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Old 08-20-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
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Our family has recently upgraded from a 1994 34' Winnebago gas to a '98 Alpine Diesel, 36'. It's in need of a fair amount of work but is mechanically very solid. Basically, I'm very happy with it so far, and yes, it does drive great as I've read since we starting looking for a diesel.
My question is the inverter. It has a 1000 watt which currently runs the lights, back TV and front TV just fine. I'm surprised though that none of the other AC outlets work as I'd like to use the coffee maker early in the morning when we dry camp without waking the lazy bums. Is this how they were wired in '98 due to the smaller size of the inverter or should I start looking for connection problems?
Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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Our family has recently upgraded from a 1994 34' Winnebago gas to a '98 Alpine Diesel, 36'. It's in need of a fair amount of work but is mechanically very solid. Basically, I'm very happy with it so far, and yes, it does drive great as I've read since we starting looking for a diesel.
My question is the inverter. It has a 1000 watt which currently runs the lights, back TV and front TV just fine. I'm surprised though that none of the other AC outlets work as I'd like to use the coffee maker early in the morning when we dry camp without waking the lazy bums. Is this how they were wired in '98 due to the smaller size of the inverter or should I start looking for connection problems?
Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:22 PM   #3
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That's the way it was built. There is no inverter power to any outlets.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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OK, Thanks for the answer! At least I can stop worrying that there is a problem and start thinking about how to at least get some use out of the inverter to run a simple appliance or window fan.

Any input on what (if anything) I can do?
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:48 PM   #5
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Is there a 120v circuit breaker that controls the circuit to both TV's?

If, so then you have inverter power to the breaker panel and a little re-wire could provide inverter power to the coach outlets. However, this would limit what you could run on those outlets to less than 1000 watts when on inverter power.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Brian,

I recall a post from several months ago where someone (me thinks it was either Old Forrester or Old Scout)did some rewireing, putting the outlet circuts on the inverter.

The outlet the front TV draws power from can take a second electric plug so an extension cord back to the kitchen area is a possibility. Not very elegent but it's an easy work-around.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:35 PM   #7
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Brian,

Since you mentioned the coffee maker, you better check the wattage of your unit. That might exceed the 1000 watts the inverter can put out all by itself. The TV's should be well below the 1000 watt limit. So would a window fan.

If you go to the time/expense to rewire your coach, you might need a bigger inverter. And more batteries. Maybe a newer coach....
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for everyone's reply. Much appreciated. I'm going to take a look at the breaker box and see how the inverter is wired. If it is to a few breakers in the box then I'll do some re-wiring as noted by Ken. If this isn't possible then I'll plug into a TV receptical and hide a cord. Shouldn't be to difficult.

I think there's a good chance I'll upgrade to a 2000 watt inverter at some point as 1000 just isn't enough "umph" to power many things but for right now just some basic power to run a fan, cd player outside, etc would be great.

Can't tell you how much fun I'm having working on this motorhome. Such a different beast then the Winnebago!

Thanks again....and I'm sure I'll pipe in again soon!
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:31 AM   #9
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Brian, I thought about doing this some time back and decided it was not a simple task. Changing to a 2000 watt inverter means rewiring back to the batteries as you will be taking twice the current. You also need to change the fuses. How long can that one house battery take a 200 amp discharge?
The other job of changing some 120 volt outlets to inverter power raises a safety issue. As you know the Alpine uses a 2 phase 120v system so that half the coach is on one phase and the other half is on the other phase. The two A/C units are on different phases for example. Now my understanding is that code requires that outlets must all be on the same phase so that you cannot accidentally get 240 volts across 2 outlets. If you do rewire to get inverter power to an outlet check the input to the inverter is from the same phase as power to the other outlets. You may have noticed that currently all the outlets are wired through the GFCI in the bathroom so you may want to start tracing from there.
It would really help if there was a wiring diagram for the coach but I haven't found one yet.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Thanks John. I'm going to take your word on the difficulties of re-wiring and put that project on the backburner for some other time....there is alot of other things to keep me busy already! I'll just run a cord from the front TV to the kitchen area (if I can find a way to run the cord in the slideout area) and another from the back TV to the dinette side of the coach and storage bay. I should be able to hide everything if I take my time. Just the ability to run low wattage things. This will definitely hold me over til I get that new coach!
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:03 PM   #11
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Brian,

I had a '98 36 with a 1kw inverter. The outlet below the dinette mirrors was hot with the inverter and I took ppower from there and ran it up to the computer table behind the copilot. It's easy to do this by routing thru the basement.
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:07 AM   #12
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Outstanding. Thanks Frank. I'll take a look this weekend!
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