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Old 12-31-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
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Have 04 Allegro 30 DA motorhome with a converter. Thinking of adding solar panels down the road and I know you need a inverter. The converter keeps the house batteries charged. Do I get a inverter/converter and will it still keep the house batteries changed when I connect to shore power? How would it work with solar panels?

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Old 12-31-2014, 10:29 AM   #2
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Location: Mobile, Alabama
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The Inverter converts 12VDC battery power to 120VAC power. The Converter does just the opposite and charges the batteries. The solar panel will come with a solar power controller that will be between the solar panel and the batteries.

Look for Inverters with battery chargers.

We have the Magnum 2012 2000 watt MSW inverter in our coach. You may not need the 2000 watts or have the wiring to support one. Various sizes are out there.

Kenny and Joan with Westie Sophie, 2013 34' Tiffin
Allegro RED, Cummins ISB6.7 340,Freightliner, Onan 8K Gen, Magnum 2000, Demco, Patriot, Alabama
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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Since you presently don't have one, do you need an inverter? If so, then as previous response has suggested, get a combination inverter/charger. In doing that, however, make note that you should match the size of your battery bank to whatever you get. If you only intend to power your TV/entertainment electronics, then a smaller 750W inverter will suffice...and should work well with a 220Ah battery bank. TripLite makes nice inverter/chargers in this range.

If, on the other hand you want to run a M/W oven and or residential refrigerator, then you will need a larger (2000W) inverter and appropriate battery bank size....at least 450Ah, I suggest. Also, since you don't have an inverter I your rig now, any new combo unit will have to be wired to the appropriate outlets in your coach. This could be difficult. For just a TV, you could consider just adding a small appropriately sized inverter next to the TV and just run 12vdc to it....and just keep your present charger in place.

Adding solar will keep you from having to run the generator when dry camping so much, depending on how much solar capacity you get. I find the 350W solar I recently installed sure cut my generator time substantially on my 220Ah battery bank charging.
Ed & Lynn on the Oregon Coast
2018 Winnebago Fuse 23A
2006 Scion xA toad
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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A solar controller (battery charger) connects directly to the house batteries. The existing converter (battery charger) can stay in place as is. Now if you want to add an inverter to provide 120vac power via the house batteries when disconnected from shore power you have a couple options - standalone inverter or a combo converter/inverter. You then need to decide how and to what you want the 120vac front the inverter distributed - to selected circuits and/or outlets, all circuits/outlets, or other. Or whether to use one large inverter, multiple small inverters, or a combination.

In my case the coach originally had a converter - no inverter. An inverter was added, and setup simply to power the whole coach via plugging the shore power cord into the inverter. Later I added solar panels and controller. The original converter is still in place, but seldom used, instead the solar provides for most all battery charging.

Here is a write-up of my system - solar, inverters, etc. A block wiring interconnect diagram is included.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.1.pdf (473.7 KB, 37 views)
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:21 PM   #5
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Inverters come in 2x2 types possible 2.1 in one case,, MSW/TSW is one of the two, we will ignore that for now save to say Please, TSW,

Stand alone or in-line is the other

Stand alone have two sets of connections 12 volt IN and 120 volt OUT

In-line has those plus 120 volt in.
(the 2.1 is an inline without a charger module, Have never seen one but in theory it is possible)

The Inline types, if shore power is present then the 12 volt terminals are OUT charging the batteries, if "Shore" power fails, the 12 volt terminls become IN sucking power from the batteries to power the loads.

With shore power present (and of good quality) it is passed to the loads.

In fact.. What an inline inverter/converter is is one giant UPS (Technically an IPS, but then most UPS boxes are really IPS).

(Interruptible power supply, There is a very brief loss of power, generally not enough for your hardware to notice less it is a Dish Network Receiver).

By the way, they work very well.. I do not (normally) use the converter in my Prosine 2.0 but that is because I like the program on the Intella-power 9180 with wizard a bit better, but it makes one very nice backup and when I'm boondocking I can double up for a faster recharge.
Home is where I park it!
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converter, inverter

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