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Old 10-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
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Upgrading electrical stuff

Ok, Electricity scares the S@!t out of me. I will french kiss a Great white shark before I will play with wires in most cases. just so you understand my paranoia.....
My converter sucks, it's single stage and I want to upgrade it. As I love to boon dock and have 2 250 watt solar panels leftover from my house install, I would like to upgrade my converter and add an inverter. Does one unit do everything or do i need separate components? If separate, and both a converter and inverter will charge my battery bank, how do they decide which one gets to do it? I obviously want to keep my 12v system as well as add a 2000-3000 watt inverter.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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Here is a good place to start learning about this upgrade.

Power Inverter, RV Inverter Charger | RV Power Products

Take the Inverter/Charger link to a one does it all solution.

Dick
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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They don't both charge your batteries.

The converter converts 120 VAC to 12 VDC. It supplies power to your lights, and other 12 volt items. It also charges your batteries.

The inverter is just the opposite. It is used to convert 12 VDC to 120 VAC when no shore power is available. It draws power out of your batteries, but can never charge them.

Converters and inverters can be individual items, or they can both be packaged in one enclosure.

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Old 10-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post

The inverter is just the opposite. It is used to convert 12 VDC to 120 VAC when no shore power is available. It draws power out of your batteries, but can never charge them.

Joel
Really? because I can't even count how many inverters I see with 3 stage chargers and the same applies for converters. So either what your saying doesn't check out or I am missing something. Can someone clarify?
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Even though an inverter may have a converter section and vice versa the inverter section still converts 12 vdc to 120 vac and the converter section still converts 120 vac to 12 vdc.

They really should be called something like inverter/chargers.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airbrushguy View Post
Really? because I can't even count how many inverters I see with 3 stage chargers and the same applies for converters. So either what your saying doesn't check out or I am missing something. Can someone clarify?
Some manufacturers build a box that contains both a converter and an inverter. The converter is what does the charging. the inverter does not. The confusion is that different manufacturers use different nomenclature for the combination units.

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Old 10-22-2013, 08:34 AM   #7
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Thank you Joel, makes perfect sense. So an inverter with a 3 stage charger will work just fine for my application? (providing 110v and 12v to my systems)
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #8
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Upgrading to a modern converter is pretty simple and even a duck tape/hammer guy like me found replacing one pretty simple. There are plenty of step by step "how to" on the web and BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics has plenty of examples. One of the things that wasn't mentioned in the various "how to" examples is that you can locate the new converter in a more convenient spot if you want (just run the wires to the old DC distribution panel) - this comes in handy as sometimes it's a tight fit to put the new converter is the same spot as the old one. Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #9
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If you are going to add solar, and you boondock a lot, what do you need to upgrade your converter? Instead, install a quality Solar Controller and let it be the primary battery charger.

I have solar and a basic converter. I have my converter turned off most all the time - even when on shore power or stored at home. My Morningstar solar controller does the battery charging.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.0.pdf (441.7 KB, 20 views)
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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I do want to install a 500 watt solar system but the DW and I have been talking about upgrading the coach to a newer model DP with a couple of slides. We frequently have friends along for trips and could really make use of the extra space as well as a bigger shower. (i'm 6'1 and the little one I have is workable but inconvenient). I am not sure I want to make a 1000 dollar investment to a 5k coach.
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