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Old 08-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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re-wiring for boondocking?

hi all,

i've been researching the efficiency of our battery packs and have learned that my inverter is placed way to far from my battery and wire gauge is too small (typical for most rv's). has anyone here re-wired their rv to be more efficient? if you have, can you share some pics of your installation and wiring diagrams?

i'm most curious about how outlets share power input (like the one for the tv). how does it know to switch power from shore power/genset to inverter? I would like to wire up a few more outlets to be powered by the inverter as well (ie: 2 from the bedroom, 1 under the dinette, etc).

my greyhawk 31ss has plenty of outside room to add more metal boxes for a larger battery pack and inverter housing by the original battery box. would love to see other's pictures of their upgrades!

thanks
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
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The first thing I would recommend is replacing all the incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. Depending on your rig replacing all the lights to LED will have the power draw of 1 or 2 incandescent bulbs.

Batteries are not all the same. The factory battery is probably very light weight. If you are serious about boondocking I would recommend considering using 2 6 Volt golf cart batteries in series. Doing this will increase battery storage about 2.5+ times (depending on battery mAmp specifications).

Heavier gauge wire will help accelerate battery recharge times.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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Just a thought...have you checked out the sticky in the Tech Talk section of this forum? I found it to be helpful in understanding TT power.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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Check out this thread https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...docking-Part-2 by Chakara. There is a link (http://www.kissmygrits.net/factory-r...d-boondocking/) to an extensive write up by Chakara that you may find very helpful.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
The first thing I would recommend is replacing all the incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. Depending on your rig replacing all the lights to LED will have the power draw of 1 or 2 incandescent bulbs.

Batteries are not all the same. The factory battery is probably very light weight. If you are serious about boondocking I would recommend considering using 2 6 Volt golf cart batteries in series. Doing this will increase battery storage about 2.5+ times (depending on battery mAmp specifications).

Heavier gauge wire will help accelerate battery recharge times.
yes, i absolutely will upgrade to led bulbs and golf cart batteries. just looking for how others have added the new battery packs to their rigs and in what locations for ideas...


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnyQ View Post
Check out this thread https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...docking-Part-2 by Chakara. There is a link (http://www.kissmygrits.net/factory-r...d-boondocking/) to an extensive write up by Chakara that you may find very helpful.
yes i have, thanks. i have reach the same diagnosis as chakara about my rig and am headed in the same direction in terms of solution. i do plan on upgrading to 2 batteries, wire size, led bulbs and relocating the inverter. i'm also going to add a battery monitor too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanker42 View Post
Just a thought...have you checked out the sticky in the Tech Talk section of this forum? I found it to be helpful in understanding TT power.
you mean the logical wiring diagram sticky? that doesn't tell me so much. i have the actual wiring schematic from jayco which has more detail. i think i just need to take apart the box that is hiding the power center/breaker panel to look at the wiring between ac and dc and see how the transfer switch is wired in.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:07 AM   #6
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I would trash the inverter you have and replace it with a whole house inverter.. those have automatic transfer switches in them the one you have now YOU have to remember to shut it off before plugging into shore power. Use the thickest cable you can get.. I went with 00 welding cable...
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:21 AM   #7
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just to update this thread...

i took off the cover to the power center. it's a mess. it's clearly not the work of a careful electrician. everything is haphazardly routed through and connect. it's all safe (still), but it just shows that the electrician didn't care. there were loose extra screws and wire caps strewn about as if dropped and never picked up. the hole in the floor where the wires come up wasn't sealed properly. large gaps that allowed a lizard to come in, die and decomposed down to only a skeleton lol.

anywas... i'll clean that up later when i re-wire everything. here's what i found out for those of you interested:

components in my 2007 greyhawk 31ss are:
- iota engineering its-30rl automatic transfer switch (30 amps)
- iota engineering dls-45 converter/charger (45amps no smart charger plug)
- xantrex rs400 inverter
- (unknown) power center for 120v circuit breakers and 12v fuses

some notable information:
- house outlet wiring is 14gauge romex in standard white sleeve. nothing labeled.
- automatic transfer switch wiring is 12 gauge romex in orange sleeve. again, not labeled.
- power center has an outlet on the back. the converter/charger is plugged into that outlet.
- the inverter powers only the tv outlet
- the inverter has a shore power input and that is plugged inline to some other outlet. there is an outlet installed right next to the power center that the inverter is plugged into and then runs to some remote outlet. (this answered my question above about how inverter/shore power is switched on the tv outlet - the inverter has its own automatic transfer switch built in and takes both DC-battery and AC-shore input)
- wire from battery to inverter is 6 gauge.
- 12v slide relay is also located here (mightly long run from battery to slide motor - just seems ridiculously long run for that purpose).

overall, re-wiring will be a piece of cake for those who are knowledgeable enough. i am very comfortable with this so i will be undertaking it myself.

now i need to save up budget for the actual project (which may take awhile). but here's the general plan:
- need undercarriage battery slides for new battery bank
- need new batteries for the battery bank (would like 4-6 6v trojan t105's but need to go through the sizing excercise)
- need undercarriage box for the inverter. may place new 120v power center here as well. ac carries long distance much better than dc.
- need whole house inverter (size of watts comes from sizing excercise. thinking 1500-2000 watts may be right)
- need solar panels and charger (2 on the roof depending on battery bank size and daily draw)
- need appropriate sized converter/charger with 3 stage charging for battery bank
- need stranded wires instead of solid (leave existing romex to the outlets)
- need 2nd automatic transfer switch to allow inverter < shore power < generator priority

more to come! pics shortly...
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:12 PM   #8
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pictures of the power center under the bed




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Old 08-27-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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more pics since post are limited to 4 pics only



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Old 08-27-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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this is what it all really means... logical wiring diagram. couldn't find any cool visio stencils for the correct parts so it's all blocks instead...



not sure which way i'm going to re-wire yet. options are:
- keep it simple and only invert the outlets i really need (like what it is now, but upgrade the parts only)
- invert the whole house (full redesign)
- invert and configure in UPS the whole house (full redesign)
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