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Old 12-18-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
gca
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Inverter - Advantages & Disadvantages

Giving some thought to purchasing a hard wired inverter for our 2011 Georgetown 360F. Before making a final decision I would like to hear from other forum users as to their experiances, both good and bad with this product. Also opinions as to the size/capacity of inverter one should purchase and if a person should have it installed or do the install theirself. Would really appreciate lots of input.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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You can search here for "inverter" and you will find many threads and help with the install. It is a lot to fit into one post.

Just remember that you should size the inverter to your battery bank.

If you only have 100AH of battery bank, then about 800 watts is about all you need. If you have 200AH you can go to 1500 watts.

There are pure sine and modified sine inverters. Pure sine is best but is about twice as expensive. Most things will work with modified sine, but I found HDMI requires a "purer" signal AC power; so if you use HDMI to watch DVD videos you should pony up for Pure Sine.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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If you dry camp a lot and need to power something with 120 volts AC it is helpful. A generator is much better.

Now remember you need to have good fully charged batteries to make it power your electrical item.

The question about size depends on what you want to power and how long you want it powered from the invertor.

So what do you need to power up and in what conditions would you need it?

X2 in what herk said about the 2 types.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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I installed a 2500watt modified sine-wave inverter-charger in my a 2011 Georgetown 360. I did the work myself. However, this is a project which must be thought out carefully. I've used this setup for the last six months and have not found anything that wouldn't run on the inverter power. The installation requires a daughter breaker panel to feed my four inverter-powered circuits. My add-on breaker panel is in one of the driver side bays below the regular breaker panel. The inverter is in the bay immediately aft of the batteries. The inverter must be powered by very heavy gauge battery cables and protected by a large amperage fuse. Two 110volt circuit cables must also be run from the daughter panel and from the normal breaker panel to the inverter. Once installed, the OEM converter can be unplugged. It is certainly convenient to have 110 power for the refrigerator while traveling and when stopping to microwave a lunch. The factory battery bank will run the microwave for very short periods and the TV and other non-heating appliances for extended periods. Aside from the convenience, the inverter's three stage charger is far and away superior to the factory converter. This should extend the battery life and provides faster more complete charging. Once the factory batteries wear out, I plan to replace them with 4 6volt golf cart style batteries.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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Advantages & Disadvantages - Inverter

Many thanks for the replies received in regards to the instillation & operation of a inverter in my 360F. I'm still wondering if it is worth the cost to go this way or to just utilize the on board generator for the times that we may stop for a quick bite to eat that may require the use the microwave, or traveling in some high temps where the use of the rooftop a/c's might be needed. Also, has anyone who has an inverter noticed a improvement in the refrigerators operation utilizing the inverter over LP while going down the road? If I was a younger man I would more than likely do the install myself, but unfortunately those days are gone.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gca View Post
Many thanks for the replies received in regards to the instillation & operation of a inverter in my 360F. I'm still wondering if it is worth the cost to go this way or to just utilize the on board generator for the times that we may stop for a quick bite to eat that may require the use the microwave, or traveling in some high temps where the use of the rooftop a/c's might be needed. Also, has anyone who has an inverter noticed a improvement in the refrigerators operation utilizing the inverter over LP while going down the road? If I was a younger man I would more than likely do the install myself, but unfortunately those days are gone.
The reefer works better on LP than 110. More BTUs.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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Here's some additional info:

Shows how inverters in some cases use 2X energy as direct supplies.

www.pbase.com/mainecruising/inverter_inefficiency
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:25 PM   #8
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Merry Christmas,

It appears that Lou and I have very similar thoughts, and IMO heís right on.
You asked about the advantages and disadvantages, here are some of each.

Generators are noisy and take fuel to run them. They also require a start switch wherein you may need to go outside your RV initially. No matter the generator they also pollute the environment a bit.

Because some are gas, the fuel is explosive, diesel is smelly. They are generally heavy as compared to an inverter and obviously take up more room, including the addition of fuel lines if needed and an exhaust exit.

An inverter generally does not output as much as an RV user wants. They, as Lou indicated, are limited in output for good reason. Itís the battery consumption which limits both time and output.

But, they are quiet and immediately available, generally by switched contacts which are easy to install inside. They donít pollute, are cheaper, and certainly smaller.

The disadvantage is in output and recharge of the battery bank. Remember that discharging a battery more than 50% ruins the battery. Optimum discharge max is about 25%.

Example: on our 40í sailboat, sailed in the Pacific for 4.5 years, the inverter was 1,000 watts. We powered this with (4) Trojan 6V, wired together properly.

The start batteries were separate, not included with this house bank. Although we used (3) solar panels and a tow generator to keep the batteries up, the house bank was depleted rapidly when we used the full output of the inverter. It wouldnít produce enough to operate more than the microwave.

Following the use, our batteries required charging for a length of time. In the PNW, that was difficult and sometimes even required our engine or Honda 2k. On passages the tow gen and solar made up the difference, and in the tropics the solar almost took care of our needs. With the inverter was a Link 2,000 monitor-- very sophisticated at the time. We monitored closely.

The choice, then, is determined by what youíll want to run and what all at the same time. As Lou suggested, both gen-sets and inverters have different outputs. Study first, install last.

Mike
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
Here's some additional info:

Shows how inverters in some cases use 2X energy as direct supplies.

www.pbase.com/mainecruising/inverter_inefficiency
That is pretty interesting. Since my TV/DVD player is 120 VAC only, the test does not mean much to me as I will need the inverter regardless of efficiency.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:39 PM   #10
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Hi Lou,

Of course. All of this is with tongue in cheek and as I said in the last sentence, study what one needs first, then install. You are quite right, tho', you have different requirements than I.

We all use our equipment differently which is why this forum makes sense-- to get different views. One man's poison....

Because we were flopping around we had different appointments, required of course as land was sometimes 1,800 miles distant-- DC-DC converters rather than inverting, LED's than incandescing, etc. Reducing power consumption is truly valuable for many RV'ers. My interest is a carryover from the past.

Cheers
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