Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FORUMS > RV Systems & Appliances
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-27-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5
Help? Working on my 12volt system and soon solar

Hello, My name is Tyler Tucker and i am rather new to being a full time Rver. We purchased a Coachman 1986 class A 38' RV. This first section is going to be an introduction i shall put the meat below starting in paragraph 3. My wife and I moved into our coachman about a year ago after many home improvements and so far things have been great! We have stayed close to home so to speak plugged into a family friends property. We have done a few excursions when work permits, still looking for some online work so we can set out on our “honeymoon”. Soon we are going on a trip to Georgia to celebrate the wedding news with out of state family, and decided its time to start getting everything boon dock ready. With that being said I have been looking into ways to save us money and give us more freedom to travel.

One of the major items that has helped convince me its time to start working on the electrical was the last trip we took. The majority of the traveling have been to full hook ups however the last trip we took was more of a pain. I called before hand and was told they could accommodate my 38' with electric and water. When i got there i was parked practically in a tree with no water or electric hook ups. I was already planning on making our RV more boon dock approachable seeings how the cigarette lighter didn't even work, but this made me step up my time line. I took apart my dash where the previous owner had "fixed" some wiring issues and installed a new radio. i re- routed the cigarette lighter so that it would work. The owner cut the power running to this to run the radio because the wiring was to small i assume. We used the outlet i installed that night for our phones and lights and moved to a new location the next day. Now i want to make sure we don't have an issue like this again so I'm trying to do two things; 1: install solar panels to help offset cost and do some light boon-docking until we can save up for a larger system. 2: i would like to set up a 12volt system for all of my appliances instead of installing an inverter for now.

I'm still new to this stuff so I'm sorry for any dumb questions or if I overlook something. So these are my basic two ideas I want to apply to my RV. I would like to collect sun energy, and I would like to use 12 volt sockets with plug in inverters I already own to operate my devices. I would like to start with the 12volt system. I have found some videos about installing a fuse block some power replays and a terminal block that I think should help me with the basics of my ideal system (

). I have a diagram, I hope I can include of the system I would like to make if its effective, and cost efficient. So the system I would hope to have would start at the house battery run to a breaker switch for dc currents then go to a new fuse block (just like above video) then several power relays. Each relay will be connected to its own fuse, to a switch and then finally to the 12v outlet. Sort of like this link:

. The outlet would have plug in inverts (I already own) with correct wattage to the devices being used. This way there is no power to the the outlet until I press the switch so I can use the house battery power anytime. I have maxing out at 60 Amps as a precaution so I don't overload anything. I am assuming this is to high, however I plan on running one of the outlets for large loads like drills and industrial fans for short periods of time, and another outlet for my tv, xbox, phone and laptop at one time. Another reason why I would like this system want to try and idiot proof this so my home is not in danger and still be able to use my hobby appliances. I don't know if this would be a good idea to do or if there are systems like this but I don't want to install a large inverter until later on due to price of new equipment.

Now onto the solar panels. I have been looking into different types of systems and I think I have a good idea for a panel setup that will work well for shading on my RV. Again I must tell everyone that I am still learning and might sound dumb or overlook something obvious to others. I would like to start with a small system until I can add more panels and battery's at our budgets convenience. Right now I plan on running two panels to one power optimizer then to a charger controller then to a fuse or DC circuit breaker then battery. So to wrap it up I would like something along the lines of: panels to power optimizer to controller to battery to fuse/wire assembly to 12v outlet to appliances. If there are any systems that would work well like this and are affordable or have better suggestions on what to use for the system or amperage please let me know I would appreciate any information anyone can provide. I am going to try and add a diagram I have maid to hopefully simplify everything if I'm not being clear. 0.Thank you for all your time and have a wonderful day!
Attached Files
File Type: doc Untitled 1.doc (20.0 KB, 12 views)
RVtherey3t is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free! RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-27-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
Tiffin Owners Club
Appalachian Campers
Mid Atlantic Campers
Coastal Campers
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,622

That's not how an RV is typically wired, but I understand what you are doing.
DaveB, Raleigh, NC
2015 Tiffin RED 33AA, w/Honda CRV
VMSpc, Magnum BMK/ARC50
Kiawah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2017, 05:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28,610
Keep in mind that amps, at 120 volts, are 10 times more at 12 volts. A 300 watt 120 volt appliance will draw 25 amps at 12 volts, plus the inverter losses. That's another 10 to 15% loss.

As far as running wires from your battery, keep the fuse close to the battery. If its at the distribution end, it won't protect the wire it's designed to protect.

I would scrape up enough $ for a PSW, 1000 watt inverter. Then use some simple extension cords to plug in your devices. The single use, cigar lighter inverters are MSW and less effecent.
twinboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5
so after the fuse instead of a a relay and a outlet you suggest just putting in an inverter and running power from there?
RVtherey3t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 09:45 AM   #5
Senior Member/RVM #90
MSHappyCampers's Avatar

Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 48,279
Hi Tyler! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Hope the project works out well! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 10:08 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5
Thank you very much!! so far with pickup/ drive home iv gotten a good 1200 miles was interesting adjusting to such a large vehicle.
RVtherey3t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 09:13 PM   #7
Senior Member
trx430ex's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Worcester Pennsylvania
Posts: 984
The best advice I can give, is to learn the math of what you can produce/store. And to other side of the coin, what you want to use/spend that energy on. After you learn that, everything else is just scale that you know.

I have thought of putting post it notes (with all the energy they use) on each appliance. So GF can understand total consumption of power. And how it affects the amount of energy storage we have.No matter the source.

This works from the small pop up with one lead acid batt, to the largest rigs with 8 - 6 volt lead acid batts.

Lithium Ion storage is an entirely different animal.

As an old man, my advice would be, learn the future of storage, don't waste your time studding the past in 12 volt. You can back feed all the legacy 12 volt with the stock "converter", reach for a higher voltage of storage.
2006 Fleetwood Bounder 35E Trek pure Trike, electric, 50 mile range, 4700 miles the get everything runner. To be toad list Done, Ford E450 toad. Stay & Play active brakes.
Fulltime since 2018.
trx430ex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2017, 07:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
KAMPURR's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 156
I am not technically astute, but I just added 4 new 6v batteries and added a Zamp solar system and couldn't be happier with the problems you mentioned. I to, am going to hold a bit on the inverter. Contact me if you wish.
KAMPURR is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! No 12volt lights, monitoring system lights... tmarie416 Monaco Owner's Forum 13 08-15-2016 09:38 AM
Lost part of 12volt system - like no furnace -help jimbo2013 Monaco Owner's Forum 11 12-23-2015 08:58 AM
Still working on 12volt lights Whoachubby Fleetwood Owner's Forum 6 01-30-2012 10:37 AM
Buzz in 12volt system Logthumper Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 2 08-17-2011 06:28 AM
HWH Jacks working, not working and working again? Bob&Pat Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 6 06-08-2006 04:22 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.