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Old 02-28-2014, 08:46 PM   #15
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How did you come by this trailer and if bought new for NZ how come the US spec electrical system? The fridge is made in Europe so they may have a conversion which would consist of a different heating element. The board runs on 12V I believe. The AC may or may not be switchable to 220V. The converter probably has a selector switch for 220V. The wireing should be fine for 220V. I would use the don't ask don't tell method on that. The TV can be run on a converter for travelers.

Perry
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:49 PM   #16
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I just came across your Post. Your are correct with the regulation of the multi-strand cable. Romex (Household) cable has the voltage rating you need, but is not multi stranded. your sqmm is sufficient.
My Suggestion would be to install a new breaker box as needed and a new shore power cord. Im not 100% familiar with the layout of your camper, but you should be able to hide new wiring within the cabinets and furniture towards your refrigerator and microwave.. Blank off the existing receptacles.
As for the Appliances: Microwave definitely has to be exchanged, as it will not work correctly with the different frequency. The refrigerator might just need a different Board. Alternative get a small 240/120 transformer. they are readily available and you fridge should work just fine.
As for the Inverter, check the Nameplate. Most in theses days are multi voltage. Some have a switch to change from 120 to 240.

To clarify the Voltage: US is 120 Single Phase (1Line, 1 Neutral) You also have 230V, which is 2 lines)
240V however is the same as 120 Single Phase(1 line , 1 Neutral)
Frequency is 60 vs 50 hz.

BTW, all camper i have restored are wired with Marine Grade wiring.. multi stranded tinned Copper.. a little more expensive, but i believe way more reliable.. just my 2 cents though
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:53 PM   #17
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Is there any possibility your codes would allow you to simply add a 220 to 120 volt transformer to the input side of the original wiring system? That would be the least expensive and easiest solution to the issue from the electrical standpoint. The transformer would need to have a 30 amp 120 volt secondary. They are not inexpensive, but they are available and certainly would be easier than a complete re wiring. I would check with your codes people.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Is there any possibility your codes would allow you to simply add a 220 to 120 volt transformer to the input side of the original wiring system? That would be the least expensive and easiest solution to the issue from the electrical standpoint. The transformer would need to have a 30 amp 120 volt secondary. They are not inexpensive, but they are available and certainly would be easier than a complete re wiring. I would check with your codes people.
Thanks, I thought of this point, but the inspector won't be happy for us to have 110v appliances and wiring within the van... however I think this is the best way to do this in a not tell situation. However, if there is a fire, the insurance will probably have an excuse not to pay out... that's my only concern.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #19
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I don't understand why stranded wire is necessary. The Romex in there is only going to be running at 1/2 the amps that it is rated for at 220V. Does the wire in the trailer really have to be replaced? It is hidden, who is going to know? I do like the idea of a transformer.

Perry
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
How did you come by this trailer and if bought new for NZ how come the US spec electrical system? The fridge is made in Europe so they may have a conversion which would consist of a different heating element. The board runs on 12V I believe. The AC may or may not be switchable to 220V. The converter probably has a selector switch for 220V. The wireing should be fine for 220V. I would use the don't ask don't tell method on that. The TV can be run on a converter for travelers.

Perry
We were lucky enough to be the new owner of the Flying Cloud in New Zealand. The NZ based seller is Dunbar Slone, who happen to be school mates of Wade Thompson (Boss of Airstream till 2009 when he passed away). Dunbar imported 3 brand new Airstreams into NZ, the 20ft Flying Cloud is his smallest one.

I am sure the Fridge can be converted to 240v, needs a new heating element and maybe a new electric board, but I need to find where to source this. 12v converter can anyone confirm this is switcheable to 240v? it'd be handy if it does!
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:45 PM   #21
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I don't understand why stranded wire is necessary. The Romex in there is only going to be running at 1/2 the amps that it is rated for at 220V. Does the wire in the trailer really have to be replaced? It is hidden, who is going to know? I do like the idea of a transformer.

