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Old 10-24-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Wanting to install a new inverter/charger on 2014 Coachmen 315RL

I'm looking to replace the current battery charger with a whole house inverter/charger setup.

-any advice or tips on the installation before I dive in
-any recommendations on make/model and size of inverter/charger that has worked well for people.

Thanks
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:16 PM   #2
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New inverter or new converter / charger?

There's a difference two totally different animals in function.

So what exactly are you looking for so we can help
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:49 PM   #3
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Like Turbs said, converters and inverters are different. Inverters use battery; don't charge them. You probably should update your signature line, so we can see what kind of RV you have.

You get what you pay for when buying an invert. Magnum is the Cadillac, but nothing wrong with Morningstar products. First thing to do is get a Trimetric battery monitor to see what you are using. You need to provide more information on what you are trying to accomplish... there is way too many variables.

If its solar you are seeking you need to study first. Here is a link to a guy that seems to know what he is talking about. I'm still trying to absorb what he has to say.

https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/

WW
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:54 PM   #4
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Sorry...I did mean converter/charger
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:59 PM   #5
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what make and model of distribution panel do you have?
Wfco ?
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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Not sure how to edit the topic title but yes it should read- converter / charger

Yes the main power board is a WFCO.

I previously owned a motorhome and was used to having the built in converter/charger and its ability to have access to all the outlets to power anything off the batteries (obviously not the AC or microwave). Would like to have a similar setup as I did in the motorhome while boon docking. (Power to all outlets, if possible). I will eventually be adding a solar system to the roof down the road but in the meantime just use the generator to provide power and charge the batteries in the meantime. I have already added more batteries to my battery bank.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:14 PM   #7
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:29 PM   #8
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I just happen to have a new in the box drop in converter unit.
4 stage charging randy @ best converter recommended it hands down.
You can leave your camper plugged in 24/7 365

I bought it because my new columbus was supposed to have a wfco in it but instead it has a proggresive dynamics unit Which is much better.
I'll sell it to you for the same price plus shipping.

http://www.bestconverter.com/55-Amp-...ent_p_522.html
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:31 PM   #9
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According to randy the best on the market for a replacement into a wfco.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:38 PM   #10
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So apparently I'm thoroughly confused..... Don't I need something like this to replace my current charger?

http://www.xantrex.com/power-product...eedom-hfs.aspx
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:41 PM   #11
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Do you need an inverter?
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:50 PM   #12
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My trailer is stock....has just the stock converter/charger that it came equipped with....was wanting to be able to use all 110 power outlets and 12v lighting in the RV while boon docking and running on battery power.....
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:54 PM   #13
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Then an inverter is what you want but you'll also need to upgrade your battery bank deping on what you want to run off the inverter
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:04 PM   #14
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Lol.... Thanks for your help...I guess I'm back to the initial post again...lol

I've already upgraded the single 12v battery to (4) 6v's in series and parallel
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:26 AM   #15
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If you want to power AC things an Inverter is what you need. The Inverter / charger does the same as an Inverter (only) but when plugged into shore power it also charges the batteries. As you know, the load you want to power will dictate the size of the Inverter and how long you expect to pull that load dictates how many good batteries you need. Edit.... you have updated your battery bank... excellent!

You now have a Converter that should have a multi stage charger, but IMO these are a poor charger. They don't full charge your batteries well.

I would bite the bullet and get this style Magnum Energy that has a good charger. Of course, you might not need this much capacity.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...05148706446598

Magnum also makes battery monitors... a must have... Trimetric is the industry standard, but the support lately has slipped.

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Old 10-25-2015, 10:52 AM   #16
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What you want to do sounds simple, but you need to do a little engineering to make it work. From the looks of your power panel you have 50 AMP service and you are going to have to decide which plugs you want to power with the inverter, since you can't power them all without a major rewiring job.

