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Old 08-13-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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Need basic instructions regarding power (shore/inverter/generator)

We are new RV owners and know virtually nothing about them. I'm sure you will all think we are crazy to start with a 40 ft. coach, but my hubby was a trucker, so we have that down!

Anyway, I have ZERO knowledge of how to use the inverter/shore power. So, have some questions:

1) What would be able to run if you are connected to 120? If the TV is on (with Blu-Ray player and surround sound, it will disconnect the power at various times). I have the max set to 20 amps (per the former owner). Is this correct?

2) What can you run if you are not connected to shore power and are only using the inverter?

3) If plugged in to shore power, does the inverter need to be on? Will it automatically turn on if there is a break in the power?

4) If the batteries show a full charge, should I but it on charger standby?

5) Do you need to turn off the inverter before you start the generator?

6) I don't really understand what settings I need to have in place when using "setup" on the inverter/charger ?

Hopefully, someone will be able to help me. I'm already thinking that we are in way over our head!!

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Old 08-13-2017, 07:33 PM   #2
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I see by your profile that you have an Alpine 05 40ft--be good to add to your signature block with this info so people know how to help based on model and year of coach. Assume you have a Xantrax inverter so you can go out on the web and view/download a users manual for the basics....
Regarding your questions:
1-if connected to 30 amp/120v most things; if 50amp/120v everything including both A/Cs... the 20 amp setting is for charging and does not impact on "running stuff" so set to 50 amps--unless you are plugged into 20 or 30 amps/120v....
2-only a limited number of things will run on inverter and only a few outlets works--eg, no A/Cs
3-leave inverter on 24/7, if you lose power, inverter will come --that what it is there for....
4-charger is automatic so just leave it on ...
5-leave inverter on 24/7, regardless of genset start....
6-Set-up can be tricky--get manuals down loaded so you know what is going on....
These are all pretty generic inverter questions--not unique to Alpine--need to find you a local RV buddy who is experienced to get you up to speed ......
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
I see by your profile that you have an Alpine 05 40ft--be good to add to your signature block with this info so people know how to help based on model and year of coach. Assume you have a Xantrax inverter so you can go out on the web and view/download a users manual for the basics....
Regarding your questions:
1-if connected to 30 amp/120v most things; if 50amp/120v everything including both A/Cs... the 20 amp setting is for charging and does not impact on "running stuff" so set to 50 amps--unless you are plugged into 20 or 30 amps/120v....
2-only a limited number of things will run on inverter and only a few outlets works--eg, no A/Cs
3-leave inverter on 24/7, if you lose power, inverter will come --that what it is there for....
4-charger is automatic so just leave it on ...
5-leave inverter on 24/7, regardless of genset start....
6-Set-up can be tricky--get manuals down loaded so you know what is going on....
These are all pretty generic inverter questions--not unique to Alpine--need to find you a local RV buddy who is experienced to get you up to speed ......
Thanks for your reply. We actually have an Equinox Inverter and I do have the manual, but that is how inept I am at this stuff! I read the manual and it is like reading a foreign language to me! So that is why I need things explained in layman terms! 😊 We may just end up at an RV service center to see if I can get a good lesson in operations of all the components. Thanks for bearing with me!
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
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Interesting--Equinox Inverter....is that/was that an Onan product? A small number of 2005 Alpines came with an Onan inverter but they proved to be problematic so WRV went to Xantrax RS2000 inverters. Many if not most Alpine owners eventually replaced the Onan inverter product once support for the that inverter was discontinued by Onan. Would like to say that most inverter functions and programming are similar but not necessarily true across all brands. Believe my earlier responses still stand but hopefully a current owner of a functioning Equinox inverter will chime in and help you with more detailed information
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Interesting--Equinox Inverter....is that/was that an Onan product? A small number of 2005 Alpines came with an Onan inverter but they proved to be problematic so WRV went to Xantrax RS2000 inverters. Many if not most Alpine owners eventually replaced the Onan inverter product once support for the that inverter was discontinued by Onan. Would like to say that most inverter functions and programming are similar but not necessarily true across all brands. Believe my earlier responses still stand but hopefully a current owner of a functioning Equinox inverter will chime in and help you with more detailed information
Ha! Old Scout - you'll love this. As I have continued looking, I discovered that the Inverter-charger was replaced in 2012 and we know have a 2500W Magnum Energy inverter-charter. I'll keep reading. 😊
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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Have you looked to see what is actually in the basement? Take a picture of both the inverter/charger and the control panel inside the coach.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:30 PM   #7
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Have you looked to see what is actually in the basement? Take a picture of both the inverter/charger and the control panel inside the coach.
BoDawg226 states he is a complete novice, may help to pinpoint where in the basement to look
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BoDawg226 View Post
Hopefully, someone will be able to help me. I'm already thinking that we are in way over our head!!
You came to the right place. To one degree or another, we are all in over our heads when we buy a new coach. Welcome aboard ... let the Alpine adventure begin!
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AKOne View Post
BoDawg226 states he is a complete novice, may help to pinpoint where in the basement to look


