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Old 01-09-2011, 09:33 AM   #29
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...
One way to avoid making long runs of copper tubing is to use a small propane canister. (the ones you see in the camping section at the store) If you mount this in the cabinet next to the light, you can avoid trying to get the lines through the walls. Also, this will be a small amount of propane. If you do get a leak there will not be a big problem.
Good luck.....post a pic of your gas light when you get it running.
What a Great Idea - no muss, no fuss, EASY and inexpensive. The light surely uses very little gas. One of those little "stove" tanks would last for a week or two of solid use. Karma/Thanks to you.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:07 AM   #30
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Lindy,

I showed Kay the picture of your new galley, & she had the same reaction I did: Wow - that looks really nice! She really likes what you did with the range and the top for it. She has now mentioned twice that it's an idea we should look at for Little Girl. Hopefully it's ok to borrow your design idea!

Your Propane lines look ok - I didn't really see any crushed places or major kinks in the lines that might indicate a leak. But the only way to know for sure is to test them. And yes, you can test them yourself.

The LED lights - those sound like ones I was looking at at Rockler. The lights are 12 VDC, and you buy a transformer to run them off 110 VAC. I was thinking about getting one LED light and trying it on 12 VDC to see if they would work running off the 12 volt DC system. If you're semi brave, I think you could disconnect one of the LED lights from the transformer and try connecting it to your 12 VDC system and see if it works. Or, if you don't want to rip things apart for an experiment that might not work (and has a chance of being destructive to the LED light), let me know where you got them and I can get one and try, since I was going to anyway. I'd just move it up a bit in my timetable...

Chris
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:59 PM   #31
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Gas Lines and LED's



Does downstream mean after it goes to the stove? I don't know how I can do that since it tees from the main line and then goes up through the floor to the stove. The line closest in the photo looks like 1/2"; the 3 lines going off in different directions look like 3/8". Does one of the three go to the stove? Anything from the junction of the three smaller lines is considered "Down Stream" from that junction point. Think of the junction point like you would a bridge over a stream; any water that has gone under the bridge has gone down stream. If one of those lines goes to the stove and that is the closest line to your light. Then it is a matter of cutting into the line (going to the stove) and installing a tee fitting. If the line going to the stove is 3/8" and the line going to the light is 1/4"; you will need a 3/8"x1/4"x3/8" single flared tee. When you determine what size the lines are and are ready to install the new line to the light we can discuss the procedure.

You are right - there is no shut off valve that I could find other than the one at the tank. I do have a fitting that was attached to the lamp (with a twisted stub of copper tubing) that I carry with me anytime I go to a real town. I just didn't know what else to get with it. Now, next time I go I can get what I need.
If there is a brass fitting on that line, you have what you need to connect the new 1/4" line to the back of the light. Just cut the twisted pipe off with a hacksaw then push the remainder of the line out of the brass fitting. Keep the little piece with the flare on it. It will be a good example of what the flare you make in the new line should look like. Again when you are ready to take on the task we can cover the procedure. Keep the brass nut - it fits on the back of your light.
I can test it myself? I thought I had to have some kind of meter something. As Chris said; you can test it yourself.

The LED lights plug in to the 120 VAC. But they have one of those transformer boxes and it says they are 12V. I was wondering if I could possibly make them so that they'd work on both? It sure would be handy to run them on 12V when we're dry camping.
I'm not sure how efficient it would be, but you could consider getting a small inverter (not an converter but an inverter) and installing it to run the LED's off of your battery. When you are on shore power your Converter will provide the 12 volts to the Inverter; when you are dry camping your battery will provide the 12 volts to the Inverter. You won't have to unplug anything or change anything. I'm sure this sounds complicated right now but it is really simple. If the Inverter is sized properly you could use it to charge your cell phone or power other low current AC devices like rechargeable LED shop (trouble) lights that normally have a tranformer box that plugs into a standard 120 volt AC Outlet
Where you Converter is designed to convert 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC.
An Inverter is designed to convert 12 volts DC to 120 volt AC.
Even if the the inverter is only 85% effecient, the total load on your battery would be significantly less than incandescent bulbs (ie 1141 type)
If this is of interest to you, we can cover the details later.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:18 PM   #32
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Is that the gas light on the end of the upper cabinet? Top right in the photo.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:39 PM   #33
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Lindy,

I showed Kay the picture of your new galley, & she had the same reaction I did: Wow - that looks really nice! Thanks! She really likes what you did with the range and the top for it. I can't take credit for the stove cover - that's actually the way it was originally (except the formica was white with gold flecks - bleh!) She has now mentioned twice that it's an idea we should look at for Little Girl. Hopefully it's ok to borrow your design idea! Go for it! It's the least I can offer after all the help you've given me!

