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Old 07-17-2019, 07:00 AM   #21
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Carl- thanks, I got busy and couldn't get back to this.
One thing people need to remember, the rating on any power supply, power centre, hydro panel etc. is always the maximum, it can always be fused at a lower current ( smaller breaker), then no cord change is required.

"But that gives me too many breaker spaces, and they add up to more than 15 amps"

yes you're right, but do the same calculation in your house, it will work out the same.
A main breaker is set to limit the current Output to the wire supplying it, doesn't matter how many other breakers are there,each breaker protects its own leg against the maximum current it is rated for, that's the way AC distribution works.

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Old 07-17-2019, 07:36 AM   #22
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Exact! Thanks Joe!

Some more info in the PD4135: there is only space for 3 "full size" breakers. To get up to 6 breakers, small "half size" breakers must be used (not sure how they call them).
One breaker is use as the main (input), backfeeding the other ones. Another must be dedicated to feed the converter section. So depending on the breaker type (full or half size) you are left with 1 to 4 possible branch circuits.
In my own trailer (T5500) I have 5 breakers: a full size 30A main, and 4 'half-size' 15A breakers that power 3 branches plus the converter section.

I didn't really need to upgrade from 15A to 30A service, but since my new PD4135 offered the possibility, I figured why not. I did put a 30A main breaker and upgraded the power cord (simply bought a 30A RV extension cord, it was cheaper than buying 30A cable by the foot plus the 30A plugs. Bonus: I used the cut off female end of the extension cord to make a 30A-15A adapter).

One thing to keep in mind on the DC part of the PD power centers, is that the converter section is able to provide the full amp rating to charge a battery. This means that a PD4135 can feed 35A to the battery, and the wiring between the converter and the battery must be sized accordingly. It will get close to the max rating if the battery is very low, if there is more than one battery, or if an AGM battery is used as they have a lower internal resistance and will accept higher charge rates. Same thing for the PD4045, but this guy can push up to 45 amps to the battery.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:11 AM   #23
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Carl, to my uninformed ears that sounds like a lot of circuits for tiny trailer. Could you describe what's on them?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:21 AM   #24
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One branch goes to an outlet where only the fridge is plugged in.
I have 3 other outlets, one at the counter on branch #2.
Branch #3 feeds an outlet near the table and another one outside the trailer.
Yep, they could all have been on a single 15A breaker, but that's the way the previous owner wired them and I kept it like that when I replaced the converter.
We don't use much power hungry 115V devices, as we mostly camp without hookups. But I can use my portable air conditionner (or install an RV A/C unit on the roof), or if I want to run a 1500W space heater while my wife uses the hair dryer. Or if one day I replace my old water heater with one that has the AC heating element. Stuff like that. In fact, just because I can! :-)
My trailer is a 18ft Trillium 5500.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:36 AM   #25
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I see. I'm in a 13-foot Eco (Boler).

I'm thinking -- and tell me where I'm wrong here -- one circuit dedicated to the AC (for when I install the AC :-) ) one dedicated to the kitchen area handling the mini-fridge and the one outlet on the front (and maybe a second outlet if I add it) and then a third circuit dedicated to the 12v system.

I'm also considering adding an exterior outlet, but am not sure where that would fit in. It _should_ be OK on the kitchen circuit, I'd think, but I wonder about that fridge power draw.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:02 PM   #26
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Your plan sounds good to me. The fridge shouldn't draw much more than a couple amps on AC (mine, a 3.6cf unit, draws 1.4 amps).
The only time I've used the exterior outlet was to plug some tools (ex: drill) when I was working on the trailer itself. Never used it while camping. Outlet was installed by previous owner.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:17 AM   #27
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i also have more circuits than I actually need, but I like the way I have them divided up:
1) main breaker, currently 15 amp
2) water tank heater(I changed my original water tank and added electric heating)
3) interior plugs
4) fridge and exterior plug(I added the exterior plug, and put it on a ground fault breaker)
5) converter section

I re-used the existing power center portion, and replaced the old transformer dc supply with a new PD 9145 converter, and changed the feeds to the battery to the appropriate gauge of wire

Joe
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:03 AM   #28
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I'm using a converter charger from Iota Engineering. I don't see this mentioned, and not sure how I found out about it, but I called them, told them what I planned for my AC>DC re-do and bought what they recommended and am very happy with performance of unit.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:07 AM   #29
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Also, I now shop at marine supply websites for all electric needs...12v & 120v: fuse panels, breakers, outlets, fasteners, etc. Way better than hardware store products made for houses.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:34 AM   #30
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Iota has good converters, and at some point I hesitated between the PD or the Iota, finally went with the PD.
The Iota has a slightly different 'smart charge' algorithm, a bit more aggressive than the PD.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:46 PM   #31
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Thanks for all the great advice so far. Iím now in the middle of installing the 4135. Itís coming along well except I want to get a sanity check on the ground.

