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Old 08-07-2016, 06:47 PM   #1
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Newb Encounter Help. Inverter/Electrical

Hello All, Sorry if this post is a little long. I will admit that my wife and I are brand new to RV's but on a very quick learning curve. After a couple months it has been a very enlightening experience. Never sure whats around the next corner. A little help with a few questions.
2 6V Batteries and 1K Magnum Inverter from Factory which I plan on upgrading. I have a Home Commercial Fridge and understand it will take most of what I have to run it but is the Inverter supposed to run any other plugs, such as TV, Sat. Receiver and the like in the coach besides the Fridge? The Inverter green light is flashing? but the Fridge does run. I'm trying to figure out if I have a problem or is that the way it is, which seems silly to me. How are you supposed to Boondock unless you are under Solar or Gen power? Who likes to listen to a Gen run all day?
If it only runs the Fridge whats the point of installing a larger inverter and Batteries? I have no problem going as big as I have to to be comfortable.
What would you suggest for Batteries and a larger Magnum?
Issue 2 is the Battery Boost Light. I cant remember if it should be on all the time or only when you push to engage it? It is on all the time the Key is not in the off position. Is this normal operation. Seems to me it should only light if you use it.
Thank You all in Advance and I see there is plenty of seasoned knowledge here.
2015 Coachmen Encounter 37SA
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:11 PM   #2
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Typically the inverter is for the refer only. Insteadmof replacing it, why not simply add another one dedicated to the TV/sat receiver only. This one could be pretty small as those do not take much power. Now, do you really do enough dry camping to need an inverter?
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:04 PM   #3
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Are you talking about the switch on the dash above the radio switch? When the key is on I believe it is always lit. The inverter green light blinks when it is turned on also.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input, I don't want to be limited to shore/gen for all my other needs. Want them to be able to work at any time and I do plan on dry camping. I would consider any time I stop on the road for the night or for whatever dry camping.
The addition of another inverter is an option but a big project at this time considering finding someone competent enough to do the job. Have a bad experience with my original dealer and am not comfortable going back to them.
And yes, it is the switch on the dash near the radio and next to the Gen Start on mine.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:42 PM   #5
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Inverter

I installed a 120 watt pure sine wave inverter for 32 inch TV and direct TV receiver. Works great.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:15 PM   #6
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As per Shortkid comments the inverter green lights blink when it is in use and the battery boost comes on as you the ignition key on, I suppose to tell you there is juice there to use if needed.

As for the inverter and battery power. I have 4 six volts batteries that can run my household fridge for about 3 days given that there is enough sun to activate the two solar panels.
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:49 AM   #7
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Thanks and good to get some idea what you guys are doing. I am getting ready to upgrade with another inverter and solar. Heard quotes as high as 8K but I know you did it for way less. Nobody likes to part with $$ but I have no problem spending what I need to get what I want.
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:49 AM   #8
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You've encountered the biggest drawback of a residential fridge; they're not easy to keep cold when boondocking. Fridges designed to run on propane consume only a fraction of the power of a residential unit.

If you want to boondock with your current fridge, you'll need to determine its actual power consumption. You'll need an AC ammeter to determine its actual current draw and need to determine exactly what percent of the time the compressor is running. Use this information and add an additional 15% to the power needs to account for an inverter running at 85% efficiency. Once you have your consumption calculated, you can determine the required size of the battery bank.

If you add solar power, you need to have enough watts from the panels to run the fridge and recharge the batteries during the day. You might be surprised at how many watts of solar power you need. Make sure you get an MPPT solar controller and, if you have enough shadow free space on your roof, consider wiring the panels in series instead of parallel. Don't forget that on most solar panels, if one cell is in shadow, the power output of the panel drops to almost nothing.

Phil
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:38 AM   #9
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Thanks, all useful info. Solar will end up being a large consideration and I do need to figure my present draws.
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