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Old 02-09-2019, 11:01 AM   #1
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Automatic to Manual Transfer Switch

just wondering if anyone has gone from automatic to manual transfer switch in their motorhome. I have installed an inverter and would like to install a manual transfer switch to allow us to chose shore power, genset or inverter. I had this system on our boat for 25 years so I am familiar with the plus and minus' of this kind of set up. Just not in an RV. If you made the switch, what manual switch did you use? This is the switch I am familiar with and plan to use . Chuck
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:27 AM   #2
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just wondering if anyone has gone from automatic to manual transfer switch in their motorhome. I have installed an inverter and would like to install a manual transfer switch to allow us to chose shore power, genset or inverter. I had this system on our boat for 25 years so I am familiar with the plus and minus' of this kind of set up. Just not in an RV. If you made the switch, what manual switch did you use? This is the switch I am familiar with and plan to use . Chuck
Why? You already have a switch to turn the inverter on or off.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #3
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Why? You already have a switch to turn the inverter on or off.
Bill
I don't want to turn it on and off, I want to transfer the power source. So I would really like to hear from anyone that has done this. Chuck
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:01 PM   #4
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I have used the same switch [except 2 position] to switch from generator to shore power. Don't see why the 3 position would not work with your inverter. Just bear in mind, your total coach load will probably be more than your inverter will handle, so you will have to remember not to turn on ac's, hot water heater etc.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:36 PM   #5
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You can wire in a 3 position manual switch or even a 3 position automatic switch. There out there.

If you do it that way, be sure to switch the fridge to gas, if its a 2 way fridge, switch off constant , high amp draw items, like electric water heaters, and certainly switch off the battery's converter/charger.

I know it worked in your boat but it was old ( 1970s? ) technology.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:02 PM   #6
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You can wire in a 3 position manual switch or even a 3 position automatic switch. There out there.

If you do it that way, be sure to switch the fridge to gas, if its a 2 way fridge, switch off constant , high amp draw items, like electric water heaters, and certainly switch off the battery's converter/charger.

I know it worked in your boat but it was old ( 1970s? ) technology.
Not sure how you figure it was 1970s tech. The boat was all upgraded to current equipment, appliances, and electrical systems so it was more current than the RV. We had AC units, heat and battery chargers so I am well aware of the need to watch which breakers to keep off. Actually, our water heater on the boat would run just fine on the inverter long enough to heat the water then we could turn it off. The water heater in the RV is propane. The fridge has been and will continue to run off the inverter, it is a home style fridge. As a marine service tech for 25 years, I have a good grasp of power management. I just want to be sure I'm not overlooking something in the changeover. I have had problems in the past with the current auto transfer switch and would much prefer that manual switch once I add the inverter to the mix. Right now, all the inverter runs is the fridge and it powers that all the time. The inverter has its own built-in transfer switch that uses 120 volts when we are plugged in. Once we unplug, it runs the fridge off the inverter. Keeps everything nice and cold while running down the road. But I want to be able to use more circuits like for the TV, etc. when we are off the grid. Chuck
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:06 PM   #7
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just wondering if anyone has gone from automatic to manual transfer switch in their motorhome. I have installed an inverter and would like to install a manual transfer switch to allow us to chose shore power, genset or inverter.
Our inverter (Magnum MS2812) has a built-in transfer switch in addition to the MH's automatic switch. So if we are connected to shore power the inverter automatically bypasses the batteries but I don't have to do anything to make that happen.

When the genset is running, the inverter "sees" 120V power and uses its transfer switch to bypass the battery bank.

