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Old 04-03-2020, 07:28 AM   #1
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Inverter in shore plug compartment

Anybody running there inverter where the shore power compartment is? Was thinking of running wire from my batteries to there so I can plug the rv in and have my outlets work without running the generator. For charging devices and tv, maybe coffee. I have a 2006 Outlook 31c
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:04 AM   #2
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It's better to locate the inverter as close to the batteries as possible. To deliver 1,000 Watts to an AC load, the inverter requires around 90 amps of 12 volt DC current. For a short run of a few feet or less this is #2 gauge. For a longer run you would want to use #0 gauge to have acceptable results. $$

To carry the same 1000 watts at 120 VAC only requires a 14 gauge wire run. $

If you are thinking of plugging the whole RV via the shore cable into the inverter, this is possible but you have to remember to manually turn off the breaker to the converter charger whenever you do this, and also remember to turn the breaker back on whenever you go back to powering from shore outlet or generator.
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Old 04-03-2020, 11:48 AM   #3
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Randy is totally correct. Inverter near batteries but not in the battery compartment.

My 2000w OEM inverter is mounted upside down on the ceiling of a compartment on the other side of the RV directly opposite the battery bank. The 0/2 sized cable that connects it to the batteries is probably less than 5 feet long.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:52 PM   #4
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Anybody running there inverter where the shore power compartment is? Was thinking of running wire from my batteries to there so I can plug the rv in and have my outlets work without running the generator. For charging devices and tv, maybe coffee. I have a 2006 Outlook 31c
Maybe I'm confused or missing something on the question. Are you thinking you need to have the inverter where the outlets can be fed either from the inverter off batteries or plugged into the shore power? Are you maybe thinking those outlets fed by the inverter are ONLY hot when working off batteries and there is not an auto switching gizmo to let those outlets work on both as needed? It was my understanding that the inverter would do the switch, pulling battery power when not AC connected but using AC if available.
Or is this something you are planning to add?
I'm not a real experienced inverter user so I fully admit that I may be confused on the issue. Tell us more, maybe?
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, I'm basically wanting to plug in the house plug via extension cord to an inverter so all my outlets work. I figure that's the easiest way to do it without fishing wire up and down unknown places. I definitely will put it close to the house batteries now with your input. Just need it for evening time, don't want to run the genny for the tv and charging phones.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:13 PM   #6
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Ah, I see what you want to do now. Plug the shore power cable into an inverter, to make the AC outlets active off the batteries. It should work.
Follow Randy's caveat about flipping the converter/charger breaker off, or you'll create the "batteries charging themselves" catch 22 loop. As well as the other suggestions.
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Old 04-04-2020, 07:49 AM   #7
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First time posting here, life time of RVing..
I used the process you described for a few years on my 2007 View.* I mounted a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter in a compartment about three feet from my batteries, then ran 12 gauge household wiring from the inverter to a 30 amp RV-type receptacle mounted next to the Generator outlet.* I could manually choose Shore, Generator, or Inverter to power the whole coach.* Remembering to turn off/on the Converter was problematic, so I installed a 120 volt 30 amp relay to automatically interrupt AC power for the converter (relay is Normally Closed until triggered by power from the Inverter).*
I used that configuration for almost 5 years, but with more time on my hands recently and some spare parts, I built a custom ATS (automatic transfer switch).* I hard-wired the Inverter through the ATS main relay directly to the 30 amp circuit breaker on my power panel.* All I need to do now is turn on the Inverter as needed.* Instead of using the inverter to switch the converter OFF, I used a normally-open relay in the converter circuit so it is only turned ON when shore (or generator) power is on.* If I plug into Shore power, the ATS switches and bypasses the inverter instantly even if it is still turned on.* Similarly, if driving, I always have the shore cord plugged into the generator outlet.* If I run the generator, the ATS switches power from the inverter to the generator.*
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by spyder152 View Post
Thanks for the replies, I'm basically wanting to plug in the house plug via extension cord to an inverter so all my outlets work. I figure that's the easiest way to do it without fishing wire up and down unknown places. I definitely will put it close to the house batteries now with your input. Just need it for evening time, don't want to run the genny for the tv and charging phones.
We power our TV, computers and charge phones with our portable MaxOak 500W portable battery pack. It will run our TV for 6.5 hours (we generally watch one movie at night.) The advantage is you are carrying an extra 45AH of power with you. Our coach batteries are only running the LED lights at night. We bought our MaxOak 500W for $400.00. There are plenty of other brands available. If you can afford it buy a 1000W unit they run about 1K and add about 95AH. All units can be charged by AC, Solar and DC.
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Old 04-08-2020, 09:47 PM   #9
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Yes, I've done that with my 28' class C (2kW Ames auto bypass inverter). Tight fit but works and is not used enough to create excessive heat buildup in the relatively small space. It's only the width of the RV away from the batteries and I ran 1/0 gauge wire to it. Every RV configuration and electrical system design is unique and needs to be properly engineered, factoring in all design issues.

