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New hdt owner in need of help


Yotaonrocks

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Hey everyone me and my wife are now hdt owners. Picked my truck up a couple weeks ago and have been doing some general maintenance to it before doing the conversion. It is a 97 Peterbilt 379.

 

I know it's not the usual setup but I have a soft spot for these old long nose trucks and we aren't full timing just a trip once a month or so to ride atv's and go to the beach.

 

My hold up in the conversion is the wiring. For the conversion I have to have a separate 110v power supply. Things we would like to have in the truck are a refrigerator, plugs for charging tablet or cell phones, and the ability to add a tv and DVD player later when we have kids.

 

I've read a lot of threads on here and other places but they seem to be more complex setups than what I need. If someone could help me figure out the simplest way to achieve this I would really appreciate it.

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Do for you mean 110v ac power while moving down the road or 110v ac shore power while parked?

 

For moving down the road, you will need an appropriately sized invertor, cables to the batteries and depending on where you mount it at you may need to add 110v outlets.

For charging tablet and phones, why not just use the 12vdc that the HDT already has? Don't forget that a refrigerator could drain your batteries if it is left on while you have the HDT parked. Unless you also add a 110v shore plug, breaker and outlets so that when you are parked, you plug that in to keep the refrigerator running.

 

There are also 12vdc TVs and DVD players available.

 

Dave

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Or you can add a 2nd battery bank to run an inverter off of. That's what our truck has. Both banks are charged by the alternator thru an isolator like this-

http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Hersee-48120-Battery-Isolator/dp/B001FQOGFS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1457732644&sr=8-8&keywords=battery+isolator

With an isolator, the inverter can drain the "house" bank without draining the truck starting batteries.

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If you're going to ride ATV's, you may be expecting to spend some weekend nights in the truck. I have done the same. The inverter is great when the truck is running, but has always scared me a little when parked. I don't want to run the batteries down so far that I cannot crank the truck. That's where shore power comes in. The simplest setup would be to run everything off of an inverter when the truck is running and still have the ability to switch over to a small inverter generator when parked for an extended period of time. A 2000 watt inverter would run what you have listed with ease and still put a good charge on your truck batteries if needed (and wired to do so).

 

I have one of these and love it - http://www.polaris.com/en-us/generators/p2000i.

 

I also have one of these which will run a roof air - http://www.amazon.com/Champion-Power-Equipment-75531i-Generator/dp/B00BBDCE1S/

 

The other, more simple, option is just to crank the truck when you want to charge the batteries.

 

You should also check out the ARB freezers. They will run on 12V and 24V and are extremely power efficient. http://store.arbusa.com/ARB-Fridge-Freezer-50-Qt-10800472-P3626.aspx

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I'll be pulling a toyhauler so shouldn't need to stay in the truck over night for any reason.

 

And yes I can charge the phones and tablets off the 12v plugs but thought if I was adding receptacles then why not add one for them to charge off of.

 

I'm new to this and never done it so that's why I posted here. Hoping that y'all can maybe point me in the direction of what it is I want.

 

I know the NC requirment for motorhome reads "separate 110-125v electrical power supply". I'm not sure yet if that means I can just slap a generator on the back and call it good or if it needs to be permenantly wired to the generator or wired for shore power.

 

Main goal is to be able to cool the fridge off before a trip or before heading home without running the truck. And running the fridge while going down the road.

 

From what I've found I think I would like an inverter/charger (looked at xantrex freedom HF 1800w) wired up for going down the road and a shore power plug for cooling fridge off before the trip.

 

I appreciate the fast responses and apologize if these are amatuer questions.

 

I spend a lot of time on a 4wheel drive forum and have made many great friend on there and from my limited reading here it seems like the same family oriented setting. I hope to meet some of you one day and look forward to making new friends.

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I have the Xantrex 1800 HF freedom and it will power your frig going down the road. Mine is tied to my truck batteries. It also has an input where you can connect shore power and an automatic transfer switch which will switch from battery to shore power when you plug in. Also has a 3 stage charger built in to keep your truck batteries charged when on shore power. I think it's a good choice for a modified sine wave inverter. If you want pure sine wave gonna be more expensive.

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Welcome & Nice Rig. Don't get too excited about your electrical issue. There are folks here that can solve it even if it takes every nickle you have. Seriously, it's a common issue and the big issue is not how to but rather which method.

 

Welcome aboard.

 

Come to the ECR in Crossville TN next month. 30+ trucks and a bunch of other 1st timers. Still should have room if you act soon.

 

Paul & Paula

 

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I run 8 group 24 deep cycle batteries as a separate house power bank on the passenger step. They're connected to the starting batteries via 4/0 welding cable through a Blue Sea rotary 400 amp (continuous) switch. That's a fall back for stating the truck. The house is charged by 160 Watts out all of the time, or 640 Watts if we're set up camping. TriStar charge controller, 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter with a weather proof plug externally under the sleeper. I've run the block heater on the 3406b for 4.5 hours on the house only to get started on a bitter cold morning. I never charge the house by the alternator. I personally would'nt ever run a big inverter off the starting batteries. I don't care much for electronically integrated systems. I'd rather plug in what I need or want. Can't plug a single cord into two things at once! Real nice looking truck you've got there. Good luck.

