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Old 04-29-2013, 07:31 AM   #1
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Installing a new inverter

I have purchased the PROwatt SW 2000 watt inverter for my RV and wanted to find out if anyone has installed there’s differently than the instructions suggest. On my RV it looks like the two deep cycle batteries are connected in parallel and the positive wires all meet up at one location (red wires come from the alternator, generator, and fuse box). I want to connect my positive (red) at that same location and run it to the new inline fuse then to the inverter. My 1st question is will there be any back feed when I plug into shore power or using the generator?
My 2nd question is; after I get the inverter connected correctly can I run a double ended male plug from the inverter to a wall outlet to have power throughout the RV (knowing that I cannot be plugged into shore power or running the generator with the plug in). Will this cause any damage or other risks? Basically I want to be able to run some appliances without having to run an extension cord all over the RV if possible.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Same inverter, another option which may work for you as it does for us. What I did was feed the inverter from the 12v pos battery cable at the isolator relay thru a big fuse to the inverter pos. with only 14" of 2/0. Inverter neg battery cable to chassis ground with 18" of 2/0.
Now whenever we unplug from the campground or house we simply plug the 50amp rv electrical cord (thru the dogbone adaptors) into the inverter tan hd grounded extension cord you see into the picture and power on the inverter. When the EMS says ok it passes juice to the transfer sw etc. just like at the campground. The yellow cord to the inverter is a temporary work lite.
We ALSO break power to the battery charger (converter) so the batteries are not trying to charge themselves thru the inverter. To do this our converter is always plugged into the outlet that is intended to feed the engine block heater with block heater not plugged in. This outlet is switched from inside the coach.
We have maintained all the protection of the transfer switch, genny start, progressive hard wired 50amp EMS, etc buy using this approach.
All outlets/components are active with 120vac with this approach. Of course don't try running the A/Cs or a big hair dryer. Why we did this was to be able to safetly run our electronic heating blanket, basement fridge/freezer along with the obvious video/sound and charging equipment while boondocking or going down the road.


Looks like this.

Don't "double male end cord it". Don't install behind the transfer switch unless you (or DW or kids, or their friends) want to someday let the magic smoke out of the coach. Some inverters will be behind the transfer switch but they are auto sensing pass thru style on dedicated circuits.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for your insight I did not think about the batteries trying to charge themselves. Also I was not sure about the transfer switch. This looks great and the picture really helps explain it. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re the "backfeed" question: You must ALWAYS make absolutely sure that neither shore power nor generator is ever connected and online when the inverter is also actively powering the same circuit. Sparks will fly and the magic smoke will escape if ever that happens, for even an instant on even a single outlet. Qwert66's technique with the shore cord is one way to do that. And inverter transfer switch is another, and there are some other ways as well.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Re the "backfeed" question: You must ALWAYS make absolutely sure that neither shore power nor generator is ever connected and online when the inverter is also actively powering the same circuit. Sparks will fly and the magic smoke will escape if ever that happens, for even an instant on even a single outlet. Qwert66's technique with the shore cord is one way to do that. And inverter transfer switch is another, and there are some other ways as well.
Gary, this question seems to be fairly close to what I was asking in this post Wiring in of an Inverter . Could you please look at it and elaborate on what I have highlighted in your post above.

Thank you,
Stewart
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Did a little more research and found this setup. I'm not sure if there is a flaw, kinda hoping for more feedback.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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Not trying to defend my way, it simply works for us for the following reasons;

1. uses the limitations of the specific inverter without needing/wiring the optional remote on/off switch. (You have to be in the bay to switch power sources with the cord anyway)
2. safely keeps the inverter away from the batteries and uses the existing high $ 4/0 battery pos cable. (So far the inverter has not over temp'ed)
3. safe in all aspects including starting the genny without having to do anything else or go outside for those A/C needs when dry camping.
4. Energizes ALL 120v circuit breakers.

Only downside is remembering to turn on the battery charger from inside when going to shore power.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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I think what you have is very nice but I was overwhelmed by it so let me see if I can try and understand what you have going on here.
I have taken your picture and put A – G on it (hope you will be able to see the letters)
A – Is this a transformer of some type?
B – Is this the fuse?
C – What is this plug for - is it to the inverter?
D – What does this plug into?
E – Is this all part of D?
F – Is this going to the batteries or the fuse panel?
G - Is this going to the batteries or the fuse panel?
Thanks for taking the time to help me understand, I understand basic electricity but beyond that I’m not afraid to call in the pros.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwert66 View Post
Not trying to defend my way, it simply works for us for the following reasons;

1. uses the limitations of the specific inverter without needing/wiring the optional remote on/off switch. (You have to be in the bay to switch power sources with the cord anyway)
2. safely keeps the inverter away from the batteries and uses the existing high $ 4/0 battery pos cable. (So far the inverter has not over temp'ed)
3. safe in all aspects including starting the genny without having to do anything else or go outside for those A/C needs when dry camping.
4. Energizes ALL 120v circuit breakers.