Entire system includes: 300ah of Relion lithium batteries (three RB100-HP); 400W of Renogy high efficiency solar w/30 amp PWM controller; 55 amp lithium charger/power supply; Amp-L-Start; 2kW Ames inverter and Victron BMV-712 battery monitor system. Major load is the 75W compressor refrigerator which runs about 60-70% of the time.
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:28 AM   #10
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My inverter is in the same location on my coach as Creativepart indicated for his coach.
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:29 AM   #11
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Joe, those Relion RB100-HP batteries are dual-purpose deep-cycle/starting batteries and cost $1300. Is there some reason you chose those over a more common LiPo, such as Battleborn that are $950 each? I’m confused by that choice.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:30 AM   #12
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Joe, those Relion RB100-HP batteries are dual-purpose deep-cycle/starting batteries and cost $1300. Is there some reason you chose those over a more common LiPo, such as Battleborn that are $950 each? Iím confused by that choice.
Yes. The reason is that the batteries are needed to start the generator and possibly the V-10 engine. Onan indicated that the generator starter current is rated at 260 amps and the V-10, probably more due to its size, I didn't check. The max lithium battery discharge for standard batteries is typically 1C or 100 amps or 300 amps in my case with 3 batteries. This was way too close for comfort for me so I opted for the -HP or High Performance battery from Relion. They can supply a peak discharge of 800 amps each for 2 seconds. This is the dual purpose that very few, if any, would consider when designing their battery bank.

Being a design engineer, by trade, I don't like playing too close to the margins of a design. Are the -HP's absolutely needed? Probably not. But why chance it? I actually monitored the starter current of the Onan generator with my Victron BMV-712 and it indicated a very quick 180 amps during the summer. Chill the machine and its oil and I will guarantee larger current draw, probably closer to the specification. As for the Ford V-10, who knows? I'd hate to trash $3K worth of batteries because I needed to start my RV at Yellowstone on a cold spring morning. It's just not worth the chance in my mind.

I hope this helps not only you but others who have the chance to read this posting.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:04 AM   #13
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Interesting take on this. I know on my RV the chassis battery starts the genset and in 5 years of owning motor homes I've needed to bridge the house and chassis batteries to start my V10 a total of zero times. But you never know.

Each of us has to decide what specifications works best for us.
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Old 04-09-2020, 01:55 PM   #14
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Interesting take on this. I know on my RV the chassis battery starts the genset and in 5 years of owning motor homes I've needed to bridge the house and chassis batteries to start my V10 a total of zero times. But you never know.

Each of us has to decide what specifications works best for us.
I had to start the Ford engine once after I had been parked for one month during my first camp hosting adventure. At the time, I was a relative newbie to RVing and falsely assumed that the starter battery was being charged too while on shore power and I wasn't the only one, as I found out over the past few years. I used the dash radio for musical entertainment and used the 12 VDC ports for charging various electronic devices plus the drain of the engine ECM collectively took their toll in 30 days. Now, several years later and much wiser, I have an Amp-L-Start as an integral part of my electrical system and a quality battery monitoring system (Victron BMV-712) to keep on top of my, now very complex, electrical system.

In short, if you now know everything you need to know about your RV and its operation and feel comfortable you won't ever get caught with your pants down, then by all means save the $1,000 and buy lots of beer or whatever with the savings. As for me, I continue to believe that there will always be something out there ready and willing to bite me in the butt, so I tend to take the most bullet proof approach that I can in life.

Best wishes and happy camping.... eventually.
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Old 04-09-2020, 02:20 PM   #15
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General note to all: If you don't have substantial training in electrical or electronics field, please don't try to re-engineer (design) your electrical system. This stuff is not "plug-n-play" and you can easily shoot yourself in the foot, maybe worse. "Winterbagoal" had a good point mentioning the "batteries charging themselves" catch 22 loop. This can not be done successfully and can happen to anyone who does not fully understand what they are doing. You will end up with dead batteries.

And to avoid potential fire and explosions, you better not configure your inverter to power the RV at the same time your it is receiving shore power or generator power without a properly installed automatic or interlocked manual buss transfer device.
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Old 04-21-2020, 07:57 PM   #16
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Well got the inverter and it didn't work so I'm going to wire some outlets. Thought I would try. It just overloads the inverter and beeps. Even with all the breakers off.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:46 AM   #17
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In our Sunstar, I installed the inverter/charger in the back of the interior cabinet right next to the batteries under the entry steps. The cabinet also holds the converter and power center.


Rather than try to power the whole house off the inverter, I rerouted the 3 circuits for just all of the outlets to a new breaker box I made with 3 DIN rail breakers. That way, the fridge and air conditioner are not on the inverter.


(This is something to be aware of. If you have an auto switching capable absorption refrigerator, in auto, and power its circuit off the inverter, it will switch of of propane to AC, and place a large load on the batteries.)



I repurposed the microwave breaker to supply the inverter/charger.


And, I left the converter wired in place as a back up, but turned its AC breaker off, and removed its DC fuse. At some point, I may remove it entirely to save weight.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:58 AM   #18
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What make and model iverter did you get?



Quote:
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Well got the inverter and it didn't work so I'm going to wire some outlets. Thought I would try. It just overloads the inverter and beeps. Even with all the breakers off.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:57 PM   #19
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Whistler pro 1200watt. Actually pulled it from my truck camper. 3ft 0awg wire from battery to under the sink. Enough to run our coffee maker with no issue. Still need to run a few outlets. I know that's not the cleanest running inverter but for what i need it for, it works great.
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:27 PM   #20
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If you are thinking of plugging the whole RV via the shore cable into the inverter, this is possible but you have to remember to manually turn off the breaker to the converter charger whenever you do this, and also remember to turn the breaker back on whenever you go back to powering from shore outlet or generator.
Hello. I don't want to hijack the thread but I have a specific question related to this comment. I have a 2004 Adventurer 35U. I'm planning on (over a little bit of time and in steps) putting together a Solar system, beefing up the batteries, and installing an inverter and I was planning to do the same thing regarding plugging the shore power cord into the inverter. I know you need to flip the breaker for the converter when you do this. Problem is, on my rig, the converter and the fridge are on the same breaker.

How difficult is it to separate them onto two separate breakers? Is that the way to go or is there another solution? I'm in the planning stages now so I can shift gears if need be.

Thank you,

Bruce
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