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Old 06-27-2008, 06:03 AM   #1
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I am considering installing an inverter in my motorhome. I am currently running 2 twelve volt house batteries and am planning on replacing them with six volts, not sure if I need 2 or 4 of the six volts.

What size inverter should I consider? I am interesting in powering the TV, Microwave, Satellite...etc. Are there any preferred brands? How difficult to install? Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:03 AM   #2
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I am considering installing an inverter in my motorhome. I am currently running 2 twelve volt house batteries and am planning on replacing them with six volts, not sure if I need 2 or 4 of the six volts.

What size inverter should I consider? I am interesting in powering the TV, Microwave, Satellite...etc. Are there any preferred brands? How difficult to install? Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:03 AM   #3
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Read this, and this. My personal preference is a pure sine wave unit and I like Xantrex products in particular. Xantrex is the major player in the inverter market.
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
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In no particular order:

I'll echo John on the Xantrex - not cheap by any means, but the best rarely is.

If you're planning on powering the microwave, along with the other stuff, 2KW is the minimum you should consider.

Difficulty of installation? Depends on how handy you are. The Control panel will probably be more of a challenge to install than the actual inverter.

Batteries? You can never have enough!
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:51 AM   #5
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Be aware that, no matter how large the inverter, you are still limited by the capacity of your house batteries. We have a 1500w inverter, but if we turn on a few things, it doesn't take long to run down the batteries. Just do the rough calculation as to how much battery current you must draw to supply 2000w. Battery current is roughly 10 times greater than 120v current at a given power level. That means that a 15-amp ac load (roughtly equivalent to 2000 watts) translates into at least 150 amps at the battery terminals. Check the amp-hour rating of your batteries to estimate how long before they are run down. I've always thought some people who wanted huge inverters didn't take this into account.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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When shopping for an inverter, another specification to shop for - if the manufacturer will post the spec - is idle current (or some similar moniker). Effectively it's how much current the thing draws just sitting there, or with a very slight load. Some of them will run your batteries down in 72 hours or less with nothing else turned on!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:44 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by porscheracer:
When shopping for an inverter, another specification to shop for - if the manufacturer will post the spec - is idle current (or some similar moniker). --snip-- </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Good point. Also the more expensive units will have a greater efficiency; i.e., for every 100 watts pulled from the battery an 80% efficient inverter will produce 80 watts, a 95% efficient will produce 95 watts, etc.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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I am going to piggy-back on this one as we are looking for a whole-house inverter as well. Currently, we have a 700-watt inverter that powers the front TV, VCR and Satellite receiver, but not much else.

I have replaced the original Parallax converter/charger with a Xantrex TrueCharge 40+ and this works great except it is noisy when the fan runs (most of the time in summer). Could I accomplish three tasks (charger/converter/inverter) with one box (for instance a Prosine 2.0)? Thanks.

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Old 07-01-2008, 04:37 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by boulderado:
--snip--Could I accomplish three tasks (charger/converter/inverter) with one box (for instance a Prosine 2.0)? Thanks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I have the Xantrex RS2000 and it does all three tasks (quietly I might add.) My guess is the Prosine does as well. Look over the specs.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #10
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Just rememer to turn off the electric hot water tank if you go full coach inverter power. I left mine on and it sure sucks down the batteries.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:02 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by cyko:
Be aware that, no matter how large the inverter, you are still limited by the capacity of your house batteries. We have a 1500w inverter, but if we turn on a few things, it doesn't take long to run down the batteries. Just do the rough calculation as to how much battery current you must draw to supply 2000w. Battery current is roughly 10 times greater than 120v current at a given power level. That means that a 15-amp ac load (roughtly equivalent to 2000 watts) translates into at least 150 amps at the battery terminals. Check the amp-hour rating of your batteries to estimate how long before they are run down. I've always thought some people who wanted huge inverters didn't take this into account. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would add to the above by saying that:

The lower the battery discharge rate the more amp hours can be extracted. So each of the banks of a 3 bank battery set up(6 six volt) delivering 150 amps to an inverter will deliver more amp-hours per bank at 50 amps per bank then a 2 bank battery(4 six volts) set up delivering 75 amps per bank.

The battery banks should not be discharged below 50% of their amp hour ratings for maximum battery life.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:48 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of the responses. Now since I am just a banker and rely on all of you guys for the technical advice, please put this into terms I can understand.

If I have two twelve volt house batteries and am planning on replacing them with six volts and plan to add the inverter, should I go with two or four of them? Which batteries would you recommend (I keep reading alot of posts here on the Trojans). If I then go with the Xantrex RS2000 as John recommended would this be an appropriate combination?
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