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Old 12-22-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
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Full Time TV on Inverter

I got my new Tailgater, 32" LED TV, 211K receiver, DVD player and will add an external hard drive. I almost always camp without electric hookups.
I have an inverter wired to the entire house at the shore power cord.
With that hookup , I go through my routine of turning the circuit breaker off to the converter and put the fridge on gas. My transfer switch just thinks that it is plugged into shore power. The problem with that is that if I'm watching TV on the inverter and we want some microwave popcorn, I have to fire up the generator. Then the transfer switch starts flim flamming the power around from shore (inverter) power to genny power and then when the popcorn's done it has to switch back.
I'm not sure the TV, 211K, Tailgater, maybe DVD player and hard drive or the transfer switch will like this.
My 1500 W inverter is only a couple of feet from my batteries. It has 2 plugs and one is used to power the entire house. Just yesterday I ran a new wire (basically an extension cord), plug etc going from the TV cabinet to the inverter compartment, therefor going from genny power to inverter power would have no effect on the TV.
Or would it?
I know it has to add some extra use on the inverter, but other than that, is it hard on the converter, charging the batteries while the inverter is discharging them? Is it hard on the TV and components or inverter going from 12 volts to about 14 volts when the converter starts charging them.
I know I could change where I plug the TV etc into the other plug that is powered by the generator , but that just defeats the whole purpose of running the new plug from the inverter, unless of course I was at a CG with electric hookups, and the I would.
I tried googling this question but other than a few you tube videos , it was too complicated.
Do you guys have any thoughts on running all of the above off the inverter or any of this mad experiment?
Thanks, Max
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
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I have a 2300w inverter configured to power the whole coach as do you. In addition I have point of use inverters for TV, Sat, DVD and other items. This minimizes the use of the large inverter and increases efficiency. Basically the same wiring setup you have by running a separate AC cord. I don't use the genny often, rather have solar do the charging.

I don't see a problem with what you have setup. The transfer switch has broken the charging loop. Charging and discharging the batteries at the same time is normal operation state.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Max,
Congrats on getting the entertainment suite set-up.

Your questions are valid, so you should run a test to see what happens when you get the munchies.

Like Vince wrote, no worries about the flex in the 12Volt systems voltage. The inverter is designed to modulate the DC into AC and will protect the TV and such. The converter will charge the batteries as soon as you switch it on after starting the gennie...and the converter/charger will have no problem charging the batteries even with the inverter running the entertainment suite.

I have your original set-up in my Damon (w/ 2000watt inverter) and it works without a hiccup...would expect we have identical transfer switches.

You might want to try the set-up without the new power lead from the inverter, or wait on adding point of use inverters until you check how your original set-up works. Of course, again to agree with Vince - smaller point of use inverters are more efficient, having a lower rate of parasitic waste between input and output.

If you do decide to add point of use inverters, remember to keep the 12VDC cables as short as possible and use AC cords to get to the use point...AC travels longer distances than DC without voltage drop.

Best luck
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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Great idea! Thanks for that tip. I've got a 300 watt inverter sitting around. I could mount it right over the 1500 watt inverter and piggy back the cables together so I won't even have to run another set to the batteries. I could just plug into the little inverter and save wear & tear on the expensive one and it may draw less power when in standby mode than the big one.
I so often get great ideas off these forums.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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Actually - that's a pretty smart idea (the 2 inverters). The whole house inverter can be called upon when needed, but the smaller dedicated entertainment inverter would be the one you use most often.

I like that idea...hmmm, now how do I get an AC cord from the inverter to the mid-ship TV and another to the to the cabinet with all the other stuff that is over the dashboard...? Maybe that's not so easy for my set-up.

Best luck
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Hey Steve, thanks for the congrats and for your advice on the TV and Tailgater.
Do one at a time. Or maybe one 400 watt would do both your TVs. I put a 6 plug surge suppressor so I could only have to unplug one plug into shore power plug or inverter plug for all devices. It was a little bit of a pain with mine. I started at the entertainment center , cut off the male end, of the extension cord, thread it from the cabinet across the windshield behind the curtain track, down the column, drilled a hole in the carpet, straight into my inverter compartment, reinstalled a new male plug and plugged it into the inverter.
It worked great on the test.
Next I'm gonna just velcro the 300 watt inverter above the big one and I think I can just tie the battery cables from the little inverter to the big cables hooked to the big inverter.
The only drawback is that I will have to go outside in the compartment to turn the little inverter on. The big one has a remote switch inside.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Here is a write up of my system with a block diagram showing whole coach inverter and multiple point of use inverters. I use tripplite 150 and 375 as they good efficiency when on and zero power drÓw when off. Also the 150 has no fan and thus no noise. The large whole coach inverter has remote on/off and is typically used only for the microwave or coffee maker.
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File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.1.pdf (473.7 KB, 87 views)
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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To the OP, I power all of my AC-powered entertainment equipment off of a small inverter full-time so as to avoid any switching back and forth. I see no harm in this, it requires around 5 amps or so additional DC draw from the converter but I'm sure it can handle it. Has worked well for me, and I like that there's never any power hits to the equipment when switching AC sources, kind of like a UPS (uninterruptable power supply.)
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:38 PM   #9
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Max, you could leave the setup as is, and simplify your life. I have the same setup, 1500 watt inverter, plugged into shore cord.

