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Author Topic: RV Electrical Conversion,  (Read 13846 times)

grt24200

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RV Electrical Conversion,
« on: February 09, 2009, 02:00:33 PM »
Most, if not all of us who have an imported RV in Europe are using either the RV's standard Electrics running on a 110v ->120 v with a step down transformer or have had some form of basic Electrical conversion whereby a dealer has installed several 240v plug sockets and a step down transformer for the 110v appliances. The problem with both of these is that the appliances that were supplied with RV were/are  designed to work on 60Hz and not 50Hz as supplied in Europe. The other very worrying thing is that items such as the Air Con, fridge,washing machine and Microwave will run extremely hot if used continuously at the wrong Frequency (50Hz). The other spin off of this is, that even if the units don't burn out (and in extremes catch fire) the life of the item will be dramatically reduced.
I have carried extensive research into this subject and every web site or newsgroup that I have read (some a little more dramatic than others) will highlight the dangers of such practices. So why don't UK dealers and RV electricians fit the correct product to eliminate this problem. It would appears that no one is able to source a product that will both reduce the voltage down and convert the Frequency. The only products that are available to cope with the amp demand are around 6000 and about the size of a washing machine. That IS UNTIL NOW.

I have now managed to find a company that I have send the required specs to and have now had a unit manufactured just for the RV market, the unit around the size of the standard Grey Box (30mm x 30mm x 40mm) step down transformer. This unit will not only convert the European 50Hz to the required 60Hz but it will also supply a stable 120V from an input of anywhere between 190v -->260v, so absolutely perfect for those campsite that voltages fluctuates all over the place depending on demand and distance from the sub station.

The bit that I can't get my head round is that people are buying RV's from 50,000 up to 250,000 and yet are quite happy to have a 200.00 transformer fitter that could potentially cause a fire in their prize procession. If you would like any more details let me know

regards
g

RVOA

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    • The RV Owners Association (UK)
Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 02:08:38 PM »

Hello G

Im interested in hearing much more about your research and the solution you've found - it sounds from your post that you are in the business to market this item so it might be an idea to be upfront and say so (though Im not sure what the official RVForum stance is on blatant advertising).

Ive spent quite some time on many many RV forums and, to be honest, have only ever come across open debate which very ocassionally mentions any of the safety issues you refer to.

Ive never heard of any RV which has suffered (ie caught fire) from these concerns.

Please give us some further info.

Regards
Paul
Paul

RV Owners Association (UK)
www.rvoa.co.uk

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 02:17:01 PM »
Hi Paul,

I am not a trader but I believe that there must be many RV owners out there (me being one of them)that should be made aware of the facts, and now that there is an available solution it would surely make sense for them to know about it. Since i started doing the research I was quite frankly horrifield at the findings and since then I was on a mission to either find a product already available or failing that, to have a unit made to the correct spec.

g

RVOA

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    • The RV Owners Association (UK)
Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 02:24:40 PM »

Hi g

Well then - spill the beans  ;D

Paul
Paul

RV Owners Association (UK)
www.rvoa.co.uk

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009, 02:32:29 PM »
I'll see if I can get some type of Spec sheet put together and I'll send you one across. They're not cheap, but then nor is an RV.

cheers for the interest

g

John From Detroit

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2009, 04:33:11 PM »
Cononverting one voltage to another is easy.. A simple transformer does it.

Converting from AC to DC is also easy,  A simple diode does it if you do not need filtering.. or better yet a 4-diode bridge.

However converting FREQUENCY is not so easy

And that it you answer

Now.. If you installed say a 3,000 watt inverter, or better yet 2 of 'em. and a convrter capable of deliveering the kind of DC current needed to run those invrters... (Make them True Sine wave devices by the way)

You would have what you want.. And a very flat wallet.

(I imagine you could use a MSW to run the Air Conditioners   And considering the power drain I'd suggest each unit have a dedicated inverter feeding it..  Then a TSW for the electronics in the house.    Would not be as good as all TSW (Might be some radio/television issues) but would cost less)

But 6,000 watts at 12 volts is like 600 amps. by the time you factor in losses,, You could likely get by with say 200 amps and batteries since you need peak power only when the A/C's kick on.. One second later you use far less.
)

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 10:13:51 AM »
I have found several solutions in the US but most are too large to fit into an RV and all are too expensive especially when you factor in the cost of both shipping and customs tax @ 10% and VAT currently at 15%. The other major consideration here is that unless is has the European CE approval, it technically can not be used.

I have found a company that I have now been in negotiations with for about 7 months that have agreed to make a product that now measures (after I had requested that the manufacturers change the size and lay out the internal workings differently) 300mm x 300mm x 400mm and is a "out of the box solution". It will accept any incoming voltage between 190v --> 160v @ 50 Hz and provide a stable output of 120v 60Hz. So as the voltage in campsites vary the voltage remains the same. The main problem with the basic step down transformers that are currently being used  (APART FROM THEY STILL DELIVER 50HZ) is that the output voltage is directly proportional to the input. I have noticed over the part year traveling around various campsites in France and Spain that the voltage can drop (after being stepped down) to as low as 100v.

I spent the best part of $250,000 on my new RV and I for one am not taking any chances with this very dodgy voltage situation that most people seem to think is OK !!!

g

Tom

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009, 10:33:48 AM »
Quote
incoming voltage between 190v --> 160v @ 50 Hz

I assume that's a typo, and that you meant 190v --> 260v @ 50 Hz.

I've been away from the homeland too long, but I'm curious - do you know what the mains voltage and frequency are in Europe?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 10:35:31 AM by Tom »
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glen54737

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 10:41:00 AM »
The voltage variances could be easily handled with a multi-tap transformer just select the one that gets the correct voltage.

What devices do you experience problems with on 50 hz?

