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Old 12-04-2020, 09:17 PM   #1
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Questions about power inlets

I'm looking to install something like this so I don't have to keep dragging an extension cord inside the bus every day: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LC686S8/

It seems that these things are waterproof if they're not being used and that cover is pushed in place. But are they waterproof if the cover is open and a cord is inserted? Can you leave a cord plugged in while it's raining, or will these things leak?

Any recommendations for which one of these to get? Has anyone ever seen one of these that is both the 15 amp/110 and the 30-amp in one unit?
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:49 PM   #2
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You will just be replacing it with a real service so why waste your time and money with a 14 gauge zippy?
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:03 PM   #3
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Well, having a real 30-amp service is way off in the future, and this would let me handle situations where I only have an extension cord from somewhere for power. I'll look for one that is better than 14 ga.

It occurs to me I could mount this into the box projecting below my floor. It would still be easy to access but out of the rain and conveniently not really visible from outside.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:30 PM   #4
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Install the 30Amp connector. You can use a 30A to 20A adapter. I have a full 50A service into the bus. It is a 50A power cord which hangs under the bus. Well, it does not *have to* hang down ... it gets tucked back into its storage location when not in use.


I hook up another 50 foot 50amp power cord to it just like I would at an RV service pole. If I do not have a 50A power source, I use a 50A to 30A adapter ... with the adapter at the source side. If I only have a 20A (15A) service, I use a 30A to 20A adapter. (I also have a splitter that lets me hook up two 30 Amp services, one on each leg of the 50A input. I can use two 30A to 20A adapters to get two legs of 20A each into the bus.)


Need pictures? I may be able to get a few tomorrow. Just let me know.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Install the 30Amp connector. You can use a 30A to 20A adapter. I have a full 50A service into the bus. It is a 50A power cord which hangs under the bus. Well, it does not *have to* hang down ... it gets tucked back into its storage location when not in use.


I hook up another 50 foot 50amp power cord to it just like I would at an RV service pole. If I do not have a 50A power source, I use a 50A to 30A adapter ... with the adapter at the source side. If I only have a 20A (15A) service, I use a 30A to 20A adapter. (I also have a splitter that lets me hook up two 30 Amp services, one on each leg of the 50A input. I can use two 30A to 20A adapters to get two legs of 20A each into the bus.)


Need pictures? I may be able to get a few tomorrow. Just let me know.
I'd love pictures, thanks. Still trying to wrap my head around what all I need to buy. I want to insulate over the place where the electric is going to come into the bus so I want to get this figured out now.

So, I think I want to order this bundle: https://www.amazon.com/Kohree-Power-.../dp/B08H15V24C , which would let me handle 50 amp or 15 amp (or 30 amp if I buy another adapter). What do you do with the inside part of the power inlet? The one I originally linked has basically an extension cord on the inside and I understand what I would do with that. With the 50 amp inlet, what else to I need to get in order to have a 15 amp household plug inside the bus?

I was going to mount the inlet in the side, above the back wheel on the driver's side (standard RV position, I think), so my electrical stuff would be underneath a countertop. But this inlet is a lot smaller than I was thinking it was (I thought you needed like a big box and had to cut a large opening in the side for it, like a lot of RVs have), so if I mount it to the box sticking below the floor on the driver's side, I could put my electrical stuff in the bottom of that box and have it basically on the floor of my closet (where it can set fire to my jackets, I suppose, maybe not a good idea).
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:10 AM   #6
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That kit you posted looks like it will be a good one. It has the twist-lock connector, which makes it physically secure.


The inside wiring ... well, they should be run into a transfer switch (if you plan on having a generator). Otherwise, they run into a breaker panel.


For the interim, you could bring the wires into a junction box and wire up one leg to a 10/20A 125V socket.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:50 AM   #7
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I just found a shot of the electrical distribution for our bus on this tablet:

20190130_134619 Electrical Distribution System.jpg

An explanation ...

Starting in the lower-left you can see the shore power line coming in the 3" grometed hole. The power cord comes up between the floor and the outer skin. The space is wide enough to pass the cord through.

To the box to the right of the cord entry point is the transfer box. When we get a genertor, the power cord from the generator will aldo go into this box. It is an automatic transfer switch which defaults to the generator unless power is applied to the shore power input.

Next is the EMS (Electrical Management System) which checks the power coming out of the transfer switch. It will let me know if there is bad power from the generator or shore power. The readout for the EMS has been attached to the breaker box just to the right and slightly above the EMS.

Once I see good power in, I will flip the breaker to allow the power to go into the inverter/charger (a 3000W GoPower unit) which is just off the picture to the right.

From the GoPower, the power comes back to the second breaker box (to the left of the first breaker box and directly above the EMS. This breaker is what I call the mains breaker. This allows me to cut off all the AC inside the bus but keeps power to the GoPower to charge batteries.

To the left of the mains breaker is the load panel. This is where all the AC load circuits are wired up.


All of this is mounted to the inside wall just behine the driver seat ... you can just see the seat belt on the right.
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:05 AM   #8
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Ah ... and here is a shot of the system with all the lids off showing the internal wiring.


20181112_205636 Electrical Distribution System without Lids.jpg
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:30 AM   #9
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Thanks, Native, this is super-helpful. It does look as if I could mount all this stuff on the floor of my closet box (or maybe on the outside wall of it), which is very useful. It means I don't have to sacrifice any space above the wheel well for this and I also don't have to deal with any opening to the outside there. I assume none of these components gets excessively hot? Maybe cooling would be an issue, but I plan to have the closet basically open on the back and side to allow air circulation (for the sake of the clothes).

Some questions on your setup: you have a transfer switch to accommodate a future onboard generator? In my arrangement, I was assuming I would just plug in either shore power or my generator, depending on what was available.

Do you go from the EMS to the inverter so that your system can use either shore/generator power or juice from your batteries interchangeably from that point? I am not planning to have any batteries in the near future, although that may change.

Maybe you have thoughts on another issue: I'm going to have five things in the bus that run off DC instead of AC (Maxxair fan, stove vent fan, DIY toilet fan, tankless water heater and a diesel air heater). Is this the right sort of device for that: https://www.grainger.com/product/SOL...r-Supply-5JV99 ?
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:43 AM   #10
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Once again, I'd go with a 12v power supply that was designed for RV use. The specs on the one from Granger show only 1.7 amps output--that may be enough to run a test bench but it isn't enough to run your gadgets. For just a few bucks more you can get an Inteli Power 9100 series unit that has 500W continuous power at 30 A. It is also a "smart" charger which you'll want should you later decide to add batteries. Size wise it is just a tiny bit larger than the one you are looking at and although the granger unit doesn't mention the need for air circulation for cooling it does need it as does the IP9100. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Progressive...EAAOSwsG9eV13J.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:26 PM   #11
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You are correct in that none of the components (save the GoPower) produce much heat. They are simple relays or monitoring devices ... or just circuit breakers.


Yes, I have the transfer switch to accomodate a future generator. Some folks perform that switch function manually, as you are planning.


Yes, the EMS output is fed to the inverter/charger so that I can run off shore, generator, or batteries (alternator) as needed. Currently, we use all but the generator input. I have a second alternator that supplies the house batteries/inverter while travelling.


I am in agreement with what 'ol trunt' posted about the Grainger unit. 20 Watts is not much power. 20 AMPS (at 12V) might be useful. Any power supply will generate heat.
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