Your Propane lines look ok - I didn't really see any crushed places or major kinks in the lines that might indicate a leak. But the only way to know for sure is to test them. And yes, you can test them yourself. And I do that how?

The LED lights - those sound like ones I was looking at at Rockler. The lights are 12 VDC, and you buy a transformer to run them off 110 VAC. I was thinking about getting one LED light and trying it on 12 VDC to see if they would work running off the 12 volt DC system. If you're semi brave, I think you could disconnect one of the LED lights from the transformer and try connecting it to your 12 VDC system and see if it works. Or, if you don't want to rip things apart for an experiment that might not work (and has a chance of being destructive to the LED light), let me know where you got them and I can get one and try, since I was going to anyway. I'd just move it up a bit in my timetable... I got the lights at either Home Depot or Lowes - there were 3 in a box with the possibility of adding 3 more in line with the others. I don't think they were very expensive. There is a connection between the lights and the transformer so could I just unplug it from the 110VAC and hold a "live" 12VDC wire to the connector and see if it works? I'm hoping that will work because I also have a little radio that is wired the same - it says 12V on the back then has a transformer between the radio and the 110VAC plug.

Chris
I'm not in any hurry - this is the least of the things to do on the trailer - so if you experiment first then let me know. If I beat you to it then I'll let you know.

Thanks again.
Lindy

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Old 01-09-2011, 02:40 PM   #34
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Lindy,
Don't know why the questions and answers in post 31 are not different colors. I put different colors in my post. Hope you can understand it all.
Your Propane lines look ok - I didn't really see any crushed places or major kinks in the lines that might indicate a leak. But the only way to know for sure is to test them. And yes, you can test them yourself. And I do that how?

There is no hurry. Wait until you get your light installed and piped in. A spray bottle of soapy water, a few wrenches (incase you find a leak) and the propane tank (with some propane in it) and regulator.
Do you have a furnace in the rig? I don't recall a furnace being discussed in the electrical work you completed.
How 'bout a refer?
Water heater?
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:47 PM   #35
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Does downstream mean after it goes to the stove? I don't know how I can do that since it tees from the main line and then goes up through the floor to the stove. The line closest in the photo looks like 1/2" That is the line that goes to the propane tanks; the 3 lines going off in different directions look like 3/8". Does one of the three go to the stove? The two on the left go to the fridge and the furnace. The one on the right (streetside) goes to the stove. Anything from the junction of the three smaller lines is considered "Down Stream" from that junction point. Think of the junction point like you would a bridge over a stream; any water that has gone under the bridge has gone down stream. If one of those lines goes to the stove and that is the closest line to your light. Then it is a matter of cutting into the line (going to the stove) and installing a tee fitting. If the line going to the stove is 3/8" and the line going to the light is 1/4"; you will need a 3/8"x1/4"x3/8" single flared tee. When you determine what size the lines are and are ready to install the new line to the light we can discuss the procedure. Do I measure inside diameter or outside diameter?

You are right - there is no shut off valve that I could find other than the one at the tank. I do have a fitting that was attached to the lamp (with a twisted stub of copper tubing) that I carry with me anytime I go to a real town. I just didn't know what else to get with it. Now, next time I go I can get what I need.
If there is a brass fitting on that line, you have what you need to connect the new 1/4" line to the back of the light. Just cut the twisted pipe off with a hacksaw then push the remainder of the line out of the brass fitting. Keep the little piece with the flare on it. It will be a good example of what the flare you make in the new line should look like. Again when you are ready to take on the task we can cover the procedure. Keep the brass nut - it fits on the back of your light.
I can test it myself? I thought I had to have some kind of meter something. As Chris said; you can test it yourself.

