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RV Electrical 101 (or something even easier)


grahamr83
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I just bought a 1986 Wanderlust from a generally unknowledgeable owner, who hardly used any aspect of the coach and had very little information to impart about its function. This was a bummer, as I haven't owned or operated an RV before and know very little as to the function of the electrical systems and appliances onboard. I've now done a bit of research, but still feeling a little stumped on a few things.

Background info: it has 2 deep cycle batteries (which are pooched and I'm replacing), a few solar panels on the roof (45W total) with a Solar Charge Controller, there is also an inverter tucked away in a cupboard beside a big red switch that talks about inverters and backfeeding (see pic).

My questions are:
1. When plugging in to the house 120V (or campground), do I need to do anything other than plugging it to get the resulting powering of the coach, and charging of the batteries?

2. I've been reading about converters when plugging into land power. Is this different than the solar charge controller? What does this look like?

3. When wanting to operate my 120V plugs in the coach, while not plugged in to a 120V land source, does the inverter (typically) need to be turned on? Are there other steps that need to happen so that I don't fry my electrical system/die a fiery death of avoidable mishaps?

4. How does "backfeeding" work with RVs? I've read about it when you're plugged into the grid using solar in a residential system, but not with RVs.

Thats all for now, but I'm sure your answers will stir up more questions for me. Thank you in advance for all your help.

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It looks like someone knew what they were doing if you are back feeding your 120 volt system with an inverter you have to turn off the charger or it will try to charge the very battery you are taking power from with diminishing returns. It the case of being plugged in nothing else is required other than making sure you charger is turned on so it can do its job. I'm not following your "back feeding" and solar. The solar charge controller works on voltage if it's high enough above solar voltage the controller will basically shut down so no you should not have to do anything.

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