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Old 07-08-2014, 11:07 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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Need help on inverter-type replacement

Threads on inverters have probably been beat to death, but I have a question regarding the replacement of the standard Dimensions 300 watt inverter in my motorhome. Looking around online and locally in stores, so far I have only found inverters that either plug into a 12VDC power outlet, cables with battery-jumper style clamps or you can hardwire them, which is the most desirable installation. But all of them are only powered by 12VDC, whereas the Dimension inverter is actually plugged into a 110V outlet to power the T.V. full time and I manually throw a switch when I need to run on 12VDC.

What is the name of these types of inverters, ones that have a 110V plug to power through your electrical items but are also hardwired into the batteries? I'm striking out on easily finding a replacement, and would like to go to a 600 watt or so inverter for the T.V. cabinet, along with a separate inverter that will only be 12VDC powered in a different location nearby.

Thank you. -RT
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:09 AM   #2
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I'm sure the term is " Auto by-pass " for an inverter that shuts down the conversion as soon as 110 power is applied.
Usually $$ higher priced units.

May not see the feature in units , under 1500>2000 watts, at least I can't remember seeing one.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
I'm sure the term is " Auto by-pass " for an inverter that shuts down the conversion as soon as 110 power is applied.
Usually $$ higher priced units.

May not see the feature in units , under 1500>2000 watts, at least I can't remember seeing one.
My OEM Dimension is only a 300 watt and at the time they offered an upgrade to 600 watts on some higher priced Winnebago/Itasca models. I'm hoping to find something similar to the Dimension in the 600, 700 or so range. It's got to have the 'auto by-pass' feature though.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:33 AM   #4
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My original( 400 watt manual) was replaced by a previous owner , with a 600 watt Xantrex , works well , but also manual.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:26 AM   #5
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Google inverter with transfer switch, several available. Also available are standalone transfer switch.

Pure Sine Wave Inverters with Transfer Switches | Samlex America
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:28 AM   #6
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The 300 watt inverter in my '04 is only wired with 10 or 12 gauge (I forget) wires to the battery (and they are quite long). They are barely adequate. A 600 watt wasn't an option in '04, but I'd check your wiring to see what size it is before you upgrade. That is, assuming you'd put it where the current one is.


Edit:
Pulled up a random 2005 Sunova wiring diagram (33L). Inverter is powered by circuit CM and it's 10 gauge wire. (It's in the automotive wiring diagram.)
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tderonne View Post
The 300 watt inverter in my '04 is only wired with 10 or 12 gauge (I forget) wires to the battery (and they are quite long). They are barely adequate. A 600 watt wasn't an option in '04, but I'd check your wiring to see what size it is before you upgrade. That is, assuming you'd put it where the current one is.


Edit:
Pulled up a random 2005 Sunova wiring diagram (33L). Inverter is powered by circuit CM and it's 10 gauge wire. (It's in the automotive wiring diagram.)
Thanks to all who have replied with information.

tderonne:
While my inverter is a 300 watt, it trips when I have both the front and rear CRT T.V.'s on, so my real needed upgrade power requirement might not be anywhere near 600 watts or 700 watts, but those are the most common sized upgrades from a 300 watt. (Works perfect with the front T.V. and VCR/DVD player, or rear T.V. and VCR/DVD player, but trips with either T.V. already on and I try to power up the second T.V.)

What do you feel is the minimum gauge wire for a 600 watt or 700 watt inverter should be, and if I don't really need 600 watts to power the two existing T.V.'s and VCR/DVD player, do you think I could get away with the OEM wiring? (My floor plan is the 34A.) -RT
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tderonne View Post
Edit: Pulled up a random 2005 Sunova wiring diagram (33L). Inverter is powered by circuit CM and it's 10 gauge wire. (It's in the automotive wiring diagram.)
Does the '10 YEL' and '10 WHT' in this wiring picture to the inverter represent the wire gauge and color, meaning 10 gauge yellow, 10 gauge white? -RT
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
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RTegarini, yes that be true.
Also ran across this today Xantrex makes a small 15 amp transfer switch.
http://www.xantrex.com/power-product...fer-relay.aspx
Xantrex recommends a size 0 cable with a maximum cable
length of 6 feet (1.8 m). So if you are thinking anything above a 300 watt I would move it much closer to the battery.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:13 AM   #10
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Yup, looks like you have 10 gauge wiring too. The total circuit length (positive and ground) is what you need next. It has to be 20 feet or more since the inverter is up over the windshield and the batteries are under the step.

Then you can consult a chart or formulas for wire sizing. There are different charts that use different voltage drops. Voltage drop to the inverter is critical as it shuts down at low voltage, giving up voltage to wiring isn't good.

Here's a chart based on a 3% drop


20' of 10 gauge wire will handle about 15 amps at a 3% voltage drop! (It will handle 30 amps, but there would be much more voltage drop.)

(Note that there is a 30 amp fuse on the inverter circuit. That will supply 360 watts at 12 volts on the input side of the inverter, about what it needs to make 300 watts of output.)

There's other charts based on different drops, google will find a bunch.

Just upgrading the wiring might let your 300 watt inverter do the job.

Of course, that is a big job given the distance and routing. Newer models, with bigger inverters put the inverter close to the batteries. Makes sense, doesn't it?
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:31 AM   #11
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Had this in our 2011 vista and it would automatically switch between 110 and 12v sources. Power Inverter, Marine Inverter, PRO Series Inverter

Of course installing this could be a big job. I put in the 1800 w version for the kitchen to run my kurig machine. Needs to be installed near the battery, then run your 110vac line to/from it. Just happened that the 110 circuit breaker was also near the battery and inverter so I pulled romax wire directly from the circuit breaker to this device. It also has a remote display so you can wire that in a convenient location.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:30 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies; I definitely got some good information. I have two projects in mind, one being replacing the original 300 watt Dimension inverter but have not made any decisions on that yet as it is a big project due to the wiring and I want 110v pass-thru.

My other project is a lot easier, as I want to install a second inverter near the passenger seat for 110v power for my sons MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers. It's a very short wiring run from that area to the batteries inside the step. I had already mounted a BEP cutoff switch to the batteries, so I can now add a second BEP that will be wired specifically to the new Xantrex 813-1500 XPower 1500 Watt Inverter. Bought new on eBay for $85, including shipping, which seemed like a decent deal and has three 110v receptacles. -RT
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