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Old 10-04-2019, 06:52 PM   #1
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Turning off converter

Hey everyone. I'm new here. My name is EJ and my wife and I just upgraded from a tt to a class c Entegra Odyssey 25r. We love it after one short trip to UNC/Clemson football game. We live in Delaware.

Ive been researching on and off about batteries, inverters, solar..etc, and I feel like Im well informed, but i'm stumped when it comes to knowing if my converter is actually off.

I have a breaker labeled "converter". I switch it off, and while plugged into shore power, my battery still reads 14.3ish. I also turn off the main breaker and my battery still reads the same. It obviously reads 12.6ish when not plugged in. What am I missing?

My ultimate goal is to stop the converter from charging to be able to possibly plug my 30 amp plug into an inverter with battery bank.

Or am i just ignorant, and the converter is actually off, but because it's plugged in, it reads 14.3?

Thank you to all. This forum has been a huge help.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I hope someone can chime in and help. I'm no expert in the electrical field. I'm sure every converter is different for every model. Most large MH's have a battery disconnect switch. My switch will only disconnect the house batteries with shore power/generator power removed. Once I turn the switch off, all 12v power to the coach is lost. If I remember right, once I apply shore power, the converter will turn back on, to operate all the 12v items. Again,

Being a 25ft Class C, how many batteries are you going to be using to run an inverter, to plug in your 30 amp plug? I know the larger Class A coaches have 6 to 8 batteries for operating onboard inverters. Those are mainly used to operate the res. fridge. Those are the people who can really help you.
Good luck with your project and goal. Best of luck. Just wanted to welcome you and your family.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:23 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the welcome.

I do have a battery on/off switch that cuts all power from the batteries. Ill have to check tomorrow what it does when turned off and connected to shore power.

I simply want to install a 1500-2000 watt inverter using 2 100ah lithium batteries. Possibly convert storage to add 3 later. I definately understand my limitations and have no desire to run my a/c, refrigerator, water heater, or microwave off of it. Propane or the on board generator can handle those appliances.

I'm toying with the idea of just running a power strip behind the entertainment center, but seems more convenient to just plug in the 30 amp cord using a dog bone..etc., and having all the outlets powered. I'm definately open to any ideas and/or criticisms.

From other threads I've been reading, it seems my "converter" breaker should turn it off, i just don't understand why my batteries are reading like they are charging.? And I have a pd4060k converter. I realize ill probably need to change it if I go with lithiums. Im trying to understand the concepts of my hardware now.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:42 AM   #4
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Could be miss labeled ?

Have you tried other breakers ?

For just running outlets, I found the wire leaving the outlets breaker, cut it and added in a inverter type auto transfer switch. That way the inverter only powers them.

If you don't have an inverter yet, get one with a auto transfer switch ( often called a pass thru switch ) built in. That can be wired in the same way.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2019, 05:11 AM   #5
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Converter supplies 12v current to rig from 120v.
Many habe a pass thru seperate from breaker for maintaining battery charge so you are not stranded.
Best bet...install battery disconnects to get your desired effect.

Edit: Just saw you have disconnects. Use them and check it out.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ_Clemson View Post
Hey everyone. I'm new here. My name is EJ and my wife and I just upgraded from a tt to a class c Entegra Odyssey 25r. We love it after one short trip to UNC/Clemson football game. We live in Delaware.

Ive been researching on and off about batteries, inverters, solar..etc, and I feel like Im well informed, but i'm stumped when it comes to knowing if my converter is actually off.

I have a breaker labeled "converter". I switch it off, and while plugged into shore power, my battery still reads 14.3ish. I also turn off the main breaker and my battery still reads the same. It obviously reads 12.6ish when not plugged in. What am I missing?

My ultimate goal is to stop the converter from charging to be able to possibly plug my 30 amp plug into an inverter with battery bank.

Or am i just ignorant, and the converter is actually off, but because it's plugged in, it reads 14.3?

