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Old 02-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
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DC vs AC vs LP apps on a 2012 378

Hi all,

We are close to handing over a large wad of cash for a 2012 378 but I'm still in the research research research phase. It doesn't help that we live in the middle of nowhere and a trip to the dealer we are looking at is 4,000km away.

I'm hoping an existing owner can help my understand what electical appliances use DC power vs those that use AC power vs those that use propane in the 378. The company website is useless at finding that level of detail.

There does not appear to be an innvertor included in the base package so either a lot of stuff is working off of DC power or not much works unless you have shore/generator power.....

Starting with the Onan generator all the literature says 5.5kw but nothing says gas or LP?

The two aircons on the roof AC only? Fireplace AC only? Oven/Microwave AC only? I assume all the interior lights are DC? I assume the water pump, sliders, awning, entry step, leveling jacks etc are all DC. Arctic pack heater pads DC? Water heater AC or DC? Fridge AC or DC? Haven't been able to figure out if the sliders are electric/hydraulic ram or electric/cable?

I guess the question boils down to what does not work unless you have shore power or the generator running. Has anyone seen a power requirement/amperage list for the electrical appliances on board? Just trying to back-of-napkin what type of battery bank/invertor wattage you'd need for what type of operating time without the generator running. Fuel consumption rate on the genny?

On a slightly different topic, how loud are the generator, furnace, water pump and AC when running? Am I waking up when the wife flushes the toilet and the water pump kicks in or if the furnace/AC kicks in is the question

I know these are pretty basic questions but I really can't find the answers in any of the online documentation, which is rather surprising for some of the electrical stuff.....

Thanks in advance for any help!!! I'll try to give back to the forum once I have any idea what I'm talking about
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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In our 2011 350 the only AC items are the air conditioners, water heater,microwave,air mattress and the tv. Everything else is DC. We run the generator (gas not LP) when we use large current items. I have wired a 850 watt inexpensive inverter to the house batteries and use it for small current items while on the road.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SinkorSwim View Post
Hi all,

We are close to handing over a large wad of cash for a 2012 378 but I'm still in the research research research phase. It doesn't help that we live in the middle of nowhere and a trip to the dealer we are looking at is 4,000km away.

I'm hoping an existing owner can help my understand what electical appliances use DC power vs those that use AC power vs those that use propane in the 378. The company website is useless at finding that level of detail.

There does not appear to be an innvertor included in the base package so either a lot of stuff is working off of DC power or not much works unless you have shore/generator power.....

Starting with the Onan generator all the literature says 5.5kw but nothing says gas or LP? Gasoline Powered as long as you have at least a 1/4 tank of fuel

The two aircons on the roof AC only? 120 Volts AC Fireplace AC only? 120 Volts Oven/Microwave AC only?120 Volts I assume all the interior lights are DC? Yes 12 Volts DC I assume the water pump, sliders, awning, entry step, leveling jacks etc are all DC.Yes also 12 Volts DC Arctic pack heater pads DC? 12 Volts DC Water heater AC or DC? Propane or 120 Volts AC, there's a small rocker switch outside with a cotter pin through it for 120 Volts ACFridge AC or DC? 12 Volts DC Controls with either Propane or being plugged into 120 Volts. Haven't been able to figure out if the sliders are electric/hydraulic ram or electric/cable? We have both, our small slide-out in the bedroom is electric with cable and the other 2 are hydraulic

I guess the question boils down to what does not work unless you have shore power or the generator running. None of the 120 Volt AC items will workHas anyone seen a power requirement/amperage list for the electrical appliances on board? Should be in the owner's manuals or on-lineJust trying to back-of-napkin what type of battery bank/invertor wattage you'd need for what type of operating time without the generator running. Fuel consumption rate on the genny? We were told about .8 gallon per hour under full load

On a slightly different topic, how loud are the generator, furnace, water pump and AC when running? They aren't real quiet but they don't wake me when they cycle On / OffAm I waking up when the wife flushes the toilet and the water pump kicks in or if the furnace/AC kicks in is the question There are isolators with the pump but I added some foam rubber below the water lines. I had more of a vibration there than the pump

I know these are pretty basic questions but I really can't find the answers in any of the online documentation, which is rather surprising for some of the electrical stuff.....

Thanks in advance for any help!!! I'll try to give back to the forum once I have any idea what I'm talking about
Welcome to the forums and if there's anything else we can help with, please ask.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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Perfect, Thanks!!!

Found a KOA site with average amperage draws for all the appliances so I can do some innvertor calculations now.

Still have to figure out if the stock convertor is a straight trickle charger or if it's a three phase charger and if a battery isolation switch is wired in stock. That level of detail can wait till we pick up the RV.

This is sounding like almost as much fun as the mechano set I got for my 8th birthday, so many things to tinker with

Thanks again!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SinkorSwim View Post
Found a KOA site with average amperage draws for all the appliances so I can do some innvertor calculations now.

Still have to figure out if the stock convertor is a straight trickle charger or if it's a three phase charger and if a battery isolation switch is wired in stock. That level of detail can wait till we pick up the RV.

This is sounding like almost as much fun as the mechano set I got for my 8th birthday, so many things to tinker with

Thanks again!!
Since you are purchasing a new 2012 unit, it will be a reasonably safe assumption that the converter will have a 3 phase smart charger built in.

... VTX-Al
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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Since you are purchasing a new 2012 unit, it will be a reasonably safe assumption that the converter will have a 3 phase smart charger built in.

