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Trailer wiring 101

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Hey all... i've been enjoying reading a lot of the trailer modifications and am anxious to convert my 7x14 box trailer into having more living amenities. but as i look at the empty box the first thing i need to do is wiring...

is there a resource or post on here that would take me step by step on what is needed? i've seen junction boxes, inverters, etc... but don't know what is needed to have a safe electrical system in my trailer.

I want to run off batteries but also have the ability to plug in a generator as needed to run tools pluged into outlets and recharge batteries. no a/c or electric heater. trailer already came with 2 dome lights and 1 12v battery.

sorry if this has been asked b4... i searched but didnt see what i was looking for.

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I'm pretty new to the idea myself but I just bought a little pop up camper last week. As I'm learning about these things I have found out kinda how some of it works....

Sounds like what you need is a "Converter" as a starting point...

It allows you to run your lights off of 12V, Then when plugged in to 110V or your generator it will convert the power to 12v for your lights and also power 110 outlets in the trailer and charge your battery.

About $200 for a converter with 30 amp 110 capacity.

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Hey all... i've been enjoying reading a lot of the trailer modifications and am anxious to convert my 7x14 box trailer into having more living amenities. but as i look at the empty box the first thing i need to do is wiring...

is there a resource or post on here that would take me step by step on what is needed? i've seen junction boxes, inverters, etc... but don't know what is needed to have a safe electrical system in my trailer.

I want to run off batteries but also have the ability to plug in a generator as needed to run tools pluged into outlets and recharge batteries. no a/c or electric heater. trailer already came with 2 dome lights and 1 12v battery.

sorry if this has been asked b4... i searched but didnt see what i was looking for.

You need a house battery/battery bank, then you will need a converter. A converter is like a 12V power supply that also charges the battery. It runs on 110VAC. Run as many lights etc on 12V, the converter will keep it charged when you are plugged into shore power and run off the battery when you are not. Then you need a separate 110VAC system, just outlets here and there plus it runs the converter. You can add other items like a charge condition, maybe some 12V acc outlets for cell phones etc.

So you wil basically have 2 systems, a 12VDC and a 110VAC, they will only tie together ie the 110VAC will power the converter to run and your 12V stuff and charge the battery. A fuse block for your 12V is a good idea and a small 2 space panel for your 110VAC stuff is a good idea too.

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thanks for replies... where do you source your parts for these projects including the panels and plugs.

Converter:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/product/inteli-power-9200-series-converterchargers-with-charge-wizard/6088

That is a 60 amp, a 40 amp should be just fine. Use 8 AWG wire from converter to battery if you use 40 amp, use 6AWG to the battery if you use 60 amp.

You can round up all your accessories (12V) you want to install, ie lights, stereo etc.

12V fuse blocks:

http://www.wiringproducts.com/contents/en-us/d136.html

Id get the model AF-GFB-G and order it with as many spaces as you need or even more. I have the 6 space model. It has the spot for your power in, then a bunch or terminals for your grounds. Good idea as you will be installing items on wood, so dont use chassis for your ground, run a seperate ground wire too.

You will need an "inlet" plug for your shore power.

For the 110V there is a 15 amp and a 20 amp. Get the 20 amp and use 12AWG wire from it to the AC fuse panel.

http://www.marinco.com/product/20-amp-125-volt-power-inlet-black

Then wire your AC outlets form your panel. Use one circuit for your outlets, and another for your converter. If you plan on AC, save a space or install a mini breaker.

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Thank you for the links and replies! i really appreciate the input... i follow directions well and was just having a hard time visualizing the circuits and what parts/pieces would be needed.

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Just wire in your 12V system as a stand alone. Then run your shore power to a small panel in the trailer, run your converter with it (AC input) and add some outlets off of another circuit.

Thanks for all of the info you provide on this site! I noticed in your trailer build that you had a 1000 watt inverter. Is this what you use to run most of your AC stuff? I have an 8 x 12 trailer that I want to add a battery, converter, and some outlets. So here is my plan.

1) run shore power to breaker box

2) 2 circuits out of box - one for outlets one for converter

3) converter will charge the battery when connected to shore power

3) interior lights will run off of 12 v

This will serve my purpose but I would like to have an AC outlet that would work off of the battery when I am not plugged into shore power. The outlet would need to be able to run small power tools and a pressure washer. I assume that an inverter is what I need and if so, could I wire an outlet off of the inverter say with 14 awg wire?

