Wiring Schematic

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Wiring Schematic

Postby wysedav » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:59 pm

I've been working on my schematic for my teardrop for the last few days, I think it's close enough to be critiqued. Really hard to select lights (really all components) but I'm picking through it slowly.
If you can think of ways to make this cheaper, or have product recommendations I'd appreciate it. Trying to fight the urge to keep adding stuff is hard to do....

David

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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:06 pm

I don't see any problems here other than that the 120VAC ground needs to be connected to the chassis in addition to the receptacle grounds.

I assume you've figured out your prospective loads and calculated how long you can camp without a recharge, and without discharging the battery below 50%.

Have you considered adding a solar panel and charge controller, and a connection to the tow vehicle for charging while underway?

Enjoy yourself, wiring my teardrop was a chore but I enjoyed it.

<Chas>
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby KTM_Guy » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:40 pm

Are you planning on mostly camping at campgrounds with AC or mostly without? Solar? Inverter?

I don't plan on camping much with AC so I just put a receptacle in the galley, and cabin that will tie into a GFIC in the tongue box.

I have one fuse for each sides porch light, reading light and some ground lights. With all on it's still less that 1 amp per side.

I used this cabin light and am very happy with it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZZDM19W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don't see a way to use 12v in the form of a cigarette outlet. Comes in handy for things like camera battery charges, heated blanket, anything that uses more the the 5v USB puts out.

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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby wysedav » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:26 am

Thanks for the thoughtful replies.

I seemed to find conflicting info regarding the AC ground when I looked into it. It’s defin an open item for me to research. The two charging options I’m definately open to. I’m going to add the TV charging and provisions for solar. I haven’t calculated my battery size but will before I purchase anything. Probably still need a voltmeter too.

When I’m with my wife I’ll be at a campground with ac my preference is boodicking. The 12vdc utility I considered but couldn’t come up with a good use. But electric blanket makes sense except it will kill my battery quickly. I think I’ll use a panel with circular punch outs so it should be easy to add. I agree with the loads it doesn’t make sense to use so many circuits but I like the idea if homerun type wiring so all of the end connections are accessible, it should make troubleshooting/fixing easier.

David
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby Tom&Shelly » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:07 am

Hi David,

You're doing exactly what I did a few months ago, and our circuits look similar. After some pondering, I decided to put the battery cut-off switch (s1) and fuse (f1) on the other side of the charger, right off of the battery + terminal. That way, if something shorted in the charger, the fuse would protect the battery. Also, if I wanted to ensure the battery was cut out of everything, the cut-off switch would do that. A trade there is that we have to make sure our cut-of switch is "on" to charge the battery.

FWIW, we decided to forego a solar panel and the controller for now, possibly adding it later if we decide we want it. Lot's of folks choose to set up the solar panel in their camp away from the camper, so the camper can sit in the shade, and so it seems like a good add on for later, after the expense and design considerations for the camper itself.

I second the idea that you want to have the AC ground attached to the trailer frame. That's a safety issue, and, if there were another fault somewhere, could prevent electrocution of someone touching the frame.

I may let the 12 vdc negative side "float", not grounding it to the frame. There would seem to be no need as long as we use two wire cable for each circuit.

Anyway, looks good!

Tom
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby Tom&Shelly » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:13 am

Also, you may want to consider the Power Dynamics PD 4045. It combines converter, 12 v fuse block and circuit breaker box. With your price list, it looks like it may be similar cost, or even a dollar or two little less expensive, and might be more convenient.

Tom
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:11 am

I noticed the switches you're wanting to use are standard household AC switches. While they can be used to toggle DC voltage, they shouldn't be. DC has different electrical characteristics than AC voltage, and the AC switches are not designed with that in mind. If switching DC circuits, I'd recommend sticking with DC switches.

And I second the comment about installing a PD4045, or even the smaller PD4135. One nice little reliable package deal.
Zach

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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby Esteban » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:18 pm

Tom&Shelly wrote:Also, you may want to consider the Power Dynamics PD 4045. It combines converter, 12 v fuse block and circuit breaker box. With your price list, it looks like it may be similar cost, or even a dollar or two little less expensive, and might be more convenient.

