Direct or alternating current, 12 volts or 120 volts, 30 or 50 amps?

The electrical system of a recreational vehicle may seem complex, unless you have an electrical training or you are a lover of technology. Here at last the operation clearly explained.

A VR system includes a 12 volt direct current (DC) and a 120 volt alternating current (AC). In the case of a motor, you can add the system chassis 12 volt DC motor. What losing his head, for some! Here we look more specifically the system 120 volts AC and 12 volt CD system from the cockpit.

In the vast majority of campgrounds, you can connect your vehicle to a power source of 120 volts. Your RV is equipped with a power cord high capacity, a length of approximately 25 ft. The electrical system has usually a capacity of 30 amps, there is a 50 amp RV on larger or premium. When you connect to the circuit of the campground, all your RV equipment are supplied.

The system supplies the 120 volt TV, air conditioner, microwave, fridge in electric mode, the stereo if it is the type house and 120 volt electrical outlets. All other accessories work on 12 volt DC system. This includes lighting, heating, fans, water pump, in short, all these devices that can operate when the RV is not plugged in because they will be supplied by the battery. When your RV is connected to 120 volts, a part of this current is converted by the 12 volt converter box power of VR.

If you open the power panel of the VR, you will see the circuit breakers similar to those of your home's electrical panel. These serve to 120 volts while the RV is used fuses for automotive type 12 volt. If the RV is not plugged in, you can use all the equipment operating on 12 volts, provided that the VR is equipped with a deep cycle battery (DP) and that it displays a minimum voltage. The household appliances require at least 10.5 volts to work properly.

Motor homes are equipped with a battery to the chassis and a battery compartment for the DP. The battery housing is recharged while the engine is running, the generator is running or the RV is plugged. In the case of an RV towed, the towing vehicle recharges the battery with power of the comforter. This is the weak point of this type of recreational vehicle. As the voltage regulator on the alternator is playing on the car battery, when it displayed a high voltage, it will reduce the efficiency of the alternator to avoid damaging the battery. A lesser amount of energy will be channeled to the caravan. The small diameter of the long connecting son to the caravan towing vehicle creates resistance which further reduces the energy supplied to the battery (DP) of the latter.

Recharge the battery

The battery allows you to be independent when there is no electrical service. Adding extra batteries will prolong your stay in a rally, festival or on a campsite in the wilderness, for example. But you should reload! The generator frame is efficient enough to accomplish the task for a long time on the road. If you trust the charger converter to do it, you'll need a long period of time. If you operate the generator to recharge the batteries, then you will pass through the converter, yet it is not very effective, its performance is usually only five amps.

Suppose that a caravan has four batteries (DP) of 100 amps. This gives a theoretical reserve of 400 amps. However, if one wants to preserve the life of these batteries, do not recharge within 50% of their reserves. The real subject becomes useful only 200 amp. / Hour. Converter with a 5 amp, it will then count 40 hours before the batteries are fully charged. Proportionally, 30 amp charger will much less time to perform the task.

Some basics

In the majority of campgrounds you will find a 30 amp electrical outlet where you can plug in your RV. The oldest land and national parks may offer just a regular intake of domestic type. You are then connected to a service of 15 or 20 amps. It will limit the use of your equipment and you will manage electricity demand using a device at a time. You could damage some appliances if the voltage or amperage provided is inadequate. It will be possible to operate the air conditioner on a 15 amp circuit, but on condition that no other device functions. An inadequate voltage will quickly burn the air conditioner compressor.

Even with a 30 amp power supply, you must manage your energy demand. Add up the air conditioner (13 amps.), The electric water heater (8 amp.) And a hair dryer (13 amps.), And you'll blow the breaker. Not very nice if this happens and the breaker is in a locked box, while the staff is gone! A supply of 30 amps gives you a capacity of 3600 W (30 amps x 120 volts = 3600 W), if you look at the technical specifications of a device, you will know what he consumes in watts or amps and do some math for you avoid unpleasant surprises.

Equip yourself with a voltmeter, you can plug into and monitor the quality of food. The quality of electrical service of a field may vary depending on demand, if a hot day, everyone runs the air conditioner, there may be a voltage drop. A voltmeter connected to a place where it is easily visible will allow you to monitor changes. Household appliances and electronics must operate within a range varying from 105 to 135 volts. If you exceed these parameters, (which is very common in Mexico, for example) can damage your equipment. A glance at your voltmeter from time to time you will avoid surprises and perhaps costly repairs.

Buy with peace of mind

Caravanes de la Petite Nation is an affiliated
dealer of the RV care program in Outaouais