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97 Eagle - electrical - rocker switch and converter

eagle converter electrical

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#1 Seth

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 08:32 PM

First question - What is the function of the 3-way rocker switch on the front panel next to the thermostat?

 

I'd assumed it was on the 12v circuit to source select battery-off-shore power.

 

But that can't be it - today I took off the front panel because I was confused... now I'm not - there is NO power converter in this camper! I'm really surprised about that; maybe I shouldn't be?

 

This *does* seem to explain why, with a suspected dead batt, I'm not getting shore powered lighting.

 

The setup appears to be this:

Shore power through a 15a breaker feeds refer outlet and gfci outlet near sink.

Battery Tender plugs into gfci outlet near sink and charges batt.

Battery connections: (batt is located passenger side rear of camper under couch)

   * Two terminals exterior on passenger rear of plywood box for charging connection from the truck.

   * Light wiring to defunct battery monitor on the box under the couch, visible through open door.

   * Heavier (12ga?) B&W leads around the outside of the camper, re-enters driver's side forward, white (pos) leading to fuse box, black (neg) leading to terminal block.

   * All 12 volt distribution then comes from fuse box and terminal block, fuses marked lights, refer, water pump, furnace, 12v outlets, (unused - rear spots).

 

Second question -  should I install a power converter? I would typically be at a forest service campground (no services), or, a state CG (services available), or, setup someplace where power is within 100', and I do have a 12ga 100' extension.

 

I want to be *very* on top of power so that I always have at least 3 nights of cpap use available off 12v.

 

How do you balance the advantages of a power converter vs. just charging the battery with truck and AC/Battery Tender?

 


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#2 norcalhusky

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 08:56 PM

My 99 Hawk is the same way. I don't have a thermostat or the three way switch but the exterior 120V connection only powers a outlet for the fridge and another outlet next to it. There is no connection to any power converter or the battery. In fact, it looks like someone took what was once supposed to be the connection to the truck and wrapped it around through the front of the camper over to a house battery.

 

I am currently rebuilding my Hawk and chose not to put in a 120V connection at all. I've only ever been at a campground with hookups once and they cost more per site and I forgot to even turn on the circuit break while I was there. I'm just going to leave the 120V plug from the fridge somewhat accessible so I can pre-cool it before trips with a extension cord. I do run a solar setup.

 

If you have to run a cpap machine for 3 nights along with a furnace and lights I would imagine you need some sort of charging during that time. If you move around everyday the truck can probably do it but sitting still you might want to think of something like solar.


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#3 Seth

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 01:52 AM

I've answered my own question on the rocker switch, it's for the water pump.

Thanks for your experience of no converter. But , I'm sitting here in the garage wishing for the fan and lights ;-)

Does anyone out there think a converter is essential?

THIRD question. Does your camper make ground with a terminal on the passenger side that grinds into the truck bed, direct metal to metal contact?
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#4 Seth

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 02:21 AM

Fourth question. Is there an auto cutoff switch on the 12v side that operates when the roof is up/down?
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#5 K7MDL

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 07:19 AM

THIRD question. Does your camper make ground with a terminal on the passenger side that grinds into the truck bed, direct metal to metal contact?

 

The power and ground connections are made to the truck with wire only.  The bottom of most campers are plywood. 


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2016 F-150 FX4 XLT SCab | Ingot Silver | 6.5' | 3.5EB | 3.55 w/rear locker | Tow | IBC | 7050# GVWR | 1945# Payload | 36Gal | BFG A/T KO2 LT275/70R18E | Timbrens

2013 FWC Hawk Silver Spur | cooktop | DSI hot water | Outside shower | CR110 fridge | 120W portable Zamp panel & controller | Dual 79AH AGM batteries | gas struts | roll over couch | LED lighting inside | one piece roof | Fantastic fan | extra Vent | Furnace | Dual Propane bottles | Fiama side awning | Solar wired top and side | Mechanical Jacks

 


#6 Seth

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 03:02 PM

Thanks K7!

That makes more sense than what I'd had in mind. As it turns out, the oddly placed terminal wouldn't contact the bed; this is an older camper with tail lights, and the terminal would be *behind* the bed.

This charging circuit was originally to be hard wired to an under-hood isolator via screw terminals. I guess I'd better go for some more modern power connector - suggestions?


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#7 K7MDL

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:58 PM

Marinco Trolling Motor connector or the currently supplied Attwood 3 wire plug are common (for non tail light models). These are typically 3 wire, can be found in 2 wire. The 3rd wire is for the marker lights.  If you have tail lights and turn signals to run, you may be better off with a RV/Trailer type connector such as the classic 7 pin round.  They do have a heavy gauge center pin you can use for battery charging if you wire it up that way.  This is somewhat dependent on what wire size your truck side charging connection is.   Needs to fit the connector, but be as large as you can accomodate, maybe step the wire size down to fit at the connector.  I ran heavy wire from the truck battery to the truck bed Attwood connector which has 10GA pigtails so acted as a wire size step down.  The camper side is 10GA (on my 2013) so no harm done.  There is another thread somewhere here that talks about the 3 pin connectors, I supplied a part number and picture in it.


