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Old 08-08-2015, 02:10 PM   #1
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Inverter suggestions...

I am looking at getting a inverter to run my TV, Direct TV Receiver/DVR and SWM Power supply. I don't plan on running anything else with it. I have not calculated my wattage yet, but I will next time I time I take the trailer out. My Power distribution panel is right next to the TV. I am hoping that my current draw will be low enough that I could wire it directly to a spare DC circuit.

I am looking for suggestions and experiences. There seems to be a ton of brands and types out there. Should I spent the extra money to get the true sign wave type, or is the modified sign wave sufficient?
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:44 AM   #2
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Many things can run on a modified, but all things can run on a true sine wave, so I went that way. If your inverter budget is around $350, the Xantrex SW2000 has been doing well for us so far. It is enough to run your outlets, TVs and the things you listed, and even microwave.
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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Won't go wrong with Xantrex. There may be other reputable brands out there, but they seem to be one of the best.

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Old 08-21-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
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Don't skimp, get pure sine wave (PSW) as your first inverter. Bypass all the "Will it work off a modified sine wave?" dilemmas you will encounter. Your load demand sounds small so a 300 watt one should work fine. Although I don't know what an SWM power supply is; does it have a heating element or large fan on it?

There are many reputable 300 watt PSW inverters. Morningstar gets great reviews because it does not use a cooling fan and is therefore always silent. Most use a fan that is quite audible when it is running. I think the Morningstar does not use an AC outlet, it must be hard wired to something. Most wire it to the AC panel, although I suppose you could just wire it to an AC outlet from the hardware store.

I don't recommend wiring it to your DC panel for the 12V supply, you will be limited by the long wire length from the batteries to the DC panel and you won't be able to get max performance out of the inverter due to voltage drops when under high load. Why get a nice inverter if you're just going to starve it for input power? Install it as close to the batteries as possible and use the largest diameter wire that the inverter power input can accept. Although for 300 watts you may only need to go up to 4 gauge, as long as it is installed close to the batteries.

I gambled and bought a cheap PSW inverter off ebay for only like $75. It works great. The fan was getting a little loud after a couple years, but I dropped some machine oil into the fan axle and now it is nice and quiet again. We just plug our shore power cord directly into the inverter's AC outlet via a dogbone 30A to 15A adapter and make sure the converter is disabled. I also switch off breakers to the air con, microwave, and electric WH just to ensure they don't accidentally get switched on and overload the inverter. This method makes all of the AC outlets in the TT live so it is just like you are plugged in to shore power or a generator, but you are limited on how much load you can pull based on the inverter's capacity. I can run mine right up to the 300 watt continuous rating. We also have a 1500 watt PSW inverter wired up and the 300W one shares the same 0 gauge power supply wiring. The small inverter is more efficient and usually sufficient for our needs, so it gets used the majority of the time.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
We just plug our shore power cord directly into the inverter's AC outlet via a dogbone 30A to 15A adapter and make sure the converter is disabled. I also switch off breakers to the air con, microwave, and electric WH just to ensure they don't accidentally get switched on and overload the inverter. This method makes all of the AC outlets in the TT live so it is just like you are plugged in to shore power or a generator, but you are limited on how much load you can pull based on the inverter's capacity. .
Thanks, this was my next question. I figured hooking this up to the shore power cord would be convenient and safe. This way you could never turn on shore power while the inverter was supplying power.

I think I am going to get this one.. Amazon.com: Xantrex 806-1210 PROwatt 1000 SW Inverter: GPS & Navigation

I have decided to install it in the front storage compartment. This way, I will have a short run to the battery. I will be able to mount it on the ceiling and it will be out of the way. The fuses and disconnect that I will install with it will be easily accessed when needed.


The SWM power supply is the power needed for the Dish LBN's. The wattage should be minimal.

I'll ask this question in this thread....
I am converting to 2 6V Golf cart batteries.. My current converter is the stock one that came with my TT. It is a WFCO 65amp model. Will I need to upgrade this to charge my batteries in a timely manor? Or should I start looking to upgrade to a larger convertor with more power to charge. (I am hoping not to since I am already WAY over budget this year for my upgrades since I bought my new generator!)
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by EricNSTL View Post
I am converting to 2 6V Golf cart batteries.. My current converter is the stock one
I have 4 or Interstate 6 volt batteries. I don't like them. I have had them in the past. I didn't like them. The best thing to use IMO are AGM batteries. They will last you much longer. You don't need to put them in a battery box. You can mount them anywhere in any position. I love the ones in my truck camper. They are so much better.