Tom

A Progressive Dynamics PD4045 power center makes wiring easier and safer. They're also compatible with solar power. Like Tom wrote above it will most likely cost you less (than the parts you plan to buy) too.
https://www.teardroptrailerparts.com/electrical.html is a good place to buy a PD4045. Price $172.95 (04/23/18). I bought a PD4045 there.
Beware - some PD4045s sold by Amazon.com may be (higher priced!) knock offs.


https://store.marinebeam.com/interior-led-lighting/ has a big selection of 12 volt light fixtures. Some have multiple colors of light output (white or red, etc.) and/or built-in dimmers. I bought several lights from there.
https://www.sailorsams.com/Lighting_c_2216.html also has a good selection of 12 volt light fixtures
https://www.sailorsams.com/Electrical-S ... _3014.html I bought 12 volt Euro rocker switches from there that have a .78" recessed depth which easily fits into sandwiched walls.
https://www.delcity.net/ is an excellent electrical supply company. Their (free) printed catalog is very helpful for planning supply purchases. Money saving tip - if you use their chat line they may offer you a discount and/or free shipping.
http://www.rvvent.com/ is a really good place to buy a Fantastic Fan. Their prices are very competitive and they can customize Fantastic Fans (vents) if you want them to.
Last edited by Esteban on Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby Andrew Herrick » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:12 pm

Depending how much money you want to spend up front, you can look into getting converter/chargers from Parallax with Temperature Compensation to prolong the life of your battery. Or you can get a dedicated battery charger from NOCO or Ctek that has the same feature. They tend to pay for themselves over time.

You're running a huge amount of unnecessary wire. If you run 14 gauge wire, that has a 12v DC max amperage of almost 40 amps and 120v AC maximum amperage of 17 mps (short runs only). Downgrade for longer runs, obviously. Still, there's no reason to run so many circuits. Do a little math, and you can probably cut your number of circuits in half.

And I definitely second the vote to get 12v socket "cigarette" lighter outlets rather than just using USB's, which have a much lower max amperage.

Also, you need a master fuse and switch close to your AC power inlet. For one reason, if you're running four 15-amp AC circuits, that's a max of 60 amps, which is larger than the 50-amp service most campgrounds can provide. Plus, unless you're running a mobile workshop, you'll never get close to 60 amps ... or 50 ... or 40 .... or 30. And 30-amp service is a lot easier (and cheaper) to find. If you really want overkill, just run two AC circuits with 12-gauge wire for individual 20-amp capacities, and then include a 30-amp master fuse on the 8-10 AWG wire near the power inlet to protect the source side as well.
A few of my builds:

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SEE MORE AT: boondockcampers.com
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby KTM_Guy » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:31 pm

wysedav wrote:Thanks for the thoughtful replies.

I seemed to find conflicting info regarding the AC ground when I looked into it. It’s defin an open item for me to research. The two charging options I’m definately open to. I’m going to add the TV charging and provisions for solar. I haven’t calculated my battery size but will before I purchase anything. Probably still need a voltmeter too.

When I’m with my wife I’ll be at a campground with ac my preference is boodicking. The 12vdc utility I considered but couldn’t come up with a good use. But electric blanket makes sense except it will kill my battery quickly. I think I’ll use a panel with circular punch outs so it should be easy to add. I agree with the loads it doesn’t make sense to use so many circuits but I like the idea if homerun type wiring so all of the end connections are accessible, it should make troubleshooting/fixing easier.

David


When you look at most 12v accessories most use the cigarette lighter plug. And you are right about the heating blanket using a lot of power but having it under the blanket and running for 15-30 minutes before bed really takes the shock away when getting into bed on a cold night. A lot of blankets have 30 minute timers to shut off.

For my USB I'm using cigarette sockets with USB plug ins. I figured if it quits working just pull the USB and put in another one. The socket is really no-tech, just two wires. And they are only $3.00 each with the USB plug in.

