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Old 05-16-2019, 01:13 PM   #1
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RV 220 and 13 V to 110 12V

Hello, I am a new female member and would like to know how difficult/ expensive it would be to change/ adapt a German/ European VW CA. Exclusive T4 Club Hightop Campervan
With 220 and 13 V electricity to American 110 and 12 V? I am considering buying this and need this info. before I proceed further. Any and all help would be great.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:35 PM   #2
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To the best of my knowledge European vehicles all use 12 volt batteries unless the vehicle is very old than they used 6 volt batteries so I'm not sure where you obtained info that the vehicle uses 13 volt DC power. Alternators which are engine driven produce 14.7 volts but that's designed to keep the starting battery fully charged.

Find out what is powered by the 220 volts going into the VW. If it's just a female outlet in the VW then it's a relatively easy job to convert that to a US standard 120 volt alternating current outlet and where you'd plug in an extension cord to get shore power. If there are such things as converters (changes alternating current to direct current) then you'd need a new converter.

Basically we need to know exactly what's being powered by the 220 volt system.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:01 PM   #3
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RV 220 and 13 V to 110 12V

Seriously. What does that 220 do in a VW camper van other maybe an AC?
I took an old Toyota chinook and with little effort gave it a 110 hookup for lights and a small window AC.
Or you could maybe just buy this:
https://www.amazon.com/Voltage-Conve.../dp/B001ES8YY6
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:06 PM   #4
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A simple 2 to 1 step down transformer will convert 220 to 120. The other issues you might run into is 50 vs 60Hz. And depending on country of origin all your hookups might be on thr wrong side. You likely will also need to change the converter from 220V to a 120V unit. AC and refer if it has a electric heating element may also need to be replaced
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:07 PM   #5
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It can be done but I believe it would be beatifically better to just buy and american version. Any 220 volt motor will have to be replaced. A step down transformer will not help the the 60/50 Hz.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:10 PM   #7
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12v is 12v, there's no 13v so that's no problem.

But, you need to find out what's being powered by the 220v. Look if they can be changed or you'll have to buy a step-up transformer that can handle the amps.

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Old 05-17-2019, 07:45 PM   #8
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If you connect to a pedestal with a 50 amp that is actually 220 volts (110 0n each leg) the 30 amp pedestal is the 110 only. The 50 Hz.devices may be the bigger issue.
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chuckftboy View Post
If you connect to a pedestal with a 50 amp that is actually 220 volts (110 0n each leg) the 30 amp pedestal is the 110 only. The 50 Hz.devices may be the bigger issue.
American 50 amp pedestal is 240 L1 to L2 240 volts 2 legs. OP's European VW is 240 volts on one leg just like our 30 amp 120 volts. Completely different animals.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:41 AM   #10
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Hello L Jowdy,
First, I must thank you for your reply and info. for Amazon n web address. But to answer your questions, it is a 1995 fully loaded VW Campervan. The female shore power cord connects to an ac unit and various lights, along with the reach in fridge (which is propane, 12v or 13v as well as 220), and the heat I believe is from the diesel tank. This unit also has a full shower/ commode, which is why I want it, along with the 2.4 L diesel engine. It also has 2 deep cell batteries for the Coach itself if shoe power is unavailable. I suppose Mike research is needed on my part.
Again, many thanks fodder your help, and I look forward to being off help one day in the future.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:44 AM   #11
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I just sent you a (PM) Private Message
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Thank you Ms Happy Camper, I hope to join the RVers one day soon. Until then, i thank you for your kind welcome. God bless you and yours.
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Old 05-18-2019, 11:15 AM   #13
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If the van is a true Europe model I would be a little hesitant. Not so much for the 220VAC configuration but for the chassis. The build standards for Europe and the USA can be different which could mean certain replacement parts might not be available here in North America. Dig a bit deeper just to be sure. May be even have the local VW dealer check the van out.

For power you could add a step up transformers for the fridge, A/C or other built in items. If and when they fail replace with 120VAC items. For the rest of the coach replace anything else that is not compatible with US standards. Keeping the entire electrical system on 220VAC will make life difficult. Simple stuff like an alarm clock, toaster oven or phone charging can become complicated.

Lived in Australia, also 220VAC 50 Hz, for a couple of years. Used several step down transformers (fridge, microwave, washer,,,). No problems other than clocks running slower with 50 Hz. Last I heard the former wife was till using all the appliances we had down under.
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