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Old 09-21-2015, 07:45 PM   #21
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I did not notice the MH in the picture below. I thought he was talking about a 30 amp TT but it has all been explained very well anyway.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:15 PM   #22
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I just have it plugged into a 20 amp. 120v. cord till I get an adapter to plug into my 30 amp. air compressor outlet.


NO DO NOT USE THAT PLUG!! Besides possibly destroying your trailer you may end up in a hospital! 30 amp RV's are all 110VAC, not 220VAC.


The best thing that could happen if you tried this would be tripping the air compressors breaker. The worst? Your wife posting your obituary on here for us to read. Please don't do that.

Just so you know, I have my 30 amp 5er plugged in to a 20 amp ground fault and can run my air conditioner, coffee pot or hot water heater, just not all at once. It will keep your batteries charged with no problems.


Jim
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:26 PM   #23
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Thank, Harderd..... I've been trying to educate myself about the electrical system for the last month of so, maybe spent 40 or 50 hours reading, writing up questions nd researching the questions. When it come to solar, picking are slim. This is a great link, thanks for sharing.
I have been considering solar and did quite a bit of research for use on my 5er. I have been told this is a good system and comes highly recommended.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BSZUHRC/...O9FZ5FP8&psc=1

They make a 200 watt system also but most everyone recommends going with the 400 watt panels.

Jim
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:14 PM   #24
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Something else to keep you up at night...

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON WHAT I WRITE IN THIS THREAD!!! Just check it out.

As I see it, a 50 amp 120 outlet and a 50 amp 220 outlet are wired the same--as has been previously described: A neutral on the center blade and a 120 on each of the side blades, with ground on the grounding pin.

The Real Danger happens in the breaker box. The two 120 lines SHOULD come from the two poles on a double poled 50 amp breaker. Thus, the 120 are getting powered by the same 120 bus.

However, if someone tries to go cheap and uses two single pole 120 breakers and places them on separate buses, your outlet is now wired for 240 volts. This will destroy an RV.

A friend of mine supplies power cords to the RV industry. Last week he got a claim from a person who had been using his trailer for 6 months with the 50 amp service. No problem. He plugged it into a box that was wired from two separate buses and did over $5000 in damage. The camper tried to claim that the cord should have carried a warning.

Usually I would say, "You can't fix stupid." However, as regards to this subject there is a lot of misinformation.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON WHAT I SAY!!! CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:39 PM   #25
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No, you can't fix stupid. However lack of knowledge or proper information can be fixed. Such as:


" The two 120 lines SHOULD come from the two poles on a double poled 50 amp breaker. Thus, the 120 are getting powered by the same 120 bus."


A double pole breaker connects to both buses. That is how you get 220 volts. This is why they are used for 220 (240) volt circuits.


You COULD do a 220 volt circuit with two single pole breakers but it is against code. If L1 or L2 shorted out it would only trip one breaker leaving half of the 220 volt circuit hot! Its a good way to kill someone!


Jim


Jim
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:25 PM   #26
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This is all pretty much the bible for RV electrics:

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:35 AM   #27
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The Berkshire has a 50 amp 220v system if I'm not mistaken.
Pretty sure it is a misnomer to call it a 220 v system. Although you have 240 volts available at the post the 50 plug takes that as two separate 120 circuits and powers the house accordingly OR MAYBE I AM JUST SO SMALL TIME THAT I HAVE NOT SEEN 240 being used in an RV

The point is even with a 50 amp system be damn sure you know what you are plugging in to.

Be careful out there. A volt meter, some basic understanding of electricity and a Progressive Dynamics system are the best protections you can have.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:53 AM   #28
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These are the sites I point most people to, in helping understand the electric systems, and voltage stuff. These are good ones to bookmark and read at your leisure.

Understanding how 50 amp 120/240 volt split phase service works:

Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp

Understanding the different types of outlets you may encounter (that you never want to connect to), outlet testing, using multimeters, making plug-n-play testers, fixing outlets to work with your RV...and so much more. Click on all the tabs on the left hand side:

RV Electric

Understanding the different electrical systems in the RV, like what is powered by 120 volt AC, versus what is powered by 12 volt DC:

Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

Understanding what a converter does:

RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

Electrical safety (really a must read). A little bit of everything. Make sure to scroll down and click on all the different parts.

