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Old 04-09-2024, 07:24 PM   #1
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Inverter with pass through recommendation

Basically as title states. I've hosed myself a bit by picking a Surveyor (no inverter, but inverter prep) over a NoBo (2,000 watt pure sine wave inverter, model WF-5220).

To avoid getting lost in the weeds with this thread:
  1. I understand the limitations of using the inverter prep - only certain outlets will be hot. That's OK
  2. I understand well enough how I'll utilize the inverter prep
  3. I understand the battery connections (wire gauge, distance, fusing)

I don't know if the WF-5220 is a particularly stellar unit but it does eliminate the need to buy and wire an automatic transfer switch. It passes through shore power when available, or supplies 120v from the inverter if switched on. Very straight forward to connect and get me the functionality of the NoBo.

Before I buy a WF-5220 (~$650), does anyone know of a superior unit that has the same functionality to result in a similarly straight forward install? Inverter with pass through. No charging functionality. No $1200 Victron MultiPlus. Something either more robust for the money, or higher inverting efficiency, or lower power draw at idle. All good things.

I'm having a hell of a time googling alternatives to the WF-5220, so many inverters with built in automatic transfer seem to have charging functionality too. Inverter/Chargers. I don't particularly want that, I trust the lithium-ready converter/charger to do a decent job and solar to pick up the rest.

Recommendations?
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Old 04-09-2024, 07:33 PM   #2
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I would stay away from WFCO. I went thru 2 plus one out of the box failure.

I replace mine with a Progressive Dynamics inverter. I only need a 1000 watts but they make a 2000w unit.

Meets all your requirements…. https://www.progressivedyn.com/1620-...ave-inverters/
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Old 04-09-2024, 07:42 PM   #3
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I would stay away from WFCO. I went thru 2 plus one out of the box failure.

I replace mine with a Progressive Dynamics inverter. I only need a 1000 watts but they make a 2000w unit.

Meets all your requirements…. https://www.progressivedyn.com/1620-...ave-inverters/
Heyyy that looks like it does indeed meet my requirements. Something is just off about Amazon these days. Search for a very specific thing, "inverter with transfer switch" and you get regular inverters, inverter/chargers, regular standalone transfer switches, promoted products left and right that don't match your search term. Google is about the same anymore.

Thank you, the 2000w PD inverter comes in at $150 less than the WFCO. I'll look at whatever efficiency literature I can find and likely pull the trigger.
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Old 04-09-2024, 07:46 PM   #4
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You might be counting on the WFxxxx Auto Detect converter that is in there, a bit too much.

I don't have first hand experience, since mine was running LA until I did the conversion with the Multiplus and flipped it's breaker and marked it "do not use" but ya might want to do a search of WFCO Auto Detect.

The reviews for detecting lithium are, shall we say, not stellar.
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Old 04-09-2024, 07:58 PM   #5
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You might be counting on the WFxxxx Auto Detect converter that is in there, a bit too much.

I don't have first hand experience, since mine was running LA until I did the conversion with the Multiplus and flipped it's breaker and marked it "do not use" but ya might want to do a search of WFCO Auto Detect.

The reviews for detecting lithium are, shall we say, not stellar.
Yeah, seems like there were a lot of complaints when they first launched it. Firmware updates needed and such. Not sure where it stands now, but I do believe it's still said that it doesn't take lifepo4 batteries to 100%. That's honestly fine, I don't like to juice any of my battery builds to 14.6v. I'll reluctantly let solar do that (perhaps just occasionally) to address cell imbalances.

However, if it's simple to kick the WFCO battery charging out of the equation, still allowing it to work for converter purposes to run DC loads on shore power, that would open up the millions of inverter/chargers my searches were polluted with. All of which likely have better lithium charging profiles.

Another interesting idea I read on a facebook group was to allow the converter/charger to supply charge current to a DC-DC converter and pipe that in to the battery. I have no idea where I'd intercept that, but I do have a Victron Orion DC-DC laying around that could serve this purpose and give me more control. I'll be using the new Victron Orion XS for tow vehicle charging once it's not backordered. Cons: the plain Orion gets hot enough to cook a steak on
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:19 PM   #6
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Heyyy that looks like it does indeed meet my requirements. Something is just off about Amazon these days. Search for a very specific thing, "inverter with transfer switch" and you get regular inverters, inverter/chargers, regular standalone transfer switches, promoted products left and right that don't match your search term. Google is about the same anymore.

