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Old 06-21-2022, 02:28 PM   #1
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Question Aftermarket Inverter Install - Rockwood 1940LTD

Before I fry something that I can't eat...

I have a 3000W Modified Sine Wave Inverter with 3 AC Outlets (Converter DC 12V in to AC 110V Out) that I have connected to a spare 12 volt deep cycle battery to power some small electric appliances while tent camping (fan, coffee maker, etc) using an extension cord from the inverter to the appliances.

Now that we have a new pop up, I would like to connect this inverter directly to the external camper battery so my question is ....will this add power to the electrical outlets in the camper which would eliminate the need for running extension cords from the spare battery I have outside the camper? I realize I have limitations as to what/how many appliances I can use at one time....

Also, as I am "recharging my battery" via a solar panel direct wired to the camper, I'm assuming I would need to disconnect the inverter from the battery while connected to the solar panels while "recharging" ??
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Old 06-21-2022, 05:51 PM   #2
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While I am no expert keep in mind they recommend a pure sine wave invertor if used with anything electronic, especially sensitive electronics like a computer for instance.

Yes you can wire an invertor into your outlets on the camper but to do so safely and not impact you being able to use your sure power you will need to add a transfer switch of some kind, whether manual or automatic.

Because you are a popup I personally would just wire another outlet or two and hook them up to the invertor. I want to do this in my 5th wheel and use a red outlet cover to show it the invertor for overnights at truck stops when I am too lazy to drag a geni out. This keeps your shore power intact and isolated from your invertor setup.
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:47 PM   #3
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Thanks .... as to "modified vs pure sine" i have other options for the sensitive electronics (laptop, cell phones etc)... I'm more interested in coffee pots and a small toaster oven.... & perhaps a curling iron for the mrs.

"Electronics" has always given me a "blank stare into space" so I may just continue with my current setup (running an extension cord off the inverter to the inside from my spare battery).
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:55 PM   #4
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Easiest way to do it safely is to use an adapter for your 30 amp (probably) or 50 amp (unlikely) shore power cable to plug into the 120v outlet on the inverter. Just make sure to turn off the circuit breaker for the converter when you are plugged into the inverter.

Solar has nothing to do with it. You can leave it connected and in the sunshine will supplement the power being drawn from the battery by the inverter.

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Old 06-21-2022, 09:24 PM   #5
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I am sorry I completely missed the solar part, but yes as above I would also do the 30amp plug and plug into the shore power cord. This is actually what I'll end up doing until I add the outlets for the inverter.
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:59 AM   #6
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Be aware that a coffee pot and toaster are not "small" electrical loads. Be sure you have adequate battery storage.
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:13 AM   #7
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Have 2 12 volt deep cycle bats & the 3000 watt inverter.used it all last summer tent camping without issues as long as you don’t go crazy with wattage draws…
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:44 AM   #8
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As mentioned, the easiest way is to plug the whole camper into it; just make sure that the converter (aka battery charger) is OFF. You'll get into a weird death cycle of charging from the battery with conversion losses both ways.

The next step is to install something like the Xantrex automatic transfer switch for specific breakers in the camper. This decides to use power from shore power or from the inverter automagically so long as the inverter is on.

Here's an article with more details both ways:

https://learntorv.com/inverter-basics/

As for the solar question, there's nothing wrong with having solar and the inverter hooked up to the system at the same time. One charges (solar) and one discharges (inverter).
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:59 AM   #9
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As mentioned, the easiest way is to plug the whole camper into it; just make sure that the converter (aka battery charger) is OFF. You'll get into a weird death cycle of charging from the battery with conversion losses both ways.

The next step is to install something like the Xantrex automatic transfer switch for specific breakers in the camper. This decides to use power from shore power or from the inverter automagically so long as the inverter is ).
Many thanks ! Now if I could locate the circuit breaker-on/off for the “converter/charger” I would be in good shape… have tested the setup with the adapter from “shore power” to the inverter & have power to the interior outlets… per attached images…
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Old 06-22-2022, 12:46 PM   #10
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might be labeled as conv I want to say one unit I had was labeled gen.

