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Shore power fuse box ?'s


alan0043

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Hi Everyone,

 

I am working on the inside of the truck. What are you guys doing for a fuse box for your shore power ? How many circuit do you have ? I am looking for ideas. I would like to have as small as possible the fuse box. The fuse box inside my truck measures 7 1/2" x 8 7/8" x 3 1/2" deep. And has four circuit breakers in it. The space that I am working with is tight. It is the back wall of the storage compartment. On the same back wall I would like to install my Jackalopee with some terminal blocks. Can you guys give me some ideas. On the front wall in the storage compartment is for the inverter and the extra 12 volt fuse box with 12 circuits. I think I might place the battery minder also toward the front.

 

Thank you for any help,

Al

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Our truck was wired with a Blue Seas distribution center. It's similar to this https://www.bluesea.com/products/3116/SMS_Surface_Mount_System_Panel_Enclosure_-_120V_AC___30A_ELCI_Main_-_3_blank_circuit_positions.

Ours has an exterior circuit, fridge circuit and microwave / 2 outlets.

 

Thanks Jim for the info.

 

Does anyone know if The Professor is around. Hey Charlie, are you camping with Randy ? I would like to see what Randy used for his shore power fuse box.

 

Thanks for any help,

Al

 

Please keep the idea's coming.

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Stekay,

 

Thank you for posting the links for the two fuse boxes. They look like they have the size that could help with the install of the shore power. This rookie has a few questions. I looked at the data sheets and could not tell if the fuse boxes could be used for 120 volts. Do you know if these boxes are rated for 120 volts ? I also did not see where the neutral line and the ground wire connected to. Or are these boxes for 12 volts ? Is there anyone out there that is familiar with these two fuse boxes ?

 

Any help would be appreciated ,

Al

 

Please keep the ideas coming,

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The first one for sure is 12 volt. The other one appears to be able to handle larger volts but I do not think it will handle 120v.

Plus these are fuse panels and not circuit breakers. You would need to carry spares and tools to replace them.

 

We just used a small load center box from Menards (like a Home Depot).

Dave

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On the 120 volt side pick up a 70 amp main Square D box that uses QO breakers - it can handle 4 circuits using the narrow breakers. I doubt that anyone would need more than 4 120V circuits.

 

The box comes with one neutral bus bar. Buy another bar when you get the box. Remove the bond on the neutral bar so it does not contact the metal box and use this ONLY for your white neutral wires. Screw the new bus bar to the metal box and use it ONLY for your grounding (safety) wires.

 

There is no real need to have a main breaker for 120V in the truck as long as what you plug into is properly "fused" for your feeder cable. Run #10 AGW copper cable to the box and your power connector outside the truck and don't connect to any external box with anything over a 30 amp breaker.

 

This is an old photo showing my 120 VAC install when I was building the truck. No covers on the boxes in the photo. The 4 circuits were: #1 - 20 amp to a GFCI for general purpose outlets in the cab including the microwave and refrigerator. #2 - 15 amp for the converter/charger (external sense relay only powers this device from shore power or the generator - not powered when using the inverter.). #3 - 15 amp for the air conditioner mounted in the back of the cab. #4 - 20 amp to a GFCI in a weatherproof box mounted on the outside back of the cab

 

compartment1.jpg

 

Below: 30 amp twist lock shore power input with cover.

outside1.jpg

 

 

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If it helps, there are two pre-packaged in a box kits that are out there. You get less circuits for more $ than building it yourself but they do just click together quick and easy and it is kind of hard to mess it up. Most truck dealers should be able to get them.

 

http://phillipsandtemro.com/userfiles//CabPowDataSheet.pdf

 

http://phillipsandtemro.com/userfiles//CabPowPlusDataSheet%281%29.pdf

 

Their data sheets are too old to show it but they do come with the harnesses wrapped in orange convelute. It didn't matter so much awhile ago but nowadays anything high voltage that you build on your truck should probably be wrapped orange as well.

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There is no real need to have a main breaker for 120V in the truck as long as what you plug into is properly "fused" for your feeder cable. Run #10 AGW copper cable to the box and your power connector outside the truck and don't connect to any external box with anything over a 30 amp breaker.

 

I cannot recommend this approach. There needs to be a proper breaker to protect the power cable, somewhere in the path. It's preferable at the power end, but at the load end is still better than not having it. It's entirely possible that the only option is a 240V/50A outlet; using an adapter violates the premise you've created above.

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Stekay,

 

Thank you for posting the links for the two fuse boxes. They look like they have the size that could help with the install of the shore power. This rookie has a few questions. I looked at the data sheets and could not tell if the fuse boxes could be used for 120 volts. Do you know if these boxes are rated for 120 volts ? I also did not see where the neutral line and the ground wire connected to. Or are these boxes for 12 volts ? Is there anyone out there that is familiar with these two fuse boxes ?