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Yotaourocks/bmzero Welcome to the right side. What a sweet looking Pete. 3 weeks ago we changed the full suspension on a 1990 Pete. Took 7 days. All hardware included took the old tandems off and put the whole air ride system including the tandems from a 2000 Pete on the 1990. Its back to work towing containers here in the Norfolk/Tidewater area. He had a vertical clearance issue with the tunnels and this low air system got the truck low enough so now no issues. Took 7 days here in my shop behind the house. The HOA hate me with a a passion. I'm not a commercial shop. I just help him because he is always there helping me with my 98 Volvo 630. I took some pictures but I'm not smart enouge to put them up here. maybe at the ECR somebody will help This Old Sailor.

We have a 1500 watt inverter installed in our truck but don't use it much. We don't dry camp and seldom on the road for more than 6 or 7 hours. But its nice to know its there if we need it.We have a 110 refrigerator,110 microwave, and a porta potty to make use a MH. But the truck was originally titled in Minn but Va. honored the title. Hope you can title it in NC w/o trouble. Will it be a working truck or just used as a RV and to tow the RV? Thats all we do with ours. As mentioned before the ECR has at last count 42 confurmed trucks coming in. I know if you are still working it might be hard to get off but even if is for only a long weekend. Where in NC do yolive? We are about 10/11 hours from Crossville (Chesapeake Va). Several units will be there Friday. If you can't make the ECR you can come up to see our old truck. We keep it an the 43' Mesa ridge here at the house. More reason the HOA hates me!

bmzero I have a 3500 watt generator. You mentioned inverter/generator is the difference no computer stuff on my gen set? I don't normally carry the gen set but now that I'm retired me and the DW are going to be on the road a little more. Guess I've rattled on enough. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Thanks for the comments on the truck. It has a 550hp 3406cat and a 10spd can't remember the gears in the rear off the top of my head. Engine had a complete rebuild including a new block about 300k miles ago and the transmission and rear ends were rebuilt 200k miles ago.

 

Not sure I will be able to make the rally(when is it) I work weekend nights wich is why the wife and I are able to travel a lot during the weekdays without using vacation days.

 

I live in a little town between Winston Salem and Greensboro called Kernersville.

 

I'll get some interior pics posted up as soon as I clean it out. The driver left a lot of crap in it when he supposedly cleaned it out.

 

I will just be using it for towing the camper and probably my deckover gooseneck with my crawler if I don't get hassled pulling it.

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East Coast Rally is in Crossville Tenn. Just a short hop across the mountains.

Here's a link- http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=121439

Or send SuiteSuccess a message, poster #12 in this thread.

 

http://eastcoasthdtrally.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2016-East-Coast-HDT-Rally-Registration-Form-2pg.pdf

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bmzero I have a 3500 watt generator. You mentioned inverter/generator is the difference no computer stuff on my gen set? I don't normally carry the gen set but now that I'm retired me and the DW are going to be on the road a little more.

The investor can idle down and still provide proper voltage so it can run quieter and more efficiently. 3500 watts is still 3500 watts. However, the inverter will provide a safer output for electronics (computers, etc.). To me, the low noise level is the major selling point.
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bmzero Thanks I know my gen set is a little loud. It was tested for a eek when a friend lost power in our last little hurricane. I ran tested it a couple of months ago. I ran it out of fuel before I cut it off. Thanks Again See you at the Rally. Pat

 

Y rock, Maybe you could make it during the week. The rally goes from sat the 9th to sat the 16th. You are certanilly welcome anytime that is convenient for you. Wqe got a real nice big rig friendly park caller Holiday Travel Park The super sites are super. Off season affordable. We also like Williamsburg Camp Park. Its a member of Pass Port America. Week days are halh price. there are not many amenities but the price is right and the location to a lot of history is there. A lot of great restaurants if we are in town Chesapeake i'll take you on a tour or the Naval Base.

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Hey everyone me and my wife are now hdt owners. Picked my truck up a couple weeks ago and have been doing some general maintenance to it before doing the conversion. It is a 97 Peterbilt 379.

 

I know it's not the usual setup but I have a soft spot for these old long nose trucks and we aren't full timing just a trip once a month or so to ride atv's and go to the beach.

 

My hold up in the conversion is the wiring. For the conversion I have to have a separate 110v power supply. Things we would like to have in the truck are a refrigerator, plugs for charging tablet or cell phones, and the ability to add a tv and DVD player later when we have kids.

 

I've read a lot of threads on here and other places but they seem to be more complex setups than what I need. If someone could help me figure out the simplest way to achieve this I would really appreciate it.

