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Old 03-06-2015, 11:34 PM   #1
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2004 Sea Breeze....add an inverter

Just bought a 2004 Sea Breeze and it seems that the coach did not get the optional inverter.

I'd like to add one but really only want it for the front TV and components. I do not really have the desire, nor the money, to buy one for the entire coach. I don't use the higher amp components such as the microwave, etc. enough to justify the cost of a huge inverter. I can fire the generator for those occasions.

Anyway, I'm thinking a 1000w should do.

My question is what is the easiest way to accomplish this? Needs to be simple to use and switch, preferably automatically, between shore power and inverter.

Since this as an option, is the coach "prewired" for the inverter and what would be the easiest way to assimilate a new inverter into my current setup?

Thanks for any help, cause I'm totally lost.
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:42 AM   #2
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On my Dolphin it did not come pre-wired for the optional inverter. There is a 30 amp circuit breaker on the 12V distribution board, but it is only for a 300 watt inverter. A 300 watt inverter is fine for a TV and satellite. Magnum makes a 600 watt inverter with a transfer switch.
MM612 Inverter - Magnum Energy, Inc.
You still would have to get the power TV, wires would have to be run to the breaker box. My two TV's are on one breaker.
I installed a 2000 watt inverter with a sub-panel with three circuits connected to it.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:53 PM   #3
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I am looking at the xantrex prosine 1000, and wired on/off switch and a transfer switch.

I was hoping to mount it in the compartment forward of the door where the 12v distribution is.

If I'm understanding correctly, I would have to run a pair of romex back to the bedroom, where the fuse and breakers are, to loop the tv circuits out to the inverter and out of the inverter and run them up to the fuse panel.

Wow. What a hassle. Maybe I'll mount the inverter in the back in the bedroom and extend the remote cord cause I'd like the inverter switch by the tv in the front.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:13 PM   #4
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The inverter needs to be mounted as close to the batteries as possible to reduce DC voltage drop. DC power does not like to travel long distances. I installed my inverter in the basement compartment with the 12V panel. It's not that hard running the wires. I went under the cabinets and dropped into the basement where the furnace duct is for the basement heat. Ran the wires in plastic conduit to the front compartment. The circuit for the TV's is 15 amps you can use 14 gauge wire, I used 12 gauge for the TV circuit.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:04 PM   #5
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There are lots of ways to skin that cat ..... you just need to be sure you do it in a safe (electrical) manner. Not sure of your electrical knowledge, but the amperage (current) you distribute tends to be the biggest issue.

Lets say you need to power a 240 Watt device somewhere. I'll pick 240 because the numbers work out easy that way. I will also assume the inverter is 100% efficient to simplify it further....

Scenario 1. If you locate the inverter near the 12V distribution board, you can deliver power to that device with a 120 volt line. In that case, the device is drawing about 2 amps of current in that 120 volt line. You would typically run 14 gage romex wire for the line, which is capable of carrying 15 amps and is usually fused for the same 15 amps.

Scenario 2. Now try to power that same 240 watt device with the inverter located close to the device. Now you need to deliver 20 amps of current at 12 volts to the device (inverter). You need 12 gage wire, fused for 20 amp.

The high-end solution uses scenario 1. A large capacity (1500-3000 Watt) inverter has its input wired directly to the 12V distribution panel. The 120V output is distributed to various points of use. Depending on the inverter capacity, these points may include TV, micro and other 120V appliances.

Some rigs are all pre-wired for this distribution, including multiple circuits, circuit breakers and sometime transfer switches. Some are not. Chboone describes adding such a system to his rig. He locates the inverter near the 12 volt distribution board and runs the 120V inverter output to a circuit breaker box, then distributes to multiple circuits from there. His wiring runs are all 14 gage romex, most likely. Nice solution.

I personally went with Scenario 2 to minimize my work and cost. The challenge going this route is to minimize the power needs. I chose to only supply my entertainment center. (If I want to run the micro, I need to fire up the generator for a bit.)

I first replaced the front CRT TV with an LCD flatscreen that draws less than 50W. It is a Smart TV, so all streaming services are built-in. I have a new BluRay player that also draws very little power. My total TV power demand is less than 100W. I opted for a cheap ($25) inverter that is rated at 175 watts. At maximum capacity, it draws 15 amps at 12 volts. My rig 12 volt system is factory wired with 14 gage wire, so I located an unused circuit near my TV cabinet. I installed a 12 volt power receptacle (cigar lighter style) and my inverter plugs into that.

There is no "right" solution to the problem. Regardless of the path you take, minimize your device loads and wire it safely.

regards,
Karl

p.s. the $25 inverter comment might draw comments whether one should buy a "pure sine wave" inverter, or a "modified sine wave" converter. The cheap ones are all MSW, which modifies a square wave to approximate a sine wave. Some devices are sensitive to these MSW inverters, some can tolerate them. Rather than overkill, I bought the $25 box and plugged my TV and BD player into it. Everything worked fine, so no need for me to spend more money!
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:14 PM   #6
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Good advise Karlos. As I mentioned there is a 30 amp circuit breaker on the 12V distribution board in the upper right hand corner. Upper left corner is the 50 amp breaker for the converter. You could connect the 1000 watt inverter to the 30 amp breaker with a minimum of 10 gauge wire. The worse that would happen is the 30 amp DC breaker would trip if you try to pull more the 30 DC amps or 360 watts. But then you still have to get the power to the TV, DVD, and Satellite receiver if you have one.
I could not find a clear and easy way to get the power to the TV from the front right compartment where my 12V distribution panel and inverter are. To me it was easier to pull 12 gauge wire (a total of 6 wires) from the breaker box in the bedroom to the inverter (3 wires) and back to the breaker box (3 wires).
If you use an inverter without a transfer switch you only need 3 wires from the inverter to the breaker box. With the latter way the inverter would be on anytime you want the TV on. Originally I only had my 2000 watt inverter connected to the TV, DVD, and Satellite receiver. Recently I installed a sub-panel next to the inverter, the sub-panel has three 15 amp circuits. I used 12 gauge wire from the sub-panel to the breaker box in the bedroom. When on inverter, circuits #1 TV, #2 Bathroom GFI, and #3 Kitchen GFI are powered. The TV circuit feeds both the front TV and the one in the bebroom.
With the sub-panel I eliminated three 15 amp breakers in the bedroom panel. I added a 30 amp breaker and ran 10 gauge wire to the inverter, and 10 gauge from the inverter to the sub-panel.
BTW, when I installed the sub-panel I only had to pull the 10 gauge wire and another three 12 gauge wires for the third circuit. I used the original 12 gauge wires for the other two circuits.

Maybe Karlos can tell you an easier way to get the power from the inverter to the front TV.
As Karlos said , whatever you do, do it safely. If your not knowledgeable about electrical you should have someone that is do the work.
Just know that all grounds and neutrals will ONLY be connected in the main breaker panel.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:56 PM   #7
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Forgot to mention my inverter is a MSW, has worked fine with everything I have connected to it.
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