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Old 10-15-2016, 04:40 PM   #1
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Help with Fuses and circuits

I am installing a new power centre in our 1976 Trillium 1300 and i don't know what size (amp) of 12V fuses to use. I have 6 DC circuits to work with, but with a little trailer I doubt I will use most of them. I have upgraded all the interior lights with LED bulbs for a total of 6 interior lights. I was thinking of keeping all these on one fuse but unsure what amp fuse to use. I will also run a double USB charger outlet for charging our iPhones, iPad etc. on a separate circuit. Then likely a 12V Radio/CD Player on a third. I have a pack of 20Amp fuses but want to make sure I use the right ones for each circuit. Any recommendations appreciated!
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:06 PM   #2
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The size of the fuse is determined by the size ( guage) of the wire
( conductor ampacity) The size of the wire ( conductor) is determined by the load ( amperage ). I would not put all your lights on the same circuit , if you blow the fuse you will be totally in the dark. Split up the lights on 2 different circuits.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The size of the fuse is determined by the size ( guage) of the wire
( conductor ampacity) The size of the wire ( conductor) is determined by the load ( amperage ). I would not put all your lights on the same circuit , if you blow the fuse you will be totally in the dark. Split up the lights on 2 different circuits.
OK, so the lighting wire is all 14 gauge. I can easily split into 2 circuits. What amp fuses would be good for these?
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LionelAucoin View Post
OK, so the lighting wire is all 14 gauge. I can easily split into 2 circuits. What amp fuses would be good for these?
A good set of tables for determining wire size, fusing, etc is at West Marine.

Using their tables, AWG #14 can be fused up to 35 amps, although as a long time 120V electrician, I'd prefer to only fuse # 14 wire at 15 amps...

15 amp circuits will be fine for everything except for providing power for a refrigerator that runs on 12V.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:41 PM   #5
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...Just follow your towing vehicle fuse panel with assumption all wire gauges corrected. Open your tow vehicle fuse panel, reading the ratings and here you go, Buddy. Just a thought.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:45 PM   #6
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Supplemental: For battery fuse, usually rated at 30Amp DC, flood lights/head lights... 20A, and the rest..MOST are 15 amps..If using LED light I think 10A is more than enough
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LionelAucoin View Post
OK, so the lighting wire is all 14 gauge. I can easily split into 2 circuits. What amp fuses would be good for these?
#14 AWG copper wire has a listed ampacity of 15 amps , so the largest fuse allowed is 15 amps . You can fuse the wire at less than 15 amps . We often installed #12 AWG copper wire which is rated for 20 amps but fused the circuit at 15 amps.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
#14 AWG copper wire has a listed ampacity of 15 amps , so the largest fuse allowed is 15 amps . You can fuse the wire at less than 15 amps . We often installed #12 AWG copper wire which is rated for 20 amps but fused the circuit at 15 amps.
Perfect, thanks all. Will pick up some 15 amp fuses.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LionelAucoin View Post
I am installing a new power centre in our 1976 Trillium 1300
I'm considering replacing mine. What did you choose and why?
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:04 PM   #10
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I'm considering replacing mine. What did you choose and why?
This is what I purchased:

