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Old 09-11-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
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I'm so lost, need electrical help

Long story short, I am very comfortable with wiring in terms of 120 volt (home) systems. I have been googling for days trying to figure out what I need and how to wire a bus and I'm still confused. No solar (for now), just Generator, occasional shore power, and battery bank. Goal is 2-3 days of boondocking at a time, powering water pump, rooftop A/C, 120v receptacles, LED lighting, and a TV. Fridge and water heater will be LP powered. This will not be a full time rig, just a long weekend/week vacation at a time RV.
Do I install a switch to alternate between Generator/Shore Power and run the output into Load Center? Do I really need DC power for anything? Can't I just use an inverter to use battery power for 120v receptacles? How should rooftop A/C be wired in ( I understand it can't run off the batteries, right?) Every wiring diagram I've seen seems overly complicated or not relevant to my needs. TIA
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:50 AM   #2
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Find yourself an RV that you can take electric panel from. Rv panels have 12v dc and 120v ac. Remove everything as 1 big unit. You’ll have the 30 amp shore power cord, converter, and, battery leads. Leave yourself as much wire as possible. You’ll understand it better when you see it. Will save you a lot of money to get a panel from an RV
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cdrobbins77 View Post
Long story short, I am very comfortable with wiring in terms of 120 volt (home) systems. I have been googling for days trying to figure out what I need and how to wire a bus and I'm still confused. No solar (for now), just Generator, occasional shore power, and battery bank. Goal is 2-3 days of boondocking at a time, powering water pump, rooftop A/C, 120v receptacles, LED lighting, and a TV. Fridge and water heater will be LP powered. This will not be a full time rig, just a long weekend/week vacation at a time RV.
Do I install a switch to alternate between Generator/Shore Power and run the output into Load Center? Do I really need DC power for anything? Can't I just use an inverter to use battery power for 120v receptacles? How should rooftop A/C be wired in ( I understand it can't run off the batteries, right?) Every wiring diagram I've seen seems overly complicated or not relevant to my needs. TIA
You need a transfer switch to use generator or shore power.

You can run everything on 120 Volt but even a good inverter has a 5-10% loss so your battery needs to have a little more capacity for the same amount of energy consumed by your appliances.

Rooftop A/C is connected to a breaker in your 120 V panel. The transfer switch will be on the input side of that panel.

Where are you located?
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:01 AM   #4
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Sure you can run everything off your inverter and skip DC... however converting from DC to AC is inefficient so there are some losses there.


Yes.. you can get a transfer switch to choose sources and feed a load center. Shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:40 AM   #5
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This will not be a full time rig, just a long weekend/week vacation at a time RV.
With that in mind, what do you expect from it??

Are you going to be using RV parks and plugged into shore power all the times (except when moving)? Do you plan to boondock (no shore power)? Do you mind running a generator? Do you want to be able to use the microwave without shore power or generator?

Without a "mission" in mind, it's hard to answer your question.

If you expect anything to work without shore/generator power, you will need a DC electrical system (at least batteries to power an inverter).
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:50 AM   #6
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I'm located in Central Indiana. Thank you everyone so far for the responses. I have mapped out a preliminary drawing of the electrical plan, does this make sense? Am I missing anything obvious? Not sure if my drawing uploaded correctly
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:00 AM   #7
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I'm located in Central Indiana. Thank you everyone so far for the responses. I have mapped out a preliminary drawing of the electrical plan, does this make sense? Am I missing anything obvious? Not sure if my drawing uploaded correctly
No drawing
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:04 AM   #8
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That makes sense IF you don't want to power the 'fridge', 'micro', 'cooktop', and 'receptacles' directly from 120VAC power (shore/generator) AND the 'Progressive Dynamics control center' includes a battery charger/converter. You can power them thru the battery/inverter, as shown (using the battery charger to keep the batteries topped) but that strikes me as inefficient. I'm not sure if there is a compelling electrical reason not to do that way though - maybe someone else knows.

At least one option, getting more complicated than I think you want, is to run the AC from the first transfer switch to a second transfer switch. Additionally, run the inverter output to the second transfer switch. Then run the output from the second transfer switch to a distribution/breaker panel. That way, all 120VAC items can be ran via inverter, shore, or generator.

Another possibility is a pass-thru inverter (moving the second transfer switch internal to the inverter).

All that said, you likely cannot (or do not want to) run the air conditioning from the inverter. That's where multiple distribution/breaker panels (at least logically) come into play.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:27 AM   #9
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[IMG]IMG_20190913_102445522~2.jpg[/IMG]

Is this better? I see what you mean, I definitely want to run everything I can from Shore Power when connected. As far as the transfer switches themselves go, are these manual type switches or are there automatic ones that I could use?
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:29 PM   #10
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Speaking of electrical issues. It seems the dive boat that burned last week killing all divers on board, the fire was started by lithium batteries in personal equipment going off.
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