A/C Dist Panel

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    I have three places to use  A.C power.  Battery charger, outlet in the cabin and outlet in the galley.  Do I need a $136.00 A/C distribution panel?



    No. That comes with a few caveats to come at the end.

    Overload/shortcircuit protection. Don’t rely on the protection at the campground source. Get a shore power cable that has current protection built in, along with GFCI. Not expensive nor hard to find. That protects everything in your teardrop.

    I sized for 20 amps but you could do 15 amps and save more on the cord. All the wiring and receptacles after the shore connection should be sized at or above the protection at the cord.

    The caveats are that if you are needing an inverter to get 120VAC out of your battery, you will need something different. If your total anticipated 120v loads exceed the shore cable protection you need something different.

    For me, the biggest downfall of an AC distribution box is the depth into the galley. I had one, never installed it, and sold it, and used a small 12v fuse box.

    *Legalese : I am an electrical engineer, but I’m not your electrical engineer :-).  And I’ve been drinking.



    I set up my shore power for 20 amp 120 VAC service. With everything plugged in and running I should draw less than 13 amps but the main power hogs, a hot plate and a small space heater should not pull more than 75% of the systems amp rating when run continuously, hence the 20 amp capacity. The shore power feeds into a 20 amp marine circuit breaker in the cabin, which feeds a 20 amp gfic/arc suppression outlet in the same gang box, which in turn feeds a standard 20 amp outlet in the galley. My battery power station plugs directly into the galley 120 outlet when charging on shore power. It’s all very simple with no fancy distribution panel. If you are running a TV, refrigerator, AC or other high draw electronics then a fancier system might well be called for.

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