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Old 07-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #57
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I've been running one or two 750/1500 watt heaters through my system since it was new with no problems or wiring smells. We do have a 50 amp system but I do this even on a 30 amp plug in with no problems.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:17 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autofish View Post
I had the transfer switch inthe inverter burn up using 2 1500 watt heaters when the unit was about 7 yrs old, So to fix the problem I ran 3 new 20 amp #12 wired outlets from the main box just for my winter heater use No hot wires or outlets for past 5 years.
When I first started using space heaters I used non-inverter outlets (I did plug it into an inverter outlet one time, Then I had to re-wire the inverter, took out one of the connections in the junction box)

However even though it was on a single load line.. I smelled hot wire.

So I taped over the one that was hot (Just painter's tape) and put a new 15/20 amp outlet next to it. The 15/20's have a "T" shaped neutral instead of a "|" Shaped slot, (20 amp plugs the neutral is rotated you see).

These are wired direct to a breaker, only thing on that breaker, each outlet has it's own breaker (one 15 and 0ne 20 amp cause that is what I had open) and #12 wire bent around and tightened under a genuine screw not "Stabbed"

I also use the washer/dryer outlet, Though it is original RV (15 amp) it is a bit better (it appears) then the others in the house.

In addiaioon to those three I have a couple other "heaters" one is 150 watts on HIGH (it plugs into an inverter outlet in the back (main) bathroom, but at that wattage I'm not that worritd) and the other is around 250 watts of light bulbs. (this helps to protect the tanks from freezing. Mostly C-9 Christmas Tree lamps, plus one 100 watt rough service in a cage.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:18 PM   #59
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I did burn out the relay and wires feeding it in my old Heart Interface 1000 watt inverter. When I tore it apart I found the relay was rated for 25 amps and the two heaters on high was to much for the system. All of the 120 volt circuits in my coach go through the inverter (Block Heater included). I replaced the old Heart with a Magnum 2000 watt modified sine wave unit and before I would install it, I disassembled it and found the same 25 amp rated relay in the circuit. I also noticed an additional 25 amp relay next to it on the circuit board that was not going to any outside circuits. I ask Magnum about it and they said it was for some kind of dual circuit model. I just added additional #10 wires to the circuit board to place the new relay in parallel with the original relay for a total pass through capability of 50 amps. Of course this will never happen as the inverter relay in the Magnum is 30 amps as well as the breaker panel feeding the inverter and the 30 amp breaker going into the panel fed by the inverter.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:34 AM   #60
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I don't profess to be an expert by any means. We bought a used coach and the original owner had a separate breaker box installed with a very large gauge power cord (30 amp size) in the compartment where our 50 amp cord is located.
The installed cord only has a 120v plug. We were told that this was installed specifically to plug into shore power to supply two outlets in the coach to be used for space heaters. We haven't needed to try em out.
Probably won't help but thought I would add the info.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #61
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Well it's that time of year when things get cool to cold and we don't want to run the heating system because diesel is $4/gal. So you may want to get some electric space heaters. There's a lot of good information in this tread but none from the folks who make the inverters. So I contacted the makers of Xrantrex and asked them about it. Here's their reply.

Dear Sir,
The issue is about how much power the relay is rated for. The RV2512GS is rated for 30amps. If you are continuously running around this level for days or weeks it could conceivably cause the relay to fail. But it would be almost as likely to cause the breaker to fail. The real danger is during the transferring from invert to pass through and back. When done under heavier load the relay will suffer greater accumulative wear and tear than when under low load transferring.
Heater with 1500 watts is approx 12.5 amps AC. Two such heaters in addition to other loads such as charging, lighting, etc could cause premature failure.

One heater would likely be fine and no problem

these recommendations from the article are good, and should be followed even when not using an inverter/charger:

RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Utilize your RV's furnace for space heating
2) Check the manufacturer's label on the electric heater for the wattage of the unit. If it is rated at 1500 watts only - don't use it longer than a few minutes at a time. If it has a lower setting, 1000, or 750 watts, then use the lower settings, with caution.
3) Don't use an electric heater on a GFI protected circuit.
4) Never leave an electric heater unattended (this includes while sleeping)
5) Don't use an electric heater on an inverter supplied outlet.
6) Test your smoke detector regularly.
7) If you smell or see smoke when an electric heater is in operation, turn off the main circuit breaker (or park circuit breaker) and evacuate the coach immediately and call the fire department. Some fires occur inside walls and are not readily visible until too late."
If you still have any questions please call us at 800-670-0707 and press option one or option two .

