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Old 07-10-2010, 04:13 AM   #1
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Preparing for my TC's First Trip. Please Advise...

I just bought a 1989 Jayco Sportster 7 to haul in my Mazda B4000 and am busy preparing it for use. It had several issues and this forum as well as other online resources have helped with their insight.

I added front tie towns to the truck frame as well as a Timbren SES to the back axle. I installed a transmission cooler. I also installed a backup camera and will be adding a 7 pin RV cable to the truck.

Electrical wiring is a major concern. I have an engineering degree and can visualize and implement. I just don't have the RV experience. So I thought I'd lay out my plan and have folks comment if they see major problems or have suggestions. I'll be upgrading the RV socket on the TC to 7 pin from the old 4 pin. The prior owner didn't use it or have the marker lights connected at all and I decided to upgrade because I need more connections. First I added a high brake light on the back and reconnected the markers. For the connections I'm planning on 8 awg wire for the RV battery charging and ground. Then I have 12 awg for the marker lights, high brake light, a dedicated power line for the refrigerator wired to the ignition or an ignition activated relay. This leaves 2 free for possibly adding directionals or backup lights. I don't need either because the truck tail lights are not obstructed but am thinking ahead. For the camper battery connection to the truck alternator/battery I will either use an isolator I got from harbor freight or a solenoid. Not sure yet, whatever is easier to hook up. Really don't want to touch alternator cables.

For the camper I have several wish list items I want to add to the wiring. Inside the TC there is a power converter that does GFI off 110V outlets and converts it to 12V for the lights, fridge, heater fan etc. There is a switch on it for convert/off/battery. When set to the internal battery the converter schematic indicates that both camper 12V load circuits are run directly through the units two fuses to the camper battery isolating everything from the rest of the power converter circutry. In the convert position, the 12V circuits get their power from the 110V campground shore line and the battery is totally isolated. For the wish list I want to add a pair of cigar lighter type power points where accessories (ie. cell/I-pod charger) are needed. I don't know whether to wire these off the battery directly or the converter circuits. They need fuses and would prefer to give them their own dedicated fuse instead of adding to the load on the main 2 fuses. I luckily found a trickle charger made by carson to charge the batter while on the shore line. It connects to the converter load circuits for juice and runs to the isolated battery to trickle charge it. How will this be impacted by having another battery wire run into the truck alternator? Do I need diodes or a switch for determining the charging source?

My last wish list consideration is to add a SPDT switch to the 12V fridge power input to select whether it is coming from the truck alternator/battery or using the camper battery. This way when driving I can have the truck alternator keeping the food cold and when I park I can put it on the camper battery or LPG or plug in. The fridge manual says it only pulls a max of 8 amps on 12V so 12awg should be more than enough.

So mainly, my concerns are having the most options to keep the camper battery charged like the trickle charger or the RV connector cable to the truck battery/alternator and the fridge power option from the truck. And lastly to add a few power points to power phones and other 12V accessories. Any feedback on how to best accomplish these goals is appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:00 AM   #2
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First off welcome to irv2 RV Nomad.
2nd here is a link for truck to trailer wiring. Need also slidein running lights.
Your slidein may not need all the wiring from your truck because if you have a good battery or two, in slide it should be sufficient to keep your refrigerator operating while traveling.
The fridge needs 12v from your battery to operate the control board which operates the LP igniter and gas valves.
If you have a converter that charges it will take care of battery when plugged into shore power wouldn't need trickle charger.
Your fridge will than work off electric heating elements but still need the 12v which will be coming from your converter not battery at this time.
All lights,water pump, HWH & furnace control boards will also work off converter.
You could always get a better converter with a higher output to add the things you want, added 12v outlets, if you notice your lights dimming when operating items on the 12v curcuits. 12v side of life
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips 007. The reason I was concerned about the 3 way fridge not having enough power when operating in 12v mode is that the previous owner indicated it drained the battery flat when he traveled. Also, the 20 year old Carson converter in the TC doesn't have a charger which is why I was happy to find an add on trickle charger module made by Carson for this converter so now I can keep the battery charged when plugged in. I need the manual for it (Carson CHGM-05), if anyone has one, as BR Wholesale who bought Carson's Converter line has a few chargers left but no manuals. I'm running a line to the truck battery/alternator to keep it charged while driving so that should cover travel. Might look into a solar panel later. The previous owner hauled a small generator and used that to charge the battery which is fine for boondocking but is too loud for site camping and I'd prefer to ditch the extra weight. I am interested in upgrading the power center possibly later, adding one with an Inverter/Converter to give 110v when boondocking and that would up the capacity and efficiency of the overall unit. If anyone has recommendations please chime in. As for the trailer wiring, I used The Ranger Station website as a reference for my 7 pin connector. The pin out they use is slightly different than etrailer but that shouldn't make a big difference. I'm documenting as I go so I can provide that to any service people in the future. Thanks for the links. The wiring is almost done, I'll write in as I go and maybe even post pics if folks are interested.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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That Dc heating elements for fridge will kill your battery as you say without some charge. You could draw 12v from your truck alternator and use diodes so no feed back from that battery.
I think your on the right track , you could post in Vintage forum above and you may get more help from those members. They deal with your problems more often.
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