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Old 11-20-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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Power Converter

I would like to add a power converter to my 1997 Pace Arrow so that I can use outlets while driving. I thought that it came with one but I only see a inverter. Is it difficult to install.

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Old 11-20-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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Your inverter is what you use for 120vac while driving down the road...

Newmar Kountry Star 2005 37'

8.1 Workhorse w/UltraPower,Taylor 409 plug wires,AC Delco 41-993 Plugs and OEM Engineering Fuel Filter Adaper
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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I think you have the terms backward. A "converter" is standard on your Pace - it charges the batteries and provides 12v when you are plugged into shore power. An "inverter" produces 120vac from 12v battery power. That's what you want to add.

Difficulty of installation depends on your electrical skills and how elegant a solution you want. If you want all the coach outlets to be powered from a large inverter, you are looking at a fairly large job and one that requires electrical skills you may not have. If you just want to power a outlet of two to have a computer running or so the kids can watch tv, it can be done much more simply.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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I installed an inverter in my coach. We wanted to run the TV, DVD and have a few extra outlets. I bought a 750watt. It is an over kill but I did not want to go too small. It takes a good 12 volt source and a good ground. The bigger the inverter the bigger the wire powering the inverter needs to be. The inverter produces heat so it needs to be able to breathe. The inverter needs switch to turn it off and on because it will slowly drain you battery even if you are not using the outlets. Put a fuse link on the positive between the 12 volt source and the inverter. The size fuse will be determined by how many amps the inverter requires. If you are planing on running a TV you need to check the output voltage on the inverter because I went through 3 inverters before I found one the would work. Inverter output voltage needs to be close to 120 volts to run a TV. I could not get my TV to run on 107 volts. Most other stuff would probably work but not my TV. I also put in a switch to transfer power from the inverter to the 110 power from the coach. This way I do not have to unplug and plug into a different outlet when I get to the campsite.
Another thing to add is if you TV can be seen by the driver you may lose power to it when the ignition is on. If this happens find the TV relay box and wire around the relay.
My kids can now watch the movie RV while we are traveling. If you have not seen it you really need to. You will learn a lot.
Hope this helps
Monaco Dynasty
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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As stated above, you need an inverter- It "inverts" battery power (DC) to alternating current (AC). Get a "pure sine wave" inverter (they put out pure AC power like off the light poles), but they usually cost around twice as much as a "modified sine wave" inverter. Depending on how you wire it up it can power up some existing wall plugs to use for short periods of time. Some appliances, motors in particular, don't care for modified sine wave wave inverters- I learned that the hard way.

I just added one to my rig and I've been trying to complete the job for one and a half years-- I'm not too sharp on electrical systems. I also had to add an automatic transfer switch to prevent shore power from entering the inverter when setting up at a campground. Space and location is critical in the placement of the inverter. It has to be physically very close to the battery bank.

My initial aim was to just power up a small fridge/feezer, which I did with relative ease. I added the 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter inverter in a ventilated bay, on a shelf I added, close to my two house batteries and ran a 12/3 wire to the fridge/freezer compartment with a dual outlet plug. It worked fine. Then I decided to power some outlets for dry camping. That's when the work came in with the automatic transfer switch install-- ugh! all is well and done now. I think it is a poor decision for Motorhome mfg's to build motorhomes without one installed at the factory.

Good luck on your inverter install. My 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter cost $450 just for the inverter. A dealer quoted me $2500 for them to do the job.
Max H,
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', 3778, W-22, 8.1 Vortac, Ultra Power upgrade, CAI (cold air intake), Taylor wires, colder plugs, Koni shocks.
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