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Old 07-04-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
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Re: Audrey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshart
... How close to the roof can you comfortably build a bunk?
From top of mattress to ceiling, 20 inches is about the least that I would recommend. My daughter sleeps in the cabover of the Class C and that is what she has. She is also quite small (95 lb and 4'10"). People often think she is 16 yo (she is 24 yo).

As for the bus. The "all-in-one" shower/toilet sucks. The floor is always wet it seems like. PITA to change but you may want to think about it. Perhaps move the toile over to the closet across from the shower. We have the all-in-one setup in the Class C. We hate it. We too do not have a "dining area". We have long since discovered that we tend to eat on our laps while watching TV.there seems to be two groups of folks among the RVers (this was a well discussed thread several months back on an RV forum)... some folks have no use for a dining table except as a place to store junk on top of. Then there were the folks who ALWAYS ate at a table. I would rethink the couch possibly. Maybe put 3 office chairs that you can remove the casters and screw to the floor. You don't say how old your son is... but if a teen, the three chairs would allow you to replace one chair with a small end table when your son moves out and gets his own skoolie.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Audrey

Some more on the subject - http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...1728&start=150

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Old 07-05-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: Audrey

[quote="Moshart"... living in FL, we have 3 outside "dining" tables...[/quote]
Where in FL? We used to live there in Ft. Pierce/PSL/Stuart (still have family in PSL, Vero Beach, Jupiter, Pierson, Lakeland).We don't go to FL anymore.


Please edit your profile to list that you live in FL. This will help other skoolies. You can edit it every time you move... we do.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Re: Audrey

Looks as if someone did some kind of repair to window frame. If they didn't actually make the window bigger, I think they didn't clean out the putty properly before reinstalling. Windows come out pretty easily on a BB, just take out big screw on each side and pull top toward you.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: Audrey

[quote="Moshart"]Oh that doesn't seem so bad at all, thank you!

Well... it may not be THAT easy. The windows are usually caulked in, so you may have to use a razor knife to cut out the caulking. The windows on my Thomas come out the same way, but it did require some wrestling and prying with screwdrivers to get them out.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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Re: Audrey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshart
... I've got a 30 amp system with no house batteries. I do have an Onan 5k generator though. Is there something I can get in case we decide to get a house battery bank in the future or all the components pretty much stand alone?
What do you want to run off the battery bank? We have an "under counter" 110vAC 3.? CF refrigerator and an "under counter" 110vAC 4.2 cf freezer in our Class C. I can go 8 hours without power and they stay cold. The frozen stuff stays frozen. Just keep the doors shut. You would use the genset to operate the air conditioner unit anyway. Because David has won on the genset/Air conditioner issue, We will only need a "house bank" for 12vDC lights and water pump.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Audrey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshart
From what I can tell, our power converter is not a battery charger
Technically no, but actually it is. Any constant voltage power supply is also a battery charger. From what I can see from the pic, it puts out 12.7v. If you hook up a battery to it, the battery will absorb power until it reaches 12.7v. That's why converters are often referred to as converter/chargers.

The big problem is that it only puts out (if I'm seeing it properly) 4.8a, which is way too little to charge a house battery bank.

One of the most commonly used converter/chargers is the Iota:

http://www.iotaengineering.com/12vdc.htm

You would want to size it according to the amp*hour capacity of the house battery bank that you will need to charge. 10%-15% is the usual rule of thumb, so with say a 255ah bank, a 30a converter/charger would be about right. AGM batteries can usually handle a higher charging current, so you might go with a 45a or 55a unit if you had 255ah of AGM batteries.

Iotas are excellent quality, and not terribly expensive:

http://www.solar-electric.com/bach1.html

You have a bigger generator, so it's not an issue, but I should mention that a 55a Iota is about the limit of what a small 1600w/2000w inverter generator such as the Honda or Yamaha can power.


(Hi All, long time Skoolie.net lurker (from back before there was a forum I think), 1st post.)
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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Re: Audrey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshart
One question that we have, and maybe it was said and I just didn't understand. Does the 30 amp shore power system have anything to do with the the unit that we'll get? Would getting a 90 amp converter/charger be too much or would it be fine and allow us to add the maximum battery bank when the time comes? Do we even HAVE to have batteries connected right away, or would it be ok to leave it without for the time being?

We'll be parked and living/working in the same spot for some time to come, so we will be hooked up to shore power.
Well, first of all, it's important to always keep in mind exactly what you are referring to when you say "amps". You might be referring to the amps which the thing draws, or you might be referring to the amps which the things puts out. For example, an Iota 90a charger draws up to 22a of 120v AC on its input side, and can put out up to 90a of 12v DC on its output side.

So, having a 30a shore power plug, means that you can draw at most 30 amps of 120v AC from the shore power supply, and supply at most 30a of 120v AC to devices inside the RV.


What RV electrical rigging generally consists of is a 120v AC system and a 12v DC system.

Generally, the 120v system is fed either by shore power or generator.
The 12v system is fed by the batteries.

Then you have a converter/charger, which is fed by the 120v system, and which feeds the 12v system (converter). Since the batteries are part of the 12v system, they'll absorb power(charger) when the converter/charger is on, which is why it's called a "converter/charger". The more 12v loads that are running, the less of the converter/charger's 12v DC amp output is available for the batteries to absorb. I.e., if you have a 30a converter/charger, and have 20a of 12v loads running, then there will only be 10a available for the batteries to absorb.


You can then make it more complex, by adding an inverter, to feed the 120v system from the batteries. One way, is to use a small inverter which only feeds a couple of 120v plugs in the camper.