Perry
Hi Perry, the inspector will take off the socket to check the wire inside, and if he finds this is not multi-stranded, he will fail our application, then we will be back to square 1.

We even bought a 5000w transformer, thinking to use it to add 240v and use that to supply the original 110v switch board. I then learn that the transformer needs to be an 'isolated' type... I will ask again to see if this is allowed, and if this works by some remote chance, it'll be an ideal situation for us.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:48 PM   #22
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Is there any possibility your codes would allow you to simply add a 220 to 120 volt transformer to the input side of the original wiring system? That would be the least expensive and easiest solution to the issue from the electrical standpoint. The transformer would need to have a 30 amp 120 volt secondary. They are not inexpensive, but they are available and certainly would be easier than a complete re wiring. I would check with your codes people.
Hi Idroba, we bought a 5000w step down/up transformer, do you know if this one will work? Could you please advise what you mean by a '30amp 120v secondary'? thanks!
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:55 PM   #23
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The transformer you show does not look like a 5000 watt one, more like a 500 watt unit. The transformer you need has two windings the secondary one (the output) able to provide 120 volts at 30 amps, or 3600 watts. The primary (input) would be approximately 15 amps at 240 volts. It will be heavy, probably about 60 pounds or so. Cost here in the states would probably be $500 +. If you search the solar equipment sites you will probably find them as they are used here in the other direction, to change 120 volt power from a solar inverter to run a 240 volt well pump. They work in both directions, up or down conversion.

Some simple transformers use windings which are connected together and taped part way. Those are not what you want (often called autotransformers). You want two completely isolated windings to satisfy any electrical code issues.

Essentially it is a 2:1 transformer, that is it has two turns of wire on one side, one turn on the other. That allows the voltage to halve and the current to double. Since you use 50 cycle power, things like motors will run at slightly slower speeds and clocks may not keep time, depending on how they are built. Most things in the trailer should run OK on 50 cycle power, although I am not sure about the switching power supply in the converter/charger, and microwave.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:57 AM   #24
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The transformer you show does not look like a 5000 watt one, more like a 500 watt unit. The transformer you need has two windings the secondary one (the output) able to provide 120 volts at 30 amps, or 3600 watts. The primary (input) would be approximately 15 amps at 240 volts. It will be heavy, probably about 60 pounds or so. Cost here in the states would probably be $500 +. If you search the solar equipment sites you will probably find them as they are used here in the other direction, to change 120 volt power from a solar inverter to run a 240 volt well pump. They work in both directions, up or down conversion.

Some simple transformers use windings which are connected together and taped part way. Those are not what you want (often called autotransformers). You want two completely isolated windings to satisfy any electrical code issues.

Essentially it is a 2:1 transformer, that is it has two turns of wire on one side, one turn on the other. That allows the voltage to halve and the current to double. Since you use 50 cycle power, things like motors will run at slightly slower speeds and clocks may not keep time, depending on how they are built. Most things in the trailer should run OK on 50 cycle power, although I am not sure about the switching power supply in the converter/charger, and microwave.
Hi idroba, thanks for that. The transformer we got is 50lbs, and is very heavy, it is also step up or down, and is certainly rated at 5000w as described on eBay. We only paid $125 plus shipping for it, and not $500+, so it might not be the isolation type you described. We are hoping to use it to convert 240v to 110v as power supply to the Airstream. We never use the air con, and it's noisy, and there is no microwave in the van, just a gas oven. At the end of the day, we might not worry about obtaining an electric certificate, or worry about it further down the track.

We love our Flying Cloud, and she could very well be the very first one here in New Zealand!!
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:46 AM   #25
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Maybe you can find someone sympathetic to your cause and will listen to reason. It is not often the case but I hope you find a solution. Take a look at the converter and get the make, model, and serial number and find a manual for it online. You might get lucky and find a switch that changes the operation to 220V. I expect the owners manual is with the trailer documentation. I would email or call Dometic about the fridge. Maybe you can find a rep in Australia since they have the same power system. If you can get the 12V systems working, you will at least have most of the stuff working.


