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Old 03-22-2020, 08:30 PM   #1
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Help understanding how inverters are wired into the RV.

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I have a 2015 Evergreen Bayhill 40í 5th wheel RV.
I thought my xantrex pro xm 1000 inverter/charger was bad, purchased another and ready to replace. I decided to check the output as I was removing the inverter. 105 volts, on 12.4 volts dual acid filled batteries. Nothing works in the RV on the inverter, including the residential fridge, so I thought. I mean Iíve check everything. Today I discovered that the electric fireplace works on the inverter. I can shut off all the breaker switches, including the main, and the master switch from the batteries to the RV, the fire place still stays on. Only if I turn off the inverter from the control panel will the fire place turn off. If I turn on the heat element, the inverter will began to alarm code E01, overload. (Understandable) I found what appears to be some type of fuse links/ fuses behind the fire place. 4 of them, the wires lead to beneath the slide to additional 4 similar fuses with some sort of protective covering. Help me understand what Iíve discovered. If these are some type of fuses, how do I to tell if their bad. Iím unable to move the fridge at the moment by myself to check the outlet. Donít understand why the inverter bypasses breaker panel. I also canít find any type of breaker switch between the batteries and the inverter. Not sure what to make of all this. Thanks for taking the time to read.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:28 AM   #2
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sounds like the inverter which is taking 12V DC and making 110V AC and back feeding a circuit.. Not to be confised with a converter which taking 110V AC and making 12V DC. at any rate if the breakers etc are off and the fireplace works. That is back feeding. A neutral reversed with a hot possibly.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:10 PM   #3
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Let's start with what you called 'fuses'... those are actually connectors for the 120v wires (the Romex wire). So they need to be connected for things to work.

I don't think the xantrex pro xm 1000 is an inverter/converter. I looked it up and it is just an inverter. So I think you have a separate converter/battery charger. The Xantrex Freedom series are the inverter/convert models.

Assuming you have a xantrex pro xm 1000 it should plug into an outlet - that is the input side and what runs it when plugged into shore power. That outlet that it is plugged into should also be fed from your main circuit breaker panel and be labeled 'Inverter".

There are 2 outlets (receptacles) on the inverter itself - those would be for what you want to run on inverted power (batteries) when you are not on shore power. Things you want to get power from batteries are plugged into those receptacles.

Again - all this assumes you have a xantrex pro xm 1000 as you said. If not we'll have to start all over again.

So, if you plug into shore power, turn everything on and then pull out the plugs plugged into the output of the inverter, you should see what does not run and know what is on 'inverted' power.

Here is a link to the Owners Manual for your Inverter...
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:52 PM   #4
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Follow the wires or put the trailer on shore power, turn the heater on, then start flipping circuit breakers till you hit the one that turns the heater off. That is one breaker to turn off before using the inverter. You might want to turn the breakers off that feed the water heater & fridge too. The breaker feeding the converter charger needs to be off too.

I am mid point in installing replacements after an eight year old inverter/charger died. I have gone back to a separate converter/charger & a 1500w PSW inverter.

Sometime ago I installed a 3 input automatic transfer switch. Shore Power, Inverter & Generator. I don't have a built in genny. The plan is to run inverter output to one of the ATS inputs. I don't trust things automatic so the inverter has a remote switch for on & off. The trick is to remember to turn the breakers listed above off before turning the inverter on.

Whatever you do, do not give the inverter a chance to try to power something that is a power hog. If you do you will kill your battery bank in no time. Make sure that the DW understands how it all works & why she can't use the hair drier to heat the RV.
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:02 PM   #5
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Forgot something. Never have the inverter & shorepower sharing the same input lugs & having the shorepower LIVE. Don't ask how I know but here are some hints. The result is a loud BOOM, lots of smoke & expensive (the cost of a new inverter).
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by consolenut View Post
sounds like the inverter which is taking 12V DC and making 110V AC and back feeding a circuit.. Not to be confised with a converter which taking 110V AC and making 12V DC. at any rate if the breakers etc are off and the fireplace works. That is back feeding. A neutral reversed with a hot possibly.


