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Old 12-29-2018, 01:07 AM   #1
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Default Need Help Shopping for Electrical Parts

I found an electrician to install my electrical system but, I need to supply the parts and a plan. Please recommend items and add to my list:

I will need a 30 amp service into my van and be able to run a portable AC and a refrigerator. I also will need to be able to charge a lithium battery bank.

Please Help My Shopping List:
30 amp inlet (which one is a good one?)
What size and type of wire to run from 30 amp inlet to circuit breaker panel?
Which circuit breaker panel should I buy?
For outlets, I read use multi strand pure copper wire...what size?
Do I need a sub panel for inverter/charger?
2 outlets...will get the GFI type
Breakers...do I want to have two 20 amp breakers with a main 30 amp breaker?
Clamps

Thank you
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
I found an electrician to install my electrical system but, I need to supply the parts and a plan. Please recommend items and add to my list:

I will need a 30 amp service into my van and be able to run a portable AC and a refrigerator. I also will need to be able to charge a lithium battery bank.

Please Help My Shopping List:
30 amp inlet (which one is a good one?)
What size and type of wire to run from 30 amp inlet to circuit breaker panel?
Which circuit breaker panel should I buy?
For outlets, I read use multi strand pure copper wire...what size?
Do I need a sub panel for inverter/charger?
2 outlets...will get the GFI type
Breakers...do I want to have two 20 amp breakers with a main 30 amp breaker?
Clamps

Thank you
If you've hired a qualified electrician, he should tell you what is needed for your requirements and obtain the parts locally. If you don't trust him to do that, then why would you trust him to do the work? Just wondering.
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
If you've hired a qualified electrician, he should tell you what is needed for your requirements and obtain the parts locally. If you don't trust him to do that, then why would you trust him to do the work? Just wondering..

I would tend to agree, and if the electrician is not familiar with RV or marine power systems he won't be able to help much, I think.


While I am a hardcore supporter of DIY stuff of all kinds, I do understand that many folks don't have the skill, time, tools, workshop, etc to do it themselves, so hiring someone is necessary. What can be a problem, though, is just hiring the labor to do the job. In a case like this, I think the person hiring the labor needs to fully understand what is going to be needed and done, which requires a reasonable amount of knowledge of the subject.


I think putting together a parts list based on recommendations from others and then hiring a non system knowledgeable installer just seems like a recipe for a lot of problems. If things don't work out, there is no one that is responsible to get things fixed except the owner who doesn't have the knowledge necessary to sort it out.



The best option probably is to hire someone to specify and install the system, as it puts all the responsibility in one place, but certainly will be more expensive. Another option might be to search around and question/look at what other people have actually built or had built. If you can find a system that does what you want, and you get a good explanation of how/why it works as it does, you could just duplicate that system design. Perhaps posting a very detailed description of what you would like to accomplish on this forum would be a good place to start, as many DIY setups have been done by members. Someone may have a very similar system already in place.



I know from personal experience, and helping others, that even if you are really careful in this stuff, sometimes it doesn't work out as planned , so it is pretty important to make sure that the system is as functional, and safe, as it can be.
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:58 PM   #4
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I see you point but...my electrician is capable of installing the components safely and by code but, wants me to supply the items. I don't want to waste his time by not having all the parts.

Possibly, there are DIY people on this board that have installed their own 30 amp and a circuit panel box. I would like to hear from them any suggestions for brands, sizes and etc.

The nearest RV place that can install the parts for me is booked until April...not sure if they even have a master electrician on staff. If you know of installers in the Mid Atlantic area, I would give them a call in a heart beat.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
I see you point but...my electrician is capable of installing the components safely and by code but, wants me to supply the items. I don't want to waste his time by not having all the parts.

Possibly, there are DIY people on this board that have installed their own 30 amp and a circuit panel box. I would like to hear from them any suggestions for brands, sizes and etc.

The nearest RV place that can install the parts for me is booked until April...not sure if they even have a master electrician on staff. If you know of installers in the Mid Atlantic area, I would give them a call in a heart beat.

Code for RVs is different than for normal buildings, for one thing, and RV components are totally different if he hasn't any experience with them. Will he be able to troubleshoot battery charging, integration to the van systems, if necessary, etc. Not saying he can't, but no guaranty he can either. You don't need a Master for RV or marine wiring, IMO, you need someone who knows those systems, especially if you are going to have things that need to run on shore power, and inverter power, plus charge batteries.



You might want to see if Morehead Designs (now under a new owner) would be interested in the job. I think they would be in your area and it is the kind of work they do. You could also try marina's to find a good marine installer, or maybe even conversion van companies if the have done some RV stuff.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:51 PM   #6
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This appears to be the renamed Morehead Designs Lab.


About Us | Blue Ridge Adventure Vehicles
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:51 PM   #7
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Any thoughts on using a "Temporary Power Distribution Box" for a DIY van conversion? I think it might solve my electrical access needs and I can use it in my future van...once I run the current one into the ground. Just need to install a 30 amp inlet.



https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools...cal%20products
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:40 PM   #8
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There are many flavors of van conversions from a cargo van with a mattress and a bucket to a full conversion with all appliances like water/space heater(s), stove, fridge. microwave oven, shower, toilet, AC, generator etc. I would suggest to paint a picture of your desired end result, it will help you to relate your objectives to hired contractors and to get some, more specific guidance from here. Finding an existing model representing your final results could help.

The portable AC power distribution (your video) fits nicely with a simple conversion like a mattress and a bucket. You would likely keep it inside so how would you run a shore cable into it, via opened door or window. It seems as a truly temporary solution.

Regarding your question about AC inlet this is what I did back in 2013 using, a very new than, SmartPlug. https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...&postcount=391
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ZGR22132.JPG (420.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg ZGR22130.JPG (465.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg ZGR22131.JPG (437.0 KB, 4 views)
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:26 PM   #9
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What does your AC inlet connect to on the inside of your van? Inside my van, I want to be able to plug in the portable power distributor to the 30 amp power coming in the van.

I plan to have a simple mattress and a bucket type conversion but, a large lithium battery bank for a portable air conditioner and portable AC/DC model refrigerator.

I want to use the portable power distributor to hook up these items when shore power is available and to charge the lithium battery bank.

I do not have a second alternator or generator. I am trying to keep the van items portable so they can be used in future vans. I hope to keep the sting of depreciation at a minimum by having the meat (gadgets/appliances) taken off the bone (van) when I upgrade to a newer van one day.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:10 PM   #10
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With your objectives I would just go completely portable, Li battery portable pack, fridge etc. No need for an electrician - just plug and play. You could just focus on safe attachments of appliances or cargo containers to the floor or to the walls. A permanent run of a shore power inlet to an inside outlet would be appropriate, but I doubt you really need 30A, this could be work for an electrician.

Regarding what my AC inlet feeds see the diagram attached.
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File Type: jpg Full schematic final 11 18 2018.JPG (156.0 KB, 21 views)
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