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Old 08-06-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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Inverter vs Generator?

Hi everybody! I have a Class A Diesel Pusher motorhome. My passengers would like to be able to use their laptops while we're on the road or boondocking. I've figured out that i can run the generator while driving to power the AC outlets. The rv also comes equipped with a Xantrex Freedom Inverter/Charger, so i think i can press "invert" and power the AC outlets that way too without needing to buy one of those separate inverters that plug into the cigarette lighter? If so, isn't it better to use the inverter first versus the generator? Thank you!
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I think you're getting a handle on it. For running things like laptops, you should have no trouble just using the inverter. While traveling, your alternator will probably recharge your house batteries... depending on your particular coach.

BTW, you'll be able to get faster, more accurate responses if you add the make, model, and year of your coach to your signature line.

Best of luck

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Yes


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Old 08-06-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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"Better"? Not really "better", but it's a useful alternative. Your inverter works fine as long as the batteries hold out, which is probably quite awhile if just powering laptops. But eventually you will be running the generator to replace the battery power you have expended. Of course, if you drive again before too long, the engine alternator will also recharge the batteries.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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Don't know about your coach, but on mine, only some of the outlets are powered by the inverter, while all run off the generator or shore power. Certain power-suckers, like your air conditioners, won't run off the inverter either.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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The inverter can power low power devices (Depending on the inverter this may be just Televisions, radios and their support devices (note the laptop if you find a live outlet on the iverter falls in this category, If you can' not find a live outlet use the one for the radio or Sat Receiver and ad a multiplier) To the microwave, not the air conditineor though.

IT sucks pwoer from the batteries so it's life is limited.

The generator, makes a lot of noise so night time use is discouraged, it sucks gas from the tank (or diesel fuel) and if the tank is full that gives it a WHOLE lot of run time, and it charges the battery.

Normal boondocking is to use the inverter at night and when the batteries are low in the morning crank up the generator for a few hours.. Same in the evening, then shut it down for the night.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
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One other thing is that MSW (Modified Sine Wave) inverters don't play well with some transformers. The transformers run hotter and may burn out sooner. Same with some power tool chargers.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #8
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Cool! Big thanks for all the input! I have a 2006 Discovery Diesel Pusher. I just had to replace all the house batteries (learning the hard way ), so i'm going to try the inverter and look for those few supported outlets. Good to know i don't need to buy an extra portable inverter.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:36 PM   #9
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Good to know i don't need to buy an extra portable inverter.
Yep! Just use the one you have. Ours didn't have one so I'm installing the one we had in the 5er in the MH.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Inverter vs Gen

Have a 2006 Damon Tuscany with 7kw gen. 2500 watt inverter. I realize that the inverter does have some limits like not running a/c but while underway is it bad to run your inverter for the Norcold side by side with ice maker? I have the bank of 4 6 volt house batteries which should be enough and my alternator should be replacing what I am using.

I did have a camping world rep tell me I was ruining my batteries by doing this. I am a boater also and I have for years as well many of my friends run crock pots and frig off the inverters while underway so why not on a RV.

Just thought of a reason while writing this. Anyone know how big the alternators are on 2006 350hp cat c7?

Steve
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1987 36' Krogen Manatee
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SWNimz View Post
Have a 2006 Damon Tuscany with 7kw gen. 2500 watt inverter. I realize that the inverter does have some limits like not running a/c but while underway is it bad to run your inverter for the Norcold side by side with ice maker? I have the bank of 4 6 volt house batteries which should be enough and my alternator should be replacing what I am using.

I did have a camping world rep tell me I was ruining my batteries by doing this. I am a boater also and I have for years as well many of my friends run crock pots and frig off the inverters while underway so why not on a RV.

Just thought of a reason while writing this. Anyone know how big the alternators are on 2006 350hp cat c7?

Steve
2006 40' Damon Tuscany
1987 36' Krogen Manatee
Hi and welcome to the forum.

IMO, the CW rep was all wet if he told you that using your inverter while underway to power your fridge would ruin your batteries. I think the only thread of truth in that is that your batteries will deplete and recharge as required and they probably have only so many cycles in their lifetime but this type of use is what they're designed to do.

Best of luck.

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Old 08-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #12
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One thing that ruins batteries more than constant use is discharging them too much at one time. If you dish charge them a little everyday, they will last long. Run them down dead a w times and you will ruin them.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:42 PM   #13
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my experience has been that the fridge runs on gas unless plugged in or genny on.

My knight has 2 separate outlets behind the fridge, only the icemaker in on the inverter circuit.

And yes, I leave my inverter on all the time, only turn it off at night sometimes to conserve power if I am boondocking.

Our 2000 watt inverter can run a lot of stuff, microwave no problem, hair dryer, coffee maker, crock pot... no problem, other than I always do a doubletake when I look at the panel and see it is drawing 100-150 amps out of the battery!
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #14
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my experience has been that the fridge runs on gas unless plugged in or genny on.

My knight has 2 separate outlets behind the fridge, only the icemaker in on the inverter circuit.

And yes, I leave my inverter on all the time, only turn it off at night sometimes to conserve power if I am boondocking.

Our 2000 watt inverter can run a lot of stuff, microwave no problem, hair dryer, coffee maker, crock pot... no problem, other than I always do a doubletake when I look at the panel and see it is drawing 100-150 amps out of the battery!
Jim - Did you rewire the plug for the fridge/ice maker or was it done by the manufacturer? I have been having trouble lately with the Ice maker and this may be possible cause, doubtful but possible.

Thanks all for your input. I thought he was blowing air when he told be not to run the fridge on the inverter. It's not like I keep it on all the time although some of you do. When I get to a park I will plug in which takes the load. Again thanks for your thoughts.

Steve
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1987 36' Krogen Manatee
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