Thank you, the 2000w PD inverter comes in at $150 less than the WFCO. I'll look at whatever efficiency literature I can find and likely pull the trigger.
Link to manual.. https://www.progressivedyn.com/wp-co...ide-701580.pdf
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:23 PM   #7
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Thanks, yeah saw that. Don't see anything in there about idle consumption or any other numbers. Also a little confused, etrailer has the Progressive Dynamics 2000w pure sine wave inverter with transfer switch, model 'PD64FR' No trace of the 1620 which at least sounds like the same thing. PD's website doesn't show the PD64FR or any of the models etrailer carries, yet doesn't list the PD1620 as a replacement for the PD64FR. I'll have to figure that out too. Was hoping to find some reviews on the 1620
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:34 PM   #8
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Thanks, yeah saw that. Don't see anything in there about idle consumption or any other numbers. Also a little confused, etrailer has the Progressive Dynamics 2000w pure sine wave inverter with transfer switch, model 'PD64FR' No trace of the 1620 which at least sounds like the same thing. PD's website doesn't show the PD64FR or any of the models etrailer carries, yet doesn't list the PD1620 as a replacement for the PD64FR. I'll have to figure that out too. Was hoping to find some reviews on the 1620
Call eTrailer and ask them about your issue. I think they have their own model number but it is the same unit. They are very helpful.

I have not measured the “idle” draw of mine but it must be minimal. I know my WFCO drew 2 amps while in standby. The fan ran all the time.

The PD unit fan does not run while in standby. If I get a chance I will measure the current draw while in standby. I have a Victron battery monitor so I can measure the draw from the battery while in “standby”…
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:40 PM   #9
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If you go to eTrailer and look at pics for their unit PD64 and find the top down pic you will see it is a

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Inverter...etails=.photos
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:55 PM   #10
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Not casting a vote for WFCO, but the current 51XX and 52XX series inverters don't run the fan in standby. Mine does not.
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:16 PM   #11
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Not casting a vote for WFCO, but the current 51XX and 52XX series inverters don't run the fan in standby. Mine does not.
Yea, I saw that with the newer units but I just had too many failures with the units I had. Maybe they are better but I decided to switch to the PD unit

Have you measured the current draw when on “standby”…. I’m sure it is much less since the fan does not run.
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Old 04-10-2024, 05:28 AM   #12
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Call eTrailer and ask them about your issue. I think they have their own model number but it is the same unit. They are very helpful.

I have not measured the “idle” draw of mine but it must be minimal. I know my WFCO drew 2 amps while in standby. The fan ran all the time.

The PD unit fan does not run while in standby. If I get a chance I will measure the current draw while in standby. I have a Victron battery monitor so I can measure the draw from the battery while in “standby”…
Thanks, I was thinking it certainly must be a different, possibly upgraded unit offered on etrailer since it's a lot more expensive than a 1620a from elsewhere. Good to hear about fans not spinning in standby. Most of the time this will just be running to power the television, so it's a drag to think about burning twice as much energy as the tv is actually using, just to run it. I suppose it's possible the fans are thermostatically controlled and won't operate at ~15 watts output either.
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Old 04-10-2024, 10:14 AM   #13
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My factory WFCO still works fine. Fits all your requirements. 1000w. Double check how much inverter you need. I rarely use mine at all, since we have all 12v or propane powered stuff. Remember that inverters are very inefficient until you get closer to the rated load, (ie, 1000w, 2000w, etc). So the bigger power rating, the more energy is just wasted when having it on just to run a small load.
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Old 04-10-2024, 10:24 AM   #14
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My factory WFCO still works fine. Fits all your requirements. 1000w. Double check how much inverter you need. I rarely use mine at all, since we have all 12v or propane powered stuff. Remember that inverters are very inefficient until you get closer to the rated load, (ie, 1000w, 2000w, etc). So the bigger power rating, the more energy is just wasted when having it on just to run a small load.
Yea, my WFCOS worked fine until they didn’t. I mostly use mine when towing and it just powers the 120 volt residential fridge. I use it a lot since I’ve towed this RV probably more than 60K miles…
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Old 04-10-2024, 11:29 AM   #15
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My factory WFCO still works fine. Fits all your requirements. 1000w. Double check how much inverter you need. I rarely use mine at all, since we have all 12v or propane powered stuff. Remember that inverters are very inefficient until you get closer to the rated load, (ie, 1000w, 2000w, etc). So the bigger power rating, the more energy is just wasted when having it on just to run a small load.
Aware of that catch with inverters. Most loads will be DC but I don't have DC opportunities scattered about the camper (won't count the USB ports since those likely cannot be swapped to something more useful given wire gauge).

It's really that daggone TV that I want to power most, and I'd switch it for a 12v model if there was sufficient 12v anywhere near the (near ceiling mounted) TV. 30 watt computer monitor for work days. 300 watt Playstation 5 for rainy days. ~100whatever watt starlink until I switch that to DC.

