1977 13-foot electrical - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2021, 07:10 AM   #1
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1977 13-foot electrical

I’ve be studying my Scamp’s current electrical system in preparation for an overhaul and am going to use this thread to keep up with my progress and ask the many questions that know will come up along the way.

I bought a PD 4135 to serve as my central hub. Hoping that will help simplify the current set up. Plan on installing unit under rear dinette bench on driver side.

Current AC set up and plans:
4 AC outlets installed by PO (will keep)
Florescent kitchen light (will remove)
PO changed shore power line from 30A to 15A (keeping)

Current DC set up and plans:
2 kitchen lights (will replace)
Fused 12V DC outlet running direct to battery (will replace with 4-slot panel that has 12V outlet, 2 USB outlets, a switch, and a voltmeter)
Fused inverter running direct to battery (interesting set up by PO—see photos in comments)
9” vent (will replace w/ 14” MaxxAir fan)
Add battery cut off switch
Add switched circuit for fairy lights and lit sign (don’t laugh)

DC Trailer:
Replacing 43-year-old wires downstream from newer junction box.

Will be soldering and shrink-wrapping all existing and new splices.

Initial question: With the AC connector being 15A, do I need a 30A or 15A main breaker for the PD 4135?

Photos to follow in comments…
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:25 AM   #2
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Current 12V outlet:
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Planned replacement:
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:33 AM   #3
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Outlet on exterior of front bunk is currently set up so that when the orange and yellow plugs are both plugged into the outlet adjacent to the inverter, current passes through and the outlet functions on AC. If the yellow plug is plugged into the inverter, the exterior front bunk outlet runs off of DC. Interesting set up. Are there any issues in doing it this way? Is there a more simplified/better set up?
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Current 9” vent opening s located off-centered over the left side of the kitchen area. I’ll enlarge the opening and install the 14” MaxxAir Fan here. Click image for larger version

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Old 07-30-2021, 07:39 AM   #5
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Removing these. Will now interface with PDFs 4135. No need for outlet under sink.

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Old 07-30-2021, 07:58 AM   #6
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Removing these. Will now interface with PDFs 4135. No need for outlet under sink.

Attachment 142408Attachment 142409


Definitely interested in your installation… as I’m considering the same converter to replace my dead elixar elx-20 ( which I have yet to purchase)…. Some of the comments I’ve read indicate the instructions are a bit vague
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by courtney View Post
..

Initial question: With the AC connector being 15A, do I need a 30A or 15A main breaker for the PD 4135?
..
Short answer: 15.

Longer and more helpful answer: In theory if the shore power cord has a Nema 5-15P plug then it will only be plugged into an outlet rated at 15 amps, which has its own 15 breaker. In that case a breaker in your panel at the maximum rating for the panel would be OK. However you are likely to find, sooner or later, a campground power pedestal with only 30 amp outlet working and then you will use a 30 to 15 adapter to plug your 15 amp cord into the 30 amp outlet. But then you could draw 30 amps through the cord rated to 15 amps. So a 15 amp breaker at the panel will help prevent that bad situation.

The other breakers are sized to protect the individual circuits and will likely be 15 amp, or likely be 20 if you have a roof A/C (which you will not have).

It would be really good to have someone knowledgeable (or even a licensed electrician) see this in person. A second set of eyes and opinions. Its so hard to discuss online and its so easy to miss something important. I also wonder if he makes sense to upgrade the shore power cord to 30 amps to match the panel. That depends in part of how much stuff you plan to use.. microwave? induction cooktop? etc... Also is the wiring to the battery is sufficient to allow maximum charging current.

As for the inverter.. what is on the other end of the two cords with the orange and yellow plugs? Does the outlet have power at all without anything plugged in (shore or inverter)? Its hard to decipher whats going on here but it almost sounds like the yellow plug cord goes to the bench outlet is is basically just a short extension cord. And the orange plug cable might be supplying the power to the outlet (reverse of normal). If that is correct it is BAD because the prongs on the orange plug would be energized and a serious shock hazard.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:31 AM   #8
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30 amp shore power connection

Since the PD4135 is 30 amp 110vac rated as mentioned above, this is an opportunity to wire for 30 amp shore power. Most obvious use for this is running a 1500 watt electric heater on one 15 amp 110vac circuit while running various other appliances on another 15 amp 110vac circuit such as coffee maker, microwave, hair dryer... Many times in our 15 amp shore powered trailers, we popped the main circuit breaker by forgetting to turn off the 1500 watt heater before running other appliances. For this reason, we converted both of our most recent two trailers to 30 amp shore power connection when we replaced the converter.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:34 AM   #9
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... this is an opportunity to wire for 30 amp shore power. ...
and get rid of the mouse hole, if you are still dealing with that abomination
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:35 AM   #10
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15 amp

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Initial question: With the AC connector being 15A, do I need a 30A or 15A main breaker for the PD 4135?Photos to follow in comments…
Wire size decides breaker size. If it is really a 15 amp hook up I'd use a 15 amp breaker. ( or convert back to 30 amp especially if you have air conditioning or plan to ever use an electric space heater.) 120 volts X 15 amps is 1800 watts max.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:56 AM   #11
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Some of the comments I’ve read indicate the instructions are a bit vague

Very vague.

