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 > Installing an inverter in my Winndbago Journey

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warrenjo46

Matthews, NC

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Posted: 08/16/20 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I decided I would like to have 120 AC available in my motorhome when I am not on shore power without running the generator. I bought a 2500 Watt inverter on line and a 50 amp automatic transfer switch. Installing the inverter and the transfer switch became complicated due to space considerations.

I decided I could install just the inverter but I wanted to make absolutely certain I did not connect the inverter and shore power or generator at the same time. I know that would not be a happy event. But I wanted the inverter to power outlets inside the MH. I needed a way to wire the inverter into the AC system of the MH that would be fool proof. That is why the automatic transfer switch seemed necessary.

I have an epiphany at 3:00 an. Just install the inverter in the compartment with the 50 amp shore power cord. Use a 50 to 30 amp adapter and 30 to 20 amp adapter to connect the shore power cord to the inverter whenever I disconnect the shore power. That way I cannot connect the shore power and the inverter at the same. The automatic transfer switch already in the MH will insure that the generator will not connect when the inverter is providing AC.

I am returning the new automatic transfer switch I purchased for this installation and saving $150.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 08/16/20 05:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are connected to shore power why you you need your inverter?

Are you confusing inverters and converters?


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pianotuna

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Posted: 08/16/20 05:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many of us do simply add a female RV outlet and then power that from the inverter.

Which inverter did you purchase?


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My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

corvettekent

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Posted: 08/16/20 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just be sure to install your inverter close to your batteries to keep the 12 volt DC lines short. Then you can run a 12 AWG power cord to your 50 amp plug. You can buy a 50 amp - 15 amp adapter.


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time2roll

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Posted: 08/16/20 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes that works.


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EV2

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Posted: 08/17/20 04:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One consideration when plugging the shore power cord into the inverter is to turn off the 110 breaker for the converter/charger. If this is not done, the converter will attempt to charge the batteries that supply the inverter. This loop will either use excessive energy at a minimum or trip the inverter. We have labeled our 110 breakers for the converter charger and air conditioning and turn them off whenever plugging into the inverter. Works perfectly. Also may wish to avoid using the microwave.
(Highly recommend a pure sine wave inverter when doing this.)

wa8yxm

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Posted: 08/17/20 05:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah the poor man's transfer switch.
Be sure to SHUT OFF the converter when you do that.

NOTEL many inverters of that size class are Inverter/Chargers with built in transfer switch Here is how you wire them on the 120 volt side.

30 amp braker in main box----inverter/charger---Sub panel with breakers

The sub panel feeds the TV and related. Bedroom (usually not on mine)
And other essential outlets (This laptop)

it does nto feed Water heater. A/C Fridge or converter.


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tropical36

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Posted: 08/17/20 08:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

warrenjo46 wrote:

I decided I would like to have 120 AC available in my motorhome when I am not on shore power without running the generator. I bought a 2500 Watt inverter on line and a 50 amp automatic transfer switch. Installing the inverter and the transfer switch became complicated due to space considerations.

I decided I could install just the inverter but I wanted to make absolutely certain I did not connect the inverter and shore power or generator at the same time. I know that would not be a happy event. But I wanted the inverter to power outlets inside the MH. I needed a way to wire the inverter into the AC system of the MH that would be fool proof. That is why the automatic transfer switch seemed necessary.

I have an epiphany at 3:00 an. Just install the inverter in the compartment with the 50 amp shore power cord. Use a 50 to 30 amp adapter and 30 to 20 amp adapter to connect the shore power cord to the inverter whenever I disconnect the shore power. That way I cannot connect the shore power and the inverter at the same. The automatic transfer switch already in the MH will insure that the generator will not connect when the inverter is providing AC.

I am returning the new automatic transfer switch I purchased for this installation and saving $150.

Having a transfer switch, would present even more problems, with forgetting to shed non-inverter loads.
What you have now, by simply plugging into the inverter with the power cord is the simplest
Naturally, you must remember to open certain breakers first, so they won't try and run off of the inverter.

A/C units.
Water Heater.
Converter.
Diesel block heater.
RV fridge, if applicable.

Microwave will run just fine, but not for long without depleting the batteries.

Since your inverter is plenty large enough, what do you have for house batteries???

Biggest disadvantage with your setup, is for not being able to use it, going down the road with the alternator keeping things charged.
Well, unless you can find a way for running the power cord inside.


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warrenjo46

Matthews, NC

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Posted: 08/23/20 04:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EV2 wrote:

One consideration when plugging the shore power cord into the inverter is to turn off the 110 breaker for the converter/charger. If this is not done, the converter will attempt to charge the batteries that supply the inverter. This loop will either use excessive energy at a minimum or trip the inverter. We have labeled our 110 breakers for the converter charger and air conditioning and turn them off whenever plugging into the inverter. Works perfectly. Also may wish to avoid using the microwave.
(Highly recommend a pure sine wave inverter when doing this.)


I agree it is a difficult to remember to disconnect the converter when plugging the shore power into the inverter. I think I have a solution. I intend to install a normally closed relay in the power to to the converter (battery charger). I then will wire the relay to open whenever the inverter is turned on.

The downside to this approach is if I forget to turn off the inverter when I unplug the shore power from the inverter then the batteries will not charge when shore power is plugged into land power.

warrenjo46

Matthews, NC

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Posted: 09/13/20 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EV2 wrote:

One consideration when plugging the shore power cord into the inverter is to turn off the 110 breaker for the converter/charger. If this is not done, the converter will attempt to charge the batteries that supply the inverter. This loop will either use excessive energy at a minimum or trip the inverter. We have labeled our 110 breakers for the converter charger and air conditioning and turn them off whenever plugging into the inverter. Works perfectly. Also may wish to avoid using the microwave.
(Highly recommend a pure sine wave inverter when doing this.)

Yes I did purchase a pure sine wave inverter (2500W).

I will install a normally closed relay in the power to the converter that will be energized to open when the inverter is turned on. That will prevent the converter from trying to charge the batteries with power drawn from the batteries.

My only problem with this plan is "where is the converter?"

After looking at several wiring diagrams and schematics I discovered that the converter is located under the refrigerator behind the grill that looks like the cold air return for the furnace. Since motorhomes are very compact manufacturers need to tuck devices into unexpected places.

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