 

Hi Yotaonrocks,

 

Welcome to the forum. It would be nice to see you at the ECR rally (4/9 to 4/16). Even for only a couple of days. You can get most of your questions answered there. The following is a few web sites that can answer a lot of your questions. When to comes to shore power there is a special way to do the wiring. It is important not to have your ground wires connected to the neutral wires like you have in your house. A plastic fuse box will be a big help in doing this job. I hope someone can explain the reason better than I could. The reason that I understand is because the truck body could have voltage going thru it if you use the truck frame as a ground. Also use a separate ground bar in the fuse box for your shore power.

 

Heavy Haulers Resource Guide www.HHRVResource.com

Mark Bruss web site www.dmbruss.com

Jack Mayer www.jackdanmayer.com

 

I hope this helps, I like the looks of your truck. Good luck with your build.

Al

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Like a lot of others around here I run a inverter/charger. It is a very simple setup.

 

120v A/C (Shore) ---> Inverter/Charger ---> 120v Receptacles in truck

12v D/C (Battery) ----------^

 

The inverter/Charger has a built in transfer switch. So if 120v/Shore Power is present the power is basically just passed thru the inverter and powers the receptacles in the truck. If the inverter is turned on and no power is present from the shore 120v then the inverter uses the 12v Battery to power the 120v receptacles. With the charger turned on and shore power present then the batters are charged in addition to passing power to the truck receptacles.

 

If you have the inverter on while going down the road you have 120v going to the receptacles and the trucks alternator will keep the truck battery charged.

 

Personally I always keep the truck plugged in when parked, if I can. So basically my fridge is always on and the charger is always on. After 6 years the truck batteries are like new. I can leave the truck parked with out shore power with the inverter on to power the fridge for 8 hours with out any problems. After 8 hours in the summer heat in Texas with the fridge powered I will still have 12.2~12.3v in my battery bank (4). Now that is with the fridge already cooled. The longest I have ran the fridge on the inverter with the fridge not cooled is about 4~5 hours. The charge in my batteries was still high enough that the Volvo low voltage protection system had not kicked in. Keep in mind if I park the truck with out shore power and charger on the low voltage protection will kick over after about 2~3 weeks.

 

Also my fridge is not a energy efficient fridge. It is what I call a dorm fridge. It is like 2.5~3 cubic feet, around 3' tall. I already had it and was just sitting in my shed. It fit perfectly in one of the cabinets in the sleeper. I thought I would not last long in a mobile environment with the bouncing around and all. After 6 years and 70k miles it is still going strong.

 

You also mentioned a generator. I have a Honda 3000is. It is mounted to the frame rail of the truck under the cab. To add it to the power system on the truck, I just added a transfer switch to the 120v shore power line. So the power out of the generator is fed in to a two breaker panel. One breaker powers the transfer switch on the truck. The second breaker powers a 30A RV outlet that I have mounted to the back of the sleeper. So when using the generator I can power both the truck system and the trailer. The only power cord I have to run is 30A shore power from the trailer to the truck. The truck is powered by simply turning on the breaker for the truck.

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Like a lot of others around here I run a inverter/charger. It is a very simple setup.

 

120v A/C (Shore) ---> Inverter/Charger ---> 120v Receptacles in truck

12v D/C (Battery) ----------^

 

The inverter/Charger has a built in transfer switch. So if 120v/Shore Power is present the power is basically just passed thru the inverter and powers the receptacles in the truck. If the inverter is turned on and no power is present from the shore 120v then the inverter uses the 12v Battery to power the 120v receptacles. With the charger turned on and shore power present then the batters are charged in addition to passing power to the truck receptacles.

 

If you have the inverter on while going down the road you have 120v going to the receptacles and the trucks alternator will keep the truck battery charged.

 

Personally I always keep the truck plugged in when parked, if I can. So basically my fridge is always on and the charger is always on. After 6 years the truck batteries are like new. I can leave the truck parked with out shore power with the inverter on to power the fridge for 8 hours with out any problems. After 8 hours in the summer heat in Texas with the fridge powered I will still have 12.2~12.3v in my battery bank (4). Now that is with the fridge already cooled. The longest I have ran the fridge on the inverter with the fridge not cooled is about 4~5 hours. The charge in my batteries was still high enough that the Volvo low voltage protection system had not kicked in. Keep in mind if I park the truck with out shore power and charger on the low voltage protection will kick over after about 2~3 weeks.

 

Also my fridge is not a energy efficient fridge. It is what I call a dorm fridge. It is like 2.5~3 cubic feet, around 3' tall. I already had it and was just sitting in my shed. It fit perfectly in one of the cabinets in the sleeper. I thought I would not last long in a mobile environment with the bouncing around and all. After 6 years and 70k miles it is still going strong.

 

You also mentioned a generator. I have a Honda 3000is. It is mounted to the frame rail of the truck under the cab. To add it to the power system on the truck, I just added a transfer switch to the 120v shore power line. So the power out of the generator is fed in to a two breaker panel. One breaker powers the transfer switch on the truck. The second breaker powers a 30A RV outlet that I have mounted to the back of the sleeper. So when using the generator I can power both the truck system and the trailer. The only power cord I have to run is 30A shore power from the trailer to the truck. The truck is powered by simply turning on the breaker for the truck.

 

Rick,

What inverter/charger are you using?

Thanks

E.P.

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