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Old 11-17-2006, 07:10 AM   #1
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Newmar, as well as other MH manufacturers, use MSW (modified sine wave) inverters in virtually every model. While a MSW inverter will work well with most electrical devices found in the average coach, there are some exceptions.

* Microwave cooking appliances
* Some chargers for re-chargable devices.
* Some digital conrtolled devices.

I know, some are saying "My microwave works fine on my inverter". Well it may seem that way, but did you ever notice it makes a slight hum? Continued use of operating most, if not all, microwaves on a MSW inverter will damage the unit. It will not fail completely, but rather cook inefficiently even on shore power, genset or other TSW (true sine wave) source.

Chargers. Some will work, others not. No damage.

Digital controlled devices such as automatic cappachino makers may show an error and no complete their cycle. No damage.

So, why don't they put or offer TSW inverters in coaches to begin with? I don't know, other than the higher cost. My DSDP had a MSW and so does my new Essex.

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Old 11-17-2006, 07:10 AM   #2
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Newmar, as well as other MH manufacturers, use MSW (modified sine wave) inverters in virtually every model. While a MSW inverter will work well with most electrical devices found in the average coach, there are some exceptions.

* Microwave cooking appliances
* Some chargers for re-chargable devices.
* Some digital conrtolled devices.

I know, some are saying "My microwave works fine on my inverter". Well it may seem that way, but did you ever notice it makes a slight hum? Continued use of operating most, if not all, microwaves on a MSW inverter will damage the unit. It will not fail completely, but rather cook inefficiently even on shore power, genset or other TSW (true sine wave) source.

Chargers. Some will work, others not. No damage.

Digital controlled devices such as automatic cappachino makers may show an error and no complete their cycle. No damage.

So, why don't they put or offer TSW inverters in coaches to begin with? I don't know, other than the higher cost. My DSDP had a MSW and so does my new Essex.

Peter
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:16 AM   #3
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Agreed! Go figure...
I guess that a couple hundred dollars multiplied over a dozen or so should-have-why-not upgrades and now you are talking real dollars.
Personally, If I could, I'll trade all the eye-candy-bling things in order to get the best in the systems-infrastructure components any day. After all, the PA-tee-nah of most modern plastic and chrome bling wears away long before the pure-sine-wave goes flat.
But marketing will tell you that opinion is in the lowly minority.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:33 AM   #4
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Peter, you would do well to contact fellow iRV2 member John Canfield,who you'll find mostly over in the Winnebago forum.
I know he for one,did away with the Dimensions inverter/charger and added a Xantrex unit.

I think he'd be a great bounce source for some convo from you....He's retired from one of Ma Bell's divisions and a pretty sharp fellow.
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:40 AM   #5
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Hi! Peter in our coach we ordered the all electric. We were told that the Magnum 3100 Watt inverter that comes with it was a pure sine wave inverter (to use their wording). We had the same model in our 2006 DSDP that was all electric. Is ours Modified or True? Where do you hang your hat in Florida? Paul
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:00 AM   #6
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Paul, The Essex comes with a 3100 watt Magnum modified sine wave. If you check you will probably find that your DSDP was a MSW also.
We are in River Bend Motor Coach Resort in Alva Florida. We really like it here.
I met John and Pam with an '05 DSDP. They met you at one of the rallys either Essex Junction or in the Smokies. They have a lot here too.

Peter
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:31 AM   #7
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I posted a document in the RV Tech Library regarding the differences between modified sine wave and true sine wave that you can access at http://www.rvtechlibrary.com/electrical/inverters.htm. It pretty much backs what Peter is saying.

I've had three RVs so far and I've put true sine wave inverters into every one of them. My first RV was a 33' Itasca Suncruiser. Winny only offered a small 400 watt inverter for the TV so I skipped it and installed a Prosine 2500 inverter that fed every outlet in the coach as well as the microwave/convection oven. I had to double up on batteries because it only came with two but it did a great job.

When I bought my 2004 Allegro Bus it came with a 2,000 watt Freedom 458 inverter that ran the microwave and a few (not all) outlets in the coach. I noticed that my Sharp microwave tended to "growl" more than purr when running on the inverter. I also wanted more outlets but the Freedom 458 was limited by it's two circuit breakers on the inverter so I ripped it out and installed a Xantrex Prosine 2000, which was a true sine wave inverter. Now the microwave ran nice and smooth and the clock kept accurate time. I also installed a different breaker panel system with EMS and a sub-panel for the inverter fed circuits.

With the 2007 42' Bus we went with the residential refrigerator option. It came with a Xantrex RV3012 inverter - again a modified sine wave unit. This was a new floor plan that had just come out and the inverter selection was also new to Tiffin. What they found out was that the Amana 21 cu ft residential refrigerator had issues with modified sine wave. The in-door ice maker and water dispenser (hey, I never did say we were "roughing it" ) would fail, smoke, and make all sorts of electrical sounds. The digital control circuitry boards just plain fried when on modified sine wave power. I knew this going in so I had a Xantrex RS3000 inverter sitting in my garage 2 weeks ahead of time just waiting for the new coach to arrive. It was my first modification.

The dumb thing is that the coach builders don't have a clue. They're still buying modified sine wave inverters because that's the way they always did it. But today's coaches are becoming some pretty sophisticated electronic devices and they just don't like yesteryear's inverters. Plus, the true sine wave inverters aren't all that expensive. I bought both my RS2000 and the RS3000 from www.DonRowe.com. I paid about $1500 for the RS2000 a few years ago and $1,937 for the RS3000 a month or so ago. And these are retail prices. A coach builder can go direct to Xantrex and cut a deal for some quantity at a far better price. The higher cost argument just doesn't apply. It's just that the coach builders don't have a clue what's going on.
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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Hey Cruzer.....NICE POST!

Am I gonna have to put you on double secret probation to get a new pic in your sig?
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:50 AM   #9
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Hey Peter, do you think it's worth the effort to convert our MSW's to TSW's?
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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Hey Mark, great post.
Bob, Yes, I think I will replace mine next summer. Get a little use out of this one, and besides, I don't need my inverter much in the winter as the coach is plugged in here in Florida most of the time. We will be taking a couple of short trips from here for a few days but for now I'm going to live with it.

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Old 11-18-2006, 07:04 PM   #11
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You can always turn on the Gen can't you.
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Old 11-19-2006, 05:24 AM   #12
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Yes you can start the genset, but for stuff like our cappachino maker requires starting it each time. Additionally, I'm going to look into the possibility of long term damage to the all electric Fridigdar. I don't really know if in fact that is an issue, however some makes have experienced problems over time operating on MSW.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:15 AM   #13
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I do believe Peter is on to something, with respect to the possible damage to electrical components as a result of modified sine wave.

Something a little off tilt but somewhat relateed is that my golf cart builder "fried" my new DVD/NAV/XM player in the new golf cart by using a modified sine wave inverter.
I'm just off the phone with him and he said it had to be that as he had the unit working fine with straight 12V.
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:51 PM   #14
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There's one other electrical component in coaches that may have problems with MSW inverters and that is GFCI recepticles. There's a list of the ones that didn't pass their tests on the Xantrex website. I was having phantom trips of the GFCI in the bathroom of my Monaco Diplomat and when I replaced it with one of the approved ones the problem was fixed.
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