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    Grand Design 50 Amp Electric Scheme

    I'm looking for information about access and what the switch panel looks like on the back side. I have shined a like into the crawl space but have never ventured into the abyss. Is accessing the back of the panel through the crawl space or does the panel pull out?? Does anyone have a picture of what that part of the world looks like?

    I think I've seen a thread by @BjornF16 in 2017 that did what I'm thinking about doing, which is run 1/2 the coach off Shore power/Inverter power using a transfer switch and the other 1/2 unpowered without shore power. I think I read that, like a house, 1/2 the circuits are on one 120 VAC line and the other half on the second AC line and they are organized left and right of the main breakers.

    Any guidance on how to get into the wiring will be appreciated.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill & Marsha
    2020 Reflection 320 MKS
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    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    The wires all come through access ports on the back of the main power panel - there is not much to be gained by getting to the back of the plastic "box." The whole power panel can be unscrewed and pulled out to the front of the cabinet, though.

    The 50 amp "shore" power is in two legs and there are two 50 amp breakers at the center of the power panel. You are correct in that the left and right sides of the power panel are two different busses supplied by their respective 50 amp breakers. The 15 and 20 amp breakers could be rearranged to put the important circuits on one side for supply by an inverter - you would need to make sure that the current demands remain balanced so as not to overload one side of system.

    Rob
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjpatter View Post
    I'm looking for information about access and what the switch panel looks like on the back side. I have shined a like into the crawl space but have never ventured into the abyss. Is accessing the back of the panel through the crawl space or does the panel pull out?? Does anyone have a picture of what that part of the world looks like?

    I think I've seen a thread by @BjornF16 in 2017 that did what I'm thinking about doing, which is run 1/2 the coach off Shore power/Inverter power using a transfer switch and the other 1/2 unpowered without shore power. I think I read that, like a house, 1/2 the circuits are on one 120 VAC line and the other half on the second AC line and they are organized left and right of the main breakers.

    Any guidance on how to get into the wiring will be appreciated.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	33768
    Exactly what Rob @Second Chance said above. All info is spot on.

    Access to the rear of the panel will depend greatly on your trailer. On our Solitude, it is basically it is not accessible. Remove the cover from the front and you have access to all the wiring. Here is a picture of the panel in our trailer. Yours maybe different.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pictures are rotated (again ), but (in the pictures) the 12V DC (battery) circuits are on the left and the 120v AC circuits are on the right 2/3 of the box. Hope this helps.

    Chris
    Chris & Karen
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    Site Team traveldawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjpatter View Post
    I'm looking for information about access and what the switch panel looks like on the back side. I have shined a like into the crawl space but have never ventured into the abyss. Is accessing the back of the panel through the crawl space or does the panel pull out?? Does anyone have a picture of what that part of the world looks like?

    I think I've seen a thread by @BjornF16 in 2017 that did what I'm thinking about doing, which is run 1/2 the coach off Shore power/Inverter power using a transfer switch and the other 1/2 unpowered without shore power. I think I read that, like a house, 1/2 the circuits are on one 120 VAC line and the other half on the second AC line and they are organized left and right of the main breakers.

    Any guidance on how to get into the wiring will be appreciated.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WFCO WF-8930-50.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	95.7 KB 
ID:	33768
    I'm going to suggest that if you go through all this work that you run BOTH legs off of shore power, but run SOME circuits through an inverter (or inverter/converter). That way you are not always 'battery dependent' on some circuits.

    To do this: run an appropriate sized circuit to your inverter from your panel, run the output of the inverter to a separate panel (sub-panel) for the circuits you want to run on battery power when you are not connected to shore power. When you remove the breakers from your existing panel for use in your sub-panel you will free up room for the new breaker that would go to your inverter.

    fwiw.... that's how the major motorhome manufacturers do (and probably the higher end trailers). Most of the time manufacturers who do this accomplish it with a single breaker panel designed for this; us poor bums who do it ourselves resort to a separate sub panel.

    ph - one more thing about run "half-and-half"..... your circuits are divided between both legs to balance the loads. for example: one AC is on one leg, the second AC on another; the water heater is on one leg, the microwave on the other (ditto for sharing between fireplace, converter, etc. So if you just simply apply the "half-and-half" scheme then you are likely to have some circuits that you just won't/can't run via inverter (i.e. - air conditioning).

    just thought I'd throw this option out there for consideration.


    Here is what I did.

