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Old 08-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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Installing an Inverter in 5th Wheel

Until recently we lived fulltime on a boat and are used to being "off the grid", and want to similarly outfit the RV. We already have a generator, and we plan to get some solar panels, increase our battery bank and add an inverter as we did on the boat to make our own power. That is something we're not sure how to approach - the battery bank is located starboard forward, the electric hook-up is located port aft and the 110/12V converter is located center aft. I don't want to have wires visibly stretched through the unit. I wonder if anyone has dealt with this before? PVC conduit attached to the undercarriage?
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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This is how I wired mine,

The left outlet has a 14/2 w/ground that runs to two duplex outlets in the camper (one at the entertainment center and one in the front storage compartment.

I use a surge strip for my electronics and just plug it into the duplex that is getting power.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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Herc,

Hows come the 1-2 battery switch between the bats and the solar controller.. And it wiring diagram is showing the inverter going to the main junction? Or I am missing something.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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I was working with my 2 battery switch and did not want to buy another one.

The inverter goes to the common because when I turn off the "batteries" I did not want the inverter to be able to draw power.


CURRENTLY, as switched, when in "1" I have solar only going to the camper (eliminating the batteries) and when in "2" I have batteries only. To get solar charging, the switch needs to be in BOTH (I have never used "1" alone.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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yes you can run PVC conduit under the frame.

if you are not mounting the inverter next to the batteries: Keep in mind that first you must determine the conduit route, the length of wire from the batteries to the inverter, then the wire size adjusting for voltage drop. then you can size the conduit to the wires.

If you can mount the inverter near the batteries and just want a outlet for the rv to plug into, then its easier. You can run 1/2" PVC conduit under the frame to you desired location. run say #12 wire to a RV plug. then just plug the power cord for the RV into that.

My setup as an example: The batteries are on the A frame up front. converter/power panel mid ship, the inverter just behind that. Solar comes down to the compartment with the inverter. I ran 1.5 inch PVC conduit from the batteries to the compartment with the converter. ran #4 wire to there, and into the inverter compartment. I then ran #14 SJO cable from the inverter to a RV outlet to the compartment where the shore power cord is located. The end at the inverter has a regular plug on it and is plugged into the inverter. What I do is unplug the shore power cord from the outlet at my home before I head off to destinations unknown. I plug it into the RV outlet I mounted inside the shore power cord compartment. When I need 120v ac, I just turn on the inverter.

There are some things I have to mention...1 I keep the converter breaker off at all times. When using the inverter, you must as well. Solar maintains my batteries. 2 I don't use the microwave or the air conditioner. 3 the fridge and hot water heater are on propane only.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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It "goes without saying" that the inverter *must* be located within 24 inches of the batteries to avoid battery cables the size of your wrist to handle the current required to power the inverter.

The run to the outlets should be 120 volt AC.
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