 

Any help would be appreciated ,

Al

 

Please keep the ideas coming,

the AMG fuse is rated for 32 volt - http://www1.cooperbussmann.com/pdf/ed7601b3-311e-45ba-8ea6-ccc039cd3b5a.pdf

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RandyA, on 11 Feb 2016 - 9:24 PM, said:snapback.png

There is no real need to have a main breaker for 120V in the truck as long as what you plug into is properly "fused" for your feeder cable. Run #10 AGW copper cable to the box and your power connector outside the truck and don't connect to any external box with anything over a 30 amp breaker.

 

I cannot recommend this approach. There needs to be a proper breaker to protect the power cable, somewhere in the path. It's preferable at the power end, but at the load end is still better than not having it. It's entirely possible that the only option is a 240V/50A outlet; using an adapter violates the premise you've created above.

 

I get the impression that you did not actually read or properly interpret my suggestion. What I wrote is in full compliance with NEC article 551.40 – 551.60. At no point did I advise an “adapter”. Now, if someone is foolish enough to use an adapter to convert a 50-50 amp park outlet to a 30 amp or even a 15 amp plug outlet, experiencing a load exceeding 30 amps (for a #10 AWG cable) could result in overheating of the supply cable and even eventually result in fire. But, again, that is NOT what I advised and I sincerely believe that no one on this thread is impaired to the point of doing that.

 

A properly wired park outlet (NEC and Code compliant one – if not compliant do not plug in) will have a 120 volt 15 or 20 amp GFCI outlet protected by a single pole 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker, a 120 volt 30 amp two wire (with grounding) outlet protected by a 30 amp single pole circuit breaker and an (optional) 240 volt, 50 amp outlet with a 180 degree phase differential between conductors protected by a bridged 50-50 amp circuit breaker. There is no need or requirement to have yet another main breaker before the power cord to your truck (RV) or even a main breaker before the 4 circuit load center I used. Your power cord should be able to unplug from your truck (not hard wired) and as such serves as a disconnect.

 

Now, if one should want to put yet another breaker in the line going into the truck to serve as yet another disconnect no harm is done - but it is not necessary or required.

 

Suggesting that a 240V/50A outlet is the only option is over kill. Such an outlet would require a minimum of three #6 AWG copper conductors along with a single #8 AWG copper (or larger) grounding conductor. I can't imagine why anyone would want two 50 amp 120 volt circuits running to their truck – unless they plan on running an electric welder. But, again, if that is what you want be sure to follow the guidelines in the above referenced NEC Code.

 

Mark referenced using a double pole bridged (both poles will trip simultaneously) main breaker on a 120 VAC line so that both the un-grounded (hot) and grounded neutral conductors are opened if tripped as a protection method against an improperly wired park outlet where some jackleg swapped the neutral and hot wires. Of course, this does not prevent current from an incorrectly wired power source from entering the RV (or boat) it only assures that if it is used as a disconnect that a hot wire that might remain connected to the vehicle ground would not turn into a truly dangerous situation. All of us should carry one of those $5 outlet checkers that indicate improperly wired power pedestals and use it before plugging our trucks into a 15, 20 or 30 amp park outlet (a 30 to 15 amp adapter is used to plug in the tester when checking a 30 amp outlet).

 

As a master electrician and EE that has spent most of my life immersed in NEC and OSHA regulations I can promise you that I would not be advising anyone to use equipment or wiring methods that were not in compliance or might be dangerous. As Scrap and Mark noted there are other pieces of approved (and safe) commercial equipment available for adding 120 VAC to your truck. Let your budget decide.

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Hi Everyone,

 

I want to 'Thank' everyone for their help. My neighbor gave me a plastic breaker box with four 15 amp breakers in it. It is a little bigger than I wanted but the price was right. I have been laying things out and this box is going to be a good fit. I will add a separate ground bar to the box. The nice thing is that the box is plastic and I will be mounting the box to 3/4" plywood. I also found in some of my stuff a 20 amp ground fault receptacle. From what I understand about reading Randy's info is that I should wire the 20 amp ground fault receptacle first from the breaker. The next receptacle will be wired to the ground fault. If I do the wires correct, I should have both receptacles protected by the ground fault. I assume that I should change one of the 15 amp breakers to a 20 amp breaker. That will be the breaker that I use for the 20 amp receptacle.The only things that I need shore power for is three things. A refrigerator, microwave, and a battery minder. The battery minder will be always in use when I have shore power. I can only see that one breaker is really going to be used. Is there any thing that I am missing ?

 

Al

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Al - what you have written about GFCI connection and subsequent outlet feeding is correct. Just follow the wiring schematic packed with the GFCI outlet for downstream connections. Just as a note - the "home store specials" you find in open bins are residential grade 15 amp outlets. You would do well to spring for a specification grade 20 amp outlet since you are only doing a few and not a whole house. On a 20 amp outlet the neutral will have a sideways "T" shape, on the 15 amp it is just a long "I" shape. Same for the GFCI - be sure it is rated at least the same as the breaker that feeds it at the first position before any downstream outlets. Specification grade devices are stronger as well and less likely to break or arc. In the long run they will be cheaper since you won't need to replace as often.

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