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Old 11-29-2018, 05:48 AM   #1
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Residential Fridge and Inverter question

Am I correct that you must have the generator on in order to run the inverter to the residential refrigerator?
We recently purchased a 2016 Suncruiser and can't seem to get the residential fridge to run or inverter to run without the generator. I can't seem to find any information in any of the 3 manuals that came with the coach. Am I just dumb?
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:29 AM   #2
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I doubt that the fridge is wired to run on the inverter. Doing so would drain your house batteries in a short time.
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Old 11-29-2018, 07:18 AM   #3
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It sounds like your inverter is turned off, or it's GFCI breaker has tripped if it is turned on. The GFCI breaker is in an outlet on the end of the inverter and has a test and reset button.

The inverter should have a control panel where it needs to be turned on. When inverter is off, it cuts thru power fed to the RV from either shore cable or generator. With inverter on, it should power the refrigerator whenever the house batteries have enough voltage/stored energy.

The inverter needs to be on for the fridge to receive power when not on generator or shore power. You can go about a day before needing to charge the batteries by running the coach engine, running generator, or plugging into shore power.
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:29 AM   #4
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I doubt that the fridge is wired to run on the inverter. Doing so would drain your house batteries in a short time.
Acutally, it's extremely common and usual practice for the inverter to run a residential fridge in a motorhome. It would be very unusual for it not to be wired this way.
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:32 AM   #5
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Am I correct that you must have the generator on in order to run the inverter to the residential refrigerator?
No it's not normal to have to run the generator to run the inverter for any load.

There are these kinds of 110v power on your coach.

1. Shore power
2. Generator power
3. Inverter

Each works independently and the only thing needed for the inverter to provide 110v power is your 12v battery bank (assuming you have enough power stored in your batteries, of course.)
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:10 PM   #6
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The panel says "Inverter Normal" when hooked to shore power. When un-hooked, I can scroll through the panel and it says "Inverter OFF", but I can't figure out how to make it turn on at that point?
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Old 11-29-2018, 04:45 PM   #7
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And what does the manual in the Owners Briefcase tell you about how to operate the Inverter?

What inverter do you have? Do you have a magnum inverter with a ME-MR remote? If you do there are three chrome buttons down at the bottom of the screen. The first one on the left says On/Off if that's the remote you have.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:05 AM   #8
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It sounds like your inverter is turned off, or it's GFCI breaker has tripped if it is turned on. The GFCI breaker is in an outlet on the end of the inverter and has a test and reset button.

The inverter should have a control panel where it needs to be turned on. When inverter is off, it cuts thru power fed to the RV from either shore cable or generator. With inverter on, it should power the refrigerator whenever the house batteries have enough voltage/stored energy.

The inverter needs to be on for the fridge to receive power when not on generator or shore power. You can go about a day before needing to charge the batteries by running the coach engine, running generator, or plugging into shore power.

I ran into this issue on our new Outlook. There is an outlet on the inverter that has a GFCI button. It gets tripped from time to time so our fridge won't run when the inverter is on. I periodically check to see if the fridge light comes on. When it doesn't, I press the GFCI switch and it works again. Still trying to figure out what's tripping the GFCI
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:52 AM   #9
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Thanks, I actually just figured it out myself prior to seeing this email. DAH! I just needed to push the button on the above panel! Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:07 PM   #10
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no need to run the generator to operate an inverter.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:39 PM   #11
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Inverter needed for residential refrigerator

Unless you have an unusual RV most residential refrigerators are setup to run off eather shore power or your generator. It's rare that a typical RV would have enough battery capacity to run a residential refrigerator. There are socialized RV such as the Winnebago Revel and the Roadtrek eTrek that are designed to be able to boondock and still run their residential refrigerator but these models are unique. Even the Thor Outlaw uses the generator or shore power to power it's residential refrigerator. Regards. Lee
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:07 PM   #12
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Unless you have an unusual RV most residential refrigerators are setup to run off eather shore power or your generator. It's rare that a typical RV would have enough battery capacity to run a residential refrigerator.
Hey Lee, a great many... the vast majority maybe... of RVs with residential fridges come with OEM solar charging capabilities and larger battery banks and can run the residential fridge for a day or more. Also, when the fridge is running on the inverter and youíre driving the RV, the vehicle is supplying power to the batteries and keeping the fridge running too. No generator needed then either.