(INverter changes 12v DC to 120v AC - CONverter generally goes the other way.)

Another way, is to use a big inverter/charger (i.e., Xantrex ProSine), which feeds the entire 120v system in the camper, and can either take power from shore/gen - in which case it passes the incoming 120v through to the camper's 120v system, and fires up its internal charger to charge the batteries - or if there is no shore/gen, it turns off its charger and turns on its inverter and takes power from the batteries to feed the 120v system.


Getting a really big charger can be a problem in that it can draw too much power from the shore connection and possibly trip the shore power's breaker. Buildings with 30a 120v RV type power receptacles are rare. Campsites often have them, but it's not a sort of plug generally used in a building. You might (probably will) get stuck plugging into a normal 120v wall plug at some point - those receptacles are rated at 15a, though there may be half a dozen of them all being fed by a single 20a breaker.

Sophisticated units like the ProSine, can be configured to only draw X power. So if you were plugged into a 15a shore power receptacle, you could tell the ProSine (which has a 100a battery charger built-in) to limit the battery charger to say 50a. That way you could still charge the batteries, but not trip the 15a or 20a breaker on the shore power.

The Iotas aren't programmable like that. So if you install a 90a Iota, then when the batteries are low, it will go into full power mode. Fine if you are at a site with 30a shore power, but not so fine if you are plugged into a 15a receptacle (even if it is fed by a 20a breaker) because the 90a Iota can draw as much as 22a on the AC side, and there is no way to tell it not to:

http://www.iotaengineering.com/dls90.htm


No matter what, you have a finite supply of shore power. Even if you have a full 30a shore power connection - you can easily draw over 30a just by running a 90a battery charger and...well just about anything else. You won't run, for instance, a 90a charger and a/c at the same time on a 30a circuit, or a 90a charger and a microwave either. Or hair dryer. Or electric heater.

For factory RVs, which will have say a 30a shore power plug and a 13,500 btu or 15,000 btu roof a/c - about the biggest converter/chargers they usually install is 55a.

So it's a balancing act. If you plug into shore power and let your batteries get charged up overnight, then the next day when you fire up your a/c, the converter/charger obviously won't be in high power charging mode, so it won't be using much, if any, of the shore available power (unless you have a bunch of 12v loads turned on, then it will draw however much it needs in order to supply those loads).

Another option, would be to install say a 15a Iota, AND a 45a Iota. Then you could run the small charger when plugged into a 15a shore power plug, or turn them both on when you are plugged into a 30a shore power and have a full 60a charging capacity.


The general rule of thumb is that the bare minimum battery charger is 5% of the amp*hour capacity of the battery bank. So if you had say, two 6v 225ah golf cart batteries, rigged in series to make 12v, that would be a 225ah battery bank, and the bare minimum charger (by that rule of thumb) would be 11.25a - so say a 15a charger. 10%-15% of ah capacity would be better, so say a 30a charger would be about right as the minimum.


As for running only on shore power and not even having batteries. You can do that, but again, the power supply is finite. Even if you are plugged into 30a shore power, you might be able to run the microwave while the a/c is on, but you might trip the shore power breaker if the a/c compressor kicks in while the micro is running. You might be able to run the a/c, computer and coffee pot, but if you then turn on the hair dryer...pop goes the breaker.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:14 AM   #9
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Re: Audrey

Quote:
Originally Posted by igloo
I don't mean to unnecessarily bump an older thread, but that was a fantastic explanation DWH, thank you.

*Edit, I'm seeing a ton of bad reviews for the ProSine 2.0... any equivalents out there?

*2nd Edit, I'm seeing 'Tripp Lite' PowerVerter series that has gotten alright reviews. I'm unsure if you can hook it up to a generator though/shore power instead of just running on batteries.

Sorry for the delay in replying - haven't been around the net all that much lately.

I tend to take bad reviews on the Internet with a grain of salt. Figure Xantrex sells oh...25,000 ProSines, and say oh...25 people bi*ch and moan on the net. That's a seriously low percentage of complainers. A "Vocal Minority".


This Tripplite:

http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/mo ... delID=3600

Does have an internal transfer switch, so it operates as I described earlier - if there is shore power, it will pass that through to the 120v outlets in the camper and switch on its battery charger. If there isn't shore power, it will switch off its charger and use the inverter section to take power from the batteries to feed the 120v outlets in the camper.

An important distinction is that I think that particular Tripplite unit puts out Modified Square Wave (MSW) 120v power, whereas the ProSine puts out Pure Sine Wave (PSW). The arguments over MSW vs. PSW are long and bloody, but the bottom line is that there are a few devices which won't work right on MSW, and a few which won't work at all - whereas everything will work fine on PSW. For general all-around use, MSW is *usually* fine.

It has a switchable 25a/100a battery charger, but otherwise is not programmable like the ProSine. It says the charger is switchable for wet/dry batteries, but with a ProSine you can program the exact charge voltages specified for your exact batteries. It's not a major deal, the Tripplite's charger will work fine, but it can't be fine tuned.


I've known a few people with ProSines and none had any problems. I've also known a few with Tripplites and none of them had any problems either. Tripplite is good stuff and used in a lot of utility company vehicles. Xantrex (Schneider now) is also good stuff.


Personally...if I was spending a thousand or more on an inverter - I'd want PSW, not MSW. But that's just me. As a journeyman electrician with 12 years in the trade before I switched careers, I probably wouldn't buy an all in one unit anyway. I'm more likely to buy this inverter and that charger and then wire it all up "my way".
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