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NanMWright

Inverter Recommendations

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Hi Folks,

I haven't completed my electric usage inventory yet, but I think I can get away with a 500 or 1000 watt inverter. I have a Forest River Sunseeker and I'm mostly concerned about keeping my electronics charged - laptop, tablet, phone and regular use of my microwave (I don't cook much.).  I will be dry camping for a week or more at a time.

Can anyone recommend a reliable and affordable inverter?  There are just too many online to know what I'm really getting. I know I need Pure Sine, but otherwise I'm a little lost.

Thanks,   Nan

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1000 watts will not run your micro.  Even it it would batteries will drain fast due to high current draw.

I would recommend at least a 2000w inverter so you have some margin for later additions.   And solar would certainly reduce generator run time.

Lenp

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If you're deciding between 500 and 1000, then you probably need 1000. The ultimate decision is going to be based on what your battery bank can support, as there's no use having a very large inverter if you only have a tiny battery bank.

Try and find a good quality unit, not something cheap off Amazon with no one standing behind it. We got ours from http://www.donrowe.com/    and they seem to have knowledgeable people that can help you decide what best suits your needs. Location of installation as well as proper cables to batteries are both very important. You want to keep your cables as short as possible and to use a large enough cable to carry the full amount of DC current needed to produce the AC.

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10 hours ago, NanMWright said:

Hi Folks,

I haven't completed my electric usage inventory yet, but I think I can get away with a 500 or 1000 watt inverter. I have a Forest River Sunseeker and I'm mostly concerned about keeping my electronics charged - laptop, tablet, phone and regular use of my microwave (I don't cook much.).  I will be dry camping for a week or more at a time.

Can anyone recommend a reliable and affordable inverter?  There are just too many online to know what I'm really getting. I know I need Pure Sine, but otherwise I'm a little lost.

Thanks,   Nan

Welcome back. I would recommend something over 1000 Watt. The reason is  somethings have a higher draw when they start and you may want to upgrade your system latter. Just because it is capable of 1000 or 1500 watts  doesn't mean it will be drawing that much all the time. It could be as little as 2 charging your phone.

Bill

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First of all, a generator will run a microwave...go with one that can also charge your batteries and as Richard said a good 1000 inverter...you'll be fine! 

How's the health doing?  Welcome back!!!

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Simple answer really depends on whether your coach has a built-in generator.  If so, it can provide all your electrical needs, both 120 VAC and through your built-in converter keep your batteries (at least house bank) charged.

Tell us more about how your coach is "electrically equipped" including size of house battery bank and we can be of more assistance.

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Brett.

Had to go back to August 2017.  She has a 26 foot, Class C, Forest River.  I will presume that it came with a Onen 2.5 0r 4 KW generator!

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Side note. FMCA conventions have put in a restriction on generators.

They, at this time for now, must be permanently mounted in the RV not put on the ground or on an outside rack. This was from on EB member. 

Herman 

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13 hours ago, hermanmullins said:

Side note. FMCA conventions have put in a restriction on generators.

They, at this time for now, must be permanently mounted in the RV not put on the ground or on an outside rack. This was from on EB member. 

Herman 

This is written somewhere as I have read it. What this restriction will do is play havoc with the towables that do not have nor want a mounted generator.

Is this a "shoot yourself in the foot" thing?

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And the beat goes on!  The last 2 years, has been nothing short of Confusing!!!

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This is just my opinion. Once when in Perry, there was a vendor in a Fifth Wheel with a generator literally hanging off the back of his unit. He was parked in the 24 Hour Gen Lot. Everyone of his neighbor complained of the noise. We ended up putting him on and 30 amp electric without water or sewer away from everyone. So possibly that may have caused the restriction. I don't know for sure, just my speculation.  This was before there were any talk about towables.

Herman

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if you have ever camped at a NASCAR race beside folks with generators on the ground or on an outside rack, you will immediately understand why FMCA conventions have put in a restriction on the use of external generators.

Whether or not these are in use beside Motorhomes, trailers or fivers, these generally inexpensive big store bought generators lack proper mufflers and are extremely loud. 

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Thanks for all the guidance.  It's taken me almost a year of full-timing to get the hang of efficient dry camping. With judicious use of my generator, I may not need a super-sized inverter. And once I'm out of the rainy, foggy Northwest, I'll consider one of the suitcase solar setups.