I'm not sure the advantages to grounding the AC to the frame. I'm not an electrical engineer didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night. But you probably already have your 12vdc TV, and the camper battery ground connected to the frame. Does it make sense to add AC into the mix? Also the frame isn't grounded to earth which if you had a fault the electrons are going to be looking for. The rubber tires prevent that. If you have the TV connected to the camper will the electrons flow that way looking for earth? I would not want my TV energized with 120vac.

If you run a ground wire to each device and make sure you have a good cord back to the pedestal I would think you are good. Thats my plan. Use one of these at at the pedestal before you plug in, and check a few plugs in the camper and you should know everything is wired right.

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So what am I missing that a frame needs to be grounded?
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby H.A. » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:52 pm

I'm not sure the advantages to grounding the AC to the frame. I'm not an electrical engineer didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night. But you probably already have your 12vdc TV, and the camper battery ground connected to the frame. Does it make sense to add AC into the mix? Also the frame isn't grounded to earth which if you had a fault the electrons are going to be looking for. The rubber tires prevent that. If you have the TV connected to the camper will the electrons flow that way looking for earth? I would not want my TV energized with 120vac.
Its always a giggle when we hear of this nonsense. Talk of tyres insulating adds greatly to the laughter...
When plugged in to mains, Metallic structure of trailer absolutely needs to be connected to earth ground.
An electrical fault to the chassis, (pinched wire for example) will render the chassis electrically 'hot'. If that hot current has no path to earth, somebody standing on earth and touching the trailer becomes the path & gets zapped ! If the car is still hitched, touching the car zapps them too.
If you run a ground wire to each device and make sure you have a good cord back to the pedestal I would think you are good. Thats my plan. Use one of these at at the pedestal before you plug in, and check a few plugs in the camper and you should know everything is wired right.
Image
So what am I missing that a frame needs to be grounded?
Btw, even if your trailer is 100% wired perfect, its all for naught if you plug into a improper wired receptacle. Those 'pokelite' testers are helpful, but not a foolpproof receptacle diagnostic instrument.
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby tony.latham » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:40 am

Scanning through your schematic, it's obvious you're a planner. I've seen several builds on here where the lack of planning caused problems as they got further into their build, so: :thumbsup:

I see you've got your USB outlets switched. I'm scratching my head a bit on that. I don't see the need. If it's because of the tiny LED lights they have, you'll be challenged to detect the amount of energy they consume.

As far as a 12V electric blanket sucking juice, your right. I think ours uses 4.5 amp/hours. However, everyone I've seen has a 30/45 minute timer. We do like ours for preheating our bed from time to time.

I see a lot of teardrop builds with two reading lights. I put one angled dome light (with a self-contained switch) in my builds since I don't see the need for two lights in a tiny space. But fortunately to each his own.

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:thinking:

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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby KTM_Guy » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:03 pm

H.A. wrote:
I'm not sure the advantages to grounding the AC to the frame. I'm not an electrical engineer didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night. But you probably already have your 12vdc TV, and the camper battery ground connected to the frame. Does it make sense to add AC into the mix? Also the frame isn't grounded to earth which if you had a fault the electrons are going to be looking for. The rubber tires prevent that. If you have the TV connected to the camper will the electrons flow that way looking for earth? I would not want my TV energized with 120vac.
Its always a giggle when we hear of this nonsense. Talk of tyres insulating adds greatly to the laughter...
When plugged in to mains, Metallic structure of trailer absolutely needs to be connected to earth ground.
An electrical fault to the chassis, (pinched wire for example) will render the chassis electrically 'hot'. If that hot current has no path to earth, somebody standing on earth and touching the trailer becomes the path & gets zapped ! If the car is still hitched, touching the car zapps them too.
If you run a ground wire to each device and make sure you have a good cord back to the pedestal I would think you are good. Thats my plan. Use one of these at at the pedestal before you plug in, and check a few plugs in the camper and you should know everything is wired right.
Image
So what am I missing that a frame needs to be grounded?
Btw, even if your trailer is 100% wired perfect, its all for naught if you plug into a improper wired receptacle. Those 'pokelite' testers are helpful, but not a foolpproof receptacle diagnostic instrument.


