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Old 05-18-2015, 01:59 AM   #1
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Dedicated Res Fridge Inverter

Hey everyone - the coach we just bought has been converted to an all-electric rig with a full residential refrigerator, which we love. But, because the previous owners full-timed in it and parked it most of the time, they rigged it so that the fridge only runs on shore power or on the generator - it has no battery connect whatsoever.

So the tech I've been working with suggested I get a small inverter - maybe 400 watts or so - and dedicate it to the fridge, which I know I've read here before so it sounded like a good idea.

Fast forward a few days later - I'm pouring through the original owner's manuals and I come across a section that says the OEM TV's had their own dedicated 400 watt inverter independent of the main system. Maybe they needed them back in 2004, but since then the TV up front has been replaced with a low-power LED and I doubt we'll watch it enough to worry about draining the batteries.

You already know what I'm going to ask: Do you think I could re-dedicate that TV inverter to run the fridge? Would it just be easier to install a new one from scratch without messing around with the power systems for the TV's?

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryly Blithe View Post
Hey everyone - the coach we just bought has been converted to an all-electric rig with a full residential refrigerator, which we love. But, because the previous owners full-timed in it and parked it most of the time, they rigged it so that the fridge only runs on shore power or on the generator - it has no battery connect whatsoever.

So the tech I've been working with suggested I get a small inverter - maybe 400 watts or so - and dedicate it to the fridge, which I know I've read here before so it sounded like a good idea.

Fast forward a few days later - I'm pouring through the original owner's manuals and I come across a section that says the OEM TV's had their own dedicated 400 watt inverter independent of the main system. Maybe they needed them back in 2004, but since then the TV up front has been replaced with a low-power LED and I doubt we'll watch it enough to worry about draining the batteries.

You already know what I'm going to ask: Do you think I could re-dedicate that TV inverter to run the fridge? Would it just be easier to install a new one from scratch without messing around with the power systems for the TV's?

Thanks!
I would say 1000W minimum. The startup is the problem. Doesn't your MADP have a larger inverter already?
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:05 PM   #3
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Ok, check around in your equipment bay and you should find that you already have a 2500 watt inverter installed by the OEM. Look in you owners manuals for same, here's what I have posted for the answer to this question before.
Unplug from shore power, no generator on. Turn the inverter on and see what items are powered. In my case it was the Microwave, the two TV's front and rear, why I don't know.
Anyhoo the Microwave sat in a cabinet right next to the Fridge. Turn the inverter off no power to the coach. Dropped a wire from the plug of the microwave down to the fridge cabinet. Installed a new receptacle next to the factory one, and now the Maytag works like a charm on Generator, Shore Power, or the inverter.
That's how I did it.
I also closed off the Fridge vent on top, removed it, stuffed the hole with insulation, course also closed the hole from the inside with a piece of Aluminum and the to one at the top. Caulked it good with Dicor self leveling. Removed the old vent from the side of the coach, used aluminum tape and closed off the holes, removed the frame, installed a 1/4 inch piece of ply wood, cut a circle out of the center for access to the rear of the fridge where I bolted it down to the sub floor.
Installed insulation between the vent and the plywood.
Coach is much easier to heat and cool without those holes in the side and the top.
Ps your inverter that is stock with your coach should be fine with your fridge, mine is a 2000 watt and has no problems at all.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:16 PM   #4
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Depending on your coach. If it came with an automatic ice maker it probably has a 120vac that is powered off of the inverter behind the fridge. My 2005 allegro bus has a split receptacle back there. One half was powered off of the inverter the other one does not and only gets power when on shore power or the generator is on. On further reflection it might have two receptacles instead of a split one. I do not remember either way the idea is the same if two receptacles move it to the other one. If only one receptacle then move it to the other half. There is a possibility that your refrigerator is just plugged into the one that does not come off of the inverter. Take the vent cover off that is in the side of your MH if it is plugged into a receptacle take it out and move it to the other half of the receptacle and see if it works off the inverter.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:37 AM   #5
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Ok, I'm starting to get a clearer picture now thanks to Scottybdivin, Chaffeekid and gemini5362... thank you!

So, if I'm reading this right - the previous owners bypassed the main inverter for fridge power (probably just to save battery/inverter power for everything else), but all I have to do is simply plug the refrigerator into an inverter-powered plug and... that's it?

