335DS Simple Inverter Installation
For years we have used a number of cigarette lighter inverters while on the road for cell phones, laptops, etc. While this works reasonably well, we never seem to have enough outlets and the cigarette lighter connection is really only good for maybe 15 Amps of DC (150 to 200 watts.) Macbooks can draw more than that when the batteries are low and I have replaced more than one fuse due to this issue. In addition, I really can't rationalize sitting somewhere and running a 5KW generator in order to power a 300 watt TV. Just bothers my sense of reason (and the people around me as well!)
When we picked up our new 335DS, I thought that we had general inverter power since the residential reefer uses an inverter and we have 4 12V house batteries. However, I discovered that the inverter (and automatic transfer switch) is tied directly to the reefer and doesn't feed any of the other 110V outlets in the coach. I did use the second outlet on the inverter to power my CPAP machine by running an extension cord out of the bay and through the window. It works but really doesn't solve my general need for generator-less 110V and of course doesn't work on the road.
After scoping out things I purchased an additional Xantrex 1000W unit, a Xantrex remote switch and a Xantrex automatic transfer switch to install for a more permanent installation. I put the inverter and transfer switch on the "ceiling" of the rear basement bay where the converter and the power cord are located. Turns out this is directly below the main breaker panel on the 335. Since the inverter and the converter will never run simultaneously, I built some 3 foot #4 cables and connected the new inverter directly to the spare 12V output lugs on the converter (along with a 100 Amp fuse block.)
I wired the transfer switch to the outlet breaker (the non-GFI one) and located the remote inverter on/off switch next to the power panel. On the 335, this was really easy as all I had to do is drill a 1" hole in the bay ceiling and cover it with a standard octagonal steel junction box and route the breaker feed, the outlet feed and the remote switch wires through the same box and hole into the cabinet space behind the power panel.
On the 335, magically, that breaker feeds both the bedroom and living room TVs and all of the 110V outlets on the driver's side of the entire coach! Now, all I need to do is turn on the new inverter with the remote switch and all of the plugs work as well as the TVs. The 1000W Xantrex basically idles for the TVs and really doesn't add much load to the house batteries but now I always have 110V night or day (4 outlets in the 335), on the road or off and the transfer switch takes care of everything. Essentially, turn on the inverter and forget it. The whole install took only a few hours, but I would recommend taking out the drawers in the bay before drilling the hole so that you don't drill into a wire or something more substantial.
In short, on the 335DS it is a "teflon inverter deal" and cost me about $350. It went so well I wonder if Forest River did this on purpose...perhaps there is a house inverter option, but I bet it would be a lot more than $350.00!