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Old 05-01-2014, 01:45 PM   #1
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Installing an Inverter in a Coach That Doesn't Have a Factory Inverter

Has anyone installed an inverter in a coach that didn't have one from the factory? Looking for a DIY or other guidance on how big this project is. I only want a single 120v outlet, so getting into the coach wiring system should be an issue.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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Looking for additional info as well. I am planning on installing one this weekend.

My plan:
- Install the inverter close to the battery bank using a properly rated fuse and cables.
- Run a 110v Romex cable down to the bay where my shore power cord is located.
- Install a 30amp plug in that bay and connect the romex to the inverter.
- When we are on the road or boondocking, we will plug in our shore cord into the new 30amp plug and turn off the charger/converter breaker in the bedroom (so we are not converting 12v to 110v to 12v).
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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The inverter should have 12v in and 120v AC out. However, there needs to be some type of switching circuit such that the 120v out switches to shore power when the generator is running or you are plugged in.

Not sure if Newmar includes the wiring harness even if the option is not installed (this is what the auto manufacturers do so that the harness is always the same part) or whether each coach is wired as a one off and since it doesn't come with the inverter it is a clean start.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsikes View Post
Looking for additional info as well. I am planning on installing one this weekend.

My plan:
- Install the inverter close to the battery bank using a properly rated fuse and cables.
- Run a 110v Romex cable down to the bay where my shore power cord is located.
- Install a 30amp plug in that bay and connect the romex to the inverter.
- When we are on the road or boondocking, we will plug in our shore cord into the new 30amp plug and turn off the charger/converter breaker in the bedroom (so we are not converting 12v to 110v to 12v).
My whole coach inverter is set up this way. Works well. As you comment need to turn off the converter so as to not have a charging loop. I use a wireless on/off switch in the power cord to the converter. Also set refrigerator to propane and manage any other devices/appliances manually.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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Here is advise on installation of inverter in a coach found in QT's # 3.
There are other links for same in the Inverter/Converter section in QT's # 3.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #6
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Install near but not in the same compartment as the bats!!!!! Use a proper 300DC amp fuse and a sure-fire manual disconnect/isolation scheme to prevent charge and input source conflicts...
PS--allow for lots of air flow/venting; most inverters are very heavy so choose a good/accessable install location.....
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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First let me say that I'm not an expert on inverters but I do have some experience which I will share. There are some posts on here from more knowledgeable posters which you might want to search.

The two main considerations are what are you going to use it for (draw) and what are you going to connect it to (supply). I have a few smaller inverters (300-400 watts) that simply plug into a cigarette lighter. These are good for running a laptop, charging your phone, maybe a small TV.

I had a 1500 watt inverter that connected directly to the battery bank. For this you'll need some hefty cables. I used #8 (I think) jumper cables with the clamps cut off. It would run an electric coffee maker with ease. But this was in a semi truck with 4 large 12v batteries. And it was just a course of several minutes.

More recently I blew about $600 on a 4000 watt inverter and 2 105 ah 12v batteries. This set-up ran my roof A/C great....for about 70 minutes....and considering the time it took to recharge the batteries it was hardly worth it.

Then another thing to consider is if you are going to be using sensative electronic equipment you may want a pure sine wave inverter or if not a modified sine wave inverter might do.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #8
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Heavy amp draw appliances are not for inverters will draw down batteries in quick order.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:35 PM   #9
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vettenuts......Here is the inverter I would recommend for your project MM612 Inverter | Magnum Energy, Inc.. It's a quality 600 watt inverter with a power pass thru which you were asking about.

Mount the inverter in a bay next to your batteries. Run two #1 or #2 size cables depending on the distance (available at Napa) through the wall of the bay into your battery bay. Use a 300 amp DC fuse (available at auto parts stores with mount)

Now, get two lengths of Romex that you will connect to the inverter. One length will be connected to the A/C in on the inverter and the other connected to the A/C out. Route them to your main house panel. Locate the breaker that has the outlet you want to power. Remove the wiring from that breaker and connect it to the A/C out Romex (with wire nuts) that you routed to the panel from the inverter. Take the Romex that you routed for the inverter's A/C in and connect it to the breaker where you removed the above wiring.

This will give you pass thru power to the inverter and inverter power to your outlet.

This may be overkill if you're just trying to run something small, but what you asked about pass thru power it sounds like you want to power a few things.

The Magnum inverter is well built, fan cooled, has it's own circuit breakers and pass thru relay. This has everything their larger inverters use minus the battery charging unit.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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Thanks Don, that makes a lot of sense. I am planning out a residential refrigerator installation so that would likely be the only item I would want on this circuit. This would run the fridge while on the road, and then once plugged in switch to shore power and let the batteries come back up.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:42 PM   #11
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Quickly went through the installation manual for the Magnum, looks like if I have an extra breaker position I can simply add a circuit. If I use the existing house batteries, just have to figure out if the built in charger can be disabled or not connected since there is already a charging circuit in the coach for the house batteries.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:31 PM   #12
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vettenuts.....When I installed the Samsung RF197 in my Monaco Diplomat I wanted a separate inverter for the refer. Everyone else was just using the 2000 watt Magnum that came with the coach. Being an anal twit, I wanted a stand alone inverter that just operated the refer and I wouldn't have to turn on the big inverter unless I wanted to power the TV or other items.

The Magnum I linked you to is what I used and it worked great. It doesn't have a charger built in.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:46 AM   #13
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OK, thanks. I am going to install a Halon system first and then work out the details and plans for the other refridge. That way I can pick up parts as I go along and then do it all at once.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:56 AM   #14
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Don's link is for a Modified Sine Wave unit ... you may want to consider using a Pure Sine Wave unit for a few $$ more.

MMS Series Inverter/Charger | Magnum Energy, Inc.
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