Simple electrical system

Anything electric, AC or DC

Simple electrical system

Postby Endo » Wed May 04, 2005 2:20 pm

These are the components I am using for my electrical system. The yellow outlet has a built in GFCI and circuit breaker. The power converter and the two plug strips will be pluged into it. The yellow outlet will be mounted in the lower galley with the male plug mounted through the wall to be attached to shore power with an extension cord. The plug will be covered with the gray outlet cover. One plug strip will be mounted in the upper galley area and the other inside the tear. All the 12 volt lights and accessories will be powered by the IOTA converter. I will run everything (12 volt) through a fuse panel. The 12 volt system will be grounded to the frame. I may add a battery to the system at a later date if I feel it is needed.

The only problem is this AC system cannot be easily grounded to the frame. Unless I open up the yellow outlet box and tap into the ground. I not sure if this will work because the GFCI is in the male end of the cord.
My other plan is to carry one of the small outlet testers with me to make sure the shore power I am hooking up to is properly wired and grounded.

Any feedback on this system is welcomed!

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tydeanmot ... pg&.src=ph

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Last edited by Endo on Wed May 04, 2005 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TomS » Wed May 04, 2005 7:26 pm

I'm doing something very similar with my AC distribution system.


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I'm building a mini electrical closet into my lower galley that will contain an Optima sealed battery , a 12 volt fuse box, the 350 watt inverter pictured above, the 3 outlet inline GFCI device pictured above and a battery charger.

The two power strips will plug in to that GFCI protected triple outlet. One strip will be mounted in the cabin, the other over the galley counter. The third outlet is reserved for the battery charger. When running on battery power, the GFCI will be plugged into the the inverter. When running on shore power, I simply unplug GFCI from the inverter and plug it into an extension cord that will pass through a small marine inspection hatch.
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Postby San Diegan » Wed May 04, 2005 11:26 pm

Endo and Tom,

I like the simplicity of your approach. The two bugaboos that keep fouling me up are in-line charging of the battery from the tow vehicle and charging the battery from an external or on-board charger in circuit with the shore power connection.

I do mostly dry camping, away from hook-ups, so I am going to try doing without anything too complicated for a while. About the only real requirements that I have are powering the cabin and galley lamps for a sustained period, and, maybe, powering an electric blanket.

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Postby Woody » Wed May 04, 2005 11:57 pm

Endo
The only problem is this AC system cannot be easily grounded to the frame. Unless I open up the yellow outlet box and tap into the ground.


The AC side is grounded using a three prong plug.I did some checking after this topic came up in another thread. I would not use the 120 vac earth group (green wire) to the frame of the trailer in combination with the 12 vdc ground to the frame. If you hook-up 120 vac shore power to the trailer with a 12 vdc frame ground and the 120 vac shore power ground is not good. The potential of 120 vac feeding back into the 12 vdc system, battery and the converter is a serious possibility of happening. I would say that the outcome would not be good at all. Hope this helps
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Postby bdosborn » Thu May 05, 2005 1:42 pm

Here's wha the national electric code says:

551.56 Bonding of Non–Current-Carrying Metal Parts.
(A) Required Bonding. All exposed non–current-carrying metal parts that may become energized shall be effectively bonded to the grounding terminal or enclosure of the distribution panelboard.
(B) Bonding Chassis. A bonding conductor shall be connected between any distribution panelboard and an accessible terminal on the chassis. Aluminum or copper-clad aluminum conductors shall not be used for bonding if such conductors or their terminals are exposed to corrosive elements.
Exception: Any recreational vehicle that employs a unitized metal chassis-frame construction to which the distribution panelboard is securely fastened with a bolt(s) and nut(s) or by welding or riveting shall be considered to be bonded.


