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Old 04-26-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
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Driving down road running on Inverter...:

Hello all! Question...: My family enjoys driving down the road in our class 'A' and at times want to run lots of stuff while on long drives (i.e. Xbox 360... blender for margaritas... strobe lights... you get the picture). Problem is.... all of these things require me to... a) Fire up my big diesel gen, or ... b) fire up my inverter. Problem with a) is i don't want to run my generator and problem with b) is that my poor 20 year old 160 amp alternator really does not have enough 'umph' to keep my batts up when we are running all gadgets while driving down road. (1000 watt stereo amps really pound on inverter which in turn pounds on alternator)

Long story short.... If I update my alternator to like a 320 amp model.... would that solve my problems at least with b) ???

Have any of you beefed up your alternator to handle power needs while driving?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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Driving down the road making margaritas got my attention. Could be more than your alternator at risk.

Yes, bigger alternator will allow you to do this. I run an electric fridge that needs power constantly in warmer weather. I should point out that if you use it intermittently, your batteries will make up temporary shortfalls.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by distaff View Post
Driving down the road making margaritas got my attention. Could be more than your alternator at risk.
Thought the same thing but as long as the driver doesn't have any, I want to party with them
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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If you need that much power, why not run the genset? That's what it is there for, and its fuel consumption is miniscule. For the price of about 0.3 gal/hr you can have a constant 2500watts available. Ought to run the stereo & the blender easily. Throw in an air conditioner too.

You are going to use fuel to generate the power, whether via genset or alternator, so why not go the easy way?
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:01 PM   #5
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Agree with Gary. easiest to just run the geny.

That's gotta be a big inverter, or a major (which I'd like to join too. DW won't let me drink margaritas while driving, and won't drive the coach herself... and 13 yo son starts screaming he has a headache whenever I crank some classic rock...)

If you do upgrade the alternator, and really there is no reason not too (just don't pay cummins be sure to upgrade the wiring going out of it too.

You might also want to check the wiring and switching center on your coach. The alternator is intended to charge the chassis battery. Many coaches have a battery isolator relay that will allow the alternator to charge the house batteries as well. I'd wonder how much current this circuit will handle.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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Generator needs the exercise anyways so what better time then driving down the road..... the more you use your genny the longer it will last....... use it or lose it....
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Monacoach View Post
Generator needs the exercise anyways so what better time then driving down the road..... the more you use your genny the longer it will last....... use it or lose it....
That's what I'd do.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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To me, running the generator is the cheapest and simplest thing to do. As mentioned earlier, it needs to be run so running on the road doesn't disturb your neighbors in the camp ground. Anyway, thats what I do when the grandkids are along, they too like to play those video games, or watch a movie on the DVD.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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What about for running the fridge on AC only? Can IO use a small inverter to do this? They don't draw too much do they?
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