Electrical

 All Things Electrical

Solar (click for link)

Other
  • Wireless back-up camera already installed.
  • Light switch locations such as just when you enter.
  • Electrical outlet below the bedroom window. Would be a great spot for a ‘charging station’. We charge our phones at night and use them for alarm clocks.  It’s handy having the phone nearby.
  • I keep finding ideas to add after reading forums. Make sure we don’t have to climb under tables to plug something in.
  • Make sure the step lights are bright enough.
  • Jack Mayer electrical page – Wow, lots to read.
  • Ceiling fans. Here is a link to get started with.
  • I had looked at a blog post of the wiring and plumbing installed by the factory in a 2012 DRV Tradition. It sucked,! the factory just threw everything wherever with ties. What a mess.  I’ll be checking this out before we buy a unit. There is a reason residential homes are inspected by the city!
  • Keystone’s new In-Command monitoring system. This is way cool. Is it the future for RVs? It’s built by Jensen.
  • I’d like to have swing arms on TVs so you can adjust viewing angles.
  • I’d like to have a  built in DVD player in the bedroom TV as well as if there happens to be a TV outside.
  • I’m leaning towards a hard-wired SurgeGuard or Progressive Industries surge and voltage protection rather than having a portable one that could be stolen. I have to check into a comment I heard that a power management system will turn stuff off before you flip a breaker. So if you start up your microwave and it would shut something else off, like the AC.
  • Read you can buy a 50 amp cord real a lot less expensively than ordering one installed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi Ranger is very popular for internet. Some trailers even come with WIFI Ranger prep.
  • Satellite TV – Roof mount or portable:  Heard movable is better because trees are in the way.
  • I need to check out this comment. Roof mounted antenna needs to have a good amplifier like the Winegard model.
  • Don’t overlook the use of WIFI calling to make calls using a cell phone when cell service is not available.
  • I’ve been reading about cellular signal boosting. Maximum Signals Max Amp is being mentioned. Here is a forum link.
  • The go-to people regarding connectivity is Technomadia.

Generator

  • Chart to judge noise levels by decibel levels.
  • Need to figure out if you just plug the shore line into the generator to charge the batteries. (yes is the answer).
  • 2016 – Friend we met who travel part time had a Honda 2000 inverter but sold it and bought a Champion 775531i 3100 watt inverter generator for a lot less, and it will run one air conditioner. He heard one running at a campsite and said it’s no more loud than the Honda.  I noticed Champion also has a new 3500 watt model that has a 30 amp outlet and remote control start button.  Friend is mounting his in the truck as he has a sliding cover on the truck bed for times he is not towing.
    • The 3100 watt Champion noise level is advertised at 58 dBA at 23 ft and runs for 8 hours at 25% load with a 1.6 gallon fuel tank. Cost is $650 on Amazon. It weighs 80 pounds. That’s very manageable.  You can also buy a dual fuel generator that runs on gas/propane.
    • Yamaha is another popular selection. In 2016 the 3000 watt units weigh in at 136 pounds and above.
  • Portable generators appear to come down to selecting a balance between:
    • Weight of unit (so you can drag it out of the truck)
    • Price, efficiency, durability, noise level, ease of maintenance and use.
  • I’m also wondering if there is an easier way of using a portable generator to avoid dragging up to 50 foot of electrical cable to the back of the truck. I wonder if someone has come up with a way to hook it up to the electrical service in the generator ready area in the front of the fifth wheel.
    • Maybe get a 20′ or so 50 to 30 amp extension/adaptor to avoid pulling so much of the heavy 50 amp cord?
  • Someone mentioned the Boliy brand generator in a forum. They claimed at one time the Honda inverter generator was not highly rated at one time and now is the go to brand. They claim the Boliy is doing the same.
  • Post on the Wen generators. 2000 Watt at 50 pounds – wow, that’s light weight. This guy bought two with parallel kit for under $1,000. Uses them with Heartland Landmark.
  • “One thing to keep in mind is that “gen prep” does not mean “gen ready”. Gen ready has the transfer switch and most required wiring already installed. Gen prep usually is just the control wiring.” – per a forum post.

Converter/Inverter

  • A Converter changes the 120 volt shore power into 12 volts to charge the battery, operate 12 volt lights and outlets.  An Inverter changes 12 volts into 120 volts such as for use by a residential refrigerator. Inverters can get hot.
  • Pure sinewave inverters are best for delicate electronics.
  • Inverter should be located as close to batteries as possible for max efficiency.
  • When sizing the inverter we would want to keep in mind the maximum electrical requirement we might someday have. For example if we went with an induction cook top, convection microwave and maybe later an residential fridge. That would be a big electrical requirement for batteries/solar to keep up with.  We talked about those times we would go boondocking and figured worst case we would have to cook outside on a gas grill. And of course you have to be able to run a furnace. Suppose one would just have to manage your power when on battery/inverter by not running certain things at the same time.
  • Read you have to turn off the inverter at night if not using it because it will drain four batteries.  This is in cases where you don’t have a residential fridge and just use the inverter in the morning for coffee or using the microwave.
  • I’ve heard it’s better to have a dedicated inverter for a residential fridge. Keeping a large inverter running overnight will drain six batteries. You are going to have to have a heavy duty solar setup for boondocking with a residential fridge and will sometimes have to run the generator a couple hours, maybe twice a day, from what I’m reading.
  • Here is a must read on choosing the right inverter with links to other information.
  • Here is a link to how large an inverter you need for boondocking. It’s from the Roads Less Traveled Blog where they spend most of their time boondocking and lived on a boat for a long time.
  • I’ve been reading about and have been told that if you plan to be off grid much it is better to purchase items that will run on 12 volts without having to convert the power from 110 volts to 12 through an inverter. This is because during the conversation some of the power is lost. And when you are running off batteries that is a bad thing.

Batteries (click for link)

  • I’ve been reading if you add batteries plan on replacing them all at the same time if the existing batteries are over one year old.
  • Here is a good forum thread containing how one guy handles a residential fridge with four batteries.
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