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Old 10-11-2008, 06:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6
INGREDIANTS
110 TO 12V CONVERTER (factory installed and operational)
12 TO 110 1800 WATT INVERTER (not currently installed)
1 AMP FLOATING TRICKLE CHARGER (add on, installed and apparently working)
12V DC BATTERIES (THREE) TWO UNDER THE HOOD, ONE IN THE CAMPER (under the hood installed and operational third battery to be added inside the camper in the spring)
SOLAR PANEL (near future add on)
SOLAR CONTROLLER (near future add on)
110 V/BOTTLE GAS FRIDGE (installed and operational)
750 WATT MICROWAVE (installed and operational only when connected to AC input)
12 V LIGHTING (TOTAL OF 5 1157 BULBS) (installed, functional for 1 to 5 selectively)
SINGLE BREAKER DISTRIBUTION BOX (ONE 20 AMP BREAKER) factory installed and functional
SITUATION
CURRENTLY
The two batteries under the hood can be split so as to not discharge the vehicle's operating battery. 0ga cables are run from the secondary battery to the camper (not yet connected to anything). Plug in on the side of the camper for 110v AC power that connects directly to the breaker box then to to the converter. Convert has a switch labeled AC in one direction and DIR in the other. AC of course lets everything in the camper operate off the converter while connected to shore power. When switched to DIR mode only the lighting (DC of course) runs and there is no AC. The DC from this converter is supplied through 14 gauge wiring directly into the walls of the camper and as near as I can figure only to the lights. I have discovered what appears to be an "add on" trickle charger in the camper that has been tapped into the dc wiring again through 14 gauge wire. The trickle charger (ac operation) lights up indicating it is feeding a charge to the vehicle's batteries to charge it (them unless split). I do have 10gauge wires supplying nominal power to the camper from the truck's batteries which is currently used only for the interior lights.
From what I can see, AC power is distributed from the breaker box to one circuit consisting of three dual plugs and to the refrigerator and micro-wave. Two sets of DC wires run out of the convertor directly into the wall, but two red and two black wires come out. I think (through some testing) they run to the three ceiling mounted lights. I have not found any dc power from the converter to the batteries (either in the camper or the truck) but at some point I'd like to add the capability to charge the batteries from this source when connected to shore power.
GOAL
I'm trying to configure this to be "idiot proof" so if my Grandkids or someone else uses it they can't destroy anything. I need to somehow wire all this together through one switch to work on either AC or DC without cross connecting or shorting anything out.
QUESTIONS
Can anybody figure this mess out with/for me?? I want/need for my ac circuits to function when I'm hooked up to shore power, but also want them functional if I'm only running off battery power. How do I keep from feeding power back??? Where do I connect the various components etc. I may be reading more into this than is needed, but I tend to be somewhat paranoid when it comes to electricity anyhow and I certainly don't want to destroy my pickup while configuring/operating any of this.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6
INGREDIANTS
110 TO 12V CONVERTER (factory installed and operational)
12 TO 110 1800 WATT INVERTER (not currently installed)
1 AMP FLOATING TRICKLE CHARGER (add on, installed and apparently working)
12V DC BATTERIES (THREE) TWO UNDER THE HOOD, ONE IN THE CAMPER (under the hood installed and operational third battery to be added inside the camper in the spring)
SOLAR PANEL (near future add on)
SOLAR CONTROLLER (near future add on)
110 V/BOTTLE GAS FRIDGE (installed and operational)
750 WATT MICROWAVE (installed and operational only when connected to AC input)
12 V LIGHTING (TOTAL OF 5 1157 BULBS) (installed, functional for 1 to 5 selectively)
SINGLE BREAKER DISTRIBUTION BOX (ONE 20 AMP BREAKER) factory installed and functional
SITUATION
CURRENTLY
The two batteries under the hood can be split so as to not discharge the vehicle's operating battery. 0ga cables are run from the secondary battery to the camper (not yet connected to anything). Plug in on the side of the camper for 110v AC power that connects directly to the breaker box then to to the converter. Convert has a switch labeled AC in one direction and DIR in the other. AC of course lets everything in the camper operate off the converter while connected to shore power. When switched to DIR mode only the lighting (DC of course) runs and there is no AC. The DC from this converter is supplied through 14 gauge wiring directly into the walls of the camper and as near as I can figure only to the lights. I have discovered what appears to be an "add on" trickle charger in the camper that has been tapped into the dc wiring again through 14 gauge wire. The trickle charger (ac operation) lights up indicating it is feeding a charge to the vehicle's batteries to charge it (them unless split). I do have 10gauge wires supplying nominal power to the camper from the truck's batteries which is currently used only for the interior lights.
From what I can see, AC power is distributed from the breaker box to one circuit consisting of three dual plugs and to the refrigerator and micro-wave. Two sets of DC wires run out of the convertor directly into the wall, but two red and two black wires come out. I think (through some testing) they run to the three ceiling mounted lights. I have not found any dc power from the converter to the batteries (either in the camper or the truck) but at some point I'd like to add the capability to charge the batteries from this source when connected to shore power.
GOAL
I'm trying to configure this to be "idiot proof" so if my Grandkids or someone else uses it they can't destroy anything. I need to somehow wire all this together through one switch to work on either AC or DC without cross connecting or shorting anything out.
QUESTIONS
Can anybody figure this mess out with/for me?? I want/need for my ac circuits to function when I'm hooked up to shore power, but also want them functional if I'm only running off battery power. How do I keep from feeding power back??? Where do I connect the various components etc. I may be reading more into this than is needed, but I tend to be somewhat paranoid when it comes to electricity anyhow and I certainly don't want to destroy my pickup while configuring/operating any of this.
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:25 AM   #3
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Do you have an electrical battery disconnect on the camper? It sounds like you have an open circuit from the converter/charger to the batteries. Have you checked all the fuses?
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6
RE-Hi

All connections have been tested, then ripped out, traced back and re-wired. Somewhere along the way somebody didn't know what the charging circuit was in the converter, so they just screwed the terminal to ground, needles to say the charging circuit is fryed. I've installed a 1 1/2 amp floating trickle charger in place of it and now have the wiring all re-done. Turns out a four pole dual throw switch takes care of most of my problem. Just have to shut the converter off when running on DC rather than everything switching around with the "idiot proof" single switch I had in mind. A couple diodes appropriately installed will stop the dc from back feeding, and after dismantling the converter discovered that the chassie mounted switch totaly disconnects the ac from it.

Bob
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:34 AM   #5
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Bob, you can install a free standing charger that plugs into a 120 volt receptacle and connects straight to the battery.
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Amy, Dr. Assistant - Roxie & Mei Ling, four legs each
2000 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser 450 hp & 1330# torque
06 Saturn Vue, 06 Chevy Z71 4x4 & 2014 Corvette Z51 M7
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:47 PM   #6
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Location: Michigan
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Thanks again,

That is basically what I've done with a floating trickle charger. I finally figured out most of my "dilemma" with the only exception being cutting the converter out when running on dc. I wanted to do it all with one "idiot proof" switch but ends up I just have to trip a breaker off to disconnect the converter from drawing ac power off the inverter. Total re-wire is now completed, switch all circuits from ac to dc with one simple toggle switch with the exception of the ac/dc converter but simplified that with the installation of a breaker. Gave her the ole' smoke test today and no sparks, no smoke, it works as I wanted it too.

Thanks to all for their input.

Bob
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