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Old 11-28-2010, 02:28 PM   #1
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Inverter/Transformer Question

Hi new here my first post.

I have a 1993 Gulfstream Scenic Cruiser that I just bought. It has a inverter that is not working. Replaced the house batteries still not working.

It appears there is no transformer, only a inverter. Does the inverter replace a transformer? Can I replace the inverter with a transformer?
The inverter was factory installed in 1993 and I am pretty shure it needs replacing because it does nothing fan not working no humming. I have checked all the fuses and battery connections. It has 110 going in and out.

Thanks, Pat
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:36 PM   #2
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i am confuzed you say your rig does not have a transfomer? just an i and is notnverter and you have 110v in and out an inverter changes 12v dc to 110v ac so you can have regular power like you use in your house without pluging your rv in to shore power. when you have batterys you need a way to recharge them. most rv,s have a converter/battery charger that runs on shore power to recharge the batterys and supply 12v for the 12v systems in the rv(most lighting refig on board fresh water pump and heat. i suspect your converter has failed and is not supplying 12v when you plug your rv in hope this helps lee
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:48 PM   #3
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A Converter converts 120 volts ac to 12 volts (Well battery voltage) DC

An INVERTER does the Inverse (Converts battery power to 120vac

Some devices are inverter/chargers. . These devices will have both power in and power out 120 volt leads... They include automatic switching and such to switch from battery charger/converter to inverter and back as needed.. An example or two of each

Converter: Progressive dynamics 9280
Converter/Power distribution panel: Magnetek 6345 (see note)
Inverter: Xantrex X-power
Inverter/Converter: Xantrex Prosine

NOTE: Some converters (The Magnetek is one such) really need to be upgraded.. You can do this WITHOUT replacing the entire power distribution panel very easily.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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thanks for the replies..simply does the inverter replace the need for a transformer. I cannot find a transformer anywhere.

Thanks, Pat
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
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Not sure what you mean by a "transformer" but suspect you mean a converter, which combines a rectifier with a step-down transformer plus some control circuitry for battery charging. If so, the answer is "maybe". Some inverters are inverter/chargers and fill both roles, while others may be an inverter only.

Your converter/charger may be integrated with the 120v load center. Quite a few RVs were made that way, using combination units from Magnetec, Iota and others.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:12 AM   #6
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So you know.. Older rigs, the converter was usually transformer based, Transformers are heavy and of course the output depends on the input voltage.

Modern converters are often switching converters.. It is possible to build one that does not use a transformer at all but if they use one the transformer is way smaller and lighter than the old type.

So, your rig has some kind of converter..... It may be incorporated into an inverter, or it may be a separate box somewhere.

Eyes on I could tell you in just a few minutes (If you are in the South Carolina Upstate area perhaps we can get together) but otherwise it's up to you to find it.

But when we talk of "Transformers" here, we are usually talking about something else entirely and very few rigs come with one of those from the factory... But you will have something that CONVERTS 120VAC to 12vdc.. All of them have that.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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On the same subject...How do you know what you have ? Inverter/Converter ?

Is there a simple Test...Just plug in ?
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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What is the brand and model number info on your inverter/converter/charger?
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:18 PM   #9
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that's my question..I'm not sure I have one..Where and how do you verify

I have a 2002 Winnebago Sightseer
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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Hi JFGOBUCS,
To determine if you have an inverter there are a couple of things you can try.
1. Ensure the coach batteries are fully charged.
2. Disconnect from shore power.
3. Does the TV work? My assumption is the TV was factory installed.
4. If yes, you have an inverter.
5. If no, then take a small 120 VAC appliance (like a small light or a power strip with an indicator light) and plug it into every outlet. Does the appliance show power?
6. If yes, you have an inverter.
7. If both these tests answer no, you do not have an inverter.

If you have an inverter, the next step is to find it. The factory could have placed is anywhere, usually somewhere in the basement.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:44 PM   #11
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Thanks...GaryKD
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:06 PM   #12
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You might have to trace the shoreline connection. If you have a Converter (charger- 120VAC to 12VDC) it may be separate, or in one case with an Inverter (12VDC to 120VAC). It is probably in a bay or close to the shoreline receptacle on the coach, attached to the frame close to the receptacle.

In addition to fuses, most of these units have push-button circuit breakers. You need to find the unit and look for the circuit breakers which could be on the front or, more likely, on the side.

Next you need to determine if having an Inverter/Converter (or separate units) you have an Inverter switch inside your coach. Most units have a switch on the unit which is left on all the time.

Finally, many (most?) units with Inverters and or generators have an Automatic Switching Device that only allows input from one source at a time. Sometimes these fail in either open or closed state. With an Inverter a Automatic Switch could fail while the power is diverted away from the Inverter.

Finally, if you are still stumped I would imagine that an RV service facility would get you straightened out for a nominal fee.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plattapuss View Post
thanks for the replies..simply does the inverter replace the need for a transformer. I cannot find a transformer anywhere.

Thanks, Pat
Pat, as other posters have mentioned, your inverter may replace a converter (I assume that is what you mean by transformer). The best way to tell is to get brand and model plus any numbers from your inverter and either post it or do a google search for a manual.

Are you having a problem keeping your batteries charged?
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:09 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. I know I have an inverter it is a xantrex freedom 10. I looked everywhere for a 12v converter. It appears there isn't one. I have a transfer switch that appears only to be 110 by the fact there is only ac lines in and out. I also downloaded the freedom 10 manuel and it said the inverter will shut down if one of the batteries is bad, that is the reason for replacing batteries. I am living in the coach and have a automatic battery charger hooked up full time. any problems with that?

Thanks again, Pat
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