... VTX-Al
I took a tour of the factory in Elkhart, IN, last june and they were putting in 3 phase Intellipower Converters then. Mine is a 2011 and it had a single phase 65 amp. which I replaced with a 70 amp Intellipower 3 phase with the charge wizard. The electric part of the water heater runs on 110 AC the dsi is 12V. I had my dealer install a switch under the closet where the W/D prep is along side the drawer, for the electric (110) operation of the water heater. On the 378 all the slides are hydraulic. I would also recommend you get the optional transferswitch for the generator. It wasn't even an option when mine was built, but I installed one myself. I also intalled a 1000W inverter in the battery compartment which we use to run a freezer while we are on the road.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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Inverter Config

Hey Nemo, quick question, did you install your inverter as a seperate circuit to a dedicated plug or to power the AC panel generally? Have seen a smart inverter which takes the shore power feed thru it and if it senses shore power it feeds the AC panel from shore power but when there is no shore feed it draws from the battery to feed the AC panel. I realize you will have to be very careful about what AC applliances you use but the flexability of being able to use any plug/appliance on the standard AC panel rather than having to run a cord to a dedicated inveter outlet seems very interesting. Thoughts?

I'm still not sure about the impacts of the 50amp service and how they have laid out the AC breaker panel. Because there are two independent 120 lines being brought in I'm assuming the panel is set up like a house panel where every other breaker slot is energized by a different line in.....but that may not be the case they may have picked specific slots for specific appliances to be energized by each line as a load balance. I'll be able to tell when I open the panel up, but this might effect how the innevertor gets tied in.

Off to build up a water pressure reduction valve from the plumbing store parts I picked up this afternoon. The inline RV ones look like they would really reduce the flow rate..... and I likes my showers to have some oomph
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=SinkorSwim;158943]Hey Nemo, quick question, did you install your inverter as a seperate circuit to a dedicated plug or to power the AC panel generally? Have seen a smart inverter which takes the shore power feed thru it and if it senses shore power it feeds the AC panel from shore power but when there is no shore feed it draws from the battery to feed the AC panel. I realize you will have to be very careful about what AC applliances you use but the flexability of being able to use any plug/appliance on the standard AC panel rather than having to run a cord to a dedicated inveter outlet seems very interesting. Thoughts?

I'm still not sure about the impacts of the 50amp service and how they have laid out the AC breaker panel. Because there are two independent 120 lines being brought in I'm assuming the panel is set up like a house panel where every other breaker slot is energized by a different line in.....but that may not be the case they may have picked specific slots for specific appliances to be energized by each line as a load balance. I'll be able to tell when I open the panel up, but this might effect how the innevertor gets tied in.

Off to build up a water pressure reduction valve from the plumbing store parts I picked up this afternoon. The inline RV ones look like they would really reduce the flow rate..... and I likes my showers to have some oomph [/QUOTE]

Here's another option Watt H560 Pressure Regulators, Water Safety & Flow Control, Watts

...VTX-Al
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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Yep similar to what I got but I'm putting a visual pressure gauge on the regulator so I can play with the balance between blowing off fittings and the ideal shower. Also putting a T-valve in front of the regulator so I can attach a cleaning around the site hose on the high pressure side of the regulator. Also fitting a screen on the back side of the T before it goes into the regulator just to keep any large chewy bits out of the RV filter. There are no mounting ears on the regulator so the wall mounting is going to be a bit less than proffessional but the rubberized banded pipe mounting wrap should look okay. Wife gives me brownie points if things look pretty, and lord knows I need as many of those points as I can get at the rate i spend em
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinkorSwim View Post
Hey Nemo, quick question, did you install your inverter as a seperate circuit to a dedicated plug or to power the AC panel generally? Have seen a smart inverter which takes the shore power feed thru it and if it senses shore power it feeds the AC panel from shore power but when there is no shore feed it draws from the battery to feed the AC panel. I realize you will have to be very careful about what AC applliances you use but the flexability of being able to use any plug/appliance on the standard AC panel rather than having to run a cord to a dedicated inveter outlet seems very interesting. Thoughts?

I'm still not sure about the impacts of the 50amp service and how they have laid out the AC breaker panel. Because there are two independent 120 lines being brought in I'm assuming the panel is set up like a house panel where every other breaker slot is energized by a different line in.....but that may not be the case they may have picked specific slots for specific appliances to be energized by each line as a load balance. I'll be able to tell when I open the panel up, but this might effect how the innevertor gets tied in.

Off to build up a water pressure reduction valve from the plumbing store parts I picked up this afternoon. The inline RV ones look like they would really reduce the flow rate..... and I likes my showers to have some oomph
The inverter I put in is a stand alone unit that you have to plug directly into. We use it to run a freezer that is in the compartment just forward of the entrance door when we are on the road only. There is already a 110V plug on the ceiling of that compartment. I did put an outlet in the wall next to the door and wire it to the inverter by just taking an old extention cord and cutting off the female end and wiring to the outlet. I don't know how they decide what goes on each 110V leg in the motorhome but I do know that the A/C units are on different legs. I use a the watts regulator that is an adjustable regulator and has a pressure guage on it. I have it set to 60 lbs. We have plenty of water coming from the shower head. They are expensive. I think I gave $65 including shipping when I got it a couple of years ago. I think they are around $70 now, but well worth the money.
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