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Old 12-31-2006, 06:44 AM   #1
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I think my inverter is wired differently than most peoples but mine may not be totaly unique. My 1500 Watt inverter powers up the entire MH. I have to be the 'power management officer'. My wife sometimes shuts every thing down when she tries to run the microwave, fridge, iron , TV etc all at the same time. She's learning tho.
When I am parked, I turn the circuit breaker that only powers the 'CONverter' off so it's not trying to charge the battery while also discharging it, or 'chase it's own tail'. Not perfect set up but I just have to remember to turn it on and off.
I'm making a 2000 mile RT this TH to Anaheim. I got a new GPS thing that goes to the laptop so I'll be needing the inverter to charge the laptop battery. While I am driving, I assume the alternator will be charging the house batteries and not the converter. Right???
Will the converter just relax and let the alternator do the work or will it be trying to help charge the house batteries since the inverter will have power going to it?
Is it necessary to turn the circuit breaker for the converter off?
Is there any disadvantage to also running the reefer off the inverter since it will be turned on anyway? That'll save some propane but I don't know what the cons might be.
Anybody have some thoughts on this?
Anyone else have their inverter power the whole MH so it also powers up their converter?
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:44 AM   #2
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I think my inverter is wired differently than most peoples but mine may not be totaly unique. My 1500 Watt inverter powers up the entire MH. I have to be the 'power management officer'. My wife sometimes shuts every thing down when she tries to run the microwave, fridge, iron , TV etc all at the same time. She's learning tho.
When I am parked, I turn the circuit breaker that only powers the 'CONverter' off so it's not trying to charge the battery while also discharging it, or 'chase it's own tail'. Not perfect set up but I just have to remember to turn it on and off.
I'm making a 2000 mile RT this TH to Anaheim. I got a new GPS thing that goes to the laptop so I'll be needing the inverter to charge the laptop battery. While I am driving, I assume the alternator will be charging the house batteries and not the converter. Right???
Will the converter just relax and let the alternator do the work or will it be trying to help charge the house batteries since the inverter will have power going to it?
Is it necessary to turn the circuit breaker for the converter off?
Is there any disadvantage to also running the reefer off the inverter since it will be turned on anyway? That'll save some propane but I don't know what the cons might be.
Anybody have some thoughts on this?
Anyone else have their inverter power the whole MH so it also powers up their converter?
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:02 AM   #3
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Max, it does sound like your inverter may have been added to the coach after it left the factory. If you inverter also has a three stage charger built in you can disengage the converter charger permanantly. With the inverter turned on and the engine running your altenator should be recharging the batteries as they also supply power the the inverter. You can run you refrigerator and laptop while traveling off the inverter. You do not want the loop of a converter charger and inverter. Disconnect the converter when using the inverter at the least. Good luck and if you have any other questions just ask.
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:17 AM   #4
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Max49 - It does indeed sound like your inverter has non-standard wiring. Our 1500 watt factory-installed inverter is wired only to outlets in the 2 front overhead cabinets (for TV, VCR, etc.), to one outlet by the co-pilot seat (for a computer), and to an outlet for the bedroom TV. All these outlets are labeled as being powered by the inverter.

If the inverter is wired to the whole coach, you better not forget and turn on the air conditioner or the microwave while not hooked to shore power.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:40 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. My inverter is not factory installed and it is not a inverter charger. I installed it myself , and I know it's pretty low tech the way I did it but that's the only way I knew how to. You guys will probably laugh at me but to make a long story short, the entire 50 amp shore power cord with adapters is plugged into the inverter. I know, it's not the right way to do it , but it's a poor mans way and is really pretty nice, compared to no inverter. I have definitly learned that I have to turn the converter off when the inverter is on. The inverter is in the compartment next to the batteries and I have a remote switch on the dash to turn it on and off.
I checked my owners manual, which is not very good simply because Damon wanted to make one owners manual for "ALL" of their models, so I have to make sure I'm reading about mine. It says the chassis alternator does indeed charge the house batteries when the engine is running but then says when shore power is connected to the converter, The converter charges them. There fore I guess I need to turn the circuit breaker off to the converter , even when driving if I have the inverter on.
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
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Yes, turn off the converter. And also the water heater if it is in 120VAC mode (use LP is you want to keep water hot). You might also want to force the fridge to LP mode, but a 1500 watt inverter, fed from the alternator, can probably power it OK in AC mode. Still, LP mode wold be better, i think.

Remember it take 10x as many DC amps to produce AC amps, e.g. a 1A load at 120VAC requires 10A @ 12VDC to power the inverter. A relatively modest AC load can make your alternator sweat bullets. And Damon may not have provided a heavy duty wire from alternator to house batteries, since they probably only planned on light charging loads.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:58 AM   #7
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Definitely switch refrigerator to propane. I measured mine (10 ft Dometic) over 24 hrs (moderate temps - 85 max and 60 over night) and it used 5 kw-hrs! That's around 500 amp-hrs @ 12 volts.
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