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Old 05-07-2018, 05:26 PM   #1
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Over my head with powering my bus

So I am aware that there are other threads about this subject but I am honestly overwhelmed and quite lost when it comes to wiring my bus. I have a 1994 Blue Bird T/C 2000. I am converting it and planning on full timing in it. I will have a washer dryer combo, fridge, furnace, split system ac, dehumidifier, T.V, microwave, general household items. I will be living in a RV park when I am done with the conversion so my main goal is running 120 throughout the bus via 50A shore power, with plans to add a battery bank later on for camping / travel trips. So here are some of my questions. First of all inverter or converter, I know the difference but I want both 12v eventually, as well as 120 now. How do I need to wire this bus up. Price does come into play but I want it done right and safely. So I am assuming 50A shore power cord into a surge protector into a 50 A breaker then into a converter or inverter then breaker box and distributed through the bus. But if I plan on adding a battery bank later on do i need the inverter or converter? Should I wire 12v lights or household 110? Just really confused and what to get a handle on this so i can start pulling wire and move in to this thing! I appreciate all the information!
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:40 PM   #2
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Hey there.. The only thing I can help you with is what I've read. And it really pertains to the lights there has been some that are saying the 110volt lighting isn't the best as it heats up a bit.. And everyone runs the 12v leds.. That's about all I can comment on..
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Originally Posted by Brokentravler View Post
So I am aware that there are other threads about this subject but I am honestly overwhelmed and quite lost when it comes to wiring my bus. I have a 1994 Blue Bird T/C 2000. I am converting it and planning on full timing in it. I will have a washer dryer combo, fridge, furnace, split system ac, dehumidifier, T.V, microwave, general household items. I will be living in a RV park when I am done with the conversion so my main goal is running 120 throughout the bus via 50A shore power, with plans to add a battery bank later on for camping / travel trips. So here are some of my questions. First of all inverter or converter, I know the difference but I want both 12v eventually, as well as 120 now. How do I need to wire this bus up. Price does come into play but I want it done right and safely. So I am assuming 50A shore power cord into a surge protector into a 50 A breaker then into a converter or inverter then breaker box and distributed through the bus. But if I plan on adding a battery bank later on do i need the inverter or converter? Should I wire 12v lights or household 110? Just really confused and what to get a handle on this so i can start pulling wire and move in to this thing! I appreciate all the information!
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
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If you want 12V you need a battery(s) to run it from. You will also need a three-stage charger to charge them from the shore-power. You could get away with a 120V to 12V converter to run the 12V items though.

You don't need an inverter until you are ready to fit a 12V supply and want to run 120V appliances from that supply.

At it's most basic ....

You need a shore-power input. That supplies the load centers through a breaker. You will need two load centers each fed by one of the 120V legs of the incoming power.

You will want a 120V to 12V DC power supply to feed a 12V fuse panel. You'll need fuses and wiring, but that's about it.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:02 PM   #4
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If you want all those high-watt modcons to work off batteries free camping, you will need a very large and expensive 12V setup.

Better to just resign yourself to using a genny for that purpose, and have a 12V House circuit set up to run a much smaller subset of lower-wattage devices.

Personally, I prefer the other way, design and purchase everything to run off 12V, as low consumption as possible, and the only thing gets plugged into mains grid or genny power is the battery charger.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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Huh?

"That supplies the load centers through a breaker. You will need two load centers each fed by one of the 120V legs of the incoming power."

I see it as one load center 110/220 whatever 2 pole main you decide determined by incoming feed to your panel. (30 amp 0r 50 amp) isolated neutral and bonding of the frame to the can and the incoming ground.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:43 PM   #6
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"That supplies the load centers through a breaker. You will need two load centers each fed by one of the 120V legs of the incoming power."

I see it as one load center 110/220 whatever 2 pole main you decide determined by incoming feed to your panel. (30 amp 0r 50 amp) isolated neutral and bonding of the frame to the can and the incoming ground.
It's not normally done that way.

Because sites offer either 30, 50 amp, or both, it is normal to split the incoming hot lines into two load centers.

One of them carries the loads you can run on 30 amps, the other carries the extra you can use if you have a 50 amp supply.

You can do it any way you want.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
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"You will need two load centers each fed by one of the 120V legs of the incoming power."

This is where you confused me.
How do you get 220 v out of a panel that is being fed with only 1 phase? (110v)
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
"You will need two load centers each fed by one of the 120V legs of the incoming power."

This is where you confused me.
How do you get 220 v out of a panel that is being fed with only 1 phase? (110v)
You don't.

The post I responded to made no mention of 220V.
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:18 PM   #9
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This is where you confused me.
How do you get 220 v out of a panel that is being fed with only 1 phase? (110v)
What is called "50 amp shore power" is TWO legs of 110V power. Each leg can deliver up to 50 amps. So, you have a total of 100 amps of 110V power available. However; since they are two different legs, each has to have it's own distribution panel.

To the OP, Steve's advice is good. To sorta restate...
Having a 12VDC system now is good for wiring in DC lights, water pump, etc. So, a good charger/converter and single/small 12VDC battery now might be the easy way to go to get that system installed and usable. (But, like Steve said, a 110VAC to 12VDC converter would also work, for now.) Later, when you want to operate away from shore power, a larger battery bank and inverter can be added. At that time, you will likely need to decide what you want to run from battery power vs. the cost of doing so.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:17 PM   #10
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"However; since they are two different legs, each has to have it's own distribution panel."

Why two panels? A 110/220 volt sub panel "A" phase feeds half of the breakers and "B" phase feeds the other half of the breakers. From any breaker to neutral the measured voltage will be 110 volts.
Why 2 panels?
The 2 pole main breaker (30 amp #10 or 50 amp #6) protects the feed to the panel from the pedestal and the pedestal is protected by the distibution panels breakers.

Why two seperate sub panels?
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