Only downside is remembering to turn on the battery charger from inside when going to shore power.
Well, I WILL defend it...For a new inverter install - I added a 2000W inverter in a similar fashion into my RV that did not have the factory optional (tiny 600W) inverter...it works perfectly and the fail-safe (e.g. you MUST unplug the shore power cable from the inverter before shifting to shore power) is infallible.

PLUS, I went to the next step by putting the inverter only 2 feet from the batteries. The shorter DC cables have the least resistance I could design. The longer AC cord then runs to the electric bin for connection to the Shore Power cord.

There's no transfer switch to fail. The whole RV gets power, but with no complex wiring. And, it is very simple.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:59 AM   #10
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Simple

NEVER make a male to male connector...did I say NEVER!!!

That leaves a lethal voltage exposed, period!

I have seen a few places where power fails are common due to storms, and some "clever folks" have made these and simply plug their generator into an outlet to powert the tv and ice box, as well as the poor soul working on the lines!

ATS is easy, not to expensive to buy and can be built with a single relay off the shelf, if relay sized properly it will work fine for long time.

Pluging directly into inverter is safe, but one must remember to NOT turn on the AC, inverter will not like it and shut down.

One can interlock breakers on their breaker panel, these are standard configurations for MTS where portable generators are deployed, they are configured so that EITHER A or B can be on, but never both.

This allows things to be switched from inside and is safe.

Home made ATS...?

All you need is a relay and the space to mount it, many load centers have the space so it can be placed inside the load center.

You need a DPDT relay with a 120 VAC coil.

You can connect as many circuits as you need or the inverter can handle, one relay per circuit, DPDT

Contact rating should be 2 or 3 times the capacity of the circuit as a minimum.

2000 watts is 16.6 amps @ 120 volts, 20 amp relay is small (size of D battery) and will do the trick, you can place a few for multiple circuits or a single 40 amp one for one circuit.

The 10 amp rated units are plug in, easy wiring, 20 amp ones may be as well.

Inverter output is connected to the NO (normally open) (white on one side, black on the other) terminals on the relay.

Small jumpers connect the NO terminals to the coil terminals, usually marked "A" and "B".

The wires for the circuits are disconnected at their breakers.

Those wires are connected to the C (common) terminals, be sure the wires align with the black wire in same side of relay

Now add a new piece of black wire from the breaker and connect it to the NC (normally closed) terminal, again be sure it aligns with the other black wires.

Now locate the white wire for the circuit, disconnect it from the return buss, connect it to the C terminal aligning with the white wire from the inverter.

Add a new white wire from the return buss to the NC terminal aligning with the white wires on the relay.

When the inverter is OFF, the C terminal is connected to the NC terminal, wiring same as factory.

When the inverter is switched on it will supply power to the NO terminals as well as the coil, that will cause the relay to activate, switching the circuits to the inverter.

Shore power does not matter, inverter will overide it.

Made a few of these, cheap and work great as long as the relay is the right size.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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I decided to go with the easy install by running only to the two deep cycle batteries. While this was the least complicated in the way of running wires it was still about an 5 hour project. The Inverter was $400, and the cables, inline fuse, cable connectors, conduit tubing, and foam to fill in any cracks to the outside was $170. Project complete!
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:52 PM   #12
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Clean install...congrats.

Now - WARNING - if you do use the dog bone cord (double male ended cord) to jump AC from the inverter to that adjacent outlet, be VERY careful to remember to remove the cord before attaching to shore power.

I used a dogbone first with my inverter install...before improving to a high quality extension cord that feeds to the shore power cord...and found problems like; the GFCI circuit would sometimes trip, the microwave would sometimes not get power (never understood that), and there was always the risk of blowing the inverter if I forgot to unplug it when plugging into shore power.

For your set-up there is the additional risk of someone touching a live lead on the cord with their leg under the dinette if it is not unplugged from both ends.

I strongly recommend that you skip the dogbone cord and run a cord to the rig's shore power cord...it is much safer that way.

Best of luck
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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Since our teardrop is 30A and uses a Progressive Dynamics power center. I used a 30A DPDT switch, one side is the shore power the other the inverter and it feeds the power center. Simple and not expensive to do.
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