Get a hot air popper or just pop it on stove. The microwave popcorn is very unhealthy for you anyway. Constantly switching the breaker for the converter is not real good for lot either. I use a power strip by the plug for the converter, since I only run the generator once a day. When traveling, I overnight park, and just use a plug-in 300w converter for the TV.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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Vince, that is a very nice, but elaborate setup, I'm afraid that is over my pay scale. It also did not show how the "point of use" inverters were wired to. A local 12 V cigarette lighter plug?

Smiller, I'm glad to hear your similar setup has worked well for you, hopefully mine will also.

Davedeb1, another good suggestion, I had'nt thought about turning the circuit breaker on and off was not good for it. The power strip with an on/off switch is a good idea but I don't think it is very convenient since I believe my converter is in a back compartment on the driver side. There is something convenient under the bed, but I think that is the transfer switch. Come to think of it, if my little 300 watt inverter works for the TV etc, I probably won't need the whole house inverter very often. It's too big for the little stuff but not big enough for the big stuff, microwave, electric heaters, frying pan or hair dryer.
Geeze, I can't wait for my next excursion so I can try out all my new toys.
I guess I have gotten spoiled, I forgot they have popcorn that I can just cook on the stove top, we'll try that next time but it does make another pot to be washed.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Come to think of it, if my little 300 watt inverter works for the TV etc, I probably won't need the whole house inverter very often.
Inverters usually operate most efficiently when operating near their higher limit so if DC power consumption matters at all then a separate small inverter for the entertainment gear is often a good idea. A 2kw inverter powering a 150-watt load isn't going to be very efficient.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by max49 View Post
Vince, that is a very nice, but elaborate setup, I'm afraid that is over my pay scale. It also did not show how the "point of use" inverters were wired to. A local 12 V cigarette lighter plug?

Smiller, I'm glad to hear your similar setup has worked well for you, hopefully mine will also.

Davedeb1, another good suggestion, I had'nt thought about turning the circuit breaker on and off was not good for it. The power strip with an on/off switch is a good idea but I don't think it is very convenient since I believe my converter is in a back compartment on the driver side. There is something convenient under the bed, but I think that is the transfer switch. Come to think of it, if my little 300 watt inverter works for the TV etc, I probably won't need the whole house inverter very often. It's too big for the little stuff but not big enough for the big stuff, microwave, electric heaters, frying pan or hair dryer.
Geeze, I can't wait for my next excursion so I can try out all my new toys.
I guess I have gotten spoiled, I forgot they have popcorn that I can just cook on the stove top, we'll try that next time but it does make another pot to be washed.
yes, maybe overall more elaborate that you need or want, but bits and pieces are applicable. My point of use inverters are plugged into 12vdc cigarette lighter / power port.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:34 AM   #13
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Vince, I've been using the circuit breaker to turn my converter off. Now, I hear that may not be good for it. I wonder if that is true even though when I turn it off or on, there is no power going through it?

Any how, I see your diagram to your converter with a "remote on/off switch" added by you. Can you tell me how you did that and where your converter is located? Mine is inside the shore power compartment so probably not easy to put one in where I could operate it from inside.
I had forgotten that I often get up early and I like to make the coffee without starting the genny and the 1500 watt inverter is capable of doing this.

DavDeb1, the power strip is a good idea too but where is your converter located?
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:03 AM   #14
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Vince, I've been using the circuit breaker to turn my converter off. Now, I hear that may not be good for it. I wonder if that is true even though when I turn it off or on, there is no power going through it? Any how, I see your diagram to your converter with a "remote on/off switch" added by you. Can you tell me how you did that and where your converter is located? Mine is inside the shore power compartment so probably not easy to put one in where I could operate it from inside. I had forgotten that I often get up early and I like to make the coffee without starting the genny and the 1500 watt inverter is capable of doing this. DavDeb1, the power strip is a good idea too but where is your converter located?
My converter is buried under the refrigerator and just plugs into a regular 120vac outlet. So easy to install an inline wireless switch to the AC input.
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