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Old 06-22-2022, 02:13 AM   #1
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1963 16' Bambi
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Please review my wiring diagram.

Hi everyone.

Iíve got a small (which I believe is) converter box in my trailer. It has a shore power cord and a 110v outlet on the box.

The trailer wiring is a mess. Random wires which seem to go to no where and the 7 pin harness is crumbling.

Per the videos I saw, this diagram looks correct. A video I saw showed a breaker box that plugs into shore power and then the converter plugs into that breaker box-in line to shore power. This should work by eliminating the breaker box? I think I will be fine with no 110v outlets on board.

Hereís the diagram typed out.

Converter box:
+12v to to 12v fuse box
Ground to ground bus bar

2 batteries wired in parallel:
Ground to ground bus bar
12v+ to fuse box with a kill switch to shut off all power to trailer when not in use
12v+ in line Reseting breaker

Fuse box:
Interior lights
Exterior lights
Water pump
Misc. items-Radio? Vent fan? Iíve cooler?

Ground bus bar:
Interior lights
Exterior lights
Water pump
Misc. items

7 pin connector on the truck:
12+ auxiliary to fuse box
Ground to ground bus bar
5 other wires for each of the lights.


Some concerns,
Biggest one, does this look correct?
The video I saw used breakers in a breaker box.
The converter box I am looking at only has 2 small fuses on it. Is this ok?
The Ground wire from the 7 pin was said to go to the ground bus bar for charging the batteries, how will the trailer lights ground and function?
There is no chassis/frame ground, do I add one? If so from where?

Thank you.
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:52 AM   #2
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You'll need at least one good conductor between your negative bus bar and the trailer's frame. I'd also add another to the shell and one between the copper gas line and the frame.
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:53 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.

Diagram looks ok to me except I would add a chassis ground to the ground bus bar.

You aren’t planning on any AC outlets or appliances in the trailer? Are you just going to run an extension cord to the converter?

You should test your lights with a 12v source early in your project to make sure you don’t need to do any rewiring. Plug into tow vehicle is easiest.

Sounds like you have a great find there
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
You'll need at least one good conductor between your negative bus bar and the trailer's frame. I'd also add another to the shell and one between the copper gas line and the frame.
Some people are insistent that I add a breaker box.
The trailer currently has some type of converter and I see no breaker box.
There is only 1 115V outlet and itís right on the converter.

The video I saw makes it seem like the breaker box is the middle man. If I can get a converter or even use my existing one with only 1 110v outlet, then Iím ok with that.

The current converter also has a 12v reset button and a ď115vacĒ reset button.
Is that not what a breaker box would do?

So I can run a ground wire directly from the ground buss bar to the trailer frame and another wire to the
Trailer shell?
If I add copper line, would I just solder the ground onto the pipe?

Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:01 AM   #5
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You're going to need some type of circuit breaker inside the trailer, even if just a two-circuit small one. You need to have some way to turn off shore power inside the trailer.

Your ground wires can go from the negative bus bar to the frame & shell. The circuit breaker box will have its own ground connection which should also be connected to the frame.

For grounding the copper LP line, they make special copper clamps which go around the copper line and have a screw terminal to hold the ground wire.

Here's how I made all the necessary ground connections to my frame.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:04 AM   #6
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Iíve added to the diagram the breaker box. I may want to run a microwave later on. So Iím just going to use the breaker box with 2 outlets.

I forgot to add the circuit breaker inside.

The trailer currently has an ON/OFF switch that says ďtruck batteryĒ
Is the current existing circuit switch?

Now that I added a breaker box, the 110v cord between the converter and breaker box is essentially the circuit breaker right? Or where does this switch go?

Is there too many grounds in my diagram?
Iíve also added a ground from the breaker box.
Thereís no issue running AC and DC grounds to the same place? (Trailer frame)

Thanks for the mention of the propane line ground.
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:01 AM   #7
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10 revisions later,
I think this is the proper diagram.
Any thoughts on it?
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serf27 View Post
10 revisions later,
I think this is the proper diagram.
Any thoughts on it?
Looking good. Just a couple of minor details...

