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Old 09-15-2008, 03:35 PM   #1
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Converter - Inverter

Okay in another thread we have been talking about 12volt. This led me to read up on my WFCO converter. I do not know the exact model number. But I have some questions. I only dry camp basically on some property I own. Its off the grid so I have no other choice there. I have noticed my 12 volt overhead lights work, water pump works etc but none of my 110 stuff works... of course. No 110 outlets work. So, this converter only works for my 12 volt stuff like charging the battery and suppling current to the few 12 volt things in my camper? So after reading the 12 volt side of life website I am getting the feeling that I need to add an inverter to really get my electric up to speed. Is that correct? Right now the dvd player, tv, and all outlets are dead all the time unless the generator is running. So the real question is which inverter?

Steve

p.s.
I looked up my paperwork tonight and it says 30 amp WF 8955anp. WFCO website says 55 amp. I will verify this weekend.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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You are correct in your assumptions. The converter only supplies 12v either from the battery(s) or shore power/genny. The 55amp means it'll supply 55amps of 12v power. I will also charge the battery(s) when powered by AC.

Which inverter you need depends on what you plan to run off of it. If it's just the tv & dvd about 500watt or so should do it. if you're planning on running the entire RV you'll need at least 3600 watts. Keep in mind that since you'll be running off batteries it'll take 300amps at 12volts to produce 3600 watts of power not counting any losses in the inverter. That's gonna take lots of battery power to run any length of time.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:55 PM   #3
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Thanks,
I am thinking about 500-600 watt one. Right now I only have one battery and want to add at least one more. I still need to read up on 12 volt stuff. I am concerned that hooking up an inverter will be a little tricky too.

thanks
steve
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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That size won't be a problem hooking up. A 500 watt unit will draw about 45 amps so 8 AWG wire will handle it. Depanding on where you plan to locate it as to how much trouble you'll have with the routing.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:41 PM   #5
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Well hopefully somewhere near the converter so I can make the cross connects to feed the outlets. I hope I am thinking about this the correct way.... so much to learn!
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:36 AM   #6
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Here's the scenario I would shoot for. Modify to suit your needs.

Placing the inverter near the converter is a good idea.
Realize that most RV's have only one or two circuits feeding the entire unit.
Realize that the wire ran to the converter is probably not big enough to add an inverter.

1) I'd get at least a 1500 watt inverter and probably a 2k watt. (if I'm gonna go to the expense I'm gonna want to run the nuk-a-lator at least)

2) Install an auto transfer switch.

3) Replace the converter cables with larger cables (at least 2 awg).

4) Provide cooling to unit.

Check these folks out. Inverters-r-us
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks. This gives me a good starting point. Looks like my winter project!

Steve
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:39 PM   #8
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power

Remember that anytime you draw power from 12 volt and convert it to 120 volt it takes ten times the amount of power than 12 volt appliances do. You need a lot of battery power to be able to draw from. A microwave for a couple of minutes is no problem but TV (watching movies)etc. will draw down your battery fast. Food for thought.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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We're a little more "minimalist" but we're coming around ;-))

I have and use a little 150 watt 12v to 120v inverter that plugs into a cigarette
lighter socket.
I have a 17" LCD TV that uses 45 Watts.
This little inverter runs my TV just fine so the statement that running the TV
is bad doesn't apply so much. It really depends on the TV.
I haven't checked the concertone when it's playing a DVD to see what it uses
but I suspect it's at least as much as the TV but it's already 12v so my little
"pocket" inverter isn't involved in that end of movie watching.

Steve, check your TV and see what the watts are. You might be able to sort of
stick your toe in this Inverter water with a little pocket size inverter.
Of course it won't run the microwave but we don't care!!
We just want our bed time TV for an hour or so.
This works for us.

Go to Walmart.com and search for inverter.
They have several including one that's 220 Watts, has 2 AC sockets and costs
just $16.
That will run a small LCD TV and small DVD player all by itself.
OF course if you have the concertone, you don't need a DVD player.
Just my 2
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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Well I went to the woods this past weekend and checked the battery. It was about 40% charged. I was hoping to measure full charge but my solar panel that is on a tripod got knocked over from a storm. I might check into a little inverter. But the long term plan is for the 110 sockets to work.... I also hope to buy that second battery too.
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