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Old 04-14-2009, 11:13 PM   #1
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Inverter problem

As my signature shows my rig is a 2004 Brave. We probably dry camp with our unit about 80% of the time so the inverter has been used allot. This past weekend while camping I discovered that my inverter was not working. My inverter is the 300 watt Dimension. I looked at the manual for trouble shooting information and tried everything in the book. Obviously nothing worked.
There were several things I noticed that I am curious if anyone else has encountered when having problems with theirs. The first thing I noticed was that when I turned the generator off, the light indicating EXT power remained lit for some time. I have to admit that I do not remember if this light stayed on before. The other thing was that if I tapped the front of the unit the EXT light would blink.
Any suggestions as to what the problem might be would be greatly appreciated.
While we are on the topic of possibly having to replaced the inverter I have a couple of questions about this as well.

1. I have read in other threads that I should consider a true-sine wave unit to get cleaner power. Since I haven't had any problems with the original unit until now,is it worth the extra money to change over to the true-sine unit?

2. As I mentioned before I have a 300 watt unit now that only powers the front cabinets and the rear TV. How hard is it to change the system so that it will power all of the outlets in the coach?
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:19 AM   #2
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I also tried to run more outlets on my inverter. After replacing 2 units I went to a Xantrex 2000 watt inverter/charger. If you dry camp as much as you say that would be the best upgrade you can make. The big plus is the 3 stage charger which will maintain you battery bank much better.

Charlie Tuit
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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If you replace your inverter, get another brand. Our Demented lasted 2 years and we did have it rebuildt by them since they won't sell parts to anyone and we had to have it immediately.. This one has lasted over 2 years. Maybe the model 300 was a good one. Ours was the 2000 which many have had problems with. Good Luck
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:22 AM   #4
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A true sine wave would definitely be best. However, depending on finances a modified sine wave might be your best solution. I have a 1,500 watt MSW inverter and have no problems with my TVs, satellite receiver or kitchen appliances. I have several friends with MSW inverters who also have no problems. The cost will probably be about 1/2 a true sine wave model. Aim inverters from Inverters R US is a good way to go. Also use an IOTA transfer switch. Your 300 watt inverter has a built in transfer switch, not many models have this and are a lot more expensive. The external switch requires wiring, but is fairly simple.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadilo View Post
As my signature shows my rig is a 2004 Brave. We probably dry camp with our unit about 80% of the time so the inverter has been used allot. This past weekend while camping I discovered that my inverter was not working. My inverter is the 300 watt Dimension. I looked at the manual for trouble shooting information and tried everything in the book. Obviously nothing worked.
There were several things I noticed that I am curious if anyone else has encountered when having problems with theirs. The first thing I noticed was that when I turned the generator off, the light indicating EXT power remained lit for some time. I have to admit that I do not remember if this light stayed on before. The other thing was that if I tapped the front of the unit the EXT light would blink.
Any suggestions as to what the problem might be would be greatly appreciated.
While we are on the topic of possibly having to replaced the inverter I have a couple of questions about this as well.

1. I have read in other threads that I should consider a true-sine wave unit to get cleaner power. Since I haven't had any problems with the original unit until now,is it worth the extra money to change over to the true-sine unit?

2. As I mentioned before I have a 300 watt unit now that only powers the front cabinets and the rear TV. How hard is it to change the system so that it will power all of the outlets in the coach?
if you install a larger inverter, you will have to use a larger wire from the inverter to the battery. my winnebago's wire looks like a #10. my 300w demented inverter was not big enough.
my inverter is in the front cabinet next to the tv. i installed a 400w msw inverter since i already had it. the winnebago wire size is marginal. i get a voltage drop.
i am using a "vector" msw 400w inverter with a fan in it. it is very noisy. i insulated the inverter mount and the inside of the front cabinet. the noise is now tolerable.
i am powering the front tv, (200w?) digital converter-dvd-vcr recorder (30w), and the rear tv (125w?) and digital converter (8w) from the inverter all the time.
i am not using a transfer switch. the inverter has a on-off switch that i can reach from the front of the cabinet. the inverter draws .6 amps or 7.2w when "idling".
the inverter operates from the coach converter when plugged in to shore power or the coach batteries when not plugged in.
i installed another inside-outside temperature gauge in the front cabinet. when the inverter is on, the temperature inside the cabinet is about 3-4 degrees warmer than the moho cabin.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:43 PM   #6
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I will take just part of this and likely surprise a few folks

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadilo View Post
1. I have read in other threads that I should consider a true-sine wave unit to get cleaner power. Since I haven't had any problems with the original unit until now,is it worth the extra money to change over to the true-sine unit?

if it works for you, then go for it.

If you plan on just replacing it, then it makes little difference since you are not having any problems with your MSW unit, do be aware though that SOME MSW units, in a very recent independent lab test that I (along with a very large number of others) helped pay for some models were lots worse than others.

If you plan on running a Microwave... You may wish to consider TSW as microwaves often cook slower or the timer does strange thigns on MSW.

However in your case. I'd say try MSW, since it's working for you now.
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles tuit View Post
I also tried to run more outlets on my inverter. After replacing 2 units I went to a Xantrex 2000 watt inverter/charger. If you dry camp as much as you say that would be the best upgrade you can make. The big plus is the 3 stage charger which will maintain you battery bank much better.

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Charlie, I have a Xantrex that I want to install in my 1999 Adventurer. I want it to run front and rear TV's and the associated DVD, VCR and Satelite receivers. Where did you install the inverter and how did you tie the outlets to the inverter?
Thanks
Randy
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:15 AM   #8
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Lill:

I had my Xantrex installed by Camping World . They installed it in the rear compartment containing the battery trays and the electrical components. Be aware that they put in a separate circut box that had all the circuts for the TV's and 110 plugs but not the electric water heater, air con., fridge. These draw too much current for the inverter.

Hope this helps.

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Old 04-17-2009, 11:32 AM   #9
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Charlie thanks, Do you recall the ball park price of the install?
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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I complained and protested the charge and got a reduced rate as the phone quote I received didn't reflect the addition of the separate circut box and wireing. Bottom line it was about $600. I would advise going to the place you want to install it and get a quote before having it done.

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Old 04-17-2009, 02:22 PM   #11
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Hi Ho: It really depends on what you want the inverter to do. We installed completely new electronics including TV and stereo amplifiers. So we needed more power and simply wired an additional demented inverter in the other side compartment.

We have never had any problem with either inverter and they get a lot of use. One thing I like is that my inverters turn themselves off automatically when the voltage (at the inverter) gets down to about 11.5 volts. This saves running down the batteries so that they can't run other things in the coach.

Since these inverters have self-contained switch-over circuits it sounds like you might be experiencing a problem with this switch. I have been wishing that one of mine would have a problem so that I could tear into it, but 8 years so far and no problems.

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Old 04-17-2009, 02:23 PM   #12
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Hi Ho: Oh, be sure to reset the inverter completely. You could unplug it if convenient, or at least turn it off and back on.

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