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Old 07-25-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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WFCO Inverter

Took delivery of our new 29RE and I'm still getting to know it. One of the things we really liked about this rv is the "home" style refrigerator which is powered by an inverter when traveling. There are two 12 volt deep cycle batteries; 1 for the inverter/fridg, and the 2nd battery for the level up system and everything else. I was surprised to see that the batteries do not even share a ground connection. I'm thinking the inverters ground is floating, but I'm not certain. I had assumed that the inverter battery would be charged by the tow vehicle when traveling, but the wiring doesn't seem to support that. I wish I had a schematic of this trailers wiring.

My question is this; does the inverter also charge the battery it's connected to?
And does anyone know how long a single deep cycle battery would power the fridge?

Thanks
dg
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:03 PM   #2
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Inverters do not charge batteries; CONverters do.

The House fridge can be powered by the dedicated INverter that is driven by ITS dedicated 12 volt battery. That battery should be charged by the camper's CONverter at the same time as it charges the camper's house battery.

When connected to the Tow Vehicle, both camper batteries should be charged by the truck's 12 volt alternator.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:15 PM   #3
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Be aware that many vehicle manufacturers do not install the fuse or the relay( if used) for the 12V aux power to the Bargman connector. Check the 12V aux pin with the vehicle running. If no 12V then grab your manual and locate the fuse for the TT aux power and the 12V relay. These can easily be found at most auto parts stores.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:11 PM   #4
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Herk, thanks for the info. The inverter connections are in a very open and accessible location. It just appears to me that the inverter system is wired independently of the rest of the trailer. The battery is wired directly to the inverter with no other obvious connections on the 12 volt side. It does have a 120 vac input so the inverter knows when to turn on, and there's a 120 vac output which goes to the fridge. When shore power is connected, the inverter is in "pass thru" mode. When shore power drops out, the inverter is already in sync with the 120vac 60 cycle demand. I just cannot see where the battery is being recharged. I'm not saying anything is wrong, but it does not look exactly right to me. What got me studying this system closely was that the rv main battery voltage is holding at 13.5v. The inverter battery is 12.5 v. Both measurements taken with shore power connected to a 50A circuit and with an old...(really old) military analog meter. I'll drag the fluke out tomorrow and take a more precise check.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:13 PM   #5
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Flybob Good point, and I should verify that. The truck has the tow package, so I'm fairly sure the charging circuit is working, but I need to double check that.

Thanks for the reminder.

dg
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidg View Post
Herk, thanks for the info. The inverter connections are in a very open and accessible location. It just appears to me that the inverter system is wired independently of the rest of the trailer. The battery is wired directly to the inverter with no other obvious connections on the 12 volt side. It does have a 120 vac input so the inverter knows when to turn on, and there's a 120 vac output which goes to the fridge. When shore power is connected, the inverter is in "pass thru" mode. When shore power drops out, the inverter is already in sync with the 120vac 60 cycle demand. I just cannot see where the battery is being recharged. I'm not saying anything is wrong, but it does not look exactly right to me. What got me studying this system closely was that the rv main battery voltage is holding at 13.5v. The inverter battery is 12.5 v. Both measurements taken with shore power connected to a 50A circuit and with an old...(really old) military analog meter. I'll drag the fluke out tomorrow and take a more precise check.
I stand corrected; From your description, it seems the fridge has a dedicated converter/inverter/battery system that has nothing to do with the camper's main converter or alternate charging systems (Like the Tow Vehicle).

Does the 120VAC connection read 120 volts when you are on shore power and does the DC output to the battery read 13.5 volts?
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:38 AM   #7
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Herc, the trailer has a separate CONverter which is very typical of RV campers. Since the fridge is a residential fridge, and runs only on 120vac, Forest River installed an inverter to run it when shore power is disconnected. Here is a link to the same inverter;

http://smile.amazon.com/WFCO-WF-5110...=wfco+inverter
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:09 AM   #8
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OK, "He can be taught"...

Here is the manual for the inverter, and it appears it is ONLY an inverter (with a pass through relay for 120VAC when available).

So, the way I read it, there is a fuse in the battery cable between the inverter and the "backup battery" which could be a problem. There is also a fuse on the front of the inverter itself.

There is no indication where the "backup battery" charging current comes from.

There are 2 positive DC connections on the back of the inverter; one of which goes to the backup battery. Are both in use?

If there are two heavy gauge wires there, one of them has to go to the camper's CONverter to charge the battery. THAT wire should also be fused (most likely IN or behind the WFCO Converter panel on a pigtail).

