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Old 08-04-2021, 09:30 AM   #1
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Question about Boondock Power

We have a 2002 Fleetwood Southwind with 400 watt solar, 2000 watt inverter. When I stop the power from shore or generator, the 120 volt circuit works, but the refrigerator starts beeping as if it's not getting power, as does the A/C.
Not trying to run the A/C off the batteries yet - looking to upgrade battery bank later, but why doesn't the refrigerator run and the A/C at least try to run?

Or, am I missing a switch somewhere?
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpennington View Post
We have a 2002 Fleetwood Southwind with 400 watt solar, 2000 watt inverter. When I stop the power from shore or generator, the 120 volt circuit works, but the refrigerator starts beeping as if it's not getting power, as does the A/C.
Not trying to run the A/C off the batteries yet - looking to upgrade battery bank later, but why doesn't the refrigerator run and the A/C at least try to run?

Or, am I missing a switch somewhere?
Usually, the Air conditioners and microwave are put on separate AC circuits that do not connect to the inverter since a 2000w inverter will likely have trouble running those and could damage the electronics, or the batteries. What type of refrigerator do you have? IS it an AC 110v residential refrigerator? What is the amp draw of the motor of the fridge? You may be exceeding the power of your 2000w inverter. However, my 2000w inverter runs my residential refrigerator just fine so....maybe a wiring issue??
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpennington View Post
We have a 2002 Fleetwood Southwind with 400 watt solar, 2000 watt inverter. When I stop the power from shore or generator, the 120 volt circuit works, but the refrigerator starts beeping as if it's not getting power, as does the A/C.
Not trying to run the A/C off the batteries yet - looking to upgrade battery bank later, but why doesn't the refrigerator run and the A/C at least try to run?

Or, am I missing a switch somewhere?


How many batteries are in your bank?
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Old 08-04-2021, 01:48 PM   #4
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Back when built, your rig didn't have a 120 volt only fridge.
It would be 120 volt OR propane and not on the inverter.

If its a 120 volt/propane fridge, you don't really want it running on the inverter. Its a 35 to 40 amp constant draw from your batteries.

A home type 120 volt fridge will only draw 20 to 25 amps DC and less the 1/2 the time.

Without knowing which fridge you have, no one can help.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:09 AM   #5
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The refrigerator is the factory Norcold 4 door and yes, it is set to run on either 120 volt or LP. I guess it doesn't switch to LP automatically when shore power is lost.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:10 AM   #6
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4 6 volt 225 amp batteries
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:11 AM   #7
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How many batteries are in your bank?
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:14 AM   #8
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So, I guess I have the refrigerator sorted. If, in the future I want the ability to run the A/C for a short period of time off the batteries, what will I need to do?
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:20 AM   #9
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rpennington-

The Norcold requires 12VDC to run, and I suspect your A/C thermostat does as well. What does the display on the Norcold show when it is beeping or otherwise not working?
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:25 AM   #10
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If you have a RV fridge you definitely do not want to run that via your inverter when boondocking. Even if it was on the inverter circuit, which it likely isn’t unless you’ve had it custom wired.

As to running the A/C on your inverter you need to give up on that idea completely. It’s not gonna happen with 400w of solar, 450 aH of FLA batteries and a 2000w inverter. To make that happen you’d need 3-times the solar, twice as many amp hours of completely different batteries (Lithium Iron Phosphate) and a brand new inverter with another 1500-2000 watts.

In other words you need to spend another $10,000 dollars to run one A/C unit for the night.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:03 AM   #11
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If you have a RV fridge you definitely do not want to run that via your inverter when boondocking. Even if it was on the inverter circuit, which it likely isnt unless youve had it custom wired.

As to running the A/C on your inverter you need to give up on that idea completely. Its not gonna happen with 400w of solar, 450 aH of FLA batteries and a 2000w inverter. To make that happen youd need 3-times the solar, twice as many amp hours of completely different batteries (Lithium Iron Phosphate) and a brand new inverter with another 1500-2000 watts.

In other words you need to spend another $10,000 dollars to run one A/C unit for the night.
what he said..
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:58 AM   #12
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I understand at present I can't run the A/C on the system I have. My plan is to upgrade component by component, starting with a larger inverter then batteries and lastly more solar as we begin to travel more and more.
The main point of the question was, is there a switch to turn on that I'm missing that is preventing the A/C from trying to start when not on Shore Power or Generator.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:06 PM   #13
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The main point of the question was, is there a switch to turn on that I'm missing that is preventing the A/C from trying to start when not on Shore Power or Generator.
It is highly unlikely that your inverter is wired into the A/C unit.

However, if you have done something differently to wire your A/C and inverter then the inverter off on switch, the amount of power in your batteries and your thermostat all determine whether your A/C unit turns on.

We do not know enough about your setup to answer completely because it's possible you did something out of the ordinary that we are not aware of.

BUT NORMALLY - an A/C unit is not on the part of the circuits that are powered by an inverter.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:10 PM   #14
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Not sure how you coach is wired.

In my case I have a main service panel that has the breakers for the AC's and other loads including feeding the inverter which has pass through function. The inverter also charges my batteries.

Then there is a second subpanel that controls all circuits powered by the inverter, these include all the outlets and microwave.

My AC's are not wired on the inverter side. My AC's are 13,500BTU and once running pull ~15 amps. So that is ~1800 watt but the surge at startup is much more. So my 2000 watt inverter would not run one of my AC and even if it did it would run a very short time with the battery bank I have.


It will take a much larger inverter and a bunch of batteries to run an AC unit. Either way the batteries will have to be charged someway.
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