps at 240 volts, via a NEMA 14-50 connector just like those typically used for electric home kitchen ranges.


If it does not actually look like a kitchen stove plug, but instead like the TT-30 mentioned and illustrated above, that would be the 30 amp 120 volt service which is much more common in our size of RV.


I agree that it's a good idea to get it checked; however, if the plug is correct for the intended voltage it will not fit into any inappropriate receptacle.
Europe runs at 50 Hz The US run at 60 Hz Europe is 220/380 volts, US is 120 /240 volt or 120/208 volt or 277/480 volt . The US runs a grounded system !. Homes are a 120/240 volt single phase system The 50 amp RV service in the US is a 120/240 volt single phase system. A range receptacle in the US is 50 amp 120/240 volt or 120/208 volt with an equipment ground (single phase) Our small trailers use a 120 VAC single phase system that's why you do not see 14-3 or 12-3 NM (Romex) used for branch circuit wiring in the trailer only 12-2 or 14-2 NM cable
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Is this what you are looking at? If so, it's not 220.
You can get an adapter that allows you to plug into a standard 120 for less than $10.
Yes - that is it. Thank you.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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Okay, so the existing cord ends in a TT-30 plug, so presumably the cable has 30 amp capacity. Everything is 120 volt, with a single circuit supplying the trailer. The distribution panel will have 15 amp (or lower) breakers for each circuit to outlets and built-in 120 V AC stuff.

The adapter has nothing to do with voltage; it just allows you to use the big 30-amp plug with common 15-amp outlets... but then of course you need to be careful to avoid using more than 15 amps.

I would not downgrade this to only 15 amp capacity, although some owners have done so. I don't know why any of the 120 V AC system would need to be chsnged, unless it is malfunctioning.
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