Considering ditching the power converter - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:21 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
British Columbia
Posts: 12
Considering ditching the power converter

Hi all


I'm considering ditching the RV power converter in my 1978 boler. The catalyst for this is I have to pull it out anyways to fit my new Suburban NT16seq furnace. (I'm super stoked. Never had heat before)I could move it and do all the work on the cabinets etc to make it work but I'm wondering why I should bother.





Its still on the original unit from 1978 mounted with a faceplate on the cabinet front. It doesn't seem to charge the batteries when I'm on shore power but it does run the 12 volts stuff. All my LED lights flicker when on shore power. Other than that I have a single 120 volt outlet and my 3 way fridge plugs into 120 as well. I do my charging via solar panel and charge controller. I haven't charged my batteries other than solar for years. 90% of my camping is boondock.



Here is what I'm thinking. Someone please let me know if I'm being stupid here or missing something.


Remove power converter and run 12 volt purely from battery and solar.


Wire 120 volt shore power outlet to a single 15 amp breaker then 1 plug for the fridge and 1 plug for my wife's hair iron or whatever.


Assuming that all works I could add a new converter with a proper charge controller later if I needed it.




Cheers!
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:43 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Yep that's pretty much what I have in my boler. No converter just a 110v 15 amp circuit and then solar for my 12V. I also have a NOCO smart charger as an addition that I also use to top up the 12v when I have a 110 hookup. Works well for me. YMMV
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:46 PM   #3
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
British Columbia
Posts: 12
Cool ya good idea on the charger.


What did you do for the 15 amp breaker setup?




EDIT: Found something that should work. For anyone else thinking of going this route keep in mind if you are planning to ever use RV park power with a plug adapter. Most are 30 amps minimum. You do not want this in your unit without a 15 amp breaker between that and your appliances and people!





15 amp push button circuit breaker.



https://www.amazon.ca/a15060800ux012...0064508&sr=8-1
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:53 PM   #4
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Here's what I ended up doing with my reno Dave. Standard breaker box. One outlet next to the breaker and another on the cabinet. If I ever upgrade to 30 amp I can just rewire it with 2 15 amp circuits. But don't think I'll ever need 30 amps It's worked out fine for the last couple of years so
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:41 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
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We have no converter in our Campster. I think there never was one. We have a single breaker like above with a couple of outlets. We also have solar to charge the battery, which only runs a few lights and a small fan, charges phones, and powers the ham radio. When the camper is stored in the carport, I use a battery maintainer to keep the battery charged .
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:28 PM   #6
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 123
kip22..
If you do 90% boondocking and assuming that your new furnace has a fan in it, you must live/camp somewhere that it never rains or gets cloudy or you only stay only one night in the same place..

I too am a boondocker and without a generator in my arsenal to top up my battery when the weather does not cooperate, my adventures would be frequently cut short.. The converter takes the 110volt power and changes it to 12volt that is then stored in the battery for use by my lights etc.. Converters aren’t expensive, are easy to install and maintain the value of your trailer.. Just saying..
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Old 01-08-2021, 02:07 PM   #7
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
Posts: 400
Kip modern converter /inverters charge the battery when plugged into shore power. My new inverter works well. Why not move what you have to another compartment. Buy a new unit. I have a dozen outlets coming out of my new inverter I have added cigarette lighter and USB port outlets

Later Kenny
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:33 PM   #8
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Name: Darwin
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Me, I would install a quad receptacle that way should you add a converter at a later date, Just plug it in.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:35 PM   #9
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Personally, I am a fan of the PD4135. By the time you get the parts to do the basic stuff above, for about $100 more you will have a power center, with proper breakers for 120V, and a converter and smart battery charger. Then you will be set, not just for now, but later too. You really aren't talking much more for a lot more functionality. Put a battery up front, and use a suitcase solar panel, and you are ready.

These molded FG trailers can last almost forever. I'd do it once.
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:45 AM   #10
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
British Columbia
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris from Comox View Post
kip22..
If you do 90% boondocking and assuming that your new furnace has a fan in it, you must live/camp somewhere that it never rains or gets cloudy or you only stay only one night in the same place..

I too am a boondocker and without a generator in my arsenal to top up my battery when the weather does not cooperate, my adventures would be frequently cut short.. The converter takes the 110volt power and changes it to 12volt that is then stored in the battery for use by my lights etc.. Converters arenít expensive, are easy to install and maintain the value of your trailer.. Just saying..



