Hello, I have been trying research this on the web but have been having a hard time finding direct answers to my questions.

We have a 12ft trailer that has had all the wiring pulled for a remodel however we left the breaker box. I would like to add 2 6v batteries to the trailer to run the few lights, outlets and an electric burner for cooking.

So my question is, how do you wire the battery up to the breaker box and still leave a plug in for when there is shore power?

What I do know is that we will need and inverter from the battery to make it A/C but the invertors that I see on-line all have a cigarette lighter hook up. Is there one that can be connected to the battery cables? Then how do I wire the inverter to the breaker box? Or is there a special inverter for just this need?

Lastly, how will the batteries re-charge, if I am hooked up to shore power will they re-charge?

Thank you


Tags: a/c, battery, breaker, hook, inverter, power, shore, trailer, up, wire, More…wiring

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Hi Richard: I am wondering if you have the gas cooktop range still from your conversion? I am looking for one as I am going to gas form electric for cooking. thanks, 

There is a great illustration and other info at rvtechlibrary.com that may help.

Tim,I use a double pulley on my high output Ford alternator with matched belts.Also run 2/0 gauge wire for the battery connections.

I love these conversations. To explain my setup for the benefit of the original poster and those interested...

My Cortez is running all 3 systems if you will, LP, 12v DC and 110v AC.

LP runs a catalytic heater (Wave 6) that keeps us nice and toasty with the open arrangement that is the Cortez interior (and only 20ft). I have another Wave 3 I was thinking about adding to the restroom in the rear, but not needed yet. I still have the Gasoline furnace in place, but it's not operational at the moment. Also on LP is the 3 burner stove/oven and the 2 way Fridge (LP/AC). Both the Stovetop and the fridge have electric BBQ type electronic push-button ignition, powered by a single AA battery (per unit).

DC - All lights, 2 outlets, stereo, 2 fans, and water pump run on 12v DC from a 115 a/h deep cycle for the house, and a 85 a/h Marine starting in the coach. I would like to add 2 more 115 a/h to the rear, I have room for them as I have two 3-battery trays one in front and one in the rear. Connected and charged by a 100amp alternator with a high capacity disconnect triggered by the oil pressure switch (only connects front and rear for charging while the engine is running, similar to the disconnect in a 7-round trailer plug) The rear batteries run my dash stereo, and power a 300w inverter that runs a laptop, subwoofer/speakers and a LCD monitor for watching movies on the road. This keeps the stereo from ever discharging my starting battery when dry camping as well. I always have the coach battery at full charge, as it's disconnected from the house (completely) at rest. 

AC - There is a 30 AMP shore power to a 30amp AC service panel. This powers the Fridge (and the stereo/TV when plugged into a separate outlet beside the inverter, unplug and plug into shore outlet. It runs two banks of outlets, the water heater (LP heater exploded from freezing, replaced by 2.5 gallon under sink), the rooftop AC/Heater and the 20 amp DC Converter/Charger. All lights run on DC, so the Converter takes over supplying the 12v and tops off the rear battery bank while plugged into shore power.

My only gripe with this system, without a genset, I am unable to heat water or run the rooftop AC without shorepower. Due to limited space, I have little options to add one built in. I would need to relocate the 20lb LP tank to another locations or install a fixed unit from a vanagon or conversion van underneath the unit, but I like the portability my system allows me in case I need to refill without moving the full unit. Or, I could run the "rear" battery bank in the physical front bank location (still separate circuits) to free up some space in the rear for the Genset, or a combo of both changes to give me a lot of room. 

Then, I could run the genset while driving or camping, to run the Roof AC and keep the water warm. Right now, being as insulated as the water heater is, and typically camping with hookups, I always have hot water, even stopping for lunch along the way. :)


You have two separate electrical systems. You don,t mix the two. Your 115 volt shore power is one and needs a breaker box for safety. The 12 volt or low voltage system needs a small automotive fuse box with perhaps two or three circuits. The wire is automotive for 12 volt. In my camper i use a good 12 volt battery that hooks up through the connection to my truck and charges the batter same as the vehicle battery when i am driving. When at a site with shore power i keep a small electric battery charger which i hook up to top off the charge in the back up if necessary. If you wish to use an inverter you will find that the battery alone will not supply you significant AC Power to run much more than electronic chargers for phones and computers unless you pull vehicle alternator is supplying power while the engine is running. If you have 115 volt power in your camper you will find a limited need for converted power or least thats my experience. A friendly RV repair center can give you more detailed technical advice. Good luck and safe travels

What you need in as inverter/charger which automatically transfers from battery to shore power (when available) and recharges the batteries. The output of the inverter is connected to the breaker box, incoming power goes to the inverter AC input and the inverter is connected (with cables) to the battery.  The inverter is sized to match the biggest load (microwave - AC). Google Magnum, Xantrex, Outback for a selection.



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