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Old 09-07-2015, 09:07 PM   #101
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Very...good...thinking. On stuff like electrical, if you are not an expert...HIRE ONE!

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Old 01-14-2021, 04:02 PM   #102
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Im an electrician in IA, I have a journeyman class A license currently and will soon be testing for my masters license, i was a mechanic before i was an electrician and have experience with DC and AC wiring. Im sure I wont have answers for everything but i will do my best to point you in the right / safe direction. Im new to this forum but happy to help.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:46 PM   #103
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I have one of the chinese diesel air heaters sitting in a box but before I can install it I need to set up a DC power source for it. I have a 15 amp inlet in the bus for shore power, and I need a transformer of some sort and some people here have suggested I should also have a car battery or something in the circuit to smooth out surges.

What sort of gear would you recommend for this, including any additional gadgets I might need and what sort of wire I should use? My bus is going to be mostly AC but I have this heater and also a few other gadgets that will need to run on 12V DC, like a stove vent fan, an on-demand propane water heater, a roof vent fan and a DIY toilet fan (and maybe a couple of other things) down the road.

Thanks for any suggestions! I really need to get off the schnide and order all the gear I need for the heater since it's getting colder, but so far my little electric space heater has been doing the trick.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:57 PM   #104
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Hey Musigenesis. When you say you have a 15 amp inlet on shore power, are you saying you are plugged into a15 amp circuit at your house?
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:02 PM   #105
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Hey Musigenesis. When you say you have a 15 amp inlet on shore power, are you saying you are plugged into a15 amp circuit at your house?
I have this thing installed in my bus: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CV1SM7H/ which they call a "15A 125V" inlet. It's actually plugged into a 20 amp circuit at my house.
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Old 01-15-2021, 12:35 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I have this thing installed in my bus: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CV1SM7H/ which they call a "15A 125V" inlet. It's actually plugged into a 20 amp circuit at my house.
I am assuming that the 20 amp circuit is not a dedicated circuit. If it is, then why replace your cord with a #12 SJO cord? I am assuming that Amazon cord is just temporary? What is the wattage of the diesel heater? An AC to DC converter is only good for 2.5 to 3 amps. Radio Shack used to sell them. Don’t think they are in business anymore. Numark also makes one.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:12 AM   #107
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somewhere on the heater there should be a place where it says how many amps of 12v dc or watts (which can be divided by 12 to get amps) that the heater needs for a fan (I'm assuming since its a diesel heater that the heat source would be the diesel).
once you know how many amps its asking for you can find the correct ac to dc converter/ power source.
as far as using a battery in line, you can hook up the heater to a battery but you would then need a charger for the battery, but that would allow you to use it without being hooked up to shore power.
does the heater come with a way to control it?
a thermostat?
depending on the size of the bus you probably won't need to run it constantly and you may want to be able to control it if that's even possible.
easiest way to get the specs should be a nameplate on the unit itself somewhere. if it's all in Chinese than it can usually still be deciphered because they all usually contain similar info.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:29 AM   #108
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as far as wire:
wire size is determined by amperage
wire insulation is determined by voltage and what it needs to be resistant against (sun, abrasion, chemicals etc.)

I would recommend stranded wire over solid (so not romex)
and for most of what you mentioned you could probably get away with 12awg
stranded for the AC loads.

for circuit protection you can use residential circuit breakers.

I could really go down a rabbit hole on wiring your bus so I will stop for now but any other specific questions I can answer.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:55 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samweld View Post
I would recommend stranded wire over solid (so not romex)
I'm old enough to be old school. I learned to use only stranded wire in vehicles and have also done some work on aircraft (under the supervision of avionics techs), where only specific stranded cabling is permitted. So, while I'm with you on the preference for stranded wire the RVIA "code" now "allows" the use of Romex-type solid wiring. I'm not saying that makes it the best, but I do admit that I need to keep learning things and maybe solid wire's not as likely to fracture from vibration as I always thought.

Regardless of the wire type, I'd never use a twist-on wire connector in a vibrating vehicle...so no wire nuts for me, which are permitted under the RVIA guidelines. I much prefer Wago connectors or crimp connectors. We want our buses to be better than RVs, right?!
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:29 AM   #110
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So I just found out about the RVIA code in the last few days while reading some other electrical posts here, I plan on purchasing a copy of both the nfpa 1192 and the ansi/rvia Low volt standard. My preference for stranded wiring stems from similar experiences, I worked in racing for awhile and everything was stranded wire (with high heat resistance) and crimped fittings (soldering by itself was considered too brittle for the level of vibration). I would never put a wire nut in a moving vehicle unless it was my last last resort. I certainly won't argue that it is acceptable to use solid wire I have seen it done in lots of build videos. My experience with standards is that they tend to be the minimum expectation and in many instances its worth going above and beyond the code.
I personally won't be using any solid wire (not counting the data cabling which is solid but also 24awg)and I won't recommend it, but I also won't tell anybody they are "wrong" to use it.
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