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Old 12-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
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Re: Running Electrical Outlets

You can check out my conversion thread to get some idea of how I did it. The AC wiring is run just like in a house, through a breaker box. The box is fed via an AC plug that I can attach either to my inverter, or to shore power.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:42 AM   #2
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Re: Running Electrical Outlets

I'm going to let one of the more knowledgeable electric guys answer your more detailed questions. But I set my system up to be very simple, cheap and manually controlled. My breaker box, which distributes 120VAC power throughout the bus via #12 and #14 romex wire, is fed power via a #10 male 30A stranded wire pigtail plug (like a really fat extension cord). I choose whether to stick this plug into a campground power outlet (via a longer extension cord), or my inverter (which is attached to my batteries), or a generator (which I have not yet purchased). Only one of these power sources will ever be feeding the breaker box at any given time. I have a charger which I will use to charge the batteries when I'm plugged into a campground power outlet. When on the road I will use batteries/inverter for lights, computer, TV, etc. Or if I'm running the air conditioner while travelling I will have to plug in to the generator. Again, my setup is designed to be simple and cheap... like me.

In the near future I will set up an isolator so I can charge my house batteries off the alternator when driving. I will also need to run some 12VDC wiring directly off the house batteries, primarily to run the water pump, and a couple other 12VDC devices.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #3
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Re: Running Electrical Outlets

Your 1000-watt inverter will put about 8 amps. No point in getting fancy with circuit breakers if that's all you are using, just wire up outlets starting from a 15-amp (common) plug, and use the breaker in the inverter. If you are going to use a shoreline, unplug your feed from the inverter and plug it into the cord. You might want one 15-amp breaker at the beginning of your wiring instead of trusting the breaker on the shoreline feed. A 15-amp outlet with built in ground-fault breaker for the first outlet off of the plug in your wiring will do it. Don't tie the neutral to the ground on the bus, or you will trip any GFCI devices on the shoreline feed.

When using an inverter model like the Xantrex you linked to, which includes the automatic transfer switch, the power-fail protected wiring on the bus ALWAYS plugs into the inverter. If external AC is present, it passes through the internal switch to your wiring. Whenever it is not present, the inverter kicks in and continues to provide AC from the batteries.

You do not want to, "not never, not nohow," wire your bus so that the inverter output and the shoreline are both tied together permanently as dual feeds to your wiring. First, any shoreline AC flowing back into the inverter output may blow the inverter up. Second, if you do unplug the inverter while using the shoreline, but have separate feeds tied together, you will have live, lethal AC on the exposed pins of the plug for the inverter. In the same way, you will have live AC on the exposed pins of the shoreline while running on inverter.

You definitely need either/or type of switching on the feed. An inverter with an internal switch does it. A double-pole, double-pole switch to select the source does it. A double-pole, double-throw relay wired to kick in when external AC is present does it as an automatic transfer switch. Or the simple and cheap method of moving the feed plug from the inverter to a shoreline extension cord, or a single outlet by the inverter wired as the master feed from the shoreline does it. Good luck.
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