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Old 11-13-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
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Inverter

Has anyone installed an inverter in their FR3? I want to add a 1000W to ours but would really like to have a wiring schematic to show where the electrical lines are run.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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This should give you an idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15
Currently, this is how my RV (a Forest River FR3) is wired. Note that it doesnt have an auto transfer switch, it has a 30A output receptacle in the basement that you plug the cord into after disconnecting from shore power.


This is how Im proposing to change for the installation of a Xantrex (or similar) pure sine wave inverter.


Now, a few things that I know will get mentioned:

Yes, I realize I will have to unplug the converter/charger every time. I dont mind since Im already there (plug for converter is in the same bay).
Yes, I realize this will power every 120V AC circuit in the RV, including the AC. No, I dont intend to try running the AC off the inverter, this is mainly for the TV/DVD/outlet power while rolling down the road.
Yes, I realize I could replace the converter/charger with a converter/charger/inverter. I already have a Progressive Dynamics PD9280, which according to my research is a pretty good charger already, so Id like to keep it.
Yes, I realize an auto transfer switch would handle the plugging/unplugging for me. No, I dont wish to deal with one, Ive had more than one fail and its always a headache.

Otherwise, what issues do I need to address? I have an empty bay right next to the batteries in the MH, so the run of DC cabling and fuse will be ~3ft. From there, I intend to hard wire the 120V AC output to a NEMA 30TT plug that Ill put in the back bay next to the generator plug and label as "inverter".

Thoughts?
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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@cucamelsmd15. Have you installed your inverter as in your diagram above? I'm curious how it turned out.

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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I have not yet. With hustle and bustle of holidays, I plan on trying to tackle it in my time off around New Years before we head to Daytona for the 24.

Edit: Worth mentioning though, this is the one I plan on adding. Granted, you can run the microwave off of it, but nothing else at the same time, but I cant envision needing more than 1000 watts.

I do have a spreadsheet that I used to calculate the specifics of why I chose the 1000w over the 600w or 2000w if anyone is interested.

http://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-Prowat...prowatt+sw1000
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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I started with the same goal as you (power the tv/DVR outlet). I hooked mine up by disconnecting the wires from the 110v breaker that fed the tv/DVR circuit, hooked up and sent 12v power to my 750 watt inverter from that same breaker then connected the wires to the tv/dvr circuit to the output side of the inverter.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:48 PM   #6
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Dear Batts-toy

Did you just run the TV/DVD always on the inverter or did you use some type of transfer switch to transfer to 120 volt when you hooked up to shore power?
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Dear Batts-toy

Did you just run the TV/DVD always on the inverter or did you use some type of transfer switch to transfer to 120 volt when you hooked up to shore power?
I leave it connected that way all the time. Also I have 2 sets of 6 volts batteries (Interstate deep cell extreme 232Ah each) 2 in series for 12 volts then parrallel for 464 Ah, along with 288 watts of solar. DW won't go with me without her tv so I set it up this way for dry camping, I've only been out 3 days tops so far so I haven't determined a dry camp limit yet.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reply.

My wife and I both like our tv. Wouldn't leave home without it. I am going to put an inverter inline to my tv/DVD so we can use it while driving but will install a transfer switch so it will use the shore power when connected. My thinking is I don't want to be using battery while also trying to charge it with the converter. Might be too much on it. We don't do any dry camping and all I have is 2 12 volt coach batteries. We have a residential refridge that has an inverter for it and it doesn't last but 4 to 5 hours. I wish FR would have had the option for 6 volt batteries.
We live in the country but are city folk RVers.
We like our conveniences.
Thanks for your reply and happy thanksgiving!
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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I ran a circuit from the inverter to a dedicated inverter outlet near the existing 110VAC outlet for the entertainment center. I then installed a surge strip above the two outlets that all the entertainment system appliances (and out computer/phone chargers) plug into.

I just change the outlet I plug the strip into depending on the power source.

Went I ran the wire I also installed an outlet in the basement for an outside TV while dry camping.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I ran a circuit from the inverter to a dedicated inverter outlet near the existing 110VAC outlet for the entertainment center. I then installed a surge strip above the two outlets that all the entertainment system appliances (and out computer/phone chargers) plug into.

I just change the outlet I plug the strip into depending on the power source.

Went I ran the wire I also installed an outlet in the basement for an outside TV while dry camping.
I had considered something similar, but the ability to use other outlets in the coach, especially one on the dash near the laptop tray is appealing. Running the microwave is obviously a big help too.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
I had considered something similar, but the ability to use other outlets in the coach, especially one on the dash near the laptop tray is appealing. Running the microwave is obviously a big help too.
You are in for an unpleasant surprise regarding microwave use on inverter. Your battery may not last long enough to boil a cup of water if it even works at all. Most microwave magnetrons require a pure sine wave inverter and a minimum 25% overcapacity in wattage (some require more) for start up amp draw.

For example, a 1100 watt microwave (small one) can require a 1500 watt inverter pulling the full amount of amps for the start up load.

1500 watts being yanked from a 12 volt battery is 125 AMPS.