Thank you Consolenut. I hadnít thought of the possibility of a reversed hot neutral or ground. That would explain why none of the breakers cut off the power. Although when Iím plug into shore power, everything works fine. The inverter is hardwired to the RV, Iím wondering if the inverter is directly wired to one outlet, completely bypassing the breaker switches, and instead of connecting it to the fridge, the manufacturer connected the inverter to the fireplace. I have more testing to do. The previous owner stated the fridge never ran off the batteries. They didnít travel in it, purchased it for temporary housing while their home was being built. Possibly the inverter is back feeding through the neutral.
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by traveldawg View Post
Let's start with what you called 'fuses'... those are actually connectors for the 120v wires (the Romex wire). So they need to be connected for things to work.

I don't think the xantrex pro xm 1000 is an inverter/converter. I looked it up and it is just an inverter. So I think you have a separate converter/battery charger. The Xantrex Freedom series are the inverter/convert models.

Assuming you have a xantrex pro xm 1000 it should plug into an outlet - that is the input side and what runs it when plugged into shore power. That outlet that it is plugged into should also be fed from your main circuit breaker panel and be labeled 'Inverter".

There are 2 outlets (receptacles) on the inverter itself - those would be for what you want to run on inverted power (batteries) when you are not on shore power. Things you want to get power from batteries are plugged into those receptacles.

Again - all this assumes you have a xantrex pro xm 1000 as you said. If not we'll have to start all over again.

So, if you plug into shore power, turn everything on and then pull out the plugs plugged into the output of the inverter, you should see what does not run and know what is on 'inverted' power.

Here is a link to the Owners Manual for your Inverter...


The xantrex pro xm 1000 is an inverter/charger. Thanks for the owners manual, although I have 2 hard copies that Iíve read cover to cover. What I thought might be fuses, like you said, I think their just connectors in the event should the slide need to be removed. The charger side of the inverter works when Iím plug into shore power, as does all the electrical throughout the RV. The inverter is hard wired to the RV, so thereís no outlets to plug anything into. My best guess at this moment, is the manufacturer hardwired the inverter to one outlet. Should have been the fridge, but is the electric fireplace. The 15 amp circuit breaker on the inverter doesnít work when hardwired to the RV, as stated in the manual, so Iím puzzled why this one outlet has power from the inverter with all the breaker switches in the off position. I would think there should be a breaker or fuse of some sort in between. I need to find out how manufacturers normally hardwire a small inverter/charger. Iím going to try and follow the output Romex as far as possible, to see where it leads.
Thanks for you input.
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:54 PM   #8
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Follow the wires or put the trailer on shore power, turn the heater on, then start flipping circuit breakers till you hit the one that turns the heater off. That is one breaker to turn off before using the inverter. You might want to turn the breakers off that feed the water heater & fridge too. The breaker feeding the converter charger needs to be off too.

I am mid point in installing replacements after an eight year old inverter/charger died. I have gone back to a separate converter/charger & a 1500w PSW inverter.

Sometime ago I installed a 3 input automatic transfer switch. Shore Power, Inverter & Generator. I don't have a built in genny. The plan is to run inverter output to one of the ATS inputs. I don't trust things automatic so the inverter has a remote switch for on & off. The trick is to remember to turn the breakers listed above off before turning the inverter on.

Whatever you do, do not give the inverter a chance to try to power something that is a power hog. If you do you will kill your battery bank in no time. Make sure that the DW understands how it all works & why she can't use the hair drier to heat the RV.


Unfortunately, Iím unable to plug into shore power at the moment, and wonít be able to, till this whole mess with the corona virus passes. I have a breaker switch labeled converter, but I donít have one for the inverter. I can shut off the main breaker, and turn off the 12 volt master switch, and the inverter stays on. I donít understand how this thing is wired. Thanks for your interest.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:32 PM   #9
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I can shut off the main breaker, and turn off the 12 volt master switch, and the inverter stays on.

Inverter wired directly to battery, as it should be.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:02 PM   #10
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I can shut off the main breaker, and turn off the 12 volt master switch, and the inverter stays on.

Inverter wired directly to battery, as it should be.