Thank you
Best Regards,

Lets be safe out there. Oh by the way fuel powered space heaters will put of Carbon Monoxide and if you close up the the MH you could die.

ps do not be afraid or hesitate to call 911. That's what those fire guys go and they'd rather show up before you have a big problem than have to put out your flaming MH.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:33 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper9x9 View Post
Well it's that time of year when things get cool to cold and we don't want to run the heating system because diesel is $4/gal. So you may want to get some electric space heaters. There's a lot of good information in this tread but none from the folks who make the inverters. So I contacted the makers of Xrantrex and asked them about it. Here's their reply.

Dear Sir,
The issue is about how much power the relay is rated for. The RV2512GS is rated for 30amps. If you are continuously running around this level for days or weeks it could conceivably cause the relay to fail. But it would be almost as likely to cause the breaker to fail. The real danger is during the transferring from invert to pass through and back. When done under heavier load the relay will suffer greater accumulative wear and tear than when under low load transferring.
Heater with 1500 watts is approx 12.5 amps AC. Two such heaters in addition to other loads such as charging, lighting, etc could cause premature failure.

One heater would likely be fine and no problem

these recommendations from the article are good, and should be followed even when not using an inverter/charger:

RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Utilize your RV's furnace for space heating
2) Check the manufacturer's label on the electric heater for the wattage of the unit. If it is rated at 1500 watts only - don't use it longer than a few minutes at a time. If it has a lower setting, 1000, or 750 watts, then use the lower settings, with caution.
3) Don't use an electric heater on a GFI protected circuit.
4) Never leave an electric heater unattended (this includes while sleeping)
5) Don't use an electric heater on an inverter supplied outlet.
6) Test your smoke detector regularly.
7) If you smell or see smoke when an electric heater is in operation, turn off the main circuit breaker (or park circuit breaker) and evacuate the coach immediately and call the fire department. Some fires occur inside walls and are not readily visible until too late."
If you still have any questions please call us at 800-670-0707 and press option one or option two .

Thank you
Best Regards,

Lets be safe out there. Oh by the way fuel powered space heaters will put of Carbon Monoxide and if you close up the the MH you could die.

ps do not be afraid or hesitate to call 911. That's what those fire guys go and they'd rather show up before you have a big problem than have to put out your flaming MH.
The best piece of advice in this is to never run the electric heaters on high, your better off using 2 on seperate circuits on low to medium. Way less chance of fire and problems
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:33 PM   #63
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We tripped the breakers on our inverter several times in the past couple months & never knew why til now. We've been using a space heater this past month & plugged into an inverter plug. Question is - Since we've tripped the breakers a couple times, are they something we should be replacing & if so is it something we can do ourselves. We're not very electrical minded. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:55 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karencollins View Post
We tripped the breakers on our inverter several times in the past couple months & never knew why til now. We've been using a space heater this past month & plugged into an inverter plug. Question is - Since we've tripped the breakers a couple times, are they something we should be replacing & if so is it something we can do ourselves. We're not very electrical minded. Any help would be appreciated.
IMHO I would not worry about replacing the breakers on the inverter. Even the small pop-out type breakers used on some inverters are rated for tens of uses, then they are designed to fail in a safe way, i.e. they will trip with less or no load instead of when being overloaded.

If you want to replace them anyway and you're not comfortable with line voltage electricity I'd leave replacing them to the pros. They're not that hard to replace but you'll have to find the part (usually not available at your local home center), remove the cover of the inverter, remove/unsolder/replace wiring, etc. Obviously if you do this have all power to the coach and inverter off.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:09 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper9x9 View Post
Well it's that time of year when things get cool to cold and we don't want to run the heating system because diesel is $4/gal. So you may want to get some electric space heaters. There's a lot of good information in this tread but none from the folks who make the inverters. So I contacted the makers of Xrantrex and asked them about it. Here's their reply.

Dear Sir,
The issue is about how much power the relay is rated for. The RV2512GS is rated for 30amps. If you are continuously running around this level for days or weeks it could conceivably cause the relay to fail. But it would be almost as likely to cause the breaker to fail. The real danger is during the transferring from invert to pass through and back. When done under heavier load the relay will suffer greater accumulative wear and tear than when under low load transferring.
Heater with 1500 watts is approx 12.5 amps AC. Two such heaters in addition to other loads such as charging, lighting, etc could cause premature failure.