AKOne, in post #1 BoDawg226 states ".... but my hubby was a trucker...." just saying.......

If she does not know where the inverter is, I would hope she would ask or send pictures. In the years I have been a member of IRV2 I have found it is best to let the OP tell us the way it is, speculation tends to lead folks down rat holes.

BoDawg226 if you do not know where your inverter is located (or what one look like) please let us know. I have a 2005 38' FDTS originally built with a Onan inverter, so I will not have the exact location, but in my coach the inverter is in the basement compartment in front of the rear passenger side tires. If the Equinox was replaced your new Magnum might not have been put back in the same place. When I installed my replacement it was a Xantrex, but I put it in the same location. On my coach I had to remove a carpeted wall to gain access to the Onan which is located in the middle of the coach (hard to reach, the Hydro Hot is on the Driver's side, right next to the inverter, not the best location if something happens to the HH). When you are plugged in to shore power you can normally hear the inverter humming. Look around, the inverter is about 10" wide, 14" long and 8" tall.

Someone with a 2005 40' FDTS can tell you for sure if the inverter is in the same position as ours and someone with a Magnum can give you a better description of what a Magnum looks like.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:48 AM   #10
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BoDawg,

I also have an '05 40'. My inverter is in the bin in front of the rear wheels on the passenger side. You can remove the carpeted panels, square screwdriver bit, and the related framework and crawl in and access the inverter. You can also access and work on the rear of the Hydro Hot if you have one. Pretty handy compared to some of the other Alpine layouts.

FWIW, We have the Xantrex 458 inverter and I'm still not sure I understand all I know about it.

We've had our Alpine for 2 1/2 yrs and although we've had a couple of i$$ues we are very happy with it. This forum and the other owners are an invaluable tool. I seem to learn something every time I sign in and start looking around.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress,
Terry
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:05 PM   #11
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I switched to a Magnum inverter a few years ago, and love it. Old Scout's suggestions in the second post apply to it as well. But I would add that you need to remember to turn the inverter off while the coach is in storage.

You need the manual for the remote control panel, probably moreso than the manual for the inverter itself.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:33 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses! I will follow up when I return from a business trip this weekend. I'm the Mrs. - and trying to learn all I can so please be patient with me! I'm sure we have the Magnum inverter- charger as that's is the remote panel in the RV. I'll look for the location when I return home! Thanks again for all your help!!
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:09 AM   #13
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BoDawg
Thanks for posting this question. I too am new to this forum and am a woman who is learning to navigate the sometimes confusing world of Class A RV's! You will find, as I have, that the folks here will bend over backwards to help. I started out by going through every single post...it took several days of reading! That was BEFORE I bought my Alpine. When I finally took the plunge and purchased mine, this spring, I felt I had a pretty good grip on what some of the major problem areas were going to be. I then went back to this forum and tediously reread posts regarding my year model, and cut and pasted comments, suggestions, advice, etc. into separate files for future use. Now I have copies of info that I can more easily access if I need info about how to replace a headlight, the part number, and where to get it, etc. It has really been helpful for me. But, (and I am trying not to sound sexist here)... these guys just know things that most women I've spoken to have absolutely no knowledge of! Is it in their DNA? Thankfully you have a husband who probably understands what they are talking about, but I have to ask questions about really basic things. Sometimes the answers use terms or refer to items that I am not familiar with, kinda confusing me once again, but if you ask for clarification, they jump right in and help. Keep posting. Maybe someday even I will be confident enough to answer you with some good advice! Welcome to the forum.
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