I think I'll still buy the progressive dynamics one but also rig up something a little (okay, a lot) less glamorous beneath the front bed and utilize an extension cord to swap in one of my two sub-1000w Victron inverters depending on what I'm doing. I spose it doesn't get more efficient than that.
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Old 04-10-2024, 03:05 PM   #16
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I had time today to measure the standby current of the 1000 watt PD inverter I have installed in our RV.

First off when I turned off shore power the unit was supplying about 150 watts to my ref and to my 3 cubic foot freezer I have installed in the front basement. The cooling fans did not turn on. I waited for both refrigeration units to cycle off.

I was a little surprised to see the standby current to be 1.76 amps (22 watts). A little better than my older model WFCO but not much. The newer WFCO probably draw less now that the fan is not on constantly but I don’t know how much less. I seem to remember my WFCO was over 2 amps..

Anyway..fwiw…
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Old 04-10-2024, 03:59 PM   #17
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Just eyeballing off the BMV712 app, everything off but the normal parasites, CM detect, radio ready, TPMS repeater = ~-0.3A.

Turning on the Multiplus 3K (2400W) but no loads other than the new parasites, TV ready, microwave clock, was not quite ~2 more.

Turning on the TV(42" smart) added 3, turning on the antenna booster was another ~0.1

I could get more exact than that by turning off the solar but its a cloudy, rainy day, bringing in just ~0.4A and I just subtracted that from the base read. Its close.
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Old 04-10-2024, 04:35 PM   #18
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Valuable data from both of you. 528wh in a 24hr period with the PD 1000w inverter idling, 41% of a 100ah lifepo4

If I live with a light duty extension cord tucked against the wall to power my television, I could expect about 20wh idle consumption in a 24hr period using my Victron Phoenix 250w in eco mode. 100wh off eco mode. Real world experience with ecomode: it can result some weirdness, like when your laptop reaches 100% I seem to recall my macbook screen dimming/undimming and sounding the charger connected noise endlessly.

In short, I think I'll live with a light duty extension cord tucked against the wall Won't have to even think about energy lost overnight if I fall asleep without turning off the phoenix. No stress if the following day is complete gloom and awful for solar production. No fussing with inverter prep.

Since I intend to remove the fridge in the outdoor kitchen, I wonder what I'll see if I were to take the outlet off the inside wall and run my endoscope camera gadget through one of the electrical box knockouts, assuming those are installed in RVs. If I can end up behind the kitchen drawers and reach the island beneath the television in the 202RBLE, I could fish a wire to install a new dedicated daily use outlet for all the small things. Then run some relatively light 12v to the outdoor kitchen from underneath. Little cleaner than an extension cord from beneath the bed, along wall, up to TV. I kind of like this idea.

I suppose the above idea makes the most sense if I were to just use that outdoor kitchen as battery storage if temperature control was figured out

Just received my 280ah lifepo4 today that I ordered on sale and discovered it's now $50 less than I paid just days ago. So naturally, I've ordered another. 560ah for $950 is alright by me.
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Old 04-10-2024, 05:40 PM   #19
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One of the first things I did was yank the outside refer but to make the os kit better, not for other storage.

Since you don't have the dinette storage, you already don't have much to balance the load. Refer and batts on the same side?
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Old 04-10-2024, 05:59 PM   #20
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Valuable data from both of you. 528wh in a 24hr period with the PD 1000w inverter idling, 41% of a 100ah lifepo4

If I live with a light duty extension cord tucked against the wall to power my television, I could expect about 20wh idle consumption in a 24hr period using my Victron Phoenix 250w in eco mode. 100wh off eco mode. Real world experience with ecomode: it can result some weirdness, like when your laptop reaches 100% I seem to recall my macbook screen dimming/undimming and sounding the charger connected noise endlessly.

In short, I think I'll live with a light duty extension cord tucked against the wall Won't have to even think about energy lost overnight if I fall asleep without turning off the phoenix. No stress if the following day is complete gloom and awful for solar production. No fussing with inverter prep.

Since I intend to remove the fridge in the outdoor kitchen, I wonder what I'll see if I were to take the outlet off the inside wall and run my endoscope camera gadget through one of the electrical box knockouts, assuming those are installed in RVs. If I can end up behind the kitchen drawers and reach the island beneath the television in the 202RBLE, I could fish a wire to install a new dedicated daily use outlet for all the small things. Then run some relatively light 12v to the outdoor kitchen from underneath. Little cleaner than an extension cord from beneath the bed, along wall, up to TV. I kind of like this idea.

I suppose the above idea makes the most sense if I were to just use that outdoor kitchen as battery storage if temperature control was figured out

Just received my 280ah lifepo4 today that I ordered on sale and discovered it's now $50 less than I paid just days ago. So naturally, I've ordered another. 560ah for $950 is alright by me.
I’m glad I could help before you spent the $$ for the inverter. I like your ideas..
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