https://www.amazon.ca/WFCO-WF8735PB-.../dp/B004LF14Q4

I can't say I did an amazing amount of research or anything, but it had what I needed (and more) and would fit in the space that I had. :-)
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:20 PM   #11
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Just a note . Automobile / vehicle wiring is not covered in the NEC.
RV wiring is covered by the NEC. One of the primary reasons is that an RV is designed to be a dwelling place with cooking facilities and sleeping quarters where a vehicle is not . Choosing the size of fuses / overcurrent devices based on auto industry practices will often put you in violation of the NEC. I know in my truck there is #12 AWG fused at 40 amps , where the NEC limits the fuse size to 20 amps.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LionelAucoin View Post
it had what I needed (and more) and would fit in the space that I had. :-)
Thanks. I think everything I've looked at has more than I need. Maybe getting what fits in the space is the answer.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:40 AM   #13
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When I installed the wiring in my Scamp I used 2 and 4 conductor cables of the proper size and ran both power and ground to each device so that the wires stayed neater.
Also they are a little better protected.
Labeling is a good idea as well since although I remember absolutely every thing I do ...........well you get the idea.
I bought wire with white insulation and you can write on it if you want to.
What I bought was sold as speaker wire and is available on Amazon in 14 and 16 gauge. I used 16 and fused accordingly since my trailer is all LED.
The wiring to the Refrigerator was of course heavier as was the Romex run to the outlets which I installed everywhere and now wish I had installed more!
I installed barrier terminal strips behind the converter and brought all of the circuits there along with a grounding buss mounted next to that. I also brought all of the seven wires from the trailer 7 pin plug to a strip here so that troubleshooting the electrical could be done from a central spot. That includes the brake wiring from the plug and to each brake, tail and running lights, turn signals and reversing lights.
The main trailer power from the plug is fused and tied into the battery via the first 30 amp circuit (fused in the converter) in the system.
The power from the trailer is protected with a 30 amp circuit breaker and has a cutoff relay to kill power when the engine is not running.
If you check my thread on rebuilding the Scamp I also added power meters for both AC and DC so I would know what is happening electrically.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:42 PM   #14
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Which wire gauge and what fuses? The wire size ALWAYS determines the maximum fuse that can be used. Your battery feed will probably 30 amp and #10 wire. The circuits will be of wire sizes #14 and #12, maximum fuses will be 15A and 20 A. Suppose you run a #14 wire to your stereo or your pressure water pump. The information with the stereo or pump will recommend the fuse size, probably 6 - 10 A which is below the 15A maximum for the #14 wire. Label things well and have spare fuses.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:45 PM   #15
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Another thought, most all wire you will find is stranded which stands up to vibration better and is more flexible. Romex house wire is solid.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:22 AM   #16
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Please let me know how this converter works for you! I have been debating buying the exact same one. My old one suffered after a power surge and I am still debating if I buy this or put in a breaker panel, battery charger and fuse panel instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionelAucoin View Post
This is what I purchased:

https://www.amazon.ca/WFCO-WF8735PB-.../dp/B004LF14Q4

I can't say I did an amazing amount of research or anything, but it had what I needed (and more) and would fit in the space that I had. :-)
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TimR View Post
Please let me know how this converter works for you! I have been debating buying the exact same one. My old one suffered after a power surge and I am still debating if I buy this or put in a breaker panel, battery charger and fuse panel instead.
Will do! I am hoping to finish up with the wiring/install this weekend but unfortunately with the cold weather coming in it will be next spring before we get to take it out.

And will be posting pictures as I go on our blog: ourtrillium.wordpress.com
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:00 PM   #18
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Very cool. I found the converter kind of strange though that going from black to brown costs more than double??!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionelAucoin View Post
Will do! I am hoping to finish up with the wiring/install this weekend but unfortunately with the cold weather coming in it will be next spring before we get to take it out.

And will be posting pictures as I go on our blog: ourtrillium.wordpress.com
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:29 PM   #19
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if you already have a converter with ac and dc circuits whether fuses and or breakers, it is not usually too big a chore to pull out the dc section of the old converter, and wire in a new PD9130 or something similar, that is what I did, when I pulled the old converter out the dc section was just bolted on the back of the panel. I pulled it off, made a couple of brackets and mounted the new converter on the old panel. Ran a couple new wires into the panel, re did the wires for the battery, and bob's your uncle back in busines with a minimum of wiring
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:58 PM   #20
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I just bought a new Progressive Dynamics PD4135 for my trailer.
I haven't installed it yet due to lack of time (and now it's getting colder...)

My plan was to initially go with a deck-mount converter like the PD9130, and use the existing circuit breakers and fuses (or install a new DC fuse panel and new push-button AC breakers).
Then I realized that going with a all-in-one converter like the PD4135 wasn't more expansive, was simpler to wire and install, and offered the option to upgrade the trailer from 15A to 30A AC service, which I'm planning to do (not that I will be using 30A regularly, but I'll have the option).

The main thing on upgrading to 30A is simply getting a 30A main breaker instead of 15A, and replace the power cord to a 30A-rated, 10AWG RV cord. I found a 30A RV extension cord at Costco for $42 (real cheap) that I will be using for this.

My new converter has 6 DC and 5 AC branches. I'm adding both AC and DC voltmeters/amp meters, USB charging ports, new LED lights, new battery, and various switches to control all of this.
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