RV Safety | No~Shock~Zone

and for sure read this from Mike in the No-Shock-Zone

http://www.noshockzone.org/rv-electr...0%93-hot-skin/



These are all easy to read and understand tutorials for the expert and novice alike. Hope it helps.
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:03 AM   #29
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These are also the schematics I use in trying to help understand how 50 amp RV's are wired and use the service:

1. From the service panel to the RV outlets




2. From the RV's power cord inlet to the service panel inside the RV. Note that each hot line is run separate, so you have two hot legs at 120 volts per.

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Old 09-23-2015, 12:33 PM   #30
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Great resources. Thanks!

BP
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:56 PM   #31
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Great resources. Thanks!

BP

X2 Thank You Wmtire for this material.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:22 PM   #32
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X2 Thank You Wmtire for this material.

X3!!!

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Old 09-23-2015, 10:17 PM   #33
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Electrical safety (really a must read). A little bit of everything. Make sure to scroll down and click on all the different parts.

RV Safety | No~Shock~Zone

and for sure read this from Mike in the No-Shock-Zone

RV Electrical Safety: Part IV – Hot Skin | No~Shock~Zone
I think this is the most relevant article I've written about avoiding over-voltage damage with a 30-amp/120-volt outlet mis-wired with 240-volts. Mis-wiring a 120-volt RV outlet with 240-volts | No~Shock~Zone

But remember, an open neutral on a 50-amp/240-volt outlet will do much the same thing, since loading one of the legs will result in the opposite leg voltage increasing to dangerous levels. So when the air conditioner tries to kick in, the microwave and refrigerator can be damaged.

Either circumstance will result in a lot of expensive damage to your RV's electrical system in a matter of seconds. If it doubt, DO NOT plug in.

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Old 09-24-2015, 04:50 AM   #34
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Another great article. Thanks Mike.
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:17 PM   #35
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I have been considering solar and did quite a bit of research for use on my 5er. I have been told this is a good system and comes highly recommended.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BSZUHRC/...O9FZ5FP8&psc=1

They make a 200 watt system also but most everyone recommends going with the 400 watt panels.

Jim
Jim, I have looked closely at Renogy and Go Power and of course the WindyNation.com stuff that I bought. Renogy is about three miles from my house and Windy Nation is over in Ventura, CA 100 miles away. I can will call Renogy and WN ships overnight to my location UPS at no additional cost.

The Renogy and WN basic stuff seem to be almost identical. Both are a bit sparse in documentation for their, charge controllers, both seem to use similar China cheapy basic controllers. I went with the still poorly documented WN upgraded controller that they now put with some of the packages. The Go Power systems may or may not be better, but their controller is better documented and I really like the specs on it. Their systems are a lot higher priced but I could not see how they were better Except the controller and the little gadget they have to create an entry point from the roof, for the wiring, seems really neat.

I think I concur that 200 (which we have) is enough, but for long haul without worrying or for less sunny places than here in SoCal, 400 is better. Some say 100 watts per battery so my friend with 400 quickly learned that his 2 batteries were full by about 10 am most days so he added two more big 6 volt Batts and runs his 2000 watt commercial grade (pronounced $800) inverter indiscriminately. We have three Grp 24 size batts and I never turn the house main power (12v) off and I have UNPLUGGED the converter charger so that it does not try to run off my ($345) 2000 watt inverter when I turn it on the full house. Our needs are met just being a little bit prudent about using the inverter power.

Then we looked at our two panels flat on the roof versus One standing with legs being manually pointed directly at the sun all day, the one produces about 80% as much as the two laying flat during most of the day if we move the one diligently to follow the sun.

Good Luck, Solar is good anyway you slice it but no one should bother with those over priced little 5 to 40 watt GADGET class packages. They are only good as a trickle charger if you store outdoors.
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:20 PM   #36
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Jim, I have looked closely at Renogy and Go Power and of course the WindyNation.com stuff that I bought. Renogy is about three miles from my house and Windy Nation is over in Ventura, CA 100 miles away. I can will call Renogy and WN ships overnight to my location UPS at no additional cost.

The Renogy and WN basic stuff seem to be almost identical. Both are a bit sparse in documentation for their, charge controllers, both seem to use similar China cheapy basic controllers. I went with the still poorly documented WN upgraded controller that they now put with some of the packages. The Go Power systems may or may not be better, but their controller is better documented and I really like the specs on it. Their systems are a lot higher priced but I could not see how they were better Except the controller and the little gadget they have to create an entry point from the roof, for the wiring, seems really neat.

