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Old 01-16-2012, 05:55 AM   #1
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Inverter operation

We have had a 2005 Monaco Knight for a little over a year now and I'm getting conflicting answers to this question... When should I have the inverter ON and when should it be OFF? Thanks for your input!

Roger, Sandy & Phoebe
05 Monaco Knight 40PLQ
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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I have been led to believe that the inverter is only to be turned on when you do not have shore power and need to run 120V outlets in your motorhome. I have never yet had my inverter turned on and it still works as a converter/charger when hooked up to shore power, even when it is turned off. Hope this helps and good luck with your adventures.

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Old 01-16-2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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That seems to be the most common answer I get. Makes sense. Guess I'll go with that. Thanks!
Roger, Sandy & Phoebe
05 Monaco Knight 40PLQ
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:46 AM   #4
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Mine is only turned off when I am concerned that my batteries might be drawn down.... which is nearly never.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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I only turn mine off when the coach is not being used, otherwise it stays on.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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The purpose of the inverter is to "invert" 12VDC to 120VAC. Turn it on when you a)need 120VAC AND b) when you are not getting it from either a shoreline or the generator.

I power my laptop while driving because I have a VMSpc engine monitor system. It would be silly to run the generator just to power the laptop, so I use the inverter. On the other hand, if I also need the A/Cs running while I drive then the inverter is off and the generator is turned on.

So, the answer to your question depends on whether you need 120VAC AND whether you need more power than the inverter can provide.
Ken 1996 Safari Sahara- 3530, 35', CAT 300
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:36 AM   #7
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My inverter is needed to run the house style refrig when we are unplugged from shorepower. When we are plugged it becomes a battery charger and recharges the batteries it tried so hard to discharge.The shore power takes over running the frig, etc. All this is done automatically and it shuts off if the genset takes over. Therefore we never touch it. Actually when the genset takes over I am "thinking" the inverter starts to charge the batteries.
All coaches are not wire the same and yours may be different.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
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Turn it on when you need it, you may, but don't have to, turn it off when you don't need it.

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Old 01-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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I keep mine on 100% of the time because of the fridge but if I turn it off I will also have some dead outlets.
Mike Canter
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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I'm with rick, I only turn the invertwr off when I am concerned with battery usage.
I run an 08 knight, which I imagine is very similar to your coach.

Your magnum inverter charger is a pretty smart machine, and will do what it needs to do without your help.
It knows if u are on 30 or 50 amp shore power, or none at all.

Without shore power it will automatically give u all the 115 ac that you ask for. If you don't need any, turning it off manually will sav a little battery piower. Other than that, just leave it on.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Roger.....A couple of things that should be added. You and I both have a Magnum MSW Inverter/Charger. Inverters come in two basic types, Modified Sine Wave (MSW) and Pure Sine Wave (PSW). In simple terms, the MSW makes electrical power, but its not like the power in your house, its "dirty" power. It works fine with most items in the coach, but can ruin the electronics in small items like some coffe makers. The more expensive coaches offer Pure Sine Wave inverters that supply the same type of power you would receive at home.

I've read posts here over the years where many run their inverters all the time without issue. Since we boondock several times a year, I'm in the habit of turning mine off. If you leave it on while boondocking, it can run some items you may not think about, like a clock, night light or your TV receiver you may have plugged in. It also requires some power just to have it on, even though the Magnum's will go into sleep mode. If you store your coach between trips with no power attached, make sure you leave a note that the Inverter needs to be shut down.

I'm going to throw out a final comment that I can't prove, but I believe is accurate. You can run your microwave on your inverter, but I think it shortens the life of the microwave. Your microwave will actually sound like its struggling when on inverter. I also added a paddle switch I found at Walmart to my microwave. Its a small 2" x 2" switch that allows you to plug the microwave 3 wire plug into the switch and then the switch into the wall outlet. On my coach I can reach up into the up cabinet and turn the power off to the microwave by flipping the switch.
Don & Mary
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:40 PM   #12
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Inverters are power hogs. When off grid, and you don't need to run any 110 vac appliances, leave it off.

We run the inverter if we are in a rest stop and want to heat something in the microwave for lunch. We also run it if we are moving from one campground to another just to keep all the clocks set until we get plugged in.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:56 AM   #13
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Some good discussion here, but getting some variable opinions (eg, leave ON all the time, only turn ON when you need it, etc.). So, let me ask another question... What harm could be done if the inverter is left ON all the time?... whether in storage or on the road. P.S. on the Monaco Magnum control panel, I do leave the battery charger ON all the time.
Roger, Sandy & Phoebe
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:13 AM   #14
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All coaches are different. On mine, it's on only when I have no AC power and need some. On my neighbors, it's on all the time to operate all the systems.

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