Ha! How funny. Talk about over-thinking it I just assumed I'd have some major re-wiring to do.

The coach currently has a 2000w inverter with four T-105 batteries powering it. Because it's an all-electric coach that we plan to boondock with (occasionally) I was planning on adding at least two more batteries - maybe four - and bumping up to a 3000w inverter.

This really helps... thanks everyone!
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:10 AM   #6
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If you are going to boondock a lot, you might want to rethink the additional batteries. For about the same cost of the additional batteries and a lot less weight, a solar panel or two on top with a charge controller would be a significant upgrade, and your 2000w inverter should be plenty, unless you are thinking of running an air conditioner.
Lots of posts on installing solar panels on the forum if you poke around
Hope this helps
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:22 PM   #7
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Chaffeekid, solar is definitely in our plans. What I don't know at this point is how much power this all-electric coach actually pulls and how long the batteries will support it. I've done all the math of power draw and amp hours that I know of, but real world use doesn't always produce the same results.

So, solar... yes. Absolutely. Probably four 100w panels. Extra batteries, maybe.. if we need them. The wife is kind of a girly-girl, which means hairdryers and curling irons and straighteners and... I don't even know what-all

We won't know definitively until we get out there and start using it. Until then, it'll be a lot of fun figuring it out.

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:53 PM   #8
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you should not need another inverter... the 2000W inverter in your coach is more than enough to power up the fridge... the fridge should of been wired to a circuit breaker. If the original owner wired it to run off shore power then maybe they just disconnected a wire from the inverter to the fridge circuit breaker, leaving just the shore power wire to the fridge circuit breaker.... a simple reconnection of this wire should run the fridge from both the inverter and shore power.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:27 PM   #9
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AS I said before if it is like my coach there is a plug in that works off of the inverter and another that works off of non inverter power. I do not know how they bypassed the inverter that you talk about but they might have just plugged into a non inverter plug in that was already there. In my coach it is simply a matter of picking which plug you use. I had a inverter problem on a trip so i just moved the refrigerator to the non inverter plug in and ran my generator the rest of the trip home.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:11 AM   #10
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@Redridge - 2000w is plenty for the fridge... it's all the other stuff I have to run: Induction cooktop, microwave, TV's, various bathroom appliances, etc. While it's unlikely all those will be run at the same time, it's possible, so a bigger inverter would be more convenient.

I may also just add the extra batteries with a separate 20000w inverter and balance the loads with a little creative re-wiring.

Thanks gemini5362, that's a big help!

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Old 05-20-2015, 06:01 AM   #11
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It could be that the tech wants you to wire in a PSW inverter, for the fridge, knowing that some, don't like MSW inverters.

That could also be the reason, the fridge is NOT wired to the existing inverter.

You need to ask the tech why he made the sugestion and, or call the fridge manufacturer, and check with them.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:52 PM   #12
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It could be that the tech wants you to wire in a PSW inverter, for the fridge, knowing that some, don't like MSW inverters.
Twinboat, that was an impressive demonstration of reasoned intuition.

The rig does in fact come oem with a MSW, not a PSW. .. I never thought of looking before, and it never occurred to me to ask. Not only does it explain why the fridge is shore power / generator only, it also explains why the TV's have their own 400w inverter - I'm betting it's a PSW.

Well, this opens up a whole new can of worms. Looks like I'll be shopping around for a new 3000w PSW inverter. I don't suppose anyone would be interested in a pre-owned MSW inverter that was only driven to RV resorts on Sundays, hmmm?
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:13 PM   #13
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If the rest of the stuff works on your MSW inverter, you may want to, just pick up a Xantrex Prowatt 600 PSW inverter for $170.00.

Wire it in for the fridge and let it run the fridge, full time. When plugged in or running the generator, the charger will cover the draw.

It has a low, .6 amp draw at idle and you won't need big cables to run it.

It beats upgrading all of the battery cables.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:08 PM   #14
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Actually you might not want to worry about it. I have yet to see anyone document that their refrigerator burned up because of an MSW versus PSW inverter. My inverter is a 2500 xantrex MSW. My Frigidare refrigerator works just fine off of my inverter and has been the three years I have owned the coach as well as the years before i bought it. When i am traveling the refrigerator works off the inverter just fine. Basically the refrigerator is pretty much just a compressor motor and those dont really care. The electronics if you have any are usually dc power so that has been through a rectifier and that does not care.
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