I think I concur that 200 (which we have) is enough, but for long haul without worrying or for less sunny places than here in SoCal, 400 is better. Some say 100 watts per battery so my friend with 400 quickly learned that his 2 batteries were full by about 10 am most days so he added two more big 6 volt Batts and runs his 2000 watt commercial grade (pronounced $800) inverter indiscriminately. We have three Grp 24 size batts and I never turn the house main power (12v) off and I have UNPLUGGED the converter charger so that it does not try to run off my ($345) 2000 watt inverter when I turn it on the full house. Our needs are met just being a little bit prudent about using the inverter power.

Then we looked at our two panels flat on the roof versus One standing with legs being manually pointed directly at the sun all day, the one produces about 80% as much as the two laying flat during most of the day if we move the one diligently to follow the sun.

Good Luck, Solar is good anyway you slice it but no one should bother with those over priced little 5 to 40 watt GADGET class packages. They are only good as a trickle charger if you store outdoors.
Thanks for the information, I appreciate it. If I do get solar it won't be till next spring so still have time to do some more research.

I have learned one thing, Harbor Freight doesn't carry anything I can use when it comes to solar for my trailer, LOL!

As for laying the panels flat, I am not interested. I am also not interested in adjusting the panel location every hour. That is the reason I am thinking about a 400 watt system.

Jim
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:51 PM   #37
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We Berkshire owners have Magnum Energy Inverters in our coaches. One question I have had is with solar would you wire the solar controller directly to the coach battery pack. Is there any issue with it feeding back into the Magnum Inverter? Do you need something like a shunt/diode block to protect the Magnum Inverter?

Have ou any experience here? I have seen nothing written regarding this.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:28 PM   #38
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Tom48

We Berkshire owners have Magnum Energy Inverters in our coaches. One question I have had is with solar would you wire the solar controller directly to the coach battery pack. Is there any issue with it feeding back into the Magnum Inverter? Do you need something like a shunt/diode block to protect the Magnum Inverter?

Have ou any experience here? I have seen nothing written regarding this.

For starter I am just a lowly 30 amp TT guy with experience working with or on 30 amp motorhomes too. But we run solar through it's own charge controller then the controller direct to the battery bank. Appropriate fuses everywhere along the way. The good controllers allow some latitude in choosing charge voltages and trickle/maintainer voltages. Nothing we have seems to be affected adversely at all.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:13 PM   #39
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Then we looked at our two panels flat on the roof versus One standing with legs being manually pointed directly at the sun all day, the one produces about 80% as much as the two laying flat during most of the day if we move the one diligently to follow the sun.
Thanks for the great write-up.

Just to be clear: This is not a challenge, but I want to make sure that I understand correctly.

I think my math is correct. A single panel lying flat produces 50% of your power, but by sun-tracking it produces 80%. That is a 60% increase in efficiency. Most sources quote about 30%. Is that based on metered amp-hours, time to full charge, or what?

Second question: Is there an inexpensive automatic solar tracker available for 100W panels?
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:30 PM   #40
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Thanks for the great write-up.

Just to be clear: This is not a challenge, but I want to make sure that I understand correctly.

I think my math is correct. A single panel lying flat produces 50% of your power, but by sun-tracking it produces 80%. That is a 60% increase in efficiency. Most sources quote about 30%. Is that based on metered amp-hours, time to full charge, or what?

First answer, the numbers you researched might be more accurate than mine. Mine is just an anecdotal guesstimate by looking at his amp charge rate vs My charge rate when he has one panel facing the Sun perfectly and I have two panels laying flat on my roof. There are of course factors like at high noon mine are just about perfectly pointed at the Sun. So the effect is probably more dramatic at 9-10 in the morning or 3:to 4 in the afternoon. It also might be the fact that mine are nearly charged up and start drawing a slower charge rate than the maximum that is available

Second question: Is there an inexpensive automatic solar tracker available for 100W panels?
Second question trackers. I'm not aware of anything that you could use in a mobile environment as a tracker and the pole mount systems that I have looked at for a ground-based system are not cheap. I have never explored the retail cost of an automatic tracker for small panels. The industrial stuff you see in big fields it is pretty expensive looking. Good luck with that. I'm just happy for my 200 laying flat on the roof and hope I can squeeze one more up there someday soon for a total of 300. Again, the rule of thumb that I have read it is 100 watts per good deep cycle battery. Both renegy and windy nation show you various pacages to look at. The best thing is the packages come with mounting brackets wires connectors everything. The packaged system from go power might be a little nicer but it's nearly twice as expensive. For me, those are the options. And if you have a reasonable amount of DIY skill, I can see no reason to pay an installer. Best of luck
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