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Old 01-04-2012, 07:38 PM   #91
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

If I forget to turn on the block heaters it takes a lot of cranking and kicking in the other battery helps.

Bill Kelleher


Too late.

If I may ask, under what conditions did you need to use the feature on your boat?
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #92
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

My bookmobile has a 220VAC, 50-amp receptacle on the driver's side. I have a corresponding cable as well as an adapter cable for (I assume) a 30-amp connection. I won't have any 220VAC accessories on the rig when it's done, and my inverter has only an input for 110VAC shore service.

Can I disconnect the red wire in this receptacle (leaving what I believe to be one black 110V hot, the white neutral, and the green ground wires) and still connect to 50-amp shore power without trouble? Of course I'll tape off the end of the wire in the receptacle and tie it back onto itself to make sure there is no chance of an accidental short (I don't want to remove the wire altogether as it may come in handy if I ever do upgrade to something that uses 220V in the future).

Here's what it looks like inside the mounting box for the receptacle, looking through the access panel inside the bus:
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #93
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Originally Posted by PDBreske
. . . Can I disconnect the red wire in this receptacle (leaving what I believe to be one black 110V hot, the white neutral, and the green ground wires) and still connect to 50-amp shore power without trouble? Of course I'll tape off the end of the wire in the receptacle and tie it back onto itself to make sure there is no chance of an accidental short (I don't want to remove the wire altogether as it may come in handy if I ever do upgrade to something that uses 220V in the future). . .
Yes. The red wire would not have shore power on it once removed from the receptacle. But why bother.

Remember - in a 120/240-volt circuit breaker panel, every other breaker is wired to the opposite pole. Half are wired to the "hot" black wire, and half to the "hot" red wire. If you only have a few circuits in the new configuration, and you can connect them all to the breakers fed by the black wire, you are fine. You can even leave the unused red wire connected, harmlessly feeding all the unused breakers. If you need more 120-volt circuits, you will have to find a safe way to feed all the breakers from the black wire.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:58 PM   #94
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
Yes. The red wire would not have shore power on it once removed from the receptacle. But why bother.

Remember - in a 120/240-volt circuit breaker panel, every other breaker is wired to the opposite pole. Half are wired to the "hot" black wire, and half to the "hot" red wire. If you only have a few circuits in the new configuration, and you can connect them all to the breakers fed by the black wire, you are fine. You can even leave the unused red wire connected, harmlessly feeding all the unused breakers. If you need more 120-volt circuits, you will have to find a safe way to feed all the breakers from the black wire.
I understand the wiring in a circuit breaker panel, but I was planning to run this shore connection directly to the Freedom 20 inverter AC input (110V only). The inverter will automatically switch to shore power when I plug in at a campground (or home) and I would connect the inverter 110VAC output to the circuit breakers. That way, the circuit breakers are always being powered by the inverter whether it's drawing from the batteries or shore power.

Or am I way off?

The bookmobile had SO much wiring that I simply couldn't keep track of all of it when I started gutting this thing after I brought it home. Now I'm trying to make everything as simple and straightforward as I can. (I suppose all my planning for simplicity will be undone when I start figuring the solar addition.)
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:10 PM   #95
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I forgot the inverter part. You will still be fine using the shoreline inlet as the inverter inlet, with one caveat. The inverter should be a "mobile" type that breaks the shoreline neutral as well as the hot when switching to battery power. If the one you have doesn't do that, consider an external relay. And the shoreline neutral should be insulated from the shoreline ground. If they are tied together in the bus, which appears as a sub-feed panel to the commercial power source, it is not code. It will also trip any GFCI protection in the shore outlet. The only neutral-to-ground bond should be at the disconnect after the street meter. It is OK for the inverter to connect the neutral to ground when running on batteries, as it is now the AC power source . . .
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:25 AM   #96
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
I forgot the inverter part. You will still be fine using the shoreline inlet as the inverter inlet, with one caveat. The inverter should be a "mobile" type that breaks the shoreline neutral as well as the hot when switching to battery power. If the one you have doesn't do that, consider an external relay. And the shoreline neutral should be insulated from the shoreline ground. If they are tied together in the bus, which appears as a sub-feed panel to the commercial power source, it is not code. It will also trip any GFCI protection in the shore outlet. The only neutral-to-ground bond should be at the disconnect after the street meter. It is OK for the inverter to connect the neutral to ground when running on batteries, as it is now the AC power source . . .
From the Freedom 20 Owner's Manual:

