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Old 07-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
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Understanding inverters

I have a 2011 Damon Astoria D/P. Instruction maunal says that when inverter is turned on that all 110v outlets will become live. Use of course is subject to limitations of available battery power. On my rig the outlets in the ent. centre come life allowing TV, DVD player to work but all other outlets are non funtioning. When I fire up genset ALL 110v outlets become live. Can't get answer from factory or selling dealer so hopefully someone in the forum may have some ideas. All 110v fuses check out OK.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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On any motor home (or trailer) there are a number of inverter options, I will list a few...

First is MSW or TSW (modified or true sine wave) TSW is desierable, Just take my word for it please, The list of things that will not work on a TSW inverter is short (Devices that need more power than the inverter can product, end list)

The list of things that may or may not work properly or improperly on MSW inverters is long, too long to type here, of course the "Too much power" item is common to both but Televisions, Radios, Microwaves, Audio gear, to name but 4, are on the list.

Next we have "inline" or Stand-alone"
Inline switches on and off as needed, if there is shore power present it switches to standby (And may well include a battery charger) This type of device is not unlike your UPS on your computer in how it operats... Only a bunch more power.

Next, since we just mentioned it, we have the power rating, LONG list here, starting with some tiny jobs tha tdo 50-100 watts. And running up to around 3,000 watts.

Inverters in the 300-600 watt capacity normally are used in motor homes on the line to the entainerment center.. That is about all they are good for. (I mean the microwave, at aroudn 1,000 watts plus, is on the "Won't work" list for both.

Kick it up to 2,000 watts and you add the microwave and perhaps selected outlets (In my coach that is the GFCI loop) 3,000 you add all the outlets and perhaps some other stuff (3,000 WILL run an air conditioner, not long but it will run it)
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
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I would doubt that "All" 120v outlets are on the inverter. I havn't seen that in any coach I have ever owned or looked at. My first thought would be that something could be plugged and left on into any outlet and drain the batteries without you remembering something was plugged in.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Britcanuck.......Most inverters have circuit breakers on them. On mine there are two. If I blow one of the breakers, I lose half of the coach outlets. Check your inverter.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbmsu
I would doubt that "All" 120v outlets are on the inverter. I havn't seen that in any coach I have ever owned or looked at.
I would really have to agree with this. It would be insane to hook an inverter to all appliances. To connect an inverter to all outlets I guess is feasible, but not too smart IMHO. On a 50a coach (100amp useable) you could easily pull 50a just from the outlets. This would take a 6000 watt inverter. Then you would need one hellava battery bank to handle that.

I have to assume this is a misprint. And should read with the inverter on, all outlets connected to it will provide 120vac. I guess if we knew the watt output of your inverter, we could guestimate how many outlets are connected to it.

It would also be an easy test for you to use a small 120v appliance, elec drill, blender, etc, and plug it in all outlets to see which ones are powered by the inverter.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbmsu View Post
...I would doubt that "All" 120v outlets are on the inverter. I havn't seen that in any coach I have ever owned or looked at...
Same here, my coach came with a list of outlets that are powered when the inverter is on...I'm surprised that the manufacturer can't help you.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britcanuck View Post
I have a 2011 Damon Astoria D/P. Instruction maunal says that when inverter is turned on that all 110v outlets will become live. Use of course is subject to limitations of available battery power. On my rig the outlets in the ent. centre come life allowing TV, DVD player to work but all other outlets are non funtioning. When I fire up genset ALL 110v outlets become live. Can't get answer from factory or selling dealer so hopefully someone in the forum may have some ideas. All 110v fuses check out OK.
To all who had suggestions for my dilema - THANK YOU!
I have not solved the problem yet. Here is extract from owners hand book. Straight cut and paste
"The inverter converts 12 Volt power from your house batteries to 120 Volt power for your motorhome. The inverter will power the front and rear TV, Home Theater, the VCR, the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interupter) circuit, the microwave and all 120 Volt receptacles."

The inverter is a Xantrex Pro 1800 which I realize isn't very big. I'mjust going by what the handbook says
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:12 AM   #8
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Britcanuck.....Your manual sounds accurate. All of my outlets are powered by the inverter except for one in the bedroom and one the refer is plugged into. Only my A/C units and electric water heater are not powered by the inverter. My microwave is connected to the inverter, but I NEVER run the micro off of the inverter. IMHO, it's the primary cause for a lot of the Sharp microwaves going bad.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:42 AM   #9
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The size of the inverter installed in your coach is to power the entertainment components. If I remember there is also a receptacle in the bedroom on some of the floor plans that allow the 1000 watt inverter to power. A larger inverter option would o company more outlets and microwave. Like my dad used to say when I was young, "You get what you pay for".
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:40 PM   #10
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I use this same inverter in my RV, I installed mine so its not a factory install. When shore/generator power is applied it will allow the outlets to work on shore/generator power, when there is no shore/generator power the inverter will automatically take over if the power button is on.
My guess is the manual is wrong or there is a something else going on. The Xantrex has a circuit breaker on unit itself as well as the GFCI breaker on the unit. It can be wired internally to use the circuit breaker or GFCI. I don't remember the exact way the circuit breakers work but you can goto their website and download the user manual. That will tell you how the circuit breakers work on the Xantrex unit.

Also, is it possible someone rewired the RV and you might have 2 inverters. Thats what I have done to mine. I have the stock 1000 w inverter that runs the TV, my 1800W runs another circuit that my coffee maker is on.

BTW, the 1800 unit is not a small unit either. I will easily run a TV, DVD player and some other entertainment items with no problem. I use mine with my coffee maker and that draws alot of juice.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbmsu View Post
I would doubt that "All" 120v outlets are on the inverter. I havn't seen that in any coach I have ever owned or looked at. My first thought would be that something could be plugged and left on into any outlet and drain the batteries without you remembering something was plugged in.
Not looking at the right coaches. On ours, the only outlet I can think of that's not on the inverter is the one in the engine compartment for the block heater. And I don't count that one since it's not actually "in" the coach.

That said, I did have the factory tech rewire the panel to put ONE of the kitchen outlets in the non-inverter panel. The induction hotplate we were using had a tendency to trip the breaker feeding the inverter, if we used it the same time as the microwave.

I think all the Newmar high-end "all electric" coaches are the same way. And I know that at least one of the Prevost convertion shops (Marathon, maybe) is building units with about 12kW of inverter power and everything (including the roof AC units) is run off inverter power. They also have three (I think) alternators on the engine to keep the batteries charged if the ACs are running while traveling.

joe
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:10 PM   #12
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Having lots of outlets powered off of the inverter doesn't mean you could actually plug lots of things into all those outlets and actually expect them to operate (or at least for very long). Our coach also has all its 120V outlets "live" when the inverter is on, but it's up to me to determine how much of a load to put on our 2.5kW Xantrex.

When we installed a residential fridge I switched the inverter circuit that had powered the microwave to the fridge so it could have power while we drove. I never ran the microwave from the inverter and, in fact, the owner's manual stated this would not be a good idea. The new fridge draws much less power than the oven did.
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