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Old 11-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

I just bought a SMB 2004 EB51, 5.4L the conv was done winter of 2004. It has, as far as elec, a 4D house batt, refrigerator, microwave, Starcool III, sink pump, elec PH and I think a converter/charger only, no inverter.
Questions:
1) How do I charge the house batt, do I turn the breaker switches on or off while plugged into my garage outlet?

2) Do I need to leave the eng running while raising/lowering the PH?

3) I don't see any DC outlets (except the one on the dash) but a few AC outlets. Are the AC outlets only usable when plugged into shore power?

4) How do I know if the house batt is charged or if it is even any good, it is the original batt?

5) Can I buy a 2000 Honda generator and plug it into the shore power inlet and use the AC outlets in the van?

6) I'd like to have some DC outlets for a fan or elec blanket, shouldn't there be some DC outlets or do I need to add them?

7) Will the microwave run on the house batt or do I need AC power?

8) Is the AC to be run with the eng only?

9) Is this info available somewhere?

Sorry for all the questions, just new and confused.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:26 PM   #2
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

I will take #9 for you.
Sounds like you a missing the Owners Manual.
If you are, you can find one on this link:
viewtopic.php?p=766#p766

I would answer more, but my electrical setup is different from most.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:16 AM   #3
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

I'll answer what I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehc0720
1) How do I charge the house batt, do I turn the breaker switches on or off while plugged into my garage outlet?
Yes, you will need to figure out which one, sometimes they are labelled but it is the breaker that feeds an outlet inside the bench that the charger is plugged into.

Quote:
2) Do I need to leave the eng running while raising/lowering the PH?
It couldn't hurt, especially while raising. Though I've raised and lowered mine plenty with the engine off.

Quote:
3) I don't see any DC outlets (except the one on the dash) but a few AC outlets.
My 2002 EB50 has a DC outlet above the RH side behind the barn doors, and one near the sink.

Quote:
Are the AC outlets only usable when plugged into shore power?
Yes; unless you have an inverter maybe? (?)

Quote:
4) How do I know if the house batt is charged or if it is even any good, it is the original batt?
Plenty of threads on this. Look at installing a Xantrex battery monitor.

Quote:
5) Can I buy a 2000 Honda generator and plug it into the shore power inlet and use the AC outlets in the van?
Yes. Probably the best accessory you could get.

Quote:
6) I'd like to have some DC outlets for a fan or elec blanket, shouldn't there be some DC outlets or do I need to add them?
See above. They are chrome with a black rubber cap.

Quote:
8) Is the AC to be run with the eng only?
Look at Starcool manual (links are on here) and many threads. Bottom line (I think) is you need a generator.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

Thanks all. I read the manual and didn't all make sense to me, need to re-read maybe a few times and do some experimenting. There is no inverter btw. There is a constant green light on under the sofa too dark to see last night, I'll investigate more today. And I found a DC outlet directly above the side doors, thanks again!!
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehc0720
Questions:
1) How do I charge the house batt, do I turn the breaker switches on or off while plugged into my garage outlet?

I will contradict others who think they need to switch on the main power panel to charge the battery through shore power connection. It may be due to my install configuration (standard SMB West in 2010), but you can easily verify this by plugging a cheap voltmeter into your house DC outlet before charging and during. If it registers 12 volts or less before you start charging and then registers 13 volts or more while you are charging with the main panel switched off then you won't need this panel on.

2) Do I need to leave the eng running while raising/lowering the PH?

Clarifying what someone else said, NO. If you find it's not working well unless the engine is on that may be an indication that the house battery is too low.

4) How do I know if the house batt is charged or if it is even any good, it is the original batt?

SMB provides a cheap hand held DC voltmeter as standard equipment. You don't have to spend a lot of money to measure battery voltage. Go to Sears and they can help you out with this (also see question #1).

6) I'd like to have some DC outlets for a fan or elec blanket, shouldn't there be some DC outlets or do I need to add them?

