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Old 11-14-2014, 10:09 PM   #15
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My coach doesn't have an inverter, but at about $2K for a 2KW inverter, I'll just use the genny. That will buy about 1000 hrs of genny use plus I need to run the genny in the summer anyway for the AC.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:04 AM   #16
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There are a lot of inverters out there for less than $500, so what gain is achieved by spending the big bucks on one?

For instance, there's a 2000/4000 inverter on CL for $180, still in the box. If we aren't picky about MSW or PSW, and if we'd wire it per post #2 in this thread, what do we gain by going the 10X more expensive route?

A three-year lifespan would suffice nicely, since we aren't FT.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:51 AM   #17
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bamaboy473: There is indeed a lot to think about for this sort of change. It may end up being fairly simple, but it takes a fair amount of analysis of your needs and the existing wiring, battery bank, etc. to determine just what is needed to be both safe and effective.

Any old inverter will work if set up properly. Units like the Xantrex Freedom mentioned here are combined inverter/converter/charger and also have built in transfer switches to automatically manage the power source. They are very nice, but not strictly necessary IF you are willing to do some things manually and are set up so that there are fail-safes against manual screw-ups.

The simplest solution is to install an inverter near the batteries and run extension cords to the areas that need power. Plug appliances into the inverter extension cords when needed. From that very basic beginning, all kinds of enhancements are possible.

You also need to consider your battery capacity, since an inverter without adequate 12v power is useless. It takes a LOT of 12v amps to make 120v electric power for even a short time.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:32 AM   #18
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Great explanation, Gary It confirms that a basic inverter can work, and that spending extra bucks provides extra benefits; the value of which are subjective and somewhat individual.

Could I get answers to several scenarios that might be worth having an inverter for?

A. If traveling in Cold weather and you need to turn on the heat, does the heater fan operate on 12V or 110V? IF 110V, then an inverter would be nicer than using the genset.

B. If using an inverter for the refer instead of using LP, wouldn't the power used be immediately replaced by the alternator (making the cost of refer power zero)?

C. Could the method outlined in Post #2 be used while driving down the road? Connect extension cord to SP after turning the charger Off? IOW, could we drive down the road and have the comfort of 110V easily?
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #19
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The furnace on most coaches is 12v. (all of them I've worked on anyway)

The refer runs for pennies a day on LP

If I need 110v on the road, I start the gen. In practice, with just the wife and I, the only time we need to do this is when we need the AC.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
The furnace on most coaches is 12v. (all of them I've worked on anyway)

The refer runs for pennies a day on LP

If I need 110v on the road, I start the gen. In practice, with just the wife and I, the only time we need to do this is when we need the AC.
Thank you. We operate about the same way; turning the genset On while having lunch at a rest stop. It keeps the coach cool, allows the microwave or convection oven to be used, and cycles the genset to keep it fresh.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:36 PM   #21
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Regarding energizing the house shore power from the inverter:

How would I accomplish this in my 2008 Fleetwood Southwind:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
There are several ways to do this...
Disclaimer:
You need to turn off the converter/charger to prevent the "loop of death" pulling battery power to charge the battery (that will kill the batteries pretty quickly).
Safe travels and best luck


Thanks
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblinboy View Post
Regarding energizing the house shore power from the inverter:

How would I accomplish this in my 2008 Fleetwood Southwind:

Thanks
That would be my post quoted above...
I do not have info on the inverter set-up on a '08 Southwind. But it is rather simple.
Just run the appropriate gauge extension cord for the inverter's max output from an open outlet on the inverter, toward your electric service bin. Connect the extension cord to the RV's shore power cord using the adapters needed to join your shore power cord (30 or 50amp) to the extension cord (20amp).

Depending on the original set-up, if there are already circuits on the inverter, they will either switch to the shore power cord through a transfer switch or stay hot on the inverter...either way is fine
If the inverter will be installed for this project, keep the 12VDC cables as short as possible. The 120VAC cord can be longer with little or no voltage drop. Be sure to protect the cords and cables from any sharp edges and hot surfaces.

Remember to switch the converter/charger off when not on actual shore power because it will pull power from the inverter which is drawing from the battery...that is the "loop of death" mentioned above that will drain the battery with no gain.

Best luck
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:20 PM   #23
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Thank you for that.
Just not sure how to switch off the charger/converter.
Rb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
That would be my post quoted above...
I do not have info on the inverter set-up on a '08 Southwind. But it is rather simple.
Just run the appropriate gauge extension cord for the inverter's max output from an open outlet on the inverter, toward your electric service bin. Connect the extension cord to the RV's shore power cord using the adapters needed to join your shore power cord (30 or 50amp) to the extension cord (20amp).

Depending on the set-up, if there are already circuits on the inverter, they will either switch to the shore power cord through a transfer switch or stay hot on the inverter...either way is fine

Remember to switch the converter/charger off when not on actual shore power because it will pull power from the inverter which is drawing from the battery...that is the "loop of death" mentioned above that will drain the battery with no gain.

Best luck
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblinboy View Post
Thank you for that.
Just not sure how to switch off the charger/converter.
Rb
The converter/charger will usually be on a dedicated breaker in the main A/C panel. That will usually be easy to find...and is what I use to kill the converter/charger in our RV.
Also, there could also be a switch or breaker on the converter/charger body itself.

Best luck
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:23 AM   #25
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Off to the raves

Really appreciate the advice thank you. Just starting to dabble in boondock power. got the famous 45W Harborfreight solar panel kit on sale and a 1K inverter, can't wait to go dry camping amd try it all out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
The converter/charger will usually be on a dedicated breaker in the main A/C panel. That will usually be easy to find...that is what I use to kill the converter/charger in our RV.
And, there could also be a switch or breaker on the converter/charger body itself.

Best luck
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:39 AM   #26
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We have the Harbor Freight 45Watt solar set-up too...the one with the metal frame stand (believe it is plastic pipe now). We love how simple it is and easy go use

And we have worked up from a Harbor Freight 1000Watt inverter to a 3000. It is Modified Sine Wave, but works just fine...even the microwave.

Safe travels
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