Edited by K7MDL, 07 July 2016 - 04:03 PM.

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2016 F-150 FX4 XLT SCab | Ingot Silver | 6.5' | 3.5EB | 3.55 w/rear locker | Tow | IBC | 7050# GVWR | 1945# Payload | 36Gal | BFG A/T KO2 LT275/70R18E | Timbrens

2013 FWC Hawk Silver Spur | cooktop | DSI hot water | Outside shower | CR110 fridge | 120W portable Zamp panel & controller | Dual 79AH AGM batteries | gas struts | roll over couch | LED lighting inside | one piece roof | Fantastic fan | extra Vent | Furnace | Dual Propane bottles | Fiama side awning | Solar wired top and side | Mechanical Jacks

 


#8 ntsqd

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 01:12 PM

If you want to keep the large gauge wire all of the way to the camper battery (recommended) then you have two choices that I know of. The Anderson Power plugs or a single contact connector made in the same receiver shell as is used for the 7 pin connectors. The former is pretty easy to find (try powerwerks.com or something close to that), Grainger, or probably Amazon, the latter will take a little digging.

 

Our camper has a converter and I've disabled and plan to remove it. Your battery charger is a much better charging device!

 

I too think that you're likely going to need solar. Search that topic here as there have been many threads about it. If you use the C-Tek Dual 250S solar charge controller it will accept power input from the alternator as well. Going this route means that the battery gets a 4 stage charge regardless of charge source, and the C-Tek unit acts as a battery isolator/separator as well.


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#9 Seth

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:38 PM

Marinco Trolling Motor connector or the currently supplied Attwood 3 wire plug are common (for non tail light models). These are typically 3 wire, can be found in 2 wire. The 3rd wire is for the marker lights. If you have tail lights and turn signals to run, you may be better off with a RV/Trailer type connector such as the classic 7 pin round...

I think my next step is to investigate the wire gauge supplying charging to the OEM 7-pin on the truck. Since I do need to connect the turn/brake/reverse lights, this might be a great start if the charging current is sufficient.

If you want to keep the large gauge wire all of the way to the camper battery (recommended) then you have two choices that I know of. The Anderson Power plugs or a single contact connector made in the same receiver shell as is used for the 7 pin connectors. The former is pretty easy to find (try powerwerks.com or something close to that), Grainger, or probably Amazon, the latter will take a little digging.

Our camper has a converter and I've disabled and plan to remove it. Your battery charger is a much better charging device!

I too think that you're likely going to need solar. Search that topic here as there have been many threads about it. If you use the C-Tek Dual 250S solar charge controller it will accept power input from the alternator as well. Going this route means that the battery gets a 4 stage charge regardless of charge source, and the C-Tek unit acts as a battery isolator/separator as well.

Thanks for the recc on power connectors. I'll need to go that way if the OEM 7-pin doesn't work out.

Stan at FWC pointed out that, if sufficient charging current can be found at the OEM 7-pin, it is typically key-controlled, and may not need to connect through an isolator at all. Will need to test that out, too.

Battery charger instead of converter - what charger are people using? I'd like a smart charger that does it all - including bulk at 5 or 6 amps, and desulphating, as well as absorption & float. Haven't found one that does high-power bulk with those other functions.

I think my plans are evolving... I'll get this thing on the road and get some experience. Of course I'm tempted to trick it out with awesome solar, with some concern that we're always looking for the shady camping spots. OTOH, reading the threads, some owners seem to depend on solar charging on the road. The truck isolator on the C-Tek solar controller sounds like a great design, the best of both worlds! My eyes are really being opened to what processor-controlled smart power control (and charging) can do...



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#10 Seth

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 05:34 PM

I've found the Ctek Multi US 7002 charger, at 7 amps, including desulphating, all the other cool charging phases, PLUS it is rated to run as a converter with the battery in or out of circuit.

Since I'm not using a compressor fridge, this would seem to be more than adequate as a converter, will charge up the batt at 7A instead of the 1.5A Battery Tender (which gets moved to the lawnmower shed).

I think that's my modest plan for immediate electrical upgrades. Even with cpap use my battery supply needs are small... At least in summer! Extended furnace use would change the picture a bit.

All respect to those on the forum with larger electrical plans; I think I've learned that a compressor fridge is a big differentiator on battery and charging needs? I don't have one, and hope the 3-way fridge will work adequately. If no ice cream or cubes in the drinks can be called adequate!


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