Also, is there a way to have have the battery charged while driving utilizing the trailer hook up?

Sorry for all of the newbie questions...

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Thanks for all of the info you provide on this site! I noticed in your trailer build that you had a 1000 watt inverter. Is this what you use to run most of your AC stuff? I have an 8 x 12 trailer that I want to add a battery, converter, and some outlets. So here is my plan.

1) run shore power to breaker box

2) 2 circuits out of box - one for outlets one for converter

3) converter will charge the battery when connected to shore power

3) interior lights will run off of 12 v

This will serve my purpose but I would like to have an AC outlet that would work off of the battery when I am not plugged into shore power. The outlet would need to be able to run small power tools and a pressure washer. I assume that an inverter is what I need and if so, could I wire an outlet off of the inverter say with 14 awg wire?

In my experience, using solid core (romex-household type wire) isn't a good long term option. Over time, the vibration and rattling down the road fatigues the cable and can cause breaks. Learned this the hard way when wiring my first semi for shore power, lasted about 3 years and then kaput.

Instead, I buy heavy gauge extension cords and cut them up as needed.

The other nice part is, most inverters you have to plug into, so your plug in is already pre-wired, just need to cut to length and tie into your breaker panel!

Also, is there a way to have have the battery charged while driving utilizing the trailer hook up?

Sorry for all of the newbie questions...

On an heavier duty trailer plug (one with leads for electric brakes) there will be a hot lead for maintaining the charge in the trailer breakaway battery. You can tap into this, but the length and size of the wire isn't always conducive to delivering alot of amps.

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Thanks for all of the info you provide on this site! I noticed in your trailer build that you had a 1000 watt inverter. Is this what you use to run most of your AC stuff? I have an 8 x 12 trailer that I want to add a battery, converter, and some outlets. So here is my plan.

1) run shore power to breaker box

2) 2 circuits out of box - one for outlets one for converter

3) converter will charge the battery when connected to shore power

3) interior lights will run off of 12 v

This will serve my purpose but I would like to have an AC outlet that would work off of the battery when I am not plugged into shore power. The outlet would need to be able to run small power tools and a pressure washer. I assume that an inverter is what I need and if so, could I wire an outlet off of the inverter say with 14 awg wire?

Also, is there a way to have have the battery charged while driving utilizing the trailer hook up?

Sorry for all of the newbie questions...

Yes, I do have an inverter. But in reality, just make it a stand alone, wired to your 12V battery (use heavy wire here too, mine was a 2000 watts, 1000 continous, required 6AWG) and plug into the inverter itself, dont try to tie it into your existing AC system (poof) If I had to do it over, I wouldnt of done the inverter. I have used it a few times, ie to charge a camera at a race track where I had not brought my little gennie and it worked great. But it will kill a fully charged group 27 in 20 minutes running 1000 amps.

You plan sounds perfect. And yes, you have a 7 WAY rv plug on your trailer, if the truck is wired, then it will charge the battery also when towing. If its not pre wired, then you can wire it.

Here is your wiring diagram. Does you trailer have electric brakes? If not, I'd add them. But still wire it up as if it did so if you add it, be easy. Here is a wiring diagram I made for mine. Wire color is even correct. Current limiter you see will be based on your wire size, but I wouldnt exceed 30 amps using 10 AWG wire. How big is your charging system? Older rigs use smaller charging systems, limit it to 20 amps, min wire size 12AWG. But use the heavier wire even if you use a smaller current limiter, so you can up it without a wiring change. Gray box unmarked is your break away trailer brakes. It has a cabled hooked ot the tow rig, if the trailer separates from the truck, it pulls the pin and applies trailer brakes using tongue battery. Aux terminal in the junction block is for back up lights, most utility trailers dont have those.

trailerewd.jpg

Edited by toyota_mdt_tech

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Perfect. Thanks for the help. I will let you know how it works out. Thinking about buying a generator that would solve my portable outlet problem.

Honda EU2000i, finest generator on the planet and best price on the net is from Wise sales at http://www.wisesales.com (you will have to request prices, Honda no longer allows their dealers to show prices. You may have to add it to your shopping cart etc before a price will show.

Last time I checked, it was $850 shipped with no sales tax (depending on where you live) and its the finest gennie on the planet in that size. I have sold so many from just my buddies hearing or not hearing mine and how well it works.

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