Glad to hear, although seem awkward that both the master switch and circuit breakers are bypassed. Then again, Iím not an electrician. Iím just glad to know itís done correctly.
Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:15 PM   #11
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Problem solved. Apparently the inverter is connected directly to the batteries bypassing the 12 volt master switch. And the output from the inverter runs directly to 1 outlet, by passing the circuit breakers. This one outlet should be the fridge. On my RV, it was the fireplace, manufacturerís mistake. I was able to swap the connectors located behind the fireplace between the fireplace and fridge. The fridge is now working on the inverter. Hallelujah, hahaha.
I now know where the hot wire from the inverter is located, should I want to splice to add an additional outlet, possibly for the living room TV. Seem like the fridge is pulling 9-12 watts, plenty of watts left for the TV, if Iím understanding watts correctly, but thatís another project.
Thanks everyone for your input!
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:32 PM   #12
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on 3/23:
Unfortunately, I’m unable to plug into shore power at the moment, and won’t be able to, till this whole mess with the corona virus passes.
That's a shame... You can't even use a long extension cord to an outside AC outlet? My RV is parked at work and I've got three #6 extension 3-prong cords connected end-to-end to feed the RV... yes, there is some voltage drop in the cords but an Autoformer takes care of that. I've got 123v at 20a available to me.

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on 3/25:
Problem solved. Apparently the inverter is connected directly to the batteries bypassing the 12 volt master switch.
Not a good idea, especially if you put the RV in storage for the winter... Inverters have an "idle wattage" - the amount of power drawn with no load on the inverter... some people call it "inversion overhead" or "conversion loss"... This loss is pure wasted power... it is not much but over time can result in dead house batteries if the RV is not plugged into shore power.
You really want to be able to shut off the inverter and leave the other 12 volt loads active (12v LED lighting circuits, LP & CO detectors, etc).
An acquaintance is a full timer... he switches his inverter off at night as he really doesn't need 120v at night and in the winter his solar just barely is enough for his daily needs... His furnace is propane with a 12v blower, his CPAP (an Airsense 10) runs on a 12v to 24vDC converter that I built for him.
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And the output from the inverter runs directly to 1 outlet, by passing the circuit breakers.
Again, not a good idea. Having a breaker between the inverter and the load is just good practice... makes for easy troubleshooting... . My RV has a breaker panel with one just for the microwave, another for the roof air conditioner, and two more for the AC circuits (one on each side of the RV). The feed to the breakers can come from the shore power, or from the generator, or from the inverter (an option that the original owner did not purchase but I intend to add).

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Whatever you do, do not give the inverter a chance to try to power something that is a power hog. If you do you will kill your battery bank in no time.
Absolutely true. Rule of thumb on inverters: current at 12v is 10 times the current at 120v plus the conversion loss... a 1200w microwave pulls 10 amps at 120v, or 100(!) amps at 12v (and that 100 amp draw needs some seriously large wire between battery and inverter). I use a factor of 10.5x to 11x just to compensate for the conversion loss. Both inverters (12vDC to 120vAC) and converters (120vAC to 12vDC) have measurable overhead...and more than one person has unintentionally created a converter-inverter loop that ends up doing nothing but draining their batteries.

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Old 03-25-2020, 03:58 PM   #13
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I can shut off the main breaker, and turn off the 12 volt master switch, and the inverter stays on.

Inverter wired directly to battery, as it should be.


Triangle Drifter, maybe you can explain why is there not a circuit breaker between the inverter and the load (fridge)? Is one not need to protect either the load or the inverter? Possibly because the inverter itself has an overload/under load protection built in?
Same question about between the batteries and the inverter? Iíve watch several YouTube videos, and everyone seem to place a fuse between the two. There must be a reason why the manufacturer installed it the way they did.
Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:40 PM   #14
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On our unit, we have a residential fridge, between the inverter and fridge is a transfer switch. This transfer switch uses 110V normal then when we go on the road I switch to the battery power via the inverter. The transfer switch is plugged into the bottom of the inverter mine is not hardwired.
On my unit there is a breaker between the inverter and the transfer switch, it is on the bottom of the inverter, next to the outlet.
Also my inverter can be shutoff from the batteries by the cutoff switch. I have 2 cutoff switches on our unit. One is in the compartment next to the inverter and the 2nd one is in the storage compartment to isolate the rest of the unit.

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