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Old 06-25-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
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Battery Bank & Inverter Hookup Questions?

Okay, I think I am almost hooked up. I have a 1500 watt (3000 surge)inverter that I am hooking up. I planned to have the ability for it to hook up to the house power at the back with 12/3 cable (already installed). I will be sure not to use the air conditioning etc while driving to avoid overload. I just like the ability to use all the plug-ins as I have a 19 inch tv and dvd player at the front, 15 inch tv at rear and a coffeemaker in between. Perhaps a microwave for short periods with coffeemaker and tv's off.

Few questions:

1) Using max 5 feet of 4 gauge wire cable for connection from battery to inverter (that good or overkill?)?

2) What size fuse between battery & inverter (heard anywhere from 80-300 amp fuse).

3) I am using the battery attached to the generator at the side (reg 12 volt). I bought another 12 volt battery to bank with it but it is a bigger CAT/transport battery. Will that cause me problems with alternator, inverter, battery? Think it just has more cranking amps?

4) Electrical supply(Torbram) and auto supply (NAPA) seemed kind of lost with all of this? Where am I best to get the 4 gauge cable, fuse, and connections for the 4 gauge cable?

5) NAPA mentioned an "in-line" fuse? Is that recommended?

6) Is my inverter/generator battery(s) charged by the generator being on or by the engine/alternator running while driving?

Here is my layout from front to back:
(battery bank)--4 gauge cable--(80 amp fuse?)--4 gauge cable--inverter--12/3 cable (20 feet)--(plug in at rear beside the generator power plug-in)

Hope someone can help?

99 Fleetwood Southwind 32V (Class-A)

Prior: 97 Ford Dutchman (31 Ft, Class-C)
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:58 AM   #2
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First off the #4 wire gage you want to use from the battery bank to the inverter is not large enough. You should use a 2/0 with a couple twists. Also the fuse should be 200 amp. Here are some links www.xantrex.com www.magnumenergy.com that you might want to research before you make this modification. Do not use sources that do not know this technology and get yourself into trouble. Good luck and there are plenty of folks here that can help with suggestions and tips.

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Old 06-26-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
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Does this RV have a separate battery for the generator? I.e., are there also a house and chassis battery elsewhere? That would be unusual. If not, then the battery by the genset is either the house supply or the chassis (engine starting) battery. That will affect when/how it gets charged.

Adding another battery should not bother anything, as long as the two batteries are both in decent condition. Batteries of different age or condition can adversely affect one another, though.

You should have a fuse inline between inverter and battery. The inverter will have its own breaker for its output. A 200 A fuse should be sufficient for this inverter - you don't want to load it to more than 2400 watts anyway (the max your 12 gauge power feed is rated for and well into the inverters "surge" load anyway).

You need battery cable rated for 200A in that case - 4 ga is rather light for that, though the sustained load is likely to be more like 125 amps (1500 watts).
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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Awesome thanks so very much to both of you Roamer & Wizard. I thought the 4 gauge would be plenty strong enough but guess I was wrong. I will get the 2 gauge wire with the inline 200 amp fuse (not sure where to get that?)

As far as the betteries go, I only have the one battery under the hood and the battery attached to the genset. I believe the genset is also somehow connected to the battery under the hood to recharge it while driving. (I'm a newby) Still trying to figure out the terms; chassis battery, boondocking etc haha.

Is there some way to determine if my batteries will be okay with each other. One is an Interstate Deep Cycle Marine RV and the other is a CAT battery (slightly larger). I assume if they close in age range perhaps? hmmm.

I could quite possibly just get another bigger CAT battery to attach to the first one I bought and then just disconnect the Interstate battery. I got them from a transport wrecker friend I know for $25 each.

Thx once again!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #5
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I got my 02 gauge cables made up by a local battery shop - about $20.
Some fuses and fuse holders are available at NAPA stores but I got mine (80 amp but they have larger) from a local car electronics store - about $30.
I got a maxi fuse and holder. The 02 gauge cables are stripped of insulation and fit into the connector and tightened with a hex head screw. That is how it was explained to me - I pick the holder and fuse up today so haven't seen it yet.

You can get better prices if you go online. A lot of solar companies have them.
Amazon has them also.
Clay WA5NMR - Ex Snowbird - 1 year, Ex Full timer for 11 years - 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N Workhorse chassis. Honda Accord toad.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #6
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Great, I just found a "Battery Experts" place and they should have the 2 gauge cables and I will take a crack at the 200 amp inline fuse. I assume they should be able to put the ends on the wire so I can connect with the hexnut or butterfly nut.

Crossin my fingers on this one. Now to figure out the battery bank inssue. The best I can find is to ensure they are about the same age (within 2-3 years). That seems to be a hit and miss issue. I'm okay with losing a battery (replace with another battery for deal at $25..just dont want to lose the MH haha

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