Power center or fuse box and charger - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:27 AM   #1
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Name: Jeroen
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North Carolina
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Power center or fuse box and charger

I'm not interested in having any 110V at all in my trailer. I just want 12V to run my pertier element cooler, lights, fan, and USB outlets. WOuld there be any benefit to installing a power center like the WFCO WF8712PB Black 12 Amps Power Center (https://www.amazon.com/WFCO-WF-8725-...RSJR6V16J&th=1) over simply connecting a battery charger to the battery when shore power is available, and wiring all 12V behind a Blue Sea Systems ST Blade ATO/ATC Fuse Blocks
(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...f_rd_i=desktop) directly connected to the battery?
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:01 PM   #2
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Nope, really no benefit to using the WFCO WF8712PB unit if you are only running 12vdc. The WFCO unit is designed to take in 110vac shore power, includes 110vac circuit breaker slots and a 110vac to 12vdc converter, none of which you would be using.

Just install a 12vdc fuse panel such as the Blue Sea Systems unit that you cited.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:19 PM   #3
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I think I have to agree with John, but I feel obligated to mention that having 120 VAC in camper can be a big plus and many people would not have a home (even a temporary one) without it. If I recall correctly, you are doing a complete rebuild. If that is the case, then even if you don't foresee the need for AC and a on-board converter/charger, it might be a good to give some serious thought to the possibility that you might want it in the future, or might sell the camper to someone who would insist on it. It might be a good idea to at least pre-wire it for AC and make the future installation of a converter /power center easier.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:02 PM   #4
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If your buying all of the electrical components and a new state of the art battery charger you are very close to the cost of a new power center so why limit yourself. Charging a battery and charging a battery and pulling additional loads through a battery charger are 2 different things. Some chargers may not like that task.

I like blue Seas stuff but it isn't cheap. My Scamp came with a 120 volt AC system and a 12 volt Dc system. There was no load center or 12 volt conversion or charging. First thing I did was rip it out and put in a progressive Dynamics system just so I didn't have to deal with battery issues. At home I just plug it in and forget about it. It does a much better job maintaining the battery than I am willing to do fiddling with battery chargers.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:07 AM   #5
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I came to the same conclusion about cost. It's pretty much the same cost.

Should I go for a $145 Progressive Dynamics PD4135KV Inteli-Power Converter with Built-in Charge Wizard (https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-D...ssive+dynamics) or will a $105 WFCO WF-8735-P Black 30 Amp Power Center (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004LF14Q4...506704697&sr=1) do the same?
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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There is some benefit if you are running any items that are voltage range sensitive. The converter units do regulate the output.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jeroen View Post
I came to the same conclusion about cost. It's pretty much the same cost.

Should I go for a $145 Progressive Dynamics PD4135KV Inteli-Power Converter with Built-in Charge Wizard (https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-D...ssive+dynamics) or will a $105 WFCO WF-8735-P Black 30 Amp Power Center (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004LF14Q4...506704697&sr=1) do the same?
I don't know about the panels you are checking out I used the PD4045 in my Scamp. When I bought mine I bought it through best converters.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:09 PM   #8
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I'm a fan of the Progressive Dynamics because of the 4th stage. When it senses long term storage it will hit the battery with a higher voltage for 15 minutes every third day or so. That shakes sulfates off the lead plates so they don't get crusty from the constant low voltage float charge in storage.

I use a separate converter (aka charger) - a Progressive Dynamics with the features also provided by the one you link to, and a separate12v circuit breaker panel (serves like the fuse panel you mentioned at first) and a separate 120vac circuit breaker panel. So I'm not familiar with the all-in-one model's other features. I play with arrangements in my campers so these separate pieces allow for flexibility down the road.

If you are going to be using a lot of 12v accessories, or more than one battery, consider a higher amp converter. Another fifty bucks will get you a 60 or 70 amp Progressive Dynamics smart charger. But then you'll still have to add a fuse panel for your 12-volt and a circuit breaker panel for your AC. This all in one unit you linked to has a 30 amp converter but it seems like a very affordable way to handle it all and a simple installation.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jeroen View Post
I came to the same conclusion about cost. It's pretty much the same cost.

Should I go for a $145 Progressive Dynamics PD4135KV Inteli-Power Converter with Built-in Charge Wizard ...
The PD4135 is what I installed in my Trillium last year.
I had an issue with the fan running continuously at low speed even when there wasn't any load on the converter section. Contacted PD, they said this was not normal, and they quickly sent me a replacement converter section, free of charge. Great customer service!
New unit works nicely.

Be aware you will need 120V circuit breakers as they are not included with the converter, and you will need to add a common bus bar for the 12V negatives as there is none in the converter. Otherwise, pretty straightforward to wire.
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:20 AM   #10
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Dude, it sounds like you're halfway to it true 12 volt fuse panel and will need a separate 120 volt panel anyway. Not stalking you but I did see some of your other threads and it seems that you plan on working this 12-volt system for more than just lights and a water pump. If you're going to be running some form of refrigerator off the 12 volt system and powering various devices with your 12-volt outlets and, otherwise enjoying the fruits that electrons have to offer us, my guess is you're going to be running multiple batteries at some point.

By all means start off with whatever you start off with in terms of battery because they can be expensive but have one eye on the future since you're keeping this camper and have an interest in this electric life.

