Give me a moment. I’m going to draw as much of the RV as I actually can. Hang tight, and then you’re going to see this go fast. Ta-da, done. I’m going to draw the wires to each thing; red is going to be AC. First I’ll draw a box around, representing the RV. That’s the AC system, so it comes in. You always have breakers for safety. Without breakers, this converter could malfunction or any one of these could malfunction; take so much power that the power makes your wiring hot and burns your RV up, maybe with you inside. Breakers are very important. Anytime you see the word ‘breaker’,
it’s a switch that flicks off. It’s like a fuse, but you can turn the breaker back on. You go in the breaker, goes converter, go over here, go to a breaker box; this could be the same breaker box. I didn’t want to redraw this. Then each one of these things is on a circuit, or has its own breaker, and it goes over to them.
Let’s draw the DC system. There’s the DC system. This is how it works: You go into the converter, converts red AC into blue DC which is used by your system, a battery. When you’re on sure power, the battery is charged via the converter. In fact, I want to get rid of the generator just for this picture. I think that’s less confusing. The battery gets charged, and one you’re on sure power is just being charged, you don’t really use the battery. Then the power from the converter goes over to these fuses. The fuses work like breakers, except when a fuse burns out, you just have to replace it. They’re usually little, short, colored fuses you push in and out. Then this goes out to each one of . . . that is the DC system in an RV. This is a nice overview on how the AC and DC systems work.
Let’s see what happens when we boondock, when we don’t have AC power. This is your system when you’re boondocking. We can add in generators and we can do other things, but let’s just deal with when you’re boondocking. Now we got power coming off the battery because this is the only thing that’s stored power. You can have more batteries if you wanted, and a lot of people do that. The amount of time you could be boondocking is controlled by how many batteries you have. Remember I told you that Volts x Amps = Watts, which is power? When you buy a battery, you can buy on their sizes based on watt hours; how many watts it can produce over time. Actually, its amp hours is what they call it. This battery is producing all the power for this, and I think something is funny here. The first thing I’m going to actually get rid of is the thermostat, because really without the heating system and the cooling system, you don’t really need a thermostat. You got the windows. I’m pretty sure our heater won’t run without AC power. You can ignite it, but you can’t run the fans and the blowers, not very good. Even if you did run it off DC, it wouldn’t run but for just a minute. Let’s talk about what you can do.
Your refrigerator uses LP gas. What do you use this for? Ignite; that will ignite your fridge, it’ll run the controls, it’ll check temperature and all that, so you can have refrigeration when you’re boondocking. You can have hot water when you’re boondocking; that’s cool. All the DC power needs to do is, again, ignite. The flames and the hot water heater, that’s to heat your water, you can have hot water. Lights will be your biggest consumer of power, that’s why I recommend switching to LED lights. That’s why in RV52, I spend a lot of time giving you an RV LED light selector guide. You can find that in my menu at the top; Tools. Home>Tools, and you’ll see RV LED Light Selectors. LED are 5 times more efficient, so instead of 5 hours of lighting, you might have 25 hours of lighting. Very important to do. The range; my open range doesn’t even require electric DC to ignite because I just light it myself with a clicker, it’s got a sparker.
Then finally, this is really cool; you don’t need this if you’re tapped onto a water source, but if you’re not and you filled your freshwater tanks, you can turn on a water pump and have pressure. You can have cool food, cook and eat, see at night, have hot water, take showers, and wash hands; do all these things. You could literally run off a DC battery, especially if you’re judicious with your lights, all weekend. You can get your RV in the middle of nowhere. How cool is that? Anyway, that’s an overview of the DC system.