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Questions on installing an inverter


Mike in Va
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I'm wanting to install a 1500 watt inverter in my 2001 Holiday Rambler mh. Currently there's no place to power my tv, laptop or anything else with 120 volts without running the generator or shore power. I know the instructions say the inverter needs to be installed as close to the batteries as possible, but I have a question. If I install the inverter close to my batteries I will need to run wires about 35 feet to the front and through the front wall of the mh to mount a plug in receptacle. There is currently a 2/X wire from the cabin batteries to a lug in the front bay under the drivers seat that supplies power to the front of the coach. This wire is protected with an inline 130 amp fuses. Would it be safe to connect the wire running to the inverter from the lug in the front bay to the inverter? I could mount the inverter in the driver cockpit area with 5 ft of wire and plug directly into the inverter. I would use all necessary inline fuses from the front lug to the inverter. Not trying to make an unsafe situation, just wondering if this would be an option. 

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When you said 2/X wire - did you mean 2/0 (I am assuming so).
 

The 130a fuse * 12v - is about 1500 watts. You would probably be better off with a 1000 or 1200 watt inverter, but you probably could use the 1500w inverter- but just not all of it. You may want to have on hand an extra 130a fuse. Just remember that’s everything flowing down that wire - so lights, pumps all reduce the amount of 120v power you can make. 
 

also what kind and size of batteries do you have. You may have difficulty pulling that many amps out of your batteries. 
 

it is not ideal to run large currents for long distances- you get voltage drop. But you probably could try it - just test with a multimeter to see if you are getting too much voltage drop (and warm wires).

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For small loads such as your laptop charger, you may consider a car inverter that plugs into your 12v round plug. They make ~400w inverters that draw a small amount of 12v Amps to charge things like your laptop.

I'm in the middle of an inverter/battery project on my 2000 Windsor 32PB. There's a lot to consider when you start looking at bulk power like you need to run inverters.
Do you have a 110v wiring diagram for your coach? Are there any Romex runs to a location where a factory inverter would have been installed?

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I installed a small 1000 W PSW inverter as a spare and if I want I can power my refrigerator off of it.  I installed it in my bedroom TV box.  This was close to a 12volt 2/0 power source.  I redid one circuit coming from my main service panel, adding an outlet I can plug the inverter into and/or plug in the original circuit wire going to behind the refrigerator.  I just wired in a power strip off the inverter that I can plug the refrigerator circuit into and/or the TV in the bedroom or other stuff. 

The inverter I selected can also help charge the batteries and does have an internal transfer switch, meaning it plugged in it will work off shore power, unplugged it inverts off the battery.  I mostly installed this as a spare, I had trouble with my main inverter circuit last year and had to cut a trip short. 

So you might look at your wiring,   If you already have a circuit running to the front for the TV and outlets you may be able add an inverter near the batteries and rewire it to tie into that circuit.  If it is a 20 amp circuit it would have 12 awg wire, so it could carry a 2000 watt inverter.  Wiring is fairly straight forward.  I did put a 12 volt disconnect on that circuit so I can completely shut off the power to it.

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I've been using a 375 watt inverter for the tv, a small fan and a few other small items but never at the same time.  The wires connecting the 375 inverter to the power outlet were larger then the wires coming to the power outlet from the fuse panel so I was concerned about putting too much draw on it. My coach had 2- 210 ah batteries in it but they were 5 years old. I decided to replace them and add 2 more 210 ah batteries for a total of 4 and that's the reason I am wanting to place an inverter in the coach. The computer my wife uses takes 360 watts to run so I wanted to be able to plug in the tv {45 watts] and the mobile internet at the same time. This would total maybe 500 watts. Our small coffee maker does use 1400 watts, so I would like to use it in the morning without starting the generator. We don't boondock a lot but we do have 2 places that don't allow generators from 10-6 and10-8 am. That's why I added the 2 extra batteries for having more power longer. My wife still does a little work while we are on the road and once I had to run the generator coming home just to power the computer. Its not that the generator cost that much to use just tying to find a better way. I don't plan on powering the refrigerator from the invertor, use propane while on the road. If I mount the inverter in the baggage compartment I could run an extension cord to the frig if need be. Looks like it might be safer to mount it in the bay beside the batteries and run 6 wires forward and mount 2 receptacles in the front of the coach. I don't want to install anything that's unsafe.   Thanks    

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