Note that it says "All exposed non–current-carrying metal parts that may become energized must be bonded". Since you are using non-metallic plug and cord assemblies, I think you're fine.
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Very simply Yet Effective Electrical Solution

Postby osupete82 » Thu May 19, 2005 4:12 pm

I looked into using converters and inverters and trying to get everything where I wanted, but just in these components you can a couple hundred bucks, so what I did was went down to the local hardware store and bought a Jumpstart pack. This is a battery with a built in charger and 110v to 12 dc converter. It is simple to wire in and it took a lot of cost out of my electrical system since a mid sized pack about 900 watts runs $30-$50 bucks. In the trailer I just set two posts and ran all the DC lights and fans to them, this way when I clamp my battery pack in there I have power on without an AC plug in that lasts a couple nights, or If I have a plug in at the camp site I ran one wire outside to plug in and put one AC plugin in the rear compartment and one in the bedroom area. THis gave me a cheap and easy way to solve my budget and electrical problems.
We love our teardrop, we are looking for people around the area to go camping with, is there anyone out there?
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Postby Dale M. » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:25 pm

Woody wrote:Endo
The only problem is this AC system cannot be easily grounded to the frame. Unless I open up the yellow outlet box and tap into the ground.


The AC side is grounded using a three prong plug.I did some checking after this topic came up in another thread. I would not use the 120 vac earth group (green wire) to the frame of the trailer in combination with the 12 vdc ground to the frame. If you hook-up 120 vac shore power to the trailer with a 12 vdc frame ground and the 120 vac shore power ground is not good. The potential of 120 vac feeding back into the 12 vdc system, battery and the converter is a serious possibility of happening. I would say that the outcome would not be good at all. Hope this helps


Actually you SHOULD bond the AC Green wire safety ground to the chassis of the tear and all DC systems negative (-) can also be bonded to the chassis... I you think about this, battery charger or inverter or converter are isolated from each other ( AC -DC systems) by transformers in these units.

I personally would be afraid that a metal skinned TD not safety bonded (AC- Green wire safety ground) when on shore power would be a real hazard in a situation where ground may be wet and you are barefoot or in wet shoes...

You don't get much warning is shell of TD is "hot" and life can be snuffed out in a instant.

Also TEST shore power outlet to be sure it is wired properly and that safety ground is good, before hooking up.... A simple $5.00 tester could save your life.

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Postby Woody » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:20 am

Consider this scenario like some trailers are being built. If you are using a six outlet power strip for your 120 vac power, it is already grounded hopefully at the shore power hook up. Which should be checked prior to plugging in anyway. Since some of the teardrops being built are of wooden construction with metal skins, wired with six outlet power strips installed, the metal skin energized scenerio is slight. The only exception to this would a screw or fastner penetration to the cord itself during the install. Since the majority of people have average skill levels, electricity usaully being the lacking one, I feel that telling someone to chassis ground a six outlet power strip or extension cord with GFIC installed is not required, due the pure fact of isolation . The 120 vac side is isolated literally and physically from the trailer, because it is a power strip not internally wired to the trailer, it is applied to it. When you point out that it should be done, from some of the posts I have seen on wiring, there will someone out there, whom by taking a short cut, will misinterpert the chassis ground (12 vdc and 120 vac bonding) thing by hooking the earth ground (120 vac) directly to the battery negative lead, in this case, bypassing that step of a physical chassis ground. Without a catastrophic fuse installed on the negative lead to the chassis ground from the battery, you do and will run the risk of 120 vac feed back into the 12 vdc system, if 12 vdc side is installed, if the shore power earth ground is bad and you have a deadshort, this in turn would have the potential of energizing the skin and the frame and the the tow vehicle also ( if still hook-up to the trailer) This scenario is highly unlikely in this case with six outlet power strip as the question at the begining of this thread. This may not apply to other wiring scernarios however
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Postby s4son » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:02 pm

I hope the electrical session at Minden covers som eof these issues? How are the electrical systems setup on large travel trailers? I would think a teardrop would be the same. This is definitly a scary area for me. I really only want 120 AC for the air conditioning.
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Postby McTeardrops » Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:18 pm

Followed your plan for my system: Power strip for pigtail and breaker, plug-in GFCI, appliance cord to surface mount raceway and box, back-feeding to galley outlet strip. Simple!


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