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Old 08-30-2009, 06:49 PM   #1
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Inverter Installation

I'm planning to add an inverter over the winter to my Georgetown 370 XL. Anyone already done this and care to share where you mounted it and how you wired it?

Thanks in advance,
Steve
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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Steve,

It is really going to depend on the layout of compartments and the cabinets inside your rig.

For ours I mounted the inverter inside one of the compartments where I had the ability to drill down through the floor of the rig and into that compartment. You also have to find an easy route from the inverter to the power distribution center. Most inverters are set up with only one AC hardwire output which means you really have to choose which circuit you want to feed from it unless you want to add a secondary inverter power panel and relocate your breakers to it. I didn't want to go to all that work so I chose to only power the general outlets which feed about 80% of the outlets in the rig, which is what all the entertainment components are on and the automatic Sat. dish.

For your connections to the batteries follow the recommendations of the manufacturer but I cannot stress enough to use welding cable instead of the normal battery cable available at the auto stores. You can find the welding cable online sold per/ft. at a fairly good price. The difference is that it is so much easier to deal with as it is VERY flexible. I used 2/0 for connection to the inverter. Most welding stores sell the crimp (hammer on) ring terminals for the ends for connection to the batteries terminals as well as NAPA.

If you need specifics let me know but of course installation of an inverter can be quite involved so I don't want to ramble on too much here but will be happy to help any way I can. If you plan to hardwire it into the AC panel as I did then a general knowledge of AC wiring techniques is important.

Good luck
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:53 PM   #3
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Welding cable.. I never would have thought of that. Excellent idea.

I'll spend some quality time with my rig and start planning out the wiring paths. How many Watts / what brand did you end up going with?

Sounds like we have similar rigs. I wanted to catch the entertainment center up front which includes the inmotion Sat.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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We purchased a Xantrex RS3000 from Camping World and had them install it. I'm pretty mechanically inclined but I felt better letting them do it. It looks pretty involved.They mounted the inverter in the compartment in front of the leveler pump and ran everything from there. They also welded another battery holder next to the factory shelf to hold 2 more batteries. The system works well although I did originally have soem problems due to the use of the wrong size battery cables. CW took care of everything and I pretty pleased with the results. Xantrex has a good website and you can download installation manuals etc. if that's the brand you decide on.

http://www.xantrex.com/
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Steve,

For our use I opted for a 1000 watt Xantrex Prosine pure sine wave inverter. Cost on these is high but I found that a modified sine wave inverter put noise and bars on our 32" LCD TV. A larger inverter is really not necessary unless you want to run the microwave with it. However I never advocate doing so as it draws a LOT of power off your battery bank to do so and for that I would just rather start the generator. If all you want to run is your entertainment center and satellite dish like we do then you will find that 1000watts is more than enough.

For installation and per the instructions you really should chose a well ventilated spot that is within 5' cable run of the batteries unless you really want to run heavier cables. DC power requires much larger wires than AC does for equivalent amperage draw. Long cable runs from the batteries along with wire that is sized too small is a big reason for problems with inverter installations. It is much easier to run the AC romex and phone cord to the inverter than it is to run those large cables from the batteries so keep it close. You also will want a large fuse for the hot cable from the batteries, I'll try and take a picture of the one I bought but they are available from several sources online.

I run 6 - 6volt golf cart batteries myself and have 230watts of solar panels for charging on my roof. Even with that and a 1kw inverter we have to be careful with our power usage with the inverter. I highly recommend 6volt batteries and as many as you can fit. Similar to Cfoistman I cut the existing battery box off of the frame and welded up my own that holds 4 6volt batteries. Two more were placed in the front of the rig behind the grill and 3/0 welding cable was used to tie them into the 4 under the entry step.
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Nights camped in 2009: 53 | Nights camped in 2010: 55
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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Here are some pics. of our installation. The control panel for the inverter is mounted on the wall above the "command center" and replaced the on/off switch for the first inverter I tried which was a different shape, thus the reason it is mounted in a stainless wall plate. Panel to the left of it is for the solar panels and tells the amount of amps they are putting out and how many total amps have been put into the battery bank during the day.

The inverter is mounted in the compartment directly adjacent to the batteries thus the cable run is around 3' for the input power.

Note the terminal strip to the left of my batteries I installed to clean up the wiring a bit. FR had just run a bunch of wires willy nilly around to the batteries for the LP detector and steps.
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2009 Georgetown 378TS | 1998 Jeep Wrangler | 1998 Skeeter ZX202C
Nights camped in 2009: 53 | Nights camped in 2010: 55
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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NWJeeper: Nicely done installation. Thanks for taken the time to take/upload the pics.
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