You show a wire nut inside your breaker box, but I'm pretty sure that even a small box like that will have a neutral bus bar inside it for that purpose. Wire nuts, in general, should be avoided whenever possible since the vibration on a moving trailer can work them loose.

Also, are you planning to install a battery monitor? Now or in the future? If so, it will have a shunt which needs to be installed on the negative cable leading off your battery bank and before anything else. Just mentioning it so you can plan accordingly. If you plan to install one in the future, you might be able to plan for it now by routing the negative cable through an appropriate spot for the shunt and by leaving enough extra cable for it. If you're not planning to install a monitor, ignore what I just said.
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:19 AM   #9
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I think it does have the neutral bus bar. I will use the bus bar and make sure it does not touch ground inside the box.

I was going to install a switch panel that showed battery voltage.
The battery monitors do seem to show a lot more info though.
I may add this monitor so I can see the battery charge too.
AiLi Voltmeter Ammeter Voltage Current Meter Voltmeter Ammeter 100V 350A Caravan RV Motorhome 999 AH https://a.co/d/11KUbEJ

The monitor shunt or “sampler” needs to go the thick negative cable going to ground?
So I’d have to route the thick cable almost all the way inside so I could have the monitor inside, right?


This so the switch panel that shows voltage.
I can use the charging ports for small accessories and use the switches for exterior lights.
Nilight - 90117G 4 Gang Rocker Switch Panel Waterproof Pre-Wired Aluminum Switch Panel with Dual USB Cigarette Lighter Socket Voltmeter12V-24V DC ON Off Switch Panel for Cars Rvs Trucks https://a.co/d/dQzH3CF

Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:34 AM   #10
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Looks like that monitor, like most, would need the shunt installed on the negative battery cable. The basic plan is like this...

The battery cable coming off the negative end of your battery bank (black in your diagram) would go to the 'battery' stud on the monitor's shunt. From the other stud on the shunt (load side) you use another battery cable to continue onwards. In your case, it would go from the shunt to the J-box in your diagram.

Depending on where you place your components and batteries, you might be able to locate the shunt inside the battery box. The monitor connects to the shunt via a shielded cable, and it looks like you'd have no problem running the cable from the battery box to inside the trailer where the monitor would be placed.

A shunt type monitor will provide much more accurate information about the state of your batteries. A voltage meter just tells you the voltage, but a shunt type monitor counts the amps going in/out of your batteries and you'll be able to monitor actual usage.
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Old 06-24-2022, 11:08 AM   #11
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I have 2 battery ground wires.
The shunt goes on the ground wire that goes to the ground in the J-Box and not the ground going directly to the trailer frame, right?

Running the monitor cable from the battery box to the inside of the trailer seems like a much better and easier idea.

The shunt diagram shows 1 12v wire from the battery goes to the shunt.
Does this mean the monitor will always be on as long as the battlers are hooked up? Will this cause any unnecessary drain on the battery?

At home, I am going to disconnect the batteries when the trailer is not in use. But when camping (not on shore power) I was just going to make sure everything was off or use the kill switch. Do I need an off switch for the monitor?

Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2022, 11:20 AM   #12
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If you're using a shunt type monitor, then you can only have one negative cable coming off the battery bank, and it must go directly to the shunt with no other connections on that side of the shunt.

Your connection between the battery bank and the chassis/frame must be made on the other side of the shunt.

If you have a shunt system that needs 12v+ to the monitor, then yes - you'll need to add a power switch or you will have a drain on your batteries at all times. You'll need to leave it switched 'on' whenever you want to monitor the batteries, as obviously it won't count the amps if it's off. But, when not using the trailer you disconnect the batteries and flip the switch powering the monitor.

On my trailer I added a disconnect on the negative cable between the shunt and the battery bank to make sure that everything is totally shut off.
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:21 PM   #13
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I’ll add a switch between the monitor power wire and battery + so I can turn the monitor off.

