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Old 08-13-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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TV use on inverter

we have the 32H floorplan, one feature is that the TV is back in the kitchen area not over head of the driver. So, from time to time we will run the generator so people can watch TV as we are going down the road. I realize that instead of running the generator, we could turn on the inverter to run the TV. My question is, would the engine charging power be sufficient to run the TV and sound system without running the house batteries down.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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It sounds like you're asking whether the engine charging system will power the TV and sound system when the engine is running. Most likely yes, unless you have a huge sound system. I'd wonder why you need the sound system on when driving down the road. Isn't the TV speakers good enough or is this a question of playing a DVD? Most new flat screen TVs don't draw hardly any power, relative to other loads.

I also assume, and you so state, you're not considering using your engine while parked. You have house batteries, an inverter, and a GenSet. So, there would be no reason or value in running the engine while parked.

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Old 08-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #3
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Usually, motorhomes have an alternator output of 100+ amps that would equate to a 120VAC draw of about 10 amps. If your TV and sound system don't exceed that you should be fine. Don't forget you also have your chassis batteries that will be feeding into the inverter so between the batteries and the alternator you should be good to go. If you have an ammeter on your dash you'll be able to see it's output.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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Would the engine power be enough to run the TV via an inverter:

YES. about 10 to 20 times over more than likely.

SUGGESTION: I know they cost more but get a True Sine inverter, not an MSW.

REASON: go to the Xantrex web site and look for the manuals and such for the X-Power (MSW) inverters.. One of the documents is a list of things that MIGHT not work on a MSW inverter.

Now page back a bit and look for the same documents list for the PROSINE (True sine inverter) No such document exists there.

Televisions, Sat receivers, Audio Amplifiers and a bunch of other things are listed in that document that does not appear on the True Sine Wave sites.

This is not saying they WILL NOT work right,, Just that they MIGHT NOT work right.

With TSW, they work just like on shore power.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
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TV and Stereo on Inverter

I'm sure you will be OK using the inverter and not using extra gas running the generator. To be absolutely sure you can check the battery level using the LED guage across the aisle from the refrigerator. If the LED is green with the Inverter, TV and DVD on you should arrive with the coach batteries fully charged.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
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Thank you for all the input. The more I thought about it, then what would keep me from running the refrigerator off the inverter while driving down the road rather than having it on propane (I realize that running the fridge on propane while driving down the road is not considered "safe" by everyone) As long as i am not drawing amps in excess of what the alternator can provide i should be OK...and maybe that is my answer, perhaps the fridge draws too much...i will have to check what it draws as I am pretty sure our inverter is rated at 600 watts
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #7
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Don't think you'll be able to run all that on a 600 watt inverter. Check the sticker on the inside of your refrigerator and it will tell you how many watts it uses. Think you'll find it's about 400 watts. The worst you can do is blow a fuse or cause the BIRD to isolate your coach batteries and shut everything down.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
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The fridge draws as much as 300-400 watts running, almost half you alternator output unless they gifted you with an oversize alternator.. Alternators do not like to do that full time.. They are good for their rated output for a short period, but not for hours on end, burns them out quickly.

So I'd leave the Fridge on gas.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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Most MHs do not have all 120 outlets connected to the inverter. Usually the back bedroom TV is connected but not the fridge. You should be fine on the inverter alone while driving. But don't be alarmed when not all outlets are hot like with the generator.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by thepratts View Post
Most MHs do not have all 120 outlets connected to the inverter. Usually the back bedroom TV is connected but not the fridge. You should be fine on the inverter alone while driving. But don't be alarmed when not all outlets are hot like with the generator.
I'm pretty sure that's how our Sunrise is set up, inverter only powers the entertainment center outlets-nothing else...
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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My inverter lives under a dinette seat in my 30ft 96 Itasca Spirit and I believe it is installed the same way that most are. I have two outlets that I tapped into under the dinette seat. First the wire was cut, then a standard male plug was installed on one of the "cut ends". (the end that goes to the two outlets) and a standard female outlet was wired into the other "cut end" and installed inside the dinette seat compartment next to where the inverter is mounted. So now when we want to watch tv, charge a cel phone, or a laptop or whatever while driving, we plug the male end into the inverter and that powers up those two outlets. When we switch to shore or gen power, we simply unplug the cord from the inverter, and plug it into the wall outlet. That allows those two outlets to operate normally with the other outlets in the RV.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Crankarm
The more I thought about it, then what would keep me from running the refrigerator off the inverter while driving down the road rather than having it on propane (I realize that running the fridge on propane while driving down the road is not considered "safe" by everyone)
We run our fridge on inverter while driving and have on both coaches we have owned (propane is off for safety reasons as you mentioned). The fridge takes about 30A at 12V (they both were double door, not one of the 4 door versions). That's about 360W, so your 600W inverter should be able to handle the load fine.

