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Old 09-08-2007, 12:00 AM   #1
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Location: Edmond, OK
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Year: 1993
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I have questions about wiring in my bus

I'm approaching the time when I'll need to start running wires for electrical stuff in my bus. I pretty much want to set it up just like an RV. I'd like to be able to run my fridge, water pump, and lights off of battery power through the inverter. Then for bigger things like the A/C, TV, Microwave etc, I'll be running them off of shore power or my generators. I don't want to mess with running stuff off my engine. I'll keep that totally separate.

So, I read the electrical stuff in the How-to section on here. Can I run an extension cord down each side of the bus off the inverter and then where I need an electrical outlet or a light, can I just splice a line off the main extension cord? I also read that I should keep my AC and DC lines away from each other right? What about my AC lines for the TV, Microwave and A/C? Should I connect them to the shore power line before it goes into the inverter? Thanks for any info! IF anybody knows of any good sites with pictures for dummies or simple diagrams, I'd appreciate it! Also, how big of an inverter would I need to run my fridge and a few lights? I figure if I need my A/C going down the road, I'll just run my generators. Thanks! Matt
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:10 AM   #2
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Re: I have questions about wiring in my bus

I think something like this is what I need:
http://www.theinverterstore.com/the-inv ... 0w-top-rgb
This inverter is $300 and 1500 watts. It automatically switches to AC power when plugged into shore power and switches to DC power when you unplug. That's exactly what I want to do. This inverter charges the batteries when plugged into shore power if I'm reading things right. I'm thinking 1500W is a bit much for a fridge and some lights, but it never hurts to go overkill right? Anybody know of any good but cheaper inverters? Thanks!
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1993 International Carpenter 10 Window bus
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:24 AM   #3
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Re: I have questions about wiring in my bus

Here is what I have been looking at (and thinking about) so far…


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=95596 Harbor Freight Reasonably priced Inverter (s)


http://www.pacificbattery.com/jac0512.html Battery Minder, well reviewed battery charger, reasonably priced.

http://www.donrowe.com/ More inverters.

http://www.amplepower.com/products_head/index.html I just received these folks book in the mail yesterday “Living on 12-volts with Ample Power”, It is full of diagrams and has chapters on just about everything. It was about $15.00 plus a couple bucks for shipping off of Amazon, my copy is used and arrived in very usable condition.

http://www.smithae.com/rv.html Quick but useful overview of RV electrics.

http://ebtx.com/mech/ampvolt.htm Basic Volt’s/Watts/Ohms

http://www.phrannie.org/phredex.html Excellent information here. You probably already have this link to Phred’s poop sheets.

Xantrex Prosine 2.0 2K-Watt Sine Wave Inverter/Charger ... This inverter is a bit on the expensive side (check Ebay about $500.00) but it has an excellent battery charger built in. I am not sure if I am going to spend the money on this one as of yet.

--

Inverter transfer switch (RV electrics information)


You cannot have multiple inverters connected in anyway, they will be out of phase with each other and cause a short.

I grounded (green wire) the receptacles to the bus, which really doesn't do any good unless you also ground the bus in some way.

Then I ran run the black wire (hot wire) and the white wire (neutral or common wire) to the switches and outlets that a want that inverter to power. You must keep each of these circuits separate between inverters. You will need to decide what you want each inverter to power and only hook up that one inverter.

Not sure what you are trying to do but I should point out that if you want to use multiple source (although you can only use one at a time as I pointed out) a transfer switch can be put inline to move your circuits between sources.

Lets take for example you have a circuit that runs all of your kitchen area appliances and it is plugged into a transfer switch. One side your 1000W inverter is plugged into it. On the other side you have plugged in one of your 750W inverters.

Lets say you want to use this single inverter to power everything and only turn on the other two smaller inverters when you need the extra power. So you can have this 1000W inverter powering everything and if you know you are going to need some extra power when you use your microwave you can turn on that other 750W inverter. When you do this the transfer switch will see that you are now supplying power on the side and it transfer your kitchen circuit over to running off the 750W inverter, leaving the 1000W inverter to power everything else in the bus except this circuit. Then when you turn the 750W inverter back off it automatically transfers over to the 1000W inverter again.

This is how most RVs switch between generator, inverter, and shore power. Transfer switches are very handy and if you use them in the right places they can be very power tool. Also you can buy inverters with built in transfer switches, the one I have in my bus is one of these.

Here are some examples of just transfer switches:

http://www.coloradostandby.com/catalog/ ... Path/25_27 Source.




Post by the_experianced03 On this Forum.

Here's a cool thing about watts. Since they are volts*amps a watt is a watt is a watt. It doesn't matter which side of the inverter you are talking about because the unit itself takes into account both voltage and amperage. So...your 183.6 watts on the AC side of the inverter is 183.6 watts on the DC side. The conversion comes in figuring out amps. 183.6/12=15.3 amps@12 Vdc. So were does that multiplicative factor of 10 come in? When going from amps@120Vac to amps@12Vdc.

Ok...enough of that garbage. I have a small fridge similar to the one you're describing. Mine is actually a little smaller, but has a slightly higher electrical draw (it's OLD....like R-12 old). It works great in the bus. The electrical draw really is minimal considering it doesn't cycle all that often. It is amazingly simple, can be used in the garage other times of the year, and is cheap. I think it's a good solution for anyone that isn't going to be doing a lot of boondocking without solar or other means of charging the batteries back up. I have mine mounted under a shelf for the TV so it is out of the sun which probably helps with efficiency, but more than anything I did it for space.

One word of caution. Size your inverter for at least 3 times the rated load IMO. Mine surge to 1500 watts, but with other stuff running the voltage drop can be enough to make my PS2 cycle off. Some of that might be my wiring, but I wouldn't go smaller than the 750 watt inverter I have on the fridge along with just a few other things (I have two inverters and try to load the fridge on one independently as much as possible).

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2402 Source (120-volt refer only thread)
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