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Old 04-05-2019, 06:20 PM   #1
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Go from Charger to Inverter/Charger?

Our RV doesn't have an inverter. I was wondering how difficult it would be to remove the existing charger and put in an inverter/charger. My main purpose would be to run the microwave and sometimes the fridge, but it would be nice to be able to use the coffee maker occasionally (not all at the same time). I have two Battleborn 100ah Lithium batteries, which I think can handle the draw. We also have 320 watts of solar which will replenish the batteries pretty quickly.

The microwave is a 1350-watt and the coffee maker draws ~800 watts peak. I figure a 2000 or 3000-watt inverter is enough for our needs.

So, how difficult is it to swap out the charger with an inverter/charger? Is it a pretty straight-forward swap or is it ridiculously complicated..or somewhere in between.
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:54 PM   #2
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You can add an inverter/charger and just shut down the converter.

The inverter/charger should be close to the batteries, due to the battery cable size needed. The wires between the converter and battery will be way to small.

The 120 volt side is the the challenge. There are many ways to do it and everybody has the best way.

For a simple system, many just plug the power cord into the inverter. Than you shut off the fridge, water heater and AC. They will draw to much power.

You can also do that with just a stand alone inverter and keep your converter in the system.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:37 PM   #3
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Somewhere in between depending on what end result you want.

twinboat's plug in the appliance when you need it, is the simplest approach, but may not work for your fridge and anything where the plug won't reach the inverter outlet(s).

The other option which is a bit more complex, would be to feed the inverter output to the same circuit that feeds your shore power and generator 120VAC output to the wall outlets throughout the coach. An auto transfer switch would be required to prevent everything from trying to share that circuitry at the same time. There will already be one auto-transfer switch to separate the shore power 120VAC from the generator 120VAC going to your coach outlets (unless your shore power cable is a "manual" plug into the generator output, like my Navion).
So, it's a little more complex, but it can be done. I would think an electrician that knows/understands RV wiring and power systems would be able to help you with the second option. Some RV repair shops might have such a person available. Any shop that does these kinds of 12VDC/120VAC/converter/inverter/solar/battery conversions and/or upgrades may also be able to advise you on it. Half the battle is finding the right shop, if you go that route.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:18 AM   #4
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I too considered replacing my converter with an inverter/charger but went with a stand alone 2000W modified sine wave inverter and do as twinboat suggested. When dry camping I just adapt my 50A plug down and plug it into the inverter. I have to make sure to switch the refer to gas and turn off the converter breaker. I have 4 Interstate GC2 batteries and can get two to three days before needing to run the generator if we are conservative with our power usage. It runs the coffee maker, hair drier, DirecTv box and TV just fine. The microwave isn't real happy with the MSW inverter but we rarely use it and just fire up the gen when we do need it.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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After watching a few YouTube videos, I now know it's very possible. Now to find someone locally who can do the work. I'd do it myself, but I know I'll pretty quickly get in over my head if I run into any issues.

Anybody know a good RV electrician in the Bay Area (California)?
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