Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-07-2018, 05:26 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5
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!
Brokentravler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 05:40 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 25
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..
Quote:
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!
GypZ Jewel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
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.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 08:02 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,431
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.
john61ct is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Rivetboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
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.
Rivetboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 08:43 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
"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.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Rivetboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
"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)
Rivetboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
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.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 03:18 PM   #9
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,069
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
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.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 04:17 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Rivetboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
"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?
Rivetboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 04:55 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,840
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
I doubt that the OP or anyone reading this thread will make any sense of it.
Talk about confusing for someone with no knowledge and wanting the simplest of answers in order to build an electrical service.
My advice to the op is disregard and hire an electrician.
Two panels aren't necessary as mentioned, the panel is built to share the 50 amp leg of shorepower.

Sometimes the advice here really makes me shake my head, this is one of them.

John
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 05:23 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post

Sometimes the advice here really makes me shake my head, this is one of them.

John
Yeah, this was really hard to comprehend:

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.


It seems that the only variation on this advice is to buy one, combination load center. Personally I'll go for two. They are very cheap and easy to understand, and they are standard practise.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 08:01 AM   #13
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,069
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
Why two seperate sub panels?
I agree with your point. There is no need for two separate/physical panels as long as you have one that will support two legs. This is still two 'circuits' (one for each leg which is kinda important to understand when attempting to operate. As in, 'why do only some of my appliances/components work when I'm connected to 30 amp shore power.'
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 08:25 AM   #14
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5
So I am ok with getting a few batteries in the bus to run things just was not sure if it was necessary when we will be using only shore power for the majority of the time. So from my understanding wire up as much as possible with 12V, lights, water pump, maby some other small appliances, then run 110 for washer, AC, big things. So when plugged into shore power with mostly 12 v wiring would an inverter be sufficient for 12V and big appliances? Thank You Guys!!
Brokentravler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 11:09 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokentravler View Post
So I am ok with getting a few batteries in the bus to run things just was not sure if it was necessary when we will be using only shore power for the majority of the time. So from my understanding wire up as much as possible with 12V, lights, water pump, maby some other small appliances, then run 110 for washer, AC, big things. So when plugged into shore power with mostly 12 v wiring would an inverter be sufficient for 12V and big appliances? Thank You Guys!!
You don't need an inverter at all. Inverters change DC to AC.

What you need is a 12V power supply that will run from 120V AC.

You can do it two ways. Either buy a power supply, feed it from your AC panel and run its output to a 12V fuse box ... or you can buy one or more deep-cycle batteries, feed the 12V fuse box from there and fit a three0stage charger for your batteries fed from the AC panel.

If you do it the second way you will have 12V when not connected to shore-power although you will still need to charge the batteries when they drop to 50%
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 02:56 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokentravler View Post
So I am ok with getting a few batteries in the bus to run things just was not sure if it was necessary when we will be using only shore power for the majority of the time. So from my understanding wire up as much as possible with 12V, lights, water pump, maby some other small appliances, then run 110 for washer, AC, big things. So when plugged into shore power with mostly 12 v wiring would an inverter be sufficient for 12V and big appliances? Thank You Guys!!
You need a quality bank of deep-cycle batteries, sufficient to service your 12V energy budget for however many days you will be away from shore power at a time.

Later on think about solar maybe a genny, but not for now.

You need a quality mains charger suitably sized amps for your intended bank. Also carries 12V loads so batteries not depleted while plugged into shore power.

In the USian RV industry AKA a "converter", but the marine industry makes better quality stuff IMO.

If you have AC powered devices essential and efficient enough to run off the 12V bank off grid, that's when you need an inverter, produces mains power from DC.
john61ct is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 08:47 PM   #17
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5
Sorry for late reply work really gets in the way of a lot. So I am going to run mots things off 12V lights water pump etc. I as said before also want some big appliances do I need a big 4000W inverter for that or because it will be 110 I don't? Sorry for all the questions just really trying to wrap my head around all this stuff. Outlets rand off 12V or 110?? Thank You guys!
Brokentravler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 08:54 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokentravler View Post
Sorry for late reply work really gets in the way of a lot. So I am going to run mots things off 12V lights water pump etc. I as said before also want some big appliances do I need a big 4000W inverter for that or because it will be 110 I don't? Sorry for all the questions just really trying to wrap my head around all this stuff. Outlets rand off 12V or 110?? Thank You guys!
You run a power audit.

You work out which appliances will be running at the same time and add up their wattage demands.

Your inverter needs to cope with that, plus a little headroom. You might use those calculations to decide what you can minimize, or whether or not you need to run the generator to cope with peak load.

Also, for off-grid, you need to make sure your battery bank is of sufficient size to deliver the power to the inverter without damaging the batteries.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 11:03 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
turf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,602
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
i did it that way. my rig is 12 volt except for the stove, water heater and AC, the computer and tvs.

start off with a converter/charger and a 12v battery for your house power.
my lights, fridge, water pump run off the 12v converter when plugged in and the battery when off power.

the computer and tvs run fine off a little 300w inverter from the battery.

the stove, water heater and AC is reserved for the generator or shore power.

an inverter big enough to run my stove is past the wiring limitations and discharge rates of batteries. so for me, a $30 inverter works fine to power the tv and computer.

the converter i started with was a good one i thought, but years of using i have come to learn that it doesn't charge my batteries properly. so look to match the charging property of your converter/charger with the type of battery you buy.
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2018, 07:43 AM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokentravler View Post
Sorry for late reply work really gets in the way of a lot. So I am going to run mots things off 12V lights water pump etc. I as said before also want some big appliances do I need a big 4000W inverter for that or because it will be 110 I don't? Sorry for all the questions just really trying to wrap my head around all this stuff. Outlets rand off 12V or 110?? Thank You guys!
Do not use electricity for cooking or any heating while off the grid.

That wastes too much energy, no matter tge voltage.

With a big battery bank, a small microwave running just a minute or two is doable, but still a big draw.

Make sure you know how you will get the energy back into the bank before to commit to taking it out.
john61ct is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electricity, shore power, skoolie, solar, wiring

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×