I have the shore service wired as indicated in the instruction.

I currently have two wires running to the existing unshielded chassis ground: the white ground coming off the 12v side of the 4135 and the battery ground

So two questions: first, how is the shore power grounding here? Through the bus, through the white wire to the converter and then on out the 12v side, or am I missing something?

And my current understanding is that all the dc connections go to that ground too. Is that right? Sounds messy.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:54 PM   #32
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Carter,

(1) Shore power grounding = 120VAC grounding. This is safety grounding. All AC circuit ground wires (green coating or bare wire) should be secured to the ground bar at the bottom of the left side (AC side) of the PD4135). In addition, the provided green converter ground wire should be attached to this same ground bar per the manual. That's all.

(2) DC negative loads should NOT be attached to the AC ground bus bar. Instead they should all be attached to the BATTERY / CHASSIS GND (-) point. Its best to do this by adding a separate negative bus bar outside the PD4135, and attach all DC negative loads to that bus bar.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:08 PM   #33
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Far right wire in the converter section is for 12V negative.

John's advice is good.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:21 PM   #34
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OK, good, it sounds like I've got this pretty close to right.

I've got:
the main breaker (shore power)
15A dedicated to mini-fridge and A/C
15A for outlet(s)
15a for converter

(the last two are half-size so they'll fit)

For each of those, I've got the related white and green wires going to the appropriate bus

On the back side, far right red is attached to battery pos

far left white AND battery neg are both going to the unshielded chassis ground.

What I'm hearing is that all of that is correct. With the caveats that

1. DC12V items HOT will go to the fused black wires on the back side. Ground will also go to same chassis ground
2. I should get a bus for all these ground wires.

Sound right?
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:24 PM   #35
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Feeling much better about this than that mess on page 1
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:59 AM   #36
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"far left white AND battery neg are both going to the unshielded chassis ground."


No, I believe the chassis ground is going to the green wire block in the 120V section. Double check my opinion.

The white wire off the back side of the converter section is getting the negative from the battery AND the negative from 12V DC circuits. There are a white, black and green wire on the front side of the converter section. Those go to the appropriate locations on the 120V: black to breaker, white to white block, green to green block. That is the 120V power input to the converter.

PD instructions SUCK.

https://tab-rv.vanillacommunity.com/...r-installation
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:14 AM   #37
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The white wire in back, on the far left is ground, connect that to battery negative, together with the negative side of each DC circuit. As suggested in the manual, "Your return side of DC items go to a ground bar outside of the PD4045." Yes the manual is a bit confusing. DC return side = negative = "ground". DC ground is actually DC negative. Its not to be confused with AC ground, which is a safety ground.

The only wires on the converter side of the PD4135 that should be connected to the AC side of the PD4135 are the pre-soldered converter AC power input wires (black, white, green).

EDIT: On some trailers, including mine, a wire is run from the AC ground bus bar to the trailer frame. Again this is a safety ground. Also, on many trailers, a wire is run from DC ground/negative/return (in the battery or converter) to the trailer frame. This is not safety ground, but instead makes it possible to run DC current through the frame.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:09 AM   #38
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Ok, it sounds like I may be confusing things when I reference "chassis ground". What I have is a fairly good size (12, maybe) unshielded wire that appears to be going to the frame by the wheel well.

Currently, I have the battery negative and the white wire from back of the 4135 going to it.

Thrifty bill said:
> No, I believe the chassis ground is going to the green wire block in the 120V section. Double check my opinion.
If that's right, this chassis ground of mine should be disconnected from the battery and white wire and instead tapped into the green block. Is that right?

Currently, the only things going to the green block are the green wires from each of the circuits (main, the 2 120v circuits I added, and the green wire from the converter side). So I have 4 wires in the green block right now.
> The only wires on the converter side of the PD4135 that should be connected to the AC side of the PD4135 are the pre-soldered converter AC power input wires (black, white, green).
That's what I have now, so I think all of that is right.

I think I understand the bus bar wiring.

I think I understand that the white wire on the back, the negative battery wire and any negative DC wires all come together.

So I think my question at this point is this: Where does that chassis ground connect (if at all)
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:51 AM   #39
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"So I think my question at this point is this: Where does that chassis ground connect (if at all)"

If by "chassis ground" you mean BATTERY / CHASSIS GND (-), i.e., the white wire on the back of the PD4135, of course the negative battery terminal and all DC load negatives attach to this wire at the negative bus outside the PD4135 that you supply.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:02 AM   #40
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By chassis ground, I mean

> What I have is a fairly good size (12, maybe) unshielded wire that appears to be going to the frame by the wheel well.

After reviewing some more, I think I've got this.

My chassis ground should tie into the green bus bar.

My white wire, battery neg and any 12v neg should tie together at a separate bus external to the 4135.

I think a lot of my confusion comes from the white wire being labelled BATTERY / CHASSIS GND (-), which made me think it should go the wire grounding at the chassis.
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