Installing a 12 V. DC outlet - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 11-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Installing a 12 V. DC outlet

Now that we're all full of turkey, etc. I'd like to get your advice.

When I'm in a campground that has no electricity, I can use my DC batteries for power. But I want to use my AC electric razor which I can run off my DC/AC converter.

It would be nice to plug my converter into a DC outlet close to the bathroom sink.

Any ideas on where I should locate a DC outlet? I thought of running a line off the bathroom lights, but don't want wires out in the open.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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Any power port that you use for a converter/inverter should come directly from the battery and be fused. I wouldn't run one off the light circuit because the fuse may not be large enough or you may trip it out if you have other lights on while you are using the power port. Plus, and I'm just guessing here, the wiring to the lights may not be capable of handling the load.

Remember that anyone may use a power port for something else or you may sell the unit. Safety first!

As for running the lines you could come up through the vanity cabinet from the floor where you could run a wire from the batteries.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:04 AM   #3
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What about going through the breaker box?

I was thinking about using a phone jack to ensure polarity was preserved. And I can label it 12 V DC.

You're right about being safe. My next step will be to measure the load and see how many amps the converter draws when the razor is on.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:15 AM   #4
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I don't know where your breaker box is but mine is at the rear. The less distance travelled the better so coming from the battery might be shorter. The longer the run the heavier the wire that you need.

You can but proper 12V power ports from any RV store or electronics outlet. This would be best as it would bve consistent with all the other power ports in the trailer. The wires are colour coded white/black so you can't get the polarity reversed.

I wouldn't be concerned anout how many amps the razor draws. You have to size everything to the max output of the converter. Think to the future and what else you might ever plug in there as well as what happens if you sold the unit. The next person would expect the outlet to be sized correctly.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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I found that the converter pulls less than an amp when I hooked in my electric razor, and it's rated at 140 watts continuous power. A 15 amp line should do it, fused at 15 amps.

But whether I hook up to the trailer battery or breaker box, I'll still need to lay wire underneath the flooring.

There is a layer of some sort of sheeting under my trailer, and it's fastened to the trailer frame with lag screws each separated at about a foot. I pulled off a red plastic tail light cover and discovered that it was easily broken. I wonder if this sheeting is designed to be taken off and put back, or am I going to have to replace the whole sheet? That would be a bummer.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:27 AM   #6
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15 amps should be just fine. I have a layer of Coroplast under my trailer. If I had to take it off and broke it I could easily replace it by using the old one as a template. Coroplast is cheap and light which is why they used it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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Coroplast? Breakable? The stuff on my trailer seems flexible, and on the edge it's constructed like corrugated cardboard. That is, two flat surfaces sandwiching a corrugated layer. It looks flexible, but I was wondering it they epoxied it or glued it on so when I tried to remove it, it would tear.

Any thoughts on that? Or is this the Coroplast stuff?
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:45 AM   #8
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Coroplast is a sandwiched plastic. Sounds like this is what you have. They may have glued it on, I don't really know.
Here's a though though... Drill a hole at the beginning and end and use an eletricians fishtape to pull the wires through. If this works then just dab some caulking in the holes to reseal them afterwards.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:22 PM   #9
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Actually I was hoping to see under the flooring to inspect the wiring, water tanks, etc., so I guess I'll remove the screw in the corner and see if the cover is glued down.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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Removing the screw was the easy part. The sheet covering the bottom of my trailer appears to be glued down, or at least fixed in some way to keep people like me from snooping.

I see that Dutchmen had the opportunity to locate a bundle of wires exactly where I was planning to go, but instead fastened the bundle to the outside. That makes me suspect there is something occupying that space between the trailer floor and the bottom sheet.

So I'll wait until the weather turns nice and look some more.
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