The LED lights plug in to the 120 VAC. But they have one of those transformer boxes and it says they are 12V. I was wondering if I could possibly make them so that they'd work on both? It sure would be handy to run them on 12V when we're dry camping.
I'm not sure how efficient it would be, but you could consider getting a small inverter (not an converter but an inverter) and installing it to run the LED's off of your battery. Actually, I have an inverter I bought to charge my laptop when we were traveling (I plugged it in to the cigarette lighter) but I don't know what size it is. When you are on shore power your Converter will provide the 12 volts to the Inverter; when you are dry camping your battery will provide the 12 volts to the Inverter. You won't have to unplug anything or change anything. I'm sure this sounds complicated right now but it is really simple. If the Inverter is sized properly you could use it to charge your cell phone or power other low current AC devices like rechargeable LED shop (trouble) lights that normally have a tranformer box that plugs into a standard 120 volt AC Outlet
Where you Converter is designed to convert 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC.
An Inverter is designed to convert 12 volts DC to 120 volt AC.
Even if the the inverter is only 85% effecient, the total load on your battery would be significantly less than incandescent bulbs (ie 1141 type)
If this is of interest to you, we can cover the details later.
So, where do I put the inverter? Near the battery or does it matter? I'll have to see if I can find the dang thing and will take pictures of it for you. As I remember it has a plugger-inner that goes into a cigarette lighter and also has red and black wires with little clips on it. But I haven't seen it in a couple of years so I'm not sure. I'll go look for it and see for sure. Maybe somewhere on it will say what "size" it is.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:22 PM   #36
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Do I measure inside diameter or outside diameter? It looks like tubing so measure the outside diameter. Do you have a caliper? If not, take your tape measure and after you remove the nut from the twisted piece of tubing you mentioned earlier, measure the small hole where the tube went thru the nut. It should be 1/4' OR VERY CLOSE. If that piece of tubing you took out of the nut is smaller than those three that branch out from the junction on the bottom of the trailer I would guess that they are 3/8".
Actually, I have an inverter I bought to charge my laptop when we were traveling (I plugged it in to the cigarette lighter) but I don't know what size it is. There should be a wattage rating on the label, or maybe an ampere rating.
Do you know what the wattage is for each of the LED fixtures?
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:23 PM   #37
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Inverter

I suppose we should be back on the electrical thread but, oh well.

The inverter is a 350 Watt and the only thing I could find was the cigarette lighter plugger-inner. I'm almost sure there are some wires somewhere that clip on. I suppose, if I needed them, I could always put something together.

I did find another thing we used to use to charge an extra battery. It plugged into the TV and then clipped on the battery terminals. As we drove around the battery would be charged. We used it with the pick up truck so the battery sat in the back.

So, is a 350 Watt inverter big enough to run the LED lights? Could I put it in the closet (where the LED lights plug in) and then run #12 (#10?) wiring to the fuse box? I have some #12 wire already there in the closet for the bathroom light - could I just tie into that? If so, then do I run a white wire to a screw in the wall then to the negative terminal on the inverter and then have the #12 (yellow) go to the positive terminal? Looks like in the picture the red is on positive and black is on negative.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:51 PM   #38
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The second picture looks like some kind of home made test device or maybe a rig to charge a battery from the TV receptacle. DUHH! I just reread your post.
Do you have your LED lights hard wired in? Or are they just plugged into a receptacle? DUHH! I just reread your post.
Notice that the Inverter has 2 receptacles.
If it were convenient, I would install a receptacle in a location that you can plug the LED transformer box and/or the other low wattage devices into. Make it a different color than the normal receptacles throughout the trailer. LABEL it "INVERTER POWER" WITH A WARNING NOT TO OVER LOAD. Then make up a cord to plug into the inverter wherever it is located that is wired to the receptacle. Put it as close as practical to the receptacle. OR YOU COULD SIMPLY PLUG THE LED TRANFORMER INTO THE INVERTER, It might take up space where you couldn't use the second receptacle on the inverter though. Then run 12 volts to it, you can just remove the cigarette lighter wiring and connect it to the DC source. REMEMBER!!! RED IS POSITIVE; BLACK IS NEGATIVE on the Inverter. As I recall you have spare terminals on your fuse block, I would run #12 wire to the Inverter and fuse it a 20 amps. I'd use the bathroom light circuit if that is the only other thing that will be on the circuit beside the Inverter.
Check the power requirements (wattage)of the transformer for your LED's it should have a wattage rating on it. If the wattage is less than the Inverter you can use it. But keep the total load (ie other devices and their wattage requirements) in mind when you plug stuff into the Inverter. It looks like it has a fan so make sure that if it is in the closet it has plenty of air around it and nothing will fall on it and cover it up. Even if it doesn't have a fan It needs space to stay cool.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:10 PM   #39
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Hi Lindy,

