Inverter location and wiring diagram?

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j.cowling

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Hello, I have a 2013 Springdale 294.  I am wondering where the inverter is and how to access it.  Also, if anyone has a wiring diagram for this?  I've noticed that when it's plugged into my house, it trips the 30 AMP breaker after a rain, or even a good dew on the ground.  I have my connections all tight and supported off the ground and covered.  I am running it through my generator (not running, just a 220V coming off the house, plugged into the 220V 30A socket, and then a line off the 120V 30A socket to my camper).  May be some corrosion in there, but it's not getting wet.  Seems like it'll run all day fine, but in the morning's I come out and it's tripped.  Wondering if I don't have a small leak in my camper getting into the breaker box.  I think I need to pull the box off from the inside to access it, or is there an access somewhere?  Thank you
 

Lou Schneider

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Hi J.cowling, welcome to The RV Forum!

Do you mean the converter, which changes 120 volts to 12 volts, or an inverter, which does the opposite, taking 12 volt power from the batteries and producing 120 volts for the appliances and outlets?

And was that a typo, or are you really coming off of a 220 volt house outlet and going into the 120 volt trailer inlet?

I'm not nitpicking, just trying to get a better idea of what we're looking at before suggesting possible solutions.
 

j.cowling

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Thank you.  So far I've seen a lot of helpful stuff here.  I wouldn't mind knowing where both the inverter and converter are.  I know the 120VAC charges the battery and also the battery inverts to 120VAC.  As far as the 120VAC, and 200VAC.  You read it right lol.  But...the terminals on a generator hook up so that the 200VAC plug has two hots and a neutral and ground.  Coming off of the same power, or terminal board, the 120VAC plug just takes one of those hots and neutral and ground.  So instead of me making another plug, I used my generator as the plug to drop a hot leg and then run out as 120VAC.  I looked at the schematic.  I'm also a master electrician and understand electrical pretty well.  So I'm NOT running 220VAC to my camper lol.  Just used that generator as a junction so I can run my house to it, or if I'm out without power, I can use my generator and start it, and power my camper...without changing any plugs.  I have a wire coming from my panel on my house so if I lose power, I can plug my generator up to my house and provide 220VAC.  That's why I just used it this way.  No swapping and just plugging in. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The converter or inverter has little to do with tripping the 30A breaker.  The breaker trips when the amps get too high and the amp draw via the converter/charger is quite modest. Probably no  more than 2-4 amps.

If this only happens in the rain, then most likely something is shorting. Could be an exterior outlet on the RV, or water leaking somewhere inside the RV, or somewhere along the shore power cord.
 

j.cowling

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Thank you.  Yeah I agree, it's not them causing it.  I was just curious of the locations. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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If you have a power center that has both 120v breakers and 12v fuses on the same panel, then odds are strong that the converter/charger is integrated with that, with the components either in the bottom of that unit or right behind it.  Is there a brand name on the power center panel, e.g. WFCO or Parallax? Plus a model number?

The inverter would likely be a separate unit and located near the battery(s) if it serves multiple outlets or appliances. If it's solely for the tv/dvd systems, it's probably just a small module in or near the cabinet that holds the entertainment units.
 

SargeW

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Not trying to be a wise guy, but first make sure that you have an "Inverter". Many towables come with a "Converter" to convert AC input to DC to power lights and other 12 volt stuff, but manufacturers won't go the extra expense to put in an Inverter to change the AC to DC to store it in a battery bank for later usage.  My last 5ver,  a new mid price range rig didn't come with an Inverter. I added one to power the entertainment system while dry camping without running the generator.
 

Rob&Deryl

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You did not say WHICH 30a breaker is tripping?

When it trips, what loads are drawing in the trailer?

Under normal camping conditions does everything in the camper work as should?
 

j.cowling

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Thank you all for the responses.  It?s the 30A breaker I have on my house powering the camper. No breakers in the camper.  Which is why I?m thinking it?s some moisture getting on my generator.  It?s under my porch, but not completely waterproof.  I did just find my water heat blown up.  Tank split. Good news lol.  Gotta find one now.
 

goNowheremad

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The converter or inverter has little to do with tripping the 30A breaker. The breaker trips when the amps get too high and the amp draw via the converter/charger is quite modest. Probably no more than 2-4 amps.

