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Wiring a power inverter


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Not exactly jeep but I figure you guys would know. I have an rv and just bought a 3300 watt inverter. I want to use it just run the tv, game system or computers when I need to. I don't need it to run the entire rv. The RV people are telling me this won't work. I think they're wrong. It needs to be directly wired to the battery which is a deep cycle. It has three outlets on it which would run the tv or game system or computer or perhaps all three. Once in the morning it would run the coffee maker. They are saying that I need more than one battery to do this.


Have I wasted my money? Can I do what I want to do with this inverter? I know it needs to be as close to the battery as possible but not in the same compartment. Not a problem. I can figure that out.


Anybody here know if this will work?

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I'd guess the RV people are saying it "won't work" in the sense that they think you won't have enough energy in one battery to run the devices you want without having to start the engine to recharge constantly. Several factors will affect your runtime; the power draw of your devices (for example, a LCD TV uses much less power than an old-fashioned CRT), the efficiency of your inverter, the amount of energy (amp-hours) your battery is rated for at full charge, etc. If you can gather all those numbers together, you should be able to calculate your expected runtime, to see if you need to add more batteries, and if so, how many and how big.

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We had a big ice storm in northeast Indiana this winter, and my power was out for 5 days. I ran my 42" plasma tv, my PS3, my laptop, my refrigerator and a propane salamander off of a 750 watt inverter hooked up to my 90' XJ. I was running it most of the time, but ran a few things at a time off battery power for a little while at a time. (2 hours or so.) Check the manual to be sure, but most inverters will kick off when the battery gets down to like 10 volts. That's still plenty to start your rig. especially with a deep cycle battery. Those inverters are more efficient than most people give them credit for. So there's my take on it as someone who has actually used one, not someone just talking with no experience on the subject. Good luck bud!


She wasn't a very efficient Generator, but my old XJ did me right! I had her running like 18-20 hrs. a day for 4 days!

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The battery that the inverter will be attached to is separate from the one used to start the RV. The inverter DOES have a safety that will switch it off once the battery is drained to a certain point.


You're probably right about them saying it won't work. They probably do mean that I need another battery which I could put in the compartment with the one I have.


Right now, the "house" battery only charges when the generator or motor is running. I need to figure how how to hook it up to charge when the rv is plugged into power.


AND, I also have to say that the RV will be plugged into power but it's only going to be a regular house circuit. My concern is how many amps it's going to pull while the air conditioner is on. I don't want to over load the circuit that it's going to be plugged in to which is why I want to be able to use the inverter for some things.


I have a trickle charger. Can I put that on the battery while the inverter is in use?

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When the low voltage safe guard is tripped, fire up the generator, or the motor. yes you can run the trickle charger while running the inverter. I would test the circuit you are going to be on by running your air, then turning on 1 thing at a time, till you trip a breaker. That'll tell you how much you can safely run. Good luck, and have fun!

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Inverters are Great!!!!


I've been using one for over 6 years now, and it's a big help :D


I'm sure if you have a newer inverter, just make sure it has a "swine wave" protection for you electric devices.


You should run a deep cycle battery, which I do, and see you do.


The ideal set-up is with duel battery's, one for the vehicle service, one for the inverter, that's what the RV guys are telling you, they make a voltage regulator switch for running duel battery's that will charge both battery's when the alternator is running on the engine.


here's one write up - http://www.bajataco.com/dualbatts/dualbatteries01.html


And another one - http://www.sleeoffroad.com/technical/tz ... teries.htm


And very detailed - http://www.fridge-and-solar.net/dual_bat.htm


(Note: Google was my fiend)


But.......my set-up, simple, I run a 3000W inverter, off a deep cell battery, I keep a jumper box in the truck for back up, and used it a couple of times :oops:


If I'm running the inverter of any period of time, I start the truck up every 2 hours and charge up the battery for 10 minutes or so, and I run my power tools off the inverter, I work on the outside of buildings, going around the building working on doors, and never had to hut down the closest outlet and use 200 feet of extension cords, I've run a sump pump off it when the power went off, I've run lights and TV off it in power outages, and like I said, pull up to a door opening, pull a 50 foot cord out the back of the truck, and use all my power tools in one location. Plus charge up all the cordless tool battery's off it.


Yes, mine has the alarm on it for when the main battery gets low, like 10 volts, but by that time, there is not enough juice left to fire the truck over :( so the jumper box is a must.


I don't know if I would "trust" a inverter for running an RV AC unit, but, you'll only know by trying it and see how it works out.


Running a battery charge at the same time your using the inverter, will limit your total amp draw on just the single battery.

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To Wildman:


I'm glad to hear from someone who uses one. I do have separate batteries. What I need to check on is if the second battery is setup to charge from the alternator or just from the generator. If I attached a charger to it instead of running the generator or engine, how long would it take to charge? Are chargers slower than the alternator?


It does have a safety on it so it shuts off before it completely drains the battery. Also, good to know about the extension cord because I'm going to have to use one to plug the tv/game system/computer into because the inverter will be too far away from them for them to plug in directly. I'm not going to run the AC off the inverter. That will run from the power supplied by the house. I just want this to run the incidentals so that I don't have to run the generator in the neighborhood and so that I don't overload that one circuit in the house.


This should work great. Thanks for your input.

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From what I read........it sounds like you have a battery for the vehicle and a battery for the generator, like in stand alone, just for the generator starter.......Correct???


It takes a 110v charger several hours to "trickle" charge a 12 volt battery, unlike the vehicles alternator which only take a couple of minutes to charge up a 12 volt battery.


I have a cube van for work, I installed the inverter in the back of the box, I ran some #6 copper wire, (negative and positive) to the rear of the van, and hardwired to the inverter. I then used the 2nd battery stud terminals to feed the inverter with a fuse on the positive side.


This set up keeps the inverter at the source of use, and what I was saying about the extension cords, were out the back of the box, to the job site.


What some RV have is a Auxiliary 12v power source, which your might have, that power the generator starter, plus the 12v lights in the RV, if thats the case, then I would run the inverter off that, and make sure you have the isolator switch, or add one, and the wiring and that would be your best set-up, and install the inverter inside the RV. You don't want the inverter to get wet from road splash or just from rain. Oh, and make sure the deep cell battery is at the auxiliary location.


When I set mine up, everything I read said to run the inverter off a deep cell battery.


If you have a stand alone battery at the generator, your still in good shape, cause your vehicle battery is only set-up for the engine, and at worst case, if the generator battery goes dead, you can start the vehicle and use jumper cables to jump the dead generator battery, until the alternator recharges the auxiliary battery.


Like I said, mine has the alarm and shut down on it, but.........it was too late in the couple times I first used it, and thats why I now carry the jumper box, just for the times I forgot about the darn thing running and draining down the main deep cell battery :oops:


The first time that happen, I just caught the plumber leaving the job, and got a jump from him, after that, I bought the jump box and had to use it a couple of times :doh:

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