GarrettB.......Even though you're plugged into shore power, ALMOST all of the shore power runs through your inverter. The inverter is technically in "bypass" mode when plugged in, but power still runs through it.
When you have extra time, take a red and black "Sharpie" and mark your outlets. The majority of your outlets run through the inverter. A few don't. Get a tester or a just use a lamp and do the following. Disconnect your shore power and turn on your inverter. Go around to EVERY outlet in the coach, exterior too, and put an indiscreet black dot on every out that is working. If you find an outlet that has no power, put a red dot on it.
Once you've put a dot on every outlet, go outside and put a black dot above one of the circuit breakers on the inverter and two dots above the other inverter circuit breaker. Pull the circuit breaker with the two black dots out so that every outlet on that breaker is dead. Now, go back around to ALL of your outlets with the black dot. If they are now dead, put a second black dot.
This sounds like a lot of work, but will only take a few minutes. Once done, you'll know how every outlet is powered. This is important when using high draw appliances like a heater. It is also good to know when a blow dryer and some other large draw appliance are being used on the same breaker of the inverter.
This has been disccussed here before, but some believe, including me, that running an electric heater for extended periods of time through the inverter, even though it's in bypass, can ruin the inverter relays. Try to plug your heaters only into outlets with the red dots. These are not being powered by the inverter, but go straight through to your breakers and then shore power supply.
Since I only have one outlet in the bedroom that was not running through the inverter, I added two new outlets on a separate circuit. I ran Romex to a spot in the main living area and to the bathroom. I added an outlet next to the one in the bathroom and one at the base of the kitchen cabinets. I ran the wiring back to my power bay where I added an electrical junction box and a standard 20 amp power cord and plug end. When we're at locations that have only 30 amps or I want to run two heaters, I plug this extra cord into the extra outlet in the shore power pedestal. I rely on the breaker in the pedestal as the breaker for this additional electrical service. This gives me an extra 15-20 amps at a 30 amp park and lets me run my heaters without going through the inverter.
There are two outlets at the rear of your refer. One is powered by the inverter and has your icemaker plugged into it. The other outlet is powered by your main breakers and does not run through the inverter. The refer would run your batteries down too quickly if powered through the inverter, but the icemaker is plugged into the inverter and allows you to make ice when boondocking, by having the inverter on.
Lastly.....Where to look when you blow a circuit in order of what usually blows first......
When connected to shore power.
- First check your GFI if you were using an outlet (no use running outside if it's cold)
- Second, check the inverter, (most likely the cause, but you have to run outside....so that's why I say check GFI first)
- Third, check main breakers, (rarely the case)
- Fourth, check the breakers on the shore power pedestal.
When running generator
- Check the circuit breaker on the nose of the generator.
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
2019 Ford Raptor