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Electrical upgrade planning (38KSSB)

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  • Electrical upgrade planning (38KSSB)

    In my previous coach, I had upgraded to four Trojan T-105 batteries, whole-house inverter, etc. I yanked all of this before trading in, and now am starting to plan the install for this coach.

    For my last project, I created detailed electrical drawings showing before and after. Iíll do the same here, and will make them available. In my searching (so far) I havenít found any drawings for a factory standard 38KSSB (there is a homemade set of drawings for another model in these forums that Iíll study). Am I missing a source for drawings? In particular, Iíve not had a coach before with the 1K watt refrigerator inverter, and Iím not sure how DRV has this wired.

    Also, does anyone have a source for amp-hr specs for the factory-installed batteries? They donít seem to have any markings.

    Last edited by Tim; 12-06-2018, 09:36 AM. Reason: Added tags

  • #2
    Tim, there are no full coach wiring diagrams that I am aware of. As for your inverter, I need to know year of coach and manufacturer of inverter.
    Bill & Jody
    2018 Cumberland (modified!)
    2016 F450 DRW4X hauler


    • #3
      The only thing the 1k inverter powers is the fridge--I believe it is wired directly to the fridge. Mine is now gone with the solar install, so can't check for a breaker/fuse/etc. And, no, there won't be any drawings/schematics/etc. available. In fact, I don't believe the installers follow much of a plan as much as their feelings each day.
      2005 36TK3 #1869
      2010 F450 Lariat


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wingnut60 View Post
        In fact, I don't believe the installers follow much of a plan as much as their feelings each day.
        Hahaha. I figured as much.

        WCodwise I have a 2018 38KSSB. I'll have to pull up the specific model on the installed inverter, but I know it is a Magnum 1000 watt. My panel has a circuit breaker for a "reefer" which I'll have to test if that isolates the inverter or just the 120V from shore power. That might give me a clue as to how it is wired, no?

        Wingnut60, For your solar install, did you do a whole-house inverter? Or did you create a sub panel for the circuits provided from the solar/batteries?

        Last edited by Tim; 12-06-2018, 11:38 PM. Reason: Added rest of answer to question.


        • #5
          Being full time, and not particularly adept at electrical work, I had the solar install done by AMSolar--originally the 7 panels only charged the 4 Lifeline AGMs because I did not indicate that is what I wanted, and AMSolar did not ask. During the install, the 'whole-house' concept popped up, but they did not have timeslot to do the further extensive work. I had one of their recommended installers in TX finish the system to where everything but the AC/water heater/fireplace can be run off the solar. Every accessible outlet in the trailer is powered. Now have 2812 Magnum inverter/converter and it feeds a sub-panel and the original CB panel. I do not know the particulars of how every wire is run. I also have the Battery Monitor panel now in the control area where the original inverter control was, and the system is Bluetoothed to our phones to monitor whenever needed.
          At the time, I felt we wanted to spend more time dry-camping and needed some solar--circumstances since then have prevented all but 2 instances of 5 days each without shore power. And now we seek open areas for sunlight instead of shade as before--this has to be considered if camping in warm temps and AC may be needed. Also have the 5.5kw Onan if needed.
          I have about $12k invested in the total setup--certainly, I could have spent a lot of nights in CGs with full hookups for that amount, but that was not my intent. And if you have the ability, several forums have writeups on how to DIY and save better than 50-60%. We still anticipate more forest service time this summer in Colorado to see if the batteries/solar will equal the fresh water supply/black tank fill.
          You are probably already up on 6volt batteries, but thought I'd mention that I have the 4x300ah Lifeline batteries, but because they are seriesed into 12volt, than paralleled, the total ah available is only 600, and to maintain battery life, only 50% of that should be used--300ah.
          Look for posts by Chad Heiser for his install on a Suites, very excellent help.
          Hope this helps.
          Last edited by Wingnut60; 12-07-2018, 12:01 PM.
          2005 36TK3 #1869
          2010 F450 Lariat


          • #6
            Wingnut60 Thank you. were you happy with the work done by AMSolar and the recommended installer in Texas? I'm considering contracting this out :-) I did it all myself last time (except the solar part) and so I have some good ideas of what I want. But, I have a number of other projects too...