One heater would likely be fine and no problem

these recommendations from the article are good, and should be followed even when not using an inverter/charger:

RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Utilize your RV's furnace for space heating
2) Check the manufacturer's label on the electric heater for the wattage of the unit. If it is rated at 1500 watts only - don't use it longer than a few minutes at a time. If it has a lower setting, 1000, or 750 watts, then use the lower settings, with caution.
3) Don't use an electric heater on a GFI protected circuit.
4) Never leave an electric heater unattended (this includes while sleeping)
5) Don't use an electric heater on an inverter supplied outlet.
6) Test your smoke detector regularly.
7) If you smell or see smoke when an electric heater is in operation, turn off the main circuit breaker (or park circuit breaker) and evacuate the coach immediately and call the fire department. Some fires occur inside walls and are not readily visible until too late."
If you still have any questions please call us at 800-670-0707 and press option one or option two .

Thank you
Best Regards,

Lets be safe out there. Oh by the way fuel powered space heaters will put of Carbon Monoxide and if you close up the the MH you could die.

ps do not be afraid or hesitate to call 911. That's what those fire guys go and they'd rather show up before you have a big problem than have to put out your flaming MH.
No better words than this!!! Two weeks ago my DW lost a family member in an RV fire. The local PD and FD determened that a space heater caused the fire. The RV was a mid 90's Southwind and parked on private land. The occupant burned in her bed with her dog by her side. She will be missed.
With this said, I do use a space heater but only the oil filled Kind and on low. Even with temps in the low 40s the rv will maintain 70 as set by a thermostat I have wired in line with the heater. I plug the heater into the microwave curcuit as to not overload any others>
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #66
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My deepest condolances to your family. With that in mind, we will be especially careful with the space heater. we don't run it at night or when we're gone anyway. I like the idea of using the micro plug. Thanks to both of you for the information. Unless the inverter goes unexpectedly, we'll have it checked next time we have the MH in for service
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #67
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All of these responses are great, but what does one do who isn't able to make electrical changes in their RV? I still don't know what type of heater to get. There are so many different kinds on the market. Can anyone suggest some models that won't require changes in the electrical system? I have a 2012 Itasca Navion iQ.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #68
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The issue is using heaters where the circuit is fed though an inverter and the resulting impact on it. I suspect most if not all of your outlets in the Navion are fed directly from the electrical panel as I don't believe Winn installs 2000 watt plus inverters in anything other than their class A coaches. Bottom line is you can use the heater of your choosing.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:56 PM   #69
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This thing has gotten out of hand.

Inverters
If the inverter relay (contactor) is always in the bypass position, it will pass its rated current without a problem. The problems will come about if the inverter is going from bypass to inverter conditions repeatedly. That should never happen when connected to shore power or generator. If it does, something is wrong.

It should go without saying that an electric space heater should never be connected to any inverter circuit when the inverter can invert 120 volts AC from 12 volts DC. The inverter side must be off.

Just consider that some have suggested using the microwave connection as a precaution. In almost every case the microwave connection will be fed by the inverter. Also consider that the microwave is a very high amp draw device. Since mine is a convection/microwave, it runs for long periods of time and without any problems -- sometimes several hours.

Unless there is something wrong in the system, the closed bypass contactor in the inverter contacter will never even feel the current going through it in the bypass mode.

Heater Type
No matter what heater you use, a watt of electricity produces 3.41 btu. You'll get no more or less heat from any heater with the same watt rating. The temperature of the output of the heater is a function of how much air is circulated over the element -- not what kind of element is used. More air, lower outlet temp, less air, higher temp.

Any heater with UL approval is safe to use so far as electrical things are concerned. Fire hazards only come about when something goes wrong with the installation -- it turns over and the element comes in contact with flammable material, etc.

Heaters do differ in safety features. It should turn off if it overturns or if it exceeds its high limit temperature setting.

In addition, it should never be placed on flammable material -- like rugs. Use an insulator like a glass plate, etc. under the heater.

Other than that get any heater you want.

Wil
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:33 PM   #70
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I do not know about other coaches, but I simply turned my inverter on and with a voltage meter checked all of the outlets.

Those that measured 120 were inverter powered. Those that measured 0 are direct feed from the shore power.

Not plugged into shore power, genny off.

I would only plug a space heater into the direct wired outlets.

Easy? I think so.

Hope this tip helps someone!

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