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Old 04-10-2016, 07:25 AM   #1
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Convertor or not?

Okay, I've been researching on this site and others and I'm so confused on planning my electrical system. Here is my needs/wants: Using a shoreline to plug into power at campground for all my electrical needs using a standard fuse/breaker box from a big box store. While driving, I need to power a small fridge and maybe a portable dvd player. I will get an invertor connected to battery bank for this.

That being said, do I need a converter? A lot of what I've seen people have both a breaker box and a convertor. In my first bus I did not use a convertor. Seems like it would be just as easy to put a convertor in and no breaker box but I have no idea...
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:53 AM   #2
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"Using a shoreline to plug into power at campground for all my electrical needs"


thats a converter, yes you need it. a converter takes 120v and makes 12v. it lets you "plug in" at the campground.

an inverter, takes 12v battery bank and makes 120v.... for when you are using your 12v batteries to make 120v for your appliances.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:41 AM   #3
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So a converter to charge your batteries, and an inverter to discharge your batteries.

Doesn't anybody have a stationary bike connected to a generator?
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:55 AM   #4
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get a converter from a rv place, make sure it has a charge wizard battery charger, this will keep your battery charged when plugged in, a converter box will have a main breaker, and 4 or 5 breakers, the other side will have 12volt slots, you run all your 12volt stuff ie lights, power ports, etc , theres auto type flat fuses, run all your 120v off the breakers, outlets, maybe a light, one breaker is for the charge wizard, when you are plugged in everything runs normal, you use your 12volt stuff and your 120v. to run your fridge when off grid you need to have a inverter, you wire that right to your battery, install a solenoid to charge your house battery when your driving, and you will be able to run the inverter as well
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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I used this guys for my converter they where great to deal with BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:33 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Thank you all for your responses, greatly appreciated and helpful. Now I can finally get started on the electric.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:01 PM   #7
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Electrical stuff is scary to me. The only thing I know about it for sure is...you should never, ever stick a bobby pin into those little holes in the wall.

Go ahead, ask me how I know.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:48 PM   #8
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Electrical stuff is scary to me. The only thing I know about it for sure is...you should never, ever stick a bobby pin into those little holes in the wall.

Go ahead, ask me how I know.
Or take out a light bulb then stick a finger in the socket to see what's in there. That was my introduction to electricity.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:48 PM   #9
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:56 AM   #10
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also I would install a hard wired surge guard , it will save your system.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gbstewart View Post
get a converter from a rv place, make sure it has a charge wizard battery charger, this will keep your battery charged when plugged in, a converter box will have a main breaker, and 4 or 5 breakers, the other side will have 12volt slots, you run all your 12volt stuff ie lights, power ports, etc , theres auto type flat fuses, run all your 120v off the breakers, outlets, maybe a light, one breaker is for the charge wizard, when you are plugged in everything runs normal, you use your 12volt stuff and your 120v. to run your fridge when off grid you need to have a inverter, you wire that right to your battery, install a solenoid to charge your house battery when your driving, and you will be able to run the inverter as well
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Does anyone have a simple drawing of a system like this? This makes basic sense to me but having a visual would help me a lot.

Thanks
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:17 PM   #12
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Robot Check

This is the inverter I bought, it has a 50 Amp charger too so when you're plugged into shore power it charges your batteries.

With a 915 Ah battery bank, I will be able to run pretty much any of my appliances off my batteries.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:30 PM   #13
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Hey Doc...I gotta ask...what does 915 Ah's weigh?
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:34 PM   #14
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I get nervous about any product when there is conflicting information in their own description. You can't be certain of what you're going to get in the mail, but it's usually the lessor of the two conflicting ratings.

Product Description

2000 Watt 12V Inverter 100 Amp Charger Pure Sine Wave.

It's also kind of disturbing that it weighs 50 pounds. For a 2000 watt inverter? I understand that it's a high efficiency. That's a pretty proud price too.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:43 PM   #15
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Robot Check

This is the inverter I bought, it has a 50 Amp charger too so when you're plugged into shore power it charges your batteries.

With a 915 Ah battery bank, I will be able to run pretty much any of my appliances off my batteries.

Assuming that your appliances don't total more than 2000 watts at any one time
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:44 PM   #16
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How long does it take to charge your batteries on average when you've actually drawn them down a little?
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:24 PM   #17
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Hey Doc...I gotta ask...what does 915 Ah's weigh?
A boat load more than my 2006 Harley Ultra Classic!!!

J/K, it's about 550 lbs. My Harley is 875ish without gas or oil.


Here is the battery: http://www.solar-electric.com/cr305am6vode.html
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:26 PM   #18
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Assuming that your appliances don't total more than 2000 watts at any one time
Agreed. I don't intend to run everything all at once while off grid. I don't think I need a hairdryer or welder, but if I do, it will be plugged in!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:28 PM   #19
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How long does it take to charge your batteries on average when you've actually drawn them down a little?
Depends on the charge mode..... if the inverter is doing it with a plug in to a 110 V shore power the highest it will get is 50Amps.

On the alternator with the bus running, it will depend on whatever size alternator I equip. Right now all I can find is a 220 Amp that isn't ridiculously priced.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:54 PM   #20
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I'm thinking of getting house batteries but forgoing the solar panels. To me exterior attachments just scream "I'm living in this bus," so I keep the exterior streamline.

I thought my bike was bad at 640.
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