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Old 03-15-2006, 02:50 PM   #1
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I have been RVing for a lot of years. I have owned TT's and 5th wheels and Truck campers. All of these have converter/inverters in them. I understand that they basically take 115VAC and convert it to 12VDC for many of the light and other appliances in the RV's.
I have been doing a lot of looking at used DP's and some gassers. In all of these units the inverter/converter is prominantly displayed as if it is a major component of the RV.
Question: What is the big deal? All RV's have them. It just seems that the ones in the MH's are somewhat oversized. Do they function differently? Is the MH wired to use the inverter side more because I notice that there are some huge banks of power cells (batteries)in the various compartments. Why do you need that if you have a gen set in place that supplies a ton of AC voltage?
Thanks
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:50 PM   #2
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I have been RVing for a lot of years. I have owned TT's and 5th wheels and Truck campers. All of these have converter/inverters in them. I understand that they basically take 115VAC and convert it to 12VDC for many of the light and other appliances in the RV's.
I have been doing a lot of looking at used DP's and some gassers. In all of these units the inverter/converter is prominantly displayed as if it is a major component of the RV.
Question: What is the big deal? All RV's have them. It just seems that the ones in the MH's are somewhat oversized. Do they function differently? Is the MH wired to use the inverter side more because I notice that there are some huge banks of power cells (batteries)in the various compartments. Why do you need that if you have a gen set in place that supplies a ton of AC voltage?
Thanks
Chet
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:47 PM   #3
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An inverter and converter are two different things. A converter "CON"verts 120 VAC power into 12 VDC power to run 12 volt loads, such as lights, and also to charge the house batteries.

An inverter takes 12 VDC power and "IN"verts it into 120 VAC output. Technically what is in most of these large class As is an inverter/charger. An inverter/charger typically cranks out 2,000 watts of AC power to run the microwave and various receptacles. It also puts out 100 amps of 3 stage battery charging power whenever AC shore power or genset power is present. In essence ity's running backwards when it does that. Whenever AC power is present the 30 amp automatic transfer switch will simply pass through that power to the receptacles at the same time that it siphons a bit oif AC power off to recharge the batteries. An inverter of this size does need a sizeable battery bank and somne heavy duty battery cables to get that many amps into it. A typical 2KW inverter will pull in the neighborhood of 200 amps on the DC side. That's why there's plenty of batteries.

Some RVs use smaller inverters. These are generally in the 250 to 450 watt range and are fine for running a TV and DVD player. They don't put out real clean power, don't use real huge wiring, perform no battery charging and are fairly inexpensive. A 2KW inverter/charger with remote control panel will run in the neighborhood of $1,500 - $2,000.

My 2003 Suncruiser only came with a converter. I dropped an extra 2 grand into it and installed a Prosine 2500 watt inverter/charger into it because Winny only offered a small one for the TV. My Allegro Bus came standard with a 2KW inverter/charger.

Not all RVs come with an inveter but all RVs will come with something to perform battery charging and to run 12 volt loads - either a converter or an inverter/charger.
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Old 03-16-2006, 02:48 PM   #4
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Interesting and informative.
But then, why have a gen set? Don't this supply all the AC voltages that the RV would need or use?
I wouldn't think you could run your air conditioners off the converter and yur batteries. Way too much draw.
Still wondering.
Chet
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Old 03-16-2006, 03:07 PM   #5
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If you could run your A/C units off the inverter it would suck your batteries dead in no time at all. Inverters don't "make" electricity, they only transform it from one flavor to another. If you did have a huge enough inverter and battery bank, you'd still need to put some juice back into those batteries and that's where the genset, shore power, or vehicle alternator all come into play.

Inverters are great for small to mid sized loads or loads of short duration. Running your microwave off the inverter while traveling is nice and handy and you save the wear and tear on the genset. Once you are plugged into shore power the inverter goes into bypass mode so it's basically not even there but when boondocking or traveling they are great for those quick loads or light loads that just don't make it worthwhile to fire up the genset. There is a place for both inverters and gensets, depending on the loads involved.
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:02 AM   #6
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Ditto what Cruzer said.

Also, a good 12 volt system with adequate batteries and inverter will allow you to boondock in peace and quiet, at least most of the time.

Even the quietest generators make some noise, burn fuel, and accumulate wear and maintenance costs. In particular, the large genny in a motorhome is under-utilized when doing light work. Cranking up a 5000 Watt generator to watch TV is not very efficient.

Also, as you look at motor homes, consider the varying levels of automation in the system. Some systems are fully automated and will even start the genny for you when the batteries get too low. Others are fully manual where you have to plug into the genny, turn on the charger, etc.

