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Old 05-25-2011, 06:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dale777 View Post
To clarify a bit on the inverter versus the engine alternator:

What folks sometimes call the inverter on an Alpine Coach is actually a combination unit - both an inverter and a charger, sometimes called an inverter/charger.

1. The inverter function of the combined unit INVERTS the house battery bank 12V DC current to 120V AC current.
2. The charger function of the combined unit CHARGES the 12V DC house battery bank by using 120V AC current from the shore power connection. If the house battery bank becomes fully charged, then the large relay in the battery compartment connects the house battery bank and the starter (chassis) battery bank together so that they both charge.

When the inverter provides 120V AC current on an Alpine Coach only a small sub-set of the 120V AC outlets are provided this current. You will need to test each outlet to determine which is which, since some models are different and WRV changed the build over the years.

The engine alternator primarily charges the starter (chassis) battery bank, but when that battery bank is fully charged, then the large relay in the battery compartment connects the house battery bank and the starter (chassis) battery bank together so that they both charge. So, you can see there is no relationship between the engine alternator and the inverter/charger.

On an Alpine Coach, the inverter function with the house battery bank does not have sufficient capacity to run either one or both of the roof air conditioner units.
Hello Dale and thanks for explaining how the system works...clarifies things a lot.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:49 PM   #16
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I think that 01 Alpines used a battery isolator so the alternator charged both battery banks while the engine is running. The inverter/charger charges the house bank when plugged in to shore power and there is an ehco charger that connects the coach batteries for charging when the inverter/charger is charging.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:17 PM   #17
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You couldnt run your A/C units thru the inverter even if you wanted to--yr roof A/Cs are wired thru the shore power/genset side of yr electrical system not thru the inverter. Fact is, on a really hot Texas day, yr dash air wont keep the front of the coach cool [thought some hang a curtain behind the drive/pass seats] so the genset and roof a/c is needed anyway. I am not trying to be critical but if 3/4 of a gal of fuel per hour for your genset is too much impact on your fuel mileage, you may have bought the wrong vehicle.
Thanks Scout I didn't know that..

In all my coaches ...the dash air has kept me from running the roof air at least 80% of the time BUT I generally had them precooled before I hit the road.. I'd "really" miss not having dash A/C before long...and I'd like to keep the hours down on my gen set as much as possible. We boondock sooo much... the gen set already gets a LOT of use.

Wrong vehicle? ...you may be right...looks like we will just have to sit in the driveway and "pretend" RVing if we have to run the gen set to cool the coach on the road! Darn.............
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:09 PM   #18
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Stan,

The dash air works sufficiently (on MAX) unless the outside temperature gets around 100. Then I will turn on the generator and the roof air.

I try to avoid using any high draw items when using the inverter. It will run a hair dryer or the microwave for short periods of time, but I still avoid it. I have the plasma TV and a DVR, and they run fine on the inverter for hours, but does take up quite a bit of battery capacity. I bought a small LED TV to use when dry camping to cut down on the drain.

I also converted the 12 volt halogen puck lights and many of the incandescent lights to LED, not so much for the lower draw but for better light and much less heat generated. Using the plasma TV quickly offsets the amp savings! But every little bit helps.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:24 PM   #19
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There is no way the roof airs will run on the inverter.
Actually they might!!
In our 2000 DSDP I had CW install a 2500 watt inverter. I thought they would install it correctly, they didn't and I found I could run one 13.5 heat pump for about 20 min on our two U-2200's.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:11 AM   #20
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Actually they might!!
In our 2000 DSDP I had CW install a 2500 watt inverter. I thought they would install it correctly, they didn't and I found I could run one 13.5 heat pump for about 20 min on our two U-2200's.
That pretty much explains why they are not wired to run on the inverter, 20 minutes to drain the batteries.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:02 PM   #21
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The key to running anything off an inverter is the battery. Batteries may provide a good bit of power at times but they do not have much energy.

Note the Interstate U-2200 weighs 63 lb and the 20 hour rate is 6 Volt, 232Ah or about 1400 watt hours. At 20 hours, this is a 70 watt load. Since the 50% discharge point is as far as you want to go, that's 700 usable watt hours or a density of 11 watt hours per pound.

These numbers boil down to a few simple ideas that look at energy in watt hours, power in watts, and batteries in pounds. Those units make scaling and comparisons simple.

From the U2200 example (and rounding just a bit), you can establish a reference point. 60 pounds and 12 watt hours per pound is typical for the batteries we get for our RV's. The capacity is determined at a 70 watt, or about 1 watt per pound, power level. Higher power will reduce the available capacity.

