Super Simple Electrical System

Anything electric, AC or DC

Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Verna » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:08 am

pavejon wrote:Total Newbie here. I have one question about the super simple AC set up. Is this setup plugged into the 30 amp receptacle at the campground or the 15-20 amp household receptacle using a plug adapter?

Jon


This setup uses the 15-20 am household receptacle, and would only need a plug adapter if there were no household receptacles in the campground's power pedestal.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:54 pm

You'll need to carry an adapter to plug into the 30 amp
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby pavejon » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:35 pm

Thanks, the info helps me better understand the AC system.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby bdosborn » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:11 am

Its not a good idea to use that set up with a 30 amp to 20 amp adapter unless it has a built in circuit breaker. Since the wiring is only rated for 20 amps it won't be protected from overload by a 30 amp circuit breaker.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:50 pm

bdosborn wrote:Its not a good idea to use that set up with a 30 amp to 20 amp adapter unless it has a built in circuit breaker. Since the wiring is only rated for 20 amps it won't be protected from overload by a 30 amp circuit breaker.
Bruce


I am planning on using this system, so I am interested in knowing what the others who are wired this way use for surge protection/circuit breaker. I imagine there will be situations where 20 amp is not an option and an adapter will be necessary if you want to use power. When we lived on a sailboat we plugged our regular 15 amp extension cord into the 30 amp adapter hooked up into the shore power pedestal. Did it for years and never had a problem.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Techguy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:46 am

I was helping a friend here at TNTTT and her TD had a very simple power plant. The trailer had a 7 pin bargmann connector that had a lead connected to the battery. This allowed the TD battery to charge while under tow using 12V from the TV. The 12 wiring consisted of couple cigarette-lighter style outlets that allowed for phone charging using the the 12v. The 110v shore power plant was a Marinco 20A cord connector, like above, that fed directly into a handy box that had a pair of 110v outlets on it. It also connected to an outlet in the galley, an external outlet on the passenger side of the TD and two in the cabin. Plugged into the 110 outlet near the Marinco power inlet connector was a battery/trickle? charger wired to the battery. This charged the TD battery when the shore power was connected, at home or camp. There was no inverter nor converter (outside the charger).

The TD battery was the only item (sort of) in common to both sides and it was unlikely you would be charging the battery using both the TV and shore/trickle charger unless you were plugged into shore power while connected to the TV and it was running.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby bdosborn » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:20 pm

Oldragbaggers wrote: When we lived on a sailboat we plugged our regular 15 amp extension cord into the 30 amp adapter hooked up into the shore power pedestal. Did it for years and never had a problem.


Its all about how much load you have on the wire - go over the rating and the wire can get hot enough to melt the insulation. Stay below the rating and the wire will last for years. Its pretty easy too find a power strip with a built in circuit breaker, then you don't have any worries. :thumbsup:

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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby my240z » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Super great easy electrical system. But a couple of questions. How can i use that system to power my DC lights, a converter a inverter? Also my DC system will not be hooked up to a battery it will be hooked up while towing and just used to power 2 interior lights and 1 exterior porch light? So do I use a switch to change from DC (while towing to see whats in the trailer) and AC when i'm hooked up to house a wall plug at home or a camp site. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Corwin C » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:07 am

my240z wrote:Super great easy electrical system. But a couple of questions. How can i use that system to power my DC lights, a converter a inverter? Also my DC system will not be hooked up to a battery it will be hooked up while towing and just used to power 2 interior lights and 1 exterior porch light? So do I use a switch to change from DC (while towing to see whats in the trailer) and AC when i'm hooked up to house a wall plug at home or a camp site. Thanks in advance.


DC lights/appliances and AC lights/appliances are different. You need to hook up the specific light/appliance to the power source (AC or DC) that it was designed for. Also, a converter changes AC power to DC power while an inverter changes DC power to AC power. Both converters and but especially inverters are somewhat inefficient. In most cases it is better to have a source of the correct type of power than to change one into another.

