Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-03-2017, 09:41 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Kansas
Posts: 6
Default New Electrical Build

Hello gents. Long time lurker, first time poster, big fan of the site.

I've never had to work on an RV electrical system much (12v batts + shore power type thing), but I have basic, hands-on electrical knowledge. Wiring a system up from scratch tougher than modding an existing system though.

The wife and I are doing a DIY campervan build. I can handle just about all of the main work without an issue. But decyphering how some of these electrical systems work on RVs is making my mind hurt. I'm probably over-thinking it, but I am seeking guidance b/c I like to do things correctly.

No solar - we'll see how things play out with usage. Maybe next year? Who knows.

I'd like to have shore power (either 15 or 30 amps) to run a couple small items and charge 1 or 2 house batteries. I'd also like to be able to charge the house batteries off of the engine when the van is running, not plugged in.

I have a ton of device lists and diagrams from good old Google. But, again, I'm not sure what exactly is the best way to do it.

Clear as mud right?

Does anyone have some system diagrams and / or equipment recommendations? Inverter doesn't need to be over 1500w. I know I'll either need a manual switch or auto-sensing switch to isolate the vehicle electrical system. I'll need a way to charge 1-2 house batteries off of AC power. Probably an auto-transfer switch.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
__________________

malt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 10:32 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,325
Default

Someone will have a link to the Roadtrek simulator, I hope, as that will show you how it all works in a system close to what you are talking about.

You are looking at very basic, no solar, no generator, moderate engine charging.

You can make you life much simpler if you buy an inverter charger of the size you need. A 1500 inverter with a 40-60 amp charger would probably be good. If you get one with an internal automatic transfer relay, you are done with that part of the charging, just hook up AC shore power wiring in, and AC coach power out and the inv/chg will take care of it for you. You would want to be able to shut off the inverter section to save power when not in use, though, so make sure it has that feature, which is usually just a switch but might be an add on control panel.

From the engine just get an automatic charge relay (separator) and then wire to the rear with #2 or so cable to the batteries with a breaker on each of the cable (120 amps). Having a manual and/or switch override for the automatic charge relay is a nice feature (Blue Sea makes such an animal).

You really shouldn't need much more.
__________________

booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2017, 11:45 PM   #3
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,133
Default

I agree that an inverter/charger/transfer switch is the way to go. If you get a good one, it will also have AC power protection, saving you the cost and hassle of a separate power protection unit. However, it will probably NOT have surge suppression. The best way to provide that is with a residential whole-house surge suppressor. I used one of these:

surge.jpg

I also recommend this BlueSea main breaker just downstream of the shore power plug.

control panel 2.JPG

It also checks for reverse polarity, which is a common problem at campgrounds.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 01:00 AM   #4
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

.

This diagram can give you an overview of a power system.
Prepared by Dan H
.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 12698482_10207541520949955_7634815601375108951_o.jpg (64.8 KB, 39 views)
BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 03:33 AM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Kansas
Posts: 6
Default

Great information guys. Much appreciated. I'll dig around for an all-in-one solution and see what I find.
malt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 04:51 AM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,314
Default

There are many different objectives which will place your electrical system in the spectrum between an easy implementation or a difficult one. A key objective which can nonlinearly sway your final implementation in cost and implementation difficulties is the 120 VAC power level needed without being connected to shore power. Inverters to supply good sine AC are reasonably inexpensive but the supporting infrastructure of a battery bank, a charging system, finger size wiring needed will dwarf the cost the inverter. See this power requirement from Whistler XP800i 800-Watt Modified Sine Wave Power Inverter

In my DIY I have Magnum 1000W and later added 300W Morningstar and primarily use the extremely efficient, fan-less 300W unit. The install 1000W primarily for 650W microwave which I have not used yet.

So, if you like Keurig, do you need this type of coffee any time of the day anywhere?, how about a freshly hand grounded coffee in a Turkish or a French press style, no battery needed, no inverter needed, just a simple LPG or butane or alcohol stove.

George.
Attached Images
File Type: png 5.png (253.9 KB, 20 views)
__________________
George
2013 Sprinter VOILA
https://goo.gl/photos/2NCR3teXLSwNYSwN8
GeorgeRa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 05:54 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Kansas
Posts: 6
Default

AC device usage will be quite low. No coffee maker, microwave, fridge or AC. Possibly a small (24") TV. Possibly a media player like a Roku.

DC-wise, 3-4 LED lights, water pump, Maxxfan (7000K)... maybe some accessories / cell phone charger. Maybe an extra DC fan.

Cooking and heating of water is all propane or just making a fire. I'm like you with coffee... presspot for at least 15yrs now. I'll be driving to 12-15 weekend outdoor events. 5 state park visits where shore power is available. And two week long road trips / year.

Will need to charge or run small electronics like a laptop, phones and a small stereo / bluetooth speaker. The sink will mainly be there to wash up quick.


So after looking around for an "all-in-one" solution, my findings are:
- Wow that's spendy
- Wow that seems like overkill

Go Power! GP-IC2000
AIMS Power PICOGLF15W12V120VR

malt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 07:07 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,314
Default

In my DIY I chose compressor fridge versus LPG one with main motivation not to be forced to level the van on sloped campsites. My van has no LPG so decision for a compressor fridge was easy. Modern LPG fridges are more immune to unlevel working conditions but specs are still vague, for example - if you fill comfortable the fridge should be OK, unfortunately the damage is accumulative.

Compressor fridges are completely immune to level.

In the recent trip the 85l Isotherm fridge, LEDs, PC/TV consumed 12-15 Ah overnight, in sunny condition the energy was replenished by noon time with my 300W of solar panels.

Even with LPG on board, compressor fridge has advantages and it make sense to think through it.

George.
__________________
George
2013 Sprinter VOILA
https://goo.gl/photos/2NCR3teXLSwNYSwN8
GeorgeRa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 07:08 PM   #9
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

Maybe all you need is a second battery with an isolator.


BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2017, 08:00 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 554
Default

If you want low cost, $105 for a power center/charger:
https://www.amazon.com/WFCO-WF-8735-...ower+Center+rv
Break the tabs on the electrical outlets to be run on an inverter and wire one to shore and one to a inverter.
Install a battery isolator to the second battery $65: https://www.amazon.com/WirthCo-20092...octor+isolator
Buy the largest cheap inverter in your price range and run it with the engine running during high usage so you don't have to carry a bunch of batteries.
Or spend thousand$ on nice system with high end marine components.
__________________

mojoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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. The time now is 11:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.