The charge line from the RV converter could also go directly to the "backup battery" and be connected to the Battery post and either fused there or back at the panel (most likely location).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf WF-5100-Manual1.pdf (829.3 KB, 56 views)
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:00 AM   #9
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I'm trying to figure out how to post more than one picture. Looks like only one at a time, so....on the back of the inverter, there's only one heavy red (+) wire coming from the battery, thru a fuse block. There is a black (-) wire connected directly to the same battery and the inverter. The inverter has a regular 120vac power plug-in connected to a 120vac outlet.....and then there is a 14 ga romex coming out of the inverter and (I assume) going directly to the fridge.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidg View Post
I'm trying to figure out how to post more than one picture. Looks like only one at a time, so....on the back of the inverter, there's only one heavy red (+) wire coming from the battery, thru a fuse block. There is a black (-) wire connected directly to the same battery and the inverter. The inverter has a regular 120vac power plug-in connected to a 120vac outlet.....and then there is a 14 ga romex coming out of the inverter and (I assume) going directly to the fridge.
To post photos use the paper clip icon in the advanced menu mode.
You can attach up to 10 photos per post.

I sent an email to tech support at WFCO this morning and will most likely not hear back till tuesday or wednesday.

Are you sure there are no smaller gauge wires going to either the inverter or battery?
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:31 AM   #11
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There is one thing in the fly ointment. Remember that the plug will show 13.5v or so to your plug end from the TV, but the wire is not big enough to carry that many amps to completely charge your batteries. At best you will only get trickle charge. At least that is what Ford told me when I asked about the amps the plug will supply to my battery pack. THey said the wire size is to small to supply that much amps, volts yes amps no.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidg View Post
I'm trying to figure out how to post more than one picture. Looks like only one at a time, so....on the back of the inverter, there's only one heavy red (+) wire coming from the battery, thru a fuse block. There is a black (-) wire connected directly to the same battery and the inverter. The inverter has a regular 120vac power plug-in connected to a 120vac outlet.....and then there is a 14 ga romex coming out of the inverter and (I assume) going directly to the fridge.
We are looking for something on the DC side that is needed to charge the Fridge battery.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:05 PM   #13
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:08 PM   #14
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Previous post is the backside of the inverter
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:12 PM   #15
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This is the battery compartment.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:38 PM   #16
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Davidg

Read this post http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...r-86726-2.html

Notice the updated wiring diagram in post #13.

Differences to keep in mind:
Cedar Creek vs Silverback (shouldn't make a difference, same inverter)
4 6V batteries vs 2 12V batteries

If you understand how to wire 6V batteries in series to make 12V, this should help you.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:39 PM   #17
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Installing and hooking up the batteries is the Dealers responsibility and I don't think there is a tech out there that knows how to do it. I had the same problem as you when I took delivery of my 2012 36CKTS. I thought the inverter had its own charging circuit, but it didn't seem to be charging. I went to the inverter manufacturers WEB page and found some inverters had charging circuits, but not the model FR put in my unit. Mine has four 6volt batteries and was missing a jumper from the positive terminal of one series pair to the positive terminal of the other series pair. I went to the local auto parts house, got one and installed it. It's been fine ever since.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:42 PM   #18
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Thank you Racer. That thread has opened my eyes a little. I recall reading somewhere that the Silverback fifth wheels with level up system required four 6 volt batteries wired up just as was shown on post 13 of the thread you sent me to.
Unfortunately, my dealer stuck 2 smallish 12 volt batteries in the unit, with one battery connected to the inverter and the other battery connected as the main battery including the level up system. When fully charged, the battery can operate the level up system once, but it's a heavy current draw, and then it will take a while to recharge that battery.
As for the inverter system, it seems to handle the fridge fine, but not sure how long it would run it, AND, there seems to be no way that this battery will be charged by the tow vehicle, because it's wired as a separate system, and the inverter would not be in pass thru mode, therefore no 120vac to draw charging power from.

I bought this trailer from a dealer about 300 miles away, so the fix for this battery snafu will probably fall in my lap. There are no economics to hauling it 600 miles. Just the fuel would pay for another battery.

Sometimes education can be a little painful and expensive.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:45 PM   #19
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Joe, at least you had the right batteries to begin with. I wonder if I could simply parallel both 12 volt batteries, and maybe add a third 12 volt battery, also wired in parallel..... thoughts?

probably still would not have the amp capacity of four 6 volt batteries.

Joe, can you tell me what the amperage capacity of your batteries are?

Thanks
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:55 PM   #20
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Joe, if you don't mind, what are the dimensions of your batteries and battery box? Mine is 10.5" deep by 21.5" wide. I'm not sure that 4 batteries will fit.
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