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Old 08-09-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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Has anyone put an auto start on their generator. I guess it ties into the charging system.. Have any leads on where to get one?
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:50 PM   #2
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I don't know if you already have an inverter but the autostart feature that I'm familiar with is part of the inverter's control panel.

For example, see: Xantrex RC Control Panel

A well-organized web site for this type of equipment is: Alternate Energy Store
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:29 PM   #3
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....where are you guys dumping the heat from the inverter?...got to be a lot of BTU's......geofkaye
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:26 AM   #4
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In my new Show Hauler the inverter is located in an underneath storage compartment. The compartment is vented and seems the keep the temp under control. We have the auto start function but I have yet to "play" with it. Too many things to look at or read up on.
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:54 PM   #5
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Have a Xantrex, pro-sine 2.0. Guess I would have to upgrade.. something to consider.. Thanx
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Old 08-11-2005, 12:09 AM   #6
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Wick I was wondering about that....I have never used an inverter- as I'm all 120/240 vac or 12 vdc....I wish I knew more about the setup-might be something to think about the next time around......geofkaye
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Old 08-11-2005, 04:40 PM   #7
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The way I hear it, they are a bit of a hassle to wire in (I'm sure a STRONG electrical background would be REAL handy here), but supposedly darn well worth it in terms of convenience of use of 120VAC low-draw items when neither plugged in to "shore" power or genset running.
There's gonna be one in my future rig.....
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Old 08-11-2005, 06:47 PM   #8
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Kaye,
We get the inverter on each coach so the kids can watch tv and use the playstation and microwave when we are dry camping or going down the highway and not have to run the generator.
We have had good luck in the 3 coaches that we have had. We are busy putting on the finishing touches to our new one now.!!!


Wick
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:08 PM   #9
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We sue ours the same way, for tv and the kids. When hooked up it maintains the batteries as well and monitors battery temp and charge. I didn't have one in our old C and I enjoy not running the generator for 110. Better MPG as well
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:17 PM   #10
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Hey Wick,
That is one BEAUTIFUL coach! Actually I caught it on the other thread you posted pictures on. I am IMPRESSED!
Nice rig!
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Old 08-13-2005, 06:29 PM   #11
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Xantrax offers one integral into their Trave SW series as well as they offer a standalone unit for a couple of hundred bucks. I've installed and used both and I don't think that one is better than the other. Very handy to have, especially if you set all of the limits and Quiet time functions properly.

I don't think they are that hard to install, as long as you sit down and read the manual a couple of times. Especially easier to intall if you have a fancier generator that uses a start/stop button, electronic shutdown system, as apposed to a key with a mechanical Murphy shutdown switch.

When using the installing them , I recommend using some relays in between the generator and the inverter so that the inverters relays are only powering the additional relays, instead of a generators starter solenoid etc. If something overloads or shorts it's better to replace a $5 relay than a $2500 inverter.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:56 PM   #12
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Jexcar:.....excellent idea on relays powering relays...should have thought about that myself.....have seen electrical fires on boats because of "odd" wireing and "shortcutting" by boatyard installers and mechanics.....they can be worse than RV service companies and the turnover of mechanics is.....well " IMPRESSIVE"....sorta like Schneider Trucking at IIRC 140% a year....OY!..geofkaye
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:38 PM   #13
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Outback is supposed to be working on a really neat feature for the FX/VFX series that's already on the "Grid Tie" inverters: "generator support".

Basically...you run the generator but if any loads need more than the gennie can do, the inverter will make up the difference. This is a killer solution to the "startup load problem" with air conditioners and the like.

In theory you could run a 13,500btu (maybe even a 15k) on a fuel-sipping little Honda EU2000i (1600w continuous, 2000 peak).

The gennie in question will have to be putting out a CLEAN sine wave - the Honda EU series and other "inverter based generators" from Yamaha, Suzuki ("Robin") and the like should be perfect. A Honda EU2000i works out to net almost triple the fuel efficiency of the most economical Onan 4kw gas models (the 1800rpm variants) and even kick the pants off a lot of diesel gennies in the 6kw or above range.

Outback is working on a firmware upgrade for this...installable at the various alternative energy shows they show up at (see the calendar in their forums) or at their HQ in WA state.

Meanwhile, even without that you can pull a trick: the Outbacks can deal with surges significantly past their "cruising power" for up to 20 minutes plus - the 2800w VFX series can drive 4000w for a bit and they autoswitch over to gennie power REAL fast. So you start a 13.5k aircon on inverter power, run the AC at max for about five minutes, leave it at max so it won't "cycle" and fire up an EU2000i or similar. Transition is seamless. You then turn off the Outback completely via the control panel so it doesn't do battery charging and presto, you're running AC for dirt cheap. If you have any solar panels those are still charging the battery and your 12v systems are still up - for computer use or whatever, drive it with a smaller secondary inverter like a $300 Samlex 600w pure sine.

But...when the "gen support" function is fully debugged, this will be THE hot ticket.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:56 PM   #14
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....JIMM....you got the addy of Outback?...or point me in that direction..geofkaye
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:42 PM   #15
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Best prices I've seen on Outback gear:

http://thesolar.biz/OutBack%20Inverters.htm

Outback's site:

http://www.outbackpower.com/

The forums are a gold mine...their own employees generally answer.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:17 PM   #16
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Just checked the Outback site; VERY impressive.......
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:20 PM   #17
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....Ok you guys have left me in the dust.....I have to wait till college is out for Christmas brake to figure out this one....OY! geofkaye
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:16 AM   #18
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I'm really eager to hear some stories on the Outbacks. I have seen them and considered using them a couple of times.

The story, as I know it, is that Xantrex went around and bought out a bunch of inverter companies (GO!,Trace Heart etc.). When Trace got eaten up the previous owners of trace went out and started Magnum and the engineers left and started Outback. I think that is why you see a lot of innovation in the Outbacks. Magnum and Outback are new Names in the marketplace but I believe they got a lot of experience packed behind them.

I have been using Magnums ever since, and I love them so far, especially from an installation point of view. After years of hooking up Hearts and Traces I finally have an inverter with a decent size access to the AC connections. All of the old brands were nothing but a pain to hookup to and I often had to do all of the connections before I can even mount them.

I like the surge capabilities of the Outbacks but their overall size and their marginally higher cost always pushed me into the Magnums.

I find the idea of using them to supplement AC starts very interesting, but isn't there some concern about overloading these puppies. I mean if you have a gap in the process or a bit of lag, for any of Murphys reasons, you could end up with a locked rotor situation in the AC and that could fry your inverter and/or gennie before the fuses and breakers kick in and save the day, especially if you're running slo-blow DC fuses and delayed AC breakers. I have a really nice bookend that used to be inverter that can prove that can happen.
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:42 PM   #19
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....wish I knew more about electronics.....Oh Well! Next Life....geofkaye
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:16 PM   #20
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I've done a fair share of research on inverters. I'm was going to put in a prosine 2.0 but got a good deal on a rv2512 on ebay. Xantrex has a new one out the rs model. You can get a gen start for most models, however customer service at xantrex told me it will only work with Onan quiet diesel 7.5, 8, 10 and 12. He said you might be able to wire it for a different gen. For what it is worth. RV add on has the best price on prosine 2.0 $1349 del. http://www.rvaddons.com/default.asp?cmd=displayproduct&...ken=OLESLFOVKJA1 KZ8I

Anyone wired a genstart to a different gen other than an onan quiet diesel? I think Inverter, golfcart batteries, solar panels and a generator are the way to go.
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