Personally, I would try to directly connect the LEDs to 12 VDC rather than connect the inverter and then use it to power the transformer that would then power the LEDs. To me, using the inverter to convert 12 VDC to 110 VC, and then using the transformers to convert 110 VAC back to 12 VDC is a waste of energy. When you're dry camping for a few days at a time, it could make the difference from being able to go 4 or 5 days on battery power to instead only being able to go 2 or 3. All depends on the battery size and how you use it of course, but my point is that itís more of a drain on the battery than I think you need. Wiring the LEDs directly to 12 VDC (with a switch in the line of course) is the least power consuming method Ė if the LEDs will work that way.

If you go the inverter route, be sure to turn it off when you're not using it. It'll still be a drain on your battery even it it's not powering anything else.

If you install the inverter, you could remove the cigarette lighter adapter thingy and directly wire it to your 12 VDC fuse block. If memory serves, you do have some open circuits you could use, right? Then you would have to wire the 110 VAC output to your LED lights. And provide a way to disconnect the output of the inverter from the 110 light circuit when youíre plugged into shore power. The inverter may be able to handle having external 110 VAC on its outlets, but I donít know that I would trust it to not be damaged over time.

Chris
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:26 PM   #40
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What a Great Idea - no muss, no fuss, EASY and inexpensive. The light surely uses very little gas. One of those little "stove" tanks would last for a week or two of solid use. Karma/Thanks to you.
I got a very nice private message that says this is probably not such a good idea. Propane tanks, no matter how small should not be INSIDE of a living space. Good point. A leaky tank outside is smelly and a little bit dangerous, inside it could be lethal. Even if it caused an explosion that didn't hurt anyone, in a crowded campground it might catch adjoining rigs on fire. So ALWAYS safety first.

Paula
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:28 PM   #41
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Chris!
Brilliant minds think alike or at least I think that's how it goes. And NO to the rest of the formum "We Are Not Married" LOL
Lindy: If you used a second receptacle that is only wired to the inverter or just plugged the LED's directly into the inverter. There would not be a feed back problem when on shore power.
Chris is right, the inverter setup will not be as energy efficient as a straight DC circuit. But like Chris, I would want to test it. Keep in mind that at times; even though it says it's a 12 volt circuit, if your Converter is in the High charge mode, the voltage output will be way north of 13 volts. The LED's fixtures may have protection for this but I'm not sure.
Another Question: Do the LED fixture each have a switch or is there one for the whole string? Or do you just plug it in and they come on?
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:20 PM   #42
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Chris!
Brilliant minds think alike or at least I think that's how it goes. And NO to the rest of the formum "We Are Not Married" LOL
Lindy: If you used a second receptacle that is only wired to the inverter or just plugged the LED's directly into the inverter. There would not be a feed back problem when on shore power.
Chris is right, the inverter setup will not be as energy efficient as a straight DC circuit. But like Chris, I would want to test it. Keep in mind that at times; even though it says it's a 12 volt circuit, if your Converter is in the High charge mode, the voltage output will be way north of 13 volts. The LED's fixtures may have protection for this but I'm not sure.
Another Question: Do the LED fixture each have a switch or is there one for the whole string? Or do you just plug it in and they come on?

It sounds like the best bet would be to go with a straight DC circuit if it will work that way. If I can do away with the transformer completely (and not use the 110 VAC it seems like that might be a better thing to do. Therefore, when I'm plugged into shore power the LED lights would actually be running on 12V but my handy-dandy converter would be constantly monitoring the battery (with it's blamed blinking light) and the battery wouldn't run down. When we're dry camping it would be running off the battery. I wouldn't have to plug in, unplug or make sure I don't forget to turn off the inverter. Think that might work?

My 3 LED lights are in line and all on one switch. There is a "terminal" where each light plugs in then that terminal wire goes to the transformer. Somewhere in there is a little on/off switch.
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