If this only happens in the rain, then most likely something is shorting. Could be an exterior outlet on the RV, or water leaking somewhere inside the RV, or somewhere along the shore power cord.
Mr. Wizard I'd like to ask several questions... (pick your brain a little if possible)...

HOW TO GROUND PROPERLY WITHOUT USING CHASSIS?

rv electrical items i have:

100w solar panel w/100a mppt controller, 2k rms 4k peak 120v inverter, 2 farm style cold weather batteries about 75Ahrs each(MIN. 900CCA), ( will be adding 2 agm types on separate circuits for hotplate as money permits, then using inverter only for high watt items WITH THOSE and mppt controller for interior lights, small electronics on current batteries)...these batteries are not really RV batteries(lead acid); but they have similar chemistry composition "thicker plates" so they charge quick and discharge quick; but are not sealed so I have them separated in a ventilated box away from living areas.

So OK...

I'm building DIY a van camper, and have slight electrical knowledge from setting up stereo systems and such. But 120v and 12v confuse me a lil as to the step ups and step downs when powering inverters... and with that I know that you have to properly ground to avoid excess current going back into the components or yourself through any metal or connected devices that you may touch... So


What I need to know is: HOW TO GROUND PROPERLY WITHOUT USING CHASSIS?

1) how do I properly ground my electrical setup to provide extra recharge boast when overcurrent is presented thru wiring, not just to waste it in a chassis ground or make the chassis "live" by grounding the inverter to it. the inverter is a 2k continuous 4k peak from harbor freight and has a earth ground it seems, the fork with 3 poles on it. can I send that ground back to the negative of the primary battery or should it be the non inverter connected battery in the bank? Since the batteries are connected to the inverter producing 120v alternating, isn't a lot of the energy being sent THROUGH the components and not being directly used, forcing the inverter to heat quickly? Would a ground back to battery help cut energy waste?

CONVERTING STARTER TO AC GENERATOR

2) do you have any tips on converting a starter magnetic core into a generator. I am about to buy a new stator for a salvage starter I've cleaned and checked. It seems to be rather good after de-oiling... but i need to make sure that my poles and magnetic field are ok. I have volt/ohms meter but its the old needle gauge kind so testing is a bit skittish. What's the best wiring for this? Basic assembly is where I think i can put it together as far as the actual components.... starter body and stator coil / pulley on dc fan spindle connected to small battery / pulley fitted to starter spindle using belt similar to car fan belt for durability / all fastened into a apc power supply case enclosed in 1/4 in thick wood shingles, covered by thick foam rubber matts. Does any of that make sense? How/What is the BEST WIRING TO GET 120V AC from this.... I've seen it done on alternators being tapped for AC, and now the newer ones have tap screws built in but are rather expensive. Can you suggest / reply with link to a diagram to follow?

Sorry for the long-windedness Mr. Wizard; but I hope you understand my attempted configurations here. Please fill free to reply as time permits. I can also load pics of components if need be.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE!!!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I think you have some electrical misconceptions. Nothing is "wasted" with a chassis ground, whether you mean the 12v negative or the 3rd green wire of a 12vac ground. The 12v chassis ground simply saves running extra wires back to the negative side of the 12v bus/battery. The battery negative connects to the chassis and the negative side on any 12v circuit connects to the chassis so that the electricity can find its way back to the battery negative. If for whatever reason you don't want to use the chassis as a 12v negative (ground) path, simply run the 12v ground wires back to the battery negative terminal.

The 120vac ground is a safety measure and never carries voltage or current except if a short occurs.

Your inverter connects to the 12v battery (positive and negative) to get its 12v power, which it inverts to make 120vac that travels via the 120v hot & neutral wiring. The inverter "ground" is the 120vac safety ground, not to be confused with the 12v negative ground. It's unfortunate that the same word is used for two different things, but that's life.
 
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