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Old 03-28-2011, 07:32 AM   #1
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1954 25' Cruiser
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Updating the 50's electrical

So I will be completely updating the electrical system on my '54 Cruiser. It still has the original glass fuses and such so I figured it was time.

Here is what I was thinking. I bought this distribution panel. I plan on using two golf cart batteries for my power storage. I want the capacity to boondock, but the reality is I will be using the trailer quite heavily while using 15a shore power. I will be using an 9 amp AC, microwave, refrigerator, coffee pot etc. My main concern is overpowering the 15a power source, so I thought I would perhaps run some or all of my power off of an inverter and just use the shore power to keep the batteries topped off.

Any suggestions on how to build this system would be appreciated!
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:06 AM   #2
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First I would use the fridge and coffe pot on propane. Heating appliances use way to much AC
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #3
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How about a generator?

ps: what you bought is a converter as well as a distribution panel. Looks nice, BTW
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:24 AM   #4
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There's no way to get around using shorepower for AC or microwave. I've never seen either item as 12 volt. Using an inverter will waste a lot of electricity. You'll be converting 110volt ac to 12 volt DC to charge the batteries, then taking the 12 volts back up to 110 volts to use it. I won't go into all details but you will use a lot of 12 volts amps to get few 110volts amps. Not enough amps this way to run AC or microwave.

Ricky

PS: What type of AC do you have that only uses 9 amps?
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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I used something similar in the rebuild of my Liner. Replaced all the old 110V wiring and rewired with 12 also. Just like a newer unit. The lights, refig, water pump run on 12V, also placed 12V outlets around for charging and using cell phones, computers, bluetooth, Ipods, TV etc.

110V runs the AC, refig, microwave and the 110V outlets.

30A Marinco connector. Set your trailer up for 30A you can always connect to a 15A outlet, but need 30A for AC.

Bill
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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With only 15a shore power, and air conditioning, there is little power left over for anything else.

In general, trailers with two air conditioners should be wired for 50a shore power. Trailers with one air conditioner should be wired for 30 amp shore power. Trailers that don't have an air conditioner can be wired for 20 amp shore power. Then you can adapt to whatever is available where you're camping.

Inverter installations that run large loads (like the microwave) are possible but are expensive and difficult to get right. There have been a few diesel-only boondocking setups put together that don't use propane that use large inverters to make it work. It's a high-buck, high-weight way to go. To run, say, a microwave, you need a 2000 watt inverter and a battery bank with capacity of 400 Ah or greater. With the batteries, inverter, cables, connectors, and fuses, you'll be close to $2,000 for a setup like that and it's going to weigh over 300 pounds.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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I like the distribution panel and that should make for a neat installation but as Jammer says you will need a large TSW Inverter with a lot more battery power than 2 6V batteries.

You did not mention HW heater they pull around 13 amps, unless you run the frig and HW heater on propane 15 amps will be a stretch but doable with a lot of power management.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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Specifics

I plan on using the LG Art Cool to cool the trailer. SmokelessJoe has convinced me through his installation of its merit. I am debating between the 9500 btu 11,000 btu because there is a difference of 7 running amps to 9 running amps. Those units seem to be very sophisticated.

Yet even with that I think most of you are correct that using a inverter would be less than efficient. I have yet to determine if my lights and plugs are on different wiring. I believe they are, but I am not sure. If so I will probably turn all of my lights onto 12v. I plan on installing 12v LED's regardless. I will not be removing the interior panels so I will not be re-doing the wiring...that comes in the resto 5 years from now.

My fridge is the original 110v and I want to keep that for original sake, since it still works great. It just needs some paint.

The heat, water heater, stove will all be propane. After thinking about it, I will probably just turn off the AC when I make coffee during the summer, and similarly when I want to make toast etc. If I can't do that then I really am too comfortable. I will still install batteries for boon docking sake. And maybe just be a cheap inverter for the electronics.

I will just design my life around 15amps, as I will be basically full-timing for a while.

Any opinions are welcome, and I will continue to post my electrical questions here for the remainder of the project.

Thanks
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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The problems I have with the original wiring is: 1) it is almost 60 years old, 2) it is all two wire with no ground, 3) it is fabric covered, not plastic like the current romex, 4) there are splices buried inside the panels, 5) the splices are twisted and taped and no grommets where the wires go through the ribs only pieces of tubing which could have come loose allowing the wires to chafe.

The wiring connects the outlets with the lights, no way to change the lights to 12V using the current wiring. New wires need to be run and since you are not removing the interior panels, the wires will be run outside of the walls.

Not to mention the 57 year old insulation.

Bill
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