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Old 03-16-2015, 03:13 PM   #1
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Making it mine - adding some neat features

I spent all weekend cleaning up some wiring and adding a few features to make our MH more personal to us.

I added five switches to the instrument panel

BLINK - On those rare occurrences when I actually pass a truck on the freeway, they will generally blink their headlights to let me know its OK to pull back in to the lane. a "Thanks" is generally acknowledged by blinking my tail lights.This is a momentary switch that blinks the tail lights.

I added a circuit to blink the tail lights, regardless if they are already on or off. just press the momentary switch and it turn them ON or OFF depending if they are OFF or ON.

HEADLIGHT - On the Ford F53 chassis, the Daytime Running lights are on all the time. even when sitting idle in park. I HATE THIS. This switch disables the headlights and DRLs, turns them OFF if they were ON.

A/C - I don't like the A/C compressor running just because I selected a mode on the climate control. I also think Evans TempCon has an error in their controller, it turns on the compressor when "VENT" is selected.

Anyway, this switch controls the A/C compressor any time the truck climat control is turned ON, regardless of mode (A/C, Vent, defrost, floor, etc, )

CHARGE - Enables the ability to charge the truck battery when the coach has shore power or generator power. If this switch is ON and there is 110 volts on the coach, the truck battery is tied to the coach battery thru it own relay, it does not use the isolator solenoid for this function.

INVERTER - Even though my MH has a generator, I don't want to run it just to charge a cell phone or laptop while on the road. I installed a small 400 watt inverter, this switch controls the 12 volts that supplies that inverter.

I'll write these up separately and include the electrical drawings as soon as I clean them up.

***********

Photos:
Instrument Panel BEFORE
Instrument Panel AFTER
Center TV

I also replaced a couple of the truck heater vents ( I love the new ones) and am installing a 12 volt TV in the front to replace the 120 volt TV.

More on this later
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:20 PM   #2
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You should blink the clearance lights instead of the taillights.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:23 PM   #3
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Yah, to hard to separate them from the tail lights. :-(
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:29 PM   #4
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Looks like a factory original set-up - nice job


Just 1 word of caution, tying the chassis battery to the house bank for charging while on shore power (juice from the converter/charger) for long periods of time without a monitor/controller of some sort, can cause a regular lead/acid chassis battery to cook-off some water (assuming a normal vented battery).

This is because without a monitoring/controller device like a "Trik-L-Start" the voltage being introduced is on-demand from your use of the 12VDC in the coach vs. the voltage needed for the unused chassis battery.


For charging the chassis battery while the RV is on shore power, a separate 110VAC "smart" or "trickle" charger would be the most gentle on that battery.

Best luck
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:33 AM   #5
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Steve, Thanks for the info. I have a 4 stage converter on order from Best Converter.

Like you said, the original single stage converter tend to boil the battery over long term, AND, they cannot do a fast quick charge of the battery.

I installed the three stage version in my old Toyota years ago, does exactly what you suggested. :-)


Thats the project for next weekend, remove the original single stage and install the 4 stage.

PowerMax PM4B-45 (45 Amp 4-Stage Converter/Charger)
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:56 AM   #6
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Why not just run the tv you have from an inverter? Much cheaper and easier install, Modern 115v tvs proba bly are more efficient than 12v models...
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:55 AM   #7
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Krivcanj; Using an inverter is an option, but I decided not use one for the TV, to many loses and another component to fail.

A lot of TVs will run on 12vdc, they just don't advertise them as such. When you shop for a TV, see if it has an external power supply similar to the ones in the photo. If it does, look at it, it will tell you what the output voltage is, Most of the ones I looked at are 12 volts.

The one I have, all I did was cut the cord off the power supply output, and hook it directly to 12 volts.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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Nice look! Who did you get your switches and labels from
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:13 PM   #9
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The air conditioning compressor is wired to come on even in other modes in order to exercise it. Without running regularly parts rust and seals dry up.Having a switch that prevents it will end costing you big time in the long run.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Steve, Thanks for the info. I have a 4 stage converter on order from Best Converter.

Like you said, the original single stage converter tend to boil the battery over long term, AND, they cannot do a fast quick charge of the battery.

I installed the three stage version in my old Toyota years ago, does exactly what you suggested. :-)
Thats the project for next weekend, remove the original single stage and install the 4 stage.
To clarify, my suggestion was about directly charging the unused/idle chassis battery with a converter/charger that is used for the house batteries (single stage or multi-stage).

With a multi-stage charger, the impact is even greater because the charger will step-up the load to react to the needs of the house. That can cook the idle chassis battery even faster - over time.

So without adding some controller or monitor device dedicated for the charge going to the chassis battery, the cross-over should be used sparingly to protect the chassis battery from an overcharge (shortens life span).

Best luck
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:54 PM   #11
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I see what your saying if the context is "charging only". But when the tie switch is on, both batteries are in parallel, they both supply current to loads and both are charged, they should be acting as one battery.

I think the only issue would be that the batteries are mismatched (one is a start and the other is a deep cycle), so they will not charge / discharge at the same rates. Not a perfect scenario, but should be acceptable for the application we're using it in.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:06 PM   #12
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Carling made the original "EMER START" momentary switch (with green light). I couldn't find a source that had them in stock.

Mouser Electronics did have a momentary version with a white light. I ordered a couple of them and also a couple SPST (single pole, single throw)

Daystar makes a switch that looks identical to the EMER START switch and has different color lights, these are DPDT, you can find them on e-bay for about $10 each.

The rockers pop off so you can flip them over to make a normally open or a normally closed.

The internal lights are cute, but a big distraction when driving at night. If you hook them up, I would recommend tieing them into your instrument panel lights so they can be dimmed.

I figure under normal conditions, all the switches are down, in the OFF position

The labels are from a brother label machine, experiment with it and you can make some very nice looking labels. The little label cartridges are expensive, so be prepared to apply for a second mortgage on your house.
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1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:14 PM   #13
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Yes, I believe it doesn't hurt to occationally cycle the A/C unit to get the oils circulated. House hold, automotive, etc. I make sure this happens once a month or so, even when its 20 below zero outside.

Every Japanese car I've owned has an external A/C switch. I always cuss American designers for not doing the same. ( When I buy an American car, that's one of the first things I do is install an A/C switch so I can turn the compressor on when I want.
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1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

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Old 03-17-2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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Great job ......Waiter 21............I use my blinkers back and forth.......no matter what lights...................they'll get the message.
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