1987 BigFoot Transformer - Fiberglass RV
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:34 AM   #1
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Name: Jamis
Trailer: BigFoot
Canada
Posts: 1
1987 BigFoot Transformer

Hi all,

I am new to this forum, nice to be a part of the community.

I am in the process of renovating a 1987 Bigfoot trailer. I have re-done mostly everything on the interior but a yet to touch the electrical system.

I am wanting to replace the current transformer to go along with a new solar system. I believe the purpose of the current transformer is to knock 120v from the trailers 120v plug in, down to 12v for use through out the trailer. There is also a single 120v outlet on this transformer that works when the trailer is not plugged in to external power; therefore the transformer must also work as an inverter to bump 12v from the trailers battery storage up to 120v. It seems that the trailer battery on the 12v system does not charge when the tailer is hooked up to external 12v power.

Sorry if that is convoluted.

Essentially what I am trying to achieve is as follows:
-Replace 1987 transformer with modern transformer
-New transformer should knock 120v down to 12v for use through trailer
-Must be able to wire in trailer's current 12v system
-New transformer should invert 12v from trailer battery to 120v
-BONUS new transformer will charge trailers 12v battery then the trailer is plugged into external power.


If anyone has replaced a transformer and cares to share their knowledge gained from the experience or can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful.

Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:25 AM   #2
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Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 975
For a newcomer you did very well with the technical lingo!
generally, the "Converter" is what changes the 120v AC to 12v DC and charges the battery when plugged in. it may or may not be combined with a fuse and breaker section to distribute 12 and 120v power throughout the trailer.

if you had a picture of what is in your trailer now, that would help.

Inverters are a touchy subject for many, as they will suck an RV battery dead in a very short time if used indiscriminately, and now a days, most devices can be charged/ operated from a 12v DC source.
If you search for "converter" or "new converter" etc. on this site you will find many threads about replacing them, a decision you need to make before you go ahead though, is "what do I want to have working when i finish, and what will I need for power, either 120v or 12v.

Joe
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:30 PM   #3
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
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Jamis
the power controler in our trailers is an inverter. It takes a 120 volt ac input, reduces it to 12 volts dc. It will not convert 12 volt dc to 120 volt ac We have 120 volt outlets in our trailer. they work only when the inverter inlet wire is hooked to an outside 120 volt ac source. the trailer inverter cannot convert 12 volt dc to 120 volt ac I have a 120 volt converter that I can use with the alternator in my Toyota 4runner it delivers 120 volts.
My inverter has a 120 volt ac line going in, to be a working source of power. I have a 120 volt ac line that comes out of the inverter, it splits into 2 wall outlets; these outlets are hot only if there is 120 volt ac coming into the inverter.
As Joe has said my factory installed inverter fried my battery and some led bulbs.
My old inverter was not wired ( engineered ) to charge the battery, it required an outside source. the 7 pin connection from the toe, or a battery charger or trickle charge from a 120 volt ac outlet.
My new P.D. inverter charges the battery from a 120 volt ac source. It cannot produce 120 volt ac.
Later Kenny
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:02 PM   #4
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,379
A power inverter, or inverter, is a power electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).[1]
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:42 PM   #5
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Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Orange View Post
Essentially what I am trying to achieve is as follows:
-Replace 1987 transformer with modern transformer
-New transformer should knock 120v down to 12v for use through trailer
-Must be able to wire in trailer's current 12v system
-New transformer should invert 12v from trailer battery to 120v
-BONUS new transformer will charge trailers 12v battery then the trailer is plugged into external power.
As noted by others, the "transformer" is known in RV lingo as a CONVERTER and takes 120v AC from either shore power or a generator and makes 12v DC for lights, fridge and water heater control, furnace, etc.

So forget the taking 12v and making 120v, also as noted, that is an INVERTER, and it sucks a battery very quickly. You won't find one in a small RV unless it has a huge battery bank, lithium batteries, solar, etc.

Is your existing converter a stand alone box or is it built into the power panel that has fuses for the 12v? You may be better off installing a new, modern power distribution panel and converter.

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD5000-...l#.X6ttO9VKiJA

Best Converter is in the business and good to deal with, but you need to have some idea what you need for them to help you. Post pics here if possible.

BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

Charles
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:47 PM   #6
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
Posts: 415
Thanks Glen fo inverter convertor correction
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