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Old 08-23-2015, 06:00 PM   #1
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Help With Electrical Questions

Hello RVers.

My fam got a new 2012 Fleetwood Tioga 3 years ago and last summer (2014) finally started taking some trips. But, we ran into one issue. To use any 110v system when we're away from shore power, we need to run the generator. That's a little noisy and we really just want some low power stuff. So, it occurred to me that with 230ah of 12v power, we should be able to just run the battery juice into an inverter and then plug the 110v pig tail into the inverter instead of shore power. That way, we're energizing the 110v plugs and such in the rv in the same way as if we had shore power. If the batteries ever run low, we can just fire up the generator. Now, that sounded good but once I got it all set up, it didn't work. I think I killed an inverter and it finally hit me that since shore power is charging the batteries, that means when I plug the pig tail into the inverter plug I have a loop: batteries > inverter > charger > back to batteries. That sounds like a spin cycle with a lot of heat and ultimately dead batteries (and apparently a fried inverter). So, I would need to have a way of disconnecting the charger to use the inverter in this scheme. BUT, before I make another attempt, a couple of questions come to mind.

1) WHERE is the converter on my rig and how can I install an easily accessible off switch?

2) Am I overlooking something else now?

Even more ... should I be talking with experienced RVers about this first? After all, this seems like the kind of thing such folks would have considered.

So, here I am. I'm not sure where to ask about this so I'm starting here. Please feel free to give this newbie a slightly less than gentle nudge in the right direction.

Thanks,
The Scotts.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:20 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Maybe one of the Moderators will move this post to the Fleetwood Owner's forum for better results.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:57 AM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2. We are pleased you joined us. Sorry I can't help with your questions. As suggested by MSHappyCampers I moved you post here to the Fleetwood Forum hoping you will receive more replies.

Don
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:34 PM   #4
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Your coach probably has the converter/charger integrated with the 120v load center (breaker box), one of the components inside. Open it up and you can probably find a place to add a switch to interrupt power to the converter module.

I think you are going to be disappointed in the amount of power your batteries can supply. 230AH (a pair of GC2 batteries?) isn't all that much when the inverter starts sucking amps and you have other small stuff running on 120vac. Set your fridge to LP gas mode, and the water heater too, or the batteries will be dead in minutes..
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:21 PM   #5
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When an inverter is installed at the factory, they usually set it up to run just a couple outlets and the tv/entertainment center. I would not set it up the way you are doing it. The easy way would be to wire in a quality portable inverter and just use the plugs on that.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
When an inverter is installed at the factory, they usually set it up to run just a couple outlets and the tv/entertainment center. I would not set it up the way you are doing it. The easy way would be to wire in a quality portable inverter and just use the plugs on that.
I agree with Mojoracing, right now you are trying to power the whole RV with your batteries.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:37 PM   #7
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I do what you are trying to do all the time. It is a small 21' fleetwood TT. I turn off the breaker that controls the converter. Fridge set to gas only. It works fine for DW to watch movies or use the laptop. I wouldn't try running anymore than that on my 800w portable inverter but it works fine. Don't FORGET to turn off the breaker lol ! I have the inverter in a plastic box on top of my battery box and I run an extension cord to the area where I have my generators set up. That way I can plug into gem or ext. cord. I do lose one 120v outside plug and one inside plug as they are on the same circuit as the converter. Next year I will install an easy to reach surface mounted on off switch for the converter. I go to bed and leave it on till the morning when I get up. 12.4 is the lowest I have ever seen the batteries go overnight. I also run 2 6v batteries
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
When an inverter is installed at the factory, they usually set it up to run just a couple outlets and the tv/entertainment center. I would not set it up the way you are doing it. The easy way would be to wire in a quality portable inverter and just use the plugs on that.
Every Dutch Star (2) we've owned and now the Magna has had all the outlets run through the inverter. So it varies by manufacturer/model.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:23 AM   #9
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Every Dutch Star (2) we've owned and now the Magna has had all the outlets run through the inverter. So it varies by manufacturer/model.
Yes, on larger coaches with larger battery banks and bigger inverters, this is often the case. On lesser coaches they usually power less outlets and accessories.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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The problem i see with the op trying to power his whole coach is the way he is leaning toward accomplishing it is that he might have someone try to flip on the air conditioner or microwave which could zap his batteries in a few seconds and possibly damage the component that is trying to start up.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:32 AM   #11
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Help With Electrical Questions

My inverter has overload protection it will automatically kick out when it's overloaded.
It's just DW and I so no worries with that.
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