If one were to read all of the threads between both the 110 and 12V Electrical sections (which I have) they would find several mentions of using a Progressive Dynamics Power Station. As well, you would find as many or more threads about folks starting everything from scratch and purchasing separate components (fuse blocks, breaker boxes and breakers, circuit breakers, battery maintainer, converter, etc.).
Is one way superior to another? Is one easier for a novice than the other? Is one cheaper than the other? Is one a cleaner install than the other?
I suspect it's just a matter of preference, but I'd like to hear those who've already made this decision and has had the opportunity to do one ore more installs of other or both to weigh in?
Post by turbodaddy on Apr 26, 2020 15:57:03 GMT -8
Other than running lights, our trailer only had a single 12VDC dome light when we got it. Everything else was 120V AC. Having lived on a boat for years I was used to having most everything 12 VDC. We even had a 12V TV. It wasn't until we bought our first desktop computer that we added a full 120VAC system on the boat.
That said, one of the first things I did on our camper was to install a simple 3 circuit 12V system using a small fuse box, a few junction boxes, two cigarette lighter type outlets, two 12V fans, Fantastic fan, an Attwood furnace I got from a guy who was parting out a pop top camper, two really bright LED reading lights, and a bunch of "puck style" LED under counter lights. Two group 24 deep cycle batteries with a marine selector switch, and a little automatic trickle charger. I carry a portable automotive battery charger and have just one 50 watt solar panel that we put out when in a sunny campsite. It was an easy install that just needed some planning. Vikx and others' plentiful guidance helped me a lot. I haven't ever tallied up all of the receipts for all of the work I did on the trailer so can't really say how much it cost, but I'm guessing around $300 to $500 for the 12V system. Our goal was to keep it simple and to be able to camp comfortably for extended periods which we are able to do without any problems. Hope this might help.
Post by roadtripper on Apr 26, 2020 19:32:41 GMT -8
I have a 200 watt solar system that goes to the 12 v storage through the charge controller and then into a PD 4045. I like the PD as clean, compact, and organized for output to 12v and 120v ac. It also takes care of the battery when I have it plugged in at home. The system is all under the seat road side at the front table. The PD access is under the table just off the floor. I’m not sure how, but If I was doing this all from scratch again I’d try and make it a little more accessible. It’s kind of a pain to lie on the floor under the table to check a breaker or fuse. I also put a new PD in an older Tab I have. Works well there too.
I've done both. I just don't like the look of the "all in one" box but hid one in a cabinet in my Hanson. Since most vintage trailers have the original breaker box, it doesn't make sense to buy another one. Then I install a separate 12 volt system; fuse block to lights, pump, Fan, etc.
The original box stays in position and I rewire the main and needed new circuits. Most of the time, the original wiring is in good condition, that becomes my first circuit. Exceptions to this were the 52 Hanson (knob and tube, no grounds) and the 57 Shasta: ceramic fuse block, again no grounds.
I have used a good quality battery maintainer to keep the battery charged when on shore power. They work great and are $20 cheap but won't run the entire 12 volt system all day. If you are sparing, there's not a problem. The PD 45 converter is a nice replacement, fits in the same space and is easy to wire. It can also be added as an upgrade later if wanted.
Be sure you know what you are doing or have an experienced person on hand when doing interior wiring. It's nothing to mess around with and can be dangerous.
I've purchased nearly all of my components for my 110 system, as well as my 12V (Fantastic Fan and one light). I received my fuse block in the mail today from Amazon and it's HUGE! It may be way overkill for what I need, or maybe these are just larger than I expected them to be? Here's the link. Fuse Block on Amazon Is this ok for what I'm doing or would it be prudent to return this for a different one? And if so what would you buy instead? Thanks again all!
I'd need to uncover the Forester when it's not raining to see what amp safety block I used. It doesn't pop to mind right now. Based on the things you will be running, I'm sure vikx can give you the proper amps. vikx has done many campers with the system we've talked about.
Post by CorvettCrzy on Jun 3, 2020 19:15:22 GMT -8
For others who may look a this thread for info:
The Vette had a 3" diameter hole cut through the exterior wall into the kitchen overhead cabinet that they stuck an extension cord through for power, no seal, just an open hole. Since there wasn't any type of wiring/box it made sense for us to get a Power Station. I also think it made it a little easier for us with less experience.
This is our PD installed on the front end of the gaucho:
It is hidden on the front of the gaucho but inside the box that hides the back of the wheel well, so it isn't unsightly. Formica top is removable for access - box between gaucho and kitchen cabinet on RH side.