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Old 02-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #43
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Craig...

Simply because you haven't tripped a breaker doesn't mean you haven't created potentially dangerous heat levels in your inverter's pass through relays - if your outlets are powered from shore power through passive relays in your inverter.

I sure wouldn't presume to know enough about the many variables in anyone's particular setup to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do with a high watt space heater in their particular coach.

That said, my feeling is that given a recent production, well-made coach and a recent production, quality-brand inverter, one may do fine running a space heater drawing 1500 watts for a few hours at a stretch. On the other hand, again depending on those variables, you might be pushing things a bit.

If you're running the space heater through an outlet which is passively fed through your inverter when you're connected to shore power, you might want to confirm with the inverter maker that drawing 1500 watts through the passive relays in the inverter for hours on end is approved. Note: I'm talking about powering the space inverter with shore power which is being fed passively through the inverter's pass-through relays. I'm not talking about powering the space heater with the coach's batteries through the inverter.

If you're inclined to err on the side of safety, running the Lasko on the 830 watt setting should be well within a margin of safety for prolonged usage in most coaches which are properly wired and in good condition.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:58 PM   #44
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Dhart,

I agree. As you put it, why not err on the side of caution. I am about to upgrade to a 2000 watt Magnum PSW inverter/charger. 50% of my outlets run independent of the inverter. Even at the lower heat setting, I will use one of those independent outlets.

Thanks for the info.

Craig
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:43 AM   #45
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I cannot see why anyone would run shore power through their inverter, it seems to me you are asking for trouble. If you have shore power available then you do not need to use the inverter, the purpose of which is to compensate for the unavailability of shore power.

Wire your outlets to the centre of a suitably rated "central off" changeover switch.
Wire the output of the inverter to one of the "make" contacts and the shore power to the other "make" contact.

If shore power is available turn the switch to "Shore". If there is no shore power, turn the switch to "Inverter".

If on shore power then all your outlets (with the exception of any built into the inverter) will be available for use. If there is no shore power and you have switched over to the inverter then ALL your outlets will be available.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:13 AM   #46
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I should have included the generator in the above explanation.

to incorporate a generator you will need a second change over switch (make before break). Remove the shore power feed from the first switch and connect it to a "make" contact on the second switch. Wire your generator power onto the other "make" contact of the second switch.

Now run a wire from the centre contact of the second switch to the "make" contact of the first switch from which you have just removed the shore power.

You now have the choice of either shore power or generator power or inverter power, all of which will be separate from the others.

Ofcourse you must use appropriately sized and suitable wire.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:17 AM   #47
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I cannot see why anyone would run shore power through their inverter, it seems to me you are asking for trouble....
This post needs to be more explicit... Inverter/chargers (like many units are) MUST have shore/genset power to activate the charger. These units will "bypass" shore/genset power (when available) directly to the "inverted" outlets, however, the shore/genset power is still being "controlled" via the inverter (for those outlets). In other words, if shore/genset power is available, these inverter/charger units will not actually invert to power the inverted outlets but bypass shore power to them. Of course the "transfer switch" still controls whether it's the genset or shore that supplies the 120VAC to the rig.

If you have an inverter ONLY (that is no built in charger) than your posts is reasonable...

There are also recently available and more sophisticated power control systems where the inverter is ALWAYS inverting and any deficit in applied shore(genset) power relative to demand is made up for with inverter power IN ADDITION to the shore(genset) power available. I think Onan is offering such a genset/inverter package and I also think many of the mega-line Prevost type conversion rigs also run this type of setup. These systems allow a smaller genset and can still power peak demand appliances.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:56 PM   #48
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PO of our coach ran a surge protector strip connected to an extension cord from the LR, under the floor, then to the outside to plug separately to a power outlet on shore power. I would guess this would not be a bad way to have an outlet that does not run through the inverter?
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:02 PM   #49
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PO of our coach ran a surge protector strip connected to an extension cord from the LR, under the floor, then to the outside to plug separately to a power outlet on shore power. I would guess this would not be a bad way to have an outlet that does not run through the inverter?
To be consistent with UL underwriting, electric heaters typically should NOT be run off extension cords, let alone what sounds like computer style surge protector strip.

