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Old 12-02-2018, 06:09 PM   #1
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Electrical Panel Placement Question

I'll be building a platform bed in the rear with a lift up access door for storage. My question is can I put the panel under the bed? Any cons to doing this installation? I don't want to look at the plastic access door on the electrical panel if I can avoid that. Thank you in advance for any response.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:26 PM   #2
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How is the lift up access door held up when you need access to the panel?
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:29 PM   #3
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Panel

I'll be installing struts like the one's that hold up a cover on a truck lid or an old hatchback car tailgate, also common on a class A master bed. Should be at least a 4' x 4' access.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:02 PM   #4
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Not sure if there are any codes to follow for RVís. However common sense dictates, as long as you can get at it easily if needed and any wires leading to it will not be damaged by any storage items that may hit them.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GeocamperAS View Post
Not sure if there are any codes to follow for RVís. However common sense dictates, as long as you can get at it easily if needed and any wires leading to it will not be damaged by any storage items that may hit them.

That is what I figured. Just needed some assurance.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:14 PM   #6
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maybe

Really depends on the layout.


I had one like that in a motor home it was a real pain the few times I had to go into the breaker box working on my knees with little overhead room.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Zeppelin View Post
I'll be building a platform bed in the rear with a lift up access door for storage. My question is can I put the panel under the bed? Any cons to doing this installation? I don't want to look at the plastic access door on the electrical panel if I can avoid that. Thank you in advance for any response.
I've had Airstreams that the electric distribution panel was inside the closet (1970's), inside the overhead cabinet above the bed (1999) and behind a wood panel Velcro mounted on the face of the cabinet (2000). All were accessible with little effort.

I do not see why under the bed would not work, but I don't know anything about RVIA standards.

The location has to be easy to get to at a moments notice. A protective cover is needed for the breakers, so they don't get switched on and off accidentally. And really important; the wires that connect to the panel have to be inside a chase, protected from accidental damage.

ps: I'm assuming you are talking about a 120v.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:32 PM   #8
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Conduit

I was planning on running the "home runs" through flex conduit. Yes 120v sir.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:41 PM   #9
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Are you planning to run the bed front to rear or side to side?
I remember another trailer that had the electric panel and a junction box inside the nightstand beside the bed.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:47 PM   #10
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Layout

This will be side to side. I've framed up cabinetry on the left and the bathroom on the right both ending at the same "depth" towards the back. The back end will be a raised bed. I'll make a template after the platform is built and will get a queen sized memory foam mattress and will cut it to fit. This is a '49 so I don't have a heck of a lot of room to play with.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:51 PM   #11
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As per NEC 551
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Zeppelin View Post
I'll be building a platform bed in the rear with a lift up access door for storage. My question is can I put the panel under the bed? Any cons to doing this installation? I don't want to look at the plastic access door on the electrical panel if I can avoid that. Thank you in advance for any response.
Scary idea creeps me out!

How about a better looking door.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:33 AM   #13
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If your distribution panel has a built in power inverter, then you need to make sure that you allow for the necessary air flow for cooling.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Zeppelin View Post
<<snip>> the plastic access door on the electrical panel <<snip>>
I did not pay attention to this part of your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikextr View Post
If your distribution panel has a built in power inverter, then you need to make sure that you allow for the necessary air flow for cooling.
Mikextr is correct. When I posted I was thinking about a SquareD QO 6 space breaker panel that Airstream has used for 30+ years.
Shermy1987's post of the NEC article jogged my brain!

I was wrong in my prior post, when I said "I do not see why under the bed would not work"! I do see a problem, if the storage area beneath the bed was full of stuff it would prevent quick access. It is not a good idea.

I'll offer a suggestion for an alternate location:
Inside the cabinet beside the bed, the distribution panel could be mounted just above floor level, with a removable shelve above. This would create the enclosure to protect the components and wires. If there is a door on the cabinet, the face of the distribution panel needs to be within 2" of the aisle, per NEC. The bedside aisle can provide the required access distances. The enclosure can be vented into the storage area beneath the bed and/or an opening made in the cabinet into the living space.
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