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Old 03-13-2016, 06:52 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
Posts: 22
Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
newbie needs help with electrical

Hello everyone, I am new here but have been reading posts for months, been dreaming about my bus for about 3 years. I finally got to buys my bus about a month ago. I got a 2002 with a DT466. I have NO CLUE about electrical so please speak to me as if I were stupid. I know what I want but I am not sure how to do it exactly, so I want to put in a shore line, and a 4000 watt inverter. I want the shore line to power when hooked up and then inverter to power when not. I want the alternator to charge my house batteries when they need it but I want to keep starter batteries and house batteries separate... can someone please give me some kind of sematic to show exactly how the wires would run from item to item including the breaker box. I DO NOT WANT A GENERATOR OR SOLAR POWER. is this set up possible if I am plugged in or driving at all times?? Thanks for your help! Misty
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,362
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Here's a recent thread on bus electrical:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/el...ing-13059.html
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:37 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
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Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
Yes I seen that post but I got confused when I read all the comments and someone said to use a converter not an inverter.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:40 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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A converter takes 120v AC shore power and converts it into 12v DC. Most converters also incorporate a battery charger too. The better ones are three stage chargers which do a much better job of keeping batteries charged than the older/cheaper single stage chargers.

An inverter takes 12v DC from the battery bank and makes 120v AC to power stuff that you could normally plug in at home.

To confuse things a bit, you can also get an inverter/charger (also known as a standby inverter). These units combine an inverter and a converter/battery charger and are wired to both shore power and the battery bank. Electronics inside the unit monitor the shore power line and automatically switches to battery/inverter power when shore power is unplugged. These are pretty expensive but do a good job of automatically switching between shore power and battery power.

Getting 12v and 120v power to peacefully (and safely) co-exist is the hardest part of the bus conversion puzzle. Boondockers usually try to be light energy users and typically use small inverters and smaller battery banks. Campground campers tend be set up much more for 120v AC and use the battery bank/inverter to power stuff while driving.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:55 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
Posts: 22
Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
Yes, I have been looking at inverter/converter/battery charger all in one... That is the way im going to go I believe. Smartest way for us as we are camping ground people. And with 5 kids (teens) there are always phone chargers, laptops, t.v., an Xbox, fridge, fans and whatever else going. Lol.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:12 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
Posts: 22
Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
Bare with me

OK so if I use the 3in1 it should go like this?

Shore line
To
50amp inlet
To
3in1 inverter/converter
To
Ac breaker box, remote panel battery bank
To. To nothing. To
120v outlets. DC fuses
To
12v lights, 12v sockets


Then from right side it goes
Alternator to
Starting batteries to
Relay to
Battery bank
??
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:57 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
Posts: 22
Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
Got it, thanks roach, u r awesome. Ordering parts tonight and we are on spring break next week so I will let ya know how it goes... Lol
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:43 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Gunnison, CO
Posts: 13
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 66
Wow Misty, it sounds like you are in better shape than us!

Great information in this thread, thank you Misty and roach.

Is it possible to do a similar setup what Misty has suggested, but to incorporate a generator into the mix as well? A generator as an alternative to the alternator charging the battery bank?

Additionally, what should I look for in a battery relay?
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:23 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
Posts: 22
Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
If u click the link in Roach's first reply u will find a schematic that shows it with a generator. I went to a local rv shop and found a very helpful man who pointed me to a relay. They also sold an inlet, distribution panel, inverter/charger, shore power lines, and other items. Good luck, we are going to try to hook it all up this coming up weekend. Will let you know how it goes.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:48 PM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danville, Illinois
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Year: 2002
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466
OK, so I finally figured out how to get my picture uploaded but only to my profile page so if y'all wouldn't mind going to take a look and let me know what ya think I would greatly appreciate it! If ya see any problems please let me know. Thanks
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