    You don't really need a transfer switch doing things this way either. Of course, a lot of this depends on the space you have in your rig.
    Larry
    2018 F350 SRW SB - AirLift 5000 w/Wireless One; ForScan; 37gal RDS Fuel Tank; Demco Hikacker
    2019 310GK-R - Sailuns; MorRyde SRE4000; Disc Brakes (StopYourTrailer.com); Electric Cord Reel


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Second Chance View Post
    The wires all come through access ports on the back of the main power panel - there is not much to be gained by getting to the back of the plastic "box." The whole power panel can be unscrewed and pulled out to the front of the cabinet, though.

    The 50 amp "shore" power is in two legs and there are two 50 amp breakers at the center of the power panel. You are correct in that the left and right sides of the power panel are two different busses supplied by their respective 50 amp breakers. The 15 and 20 amp breakers could be rearranged to put the important circuits on one side for supply by an inverter - you would need to make sure that the current demands remain balanced so as not to overload one side of system.

    Rob
    Hopefully, I won't need to rearrange any of the breakers. My motivation is to activate the rear coach power outlets, specifically power to the outside refrigerator. I had planned to add a second 400 watt inverter and route lines to specifically power the single outlet so that I can keep the refrigerator powered while I drive. After looking at some other DYIs, I'm considering interrupting one of the lines from shore power and using my existing 2000 w inverter with a transfer switch to power the living/kitchen area of the coach. I have to figure out which breaker controls the outlets in the rear. Breaking into the power path from shore power is doable creates a bit of pucker factor. Alternatively, if I can isolate the refrigerator outlet to a single breaker and also understand what else I might be powering would be a simpler solution.

    So what you are telling me is the back of the switch panel is uninteresting. I can access line 1 & 2 (shore power) from the front. How do the power lines for internal wiring to the coach exit the box?

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    Bill & Marsha
    2020 Reflection 320 MKS
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    Not All Who Wander Are Lost

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoChris View Post
    Exactly what Rob @Second Chance said above. All info is spot on.

    Access to the rear of the panel will depend greatly on your trailer. On our Solitude, it is basically it is not accessible. Remove the cover from the front and you have access to all the wiring. Here is a picture of the panel in our trailer. Yours maybe different.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200304_152003.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	98.2 KB 
ID:	33773 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200304_151456.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	101.4 KB 
ID:	33774

    Pictures are rotated (again ), but (in the pictures) the 12V DC (battery) circuits are on the left and the 120v AC circuits are on the right 2/3 of the box. Hope this helps.

    Chris
    Worth a 1000 word. Helps a lot. Thanks
    Bill & Marsha
    2020 Reflection 320 MKS
    2018 2500HD Silverado 4x4
    Not All Who Wander Are Lost

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by traveldawg View Post
    I'm going to suggest that if you go through all this work that you run BOTH legs off of shore power, but run SOME circuits through an inverter (or inverter/converter). That way you are not always 'battery dependent' on some circuits.

    To do this: run an appropriate sized circuit to your inverter from your panel, run the output of the inverter to a separate panel (sub-panel) for the circuits you want to run on battery power when you are not connected to shore power. When you remove the breakers from your existing panel for use in your sub-panel you will free up room for the new breaker that would go to your inverter.

    fwiw.... that's how the major motorhome manufacturers do (and probably the higher end trailers). Most of the time manufacturers who do this accomplish it with a single breaker panel designed for this; us poor bums who do it ourselves resort to a separate sub panel.

    ph - one more thing about run "half-and-half"..... your circuits are divided between both legs to balance the loads. for example: one AC is on one leg, the second AC on another; the water heater is on one leg, the microwave on the other (ditto for sharing between fireplace, converter, etc. So if you just simply apply the "half-and-half" scheme then you are likely to have some circuits that you just won't/can't run via inverter (i.e. - air conditioning).

    just thought I'd throw this option out there for consideration.


    Here is what I did.

    You don't really need a transfer switch doing things this way either. Of course, a lot of this depends on the space you have in your rig.

    Good input from this forum. I was only considering using the 50 L1 because I thought it would be easier. After looking in the box and doing some isolation tests, my external refrigerator is on the same line as the internal refrigerator and is easy to isolate. Running both refrigerators off AC while I drive will be a nice advantage.

    You pose an interesting concept of running some circuits continuously off of the inverter. It certainly would have some real advantages. I verified that the 2 refrigerators, tv and one outlet runs off the single breaker. Hopefully, that is all. The outlet is normally used for the Keurig which peaks at 1380 watts on boil. Deliver and standby modes are much lower so that running from the inverter would be ok. The wild card is the microwave. If it is on that same circuit, it would be a no go. That device is a pig, almost at the max rating for my 2000w inverter.