A single 100 AH battery will be reduced to about 5 minutes of life at that draw. See attached capacity reduction graph and document for how the Peukert Effect reduces the ability of a deep cycle battery to deliver current at high demand loading. Worse yet, the voltage reduction may trigger the inverter to shut down before it even starts delivering power to the coach.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
You are in for an unpleasant surprise regarding microwave use on inverter. Your battery may not last long enough to boil a cup of water if it even works at all. Most microwave magnetrons require a pure sine wave inverter and a minimum 25% overcapacity in wattage (some require more) for start up amp draw.

For example, a 1100 watt microwave (small one) can require a 1500 watt inverter pulling the full amount of amps for the start up load.

1500 watts being yanked from a 12 volt battery is 125 AMPS.

A single 100 AH battery will be reduced to about 5 minutes of life at that draw. See attached capacity reduction graph and document for how the Peukert Effect reduces the ability of a deep cycle battery to deliver current at high demand loading. Worse yet, the voltage reduction may trigger the inverter to shut down before it even starts delivering power to the coach.
No unpleasant surprises here. Two group 27 batteries in parallel at 110Ah each will do the trick. I know about the Peukert Effect, but I have the amp-hours in the two current batteries to get by for now. As soon as Im done fabbing the new rack, they will be replaced with T-105s or another 6v solution. At the going rate, that should be oh, Christmas or so.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
No unpleasant surprises here. Two group 27 batteries in parallel at 110Ah each will do the trick. I know about the Peukert Effect, but I have the amp-hours in the two current batteries to get by for now. As soon as Im done fabbing the new rack, they will be replaced with T-105s or another 6v solution. At the going rate, that should be oh, Christmas or so.
I will be interested to know how this works out for you when trying to run your microwave on battery power once you spend all that money.

Make sure you bring your generator on your first trip as a precaution.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
I have not yet. With hustle and bustle of holidays, I plan on trying to tackle it in my time off around New Years before we head to Daytona for the 24.

Edit: Worth mentioning though, this is the one I plan on adding. Granted, you can run the microwave off of it, but nothing else at the same time, but I cant envision needing more than 1000 watts.

I do have a spreadsheet that I used to calculate the specifics of why I chose the 1000w over the 600w or 2000w if anyone is interested.

Amazon.com: Xantrex Prowatt SW1000 1000W True Sinewave Inverter: Car Electronics

Hello again. Just wondering if you've made the inverter install? In all honesty, I'm waiting to hear how it worked out for you. I talked to the Xantrex guy in Quartzsite and he feels that 10 ga. Wire from the battery area to the 30w plug area would work just fine. I'm not at all concerned about the inverter powering all outlets. I don't plan on using anything bigger that a toaster.

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:42 AM   #15
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I did. I will probably try to write it up tonight after we get it back from service. We decided to go with the 600w Xantrex though
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivmsafe View Post
I don't plan on using anything bigger that a toaster. Thanks!
Have you looked at the wattage required to run a toaster and the battery amperage draw powering an inverter big enough to supply that wattage?

The lowest power 2 slice toaster I found is 1000 watts continuous for about 5 minutes per 2 slices.

1000 Watts of 120 volt AC requires 83.3 amps of battery draw or about 1/2 of a single typical fully charged Marine battery's useful life (65AH) to make 2 slices of toast (when the capacity reduction due to amperage is considered - Peukert Effect - see graph - use as percent of capacity if other than a 100AH battery). NOTE: 83 amps is "off the chart" for a single 100AH deep cycle battery - extrapolating the curve places the reduction to about 20% of useful life - or 9 minutes of running the toaster).

A 1000 Watt inverter may well trip off line if the incoming battery voltage drops much below 12 volts.

Inverters are best used to "watch TV or DVD" or charge phones or computers. High amperage draw items like toasters, coffee makers, microwaves, or air conditioners are best left for when you are connected to shore power.

Multiple batteries in a bank will reduce the individual demand load on each battery allowing a lower Peukert penalty and longer use on battery. (IE sharing that 83 amp draw with 2 batteries will increase battery life from about 20% of rated to about 50% of rated and the capacity of the bank (in use time) would also double to 130AH - with 2 65AH batteries - or 65 AH at that load - both batteries dead in 46 minutes.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:07 AM   #17
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This may help.

normal appliance amp draws

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Old 01-21-2014, 11:11 AM   #18
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Just remember that AC amps are NOT DC amps.

You must convert AC amps to Watts by multiplying by 120 volts; THEN convert those Watts BACK into DC amps by dividing by 12 volts.

With resistive loads (like heaters - water element, fridge heating element, toaster, etc), as the voltage falls (battery being used up or campground power brownout) the efficiency (delivered wattage) drops like a rock.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:52 PM   #19
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Hello cucamelsmd15. Did you get a chance to write up how you installed the converter? Hate to bug you, but I'm not that electrically knowledged. However, I can follow written/illustrated instructions pretty well.
Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:13 PM   #20
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I did, and posted all three parts of it in my thread here:
FR3 modifications. Everything from LEDs to inverters and maybe beyond...
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