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Old 09-16-2011, 06:18 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
Year: 1995
Engine: DT466e
Simple distribution box

The spot we are planning on spending most of the winter has a single 30 amp connection, and See has developed an addiction to electric heaters ;). So if I want to use my electronics through the winter I need to set up a distribution box, and stop working with just a 15 amp cord.

My electrical knowledge comes from helping my father (ex handyman) work on a projects around the house when I was younger. So it's a bit spotty, and I've only worked on a distribution box once. I can wire a lamp from scratch if that helps.

I'm wanting to put in a simple 30 amp box, and have 2 outlets on separate circuits as close as possible to it so that wiring is easier. Even considering building them all into a box and mounting that. Is there a minimum distance an outlet should be from the panel?

Do I need a box specifically for rvs or will just any hardware store carry a panel that will work?
Are these simple to wire yourself. I.e Plug hot wire here, and neutral there?

Are there any safety issues above and beyond normal electrical safety to be aware of?

Next time I hit a library I'll be looking up books on wiring, see if I can find anything helpful.

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Old 06-10-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Re: Simple distribution box

i would suggest that if you are going to use electric heaters in the winter that first you should get a real rv shore cord - like a 30 or 50' one. That will carry the load you require. After all, if you use heaters in the winter, you will want to run ac units in summer, and you will need more than 30 amps if ya run two of those.

you could purchase a used motorhome electrical panel that has the main and secondary circuit breakers, and the converter from a person scrapping a rv on craigslist, or something like that pretty cheaply. Then you could run normal house wiring like from lowes to wall recepticles on each side of the bus, which would make it handy to have electricity wherever you needed.

if you have done house wiring this will be pretty simple. you will also need to install either ground fault circuit breaker for the circuit that goes near any water supply line, and you need to be sure to properly ground your ground wire to the chassis... and of course, check your work as you go so that you don't run a hot wire to the chassis, or reverse a set of wires.

if you are planning on adding more and more stuff in the bus, it would be best to plan you wiring system and install the highest amperage rated system the first time so you dont have to tear out all the wiring and do it over again.. probably a 50 amp system would be best..
not always but in most cases. personally, i have a 30 amp system because i have all propane appliances, and a generator, and battery bank and inverter and am going to tie in a solar system pretty soon.
Jesus Christ... Conversion in progress.
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