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Old 02-02-2020, 01:48 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1972 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 20
replacing breaker box

We are looking replace the old Airstream 30 amp breaker box and am looking to use an off-the-shelf breaker control box (i.e. not one made specifically for RVs) -- curious if anyone has done this. For the 12V circuits I plan to use a simple LED 12V driver (fed by one 120V circuit coming off this breaker box); the remaining available circuits will feed the 120V outlets and appliances (AC system). Might add a few new 120V outlets around the trailer as well. If/when we add solar and batteries, we will have adequate space in the breaker box to accommodate. Our trailer is going to be a park trailer so no batteries to incorporate (not yet at least) involved -- we just want the 50 amp (and/or 30 amp) service supply found at RV parks. We are eliminated the Univolt.

In examining the new breaker boxes that are available from Home Depot/Lowes, it appears that the ground bus and the neutral (white wire) bus are one-and-the-same, while the small 30 amp service box we are replacing (the original Airstream box) has the ground wire bus connected to the steel breaker box, while the neutral white wires have their own bus (and don't appear to be electrically connected to the grounded steel box.)

Any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated!
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:00 PM   #2
Rivet Master

2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 8,590
replacing breaker box

Electrical code and good wiring practice require the neutral and ground buss bars to be isolated in a trailer. Itís a safety thing to avoid a Ďhot skiní condition if you plug into a miswired pedestal or outlet. An accidental hot-neutral swap in the pedestal can easily put line voltage on the outside of the trailer, which can be fatal...which is why I have an EMS/surge protector hard wired into my trailer. My power relay doesnít close and power even come on unless itís wired right and the right voltages.

They may make an isolated neutral buss bar for your box. Check with the manufacturer of the box or a real electrical supply house. The home improvement folks may not be aware of the issue and carry the part. It sits in insulated blocks and should screw right into the correct box.
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
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