Wireing Help Needed! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Jason
Trailer: Companion
Posts: 23
Wireing Help Needed!

Hello Folks,
I've been browsing this website for a while now and fell in love with the idea of owning an Egg. I purchased a 1985 Companion trailer last friday. I'm so excited to start fixing it up. However, the one I bought has zero wiring, zero appliances, and pretty much zero everything else. It was gutted before I bought it haha.

I noticed on the outside of the camper there is a 110 plug to hook up to shore power. That's it... no wiring on the inside.

I decided not to worry about solar for right now because I prefer to park in the shade. My plan is to run the camper from shore power when in a campground so I can run the a/c. I plan to use a honda generator when I'm boondocking to charge the house battery, but won't be trying to run the a/c from the house battery.

I'm going to split my question up into 3 parts. I know just enough about electricty to be dangerous. Here goes!

1. When I wire the 110 plug that I described earlier, can I just wire up several outlets and a switch for interior lights right from the plug? In essence it would be very similar to a power strip when done, but with actual outlets inside the trailer. I would assume If I draw to much current the breaker I'm plugged into outside would trip, right? Can I do it this way??? Any other suggestions?

2. I would like to have a 2nd plug to the outside. This one would be for my generator. So it would go like this, Generator to the smart charger, then battery, then inverter. Here's where my question is... Every inverter I've seen just has 3 prong outlets on them. I haven't found a way to hardwire them. So basically I would like to run more wiring from the same outlets I will use for shore power, to a plug and then plug it into my inverter. Any thoughts???

3. When plugged into shore power I would assume I would need a switch to cut the circuit so I didn't get flow back to the inverter and battery right??? I think my idea would work, with switches, the problem would be remembering to turn them on and off. Is there something that would do this automatically? I'm assuming I wouldn't need to install a breaker because the inverter should have me covered in that area. Any thoughts???

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and try and understand the small book I wrote! I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.


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Old 09-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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Ed Harris's Avatar
Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Posts: 1,988

I will give it a go,you jump to a lot of assumptions after step 1 though so.....

1-You should connect the outside power inlet to a small box with 1 or 2 breakers in it and then wire the outlets to that.
NEVER rely on outside protection,trust me.

2-If you have a Genset then it will already produce AC power so it can run a Battery Charger and charge a battery for 12vdc loads AND supply 120vac power to the outlets at the same time.

So......what is the Inverter for?
If Boondocking without the Genset running then the battery can power an Inverter to produce 120vac,is this what you mean?

3-If you have the Battery Charger plugged into one of the inside outlets from #1 then when the trailer is plugged in to 120vac from either a campground or Genset the battery will be charged and the outlets will work when either is powering the trailer.

Or you could just plug any 120vac loads you still need directly into the Inverter as your Inverted power will be limited based on your battery capacity anyway.

So there is no need to switch the power,just run it from the Campground or Genset.

While Boondocking the battery will still power 12vdc loads but the Inverter will supply 120vac and you could plug the trailer power back into it to power the outlets if you need to or just use 12vdc loads while Boondocking which is what most of us here try to do anyway.

You are right about onething too,you will not be running the AC from an Inverter!

Just my quick take.

And Welcome Here!


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Old 09-26-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,912
Some more info..All new trailers (and most up to 30 years old), will include some sort of a power center that will provide a place for your AC in, breakers for the incoming line as well as inside outlets, a/c etc, a DC supply for running your DC items such as the water pump, lights, fans, etc when plugged into outside power and a charger for keeping the charge up on the coach battery when connected to power. I have installed and recommend the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power chassis for just this task. It will give you everything you need for your wiring in one package, including about a dozen fused circuits for DC, as well as the ac breakers and a three stage smart battery charger. Much smarter and safer than trying to do it piecemeal.

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Old 09-26-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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Name: Jason
Trailer: Companion
Posts: 23
Ed and Bob,

Thank you so much for the help! You have both given me some very good ideas!
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