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Old 05-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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Hooking up a aftermarket power inverter

Just wondering what the general consensus is for hard wiring in a 1800 W 12 volt converter.

If you were going to use this to power a TV and game system while traveling down the road and then use it just to watch TV at night would you come off of your house batteries or your engine battery?

Opinions please!
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Traveling down the road - I would use the engine battery cause the alternator will charge it - Might need a larger output alterator though

if just sitting in the camper with no engine running but plugged into shore power - House battery because the battery is being charged by the inverter.

I know some one else is going to chime in but this is my opinion
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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We use our generator and awful lot! Where we camp at there is no electrical hookups. We probably average 50 to 80 hours of runtime a weekend depending on the temperature. I am just looking at any way possible to cut off some of those hours. I would just like to do it right the first time.

I am thinking the house batteries may be the way to go. I am 99% sure that our engine alternator puts a charge in the house batteries when it's running. We did have a generator issue one time and had to make the weekend just on the batteries and when I started the motorhome our battery meter jump back up to full.

Also if anybody sees this, does anyone know if there is something on the market that you can plug into an outlet that monitors the volts being put out by your generator? A good friend of ours had his computer board go out and he had no idea the generator was working overtime to try to put out enough volts and it pretty much fried the unit. Ended up costing him $2600 to repair.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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110v power meter

Not sure how to go about your boondocking and on the road power needs other than a battery bank and solar setup, there are a couple of threads on those around here.
I use a simple 110v analog meter to watch our power, quick glance and I know if I'm in trouble or not. I also use it to watch how the generator is acting when running the roof AC for a lunch stop at a rest area.
AC Voltage Meter - Intersource Enterprises D10-170 - Electrical Monitors & Testers - Camping World

Hope this helps some.
Chris in Virginia
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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Vasnipe, thanks for the info! I was just at camping world and had one in my hand but the employee said it would not work to monitor my generator! I knew I should have just grabbed it and tried it. I will grab it next time I am there.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:39 AM   #6
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if you print the internet sale page for camping world - the store may match it - I know my local store matches the internet page as long as you print it off
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #7
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I finally got the inverter 100% installed! It took awhile to run the additional outlets through out the RV! I feel like a kid in a candy store! We kept a log last year of how many hours we ran our Gen and for what reason we ran it, this little upgrade will cut my hours in half on the generator! No more running it down the road so the kids can play games on the big screen and on cool nights when we don't use AC I don't have to run it to watch a movie with the wife! I will easily make back the money this mod cost by the amount of gas I will save.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:15 PM   #8
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Vasnipe, (or anybody else that might know) when using your air conditioning off the generator, is your needle on your plug in volt meter pretty steady? Or does it have a little bounce too it? After all this work and money I just want to make sure it's right! Mine is putting out proper volts but with AC on the needle bounces just a little.

Thanks
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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Needle bounce

I've seen the needle bounce you speak of. I exercise the generator once a month and use the AC as a load for the generator. I keep an eye on the meter just for reference and have watched it bounce 5-10 volts. Generator sounds the same, can't hear any rpm changes in it or the AC. Maybe if I got adventurous and put a TinyTach on the engine I'd have a better feel for what the genset was doing mechanically at least. I put one on my Honda Helix and it helps having a visual indicator to go with the ear and gut.
I think we're OK, but would not mind having another point of view.

Chris in Virginia
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Thanks for the fast response! My needle is steady as a rock with no load on the generator and even with just running the fan on the AC. I also do not hear any change in RPMs when I kick the AC compressor on, that's just when the bounce starts. My needle is also bouncing about 5-10 volts. Hopefully everything is fine. I'm thinking it's the AC compressor that is causing the needle bounce.
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