My mechanic suggests that I'll have better/faster recharge of house batteries if I run the Ford engine rather than the Onan onboard generator.  Any thoughts?  The engine is quieter than the generator...

(Thanks for welcoming me back. One of my blue heelers died while on the road with me up in Canada, and then I broke my right foot...the one I use for the accelerator. :huh:  It slowed me down.)

Nan 

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45 minutes ago, NanMWright said:

My mechanic suggests that I'll have better/faster recharge of house batteries if I run the Ford engine rather than the Onan onboard generator.  Any thoughts?  The engine is quieter than the generator...

It all depends...

How many amps output does your engine's alternator have? Are you currently setup to charge the house batteries from your main engine?

What size charger do you have plugged in and running when the Onan is running? Not sure which Onan you have and how big the output is, so it's hard for us to really give an accurate answer, but I'd imagine that you could easily charge your house batteries from a charger plugged into an outlet powered by the Onan.

Deep cycle house batteries should be charged at about 10% of the total capacity. For example, if you had a 12v battery bank which had a capacity of 500 Ah, then you would want a charging rate of 50 amps. Most generators should be able to power such a charger.

However, if you are trying to charge the house batteries using the built-in charging circuit in the Onan, then we have a totally different story. That will probably have a woefully inadequate charge rate and not be up to the task. If this is how your generator is setup, I'd suggest adding a real battery charger separate from the built-in charging circuit.

In my opinion if your charger is sized correctly to your batteries and working properly, it would be preferable to run the generator rather than the main engine. Not only will the generator burn far less fuel, it will save countless hours of idle time on the main engine which only adds to wear & tear and will accelerate your maintenance schedule.

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Nan,

Sorry for the loss of you dog. Hope the foot has healed enough to head South.

We have all gone around and around and failed to ask you on important question. What make is your coach, year, model and engine you have. This will help better answer your question. You may already have adequate equipment and just need some fine tuning or you may need more or different equipment.

Let us know.

Herman  

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Herman,

I have a 2007 Forest River Sunseeker Class C on a Ford 450 chassis with an Onan 4000 generator.  I have two 12v deep cycle house batteries mounted in parallel. After reading Richard5933's post, I realize I have a poor understanding of the way my rig is wired.

When I'm not on hookups, I have no working outlets...so from that I assume I have no onboard inverter like the more recent RV models. I do have a 12v receptacle (i.e., cigarette lighter receptacle) on my wall so I can plug in an inverter with lower wattage. The higher wattage - 1500w and up - only come with clips and I have no convenient way to clip directly on to the batteries.

I can charge my laptop, tablet, phone, kindle on a 500w external inverter and recharge my house batteries while running the generator in the mornings. As others have suggested, use that generator time to have coffee and nuk any microwave foods.  Perhaps the solution to my question about inverters can be solved as simply as this. I don't use a TV an I can forgo the furnace until next winter. 

Thanks again for the responses.    Nancy

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Nan.

Your rig has a generator, charger and converter...the converter gives out 12V DC to run your Furnace Fan, Water Pump and all internal Lights.  The charger is 120V AC for your Microwave, Batteries for house, TV , fridge...This is per the wiring diagram for a 2007 FR Sunseeker, Class C, 2600 (26 foot)!

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55 minutes ago, manholt said:

Nan.

Your rig has a generator, charger and converter...the converter gives out 12V DC to run your Furnace Fan, Water Pump and all internal Lights.  The charger is 120V AC for your Microwave, Batteries for house, TV , fridge...This is per the wiring diagram for a 2007 FR Sunseeker, Class C, 2600 (26 foot)!

Do you mean charger to run the microwave or charger/inverter?

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Richard,

On our first coach we only had a Converter/Charger. To operate the TV, Microwave or coffee pot you either had to be on shore power or have the generator running. It served us well till we found about coaches with Inverters. We can now dry camp with the refrigerator running and coffee ready when we wake up. Now I do run the gen. for about 1 hour before we retire and again when we getup. It's like wearing a belt with suspenders just to be on the safe side.:)

Herman 

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Even with my set up, if dry camping and on inverter, the generator will turn on when batteries run down and recharge them...As long as I have useable fuel. 1/4 tank or more!

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I have had a couple of motorhomes that had the charger/converters without an inverter.   The charger/inverter charging capacity was pitiful, I'm thinking it was less than 10 amps.  I installed a 50A stand alone battery charger and the 4500 watt generator meet all of my needs.

Jim

  

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