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Old 04-22-2004, 09:17 PM   #1
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Need electrical help '61 Safari

I am digging though the electric on our '61 Sarfari. I have a 110v system and a 12vdc system. I have question about both systems.

At this time we will only make a few trips a year although some of those will be boondock so I need to do something with the 12v system. We will only run small lights and the water booster pump on this battery.

1. 12v system does not have anything to charge battery. Was there an orginal system that is missing or did they charge off the car battery?

2. What do most people install in my situation? I am really looking for what you did and why. I would appreciate any insights that you have.

A 110v charger would only work if I charged before I left or if we moved to a camp with electric. I am thinking to add an Itelli-power charger because I have seen some posts where people liked them. Any comments?

Solar would help to recharge for light duty, but seems expensive. Although it might work for us. Any brands that you would recommend?

Charging from the car could be an option, but I have not found much info on this subject so I wonder if other people use this option? If you can you provide a basic wiring diagram? I would think all that would be needed would be some fat cables to carry high amperage and maybe a 30 or 40 amp fuse?


3. 110vac - How much of a worry are polarity problems? I have heard of people being badly shocked by touching there trailers. I am thinking to install some kind of GFCI breaker before my circuit panel. (which is two 20amp breakers).

Is this recommended? Any brands or experience?


If you have read though this rather lengthy post I thank you for your time. Maybe we will see you on the road.

Rick and Mary Dotson
Vienna, VA

Colorado Bound for the
'04 Rocky Mountain Rally
July 30-Aug 4th 2004
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Old 04-23-2004, 07:37 AM   #2
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Rick & Mary,


1. 12v system does not have anything to charge battery. Was there an orginal system that is missing or did they charge off the car battery?

Not sure on the 1961 models. Later models received a "Univolt" converter/charger from the factory. That's what my trailer has.

2. What do most people install in my situation? I am really looking for what you did and why. I would appreciate any insights that you have.

One popular option, one I would choose if my Univolt ever went out, or once I get tired of the buzzing noise it makes... www.bestconverter.com
Do a search on this forum, they offer a discount to forum members. Every light and installed motor ( vent fans, stove hood, bathroom fan etc) runs on 12V in my trailer. All the lights are 12V also. The 120V system goes to the wall outlets, A/C system, and Univolt ( for charging) only.


A 110v charger would only work if I charged before I left or if we moved to a camp with electric. I am thinking to add an Itelli-power charger because I have seen some posts where people liked them. Any comments?

You will either need a 110V connection, or charge while driving through the charge line in the tow vehicle to trailer connection. Again, I am uncertain if this was included in teh 1961 factory wiring.

Solar would help to recharge for light duty, but seems expensive. Although it might work for us. Any brands that you would recommend?

An EU2000i might be a better choice than solar for occasional to moderate use. Solar IS expensive, and often not sufficient to run more than just lights, unless it is a huge system. A Generator like the EU2000i runs quiet, and can supply enough power for most appliances, charging and power tools etc. It is not sufficient for large microwaves, or A/C system.

Charging from the car could be an option, but I have not found much info on this subject so I wonder if other people use this option? If you can you provide a basic wiring diagram? I would think all that would be needed would be some fat cables to carry high amperage and maybe a 30 or 40 amp fuse?

The car charging circuit goes through the umbilical cord on my trailer. One of the wires is connected tot he Univolt, and subsequently to the Battery in the trailer. It tops off the battery while driving.

3. 110vac - How much of a worry are polarity problems? I have heard of people being badly shocked by touching there trailers. I am thinking to install some kind of GFCI breaker before my circuit panel. (which is two 20amp breakers).

My electrical system includes a polarity light near the univolt. It is said to light up if the polarity is reversed. I find it to be a good idea. You can also check it with a volt meter (DVM) before you plug in.

You might write to Andy at InlandRV.com for better advise on your particular system. He is very knowledgeable onthe subject.
Good Luck!
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:50 AM   #3
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Hi Rick,
When it came time to work on my 110v system, I was also concerned about the polarity. I decided to put in a new service connector on my trailer that had a three way plug. I ran a new feed to the panel and added a ground for the new Intelli-Power, water heater, fridge and, soon to have, AC. This has worked out very well. The places where these plug into have the two slot with ground outlets. ISince our early trailers were only wired for pos and neg, I added a junction bar just for the ground. This was mounted just below the service panel and wires were run to the outlets needing the ground. All of the other outlets I left with the original two slot.

See you in Colorado.

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Old 04-23-2004, 07:37 PM   #4
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Thanks uwe & flyfshr,

I am looking forward to getting out to Colo. That best convertor price is real good. I am going to get the 60 amp, because I will probably go to three batteries when this one wears out.

1. What size wire to use from battery to charger?

2. I was wondering where to put the convertor. There is space under the sink, but I would probably need bigger wires from the charger to the battery and running them would suck. I don't really want to put it outside. Another option that I have not looked at yet is under the front gaucho, here I would need to drill hole to the batteries but it would be short. the downside is I would need to give up a storage drawer under the gaucho.

I am thinking to ground the trailer frame. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help,

Rick
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:01 PM   #5
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Rick,
Putting the converter near the batteries is a good idea. My Wiring looks a lot like standard automotive battery cabling, perhaps a little thinner. I believe that ready made battery cables with round connectors would work well for this application. they com ein different lenghts.
I would donate some space under the front goucho, just make sure the converter gets enough airflow. Maybe you can just shorten one of the drawers, I doubt that the converter is going to occupy the entire depth of the goucho.
In my trailer, it sems that every light, and every 12V consumer has 2 separate wires. I am not sure that the negative on the 12V system goes to ground, like in a car.
This is most likely because of the 120V is using the metal as the safety ground. A good wiring diagram might shed some light on this.
Good Luck!
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