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Old 04-05-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Western North Carolina
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Glaval
Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 7.3L V8 DIESEL OHV Turbocharged
Please Review My Electrical Plan

After a great deal of research and learning from the information provided by Skoolie.net, I have nearly finalized my house electrical plan. Before purchasing the components, I would appreciate a review and critique of my design. I also have a few questions that require answers from someone much more knowledgeable than me!

The house system will initially have three power options:


Shore power (30 amp)
Battery (two 12 volt deep cycle batteries)
Generator


Solar power will be added later.


The house system will remain independent from the chassis electrical system except when the engine is running the inverter will be switched to the chassis system. What type of switch should I use to switch the inverter input from my house batteries to the chassis batteries?



The 120V inverter output will go into a breaker box with outlet and light distribution from there.



It seems like I need a switch to select between shore power, generator, and house batteries. In other words, when connected to shore power the switch allows power to flow directly to my breaker box. And the same when using the generator. What is the best switch for this?



I like the Xantrex Truecharge 804-1210 battery charger. The idea is this charger would recharge my house batteries when using shore power or the generator. Am I correct?


What am I missing? Our budget is tight, so I am trying to design a good basic system that will provide 120V power while traveling or boondocking. The power will be primarily for a computer, Winegard satellite, and TV.


Many thanks for your advice, suggestions, and guidance.


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Old 04-05-2016, 03:27 PM   #2
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SINCE IT IS A NEW INSTALL

I would go with a 50 amp in (over 30 amp)

1) cord is maybe $25 more

2)basic electrical box is $20 or so

3)install house type 15 amp breakers (replace anywhere)

4)use 12 gage wire (is good for 20 amps)

5) this will give you 2 legs of 120 coming in if you want and you can have 2x the power to make things work

6)this will allow you to use 240v appliances while on 50 amp service (ie: big water heater and still use water heater on 120v, takes longer to recover)

7)if you use 30 amp hook up a $20 adapter lets you do that and still have power to everything (just only 30 amps total)

and another adapter $20 will let you plug into a single 120v 15 amp outlet

it is the most versatile way to go in my opinion
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:01 PM   #3
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To my understanding, some RV hookups have 50 amp hookups. Those are for the big RVs and skoolies aren't likely to hook up there, but who knows. Most of the buses I've seen here look respectable. The average RV electrical hookup is 30 amp, and some only have 20 amp service. That's why they sell those dogbone electrical adaptors.

I agree with bansil, I'm going 50 amps. You just never know what you might like to do in the future, and at this time the cost of upgrading to 50 amp service is very nominal compared to 30 amp service that could limit you at some time in the future.
Like Granny always said "It's better to have to much than not enough."
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:44 PM   #4
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I'm in complete agreement with Bansil as well. Mainly because I have two unchangeable factors. My bus is 40 ft, which I consider a "big rig", and a wife. I refuse to put propane in my bus so everything will be electrical because of that. We'll have a 10 gal. hot water heater, 13k BTU AC/heat pump, combo washer/dryer, and misc. other small electrical draws.

I plan to utilize 50 amp service when in an RV park once a week if they supply it , 6 deep cycle 6v batteries w/3000 watt inverter and an 8kw Onan generator for boondocking the other 6 days every week. I'm thinking that should supply my electrical needs just fine. Maybe overkill but rather have to much than not enough.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:52 PM   #5
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Back to the original. Question. With switches. Between. Shore power. gen and inverter power. You could. Use your shore power cord and put outlets. For gen and inverter to plug into. Simple and never will forget. To flip the switch.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:07 PM   #6
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Amazon has automatic control boxes that will switch based on your prioritization of electrical sources, usually batteries and solar being the last source.
I'd prefer a manual switch. Technology is nice but it could be a bit of a struggle for off grid type situations.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:36 AM   #7
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Thanks bansil. 50 amp makes a lot of sense.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:38 AM   #8
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swiftriver00 - can you expand on this idea a bit? I like simple! I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "put outlets"? thanks
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:42 AM   #9
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Will say you have a 30 amp cord for shore power. You could run you gen power to a 30 amp outlet. So when you want to use gen you plug into you gen outlet . You can set up an outlet for a inverter..
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:22 AM   #10
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Anyone have a ballpark of how expensive it would be to switch from 30 amp to 50 amp on my shore?
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