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Old 05-13-2014, 07:58 AM   #1
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Inverter Confusion

Understand, we don't boondock much but have been thinking about it more. I know we have a generator to get power but there are times when I would like to use the inverter/batteries only.

That being said, the TV is the only 110v device that works off the inverter in our coach. Is this the case for everyone? I was hoping to power the microwave as well. Does it require more power than the batteries are capable of producing? I haven't tried any wall outlets just the TV. Thanks Frank
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:32 AM   #2
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In our Berkshire, only some of the outlets work with the inverter, what we did is take a night light and tryed all outlets with inverter on to test. Our microwave is also one item not on the inverter.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
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I think that the size of the inverter determines what is wired to run off the inverter. If you have a 1500 watt inverter, there are less things that will run as opposed to having a 2000 watt inverter. In my '08 coach, the microwave and all outlets ran off the 2000 watt inverter. I know this because we traveled with my son and his (at the time) infant children that needed to have either their bottle warmed or mac and cheese made and the microwave was used. I haven't tried everything in my '14 coach but I would bet that it is the same.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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Frank, My inverter will not run the microwave and the air conditioners (heat pump), but does run the refrigerator, the TV and sound system, the fans, the furnace, and some of the outlets. I went around to the various outlets that I found worked and put little DC label tags on them. The rest I put AC tags on. I got tired of trying to figure out what outlets worked with what system. Good luck! Craig
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
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Thanks Craig and Tom. Tom I'll bet your microwave doesn't work on the inverter. Ours is a 2013 390FL. Is there anyway to rewire something to bring the micro on line with the inverter and maybe an A/C ? I haven't checked the fridge yet. My fridge is gas and 110v electric and not 3 way (12v). Good idea with the night light too. Craig where did you get the DC stickers?
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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Frank,
What size inverter do you have? Sounds like a 1500 watt unit. As I said, I had a 2000 watt inverter on my '08 and the microwave did work off the inverter.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:20 PM   #7
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Boy, Tom they sure don't make it easy for you to get the model number on the inverter. I had to use an extension mirror around the backside to see MM1212. Don't know if thats the 2000 or not.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Frank, just a label maker device - like brother P-touch. Just made 1/4 inch DC label and cut to size and stuck on each plug applicable. Low tech!! Craig
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
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Frank,
That is a 1200 watt inverter. That is why only some outlets work and you can't run the microwave.
Tom
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:23 PM   #10
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Well that sucks! Is there any way we can install a larger unit and will it then run the micro?
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:10 PM   #11
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I would think so just not sure what would be involved. I would guess that you would need to do some rewiring so that power gets to the microwave. Also, not sure if you would need different batteries.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:39 PM   #12
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Well that sucks! Is there any way we can install a larger unit and will it then run the micro?
It's more the amount of battery's that you have then the size of the inverter the inverter has to be able to handle the largest watts consumed.. You can get a inverter that will run everything same as on electric, but you need the amps to do it from the battery bank. other then that you would have to separate what you want to run. You can wire your inverter to all 110 sockets but you then need to know what each appliance pulls so you know how fast you will drain a bank of battery's. That's your limitation. Battery's are heavy and take up space.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:46 PM   #13
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I just came in from the rig. I took a 110v night light around to every socket and nothing works except the front and rear TV's. The fridge goes right to gas. I have e-mailed Randy to see if we can buy a larger inverter, scope of work, and the associated costs. It would really suck if our generator ever quit. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:28 PM   #14
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From my experience, the generator is as reliable as the inverter. Personally I don't understand the allure of boondocking with just battery power. My generator will run a long time on 80 gallon of fuel. No matter what, after running that microwave, and furnace, your gonna have to fire up the generator any way to charge the batteries(I don't care how sunny it is). You might as well run it when you want to cook that hot dog and let it run an extra 30 minutes to charge up the batteries. There is validity if your driving down the road and the batteries are being charged by the alternator. However, by the time all that energy is converted, my bet is the generator is more efficient.

From recent posts it looks like you'll need to replace the main breaker panel. That would get you the correct outlets running on the inverter without any major issues. The wiring to and from the inverter on mine was heavy enough for the 2000 watt inverter but i think its missing 2 wires. Lastly I believe you'll need to add 2 batteries to bring the total to 6. I'm not sure where the extra 2 would go. One of the guys with the residential fridge could post a picture of their battery layout. Doesn't sound cheap to me.

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Old 05-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #15
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Won't need 6 batteries. My coach only has 4 batteries and which can run the residential refrigerator for many hours (so I was told, haven't tested that though).
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:51 PM   #16
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Ah. Good to know. I also just looked at the photos in the other thread also. It appears that the 2000W version also only uses 10/2 wire to and from the inverter, which is what my coach has. FR probably wires them the same to simplify manufacturing. So I correct my prior post. It looks like you only need a new circuit breaker panel and inverter. This is starting to look appealing. Assuming the Amp - Hour rating of the batteries is the same.

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Old 05-14-2014, 06:38 AM   #17
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Morning Beipers, we aren't really interested in boondocking either but, (for example) we attended a rally where we had to shut off the generator by 11:00. While we could watch TV on the inverter, it eliminates that late night bag of popcorn from the microwave. Thank goodness it was cool outside so we didn't need a fan either. Not sure if the furnace will work. Frank
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:57 AM   #18
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Won't need 6 batteries. My coach only has 4 batteries and which can run the residential refrigerator for many hours (so I was told, haven't tested that though).
My most unscientific testing is about 10-12 hrs on the fridge.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:21 AM   #19
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For those without a residential refrigerator and without and outside TV, the outlet behind the Love Seat for the outside TV, is powered by the inverter. I have an outlet strip connect to it so that I can charge my cell phones while watching TV with the Inverter on.

Note that the Inverter consumes power even if not using it and if it is left on. Suggest that the inverter is shut off if boondocking when you go to sleep (for non-residential refrigerator motor homes).
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:31 AM   #20
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Good to know I-RV. We have an outside TV so I am expecting that to be true in our rig. I had a question about leaving the inverter on when connected to shore power. I am getting an over voltage indication ( two flashing lights on the Magnum). Other than un hooking from shore power, I don't know how to stop the over voltage from happening. We leave our A/C on to control humidity here in Florida.
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