Perry
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:25 AM   #26
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Hi idroba, thanks for that. The transformer we got is 50lbs, and is very heavy, it is also step up or down, and is certainly rated at 5000w as described on eBay. We only paid $125 plus shipping for it, and not $500+, so it might not be the isolation type you described. We are hoping to use it to convert 240v to 110v as power supply to the Airstream. We never use the air con, and it's noisy, and there is no microwave in the van, just a gas oven. At the end of the day, we might not worry about obtaining an electric certificate, or worry about it further down the track.

We love our Flying Cloud, and she could very well be the very first one here in New Zealand!!
I was judging it from the size of the outlet on the cover, and the plug and cord set in the photo. The cord set and plug shown alone would only be good for 15 amps max at 120 volts or 1800 watts so a transformer rated at 5000 watts seemed unlikely to me. All of the commercial ones I am familiar with are far more than you paid, but who knows what comes on the market. In addition, the ebay ad could have been a mis post. Unless you can find some markings on it, we really don't know.

There is nothing wrong with trying it as far as I can see, especially if you don't have or use a microwave or AC unit. The photo shows fuses, and most likely they would blow first, if the current flow is exceeded.

You can test it easily to see if it is an isolation transformer by putting one lead of an ohmeter on either terminal of the input and the other on either terminal of the output the output (not the ground terminals though). If it shows a high resistance, you have an isolation transformer, if it shows a low resistance it has internal connections from one side to the other and is most likely an autotransformer.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:14 PM   #27
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I was judging it from the size of the outlet on the cover, and the plug and cord set in the photo. The cord set and plug shown alone would only be good for 15 amps max at 120 volts or 1800 watts so a transformer rated at 5000 watts seemed unlikely to me. All of the commercial ones I am familiar with are far more than you paid, but who knows what comes on the market. In addition, the ebay ad could have been a mis post. Unless you can find some markings on it, we really don't know.

There is nothing wrong with trying it as far as I can see, especially if you don't have or use a microwave or AC unit. The photo shows fuses, and most likely they would blow first, if the current flow is exceeded.

You can test it easily to see if it is an isolation transformer by putting one lead of an ohmeter on either terminal of the input and the other on either terminal of the output the output (not the ground terminals though). If it shows a high resistance, you have an isolation transformer, if it shows a low resistance it has internal connections from one side to the other and is most likely an autotransformer.
Thanks idroba, I tested mine with an ohm meter, and is getting a reading of 02.5-03.0 (it fluctuates) , I suppose this is an autotransformer and not the isolation type? I read the packaging and it says 5000w, so I suppose it's designed to run at that wattage.

At the end of the day, we might just not worry about obtaining a certificate, and do a simple 240v hook up, so we can charge the batt and run a couple of sockets in the van, we are wanting to leave everything else in original factory condition. Afterall, we are not missing a lot by doing this, just the ceiling Air Con which we never use.

On another hand, if we were to do it properly to obtain a elec cert, then we need be prepared to strip the furnishing out and rip out everything 110v and retro-fit everything to meet the regulation, in which will be costly! We simply want to enjoy our van and not to stress about it

So far, we have not had any issue running a campsite lead-to-house cable through the window, and that runs our oil heater at night and charges our cell phones.

The photo I showed previously was from ebay where I purchased from, but one I received is actually bigger with 2 x outlets, and looks more like this one, it's 50LBS and quite heavy, I thought it was cheap for just $125:

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Old 03-01-2014, 06:53 PM   #28
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That test you made confirms that it is not an isolation transformer with two completely separate windings. And yes, the one in your second photo looks more like it could be a 5000 watt rated unit.

I don't know enough about your electrical system in NZ to say if an autotransformer type voltage converter is safe or not. I would have no problems with an isolated set of windings but when one side (leg) is connected to the other, I get a bit nervous when we are dealing with the total RV electrical system, not just a single appliance.

Without question, the cord through the window will work...Grin.
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