The alternators were 130A and 145A, so we were using about 1/4 of their capacity for the fridge. On our old coach, the alternator had to be replaced, but not because it burned out, its bearings went bad after about 110,000mi. New coach only has 18,000mi on it, so I don't expect to replace it for a while.

The biggest problem we have is remembering to turn the fridge off (or turn on the gas) while at rest areas, etc, when the engine is off. We have a lot of batteries and a good solar electric system, but if you have the normal one or two batteries the fridge will discharge them in a couple of hours.

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Old 08-26-2010, 07:01 PM   #13
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Who says running the fridge on propane is unsafe? Maybe they are a little unsafe at the fuel island but you can turn it off while fueling. The only time that I use the inverter is at quiet time when I don't wish to disturb any neighbours. All other times I run the genny because the more you use the genny the less you have to fix it. Use it or lose it they say.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:12 AM   #14
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Running or not running propane while driving is a personal decision. Several RV fire safety experts, including Mac the Fire Guy recommend traveling with propane tanks off for safety reasons.

There have been many threads discussing this in iRV2.com. Some people run their propane, some do not. We happen to not (except when we forget to turn it off).

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:46 PM   #15
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Who says running the fridge on propane is unsafe?
The RV insurance agencies and companies.. However consider tihs:

You are going down the road, Fridge on propane, when something bad happens and the fridge catches fire.. Behind you is Mr. Jones in a brand new $300,000.00 class A diesel pusher..

Question.. Is he going to pull right up beside you so the flames shooting out your fridge start his rig on fire? NO.. He may pull up beside you (on the OTHER SIDE) and holler YOU'RE ON FIRE at you.. but for sure he will avoid the flames.

Option 2: You leave the fridge off or run on inverter/generator.

You get to the FMCA rally and parked next to you in the sardine parking lot is the very same Mr. Jones and his 300K rig.

Since there is no electricity and all night without refrigeration is too long for the food inside to keep you turn it on propane.

3am it catches fire, also setting Mr. Jones (The one everybody wants to keep up with in case you wonder where i got the name) on fire, and by the time the FD arrives to hose it down 2 more rigs are burning.

And your insurance company has to pay for all of them.

Kind of sounds to me like the insurance company should be re-thinking.

Yes there is danger.. But I"d rather it be just my rig, than mine, yours and the guy next to you.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:12 AM   #16
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You guys worry to much. The propane fridges are designed to run safely down the road.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:02 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=wa8yxm;692148]The RV insurance agencies and companies.. However consider tihs:

You are going down the road, Fridge on propane, when something bad happens and the fridge catches fire.. Behind you is Mr. Jones in a brand new $300,000.00 class A diesel pusher..

Question.. Is he going to pull right up beside you so the flames shooting out your fridge start his rig on fire? NO.. He may pull up beside you (on the OTHER SIDE) and holler YOU'RE ON FIRE at you.. but for sure he will avoid the flames.

Option 2: You leave the fridge off or run on inverter/generator.

You get to the FMCA rally and parked next to you in the sardine parking lot is the very same Mr. Jones and his 300K rig.

Since there is no electricity and all night without refrigeration is too long for the food inside to keep you turn it on propane.

3am it catches fire, also setting Mr. Jones (The one everybody wants to keep up with in case you wonder where i got the name) on fire, and by the time the FD arrives to hose it down 2 more rigs are burning.

Option 3
Obama starts WWWIII but your on the road and didn't hear about it and just then an ICBM is launched in Russia and lands directly on your Motorhome. Question is: Should I be on propane or the inverter in an emergancy situation such as this ????
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