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Wiring an enclosed trailer

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I just picked up a used 7x16. It has an A/c unit in it and the previous owner used extension cords/generator to run it. I would like to wire the whole trailer properly so that it can run off a 12v deep cycle marine batter or a generator. I want to have outlets to run lights, the A/C and a Tv/ps3 for the kids. I am an electrical beginner at best. Is this something that is not difficult to do and if so, how? The trailer is split in 2 with the front living quaters and back garage. I want to get power to both ends. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I searched and didnt find anything specific. If its a big deal, I am not opposed to getting an electrician to do it, but what would something like that cost?

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What are your goals of switching it to 12volt? It sounds like you're looking to run AC things off DC, which will take a big inverter which will drain the battery quickly so you may need multiple batteries. In RVs the 12volt normally runs 12volts appliances (lights, exhaust fans, blower in propane heater, water pump, control of propane fridge. Generator is used for 120volt (coffee, TV, microwave, AC, toaster, etc.). Unless you set it up for only like single nights where you charge it at home and it will be enough until you get home again, you will need a generator to charge it. I would get a Honda or Yamaha super-quiet generator and run it how it's setup already. These projects wind up being 2x more complicated and 5x more expensive than the initial estimate, or at least mine do.

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my goal would to be able to run the a/c and/or lights and tv without having to use a generator. I have a bigger generator and dont really want to lug it around. I understand after some searching that two 6 volt batteries connected is the way to go. 90% of it would be single overnights, sat for a sunday race, etc....we may go to a national and it would be a thurs-sunday deal but that would be once a year.

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I think it will take a bit more than two batteries. I just did a little searching:

http://www.possumliving.com/2007/05/right-about-now-is-when-air.html

Interesting part:

" Four pairs connected in parallel will be 880 amp/hours, now we're getting somewhere! This battery bank still won't be too heavy for your house-on-wheels to carry (about 500 pounds), nor too expensive (about 500 bucks if you shop around), nor too bulky to find a place to store it."

So that is EIGHT batteries at like $150 each, plus inverter/converter, wiring, installations, etc...

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AC, no can do on 12v. Whatever you do for a generator get one as quiet as you can. Like someone else said get a Honda or Yamaha gennie. No one wants to hear a lawnmower engine running all day next them.

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I concur, you'll spend more on batteries, inverters, and wiring to set up the AC to draw off a battery than it would cost you to buy a quality, quiet genset.

As for wiring the interior, do NOT, do NOT, do NOT use solid core household type wire. In time, the stress of rattling up and down the road will cause it to break internally. Found this out the hard way when I wired my first semi truck for shore power.

Use wiring that was intended to flex-I bought extension cords and butchered them as necessary, and hardwired them into my outlets.

If you do it right, you can run the TV, lights and video games off a battery bank with an inverter, but the AC is just going to be too much for anything short of a truckload of batteries.

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ok, looks like I will go price out a Honda 2000U. Any opinions on other brands of quiet generators? Honda, Yamaha? etc.....The A/C unit is designed to operate from a 115V, 60hz, 1 phase power supply as per the manual...not really sure what that means but need something with enough power to operate that.

Edited by Huckster

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2000 watts may not be enough depending on the air conditioner. What does the manual say for watts and/or amps? I just bought a yamaha 2000 watt and am very happy with it. Check out wisesales.com. You need to call/E-mail for prices since they can't advertise prices other than msrp on Honda or yamaha generators.

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ok, looks like I will go price out a Honda 2000U. Any opinions on other brands of quiet generators? Honda, Yamaha? etc.....The A/C unit is designed to operate from a 115V, 60hz, 1 phase power supply as per the manual...not really sure what that means but need something with enough power to operate that.

That EU2000 may only be enough to run that AC unit and nothing else while in use.

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i looked through the entire owners guide and it does not list watts/amps anywhere. Maybe I will use the generator just for the air and get 2 6volts to run everything else?

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i looked through the entire owners guide and it does not list watts/amps anywhere. Maybe I will use the generator just for the air and get 2 6volts to run everything else?

I would wire the lighting on a 12V system and run it off the batteries.

Have the batteries wired to a converter so they'll charge anytime you're plugged into shore power. Also, a small solar charging panel on the roof wouldn't hurt (not going to recovery 100% of what you consume on a regular basis, but it's a help).

Wire your household outlets and AC to a breaker panel (safety first), which is in turn fed from a retractable cord that you can either plug into the genset or a shore power feed.

There has to be an amperage spec, either in the owners manual or on the unit itself for the installation tech to know what breaker to install.

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Its a great idea but.......What you are wanting to do is not easy or cheap to do. Your looking at about $500 in supplies. Here is a basic list of what you will need.......and it is not easy to put in either.

breaker box, flexible conduit & fittings, outlets, switches, Copper wire, shore power converter.

Plus you will need to run the same things for what ever you use 12v for.

This is what my rig uses for 120v using a generator and a shore line.

BVElectric002.jpg

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chickenhauler I do not believe there is any type of breaker installed. It appears that its wired directly to an extension cord.

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chickenhauler I do not believe there is any type of breaker installed. It appears that its wired directly to an extension cord.

When you're done, there should be.

You're going to put that wiring in the wall, and sleep in there, etc. Without some type of protection in line (the closer to the power source the better) you could have a short and never now it until you wake up engulfed in flames or the genset goes all Cherynobyl on you.

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my goal would to be able to run the a/c and/or lights and tv without having to use a generator. I have a bigger generator and dont really want to lug it around. I understand after some searching that two 6 volt batteries connected is the way to go. 90% of it would be single overnights, sat for a sunday race, etc....we may go to a national and it would be a thurs-sunday deal but that would be once a year.

You want to have 2 systems, a 12V and a 110VAC. Separate panels, wired separately. Use 12v lights etc. Install a converter (not an inverter) and as for your AC, not going to happen without a generator or a shore power hookup.

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