- load sizing - batteries provide best service if their nominal load runs at about 1 watt per pound of battery or less. That means an A/C or other large load that runs at 1200 watts would need at least 1200# of battery which is a 20 RV battery bank - you see why this sort of application is a bit out of line in regards to the typical RV?

For example, Uve's Puekert calculator with his suggested numbers and a 100 amp load, calculates 1.2 hours runtime at 100 amps for a typical battery. This is half the 1200 watt load but there are 2 batteries doing it so it should come out the same. smartgauge is another good resource on what this is all about.

As another reference point, consider that typical household energy use averages about 30 kWh/day. That's 30 typical RV batteries and you usually want an RV battery bank to last at least 2 days. So a typical RV battery bank of 2 to 4 batteries will only have the energy capacity of less than 10% of what people use in houses.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:08 AM   #22
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.... I'd like to keep the hours down on my gen set as much as possible.
Why? Generators are made to RUN. In fact the worst thing to do is not run them. Use them, that is what they are made for, you can't hurt them by running them.


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Old 05-27-2011, 06:41 AM   #23
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Why? Generators are made to RUN. In fact the worst thing to do is not run them. Use them, that is what they are made for, you can't hurt them by running them.


Barb
Agreed ...the worst thing you can do is not run them! That is never a problem when you boondock a lot like we do....and they can be run to death, just like any other piece of machinery. Of course most folks don't own equipment as long as I do. We have several 30 plus year old trucks and other equipment that is used often and stilll runs great.

On the other hand..I have had to replace two gen sets in previous motorhomes....
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:42 AM   #24
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Stan - get a qualified installer to put 200W's of solar panels on the roof of that thing. Then between those, and not having a residential refer, you will have enough inverter to do anything you want and still have lots of house power. Our fridge, uses about 500-700 watts when it's running, so if the sun is out, the 100w panel we have keeps the batteries up during the brightest part of the day. Early morning or late evening the genset needs to run to top them off for the night time. But then we need new batteries, once I get those I think things will be different. You should be fine with what you have now. Any a/c heat or high resistance load will run those batteries down, think heaters (hair dryer) or coffee pot, mircowave. We don't use Microwave without genset. Plus the HWH system can suck 100ADC for short periods of time, so run the genset to run the HWH system if you are not plugged into shore power.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #25
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Stan - get a qualified installer to put 200W's of solar panels on the roof of that thing. Then between those, and not having a residential refer, you will have enough inverter to do anything you want and still have lots of house power. Our fridge, uses about 500-700 watts when it's running, so if the sun is out, the 100w panel we have keeps the batteries up during the brightest part of the day. Early morning or late evening the genset needs to run to top them off for the night time. But then we need new batteries, once I get those I think things will be different. You should be fine with what you have now. Any a/c heat or high resistance load will run those batteries down, think heaters (hair dryer) or coffee pot, mircowave. We don't use Microwave without genset. Plus the HWH system can suck 100ADC for short periods of time, so run the genset to run the HWH system if you are not plugged into shore power.

Hello Monty..

I already have solar panels..pretty large ones too. But I haven't had a chance to learn anything them eitjer...or if they work.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:39 PM   #26
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Stan, there should be a controller, you can put a meter and measure the amps coming off them at that point, it should be DC. Don't have a clue where that controller is, and it should have an indicator light as well, showing they are working.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:21 PM   #27
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I have a Prosine 2.0. It is wired to power the Microwave, Televisions and related electroincs, and the GFCI loop (Bathroom, kitchen and patio outlets)

This means I can use it to heat up lunch, make coffee, run my razor and watch TV or listen to the radio.

And that is what I use it for. (oh, I do have the house modified so I can run the ice maker with it, not the fridge, just the ice maker)

It is nice, if I get up before "Generator hours" to make a cup of coffee. or to watch TV after Generator hours. During Generator hours (Daytime) we run the generator as needed to recharge.. Or to run Air conditioning.

Also, when the breaker trips, as it did just now, it keeps the TV's up while I go reset.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:06 AM   #28
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Stan:

I always run my genset for A/C while on the road, unless the temperature differential is minor. It takes a load off the engine and is much more efficient. Though I've read many claims on fuel use, many say diesels use one gallon every three to four hours, depending on load. My not so scientific experience when boondocking has found it uses less than 1/3 gallon per hour but seeming more than 1/4 gallon per hour. YMMV.

A dollar per hour for cool air is a no-brainer for me. My in-laws followed us through Nevada last summer and didn't want to "waste" fuel with the genset. They nearly had to pay for an ambulance instead. It would have been cheaper for them to spend the $6 I paid in lost mileage over the entire day. After a little education, they are now believers in genset operation.
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