With solar and a decent sized battery bank, depending on weather, you probably would need to run a generator a couple of hours morning and evening, but just to top up batteries. Itís not like you have to run a genset all day and all night.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:56 AM   #13
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Residential Refrig/GFCI

I plug in a small flat LED type nite lights to the same circuit that feeds the refrig. As we come and go, itís an easy way to see power is all ok... or not. In our case there seems to be just two inverter output circuits so we were able to use/ plug in our (refrig) GFCI status LED night lite into the bathroom outlet, thatís on the same circuit providing easy status visibility and a needed nite lite location to boot.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:02 PM   #14
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Thanks, I actually just figured it out myself prior to seeing this email. DAH! I just needed to push the button on the above panel! Thanks for your help.
Meh, I went through the same growing pains. Now you won't ever forget
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:14 PM   #15
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I don't think you have to have the inverter on to get power to fridg when on shore power. My inverter is always off and mine works.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:44 PM   #16
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Unless you have an unusual RV most residential refrigerators are setup to run off eather shore power or your generator. It's rare that a typical RV would have enough battery capacity to run a residential refrigerator. There are socialized RV such as the Winnebago Revel and the Roadtrek eTrek that are designed to be able to boondock and still run their residential refrigerator but these models are unique. Even the Thor Outlaw uses the generator or shore power to power it's residential refrigerator. Regards. Lee
Hmmm, different perspective I guess. We always had 5th wheels before and inverters had no presence in a fifth wheel until the residential refrigerators started getting installed. The inverter was dedicated to the fridge.

On our Winnie MH, the residential refrigerator option included an increase in the inverter to 2800W instead of the standard 2000W.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:45 PM   #17
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New to Group. Purchased Outlook 31 N last May. We turn the inverter on when traveling it powers the refrigerator and TV. Keeps the fridge cold. Once we get to a site the inverter is turned off before we turn on the the generator or shore power. Had an issue with the GFI at first but it was resolved. Over 11,000 miles so far and would be traveling now except for Covid-19 shutdowns. Hope this helps good luck on your travels.
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:02 PM   #18
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Are you sure that your fridge is powered with 120V AC , supplied via the shore power cord or the inverter? Most RVs up until roughly 2018 came with absorption fridges that were powered with 120V or LPG and sometimes 12V. Newer RVs are now being delivered with 12V powered compressor fridges. The later trend makes it tough for dry campers and it usually takes lots of solar panels and upgraded batteries to make it work without running the generator some.

Pure 120V powered residential type fridges are unusual on RVs and use 2-3 times as much power daily as the new 12V compressor fridges. Ok for RV parks where you always plug in. Not so good for dry camping as they will quickly run down your batteries when running on the inverter.

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Old 05-03-2020, 02:02 PM   #19
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Once we get to a site the inverter is turned off before we turn on the the generator or shore power.
We used to turn our inverter off when on shore power or generator. But once we understood the pass-through nature of the inverter we now leave it on pretty much all the time.

When on shore power or generator the AC current simply passes through the inverter and it's not using any amps or effecting the power in any way.

If you have left it on, and your shore power or generator fails for any reason the inverter will start to take over with any loads that are on inverter wiring because your inverter likely has both AC pass through and an auto-transfer switch.

Well, I've said that but have no idea what inverter you have. Most of the larger hard wired inverters have both of those features. The smaller "portable" kind do not always. HINT: Why not put your year, model and floorplan in your signature here so that we'll all know more about what you're referring to?

Our motorhome has a system that will use the inverter to augment the AC load when not on full-50amp shore power. That's certainly something not all RVs have, but it's great when trying to operate two A/C units on 30-amp shore power.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:26 PM   #20
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A word (or several words) of caution about leaving the inverter on all the time in Winnebago products with gas/elect fridge.

If your gas/elect fridge is left in the "auto" position (automatically select gas or elect) and you loose shore power, the inverter will supply 120V AC to fridge and quickly drain your battery bank. If the inverter is turned off then the fridge will switch to gas mode.

This does not apply to every Winnie product, but many of the Class A gas & diesel RV's are set up this way.
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