Even if you're plugged into shore power, if you're running refrigeration off of 12 volts, along with all this other stuff, I wonder if it's possible to deplete the battery a bit if your converter isn't up to the task. In any event, if you do end up adding batteries and want to charge a multiple battery bank, you will be much happier with a stronger converter than the 30 amp standard.

Here is a link to the progressive Dynamics 9200 series chargers. I would definitely stay with the charge wizard chargers because that has the battery management system built into it.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/po...er-converters/

As mentioned before I use the 60 amp because that's what I happen to get at the time, although it was overkill for what I originally had. Now it seems you can get a 70 amp for the same price as a 60 amp. I'm really glad I did too because I ended up adding batteries and I've actually carried that converter with me with different campers, swapping in an inexpensive one and standard RV battery when I would sell off the old camper. I also use the remote pendant which is just a button with a wire that connects to the charger that allows you do force it into whichever charging stage you want if you choose to do that it's only 25 bucks and a neat toy.

Have fun. It's a deep Rabbit Hole you just fell into! :-)
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Old 09-30-2017, 07:18 AM   #11
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So these amp ratings; that's the maximum it can pull right? Even the small 12 amp rated WFCO 8712 has a label that says panel input 110V 30A. I have a 15 amp outlet in my garage, so is that 30amp the max that panel will pull if a put a 30 amp main breaker in it? Should I put a 15 amp main breaker in it instead?
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:06 AM   #12
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depends...

if you're going to pack a hair dryer, toaster oven, blender and an electric coffee maker in your trailer...by all means get a converter

if not, you don't really need one...going all 12V is a little more "work" than just buying and installing a power center that comes with a built in converter (and a cooling fan)...

I agree that the cost of both options is about the same....if you're going to the "all 12V" option, you'll want a charger that can double as a power supply (in the specs) of an amperage that is high enough to keep up with your maximum potential load....they are not cheap but are very "smart"...as a bonus, mine is double insulated and doesn't need/have a fan.

I reused the AC panel that was in my original power center... I still have breakers inside my trailer (plugged in, I could run that hair dryer)..... I don't have an opinion or knowledge about just running an extension cord (a good one) to your trailer...

I've been "all 12V" for 3 years now...it works

I'm old enough to remember when a 60A service was the norm for a HOUSE ! (my present house has 100A)....running 60A into a one hundred square foot fiberglass box seems really strange to me....unless it was used as an equipment trailer for a rock band and they used it to plug all that equipment into at outdoor concerts
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jeroen View Post
So these amp ratings; that's the maximum it can pull right? Even the small 12 amp rated WFCO 8712 has a label that says panel input 110V 30A. I have a 15 amp outlet in my garage, so is that 30amp the max that panel will pull if a put a 30 amp main breaker in it? Should I put a 15 amp main breaker in it instead?
The amp ratings of the coverters are referring to their output capabilities on the 12v side.

The input ratings you mention are the maximum the unit can withstand and/or might pull in from the shore power. If your house is a 15 amp outlet on a 15 amp breaker then your house circuit breaker will trip before your unit pulls anything more than 15 amps. Most RV hookups when you are camping offer 30 amp hookup (and sometimes 50). Your unit can make use of that 30 amp supply if it is available. I suppose it might trip the house circuit breaker if it really asks for more than 15 amps from it. At home I plug mine into a 15 amps circuit and I have never tripped it.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:11 AM   #14
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clarity...

in the first line.....by all means get a converter

should have read : by all means get a full on power center with converter
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:16 AM   #15
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thanks Buggee...

ok 60 is output only....still a little confused but ...no surprise I don't understand converters....as I don't have one
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:33 AM   #16
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Yes, you will be making new neural pathways on this quest for sure. Just go slow, read as many sources as you can, and re-read things you saw a few days ago that were confusing and they will make a little more sense each time. Eventually the picture starts coming together. Also, no one source in these threads is gospel cross-check across forums and threads as most of the posters are home schooled, so to speak (especially me).

I learned a lot from the solar crowd. A whole lotta real world experience is available in the prepper crowd too, as they are really into the off grid experience. It's the preppers that were posting about using freezers instead of refrigerators and that's what I have been doing for years. I know that's a different thread of yours but I travel and boondock a freezer controlled by a refrigerator thermostat and powered through an inverter (has to be pure sine wave) from my batteries. Believe me, your beer would be ice cold. That's another can of worms altogether though so for now get to know your batteries, charging systems and distribution systems. Keep having fun!
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:58 AM   #17
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I ended up buying a WFCO WF-8725-PB Black 25 Amp Power Center for $96 dollars on Amazon. That's actually a lot cheaper than a separate charger/converter and a fuse panel.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:37 PM   #18
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Cool. Another step forward in your build!
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:45 PM   #19
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our 13f

I have 110v available but I will never use it for any reason. before leaving I make sure my battery is fully charged if it runs down I put the jumpers to the car battery and charge it up. it also has full time 12v off the car to charge while I drive.

if I run that battery down I will not run the car down the road too much amperage pull on the alternator. we have a few lights no radio really no extra things running. We make do without it!

stevie has a/c but we will never run it either as we mooch most of the time at the Walmarts by the time we park it has cooled off!

the simplier the better

bob
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:06 AM   #20
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If I have a system to charge the battery that I trust and I am at a place where 120vac is available why would I not use it for any reason?

Keeping it simple for simples sake seems a little silly if I would do exactly the same thing at home?
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