You say "Metallic structure of trailer absolutely needs to be connected to earth ground." How do you go about doing that at a camp ground without pounding a copper rod into the ground?

My point was the pedestal at the site has ( or should have) a proper ground to earth. Why not use that by making sure your devices have a proper wire running to it? On my build the AC wiring has no way to come in contact with the frame.

So what diagnostic instruments do you take camping?

Todd
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby wysedav » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:23 pm

Thanks everyone for the awesome feedback, I think you guys are definitely helping me make the decisions. Anyways here are my comments to your feedback...

Tom&Shelly
I decided to put the battery cut-off switch (s1) and fuse (f1) on the other side of the charger, right off of the battery + terminal. That way, if something shorted in the charger, the fuse would protect the battery. Also, if I wanted to ensure the battery was cut out of everything, the cut-off switch would do that.

In my case I don’t think it’s needed as the output of the charger I selected is overload protected. Funny I drew it both ways but thought this made more sense for me.

...forego a solar panel and the controller for now...

Same exact thoughts for me.

...AC ground attached to the trailer frame…

Agree, drawing updated. I haven’t decided on the 12VDC yet, still leaning towards grounding it.

... you may want to consider the Progressive Dynamics PD 4045...

I looked at them a long time ago, at the time I thought they were too expensive, little did I know. I agree it is a pretty good fit, essentially exactly my distribution system. For me though, the challenge of figuring it out and wiring it up is the fun part. Also, I distribute the distribution system better for my layout. I think I want to but the charger next to the battery in the tongue box and the DC distribution in the base of the headboard.

absolutsnwbrdr
I noticed the switches you're wanting to use are standard household AC switches…

This wasn’t accidental, I needed a good looking, spdt, shallow depth for those switches. I couldn’t find anything I liked so I went with AC switches. I did quite a bit of research and found numerous examples of people doing that for 8+ years with no issues, I’m only switching a few watts. Also the consequence of a failure is no big deal... replace the switch.

I second the comment about installing a PD4045…

Still working it out in my head, but I agree it’s a nice easy to install package.

Esteban
A Progressive Dynamics PD4045 power center makes wiring easier and safer.

Definitely easier, if I do my job right it shouldn’t be any safer. If I really gave easier a lot of merit, I’d probably just buy a teardrop. The fun part for me is figuring out all of the details.

Thanks for the supplier list, I’ll poke through them when I get some time.

Andrew Herrick
Depending how much money you want to spend up front…

Unfortunately not much...but I’ll look them up just for my knowledge and to try to make sure they will fit in my envelope if I decide to upgrade.

You're running a huge amount of unnecessary wire…

I don’t really think so. the reading lights, two USBs would be wired right out of the headboard, so not much wiring there. The porch lights could be wired together with dome and fan but then if I blow a fuse I lose all my cabin lights. Pump should probably stay separate. Galley stuff is already wired together.

..you need a master fuse and switch close to your AC power inlet…

I thought that the receptacle at the campground is typically protected seems redundant. Only plan on using the 30 amp service.

H.A.
...always a giggle when we hear of this nonsense…

don’t giggle, everyone is trying to help. I get the point about the AC chassis ground, will do.

tony.latham
Scanning through your schematic, it's obvious you're a planner.

Thanks, only a little bit of a planner, just had some time to kill while traveling for work so I thought I’d document it really well and post it on the board for everyone’s benefit.

I see you've got your USB outlets switched I'm scratching my head a bit on that…

I think you’re right, I wasn’t sure and didn’t really run the numbers so I just thought I’d be conservative until I did run the numbers or someone slapped some sense into me (thanks).


As far as a 12V electric blanket sucking juice, your right…
Finally! I’m really undecided on if I’d use it, not really planning on camping in the winter. If need be I think I can pop it in pretty easy. Are the cords at the head or foot end?

I see a lot of teardrop builds with two reading lights.
Not sure what’s right or really needed, but I figure I can always turn one off.
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Re: Wiring Schematic

Postby tony.latham » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:37 pm

Are the cords at the head or foot end?


I wired our 12V receptacles at the foot. You can go either way but the cord is best if it's out of the way.

T
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