You have upgraded your batteries to 4 6-V which is a really good start. That should give you enough power for the inverter as long as you are careful. You need to check the size of your main DC wiring which will tell you how much current you can safely draw from an inverter. Remember that each amp of 120 volt results in 10 amps of 12 volt so even a 1,000 watt inverter will draw 100 amps from your battery bank at full power. I would not recommend wiring the inverter directly to the bank since that will mean that your disconnect switch will not turn the inverter off regardless of the position it is in. So, you need to figure out:

1) which breaker in the panel do you want to feed? On my Class A, there was a single breaker that feeds all of the TVs and all of the outlets on the driver's side, including the outlets over the dashboard. You can figure this out by turning a breaker off and seeing what stops working. I wanted convenience and TVs without the need to run the generator. (Of course, I have a MH so we can use all of the outlets and TVs while driving down the road with the alternator keeping the batteries up. My bet is that FR wired your TT the same. The breakers will be 15 AMP, which is 1,800 watts, but virtually all inverters will protect themselves from overcurrent. I went with a 1,000 Watt Xantrex ProWatt and a Xantrex transfer switch. This means that as soon as the generator starts or you connect shore power, the outlets will automatically switch off of the inverter. If you wire the inverter separately, remember to uvs big enough wire to handle 100 amps of DC and try to keep them short enough to reach the batteries. If you go further, you can up the wire size accordingly.

2) Converters. You now have probably 5 times the battery size that you had before and you should confirm that your converter is up to the task in a reasonable time. When you run the generator or connect to shore power the converter is going to try to charge the batteries back up. Your TV only can supply 30 amps (if that) and I have a Progressive Dynamics PDM80...which is 80 amps of DC. Again, if you upsize the converter you need to make sure that the DC wiring will handle the current.

Now, this is definitely doable but you need to figure these things out before going forward. The Xantrex Units are pure since wave and the transfer switch is something like $40. I think my whole installation was around $375, including a 100 amp fuse holder and fuse.
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:18 AM   #17
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Scott and Wolf thank you...that's a ton of good info and exactly what I'm looking to do.

Scott which inverter/charger did you go with and how has it performed for you. .? I believe some of them now come with a built in transfer switch included
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:24 AM   #18
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Typically a 1K watt inverter might have a peak of 2K (possibly), so the minimum fuse is 167amp (technically but not practical), I would go 200A. If it peaks at 1500W, then 125A is all the fuse you need.

Next important item is the Inverter to Battery bank distance which determines minimum wire gauge. The closer the better and you want to have less than 3% voltage drop. So, the wire to feed the inverter is 3 awg, but I would go with 2 awg.

Now the wire gauge from the inverter to appliances (etc) is much easier. You only need 12awg for the 120volt ac side.

Did you know that for longevity, the battery straps need to be the same length, as well as +12 and - ground should be the same length. Picky, but what the heck. There is voltage drops even in the straps and you want the batteries to get the same load and the same charge.

I write this to show you, there is more to it than meets the eye. It isn't plug and play and so called experts selling this "stuff" might be more of salesmen than techs.
WW
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:37 AM   #19
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I used a Xantrex Prowatt 1000 and a Xantrex transfer switch. In my class A, I just tapped the Xantrex off of the PDM80 converter as it was convenient (below the power panel and right next to the converter.) In that way I used #4 cables but they are only 3 feet long. Felt that if the converter could put out 80amps to the battery bank, I would fuse it at 100. While true that the converter can surge to 2,000 watts, I didn't want to put that load on the wiring since it was designed for 80 amps comfortably (but can go higher if necessary, especially since the Xantrex cannot put out that much for that long) The Xantrex will tell you how much power it is putting out and I have never seen the display go above 150 watts and that was with a macintosh powerbook charger which is a power hog.The tvs never even register as do the cell chargers. I used Prowatt since I have a residential frig which also uses a 2,000 watt Prowatt and identical transfer switch.

Presumably you batteries are way up front so you might locate as close to that as you can with the DC wiring. The AC wiring is no sweat as #12 is fine for that kind of run at 120V.

You can find my post about my install at 335DS Simple Inverter Installation
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:04 PM   #20
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Just an additional note....you don't want your batteries to need to deliver more than 20% of their rated amp hours in current. With a pair of 6V...you have roughly 210 amp hours so your max 12v current should be 42 amps...converting 12V to 120V amps gives you a max of 4.2 amps of ac draw from your existing pair of batts...not much...especially when the inverter will eat some of that. First step is figuring out your maximum amp loads desired (watts divided by 120 give device amps) and sizing your battery bank accordingly...roughly a pair of 6V's for every 4-5 amps needed.
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