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Old 02-10-2009, 06:19 PM   #1
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Whats the low down on inverters? Are they worth the expense and trouble to install with the batteries ect. Or do most people building their own leave them out?
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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It depends on your power needs and where you plan to camp. If you plan to stay in campgrounds with electric hookups your need for large batteries and an inverter is less than if you plan do do lots of boondocking.

We prefer state parks and forest service campgrounds and seldom plug in. For us, the combination of solar panels, large battery bank, and inverter works very well for us. About 95% of our electric needs are met by the batteries/inverter. Only when we need to run the A/C for more than about an hour do we need to run the generator. Our rig is three years old now and we only have 22 hours on the generator.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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can you explain to me your inverter setup. My truck has a converter. the converter is run off the truck batteries. how would I hook an inverter in series with this setup. If you would have a wiring diagram that would be great.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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If I can't hook up to at least 30 amps.......with LED lite and low draw appliances/cycled appliances-one isn't going to need a converter or solar panels as you can run your generator about 1+ hours a day and recharge your battery bank.....I only need my generator at nite to cool the freezer/heat shower hot water/cook in the micro for an hour/adjust the internal temp [fans] and have LED lites till bed time-[if no heat-outside temps 50degrees to 75 degrees]....then I run it all nite-or at least for an hour till I go to sleep....I now have a small generator [3000wt] that is not very loud at all like my ONAN Diesel which is [12,500wt]-the small one shielded properly, can hardly be heard, right next to the truck.....but if you listen real hard you can hear it- on your hands and knees-that is......It makes the same noise as a A/C IMHO.....But I'm sure someone will bitch even if I drop the toilet seat in some parks-I then move on in the AM anyway....they don't need my money - another reason to put the charge on a credit card...geofkaye
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by jj68:
can you explain to me your inverter setup. My truck has a converter. the converter is run off the truck batteries. how would I hook an inverter in series with this setup. If you would have a wiring diagram that would be great.
It is my understanding that a 'converter' is the combination of a high-tech charger and DC power distributor. In other words, the converter will charge your batteries and help manage DC loads. An'inverter', on the other hand, allows you to run AC loads off of your batteries (in addition to charging your batteries).

For more information, including a block diagram of a basic inverter setup, I suggest this site: Xantrex Technology
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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...wait till you see the wholesale/retail price on the "Z" rig......be sure to do your load calculations 3 times and don't make a mistake by even .05%....[but I didn't tell you this].....I carry Z's also-on order for commercial vehicles and between you and me....well,-enough said-.....should you need a price send along a model number and I will spill the beans in public....as I don't really care for inverters/converters.....geofkaye
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:41 AM   #7
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Different strokes for different folks. As I said in my original reply, using an inverter depends on your power requirements and camping preferences.

My Xantrex inverter has served me very well and I have no regrets and like not having to run the generator or plug in on a regular basis. I agree that the load calculation needs to be made but I seriously doubt the system is sensitive to five one hundredths of a percent as you state.

Net: Do the research and select a system that fits your needs.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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.....I can run my generator for years on the money I save by not getting into inverters and converters.....the trick is the choice of appliances and the way/time they are used-not the amount of juice you have stored for conversion to 120vac.....just by using the available systems on today's market makes the INV/CONV obsolete. Next generation of users will have even more economical generation machines......I'd suggest you invest for the next 3 years only and just wait it out till the newer stuff comes to market. just today, I saw generators in the 3-4000 watt range for $250 out the door at Louisville Farm Show. Next year comes the larger alternators and a different kind of generation equipment....nice! stuff.....geofkaye
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:52 PM   #9
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.....I'm not trying to be jerk here-it is your money to spend as you will.....my issue is that I'd like to share info/experience so you can do what you want-at a _reasonable price_ and have a system that lasts 5 years before any changes have to happen....the RV business is _dead_ those still in it are taking a beating every day[check out the $780 billion spending package details on RV taxes to save the industry]my issue is with those that are doing RV stuff today and all 2009....I still like to RV and was today from Cincinshitty to Louisville and back for a Farm show......we took the Conversion and I drove the whole way up and back with out neck/back and other pain that usually happens on the trip.....My concern is to those that are building or have built unites-and how easy it is to change or remodel an RV now and make it cheaper/easier/and longer lasting/economical....other than that-I probably never work on any of your unites-so the personal profit angle is moot issue......geofkaye
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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As Dr Fun mentioned, "Different strokes for different folks,"
I kinda liked the idea of being as versatile as possible. We occasionally go to Northern Minnesquito in the summer and Yuma in the winter, with a lot of dry camping in route & when we get there.
Good insulation is a must (in keeping the electrical load to a minimum).
I liked having a choice of power options, so,...
I opted for a 10K Onan diesel for primary power, 400 watts of solar, and a 3600 Trace inverter/smart charger. My house bank consists of (8) 6V golf cart batteries, the chassis runs on 4 group 31's.
I also carry a Yamaha 2000 inverter/generator (for cloudy days when I need to charge batteries, etc,...) I try not to run the house batts under 11 to 11.5 volts and don't let them sit any length of time in a discharged state. It seems they last for quite a while if I take care of them.
I also set up an inter-connect of sorts, so I can charge both sets of batts from shore or gen power and charge the house batts from the truck alternator. This is manually controlled so as not to overload the alternator.
I have a high efficiency (110V) house refrigerator, convection-microwave, coffee maker, mostly LED lighting, (2) 13.5 BTU AC's, etc,... The inverter will run everything except the AC's (actually, it will run 1 AC for an hour or 2) and I can dry camp, when the weather is reasonable, almost indefinately.
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