Greeting fellow Forest River RV owners. I am a relative newbie to the RVing world and this is my first post, so be patient with me.
I want to upgrade the 90AH Centennial battery and the battery charger that is built into the WFCO 8955 electric panel that came factory installed in my 2016 Rockwood 8265WS FW. I also want to add a DC to AC inverter.
When I am without shore power, I would like to be able to watch TV in the evenings, make coffee in the AM and run the Microwave for 1-3 minutes at a time as much as two times per day. I would also want to run a couple of laptops for a couple hours a day and charge cell phones. I have done some rough estimates, and believe I would not typically use more that 100AH on any given day.
I am currently thinking about doing the following:
1) add 2 new Lifeline GPL-6CT 6V 300AH batteries connected in series
2) add a stand alone Iota DLS 55 charger to be plugged into my generator or shore power (would switch off breaker to built-in WFCO converter when Iota charger is plugged in)
3) Add a Xantrex PROWatt 2000 - 2000 amp inverter.
I would use 2/0 GA wire for the battery interconnection and from the batteries to the inverter (with a 300amp fuse in line to the inverter). I would then use 4GA wire from the charger to the batteries. I would leave the cabling from the batteries to the WFCO panel the same. Both the charger and inverter would be installed in the pass through compartment just behind the front storage compartment where my batteries will be.
I have a Champion 2000W portable generator that I would run during daylight hours as needed to recharge the battery bank.
My WFCO panel has six breakers in addition to the main breaker.
1) 15Amp breaker providing AC power to the Refrigerator and rear AC
2) 15 amp breaker providing AC power to the Microwave and Fireplace.
3) 15 amp breaker providing AC power to the front AC electric sockets,
including the GFI sockets.
4), 5) & 6) The HVAC, water heater and converter/charger are on the
remaining three breakers in the WFCO.
I have read numerous threads on this and other forums covering this topic, however I still have not found a solution that I can fully understand.
At first I thought I could simply plug the inverter into my shore power plug
like I do when I fire up my generator. Then I realized that this would fire up my converter/charger and try and charge my batteries in a continuous electrical loop. It would also trigger my refrigerator and water heater to switch to 120AC power, draining my batteries very quickly. The work around this would be to turn off the breakers to the AC, converter and water heater before before turning on my inverter. I would also need to turn my refrigerator to propane only. While this approach works in theory, forgetting to do any of these things could cause issues ranging from rapid battery drainage to fire if I forget to turn off the converter breaker. (any thing I've missed?)
I have read a couple of threads suggesting a N.C. contact relay switch could be used to solve the worst problem, the converter/charger electrical loop. As I understand this approach, you would install a N.C. relay switch between the converter breaker and the converter. The normally connected circuit in the switch would be the power coming from the breaker. The output power from the inverter would then be connected to this relay switch. When the inverter is on, the relay switch opens the circuit and automatically cuts off the power from the breaker to the converter. In theory, this would solve the converter issue, but then I would still need to switch off the breaker to the water heater and turn the Refrigerator to propane only - a non-fool-proof solution. (see method 4 in this link RV Inverter Install: Four Different DIY Methods to Get off the Grid
I have read other solutions that include installing a sub panel off each circuit I want to power off the inverter. Unfortunately, that would mean I would need to run three sub panels (the refer/rear AC breaker, the microwave breaker and the GFI breaker.) I have not seen any inverters that have more than two outputs, so taking power from these two outputs to power up three sub panels seems daunting.
I am also considering adding some type of solar panel system at a future time.
Has anyone run into the same issues as I have?