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Old 08-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
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power for inverter

I am trying to understand the electric charging system in my Motor home. I have an Itasca 36rd Horizon 2005. It has a 3 battery bank that is used for the house and 2 batteries for the engine. I have several ways to charge the house bank. I have a inverter/charger, the shore line, generator and solar panels. Now how does everything work. When connected with the shoreline I assume that the inverter/charger is charging the batteries when the sun is not shinning. If the shoreline is not connected and I am running the generator then the inverter/charger should be charging the batteries. Now the question is if I turn the circuit breaker for the inverter/charger off dose this mean that the inverter/charger is not going to charge the batteries with either the shoreline connected or the generator running? Is it going to different with the shoreline than with the generator?
The idea that I am working on is to have the shoreline connected with the inverter circuit breaker turned off. This would allow the large 120 volt appliances work off the 120 volt system and everything else off of the 12 volt system.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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You converter/charger takes 120V from genset, and shore power, and turns it into 12V power.
The solar panels create 12V for the batteries.
The motor running can charge the batteries with 12V also.
The inverter takes 12V power and makes 120V, on a limited basis, so that it can be used for whatever it is wired for.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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Shutting off the inverter/charger , C/B will stop the charging from shore power, and depending on the gen set , the gen set too. Have to check with a volt meter.
I have to ask . Why are you considering doing this ?
Limited shore power amps ?
I doubt that shutting down the I/C is going to save you enough, to power up any real heavy draws on the 110.

Also unless you disconnect the 12v input the inverter will still try to draw on the batteries to power any circuit attached to it's 110v side.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
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You can turn the converter/charger off by pushing and releasing the right most button on the Dimensions panel until it indicates 0. To turn it back on to maximum charging mode, push and release the same button until the display indicates 25. This is the amount of AC current the charger is allowed to draw.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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When on shore power or generator the converter charger is charging the batteries continuously. If the inverter is on, it is powering all AC circuits it supplies. In your case, this is probably every thing except the air conditionsers, refrigerator and water heater AC side. Turning off the inverter should cause all AC circuits to run off of shore power or generator. All 12 volt circuits always run off the batteries, this includes all the lights and water pump.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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Another thing. Shutting off power TO the inverter charger means those loads on the sub panel (Inverter panel) are now running off the batteries.. This will run them down.

Thus I would not recommend doing that less you do it for like a few mintues (Microwaving lunch) when on limited 120vac.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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If you check the owners manual the solar panel is simply for keeping the batteries up when in storage. For everyday use it is not very useful.

In one of the compartments you will find 2 relays under a cover. One is an isolation relay and the other is a charging relay. Please forgive me at this point. I don't recall if they operate off the inverter and alternator, whichever is active at the time, or not.

I had my charge relay fail and the start batteries did not charge when on inverter.
this was on my '05 Vectra 40FD. The wiring diagram is hard to follow in this area bu the Winnebago help line is great at answering questions such as this.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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On the 05 Vectras I don't thing the chassis starting batteries were charged except by the engine alternator. I believe they started putting the Trik-L-Start on in 2006, the Trik-L-Start keeps the chassis battery charged via the converter/charger and the house batteries.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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The inverter part of the inverter/charger will be disabled automatically whenever you are supplying 120V AC via shore power or the generator. As long as the inverter is turned on it should automatically pick up the load (for most 120V AC circuits) if the shore power and generator are not providing power. If you aren't running the generator or connected to shore power you may want to turn of the inverter (via the control panel, not the circuit breaker) to conserve battery power, but of course you won't have any 120V AC available in that case.

The charger portion of the inverter/charger takes in 120V AC and outputs 12V DC to power 12V DC circuits in the coach and charge the batteries. If you were to turn the charger off your house batteries would run down and would not be recharged.

As mentioned earlier, the 10W solar charger can effectively be ignored as it doesn't provide enough power to even keep up with the parasitic loads on the batteries--it helps a little bit, but not much.

As also mentioned earlier, unless it's already been done you should install a Trik-L-Start (2006-04 Trik-L-Start - ) to keep your chassis batteries topped up whenever your house batteries are being charged. (Note that the Trik-L-Start web page is now Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer rather than the .com link in the PDF.)

On your coach every 120V AC circuit should be on the inverter except the air conditioning, washer/dryer, and dishwasher (if you have them).

If you go here Wiring Diagrams you should be able to find full wiring (and other) diagrams for your coach.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:31 PM   #10
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I second the recommendation to install a Trickl-Start ... I installed one about 2 years ago ... it keeps the chassis batteries charged.

It takes about an hour to install the Trickl-Start ... the directions for installing on a Journey (or Meridian) are spot on ...
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:29 AM   #11
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The Dimension inverter on my '05 was more like a UPS in that it did supply power when on shore power. I found this out the hard way when I overloaded it with a compressor plugged into the outside outlet. Putting a charger to the start batteries is a great idea. If you, who have the Dimension, ever have the urge or need to replace it go with a Magnum. I had replaced my Dimension with a Xantrex full sine wave inverter. When I had a problem with the temp probe I was told by Xantrex that my unit was a throwaway! They would not support it. Lifeline AGM told me to go with the Magnum and that is what this Meridian has. Power system seems much improved in the '11 over the previous '05.
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