If I understand your application correctly, you could use a converter between the 120v AC and your 12v DC lights when you have access to a wall plug, but you would have to do additional wiring to run the same lights from your tow vehicle when wall power isn't available. There is also the potential to cause problems if you ever had both the converter and tow vehicle supplying power at the same time. You may need to install an "interlock" to prevent this situation from happening.

My suggestion, to keep it simple, would be to use an automotive battery to power your lights and install a battery charger/maintainer to keep the battery charged when you have access to wall power. You will have to care for the battery, but if you do, your lights will work no matter what your hookup status is, even when the trailer is by itself. With judicious use, the charge in the battery could easily last for several days if you find yourself camping without wall power.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Vindi_andy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:01 am

Doesn't get much simpler than this. OK admittedly its UK but thats my shore power hook up
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby Bogo » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:55 pm

Corwin C wrote:If I understand your application correctly, you could use a converter between the 120v AC and your 12v DC lights when you have access to a wall plug, but you would have to do additional wiring to run the same lights from your tow vehicle when wall power isn't available. There is also the potential to cause problems if you ever had both the converter and tow vehicle supplying power at the same time. You may need to install an "interlock" to prevent this situation from happening.

With DC power there isn't a need for an interlock. The source with the higher voltage will supply the load, and the other one will just sit there inactive until the voltage is drawn down to under it's output voltage. At that point it will supply power. Note, this means paralleling power supplies, the one with the higher voltage will take the load first, then the one with the lower voltage will finally supply loads after the first one can't keep the voltage high enough any more. Sounds like you could parallel 2 60A converters and have 120A. In practice it rarely works that nicely. Usually the first converter kicks out after running in overload for to long. An RV power converter better be able to handle all possible voltage ranges for the batteries it will most likely be connected in parallel with. Having said that, don't hook up a 24VDC power converter directly to a 12VDC battery bank. Yeah, it will supply the load, and likely burn out a few 12V bulbs in the process. It will also try recharging the battery and boil it dry in the process. Might even get it hot enough to catch fire. A note of warning, a number of RV converters don't have proper charge regulation circuitry so they could be bad to keep hooked up in parallel with a battery for a long period of time. Thankfully a number of the RV converter companies supply converters that are led-acid battery aware and will properly charge and maintain batteries. Usually the additional cost isn't that great so it pays to spend the $$ on one that has the charge control circuitry.

On the other hand, AC power does require interlocks. You don't want to hook up an AC source to another AC source without them being in phase with each other. If you do, bad things can happen. Fuses and circuit breakers will pop, and possibly some other more major damage will happen. Years and years ago, one of the workers at the Greenport, LI, NY power company accidentally hooked up one of the generators out of phase. The generator turned into lots of shrapnel as a surge of current went through it. The rotor landed a few blocks away. Modern interlocks prevent that from happening now. Note, your average RV or home generator don't have those interlocks, hence the need for a transfer switch.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby burlesot » Mon May 13, 2013 7:49 am

I'm wondering if I could, instead of having the power cord terminate into a power strip, end at an 'outlet?' Just a regular 120 volt outlet. I ask because what I want to do is take the power coming in from the box at the camping site and have it go to two power plugs. I was thinking that I would just daisy chain from the one to the other. Does this make sense? Is there anything wrong with this?

thanks,
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby bobhenry » Mon May 13, 2013 8:33 am

None what so ever


http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=55556&p=1009554#p1009554

I have 12 duplex outlets in "The Barn" all are daisy chained to one 12-2 with ground extention cord plug in. The one thing you must remember is 15 to 20 watts is your limit this means only one heating or cooling appliance at a time. A toaster oven or a microwave or a coffeepot or a ceramic heater or the Air conditioned but ONLY ONE AT A TIME.
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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby burlesot » Mon May 13, 2013 8:44 am

Bob Henry,
Thank you; your post is very helpful!

I appreciate it!

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Re: Super Simple Electrical System

Postby bobhenry » Mon May 13, 2013 10:32 am

Had to do some lookin' to find a picture of my power port inlet :lol: :lol:

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This is Rip VanWinkles power inlet have one just like it on Chubby and the Barn.
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