Need help picking breaker box - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2016, 08:10 PM   #1
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Name: Steve Robison
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Need help picking breaker box

I have a Scamp 13 that I am converting to run on 30 amps, currently it's only wired for 15.

I was thinking a 4-breaker panel would be the best way to go? Do you think this one would do fine http://m.homedepot.com/p/GE-PowerMar...2CP/202046209?

I was first thinking about going with a square d 2 breaker panel but I figured that a 4 breaker panel with 15 amp breakers would give me more versatility since I would be able to keep the fridge, battery charger and heater/AC on their own circuits.

Any ideas or recommendations are appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:45 PM   #2
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You should also install a main breaker in addition to the branch circuit breakers. Based on my experience as an electrician , I would go with a Square D panel (QO or Homeline) over a GE but both will work safely.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
You should also install a main breaker in addition to the branch circuit breakers. Based on my experience as an electrician , I would go with a Square D panel (QO or Homeline) over a GE but both will work safely.
I've been trying to find a square d 4 space panel with main breaker but the only one I could find was at Lowe's for over $100. It seems that there aren't many panels with main breakers that are very small and would fit under the scamp's sink area.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:22 AM   #4
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Maybe its to early in the morning for me but I dont understand if you want to redo the 120 VAC side, the 12 VDC side, or both.

But how about this. It is what Scamp put in my trailer and takes at least four AC breakers (including the 30 amp main). I also added a few circuits on the 12 volt side with the spare fuse slots. (Photo taken during the mod)
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bluetang99 View Post
I've been trying to find a square d 4 space panel with main breaker but the only one I could find was at Lowe's for over $100. It seems that there aren't many panels with main breakers that are very small and would fit under the scamp's sink area.
You want a MLO panel not a MB panel . Buy / install a 30 amp SP breaker as a main breaker and back feed the breaker. You can buy a 100 amp ,20 /24 circuit ,main breaker panel with cover for well under $100.
You are correct , there are few small panels / load centers with mains because there is almost zero demand. That's why you can buy residential breakers for under $5 and breakers for industrial applications are North of $50. DEMAND
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
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Maybe its to early in the morning for me but I dont understand if you want to redo the 120 VAC side, the 12 VDC side, or both.

But how about this. It is what Scamp put in my trailer and takes at least four AC breakers (including the 30 amp main). I also added a few circuits on the 12 volt side with the spare fuse slots. (Photo taken during the mod)
I'm redoing both 120 and 12. I really like that one you mentioned, I didn't remember it being only $60 so that would eliminate the need for a 12 volt fuse box which is at least $30 also. That's a good price and I might just go with that.

Where do you have it mounted and it also charges the 12 volt battery correct?
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:15 AM   #7
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Steve is correct about a main breaker being desirable, but then most (all?) of our little trailers never had one, and never will.. That said, if you cannot find a small panel box that does everything just mount two. One for the main and then a sub-panel for the breakers.

Now that I have said it I kind of like the idea. My old Scamp has the power inlet on the curb side and I have been considering moving it to the street side (where it should have been all along, what where they thinking?). As part of that I could easily incorporate a small main panel box as I will need a junction box anyway.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #8
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Steve is correct about a main breaker being desirable, but then most (all?) of our little trailers never had one, and never will.. That said, if you cannot find a small panel box that does everything just mount two. One for the main and then a sub-panel for the breakers.

Now that I have said it I kind of like the idea. My old Scamp has the power inlet on the curb side and I have been considering moving it to the street side (where it should have been all along, what where they thinking?). As part of that I could easily incorporate a small main panel box as I will need a junction box anyway.
My first idea was to mount a small panel reusing the same holes from the old panel then have a smart charger on one circuit. I would then hook up the smart charger to a blue sea fuse box and run wires from the box back to my battery for charging only when hooked up to park power.

But if the Scamp fuse panel is $60 and does that as well I will go that route instead. I'm just really having to watch the budget because I'm restoring everything in this trailer and don't want to spend a fortune.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:49 AM   #9
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Even though our camper is 30 Amps, I have always ran it off a 15 Amp supply using a 12 Gauge extension cord. What I have found out is I can run the Air Conditioner or the Microwave but not both at the same time. This does not present a problem for us until I want to Pop Popcorn then I turn off the Air, Pop and turn the Air back on.

Should you retrofit to 30 Amps, just do it with a good converter that has the capability and it will do both your AC and DC at the same time with the AC Breakers and DC fuses.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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If you have 4X15 amp circuits you have the potential to draw 60 amps which would overload your supply line if you do not have a 30 amp main breaker to protect your supply line if it is rated for 30 amps.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:24 PM   #11
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If you have 4X15 amp circuits you have the potential to draw 60 amps which would overload your supply line if you do not have a 30 amp main breaker to protect your supply line if it is rated for 30 amps.
Ok good to know. I've never been camping with a camper so I just figured they'd have a breaker at the park power box that I'd just trip. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:52 PM   #12
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I always connect to the campground 15 Amp circuit that has a 15 Amp breaker. If I overload the line, the breaker at the camp ground will trip.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:01 PM   #13
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I'm also in the process of considering wiring my 1974 Boler with 30amp 120volt. I was considering installing a breaker in the trailer. Is it required just for added precaution ? I'm not sure. I'm not an electrician but sure would appreciate some guidance in doing a 30 amp install! And I am wiring for 12 volt battery and solar.


