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Old 01-27-2019, 09:31 AM   #1
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Inverter switch

Hello all, I have a 2004 Fleetwood Flair (34), when I am not connected to shore power, only batteries, only the lights work, my outlets don’t work and the TV does not turn on. I understand there should be an inverter switch somewhere but I cannot find it. Any help/guidance will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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Your Flair is approx the same era as our Bounder. Our inverter switch is on the wall in our bedroom & is labeled Inverter right on it. Look for a white rocker switch.

None of your wall receptacles will work if you are on house battery power only, as they are powered by 110V (shore power), not the inverter. We have just 2 that are powered by our inverter & those are the TV receptacles

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Old 01-27-2019, 08:27 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply, I donít have any switches like the one described. Iíve read that it was not standard for the 2004 Flair to have an inverter. Do you know if to install one is expensive? Thanks
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:32 PM   #4
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Well depending on size in the inverter can run $800 plus for an RV one. The problem frequently is where to put the batteries, usually four 4vdc golf cart batteries. Closer to the inverter the better!

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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Innuendo182,

There are several things you need to think about if you want to install an inverter in your camper, but it CAN be done for far less than mentioned. Please keep in mind that the typical camper inverter installation will NOT let you run major appliances like air conditioners, microwave ovens, or even toasters. They will easily run things like laptops, chargers medical gear and other small, power-efficient items. Yes, they will let you run your LCD television and maybe a bit more, but at a cost.

Roughly:

1) Determine your power budget in watts. Watts are cumulative. Add up the power consumption of your target appliances. Use this to size your inverter. These days it doesn't make any sense to buy a "modified-sine wave" inverter. Stick with the "pure sine" models. Yes they cost more, but they will not damage the switch-mode power supplies most electronics use these days.

2) Determine your necessary run time. How long do you need to run your appliances? Use this to size your battery bank. Double the number. I'm not kidding. Lead-acid batteries can really only be discharged to about 50% of their rated capacity before you begin damaging the internal structures and chemistry. Also keep in mind you have other 12v items drawing power like your reefer (even when running on propane), your water pump, and lights.

3) Often overlooked is installing a capable 4-stage battery charger. Many of the charger/converter units supplied with RV these days are not up to the task of charging batteries with the proper sequence of current and voltages. Charging done correctly will significantly increase the lifespan of your batteries.

4) Maintenance will be important. The more you use your inverter, the more often the batteries will need charging. Charging will cause flooded batteries to lose water. You will need to replenish this water periodically. AGM batteries will need less maintenance, but will cost more.

5) I don't want to forget to mention that one can often supplement a battery setup with some kind of solar charging arrangement. Don't expect miracles from small panels, but, with the right gear it is possible to replenish your batteries significantly with a day's worth of sunshine. Again be prepared to spend $$.


I'm probably going to get flack for this, but I'd say that any power use over 2000W (random number), for any significant duration will be better served with a gas or propane generator, and not an inverter/battery combo. Unless you can afford lithium-ion batteries, any of the typical lead-acid battery types are going to have a significant cost in weight and space. 6V deep-cycle golf cart batteries are a popular choice, but they run around 65lbs a piece. You will need at minimum two. Even assuming your rig can handle the weight, once you get to a certain power-consumption point, throwing more lead-acid batteries at the problem just isn't worth the trade-offs of reduced cargo capacity, storage space, and tow vehicle mileage reduction.

For my set-up, I have a 1000W Xantrex inverter (serious overkill) with two Trojan T-105 6V batteries. For my typical long-weekend usage (LED lights, water pump, awning, tongue jack, and 8-hours nightly of C-PAP time) I get about 4 days of use before arriving at the maximum 50% discharge limit. Cost-wise, my inverter was in the $200 range, the wiring and installation was free for me as scavenged material from various sources, and I do this as a hobby. The batteries ran around $260, but I needed new batteries anyway.

Anyone ever notice how much money we are spending to go live in nature?

Anyway, I hope this helps, and doesn't discourage you. Relevant feedback appreciated.

packrat
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:07 PM   #6
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Innuendo182,

Packrat1969 gave you a much more comprehensive reply then I did and I mainly agree with his technical points. He and I can agree to disagree on the price points, but then he may have some uncommon sources for inverter/chargers.
You can learn what you need easiely and decide what options are available!
As I mentioned space for the batteries will be a big issue!
Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:12 AM   #7
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I added a 1200 watt Pure Sine Wave inverter to my Southwind last spring ($170). I wired it so it has the capability of powering everything, including the residential frig I installed. The original configuration uses two coach batteries.

I am currently looking at a couple issues this uncovered:

1) Will not run frig for more than about 9 hours.

2) The original converter is a single stage and is slow to charge the batteries.

3) The original converter charge voltage takes a while to get high enough to trigger the BCC to charge the chassis battery (needs 13.2 to connect the chassis battery to the coach battery)

4) 12 volt routing leads to a 3/4 volt lose between the convert (13.6 volts) and intimately the battery (12.8 volts) that its supposed to be charging. This reduces the charge to the two coach batteries.

5) I may need to add two more batteries to gain the 12 hour run time for the frig. I'll see how this works out after I get the new converter installed.


I have a new 55 amp 4 stage converter on order ($150). When it gets here I'll replace the original converter with this. I'm also evaluating how the converter connects to the battery. Ratehr than take the original path, I may wire the converter directly to the battery.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:16 PM   #8
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Put the new converter near the batteries with 4 gauge battery wires. Run 14-2 WG romex from it to the breaker panel and original converter breaker.

Disable the 120 volts to original converter and leave it and all of the 12 volt wiring in tact.

A simple conversion that is easy to reverse if selling and you will be pleasantly surprised.

If not equipped, get 2, GC2, 210+AH, 6 volt batteries. If that don't get you thru the night, add 2 more.

PS: Are you shutting down your converter when running on inverter ?
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