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Old 10-01-2007, 04:47 PM   #1
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I need power advise.

I am just starting to convert my bus and I have been thinking about what and how I want to provide power to. While pondering these thoughts, my friend says he has a power inverter with battery charger that he is selling. It is a Tripp Lite SB-1000a. Is this something I want and can use? My main concern is to install a outside plug to provide shore power(is that what plugging into the campground supply is called?). I can see times that would be handy to boondock for a night and could use a power source.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:17 PM   #2
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Re: I need power advise.

there are multiple options and you can use one or all of them in your skoolie. You can even start out simple, and add to the system as you get more $$, and decide what would best suit your needs.

The simplest option is to keep everything inside the bus 12 volts. Then you don't need any outside power, except a charger when parked for long periods.

you can certianly use an inverter. This way you get 110 volts while driving down the road. One big advantage is that there are tons of really cheap or free appliances that are 110 volt. You can use an inverter while parked, but if you have much of a load it will require a bank of batteries if you plan to run things for a long period of time.

another logical option is a shore power connection so you can plug in when parked. this is handy at the campground as well as when you're working around the house. You're fancy inverter you're looking at might even automatically charge the battery bank when you plug in to shore power. I think the standard place for shore power connections on rv's is the rear drivers side.

another option is a generator. Not so good when driving down the road, but is certianly handy when parked for a long time without a shore power connection. Especially if your 12 or 110 volt appliances run off of your starting battery. It could really ruin your day to run your battery down so the vehicle won't start and not have a battery charger handy. If you have a disel and run out of fuel you may need either a jump start or a battery charger to get things going again. The Honda EU series generators are THE only geni i would recommend.

another option, that usually has a high dollar/watt cost is renewable energy like wind or solar. These perhaps should be in the 12 volt catagory, since they work nicely to charge a 12 volt battery bank.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:06 PM   #3
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Re: I need power advise.

If you plan to plug into shore power at a campground, you would probably be far better off if you stick to ready made RV style electrical connections. RV's can have 20amp, 30amp, or 50 amp hook-up's... and the 30amp is probably the most common and is what I'd recommend. You can buy RV style 30amp power cords on ebay, the prices vary but they can be bought for around $20 and up... You really only need one with the RV style connector on the male end, with open wire leads on the other end, however...if you can't find one then any 30amp RV extension cord will work, you would just have to cut off the female end.

You should consider using an RV style power center too, these typically have enough power breakers in them for your needs aboard the bus, as well as it contains a seperate section for the 12volt fuses and the connections to tie the battery and 12v power converter together....a good power converter will also function as a battery charger for your house batteries. (Seperate house batteries and coach batteries will make sure you don't drain your coach starting system while camping).

If you go to ebay and do a couple of searches, you'll come up with a lot of items.... RV POWER CORD 30AMP is one search, and go to a power seller called Tri-State Surplus... he's got lots of stuff, and all of it at great low prices! I keep that guy book marked and buy from him regularly...he changes inventory every so often, so go back and check often. You name it, he's got it....12v power converters (makes 12v power for lights & stuff while you're hooked up to 120vac shore power), RV water heaters, Furnaces, sinks, windows...he's got it all and you will have a hard time finding lower prices anywhere!

The reason I HIGHLY recommend using RV Specific hardware, is you will find many campgrounds will scrutinize home made equipment/conversion... the RV specific stuff means you can pull into any campground and plug right in... 30amp will provide enough power to run a roof top a/c plus lighting, tv, small appliances etc without blowing breakers!!

On edit... RV POWER CORD at Tri-State
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:55 PM   #4
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Re: I need power advise.

Quote:
and go to a power seller called Tri-State Surplus... he's got lots of stuff, and all of it at great low prices! I keep that guy book marked and buy from him regularly...
I'll second that, and BTW it is a "she" not a guy that runs the business.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: I need power advise.

I just looked at that link. It said shipping charges would run $41 on a $25 power cord. A little high. I've seen those power cords at WallyWorld. I don't know if they are as cheap as $25, but you won't pay absurd shipping.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Re: I need power advise.



Here is a photo ( a poor one ) of the power supply that I bought from a friend. I want to be sure that I use it correctly so I am asking, how do you hook this up for its best intended use? It read on the front that it has an automatic transfer. I have ideas about how it runs but I can not find anything that assures me that its correct. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: I need power advise.

Have you tried their website. They may have a manual that you can download.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:16 PM   #8
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Re: I need power advise.

I have went to their site and tried to find a manual but .... no luck. I can't find anything close. The model # is SBa1000.
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