I'm not sure that your approach provides any more flexibility than I already have.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:29 PM   #8
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Thanks docj, ours also has the automatic transfer switch built in to the inverter. But that would mean a direct connection to our main panel and I don't want to do that for a number of reasons. One would be a power failure that would kick in the inverter with air conditioners and other appliances that will not run off the inverter and others we don't want running off the inverter. It isn't as sophisticated as the Magnum. Our boat had this same switch and it was not an issue to change it over manually depending on if we were plugged in to shore power, at anchor running the generator or just the inverter for a few circuits. I want to be able to do the same with the RV. Chuck
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:28 PM   #9
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One would be a power failure that would kick in the inverter with air conditioners and other appliances that will not run off the inverter and others we don't want running off the inverter.
Our inverter has two output circuits. One serves the residential fridge and the other serves a 20A circuit that powers all our lighting and most of our outlets. The A/C, microwave, washer/dryer and water heater simply aren't on circuits served by the inverter. I still don't understand why there would be a problem.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:05 PM   #10
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Our inverter has two output circuits. One serves the residential fridge and the other serves a 20A circuit that powers all our lighting and most of our outlets. The A/C, microwave, washer/dryer and water heater simply aren't on circuits served by the inverter. I still don't understand why there would be a problem.
It's a problem because ours isn't wired that way and to do so means a major rewiring of the system. To install a manual transfer switch, there is none right now that includes the inverter, and simply only turning on certain breakers is a quick and easy solution. Ours does not have two outlet circuits. I really don't want to get into a discussion on rewiring the entire coach to make the inverter work. I just wanted to hear from anyone that made the switch from automatic to manual on the transfer switch. Chuck
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:01 AM   #11
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I don't want to turn it on and off, I want to transfer the power source. So I would really like to hear from anyone that has done this. Chuck
So where do you think you are transferring the power source? The only power source for the inverter is the house/auxiliary batteries. The only time it would produce power (to selected circuits) is when there is no generator or shore power available and the inverter is switched on.
Chuck, you are not going to hear from anyone who has done this as it isn't necessary.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:02 PM   #12
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So where do you think you are transferring the power source? The only power source for the inverter is the house/auxiliary batteries. The only time it would produce power (to selected circuits) is when there is no generator or shore power available and the inverter is switched on.
Chuck, you are not going to hear from anyone who has done this as it isn't necessary.
Bill
I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand so I will try to explain it as simply as possible. I don't want to be in any type of situation where, for instance, I am asleep at night with the air conditioner running and there is a power failure. It won't wake us up. The inverter will kick in and try to run our 13K BTU and 11.5K BTU AC units. That won't last for very long on our batteries and probably be a big issue with an 1800 watt inverter. If the switchover is not automatic, such as using a manual transfer switch, it's a non-issue until the power comes back on. so PLEASE, let's not turn the thread into a discussion on whether I should or should not do this or on the plus and minus of letting an inverter do the switch automatically. THAT IS NOT WHAT I ASK. If you have actually done it, I would very much like to hear from you. Otherwise, I would prefer that this thread not suffer the subject drift that many do. If no one else has ever done this, which I doubt, then I guess I will have to be the trailblazer. Apparently, one poster, jcussen, has done a similar change so perhaps I am not totally alone. Chuck
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:40 PM   #13
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Chuck

I also think you will not find anyone who has done this, as most MH with inverters, are wired to prevent your problem.

But I see no reason it won't work as long as you use good power management. As you know just don't switch under load.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:13 PM   #14
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I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand so I will try to explain it as simply as possible. I don't want to be in any type of situation where, for instance, I am asleep at night with the air conditioner running and there is a power failure. It won't wake us up. The inverter will kick in and try to run our 13K BTU and 11.5K BTU AC units. That won't last for very long on our batteries and probably be a big issue with an 1800 watt inverter. If the switchover is not automatic, such as using a manual transfer switch, it's a non-issue until the power comes back on. so PLEASE, let's not turn the thread into a discussion on whether I should or should not do this or on the plus and minus of letting an inverter do the switch automatically. THAT IS NOT WHAT I ASK. If you have actually done it, I would very much like to hear from you. Otherwise, I would prefer that this thread not suffer the subject drift that many do. If no one else has ever done this, which I doubt, then I guess I will have to be the trailblazer. Apparently, one poster, jcussen, has done a similar change so perhaps I am not totally alone. Chuck
Chuck, Lets try something really simple. Go to your coach, Is it plugged in? Start the AC, make shure the inverter is on, now that it is running shut shore power off. Does the AC continue to run?
The reason the AC units won't continue to run is THERE NEVER HAS BEEN A BOUNDER WIRED THAT WAY.
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