            • #7
              I have no complaints about either AMSolar or Greg Young, the tech in Texas. His website is Everything was done professionally--if I had even tried to save money by DIY, it would have come out looking like it, and prob not worked.
              2005 36TK3 #1869
              2010 F450 Lariat


              • #8
                Tim, you are correct, I think. Breaker supplies power to inverter, When that line is live, power is fed through relay directly back to fridge. At power line loss relay trips and inverter takes over.
                Bill & Jody
                2018 Cumberland (modified!)
                2016 F450 DRW4X hauler


                • #9
                  On RVNetwork.Com, the Escapees group, look for Chad Haiser. He did a custom solar/full house install on his RV. He may be on this site as well. I know he is an HDT member.
                  Alie & Jim
                  2017 Memphis
                  98 Volvo Pickup


                  • #10
                    DRV does a fair job of upgrading and in some cases was worth the option to have the work already done.

                    I upgraded to the Magnum 3012 inverter (hybrid 3000 watts). That included 4 no-name but apparently Trojan 6 volt batteries, the inverter, remote panel and battery monitor. These are items that lead up to a SOLAR addition.

                    When DRV does this upgrade they run a subpanel from the inverter. So my 'pass through' inverter will run everything except the AC's, fire place and dishwasher (and now CheapHeat).
                    DRV splits the batteries, 2 on one side and 2 on the opposite side, not the most efficient way.
                    They also do not wire in the battery monitor and shunt to use all four battereis, the monitor is only connected to the pair of door side batteries.

                    Also ordered option was the upgrade of SOLAR wires from the roof. The upgrade is from 10 AWG to 4 AWG. That was pricey and had I known with the optioned closet safe removed I would have had easy access to the roof I would have done my own wire upgrade for a fraction of the cost.

                    A plus for me with the battereis being split across the bay was an extra 10' of black and red 4/0 wire.

                    I have since moved the inverter to the off door side battery compartment (under the hydraulic pump).
                    The door side compartment is now a tool box
                    The extra 4/0 wire was sufficient to allow moving the batteries up into the front closet, and those batteries are LiFEPO4's, so no issues being in the closet. A bonus to that is they are now in a "conditioned" space.

                    And I just received my SOLAR panels this week so that is the next project if I can get the trailer into my buddies shop soon.

                    2019 DRV MS 39DBRS3
                    2011 F-350 DRW


                    • #11
                      I havenít been around this site for a little while, but since I was mentioned above I figured I would add my two cents. There are some good professional installers out there and there are some bad ones. Finding a good one can be tough depending on what part of the country you are in. I ended up doing my own install (and several other installs for some friends). It saved me (and them) a LOT of money. My buddy got an estimate from AM Solar (who does very good work by the way) for a large system on his DRV. I ended up installing basically the same system I have in my rig in his rig (which was equivalent to the system quoted by AM Solar) for a significantly cheaper price (he was very happy with the savings). I donít want to blow up anyoneís spot, but it was a five figure savings under the AM Solar estimate. The savings came about because we bought in bulk for multiple installs I planned to do and shared many of the expenses among multiple people. Of course there were no labor charges because I did all the installs with some labor assistance from each of my buddies I was doing the install for. I also got lucky and found some fantastic deals that I probably couldnít duplicate again on some of the components. If you have the ability and the time, you can really save yourself a lot of money by doing the install yourself and sourcing your own parts.

                      Thereís nothing wrong with hiring the job out. Just make sure the installer does good work and uses good components and be prepared to pay for the convenience.

                      Here is a link to a detailed write up I did about my system on Escapees. It includes links to the components I used, pictures of my system and a wiring diagram of my system. If you have any questions, let me know.
                      2000 Kenworth T2000 w/ Cummins N14 and autoshift
                      2017 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4