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Author Topic: inverter  (Read 2061 times)
tony
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« on: February 25, 2011, 10:12:23 AM »

i need to put the ? a little diff with more details  i have a 1980 mci buse i have wired it for 120 volt and i have an 8k des generator i am looking at an inverter on ebat 4 or 5 k  24 volt to 120 volt my fridge will run on gas or electric i have a roof air that is electric 120 volt 20 amp would it be better to just use the gen when i am going down the road or an inverter and do you think the ones on ebay would work they cost about 500 thanks tony
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Sean
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 10:47:02 AM »

You probably don't want to run an absorption fridge on battery power.  If you are concerned about using LP while driving, then running the electric element from an inverter is a good option, but make certain you switch to LP when you stop.

As for the A/C, hard to answer without knowing more about what inverter you are looking at.  You need a true sine wave model to run induction motors, and I would guess that the $500 model from eBay is MSW instead.

Whether you want to run your generator while driving vs. using an inverter off the alternator is a personal choice.  If you already have the inverter, because you need it for boondocking or whatever, then it's an easier decision, because you've already got the hardware.  It always takes less fuel to power things from the main engine alternator than from a separate generator.

-Sean
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 11:40:21 AM »

(snip)  I would guess that the $500 model from eBay is MSW instead.  (snip)

Yeah, in comparison to everything I've seen, this looks like a "something for nothing" situation.  I know that people sell good things for cheap prices on EBay but this is "too good".  You *may* get an inverter that will take alternator output and run an A/C and other things, but it just doesn't seem likely.  If it's a "4K inverter" that is actually 4K peak/2K continuous (often sold on EBay), then it might not run a 120v/20A air con at all; if it does, there won't be any extra power to run other things (microwave, fridge, etc.)
And it just doesn't make much sense to use a non-code-approved inverter in a vehicle; even if it doesn't burn up (and take your bus with it), you'll get lots of heat from insurance companies, valuation co's, when trying to sell, etc.

Find a quality inverter that's properly sized to your needs with known feeds for the amount of watts your alternator can supply compared to how many watts you need to supply -- and is approved for vehicle use -- and see what that's like in comparison to this.  I'm guessing that this EBay unit will fall short.
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 11:56:24 AM »

I have read that with the modified inverters they can handle small loads pretty well but a pure sine wave inverter needs to be nearly maxed and smaller loads will burn them up quicker. I dont know how true this is and hopefully people with knowledge/experience will comment on that, but I "believe" it would be something to consider in buying one of the cheaper off brands........
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Sean
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2011, 12:01:44 PM »

I have read that with the modified inverters they can handle small loads pretty well but a pure sine wave inverter needs to be nearly maxed and smaller loads will burn them up quicker.

This is complete balderdash and I would guess that whoever provided you that information has something to sell.

In fact, almost all inverters are more efficient at lighter loads.

FWIW, I have a 4kW inverter and it mostly runs the internet and the clocks on the microwave and coffee pots all day, less than 150 watts.  The only time it ever sees 4kW is when we are running down the road with two air conditioners running.

-Sean
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011, 03:53:11 PM »

HCB, Psw are generally slightly less efficient than msw under similar power usage levels... and large inverters (say for example 2000w or higher) are often less efficient than smaller inverters (say 500w or so) when they are under no load, or standby power consumption.
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 04:13:33 PM »

Everyday I am thankful for the knowledge and sharing in this group! Thanks guys!
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 05:24:41 PM »

Something else I needed to do on our bus.

I moved a cruise air, the front one, over to an inverter a 2500 w 24 v Heart. I have to manage my loads while doing it but i felt it was a compromise I was willing to make for the added comfort. if Deb wants the micro or a curling iron I have to momentarily turn it off for those larger intermitten loads. All the other constant loads are small and combined do not overload it.

So that all works great.

The problem arises when you go to shore or gen and your camping. Because all the a/c current still flows thru the inverter when it is in charging mode that makes everything too inconvenient to be managing around when camping specifically all the big draw stuff like the kitchen appliances we do not do going down the road.

I ran the power source with a switch thru a relay and solenoid. So when we are NOT underway I can get that cruise air off that inverter circut and back where it belongs so we can use most of the appliances that are on that inverter circut at will and as designed.

Does that make sense I hope?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 05:28:14 PM by Joe Camper » Logged

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Sean
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2011, 12:26:55 PM »

... Psw are generally slightly less efficient than msw under similar power usage levels...

That's only true for 100% resistive loads.  If there is any inductance at all, MSW is always less efficient than SW.  And, as I have written here many times, induction motors should never be run on MSW; if they don't burn up outright, they (and thus the inverter) will use 10%-20% more power than on SW.  That would include air conditioners as well as household refrigerators.

-Sean
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2011, 01:32:31 PM »

We have a Trace MSW inverter.  It is very useful, but has its limitations. Of course, we do not use it for an motors so airing up with the aux compressor requires the generator.  I will use it for the microwave sometimes, but the microwave sounds to me like it's laboring, so I tend to turn on the generator if it is to run more than a minute or so.
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2011, 01:33:24 PM »

Kind of a related question.  If you are running the air conditioner through the inverter off the engine generator,  do you need any additional regulation for the generator?  We attached the generator feed through an isolator to the house batteries  and a magnetic switch.  This way we can either hook the house batteries into the bus feed or leave it off.  Is there anything else that would be better?

Don and Cary
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2011, 07:02:11 PM »

Tony, If you add some periods to the ends of sentences and capitalize the first word it will be a lot easier for us to read your posts.
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2011, 06:31:33 AM »

Don that discription matches ours.

1 large alternator for the chassis and the house also works great for us.

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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 01:04:29 PM »

I have been looking at some inverters. My ? is do all of them have 3 prong plugs for the 110 side or do they have some for direct wire with electrical lugs like what is on the 12v side.
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Sean
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 03:52:17 PM »

I have been looking at some inverters. My ? is do all of them have 3 prong plugs for the 110 side or do they have some for direct wire with electrical lugs like what is on the 12v side.

Whole-RV inverters are hard-wired on the AC side.  The ones with direct receptacles can only be installed directly at the point of use (for example, to run a television set).

-Sean
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2011, 04:08:06 PM »

Ok I just got back from camping world and all they had was Xantrex inverter/chargers with 3 prong outlets , everything on ebay has 3 prong outlets. Am I missing something here. Are they special order for one with electrical lugs on the 110 side.
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2011, 04:16:46 PM »

Check this site one of many http://www.theinverterstore.com/
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Sean
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2011, 04:35:40 PM »

Ok I just got back from camping world and all they had was Xantrex inverter/chargers with 3 prong outlets , everything on ebay has 3 prong outlets. Am I missing something here. Are they special order for one with electrical lugs on the 110 side.

Tons of inverters with proper connections available from the retailers who service the RV industry.  That would not include eBay (although you can sometimes find RV inverters there) and it also, sorry to say, does not include Camping World stores, who generally do not carry anything on the shelf that requires serious expertise to install.

That said, CW does have several suitable models in the catalog, such as:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/prosine-2-0-invertercharger-wtrue-sinewave/22149
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/product/freedom-sw-sine-wave-inverterchargers/9313
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/product/freedom-inverterchargers/1771

Lots of dealers are also in the alternative power business, so if you search on solar power you will come up some retailers.  Better to research the make and model that suits you first, then go looking for a dealer.

-Sean
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