What type of monitor do I need so I can keep both of my battery grounds? The ground to the frame and the ground to the J-box.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serf27 View Post
Iíll add a switch between the monitor power wire and battery + so I can turn the monitor off.

What type of monitor do I need so I can keep both of my battery grounds? The ground to the frame and the ground to the J-box.
Most monitors with a shunt require that there be just one connection to the battery bank, and that the connection is made through the shunt. Nothing can connect to the batteries before the shunt, not even the ground to chassis.

Your ground to chassis will be made after the shunt. It should make no functional difference to your setup, other than moving the one battery cable from a direct battery-to-chassis connection to one after the shunt.

This has to be the way it gets connected because if you give any other path to the negative side of your battery bank the shunt will not see all the electrons flowing to/from the batteries.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:03 AM   #15
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So the shunt - side would be wired like this.
- battery to battery stud on shunt
Load stud on the terminal would have 2 wires. 1 directly to ground and 1 to my ground bus bar?

The shunt will work if the 2 batteries are wired in parallel right?
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serf27 View Post
So the shunt - side would be wired like this.
- battery to battery stud on shunt
Load stud on the terminal would have 2 wires. 1 directly to ground and 1 to my ground bus bar?

The shunt will work if the 2 batteries are wired in parallel right?
On my system I have two batteries in parallel. There is a jumper between the two batteries on both the positive and negative terminals, but only one cable leads from the battery bank on the negative side, and only one leads from the battery bank on the positive side.

The negative cable goes to the battery stud on the shunt. From the shunt I've got another cable that connects from the load stud on the shunt to my ground bus bar. It from the ground bus bar that I've got the grounding wire which goes to the chassis. There is no need to put the grounding wire on the load side of the shunt - the purpose for having the bus bar is to provide places to make all these connections.

The only devices which need a cable run directly from them to the chassis are usually the 120v devices which need the grounding connection for safety in the event there is a problem (short) on the 120v system.
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:04 PM   #17
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So I don’t need the second direct to ground wire on the batteries?
Just have the load stud on the shunt going to the negative bus bar that will be already grounded to the frame?

If so, then I’ll have 1 12v+ wire coming from the barriers and 1 negative wire.
I have been looking at this monitor.
Does it look good?
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:26 PM   #18
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Looks like a copy of the Victron at a fraction of the price. It seems to have the functions you need, and the reviews are mostly positive. Not sure what else I can say about it.

Your summation of the wiring off the batteries sounds correct to me.
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Old 06-26-2022, 02:16 PM   #19
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I ran both batteries ( I actually have 4) to separate posts in the trailer. So all grounds go to one post and all positive connections to another post. Then I have one wire (much heavier gauge) to go from the negative post to the shunt and one wire from the other side of the shunt to a negative bus bar. I also have one for the positive post to the positive bus bar. I've kept all battery leads the identical length. Make sure your ground for the negative happens on the other side of the shunt ( load side not battery side). The posts make it easier to connect multiple wires with the heavy gauge wiring required for the batteries and then to connect an even heavier gauge to the bus bars.
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Old 06-26-2022, 03:21 PM   #20
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Thanks Richard. I will go with that monitor and wire it up the way I’ve explained.
If the monitor signal wires are too short to run to the inside of the trailer, extending those with the same gauge wire will be no issue, correct?

Gator, yes, the ground wire leaving the batteries to the shunt will go to the batt side and the load side of the shunt will go to the negative bus bar.

What posts make it easier to make it easier and what wires are you talking about?
So you’re running a thicker wire after each connection?

I was planning on using 8 gauge wire for all battery connections/converter and 16 gauge for any 12v accessories leaving the fuse box.
Led lights, radio.
Should I use 10 gauge for the water pump?

Do the batteries need thicker wire or this is fine?

I will be building a wooden box that will house everything. Batteries, converter, fuse box, negative bus bar and breaker box. So any heavy power wire will most likely be about 1-2ft long.

The only wires that will be longer will be 12v accessory wires and the wires from the breaker boxes going to 110v outlets.
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