An electric blanket is probably not going to be an effective use of your battery. I suspect it will draw it down too fast and you may want to be plugged into AC when using that blanket. Fans can be a pretty big drag too...

7) Will the microwave run on the house batt or do I need AC power?

Clarifying what someone else said, YES. Since you don't have an inverter you can't power AC appliances with a battery.

8) Is the AC to be run with the eng only?

Clarifying what someone else said, YES, but only because it is such a big draw on the batteries and you don't have solar to help out. Even with solar I suspect it would be a similar situation to question #6.

9) Is this info available somewhere?

Clarifying what someone else said, YES, but don't forget to look up those component manuals as well. SMB's owners manual leave a lot to be desired. Look at the label plates on each component in your van (may need a flashlight and long neck and may need to move some stuff out of the way) to get the manufacturer's name and model number - then go online and google them to find the manuals (or use this forum to see if you can't find some of them).

Sorry for all the questions, just new and confused.

No need to feel sorry on this forum

P.S. That green light under the couch is the battery separater.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

Adding to the above information.

#1 This could depend on your setup, I expect that having the just a converter/charger I would say yes. Probably the 30 Amp breaker . and then one of the 15 Amp breakers. Those with inverters may have a different situation, I know my Tripp-lite is before the 30 Amp breaker, to get it to charge it needs to be in Charge or Auto mode. I would expect other inverters would be similar, but they may not.

#4 There are many threads on the forum about batteries, I would look them over. A voltmeter can tell you a lot about the battery, but it isn't always the convenient thing. There are monitors that keep track of the battery charge, I believe someone mentioned the Xantrex Battery Monitors. There are other brands that do similar features, I personally own the Xantrex XBM and like it a lot. I highly recommend that you read this link http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm The 12 volt side of life is a good resource for understanding the battery in your RV.

#8 Yes & No. The Starcool III is two air-conditioning systems sharing some common resources. Again the link that was given you for the manual also has Starcool Manuals if you don't have one. So when you are driving and turn on the AC you will need to run the starcool also at the same time. When you are parked and plugged in you can also run the starcool, you need to have the starcool breaker on, and also have the thermostat set to cool, and of course the temperature set also. It will not run off of the battery it needs to be plugged in. There is a newer rear air unit called the Danhard that can be run off of the batteries.

#9 Yes, a good place to start is viewtopic.php?f=2&t=186. It should also have some links to some of the equipment that is in your van. I started that from my van and it is also a 2004. Just beware that the PO could have changed things, also SMB has changed things over the years, so some of things that are common on today's rigs were not available in 2004.

Speaking of the green light. It may not a separator. They did not start putting them in until around late spring / early summer. It is possible that you have an isolator instead. The isolator is listed in the 2004 manual.

Just take your time learning all the stuff and have fun. And remember the forum members are always ready to help you spend more money on your rig.

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Old 11-10-2011, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

Thanks, everyone. Being new to this is kinda fun, at the same time a little over whelming with not knowing everything about the van and the cost. I'm heading out tomorrow for a 3-day weekend with my girl friend and my dogs, should be interesting!!!
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

As far as your Starcool, some owners opted out of the shore power Starcool compressor. The thing is huge and if you have one you should be able to see it. Mine is mounnted just forward of the rear axle on the driver side. There are some specific ways to run it and if you can't find it in the manual, PM me and I'll give you a hand.

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Old 11-11-2011, 07:46 AM   #9
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

Greg,

"Speaking of the green light. It may not a separator. They did not start putting them in until around late spring / early summer. It is possible that you have an isolator instead. The isolator is listed in the 2004 manual." .

This van's conversion was completed in Feb. 05. So do you think I have a separator or an isolater, and what is the preferred one to have?
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Re: Need help figuring out the electric in my new to me SMB.

Separator's are preferred these days. I had several problems with the Surepower units as did other SMB owners so SMBW switched to the Blue Sea magnetic relay. I'm the beta tester for the 7622 with remote and so far so good. But there are many owners running the surepower unit that aren't having problems and I don't want to trash something that works for many.

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