A little more info can be found HERE

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Old 03-17-2006, 03:15 AM   #7
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Cybervet;

Ditto to above postings.

I have 3,000 watt inverter/charger, 3 120 watt solar panels, 8 high capacity, 6 volt batteries and a 200 amp engine alternator. Front a/c and refrige connected thru inverter, don't have to use the propane, no as dangerous when re-fueling, also don't need gen-set when driving when a/c and frige on.

Makes for a much quieter ride and when parked and with sensible use and monitoring battery capacity it is a lot more peaceful and your neighbors won't know you're there unless they look.

Hope this info helps== Aime=== AJBJRVERS
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:35 AM   #8
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Sounds like a nice setup. I have (4) 110 watt panels with a 50 amp charge controller feeding 4 batts and an RS2000 true sine wave inverter/charger with the auto genstart module. I do need to add more batteries though, but I'm going to wait and change over to AGMs for that so I can locate the extras in a non-vented area. The 4 batteries make it a bit tight for boondocking if you run too much "stuff".

You mentioned that you are having inverter problems?
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great information.
I didn't know how much could be ran off the house batteries.
Again thanks for the lesson.Chet
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:10 PM   #10
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A little more education please ....

Cruzer,
I'm looking at replacing my Dimensions 2000 with a ProSine 2.5 or an RS2000. I see that you have owned both and I'm interested in the pro's & con's of these two.
I believe that for many years ProSine was the best true sine wave on the market. So why go for the newer RS2000? Now that you have had both units for a while, what would your choice be today?
The RS2000 weight is a lot more and I've read some folks don't like the loud hum the transformer makes. Comments?
Do you have any feel about which inverter is more efficient at lower loads(ie, 500 watt)?
I have a Dish 522 Dual DVR that really pulls a lot of power -- 350 watts 24x7 when I'm dry camping. Since I've replaced the 3 12v Trojans for 4 T125 Trojans, I'm hoping a high quality Xantrex will be more efficient than the stock Dimensions and give a full day with 1-2 hours of genset running.

Your first hand experience would be very helpful.
Happy Trails,
Duner
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:18 AM   #11
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Duner,

The biggest difference between the two is technology. The Prosine was the original true sine wave inverter. It up'd the voltage then did it's inversion at high frequency. The result is good clean power. It uses a cat5 cable to feed a minimal amount of data to the remote control panel. Because of it's design it's a rectangular package, very wide and long but short, more like a rectangular pancake.

The RS series is a newer design. It does it's inversion at low frequency then up's the output. This is supposedly a more robust design and less subject to failure however I haven't heard of that many Prosines failing so I can't speak as to that being true or not. It has much newer technology and uses a cat5 cable to talk to the remote control panel via a network bus. This bus handles an infinite amount of information so the panel can provide much more I/O than the Prosine's limited panel. You can also connect a Xantrex auto gen start module to this bus and control it with the same panel because it's menu driven. This low frequency design does add more weight to the package and it crates a more cubed shape, like the old Freedom 458 inverters. This makes it easy to install as a replacement inverter although in some applications a flat pancake shape might work better.

I had a Prosine 2500 in my Suncruiser and it worked well. It did not like cold temperatures though and would lock up and "beep" during cold winter days. It was in an unheated basement slideout compartment.

I installed a Prosine 2000 in my 2004 Allegro Bus. I replace my Freedom 458 with it and it was a direct fit while the flatter Prosine would not fit. I found the RS2000 to be more tolerant to cold temps but I also found that it made more heat than the Prosine so I had to vent the compartment.

I liked the operation of the RS2000 much better than the Prosine, the menu driven remote control panel was excellent and gave me much more info as to power usage, etc. So, when my 2007 Allegro Bus came it had a modified sine wave RV3012 in it. I replaced it with the RS 3000 inverter and am very happy with it. The reason that I went with 3000 rather than 2000 is because I have a residential fridge in it, otherwise the RS2000 would be fine.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:46 AM   #12
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Cruzer:

Excellent and helpful info. Now, when are we gonna see some pics of that new coach
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:09 PM   #13
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I'm still waiting for some mountain backgrounds rather than my ugly driveway. That'll be in June. Meanwhile there is a shot of it's sister ship on my site at RVcruzer.com. It's identical to the 42QRP I did a road test and review on.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:04 PM   #14
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Many thanks Cruzer!
I like the feedback & the recommendation on the RS2000 & that'll be the one I buy. One more parameter that makes the RS more favorable is the idle current: Prosine2.5 is <60 Watts while the RS2000 is <14 Watts.

Cruzer, I was hoping you meet you at the IRV2 Rally at Branson, but I don't see you on the sign-up list. This will be my 1st rally ever, so I just can't wait 'til July.

Thanks again,
Duner
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