I like our Blue Seas distribution panel, quality piece of equipment … expensive though (around $95.00 here in Sitka)
I’ve been chatting about circuits & fusing with the Folks over on the MAK Bus Conversion Board for a couple of days.
It’s hard to weed out what’s really correct to do, informationally speaking versus just a bunch of techno gobblygook over there sometimes.
It’s a great Resource, with some really nice folks who want to help…but there’s definitely a bunch of folks there who get too wrapped up in what they think is the only correct way to go about a conversion. They’re big on RV ‘Code’ installations …unfortunately there is No such thing as a set in Stone RV code. All it is …is an organization that arbitrarily set standards for RV parts & installations that’s 6 years behind the times …they’re not a regulatory agency. They’re really just Toadies for the RV Building industry.
So…it’s hard to ask a question that doesn’t receive a well ‘this is the only way to go about it or you’re doing it wrong answer.
They say that I can’t just run 2 lines (12-gauge wire) with branches off it for the 12-volt lights (one each side of the bus). I did this in our last conversion and never had a single problem. No wires got hot, and we didn’t have any brown outs.
They’re saying I would need a separate wire (circuit) with no more than 2-3 12-volt lights attached.
I don’t know if this really right or not? I was going to attach branches for 8 lights on each main trunk line that I’m installing on each side. The lights all together (per side) would draw 15 amps if they were all used at once …but I seriously doubt we’d have them all turned on at the same time. And even if I did turn them all on at once, I’m not sure this would hurt anything.
If they’re right I’ll have to pick up another 3 circuit Blue Seas ($60.00) and wait for a month till they get restocked with the wiring I’m using. I bought out they’re whole stock of 300 feet of the stuff. Living on an Island in the middle of nowhere sucks sometimes.
Well, anyway …here’s how were going to send power to our distribution panel (s).
I’m coming off the battery bank with a heavy-duty primary cable (+) that will go to a Perko marine quality on/off switch …these are big honking units with very good shielded connector posts. They’re wonderful for shutting down your 12-volt system quickly if you have any problems …plus if you’re running any devices like wired-in CO & propane detectors that are drawing power all the time, it’s good to have a system that will shut everything down if you leave the bus for a few days (no hidden battery draining).
On the ‘out’ side of the switch I’ll run a short section of primary cable to a marine Power post that will be screwed down inside our Power panel area…from the power post there will be the lead to our Distribution Box (this line will have an in-line 45 amp fuse on it to protect the panel).
For the (-) side I’ll run primary cable to another power post that will have a smaller gauge wire leading to the negative bus bar.
We did the same thing on our last bus ‘Home’, worked great.