Most new electronics automatically adjust.
2018 Thor Miramar 35.2
2015 F-350 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2015 Alpine 3510RE-sold

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 11:23:44 AM »
Your Fridge, AIR Con, Washing machine and microwave will suffer with the incorrect Frequency, as for keep having to vary the voltage until the correct one is found, how does this work with a voltage that varies at different times of the day/week.

The Air con will not perform as well as it should and will never get a cold as it should , it will have to work extra hard producing excess heat on the windings for an average result. Test it for your self. Run your generator and switch on the AIR con, then (with the main hock up attached) switch off the generator and see the difference. Your washing machine (if 110-120v) will just wash all day long and seem to spin for ever. and when you finally manually turn it off, your will see that the washing isn't washed very well at all, this is mainly because a) the motors within are not working at the speeds that they were designed to work and b) the internal clock for the programmer will respond completely differently with the incorrect frequency. The same is true for the microwave. TV's and Dads you should be OK with as most of these work on either 50Hz or 60 Hz

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2009, 11:25:20 AM »
That's a typo it should say, TV & DVD's

RVOA

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 12:17:43 PM »

Hi g

You still havent given us ANY information on this "wonder product", other than the size you got them to design to.

I still maintain that the "problems" you refer to arent anywhere near as bad as you are making out.

1) Our washer/dryer works without any major problem. Very ocassionally (perhaps once in 20 uses) we have to reset it. We havent noticed any time difference in getting the clothes washed/dried - it takes the same length of time in the UK as it did in the US (though we never did sit next to it with a stopwatch) - and certainly havent any compalints about cleanliness.

2) Yes, the clock on the microwave does run slower (or is it quicker, I cant remember off hand) but the food cooks just fine.

3) We've not used the air con in the UK as it hasnt been hot enough for it.

Of course, when you get to most campgrounds in Europe with only 4 or 8 amps of power, you wont be able to run most of the above from shore power anyway and will have to rely on the generator; bypassing your transformer.

After all that, I am still interested in your "wonder product" and await details. What puzzles me is that you have been dealing with a company for 7 months and have got them to design to YOUR requirements but still cant give us anything with substance.

I would accept the lack of info if you were planning to sell them, but you've already stated you arent.

Paul
Paul

RV Owners Association (UK)
www.rvoa.co.uk

Tom

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 12:30:22 PM »
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck .....
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glen54737

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 01:23:09 PM »
Paul, that was my questions also I'm an electrician and the only time i've had a problem was i plugged my 60hz alarm clock into 50 hz and was an hour late the next day.
we get 50hz motors from Europe occasinalyy and have no trouble running them faster.
The other thing if it's a gas absorption refrig it only has a heating element which will not know or care about the frequency coming in.
2018 Thor Miramar 35.2
2015 F-350 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2015 Alpine 3510RE-sold

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

John From Detroit

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 01:37:05 PM »
A thought.. Best solution

If the RV is still in the US, remove the air conditioners and replace, (Temp) with standard roof vents.. Ship that way,  NOTE that the A/C's arre the #1 power suckers in the rig.  Sell these as used (or if you are ordering a rug order it made that way and save money)

How water heater and fridge.. Likewise Remove the heat elements and either give them away or sell 'em as used.

In the U/K or other 240x50 country

Get new 240 volt A/C's, modify the control board on the Fridge and water heater for 240 volt operation (Fairly easy) or replace with UK versions.  Radios can be run off a true sine wave inverter, as can Microwave.  (or replace) Television will need to be replaced as will VCR, that's if you plan on using them,  UNLESS you are in a country that uses american standard broadcasts.

Other than that,  Oh, and the power converter.. Many of those it's a matter of "CLICK" a switch, but if not get one that's 240vx50Hz  All in all, that will likely be your lowest cost options
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Ron

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2009, 02:13:27 PM »
Paul, that was my questions also I'm an electrician and the only time i've had a problem was i plugged my 60hz alarm clock into 50 hz and was an hour late the next day.


When we traveled and lived in different locations in the world we found nothing beats a battery operated clock.  Always dependable and no worry about voltage or 50/60 cycle.  Still use battery clocks.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2009, 03:47:49 PM »
Paul

I merely stated that I wasn't a trader and not that I wasn't planning on selling these. I am putting together a PDF Spec sheet but I do have a day job, so will get this finished in the next couple of days.

G

grt24200

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2009, 11:29:37 AM »
If you would like to read more about this product here is the link:


http://www.rvtransformers.co.uk


Mick & Pat

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2009, 05:35:04 PM »
One item that worried me before we purchased our RV and still gives me concern is that 'others' on seeing the RV will think we are millionaires, okay so the average American RV can cost 150,000 but then how much does an the average house cost?

Now I have absolutely no electrical training or expert knowledge. Now we are currently in the USA and intend to ship back to the UK Aug/Sept this year, I have decided to keep the RV's electrics as 120V and use a step down transformer.

So far my intention s to install this transformer >> See Here << Mainly as Paul AKA UK-RV has had one installed without any problems.

Now that US5000 transformer costs 174 and as far as I can see is just white metal box.

grt24200, with the greatest of respect, your product costing so I'm informed 1850 is also TO ME just a box be it shiny with lots of wires inside, so do those extra wires justify the extra 1676, the price of a great BIG plasma TV?

I will continue to view your product and any of its reviews to see if any independent expert can justify the price difference.

Mick
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 07:13:42 PM by Mick & Pat »
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

Ron

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Re: RV Electrical Conversion,
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2009, 07:07:54 PM »
We still have the transformer we used when we were working overseas.  Can be used 120 to 240 or 240 to 120.  I don't recall tha wattage but I do remmber it is heavy and was expensive.  Now it is setting on the shelf in the Garage.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

 

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