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Old 07-19-2016, 04:04 PM   #1
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1962 22' Safari
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What am I looking at/Can I do this?

I have a 1962 22 foot Safari that I need some electrical advice about. It presently has a 60 Amp, 1000 Watt, 13.6VDC Progressive Dynamics converter that supplies the 12V power for several lights and my water pump. This works fine when on shore power. My wife and I are going to do some boondocking so I wanted to have a way to run our water pump while not on shore power. I bought a Goal Zero Yeti 400 watt solar "generator" with a 100W solar panel to charge it to try to do this in the simplest manner possible-- thinking I would just plug the trailer in to the AC output on the front of the Yeti and everything would work fine. When I plugged it in, the lights worked fine, but the water pump would shut the Yeti down. Turns out the water pump needs 5 Amps, and the AC output port on the Yeti is 110V and 2.6 Amps. However, the 12V "cigarette lighter" port on the front of the Yeti can put out 12V at 10Amps....so it seems to me that I should be able to connect the Yeti to my 12V system via the "cigarette lighter" 12V output. Not quite sure how to do that though....

College physics was a long time ago and I don't know the ins and outs of the converter so I don't know exactly what I am looking at. (see photos) The converter is plugged into an AC outlet. Is that the actual power going into the Converter that is being converted to 12V, or is that just powering the converter itself? There is an orange wire coming out of the wall that goes in to the converter as well. Is this the AC current coming in that is being converted to 12V current? There are black and red wires leaving the converter--obviously these go to power the lights and pump. The green wire is obviously the ground wire.

Questions:
1. What is the orange wire?
2. Can I plug the "cigarette lighter" male connection into the female connection on the front of my Yeti, and then splice the red and black wires from this connector into the 12v wires that run from the converter to power my whole 12v system (only a few lights and a water pump)
3. If I CAN do #2, can I leave this permanently spliced or would I need to come up with a switch so that it is either only power from the converter flowing through the wires or only power from the Yeti flowing through the wires?
4. Depending on what I can do with question #2 or #3 above, do I need another ground wire connected?

sorry, for the long story. Please keep your helpful responses as simple as possible, i.e. not electrical engineering jargon.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:17 PM   #2
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Does your safari have a battery in it?
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:41 PM   #3
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What am I looking at/Can I do this?

110volts at 2.6 amps = 286 watts. 286 watts at 12 volts is 23.8 amps.
Don't know anything about the Yeti. Perhaps it can't handle the inrush current of the motor.
I second the battery question. You should have no problem running the pump while off the grid. The Yeti should not have a problem charging the battery.
If you don't have a battery while towing you won't have brakes in a break away situation.
In most states that is illegal. In ALL states it is dangerous.
The 10 amp/12 volt receptacle will not be a safe way to connect the Yeti when it is operating at full capacity of 23.8 amps. Things could get really hot really fast.
I don't see any photos on my iPod. Not sure what you are plugging into or where the receptacle is located. Or why the Yeti is plugged into an AC outlet at all. Further clarification is needed. IMHO
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:36 PM   #4
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+1 on you need a battery. You can plug the solar into your shore power inlet and use the converter to charge your battery, then use the battery to power everything. Probably won't be a super efficient system, but you already have the equipment so why not. Shouldn't require a very big battery if all you want is lights and water.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:40 PM   #5
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Questions:

College physics was a long time ago and I don't know the ins and outs of the converter so I don't know exactly what I am looking at. (see photos) The converter is plugged into an AC outlet. Is that the actual power going into the Converter that is being converted to 12V, or is that just powering the converter itself?
That is the power being converted.

There is an orange wire coming out of the wall that goes in to the converter as well. Is this the AC current coming in that is being converted to 12V current?
No

There are black and red wires leaving the converter--obviously these go to power the lights and pump. The green wire is obviously the ground wire.
Yes to all

1. What is the orange wire?
Sorry, I don't have a clue.

2. Can I plug the "cigarette lighter" male connection into the female connection on the front of my Yeti, and then splice the red and black wires from this connector into the 12v wires that run from the converter to power my whole 12v system (only a few lights and a water pump)
Short answer, yes. Full answer, you may not have enough capacity. The Yeti has a 33 Amp-hour battery. To avoid damage you should only use half of that, or about 15 Amp hours. Looking at the Yeti web site, the largest solar panel recommended appears to be a 90 watt panel and could take 9-15 hours to charge the battery.
http://www.goalzero.com/p/165/goal-z...olar-generator
A rule of thumb is that you will only get about 4-6 effective solar hours per day, so it could take, on average, 2-3 days to recharge the battery in the Yeti. You might have to keep your consumption under 5 Amp hours per day. That is one incandescent trailer light for 5 hours and VERY limited use of the water pump.


3. If I CAN do #2, can I leave this permanently spliced or would I need to come up with a switch so that it is either only power from the converter flowing through the wires or only power from the Yeti flowing through the wires?
Disconnect the red and black wires from your trailer 12V electrics to the converter and splice a cigarette lighter plug to them. Get a cigarette lighter socket and wire it to the converter. Plug into the Yeti when you are not connected to shore power and into the new socket when you are. Be careful to get cigarette lighter components rated for the current you plan to put through them.

4. Depending on what I can do with question #2 or #3 above, do I need another ground wire connected?
Sorry, I don't know what this is asking. Connected from what to what?

Just because you can do this, doesn't mean you should. I think you will ultimately be frustrated by the lack of available power. My recommendation would be to get a proper battery for the trailer. As others have mentioned, it should be present for towing. Then if you anticipate camping without shore power, get a small generator. HF sells a small (800W) generator, often on sale for $89. Plug your shore power into that and run it for an hour every two or three days (probably less if you are careful with 12V use) and you should be good. Your neighbors may not be happy with the noise but the HF generators, while not as quiet as the Honda or Yamaha inverter generators, are not that loud. You should be able to get a real battery and the HF generator for less than $200 and you will have much better control of your situation (and be legal for towing).

Sorry for the long answer, but the questions you asked don't have simple YES/NO answers in your situation.

Al

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Old 07-20-2016, 08:00 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. The Yeti solar "generator" is really just a 400Wh (12V,33Ah) AGM lead acid battery that can be easily connected to a solar charger, as well as a 12v car charger or from AC outlet from shore power for charging. It has multiple output ports for AC inverter power and 12V and USB.

I appreciate all of the advice. I am not sure why the photos didn't show up, but will try to attach them to this post from my iPad.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-20-2016, 08:58 AM   #7
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The pictures look like someone hard wired your 12V system (lights, water pump, etc.) directly to your converter. If you installed a 12V deep cycle battery there, so that the 12V components run off the battery, and the converter charges the battery, then you ought to be able to go a weekend or so off the grid without solar or any other external power. Replace your celing light bulbs with LED, and you will be even better off.

good luck!
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