Thank you to all. This forum has been a huge help.
It could be the 14.3 reading just after you turn the converter breaker off, is residual or "surface" charge on the battery bank. You might get that for a little while after you disconnect the charging sources, more likely if the batteries have just taken a good "top off" charge, and are full when you disconnect. Try checking the level of charge after a few hours, or switch a light or some other small draw on for a few minutes, and then test the SoC.
You might be seeing "normal" SoC after all.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:55 AM   #7
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I am a little confused as to why you would want to turn the converter off. It is normally on and charging the battery when you are connected to shore power or running the generator. Turning off the coach batteries may disconnect the converter in your coach but leaving the coach unplugged (or not running the generator) will also accomplish the same.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ_Clemson View Post
Thanks so much for the welcome.

I do have a battery on/off switch that cuts all power from the batteries. Ill have to check tomorrow what it does when turned off and connected to shore power.

I simply want to install a 1500-2000 watt inverter using 2 100ah lithium batteries. Possibly convert storage to add 3 later. I definately understand my limitations and have no desire to run my a/c, refrigerator, water heater, or microwave off of it. Propane or the on board generator can handle those appliances.

I'm toying with the idea of just running a power strip behind the entertainment center, but seems more convenient to just plug in the 30 amp cord using a dog bone..etc., and having all the outlets powered. I'm definately open to any ideas and/or criticisms.

From other threads I've been reading, it seems my "converter" breaker should turn it off, i just don't understand why my batteries are reading like they are charging.? And I have a pd4060k converter. I realize ill probably need to change it if I go with lithiums. Im trying to understand the concepts of my hardware now.


The problem, as I see it, is wouldn’t using the inverter on the battery bank to power the 30 amp cord put “shore” power on the transfer switch and effectively block the generator from powering the AC, microwave, etc.
I’d think you’d be better off just running a dedicated full-time inverter circuit to power the outlets you want.
The assumption here (and please clarify if I’ve got it wrong) is that you want an convenient, easy way to run your electronics (i.e. entertainment center) from battery power w/o firing up genny or being connected to true shore power.

The benefit of a dedicated inverter circuit is it’ll also serve to protect said electronics by providing “clean” power to them.

Once installed there is nothing more you have to do — no switching plugs, no plugging into, etc.
Plug 30amp into true shore power — your batts charge, AC & everything else is available and your good. Entertainment is powered off inverter via batts (but they are charging).
Run genny - same thing.
Run solely on batts - all 12v is available and your entertainment center is powered (via inverter) — life is good.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tip10 View Post
The problem, as I see it, is wouldn’t using the inverter on the battery bank to power the 30 amp cord put “shore” power on the transfer switch and effectively block the generator from powering the AC, microwave, etc.
I’d think you’d be better off just running a dedicated full-time inverter circuit to power the outlets you want.
The assumption here (and please clarify if I’ve got it wrong) is that you want an convenient, easy way to run your electronics (i.e. entertainment center) from battery power w/o firing up genny or being connected to true shore power.

The benefit of a dedicated inverter circuit is it’ll also serve to protect said electronics by providing “clean” power to them.

Once installed there is nothing more you have to do — no switching plugs, no plugging into, etc.
Plug 30amp into true shore power — your batts charge, AC & everything else is available and your good. Entertainment is powered off inverter via batts (but they are charging).
Run genny - same thing.
Run solely on batts - all 12v is available and your entertainment center is powered (via inverter) — life is good.
I think you've hit the nail.
I was wondering why too, but then it occurred to me that the OP wants to plug the 30A shore power cord into his inverter and run the entire coach, all AC outlets included, off the coach batteries. No generator or shore power required to light up the AC outlets in his coach.
This has been suggested elsewhere before as a way to energize all the AC outlets in the coach by adding an inverter to the battery bank as the AC power source for the shore power cord. For motorhomes that didn't come with a factory installed inverter to energize some/all of the AC outlets. The problem with trying this was eliminating the converter/charger, so you'd have to disable it somehow. Otherwise, you'd be using battery power to charge the same batteries, via the converter/charger, which would/could be problematic.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:59 AM   #10
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Thanks for the ideas.

I went about turning off the breakers and checking the voltage. It seems the largest 30 amp breaker is the only breaker that actually stops charging current going to the battery (sort of a duh moment). However that breaker also controls the microwave, refriderator, prob a/c and the outlets. I presume it shuts off the entire converter.

But if i want to plug my rv 30 amp plug into my inverter, i suspect none of my outlets will work which defeats the purpose im going for.

