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Old 09-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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55A from a 30A hookup

For the past couple of weeks I've been juggling appliances in order to keep from tripping the 30A breaker at our current site. In the past I've not had a problem with this, I know we can run one major appliance in addition to one A/C, but this past week I've been "tripped up" (pun intended) by the starting surge from our residential fridge which has tripped the breaker twice while dinner was cooking while an A/C was running (the manufacturer states that the starting surge can be up to 11A). Inevitably, cooking dinner requires opening the refrigerator doors which raises the temp which eventually causes it to turn on.

Since our inverter is wired into the 50A main breaker panel with its own 25A breaker, it occurred to me that I could get around this problem for limited periods of time by switching off the inverter's breaker, thereby forcing everything on the inverter circuit (including the fridge) to use battery power. That way the A/C and the microwave can have full use of the available shore power without competing with any other devices. Essentially, that gives me a total of 55A of 120V while connected to a 30A circuit. After dinner has been cooked the inverter's breaker can be turned back on and the converter can begin to recharge the batteries.

Other than the fact that the DirecTV DVR resets every time it goes from shore power to inverter, does anyone see any issues with doing this?
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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There is a power spliter that could help you available at Camping World. It has a 30A plug and a 20A plug that you connect to the pedistal if it has both. Downside is it will trip a pedistal GFI on the 20A side if so equipped. There are work arounds for this if there for some time, but not for overnite stops.
As for the Directv resetting, I remedied this with a $40 UPS power supply (for computers) from Sam's, etc. that keeps the receiver (s) (I have one on all 5) and they do not need to reset every time you disconnect power.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good plan, as long as the microwave is not on the inverter circuit.

The fridge isn't propane capable?
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good plan, as long as the microwave is not on the inverter circuit.

The fridge isn't propane capable?
The microwave is not on the inverter; the fridge is a residential unit and only runs on A/C.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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That is a great idea, I will have to remember that. I can turn off power to the inverter at its' AC breaker and turn it back on. Just have to remember to turn it back on.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:04 PM   #6
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As for the Directv resetting, I remedied this with a $40 UPS power supply (for computers) from Sam's, etc. that keeps the receiver (s) (I have one on all 5) and they do not need to reset every time you disconnect power.
Great suggestion; I hadn't thought about doing that. Thanks
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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There is a power spliter that could help you available at Camping World. It has a 30A plug and a 20A plug that you connect to the pedistal if it has both. Downside is it will trip a pedistal GFI on the 20A side if so equipped. There are work arounds for this if there for some time, but not for overnite stops.
As you said, this will trip the 20 amp GFCI (Or the 30 amp if so equipped) I do not recommend this device.

As for the O/P's idea.

I have done that, Just watch the total power (Amp hours) draw on that inverter when you have it "off"

On my coach the inverter powers Microwave, Entainerment, and GFCI chain. I can draw up to around 19 amps off the inverter, U[ tp around 2,000 watt hours. BUT... I have a seperate converter I have used the two of them (Well 3 if you count the battery bank) as a "power l;ine conditioner) on occasion.. You have to watch your battery monitor is all. If it gets too low Bad things happen (inverter shuts off... Usually just as the detective sas "And the killer is BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP")
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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I've done something similar when we spent a week in a remote campground with only 15A electric. We had a separate battery charger, so we ran the coach off the inverter (30A) and used the battery charger plugged to the 15A shore power to concurrently charger the batteries. Worked like a champ - could even run our 20A convection over when needed. No a/c, of course, but we were in northern Maine so that was not a requirement.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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The problem with this thread is in terminalogy. Inverters are used to convert 12 DC into 120 AC to power normal household applicances from a 12 V Battery Bank. Converter are a deluxe battery charger, converting 120 AC into 12 VDC to power RV Lights, fans, water pump, and charge the batteries. Turning off the converter (I think that's what you meant) will help, but unless you have all the lights on in the rig and they are high wattage bulbs it won't help a lot. If you're running the AC and Microwave and that Residential Fridge kicks it you'll most likely trip still trip that 30 amp breaker. As for the so called "Cheater Boxes", use with caution and if you have an onboard EMS will most likely not work unless you disable/bypass the EMS. Now if you do have an Inverter (used to power that Fridge and possibily several other outlets when traveling) turning it "ON" to supply power to the Fridge from the Batteries and turn OFF the converter could help, but then again remember to turn the converter back on and inverter off or you'll end up with dead batteries.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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If you're running the AC and Microwave and that Residential Fridge kicks it you'll most likely trip still trip that 30 amp breaker.

Our fridge is wired to one of the inverter's two output circuits. If the inverter's AC breaker is off there is no electrical connection from it to the incoming shore power line. Essentially, the situation is no different than when we are driving down the highway and the fridge is running off of the inverter. Therefore, the starting surge won't get "passed along" to the 30A shore power breaker.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:41 PM   #11
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mhs4771,
docj has an inverter/charger with a built in transfer switch. When it has 120ac available, it passes through that power to its output circuits. When the inverter feeder circuit breaker is opened, the inverter thinks there is no shore power and begins to invert, supply it's output circuits with inverted power. The remaining house circuits still receive direct shore power, e.g. a/c and water heater. That gives him two 120vac sources to power his rig, with the inverter supplying some of them and the shore cord the rest.

Hope this helps clear up the misunderstanding.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #12
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Since our inverter is wired into the 50A main breaker panel with its own 25A breaker, it occurred to me that I could get around this problem for limited periods of time by switching off the inverter's breaker, thereby forcing everything on the inverter circuit (including the fridge) to use battery power.

Other than the fact that the DirecTV DVR resets every time it goes from shore power to inverter, does anyone see any issues with doing this?
I don't get it- aren't the a/c and fridge 110v appliances? How is it possible to operate them from 12v batteries without the inverter to..."invert" the power????
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:39 AM   #13
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I don't get it- aren't the a/c and fridge 110v appliances? How is it possible to operate them from 12v batteries without the inverter to..."invert" the power????
Me too Francesca. Somebody must have made a left turn around Memphis and I went straight ahead.

How do I turn off the power going into my inverter without turning off the other leg. Don't tell me that's one of the breakers underneath the fridge.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:19 AM   #14
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I don't get it- aren't the a/c and fridge 110v appliances? How is it possible to operate them from 12v batteries without the inverter to..."invert" the power????
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Me too Francesca. Somebody must have made a left turn around Memphis and I went straight ahead.

How do I turn off the power going into my inverter without turning off the other leg. Don't tell me that's one of the breakers underneath the fridge.
Read Gary's post. The inverter has an automatic transfer switch which passes 120V through to the fridge (and the DVR) when connected to shore power. This adds to the overall load on the 30-amp shore power supply. If you cut power to the inverter, the inverter thinks there is no shore power, so the inverter will supply 120V to the fridge from the batteries thus leaving all 30 amps of the shore power available for the air conditioner and for anything else in the coach that is not connected to the inverter.

The inverter should be on a circuit all by itself. If it is, the easiest way to cut power to the inverter is to simply turn off the breaker at the main electrical panel in your coach. Just don't forget to turn the breaker back on after dinner.
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