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Old 07-08-2019, 03:57 PM   #1
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96' Southwind Storm (Chevy) Power Converter / Inverter Question

My wife and I recently bought and remodeled a 96 Southwind Storm. It's a 29 foot and sits on a Chevy P30 chassis.


While on our shakedown trips we've been trying to understand how each system functions, and if it's functioning correctly.


This is the first one we've owned and it's obviously got some years on it so it's never clear if it's user error or something is actually broken when it doesn't work like we think it should...


Now on to the question. I've noticed that we only have 120V power if we're connected to shore power or when the generator is running (we think that's the case though I need to tune up the genny to confirm). If we're unplugged and not running the generator our 12v lights function but none of the other electrical (outlets, microwave, etc) have power.



If I'm correctly understanding how coach power systems are designed then it's my understanding that there are power converters that go from 120vDC to 12vAC and inverters that go from 12vAC to 120vDC. What I'm not clear on is if we have a converter and inverter and the inverter isn't functioning, or if we only have a converter and shouldn't expect anything 120V to function unless we're running the generator or connected to shore power.


Our power converter, located below the fridge in the kitchen, is a Magnetek Series 6300 A, model 6345. Does anyone know if this device includes an inverter and if not, is adding an inverter feasible?


I'm trying to research this unit but not having much luck finding the answer to the inverter question.



We plan on doing some dry camping and it would be nice to not have to run the generator all the time. We have 4 6V house batteries which should give us a fair amount of Ah for dry camping (I would think).


Any help or wisdom would be appreciated!


hotrod
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Our power converter, located below the fridge in the kitchen, is a Magnetek Series 6300 A, model 6345. Does anyone know if this device includes an inverter and if not, is adding an inverter feasible?
No, its a simple power supply that supplies 12 volts to the systems when you're plugged into shore power (or genny)

You could add an inverter (converts 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC) to provide 110 volts.

If you have a residential refrigerator, that would be your biggest consumer of 110 volt power when boon docking.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
No, its a simple power supply that supplies 12 volts to the systems when you're plugged into shore power (or genny)

You could add an inverter (converts 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC) to provide 110 volts.

If you have a residential refrigerator, that would be your biggest consumer of 110 volt power when boon docking.

Awesome, thanks for the quick reply and for confirming what I was starting to suspect.



The fridge is an electric / propane one. Other high load items I can think of would be the AC (wouldn't really expect to run that without shore power) and the microwave (again, we could make do without that if needed.


I'm looking into adding an inverter now and trying to assess my various options. I'll undoubtedly have more questions the further I go down that rabbit hole.


Thanks again!


EDIT:


I guess the next question would be are there any good build guides for adding in an inverter to a rig? I'd like to do it as seamlessly as possible but with budget in mind.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:09 PM   #4
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You should be able to run the A/C unit on your genny.

Running the genny in the morning and evening should do for the morning coffee, the evening microwave, and doing a charge of the batteries..

You'll have two items facing you immediately.

1) You need to get your power consumption down. The easiest and simplest way is to replace all the lights with LEDs.

LED Conversion – 1999 Southwind 35S

2) You should probably think about replacing your single stage converter with a three or four stage converter. This will allow your genny to re-charge your batteries much faster.

Need to upgrade Coach 12 volt power system – 1999 Southwind 35S


And I'll throw this one in.. I did a substantial upgrade of batteries and added a inverter. Note this was done mainly to support the residential frig.

http://www.1999southwind.com/12-volt-power-upgrades/..


..
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
You should be able to run the A/C unit on your genny.

Running the genny in the morning and evening should do for the morning coffee, the evening microwave, and doing a charge of the batteries..

You'll have two items facing you immediately.

1) You need to get your power consumption down. The easiest and simplest way is to replace all the lights with LEDs.

LED Conversion Ė 1999 Southwind 35S

2) You should probably think about replacing your single stage converter with a three or four stage converter. This will allow your genny to re-charge your batteries much faster.

Need to upgrade Coach 12 volt power system Ė 1999 Southwind 35S


And I'll throw this one in.. I did a substantial upgrade of batteries and added a inverter. Note this was done mainly to support the residential frig.

Need to upgrade Coach 12 volt power system – 1999 Southwind 35S..


..

Awesome! Thank you for the info. We replaced all the interior lights with LED during the remodel (just made sense) so that's a good start.



I had come across kits for upgrading our supply unit for better charging when I was researching my initial question. That's definitely something that I want to look into.


I appreciate the rest of those links too, I'm going to do some reading and might have more questions for you.


Thanks again!


Cheers!
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:20 AM   #6
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The last link about upgrading the 12 volt system should have been this:

Upgrade Coach 12 volt system – 1999 Southwind 35S

This is where I made some modifications to my 12 volt system to better support boondocking.

ALSO - Here is a link to how I modified the florescent lights for LEDs:

http://www.1999southwind.com/convert...xtures-to-led/

..
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:57 PM   #7
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You probably have just a converter. Inverters are expensive. Batteries to power the inverter are expensive. Most folks with inverters use 6v golf cart batteries wired in series to get you 12v and the inverter boosts to 120v. My coach has just a converter with two 12v automotive batteries to supply 12v house power. This has worked out well. Anytime I need 120v for microwave, coffeemaker, etc. I fire up the genny just long enough to heat up the coffee etc and shut it down. If I need the A/C the genny is there if no shore power.
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