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Old 05-27-2005, 08:45 PM   #11
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Eric is right don't bond the neutral and ground anywhere in the bus. It is very common mistake that can have very nasty results. If you are unsure of what you are doing this is one place to get professional help. Most home depot or lowes people will probably not know about wiring a bus. Normally in residential construction you do bond the ground and neutral but not on a bus. Make sure they are seperate. You should also use GFCI outlets or breakers in the kitchen and bath areas.
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Old 05-27-2005, 09:33 PM   #12
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One other suggestion

One other suggestion regarding electrical. If you use Romex (brand name for solid copper house wiring) or any other solid wire, it is extremely important that you fasten the wire down to something solid every 8" or 12" or so. The vibrations from the bus traveling (or just idling) will cause sections of the wire to bend back and forth ever so slightly, and over time those sections will become work annealed (hardened and embrittled), and eventually they will fail, causing shorts and other problems.

I used little zip fasteners with a flange and hole for a screw, and I attached my wires securely. Honestly, I thought this was overkill, since I wouldn't be using the bus much for traveling, but I did it anyway. My son recently came to visit, and I checked the oil on his Cherokee. The dipstick tube came off in my hands! I had the engine rebuilt about 4 years ago, and apparently the mechanics never secured the mount on the upper end of the dipstick tube back to the engine block. Over time that tube has just been vibrating back and forth, with the vibrations focused on the location where it attaches to the engine block. The tube was maybe 3/64" inch sheet metal, and it snapped clean off at the engine block from metal fatigue caused by the vibrations.

I'm glad I was so fastidious about tightening down my wiring.

Stranded wiring is not as susceptible to this problem as solid wiring, but it should still be tied down in some fashion. Also, wrap your DC wiring around itself (negative around positive) if you run two wires for your DC circuits (instead of connecting to ground on the bus body). If you do this, the currents cancel out each other's electromagnetic fields to a large degree. These fields can cause radio-frequency interference in many situations. AC wiring does not cause this problem, just DC wiring.
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Old 05-27-2005, 10:24 PM   #13
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Well, it seems that everyone agrees that you want a floating neutral. On the subject of floating the ground, I remain convinced that it is a bad practice.

It is true, as Eric pointed out above, that leaving the body ungrounded could save a person a shock if they were to touch a hot wire and the body. However, this isn’t a very compelling scenario -- people don’t generally touch hot wires by accident, for these are all kept locked away. Good electrical practice generally aims to prevent accidental electrocution: the person who opens up a live electrical box and starts pulling out hot wires is on their own.

On the other hand, even though they are locked away where you can’t accidentally touch them, one of those hot wires could suffer an insulation failure, and become shorted to the frame. This is not unlikely in the long run: the vibration of driving down the road can cause a lot of chaffing on the wiring. If such a short happens in a bus with a grounded body, then a circuit-breaker goes “pop”, and it’s time to find the problem and fix it. If it happens on a bus with a floating ground, then the entire body would suddenly have a 110 volt potential to ground. Since everything would keep right on working, this problem might persist unnoticed for a long time – until someone discovered it the hard way – say by walking up to your bus with bare feet and touching it.

If someone knows a more compelling reason why a bus body shouldn’t be grounded, I would appreciate hearing it. In the meantime, it is a comfort to me when I walk up to my bus to know that it is at ground potential, and I won’t be electrocuted when I touch it.

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Old 05-27-2005, 11:02 PM   #14
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Thank you guys,I really appreciate your help in keeping us un electrocuted.

Moss has another question here,

what about grounding the inverter.?? He grounded it to the bus chasis,and wants to know ,before he turns it all on,was that a good idea ??

Are there any other safety issues we should know about ?? - Pixie
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:56 AM   #15
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A. Moose,

You're absolutely right; the green wire should be grounded to chassis ground. Don't mind me, I had a brain fart.

Robert
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Old 05-29-2005, 05:15 PM   #16
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re wiring

My ac is grounded to the bus and it works great. My inverter's negative comes from the batteries which are in turn mounted to the frame. Hope this helps. -Richard
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Old 05-31-2005, 08:00 PM   #17
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Grounding AC to frame

One thing that I can see that could potentially be a problem is that by grounding the AC to the frame, you link the AC and DC systems through the DC/AC ground. I don't know if this matters at all, but it doesn't sound like a good idea. I don't know enough about electrical things to tell.

On the DC side, I'm keeping my bus and house systems entirely isolated. I know that is overkill, and not necessary at all. I'm running negative and positive wires to all the DC outlets and appliances. It means 2x as much in wiring costs, as well. I'm using 8 gauge stranded wire for the DC wiring. I don't have any large loads on the DC circuits -- the water pump is the biggest right now, and I don't forsee using any large DC loads in the future, as all DC lighting will (eventually) be florescent.

Oh, you might think about using 12VDC florescent "worklights" for lighting. They don't cost too much, and usually they have a magnet on them that will hold them to the bus ceiling, which means you can plug them into a DC socket and then move them around at your convenience, kind of like an area lamp. Shoot, you could probably disassemble the worklight body and put the guts into a nice lamp of some kind if you wanted to.
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:58 PM   #18
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ac dc grounding

from all the research I have done, grounding the ac in the bus is the safest way to go. I installed my dc with dual strand wire and it is grounded in one place. This way I can control the system if changes are made later on. So far, so good.

However, opinions are like a**holes, everyones got one.

-Richard
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:06 PM   #19
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This doesn't make it right, but for the record I have my DC and AC both grounded to the bus.

If you are worried about electrocution why not just ground your bus with a grounding stake.
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Old 06-04-2005, 12:27 PM   #20
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I was wrong about grounding

I was wrong about the grounding. I posted a separate thread with that info so the information would be in the thread topic. The AC should be grounded to the bus. Only the neutral should be floating (not bonded to the bus or the ground). I even had the information highlighted in my copy of RV Electrical Systems, so I don't know how I got it into my head that both neutral and ground should be floating, but I was very meticulous to do it absolutely wrong! I'm going to hook up a grounding wire like muy pronto !

Sorry for the disinformation, and thanks for raising the question, otherwise I never would have gone back and looked it up.
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