They cost twice as much but are 10 times better. Do yourself a favor and get two of these. You will love them.

Arlan

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:02 PM   #7
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Your stock converter will work fine. Although WFCO are notorious for never going into boost (14.4 V) charging mode like they are supposed to. That means it takes much longer to bring depleted batteries back up to 100%.

It's critical that you have a way to turn the converter off if you're going to plug the shore power cord into the inverter like I described.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:48 AM   #8
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Keep a close eye on the converter. Yes it will work to charge 2x6v battery system. However as ewarnerusa pointed out they have a hard time getting into max charging mode. I would plan on eventually replacing it with something better down the road. FWIW I have one of the low end WFCO units and it just crapped out. It is getting replaced with a Progressive Dynamics unit that has 4 stage charging, more 12v circuits and more 120v circuits. Not to mention it puts out more power.

WFCO does not have a great reputation for durability either. Yes there are some that will last for years on end, then there are some like my buddy that is on his 3rd one in 2 years. I didn't want to waste my time with them, so I went ahead and upgraded. FWIW my unit is still under warranty, but I did not want the hassle of having to deal with WFCO and a dealer, and have my trailer unavailable to camp in for 4-6 weeks minimum while they pissed around getting it replaced under warranty.

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Old 08-30-2015, 02:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Keep a close eye on the converter. Yes it will work to charge 2x6v battery system. However as ewarnerusa pointed out they have a hard time getting into max charging mode. I would plan on eventually replacing it with something better down the road. FWIW I have one of the low end WFCO units and it just crapped out. It is getting replaced with a Progressive Dynamics unit that has 4 stage charging, more 12v circuits and more 120v circuits. Not to mention it puts out more power.

WFCO does not have a great reputation for durability either. Yes there are some that will last for years on end, then there are some like my buddy that is on his 3rd one in 2 years. I didn't want to waste my time with them, so I went ahead and upgraded. FWIW my unit is still under warranty, but I did not want the hassle of having to deal with WFCO and a dealer, and have my trailer unavailable to camp in for 4-6 weeks minimum while they pissed around getting it replaced under warranty.

Aaron
I checked my voltage today and it was 13.65. Not sure if the batts were discharged enough to call for the 14.4 volts, but I will check next weekend while I am out.

Luckily I have a 50 amp service, so when the time comes, its just changing out the power supply, not the whole distribution panel.


I with you on the warrantee stuff, just easier to put a quality product in yourself, vs the idiots at the dealership. May cost a little more, but the only time I would be without my trailer for 4-6 weeks would be the dead of winter.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:54 AM   #10
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The 13.6 V is all you'll ever see, that's their problem.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
The 13.6 V is all you'll ever see, that's their problem.
From what I gather in my readings...

Is that the WFCO does not like to go into boost mode. It takes several things to force it. 1) Very low batteries, like below 50% (not particularly good for the battery). 2) a HUGE wire from the battery to the converter with the run as short as possible. Then and only then it MIGHT go into boost mode. IMHO the ONLY reason that most OEM use the WFCO is because they sell them cheap and have a warehouse full of them ready to ship on demand.

In additional research the Iota, Progressive Dynamics and Parallax are all better units. The main reason I chose the PD was because it is a direct swap for the WFCO, and has better features all the way around for ~$40 more than a WFCO replacement. Does WFCO work? Yes, to a point, until the fail, or you get tired of having to wait for the batteries to recover. FWIW when my battery craps out in the next year or two I am probably going dual 6v, not sure I can justify the cost of AGM, but dual 6 volts I can justify.

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Old 08-30-2015, 02:12 PM   #12
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We just plug our shore power cord directly into the inverter's AC outlet via a dogbone 30A to 15A adapter and make sure the converter is disabled. I also switch off breakers to the air con, microwave, and electric WH just to ensure they don't accidentally get switched on and overload the inverter. This method makes all of the AC outlets in the TT live so it is just like you are plugged in to shore power or a generator, but you are limited on how much load you can pull based on the inverter's capacity.
That's the ticket... I've been wanting to get an inverter so I can watch DirecTV at night in the Fall when I don't need to run the generator for the AC, but I wasn't sure about how to wire it to the trailer. Great work around!!!
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