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Old 08-26-2009, 12:44 AM   #1
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New Skoolie - Electrical questions

Hey there guys. I just got my first bus and am starting the journey of conversion. I am not doing a complete conversion. No water, shower, toilet, etc. But am doing full electrical and roof air. I am stepping into this from a traditional rv. It was an older rv, and I worked on it a lot, so I know a bit about what I want to do....just not positive about how to do it on a bus. So here are my questions:

Will be running a shore power line for the entire bus, but want to run a couple extra batteries for an inverter when we are not plugged in. How do I wire these batteries so that they are not used to start the bus, but are receiving power off the alternator, all while not draining the bus batteries when I am running the inverter? What do I need to buy to make this happen. It was pre rigged in my rv, all I had to do was add the deep cycle batteries for it.

Now this is a real simple question with what I am sure is a large answer....I had a box in my rv that had breakers in it for running all the ac power. It had breakers for the roof air, and all the power outlets in the rv. What is this box called and how much are they?

Finally, would an inverter put out enough power to trip a transfer switch? I have a 2000 watt inverter. I plan on running the roof air and fridge to the box separately, and have the inverter set up to just power the outlets in the rv so we can run the tv or computer.

Basically I am walking into this blind and am looking for a simple explanation for putting this thing together so I can figure what I need and how to do it before I get into it. Thanks guys....this site has already shown me so much, and I appreciate it so much. Tomorrow I start removing seats. Pray for me. Haha.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

Thanks man. I am super excited. Sorry about the double post....just didnt know what section to post in.

I like the disconnect switch idea. simple enough that i didnt think of it. i guess im always making things harder than they need to be. As for the A/C and fridge running off the batteries....I wasnt clear enough I guess. I am not running them off the batteries. They are going to run to the breaker box on their own lines. The inverter is just going to run into a few outlets in the rv for small things. Just didn't know if the inverter would put off enough power to kick a transfer switch. I am gonna have a small geny for a/c when its hot and we arent plugged in. But I spend about 8 months a year in my rv (now my bus) so I use the inverter a lot more than a geny. Looking forward to the blood transfusion. haha. Thanks so much man
Here are a couple pics of my new baby:

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Old 08-26-2009, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

You can also use a marine battery selector switch which has batt1 batt 2 combine and off. Drag the wire that feeds the chassis, wire it to the power leg on the switch, then connect your house to 2 and the start to 1. When you are parked and engine off put it on 2 and only use the house, when you start the bus put it on 1 and after it is running switch it to combine and it will run off all the batteries and also charge with the alternator. I put in a converter (charger) so my house charges when I am plugged in.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

thanks guys....got another question. was looking at converters today. what size do i need? i will be running a 9000 btu roof ac, small fridge, and tv. maybe a few other small things. no microwave or other big drains.

also...can i run a dorm room fridge through a converter. it is built for 110. or do i need to tie that into the shore line before it gets to the converter? thanks guys.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

You should poke around ebay and do a search for a power seller named Tri-State Surplus, they sell all kinds of surplus RV parts. The electrical panel you are looking for is generally referred to as a Power Distribution Center, and those usually come as part of the 12 power converter, one side of the converter handles all the 12v including the fuse block, the other side handles the 120vac including the breakers. Tri-State will have prices you can't beat anywhere, and they are very good sellers and fairly fast shippers, I have bought from them many times and highly recommend them...

ON EDIT... I found a link for you...
http://stores.shop.ebay.com/TRI-STATE-S ... QQ_armrsZ1

Found another link for you directly to a power converter...
WFCO 55 Amp Converter
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:46 PM   #6
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

cliff...thanks so much. that was perfect and exactly what i was looking for. tonight i worked on a basic wiring diagram for the bus. i would appreciate any feedback. lemme know if i am entirely off base. thanks so much to all of you guys for your help.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:41 AM   #7
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

your right...so do i run the 12v stuff directly from the battery bank i guess? i am not planning on running the fridge when i am not plugged in. so having it not running when we arent plugged in is fine. i thought that converter is where you were supposed to run your 12 stuff into, thats why i did it that way. what is the right fix for it?
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

that WFCO converter has 11 fused 12V outputs, and a battery hookup. When the converter isn't supplying +12V to the battery, it draws from the battery to feed the fused 12V outputs. It basically acts a bit like a transfer switch in that regard.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

so i was right with the diagram in the first place? at least about the 12v stuff.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Re: New Skoolie - Electrical questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeforthelight
so i was right with the diagram in the first place? at least about the 12v stuff.
basically, yes. Except the power will "flow" both directions between the battery and the WFCO unit, and internally the WFCO connects the battery to the 12V loads.

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