It will be in your power panel with the breakers and fuses. It is a breaker.
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Old 06-22-2022, 01:05 PM   #11
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might be labeled as conv I want to say one unit I had was labeled gen.

It will be in your power panel with the breakers and fuses. It is a breaker.
Apologies for my general ignorance 😃 we waited 8 months for a delivery & another 8 months before we could use it… My initial “go thru” wasn’t as comprehensive as it could have been … just discovered where the external plug for solar panels were located yesterday… anyway found the circuit breakers ..not labeled but one is 15 amp, other is a 20. Assuming the 20 is the one I need to switch off..
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Old 06-22-2022, 01:16 PM   #12
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"You'll get into a weird death cycle of charging from the battery with conversion losses both ways." So all 12v loads should not be directly connected to rv battery as the loads will drain battery while battery is concurrently charging?
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Old 06-22-2022, 03:31 PM   #13
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No the convertor will take the 120 made from the invertor and battery to try and charge the battery. That what he means by weird cycle.
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:25 PM   #14
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Doc ….?any good guesses as to which breaker I would kill? 15 or 20 ?
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:34 PM   #15
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They really did not help you out there did they. I would listen for the fan on the convertor and just flip one then the other until it stops. Hard to say how they wired things
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:10 PM   #16
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Doc ….?any good guesses as to which breaker I would kill? 15 or 20 ?
Look for the 4 screws holding the cover on. Remove the 4 screws, remove the cover, see which breaker has the wire leading to the converter attached to it.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:37 PM   #17
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Be aware that a coffee pot and toaster are not "small" electrical loads. Be sure you have adequate battery storage.
For example, my Keurig draws ~120A from the battery when heating water in the chamber using my 2KW inverter.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:25 AM   #18
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Basically. You need to turn both breakers off!

Option 1. Then add an outlet to the rv somewhere.

The AC is likely more amps than you will have. One battery would only be good for 15 minutes if it did operate.

Or You have to find a way to add another 15 amp breaker for the converter only.

Option 3 Or wire in a switch to turn it off. Or unplug it if possible.

Right now any electric outlets you have are on the circuit with the converter. But the inverter will use the battery to recharge itself. Likel 15 minutes. Or less.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:48 AM   #19
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Basically. You need to turn both breakers off!

Option 1. Then add an outlet to the rv somewhere.

The AC is likely more amps than you will have. One battery would only be good for 15 minutes if it did operate.

Or You have to find a way to add another 15 amp breaker for the converter only.

Option 3 Or wire in a switch to turn it off. Or unplug it if possible.

Right now any electric outlets you have are on the circuit with the converter. But the inverter will use the battery to recharge itself. Likel 15 minutes. Or less.
Most of that post made no sense.
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:41 AM   #20
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Basically. You need to turn both breakers off!

Option 1. Then add an outlet to the rv somewhere.

The AC is likely more amps than you will have. One battery would only be good for 15 minutes if it did operate.

Or You have to find a way to add another 15 amp breaker for the converter only.

Option 3 Or wire in a switch to turn it off. Or unplug it if possible.

Right now any electric outlets you have are on the circuit with the converter. But the inverter will use the battery to recharge itself. Likel 15 minutes. Or less.
OK, I think what you are saying now. The current configuration has 1x 20 amp breaker for the air conditioner, and 1x 15 amp breaker for everything else, outlets and converter. You need to turn of the air conditioner when on the inverter, so that is the 20 amp breaker, no problem.

But you need to turn off the converter, so you would need to replace that single 15 amp breaker with a dual (2x half size) 15 amp breaker, and run the converter to one of the 15 amp, and then everything else to the other 15 amp, so you could kill the converter by itself. If you don't, the converter will be using the inverter output to charge the same battery that the inverter is running from - which definitely does not create a "perpetual motion" situation!
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