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Old 04-04-2008, 12:50 PM   #1
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Main Breaker and Hooking to Shore Power?

From the small projects thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowracer
Great Idea. I also used a label maker to label right above the connection point:

110V MAIN CB OFF

just as a reminder that the main breaker has to be off before connecting or disconnecting this plug. I've labelled a lot of stuff in the van as reminders since I don't like reading the manual every time we camp.
What exactly does "has to be off" mean? I've never flipped the main breaker and have plugged and unplugged my van 100s of times.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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They told me at SMB when I picked up my van to turn off the main breaker before plugging it in. I think it ALSO says this on the info sticker I have above the driver's visor. I've plugged in without doing so, and get sparks but no damage. I think they're maybe worried about some surge-ish issue? So now I drop the main before plugging in. Would be a heck of a lot more convenient to have a switch next to the plug port!
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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Just don't forget to switch it back to "on" after plugging in or you won't be recharging your batteries (at least I don't think so). The owner's manual says to do this as well, although I forgot about it for a couple months. I saw the brief sparks when plugging in but as far as I know, no damage was done.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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I'm not sure why that 110v breaker has to be off, it just says it in the manual. So I made a bunch of stickers to remind myself of what's in the manual so I don't have to get the manual out. I have a sticker on the dash with a checklist of all the things that have to happen before I can start the vehicle, stuff like:

LP GAS OFF
3A FUSE IN
FURNACE OFF
110V MAIN CB OFF

Some of these items don't actually make sense because if the LP GAS is OFF then the furnace probably doesn't need to be off because it won't run when the gas is off. But that's what the manual says so we run the checklist before each trip.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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Lowracer,

SMB's now come with a couple of those checklist stickers above the driver's visor. Perhaps someone who's in good with SMB can get the image files and post them here so anyone who wants can just print on a sticker and solve?

Or, perhaps you can upload yours...
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:17 PM   #6
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They suggest to kill the breaker so the plug (at the van and the end of the extension cord) won't pick up a load which will cause damage to the plug due to arcing. Killing the power or dropping the load can be done in the van at the main or at the source provided there is some type of switch or breaker. You should avoid plugging a hot extension cord when possible. Eventually the plug can create heat and lead to electrical failure and possibly become a fire hazard. I bought a heavy amp construction GFI jumper (it's a couple feet long) and use it as a switch at the source. With the GFI indicator off, I plug into the van and then turn on the GFI. Arcing can also occur while pulling out the plug, so I also turn it off before un-plugging. I really do not need to go into the van unless I have to turn something on. My solar does most of the charging so no reason to climb in. The best way would be to build a dedicated 50 amp box that has a breaker in it and turn that breaker on and off so you're not putting needless wear on your internal breaker in the van. I would rather have problems with a box at home than a breaker in the van on the road. For the most part, breakers are not designed as switches rather as safety devices. The jumper might not handle heavy loads such as the Starcool (it would have to be rated about 50 amps) and can only supply the smaller loads to things like battery charging, the refrigerator, fans and stuff like that. So if there is no way to keep the power cord dead while plugging it in, your breaker in the van will be your only choice unless you install a rated electrical switch. A rated electrical switch made for continuous operation is definitely better than breaker or even a GFI especially if you have no idea how to change out breakers.

http://shop.sailnet.com/product_info.ph ... l|wire.jpg
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