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Old 04-20-2016, 02:54 PM   #14
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The issue with using the campground's circuit breaker to protect the trailer's service entrance cord is that in many cases the pedestal breaker may not trip when needed . Breakers are an electrical - mechanical Device and when subject to moisture as in a pedestal , the mechanical portion rusts and binds changing the trip point of the breaker. I have replaced pedestal breakers where they were so badly rusted they could not be shut off or trip .
The cost of a 30 amp SP breaker is so low that eliminating a main breaker in your trailer is foolish IMHO. The cost to do the job right the first time is far cheaper than having to do it twice / over.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:59 PM   #15
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Steve is correct about a main breaker being desirable, but then most (all?) of our little trailers never had one, and never will..
My scamp 2014 has 30A main circuit breaker. Factory default.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:28 PM   #16
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I have a converter box with AC circuit breakers and DC Fuses. A Main circuit breaker and service circuit breakers at 15 Amps each. I do use the 15 Amp campground breaker at the supply pedestal and have always found the switch to work. As far as triping the breaker it has only happened when I ran the Air Conditioner and Microwave at the same time. That happened once so I learned from that event to never do it again to prevent overloading the extension cord that runs from the outside of the camper to the 15 Amp receptacle at the pedestal. our Camper is properly protected as all wiring inside the camper meets the 30 Amp requirement.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:37 PM   #17
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I'm redoing both 120 and 12. I really like that one you mentioned, I didn't remember it being only $60 so that would eliminate the need for a 12 volt fuse box which is at least $30 also. That's a good price and I might just go with that.

Where do you have it mounted and it also charges the 12 volt battery correct?
That's only the 30 amp fuse panel for the Progressive Converter.
You need the whole converter and yes they also charge the batery and some have more advanced smart chargers.
Here's another prand without the enclosure and door.
Amazon.com: Parallax Power Supply 6730 30 Amp Electronic Converter/Charger: Automotive
Here's a complete unit.
Parallax 6730D 30 Amp AC and DC All in One Converter w Circuit Breaker and Door | eBay
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:41 PM   #18
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That's only the 30 amp fuse panel for the Progressive Converter.
You need the whole converter and yes they also charge the batery and some have more advanced smart chargers.
Here's another prand without the enclosure and door.
Amazon.com: Parallax Power Supply 6730 30 Amp Electronic Converter/Charger: Automotive
Here's a complete unit.
Parallax 6730D 30 Amp AC and DC All in One Converter w Circuit Breaker and Door | eBay
Ok gotcha. That does bump the price up significantly. I don't think I really have a use for a convertor, I might just hook up a battery charger and wire it into the 12 volt circuit.

I think it will be there least expensive option and when I plug in to park power the battery charger will supply my 12 volt needs. There only thing I will be running on 12 volt is approximately 5 led lights. Hopefully a few years down the road a 12 volt fridge when prices come down.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:43 AM   #19
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...

I think it will be there least expensive option and when I plug in to park power the battery charger will supply my 12 volt needs. There only thing I will be running on 12 volt is approximately 5 led lights. Hopefully a few years down the road a 12 volt fridge when prices come down.
Seems to me that you are referring to a battery charger being used pretty much just like a converter, so its almost just a matter of semantics.

It is correct that the photo I shared is only the breaker box / fuse panel (AKA Power Distribution Panel). See this link. It marries with the Progressive Converter. The converter plugs into a standard 120 VAC outlet in the distribution panel and the converter output is wired to the battery and internal Scamp wiring so that you can run your 12 VDC stuff off the converter (when on shore power) OR the battery.

I have Scamp 16 Layout 4 with larger fridge and the panel is mounted under the cabinet where the smaller fridge would normally be. I can't say for sure the location is the same for most Scamps but I suspect it is. The converter is mounted only a foot or so away, in the space under the port side dinette seat. The shore power connection is also here (yes, having it on the starboard side like you do must be a pain!)

One thing I like about this arrangement is that there is a separate AC breaker for the Converter. In the two months or so since I installed Solar and have been experimenting with it, I don't think I have turned this breaker on at all. (I can get 120 VAC in the trailer when on shore power with the converter still turned off via breaker).

Let me know if you want further info or pics on how Scamp did my rig.

With shipping cost added, you might be able to get this stuff cheaper somewhere other than Scamp.. its worth comparing prices.

This Scamp wiring diagram does not clearly show how the current separate converter and panel are wired, but perhaps the rest of it would be of some help.

In this photo the converter is the silver box on the right, next to a PD Energy Management System box.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:33 AM   #20
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...and would fit under the scamp's sink area...
I may be a bit of a Nervous Nelly but this doesn't seem, to me, to be a good location to mount an electrical panel.
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