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Old 05-20-2016, 07:23 PM   #1
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Breaker Wiring

I ordered a suitcase solar kit this week (120 watts) as well as a small inverter (only 300 watts). I already have dual batteries thanks to the PO. I don't have time this year to do a full install so I wanted something I can just hook up while boon docking. Eventually I plan on installing solar on the roof with an inverter powerful enough to run the microwave. But for this summer this should work.

I planned on just turning off all the breakers except the outlets and plugging the TT into the inverter to be able to watch a movie or two in the evening after the batteries have charged all day. After hooking up everything in the driveway I was disappointed to find that the converter is wired to the same breaker as the outlets for both the main TV and the bedroom TV. Why would they do that is what I want to know, since those would be the most common outlets you would want to run off an inverter, and obviously you can’t run the converter and inverter at the same time…well I guess you could if you want to run your batteries down very quickly. For now I can run an extension cord from the outlet under the rear bunk, but that will be very annoying.

Should I have any issues adding another breaker, I have room for one more, and putting the converter on its own breaker? It would then be the top breaker and all I would have to do is flip one breaker before I plug the cord into the inverter. Seem like the most simple (and cheapest) solution unless anyone else has a better idea.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:18 PM   #2
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I see no issue in putting converter on its own breaker. To me, it should be anyway, but I tend to over engineer stuff.
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:58 PM   #3
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Using the small 300 watt inverter with only your Tv, will not require you to rewire your TT's battery charge controller. Plug your Tv into an extension cord and connect your inverter to your batteries.

You will need to rewire your battery charge controller to its own breaker if you wire your next LARGER inverter into your TT's 110VAC electrical system for dry camping and SOLAR.

Don

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Old 05-22-2016, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
Using the small 300 watt inverter with only your Tv, will not require you to rewire your TT's battery charge controller. Plug your Tv into an extension cord and connect your inverter to your batteries.

You will need to rewire your battery charge controller to its own breaker if you wire your next LARGER inverter into your TT's 110VAC electrical system for dry camping and SOLAR.

Don

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I was originally just going to do that, but since there isn't a suitable 12V outlet in the TT, (another item I plan on fixing, with at least 4 in various places inside the TT) I will end up with the inverter outside anyway. And rather than run an extension cord through a door or window I figured it was just easier to plug the TT shore power cord into the inverter since it's outside anyway.

Even for the permanent setup I was probably just going to put a 30A outlet in the storage bay connected to the inverter instead of hardwiring into the power center.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by northwindone View Post
And rather than run an extension cord through a door or window I figured it was just easier to plug the TT shore power cord into the inverter since it's outside anyway.

Even for the permanent setup I was probably just going to put a 30A outlet in the storage bay connected to the inverter instead of hardwiring into the power center.
If you plug into an outlet you install in your storage bay, you loose the protection of your AC distribution centers fuses, which could make for a real mess should someone accidently turn on the AC. If you do plug into the shore power, you will need to rewire your battery charge controller, or you will be supplying power to the charge controller and that will kill your battery in no time.

You will need to turn off all your breakers just in case some one plugs something into an outlet or turns on the microwave... sure would be interesting... just to many things could go wrong with this scenario.

Don
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
If you plug into an outlet you install in your storage bay, you loose the protection of your AC distribution centers fuses, which could make for a real mess should someone accidently turn on the AC. If you do plug into the shore power, you will need to rewire your battery charge controller, or you will be supplying power to the charge controller and that will kill your battery in no time.

You will need to turn off all your breakers just in case some one plugs something into an outlet or turns on the microwave... sure would be interesting... just to many things could go wrong with this scenario.

Don
I think I'm a little lost on how I would lose the protection on my AC distribution center. My plan was to put the converter on it's own breaker.

Then I would do the following when I wanted to get AC power on battery...
1-Shut off all breakers except for 30A main and inside outlets. (microwave, AC, converter, water heater, GFCI, etc would all remain off).
2-Connect inverter to battery outside (protected by its own fuse on the 12VDC side).
3-Plug shore power cord into inverter powering outlets inside TT, fully protected by 30A main and 15A branch breaker and no way for AC, microwave, or converter to be powered.

I still haven't decided on the permanent setup, but I wanted to do something easy to remove if I ever sell this TT. But if it isn't too difficult I'm not opposed to rewiring the load center to make it easier and safer to run off inverter power. The only big difference is with the permanent inverter is that I plan on having one with enough wattage to run the microwave, some small power tools, and perhaps a coffee pot...not all at the same time of course.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by northwindone View Post

Even for the permanent setup I was probably just going to put a 30A outlet in the storage bay connected to the inverter instead of hardwiring into the power center.
I miss read this, should be no problem I thought that you were just going to wire the 30 amp outlet into the existing wiring and not go through the control center.

No problem adding a breaker, I purchased a double 15 amp breaker, in case I needed another one.. not that I will ever use it.

Check the inverter you plan on purchasing as a lot of the inverter outputs are usually 3 or 4 internally fused 10 amp 110 VAC outlets

Don
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2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback and the info on the inverter. BTW, looked at your album and that is a very nice solar setup you have!
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:39 PM   #9
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I picked up an EATON 1515 from Home Depot the other day and installed it yesterday morning in the top spot. Just had to break of the blank-off in the panel cover. Now the converter is a dedicated breaker and the non-GFCI breakers (TV plugs and a couple others) were moved to the new breaker. Installing it took about 5 minutes and I was able to tell which wire went to the converter as it was soldered braided wire instead of solid romex. I just need to label it and the very top 15A is an unused spare for the time being.

I should now be able to plug into the inverter and turn on just the Main and new 15A and have power to ONLY the Television/Surround System outlets. (My unit has no 12V Stereo DVD System, just a 115AC DVD/Surround System, another thing I might change in the future). It will also power the TV in the bedroom and the outlet in the bunk area.
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