Here are a couple of good links:

https://youtu.be/3ROaM2do-OM

https://tab-rv.vanillacommunity.com/...r-installation
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:05 AM   #12
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… you are likely to find, sooner or later, a campground power pedestal with only 30 amp outlet working and then you will use a 30 to 15 adapter to plug your 15 amp cord into the 30 amp outlet. But then you could draw 30 amps through the cord rated to 15 amps. So a 15 amp breaker at the panel will help prevent that bad situation.


Excellent info. Thank you. Keep the cord, install a 15A main breaker, and get a 30-> 15 adaptor.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:11 AM   #13
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I also wonder if it makes sense to upgrade the shore power cord to 30 amps to match the panel. That depends in part of how much stuff you plan to use.. microwave? induction cooktop? etc... Also is the wiring to the battery is sufficient to allow maximum charging current.

No microwave, A/C, or heater.

Things we’d run: coffee maker, maybe an induction cooktop, maybe a small hair dryer (haven’t used one yet while camping, but who knows…)

Will consider that before deciding 15A vs 30A shore cord and choose breaker accordingly.

What do you mean by “is the wiring to the battery sufficient to allow maximum charging current?” Is this relevant in an AC application?
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Since the PD4135 is 30 amp 110vac rated as mentioned above, this is an opportunity to wire for 30 amp shore power. Most obvious use for this is running a 1500 watt electric heater on one 15 amp 110vac circuit while running various other appliances on another 15 amp 110vac circuit such as coffee maker, microwave, hair dryer... Many times in our 15 amp shore powered trailers, we popped the main circuit breaker by forgetting to turn off the 1500 watt heater before running other appliances. For this reason, we converted both of our most recent two trailers to 30 amp shore power connection when we replaced the converter.


Good point. Any reasons NOT to change back to 30A cord? When we need to plug into 120V outlet, are the 15A -> 30A adaptors good/safe?
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:16 AM   #15
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and get rid of the mouse hole, if you are still dealing with that abomination


What a the mouse hole and what would I replace it with?
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:30 AM   #16
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Good point. Any reasons NOT to change back to 30A cord? When we need to plug into 120V outlet, are the 15A -> 30A adaptors good/safe?
The main reasons not to go with a 30A cord are weight and convenience. I have changed my cord to a Marineco 15A power inlet, (https://www.amazon.ca/Marinco-150BBI.../dp/B000NI38MQ). This eliminates that, “mouse hole”. It also allows the use of any standard single end extension cord, instead of stuffing a muddy cord into the trailer.

You could do something simmilar with your 30A cord. Using a 30A inlet, (https://www.amazon.ca/ParkPower-Mari.../dp/B000NUXTD2) and put a 30A female connection on your existing cord, (https://www.amazon.ca/Power-Locking-.../dp/B077YR1563)

I like the 15A solution because 15A connections are far more common, outside trailer parks. Also, this provides enough power for one 1500W appliance, (electric heater, blow dryer, microwave, what ever) and LED lights.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:55 AM   #17
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Excellent info. Thank you. Keep the cord, install a 15A main breaker, and get a 30-> 15 adaptor.
Not what I would do but it might be fine for you.
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..Things we’d run: coffee maker, maybe an induction cooktop, maybe a small hair dryer ...
My single burner induction stove top on setting 6 (1-8 range) is 11.3 amps and my home Coffee maker is 7.6 amps. Run both at the same time and its over 19 amps.. 15 amp breaker would trip.
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What do you mean by “is the wiring to the battery sufficient to allow maximum charging current?” Is this relevant in an AC application?
I'm talking about the 12 volt charge line from the converter to the battery.. your new one likely will send more power to the battery in the bulk charging stage. What gauge wire is there now?
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What a the mouse hole and what would I replace it with?
see: https://scampowners.com/forums/mouse...ion-fckit52-ps
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Since the PD4135 is 30 amp 110vac rated as mentioned above, this is an opportunity to wire for 30 amp shore power. Most obvious use for this is running a 1500 watt electric heater on one 15 amp 110vac circuit while running various other appliances on another 15 amp 110vac circuit such as coffee maker, microwave, hair dryer... Many times in our 15 amp shore powered trailers, we popped the main circuit breaker by forgetting to turn off the 1500 watt heater before running other appliances. For this reason, we converted both of our most recent two trailers to 30 amp shore power connection when we replaced the converter.


Will definitely reconsider this as an option.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:59 AM   #19
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...I like the 15A solution because 15A connections are far more common, outside trailer parks....
That is why 30 amp camper owners carry a $5 adapter.. they can use 15 OR 30 amp. You are stuck with 15. BTW, I also have a 20 amp adapter as 20 amp outlets are replacing 15 amp outlets and the outlets can be used with 15 or 20 amp plugs. That way if its a 20 amp outlet and circuit, my adapter to the 30 amp shore cord allows an extra five amps over the 15 amp setup.

And I have another adapter that works well if I need to run a long 15 amp extension cord.. then I get to leave the heavy 30 amp shore cord in storage.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:07 AM   #20
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That is why 30 amp camper owners carry a $5 adapter.. they can use 15 OR 30 amp. You are stuck with 15. BTW, I also have a 20 amp adapter as 20 amp outlets are replacing 15 amp outlets and can be used with 15 or 20 amp plugs. That way if its a 20 amp outlet and circuit, myt adapter to the 30 amp shore cord allows an extra five amps over the 15 amp setup.
I considered a 20A Marinco power inlet, (https://www.amazon.ca/Marinco-310-25.../dp/B003VAYK48). However, it would not work with a standard extension cord.

I am OK with the 15A limitation. It meets my needs.
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