Hi Chris


No I'm about an hour south of you so I get plenty of rain and cloud. When boondocking the only power I've needed is for my LED lights. I've so far gotten away with a solar panel two 12 volt 8amp hour batteries and a solar panel and never gone dead. I do have a big deep cycle marine battery I may swap out but I try to keep my weight as low as possible. The new furnace has a draw of 2.7 amps at 12 volts. I won't be running it all day. Just before bed and in the morning. I've been camping year round here with no heat but a campfire for a very long time. I suspect I may get softer as heat is becoming an option but we'll see.


I'm going to go the same route as Bob and buy a small battery charger/maintainer. I can pick up a 6 amp hour charger up for about 70 bucks. That would run everything in my boler simultaneously with a couple amps to spare and a quarter the cost of a converter.


Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:11 PM   #11
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Amerigo
Wisconsin
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I second what Thrifty Bill did. I did the same and added a manual switch where I can flip whether I am on shore, generator and future inverter power as the source for 120vac.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:19 PM   #12
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Hey Dave we must pretty much be neighbors. I'm in Qualicum. If you ever want to see what I've got going on with my boler just DM me and we can set something up.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:23 PM   #13
NOD
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 1977 Scamp 13'
California
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Not sure how big your converter was in your Boler, but if it's like the monster I had in my '77 Scamp, it took up a ton of space. I replaced mine with an Intellipower converter, which is half the size of a small shoebox. This saved me a ton of space, and I was able to tuck it into a corner that was basically dead space anyway. Converters are fairly cheap (around $125 to $150), and having the ability to convert 110VAC to 12VDC is a big deal, at least to me.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:37 PM   #14
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 336
I ended up replacing the converter on my 16 foot scamp with a new unit. I was doing things that needed more current from it that it would provide. My point is that I replaced the 15 amp unit with a 60 amp unit. AND the new unit has a battery maintainer as a part of the unit. Even with all of that it was about half the size of the old unit. Technology advances :-)

You might think about doing something like that. There are so much smaller and better units than was available in 1978. Heck mine was a 1993 and still it was a big improvement. I bet my 15 amp unit was a big improvement over what was available in 1978. Depending on what your skill level is, you might want to see what you could get as a replacement.

ONe hint and warning. While the size went down, because I also upsized the heat released went up and I had to add some venting.
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Old Yesterday, 12:30 AM   #15
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Name: Carl
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 31
I have a 77 boler with original power converter as well. Not sure what to do with it either yet. Currently I don't use it. Instead I just use a good 'power bar' plugged into an outdoor extension cord to camp power. This powers electric heater and mini fridge. I don't have a house battery. No interior lights work yet. Where I live most campsites are powered now. Boon docking options are limited but I am interested in it if I can find somewhere to do it. Getting tired of crowded noisy campsites.
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Old Yesterday, 04:06 PM   #16
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kip22 View Post
Hi all


I'm considering ditching the RV power converter in my 1978 boler. The catalyst for this is I have to pull it out anyways to fit my new Suburban NT16seq furnace. (I'm super stoked. Never had heat before)I could move it and do all the work on the cabinets etc to make it work but I'm wondering why I should bother.





Its still on the original unit from 1978 mounted with a faceplate on the cabinet front. It doesn't seem to charge the batteries when I'm on shore power but it does run the 12 volts stuff. All my LED lights flicker when on shore power. Other than that I have a single 120 volt outlet and my 3 way fridge plugs into 120 as well. I do my charging via solar panel and charge controller. I haven't charged my batteries other than solar for years. 90% of my camping is boondock.



Here is what I'm thinking. Someone please let me know if I'm being stupid here or missing something.


Remove power converter and run 12 volt purely from battery and solar.


Wire 120 volt shore power outlet to a single 15 amp breaker then 1 plug for the fridge and 1 plug for my wife's hair iron or whatever.


Assuming that all works I could add a new converter with a proper charge controller later if I needed it.




Cheers!
From my point of view a "converter" is a waist of space and money. Mine is still in-place, but turned off. Haven't had it on for about 5 years. We camp for close to 100 days every year. Solar charges our house battery about every 3 or 4-5 days depending on furnance use. All interior lights are LED or CCFL.
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