    I looked quickly at your setup and understand the secondary panel. Why a lithium converter and how are you using the transfer capability of the Xantrex XC2000 inverter/converter?
    Bill & Marsha
    2020 Reflection 320 MKS
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjpatter View Post
    Good input from this forum. I was only considering using the 50 L1 because I thought it would be easier. After looking in the box and doing some isolation tests, my external refrigerator is on the same line as the internal refrigerator and is easy to isolate. Running both refrigerators off AC while I drive will be a nice advantage.

    You pose an interesting concept of running some circuits continuously off of the inverter. It certainly would have some real advantages. I verified that the 2 refrigerators, tv and one outlet runs off the single breaker. Hopefully, that is all. The outlet is normally used for the Keurig which peaks at 1380 watts on boil. Deliver and standby modes are much lower so that running from the inverter would be ok. The wild card is the microwave. If it is on that same circuit, it would be a no go. That device is a pig, almost at the max rating for my 2000w inverter.

    I looked quickly at your setup and understand the secondary panel. Why a lithium converter and how are you using the transfer capability of the Xantrex XC2000 inverter/converter?
    The Xantrex convert can regulate wet, AGM, and Lithium batteries (and a few others). Mine is set for AGM.

    The Xantrex has an internal transfer switch. So when it doesn't detect incoming 120v it automatically switches over. It happens so quick sometimes I don't even notice.

    Mostly it is my refrigerator and electric outlets on the inverter except for the water and dryer outlets and the one for the dishwasher (which I don't have anyway).
    Larry
    2018 F350 SRW SB - AirLift 5000 w/Wireless One; ForScan; 37gal RDS Fuel Tank; Demco Hikacker
    2019 310GK-R - Sailuns; MorRyde SRE4000; Disc Brakes (StopYourTrailer.com); Electric Cord Reel


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by traveldawg View Post
    The Xantrex convert can regulate wet, AGM, and Lithium batteries (and a few others). Mine is set for AGM.

    The Xantrex has an internal transfer switch. So when it doesn't detect incoming 120v it automatically switches over. It happens so quick sometimes I don't even notice.

    Mostly it is my refrigerator and electric outlets on the inverter except for the water and dryer outlets and the one for the dishwasher (which I don't have anyway).
    I remember reading this thread when I was looking at batteries and inverters. Breaking into the switch panel looked more complicated that what I wanted to tackle. Looking at it now, the real hard part will be running line from my inverter in the front compartment to the switch panel. I'll probably mount the transfer switch in the front compartment also, just to have ready access if it fails. Did you pull 120 VAC directly off L1/L2 coming in? This solves my inverter logistical problems also. Before I decided to power the external refrig, the only time my inverter was used was stationary and I powered using the shore power plug. That required me to move the couch to turn off a number of breakers like convert, AC's, hot water tank, and fire place. More was off than on. What secondary panel did you use?
    Bill & Marsha
    2020 Reflection 320 MKS
    2018 2500HD Silverado 4x4
    Not All Who Wander Are Lost

  10. #10
    Site Team traveldawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjpatter View Post
    I remember reading this thread when I was looking at batteries and inverters. Breaking into the switch panel looked more complicated that what I wanted to tackle. Looking at it now, the real hard part will be running line from my inverter in the front compartment to the switch panel. I'll probably mount the transfer switch in the front compartment also, just to have ready access if it fails. Did you pull 120 VAC directly off L1/L2 coming in? This solves my inverter logistical problems also. Before I decided to power the external refrig, the only time my inverter was used was stationary and I powered using the shore power plug. That required me to move the couch to turn off a number of breakers like convert, AC's, hot water tank, and fire place. More was off than on. What secondary panel did you use?
    Before I get into how/why/what I did, let's back-up a bit.....

    What is you want to do? It looks like you just want 2 refrigerators on AC when driving. I have to admit I am not familiar with the AC/DC/Gas refrigerators as I've had a residential refrigerator the last 2 RVs.

    Never mind about how to do it right now, I'm just a bit confused on the overall "mission" here. I don't want to propose an over complicated set-up if it is just one circuit you need on an inverter.

    Thanks....
    Larry
    2018 F350 SRW SB - AirLift 5000 w/Wireless One; ForScan; 37gal RDS Fuel Tank; Demco Hikacker
    2019 310GK-R - Sailuns; MorRyde SRE4000; Disc Brakes (StopYourTrailer.com); Electric Cord Reel


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