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Old 06-26-2022, 04:24 AM   #1
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12v adds ??

Gday Peeps,

Question regarding adding additional distribution block with fuses attached to the block. Currently running the Setec ST20 battery charger in our Jayco swan outback 2008. I would like to add some more lights inside of our camper, some strip lighting around skirting of the van along with some USB points inside of the camper.
Question is:

If i add an additional distribution block with fuses inline (distribution block shown picture 1) to run the additional components off it can I, or should I either;
1. piggy back it off the battery charger using points L5 ve+ and ve- (as shown in pic 2+3). This is currently running the 12 v connector. Then just hock up the 12 v connector back to the new distribution block? -- this way all items add will also run off mains if plugged into grid yes?

2. Alternatively just hock up the new distribution block direct to the + and - terminals of the battery?

Thanks peeps for any advice or suggestions in helping out a newb 12v weekend warrior

9eorgie
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Old 06-26-2022, 05:36 AM   #2
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You might want to first, figure out how much 12VDC load you have in place, and the converter capabilities.
It's not wise to arbitrarily add more load to the battery or converter, as you might already be close to maximum.
Adding more could give you a condition where the converter might not be able to supply enough, thus you're pulling the battery down along with it.

Now, as to connecting directly to the battery, you would (electrically) be connecting to the converter output at the same time, as the converter (normally) charges the battery, too.
I think I'd piggy-back off one of the outputs other than the "bat" output. If you do that, match them up, (i.e., L1- and L1+, not L1- and L3+).

Roger
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Old 06-26-2022, 06:20 AM   #3
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Thanks Roger for the advice.

I will double check the manual on the converter to see itís max rating. Good excuse to upgrade system completely perhaps
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Old 06-26-2022, 08:19 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard!

Checking your converter capacity would be wise.

Have you changed out existing lights from incandescent bulbs to leds? We changed ours out years ago. As I recall all our leds use about the power as 2 incandescent bulbs. That frees up a lot of power.

You should be able to tie in either way. If it was me I would consider mapping it and using L5. Main reason, for power disconnect, debugging future electrical issues.

I might also evaluate your wire size between the battery and converter. Also you should place an inline fuse (30 amp) at the battery. The battery wire. This will protect the battery cable when running off battery power. This wire also looks light weight for 30 amps, so evaluate it, and consider upsizing.

Happy Camping
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Old 06-28-2022, 07:40 AM   #5
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Adding a distribution block and fuses for additional circuits is always a good idea to make sure you have proper protection on all circuits. The question about where to tap power comes down to whether you want to be able to shut off these circuits separately or with the other 12v circuits from the converter.

I agree that you should use the L5 wire to power the block. I also agree that you might want to make sure that the battery to converter wire is at least 10ga. to be able to handle the load. If you go directly to the battery, I would make sure to use some type of disconnect on the feed wire and an inline fuse to protect everything.
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Old 06-28-2022, 08:39 AM   #6
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Thank’s guy’s! What a great conversation. I have learned a lot.
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:21 AM   #7
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If they are all low power items, going off the power center works. If they are higher power items, go from the battery.

If it were me, I'd go off the battery. (I have done this to add devices to my trailer.) I would ground to the trailer frame either near the distribution box, or near the items you will power. I would have a larger fuse inline from the battery to the new distribution box, say 30amp or so, as close to the battery as possible. This inline fuse rating depends on the power you expect for the new devices. It needs to be higher than the current you expect, but not much higher, to be safe.
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:06 AM   #8
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Alright sweet thanks all for the advice much appreciated !

Sooo.. from what I can gather maxload i can have is 20A with accessories and battery charging through the charging unit? (Ref to piccy 1+2)

If within my max load threshold i would then,

1. Piggyback off L5 with new distribution block.
2. Upgrade wire gauge to handle new draw from battery for safety
3. Install new mini 20amp circuit breaker between battery and charging unit (see piccy 3) ....

And walah! Bobs your Aunty used to be my uncle ya got new wiring set up !! ... sound about right ? Missing anything?
(Obviously I should get all this checked out by a qualified auto electrician)
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:11 AM   #9
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actually a 25 amp circuit breaker for the 1.25 rule on breakers...
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Old 06-28-2022, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9eorg View Post
Alright sweet thanks all for the advice much appreciated !

Sooo.. from what I can gather maxload i can have is 20A with accessories and battery charging through the charging unit? (Ref to piccy 1+2)
Sounds about right. Now, as a side note: You can, at some future time, replace that power supply with one capable of 30 amps at 12vdc. Nothing else would have to change.....it's just that you have more amperage available to you. (In case you want to install a 100 watt, multi-speaker stereo system so as to listen to your 80's hair band music at high volumes while attending the burning man festival out west.)

Roger
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Old 06-28-2022, 04:22 PM   #11
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That sounds smashing and was thinking thatís what I want to aim for ! .. any suggestions on what unit is reasonably priced, safe and reliable ?
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Old 06-28-2022, 07:12 PM   #12
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Well, your idea of "reasonably priced" may not be the same as my idea of it.
I haven't priced something like that, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that a decent, regulated power supply capable of 30 amp @ 12VDC would be north of $300.
I might suggest that you start searching for an RV salvage yard of some sort.

Roger
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Old 06-28-2022, 07:30 PM   #13
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Good thinking Roger re the salvage yard never would of thought of that. 👍🏾
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:18 PM   #14
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Good thinking Roger re the salvage yard never would of thought of that. 👍🏾
HEY! I have no connection to this outfit, and have no clue as to how legitimate they are. You may be wise to search in your own area, FWIW.

https://iowacity.craigslist.org/rvs/...497082709.html

Just an example.....Roger
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