Can i isolate just the charging portion of my converter? I also apparently have a 15amp breaker dedicated to a "utility inverter, if applicable". This coach doesnt have an inverter, so is this breaker helpful? It looks like the wire coming from this breaker dead ends onto a circuit board.

Sorry for the crazy questions. The more i dive into this, the more im lost. I do have experience wiring houses and panel boxes, but this stuff is stumping me.

Edit..... Ok, that inverter breaker actually helped! It allows me to keep the converter on but seems to turn off the charging portion. In hindsight, i guess this is another "duh" moment. My first mistake was reading the breaker panel upside down. Anyway, this solves my first issue. Many more to come im sure.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:32 AM   #11
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The problem, as I see it, is wouldn’t using the inverter on the battery bank to power the 30 amp cord put “shore” power on the transfer switch and effectively block the generator from powering the AC, microwave, etc.


.
No, this is wrong.

Generator is " priority " on the auto transfer switch.

Even plugged into shore power or a running inverter, it will switch to generator power.

If you start the generator, the switch waits 30 seconds and disconnects the shore cord and connects the generator power.

You do what you want to do with generator power and when done, shut it down and it automaticly reconnects your shore cord.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by EJ_Clemson View Post
Thanks for the ideas.

I went about turning off the breakers and checking the voltage. It seems the largest 30 amp breaker is the only breaker that actually stops charging current going to the battery (sort of a duh moment). However that breaker also controls the microwave, refriderator, prob a/c and the outlets. I presume it shuts off the entire converter.

But if i want to plug my rv 30 amp plug into my inverter, i suspect none of my outlets will work which defeats the purpose im going for.

Can i isolate just the charging portion of my converter? I also apparently have a 15amp breaker dedicated to a "utility inverter, if applicable". This coach doesnt have an inverter, so is this breaker helpful? It looks like the wire coming from this breaker dead ends onto a circuit board.

Sorry for the crazy questions. The more i dive into this, the more im lost. I do have experience wiring houses and panel boxes, but this stuff is stumping me.

Edit..... Ok, that inverter breaker actually helped! It allows me to keep the converter on but seems to turn off the charging portion. In hindsight, i guess this is another "duh" moment. My first mistake was reading the breaker panel upside down. Anyway, this solves my first issue. Many more to come im sure.
Now that you found the breaker, you can do as you proposed.

Be sure to switch the fridge to gas.
The fridge is very ineffecent, and an energy hog, on 120 volts thru an inverter.

If you have 120 volt/gas water heater, you will want to leave that on gas also.

The microwave may run on a 2000 watt inverter but not for long uses. A few minutes should be fine.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:55 AM   #13
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No, this is wrong.

Generator is " priority " on the auto transfer switch.

Even plugged into shore power or a running inverter, it will switch to generator power.

If you start the generator, the switch waits 30 seconds and disconnects the shore cord and connects the generator power.

You do what you want to do with generator power and when done, shut it down and it automaticly reconnects your shore cord.


Thanks Twinboat - not the first thing I’ve had backwards when it comes to MH’s. Probably not gonna be the last either....
Appreciate the clarification/correction.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:08 PM   #14
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No, this is wrong.

Generator is " priority " on the auto transfer switch.

Even plugged into shore power or a running inverter, it will switch to generator power.

If you start the generator, the switch waits 30 seconds and disconnects the shore cord and connects the generator power.

You do what you want to do with generator power and when done, shut it down and it automaticly reconnects your shore cord.
Hey twinboat. So, is this official for all/most motor homes? I do believe you as i was connected to shore power and turned on my generator for a brief time and everything seemed ok, voltage wise.

I see some people talk about dedicated circuits and what not. I definately get it, and i would probably just run an extension cord to a power strip behind the tv, but isn't it so much easier to run a heavy duty extension cord to the mh 30amp cord location, and just plug in? All receptacles would work. I have an outside tv and numerous outside receptacles.

Just seems far easier to do that, while fridge is on propane and then just remember to turn off inverter + turn on converter when connected to shore power. I would also need to remember ro turn off the inverter, and turn the converter back on when firing up the generator to get charge into my batteries. Just doesn't seem too hard to make a habit of it, especially when only in a 25ft long living area. We have no kids.

Im currently looking at replacing my converter for a lithium suitable converter, and going with two battle born lithiums. Solar to come later. Our plan is to boondock at least 25% of time while fulltiming.
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