Quote:
For safety purposes, the Freedom Combi unit internally bonds the AC ouput neutral (white) to the AC ground (green), when the unit is OFF or in the inverter mode. When incoming AC power is applied and the transfer switch is engaged, the internal neutral-to- ground bond is automatically lifted.

This means that when AC power (shorepower) is applied, the grounding system is connected to the shore power ground, where neutral and earth ground are bonded together. This technique insures safety in all conditions and conforms to the requirements of the NEC.
I think that's what you were referring to, correct?
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:41 PM   #97
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Here's a small progress report:

I removed all the exhaust pipes from the generator (thanks to PB Blaster). I also found out that I only have to drain the fluids from the generator and attach it to a pallet to ship it to whomever wins the eBay auction. The auction ends in about a week and hopefully someone will bid above the reserve price of $2500. I've already got a few bids from the starting price of $1500.

I removed the 60-gallon waste water tank from under the right side of the bus and cleaned it out. It will be reinstalled under the floor just behind the driver's seat. In its old location, I might try to find a large horizontal propane tank for heating and cooking. I've got enough room in that space for a ten-foot-long tank if I want.



I moved the side door hardware from the back door to the front door to replace what had been removed by the previous owner. He took off all the interior hardware to make room for his kitchen cabinet. I'm eventually going to remove the rear door altogether, so there's no need to keep that stuff on the door.

Based on some ideas I've seen in other skoolie conversions, I think I'm going to use a chest freezer converted to refrigerator instead of a stand-up refrigerator. The chest models are more efficient and I don't need the capacity that is in the full-size fridge I got with the bus, so I'll sell it on craigslist.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #98
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

This is an updated 3D render of the proposed interior:



The raised floor is about 12" and will contain a 60" x 60" x 12" water bladder as well as the shower drain plumbing and water pump. While a 12-inch step isn't ideal for constant use, I figure this part of the interior will be getting only occasional use throughout the day, and it's not like I'm too old to make the climb. Since I've decided to further pare down the bathroom to a shower and portable toilet, the potty now resides in the shower when I'm not in there and can be relocated to just outside the stall for that one time a day when I'm showering. The kitchen cabinets now include a corner unit that extends over the raised floor and houses a Lazy Susan for larger kitchen items. The upper cabinets include a corner cabinet with an "appliance garage," and a small 12" cabinet that wraps along the shower wall.

The countertop has a fold-down leaf that will span from the kitchen almost to the wardrobe on the right side of the interior. I'm still figuring out how I'm going to make it sturdy enough to prepare food but easy enough to stow when I need to get through the hallway to the bathroom.

I've also downsized the full-sized fridge to a converted chest freezer that I will mount on rollers or maybe full-extension drawer slides so it will be tucked under the counter when not in use. The microwave rides on top of the counter over the chest fridge. The A/C is still mounted inboard from the outer wall in a custom cabinet that I'll fabricate with perforations in the skin to allow ventilation around the A/C coils.

The right side of the interior is essentially unchanged from my last attempt at 3D RV interior design.

The cooktop in the image is just a placeholder for a smaller 2-burner unit (probably propane) that will occupy less space on the countertop.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:11 PM   #99
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Today I sold the generator on eBay and recouped over thirty percent of the cost of the bookmobile. The buyer got a really nice deal and I now have a little extra money to buy batteries and solar panels.
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:21 AM   #100
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Today I sold the generator on eBay and recouped over thirty percent of the cost of the bookmobile. The buyer got a really nice deal and I now have a little extra money to buy batteries and solar panels.
Solarblvd dot com has great prices on panels,I've picked up a few last month,ebay has been best place for controllers
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