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Old 02-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
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Inverter/MH, winter time, shore power?

Hi

The RV dealer said that one only needs to hook up to shore power in
the winter, a few days a month, to keep the house bat. up.

He said, being hooked up 24/7 could wear out the inverter out. I don't know.

I myself plug in 2 or 3 days a month. I run the engine and gen. once a month. Depending on the weather, I drive the MH every other month.

PS: I plug the MH in, not myself
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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Depends on the MH. My inverter only runs when I turn it on.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederick w View Post
Hi

The RV dealer said that one only needs to hook up to shore power in
the winter, a few days a month, to keep the house bat. up.

He said, being hooked up 24/7 could wear out the inverter out. I don't know.

I myself plug in 2 or 3 days a month. I run the engine and gen. once a month. Depending on the weather, I drive the MH every other month.

PS: I plug the MH in, not myself
That RV dealer would be not on my list for getting anything from.
Granted a few days a month if you are not using power from them will
be more than needed.
Wear out the inverter???? Has no clue what he is talking about.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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He said, being hooked up 24/7 could wear out the inverter out.
My 14 year old Inverter/Charger should be about worn out. It has been plugged in 24/7 for the last 10 years of Full Time.

Just check the water in the batteries every month or so. I check mine every 40 days.

The charger part is in use every day. But the Inverter is only used when their is a shore power loss. That happens a couple times or so a month for short periods.

Most Inverters can be shut off. And the charger will still work.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Don't use him for anymore advice
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #6
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Your dealer is half right (not at all uncommon) For example, My dealer said my coach would have a Ford engine and an Allison Transmissions.. As expected (Allison trannies fit GM engines, not Fords, also a bunch of other makes but not Ford) he was half right, I do have an Allison.

To your case: In days of old many RV's had a converter called a Magnetek 6300,... Leaving it plugged in all winter meant new batteries needed in spring. It has a well deserved reputation as a battery killer. Today many low end units have a Parallex 7300, SLIGHTLY better but it's still the bottom of the pile.

IF you have an INVERTER. leaving it plugged in full time won't hurt a thing. but read on.

Now inverters come in three (by 2 but we won't worry about the 2) types. Stand alone, Inline, and Inline-with converter.

Many motor homes have a small in-line inverter. like 300 watts, this type if you have shore power present, is turned off, On this type you will have a seperate converter.. THAT could be a parallex, IOTA, WFCO, Progressive Dynamics, or a host of other makes, If it's a good 3-stage like the Progressive Dynamics with wizard.. Plug it in.

Stand alone is not likely but they run whenever battery voltage is present, and they DRAW POWER from said batteries. An automatic transfer switch may switch the load to mains if shore power is present but the inverter always runs the batteries down, so again PLUG IN.

the third option is a Inverter/Converter this is always an inline, and usually the converter stage is a very good 3-stage type.. These units are designed to operate like an Uninteruppted power supply (Which by the way is an inverter/converter with installed battery) and like a UPS can be plugged in full time.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:12 AM   #7
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As long as the inverter has adequate cooling air flow around it, having those electrons running around inside isn't going to wear anything out. And if it does not have adequate cooling, even a couple days a month might do it in.

I think I would find a different dealer for any electronic questions or repairs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederick w View Post
Hi

The RV dealer said that one only needs to hook up to shore power in
the winter, a few days a month, to keep the house bat. up.

He said, being hooked up 24/7 could wear out the inverter out. I don't know.

I myself plug in 2 or 3 days a month. I run the engine and gen. once a month. Depending on the weather, I drive the MH every other month.

PS: I plug the MH in, not myself
The following are facts about electrical equipment in an RV (really any electronics):
~Your RV never "NEEDS" to be plugged in. If you want shore power to run stuff - that's good, but there are ways of not needing it and those that boondock are expert at it.
~SolidState Electrical equipment will last longer if left plugged-in. Cold start-up and shut down are bad for electronics.
~Inverters need to be kept cool or they will suffer damage over time.


So, I would say that your routine (above) is good. And the dealer isn't saying that is wrong. Plugging in during the winter will keep the batteries topped-off (if you have a multi-stage charger or float charger installed) - and if you are in the colder climates, you can keep an electric heater set-up to prevent freezing.

Best of luck and safe travels
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Your dealer is half right (not at all uncommon) For example, My dealer said my coach would have a Ford engine and an Allison Transmissions.. As expected (Allison trannies fit GM engines, not Fords, also a bunch of other makes but not Ford) he was half right, I do have an Allison.

To your case: In days of old many RV's had a converter called a Magnetek 6300,... Leaving it plugged in all winter meant new batteries needed in spring. It has a well deserved reputation as a battery killer. Today many low end units have a Parallex 7300, SLIGHTLY better but it's still the bottom of the pile.

IF you have an INVERTER. leaving it plugged in full time won't hurt a thing. but read on.

Now inverters come in three (by 2 but we won't worry about the 2) types. Stand alone, Inline, and Inline-with converter.

Many motor homes have a small in-line inverter. like 300 watts, this type if you have shore power present, is turned off, On this type you will have a seperate converter.. THAT could be a parallex, IOTA, WFCO, Progressive Dynamics, or a host of other makes, If it's a good 3-stage like the Progressive Dynamics with wizard.. Plug it in.

Stand alone is not likely but they run whenever battery voltage is present, and they DRAW POWER from said batteries. An automatic transfer switch may switch the load to mains if shore power is present but the inverter always runs the batteries down, so again PLUG IN.

the third option is a Inverter/Converter this is always an inline, and usually the converter stage is a very good 3-stage type.. These units are designed to operate like an Uninteruppted power supply (Which by the way is an inverter/converter with installed battery) and like a UPS can be plugged in full time.
There is a fourth. The newer coaches come with an inverter/charger. Charger is on all the time and the inverter is controlled with an on/off switch.
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