That said, make a 12ga (or bigger depending on length needed) extension cord (preferably using commercial grade ends) and use that plugged directly into the power pedestal.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:02 PM   #50
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I am so glad this topic came up. It convinced me to buy a Kill-A-Watt to measure the power consumption of the space heaters that we use in our coach. I then turned it on to the appliances that we use in our home. One of the ceramic heaters that we use in the RV while camping in cold weather, we also use in the house. When I'm home alone and the DW is at work (I'm retired, she's not), I have frequently used our ceramic heater to keep the room I'm in warm. I figured it would use less energy than our furnace does to heat the whole house. Boy was I wrong!

I plugged the ceramic heater into the Kill-A-Watt, and it consumes almost exactly 1500 watts, as advertised. I then plugged our furnace into the Kill-A-Watt, and found that it uses only 630 watts, less than half that of the ceramic heater. Now I will admit that our furnace still burns natural gas in addition to the 630 watts used by the blower, but I am willing to bet that the total amount of energy used by our furnace is still less than the energy used by the ceramic heater. We had our entire heating & cooling system replaced 5 years ago, and we went with the most energy efficient system available at the time.

The DW is laughing at me, cause I now go all around he house, plugging everything into the Kill-A-Watt. It's amazing how much energy some of the small things you own can consume!

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Old 03-11-2012, 12:14 PM   #51
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Just want to add, that I personally will not use those small Electric Heaters on high, there have been way to many fires caused by them on high, that said I will use 2 on medium setting and let them run day and night if I need. Can't remeber the name or make of ours but they have a range of 1-4 for settings and I never use it higher than 2.

Way better to be safe than sorry.


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Old 03-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #52
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there have been way to many fires caused by them on high.

Can that actually be documented. It makes me really nervous, because I have seen so many space heaters running and I am not talking about in an RV setting.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #53
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I went through three winters back east using two 1500 watt electric heaters. I plugged one into my motor home interior outlet and the other into a 10 guage extension cord routed outside to the main power pedestal. I always set the heaters to the low setting when leaving and everything worked great.

I am currently paying for electricity in my new location, so my plan is to purchase one of the 100 lb. propane tanks from Lowes and connect it to the RV propane system. When it's empty, I can load it up and refill without breaking camp.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:54 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAT-LON
Having worked for many years as an electrical engineer, I agree with George. He has offered some excellent references and advise on AC breakers.

Winnebago owners can visit the Winnebago/Itasca web site and download the AC Electrical schematics for their coach. These drawings will show which AC outlets in your particular coach are powered via your inverter. In my case only outlets that power the entertainment electronics and one in the cockpit area are powered through the inverter. I haven't visited other manufacturer's web sites, but hopefully they offer this information to their customers as well.
I have a 2012 Itasca Navion IQ. I tried looking at the wiring diagrams on the Winnebago/Itasca site and was completely lost in trying to find the plugs not connected to the invertor. This is all new to me as I just bought my RV and know nothing about things electrical. Would you be able to provide any additional information on how I can find this information and what diagram I should be looking at? Sorry, but I would really appreciate anything more you can suggest.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #55
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Our front kitchen knight has an electric fireplace below the midships tbv. Under a trapdoor in. The pantry are 2 outlets... one is from the inverter, for the tv. The other is a separate circuit off the breaker panel for the fireplace. It keeps the coach nice n warm.
I was wondering about that. Since many of the newer units have the fireplace feature available, it sounded like it must be on a separate circuit.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:16 PM   #56
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I thought I had commented in this thread..I should add the first time I burned out a connection in the junction box for my inverter was when I plugged in a space heater, NEVER AGAIN.

I also have an outlet thst gave me warning aroma when a space heater was plugged in , it is now blocked off and a new outlet next to it.

I installed two NEW outlets, these are 14/20 amp outlets (The neutral slot is "T" shaped instead of "|" Shaped) and are wired via 12ga wire each to a breaker that has one and only one thing hooked to it, (That outlet) one on each leg of my 50 amp MAIN box, Neither runs through the inverter. These are a contrasting color to make them stand out (Black instead of off-white/cream) and they are for space heaters.

I do not feel the wireing the factory put in is up to the load and I"d hate to have the fire dept make a "house call". Thus the new, added heavy duty outlets.

One of them has only a 15 amp breaker (cause that is what was not in use) one has a 20, but to be h onest, it don't matter. Since it is ok to use a 15 or 20 amp breaker on 12ga wire (But not on 14ga 14ga is 15 or less) I am very pleased with how they work.
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