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Adding an Inverter?

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  #31  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:44 AM
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As I recall, the manual specifies 4 and 2. It doesn't say 2/0. When I looked at the connectors on the back they didn't look like they would take a large diameter wire. So I think I'm stuck with 2 gauge as the maximum size wire.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:57 AM
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When I went solar I did a lot a research. Here is a lot info.


https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...-2030-perfect/


So far as inverter I went with this one https://www.donrowe.com/Power-Bright.../pw2300-12.htm because of the remote switch. I mounted it in compartment next to the batteries. I ran 30a wires from the back of my converter (where you shore power is connected) to the power inverter with a male plug. This way my whole trailer is hot. The inverter will not run AC or microwave, it will run most everything else, Coffee pot, blow dryer, blender, etc. When I am on my inverter I do turn off the kill switch (battery to trailer) and convert the refrig. to LP only instead of auto, If in auto the refrig. will think it is hooked to shore power and drain your battery. I run battery to inverter only. I run it this way all day with solar keeping the batteries charged. At night I convert back to batteries only. I use the remote to turn off the inverter and turn battery kill switch back on, for batteries only. It's nice going out on trips (dry camping) not having to hear noise *** generators. I do have a built in 4000w generator and a Honda 2000 for them cloudy days.


Good luck with what you go with.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
As I recall, the manual specifies 4 and 2. It doesn't say 2/0. When I looked at the connectors on the back they didn't look like they would take a large diameter wire. So I think I'm stuck with 2 gauge as the maximum size wire.
You sure do not need 2/0. My inverter has a much larger output.

I got the 2/0 at the old Winnebago salvage warehouse when it still existed. I never found the prices there to be all that good except for the 2/0 I bought. When I was there, I found a 50-foot coil I am sure was left over from inverter installations, so I asked the fella who ran the warehouse how much. I know he had no idea what he was looking at and when he said $20.00, I jumped on it. Since inverter runs are normally very short, I still have a lot of it left. True story, honest.

Steve
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:07 PM
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I went to HomelessDespot today looking for 2 gauge wire. They had it, but only in the computer. How do they misplace 500+ feet of wire? I talked them into whacking off a chunk of 1 gauge to test it in my inverter and it fit. So I'll probably go with the 1 gauge assuming they don't misplace that by the time I get there again. That 1 gauge sure is some stiff wire. I don't expect that to be any fun to work with.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
I went to HomelessDespot today looking for 2 gauge wire. They had it, but only in the computer. How do they misplace 500+ feet of wire? I talked them into whacking off a chunk of 1 gauge to test it in my inverter and it fit. So I'll probably go with the 1 gauge assuming they don't misplace that by the time I get there again. That 1 gauge sure is some stiff wire. I don't expect that to be any fun to work with.
Someone gave the whole spool away as qty 1, happens a lot.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:05 PM
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I planned my install tonight. I found a compartment with plenty of unused space right at the front of the trailer. That should minimize the distance between the battery and the inverter. I had been thinking to put it in the same compartment as the converter and main distribution box. But that would have added at least 6' of the heavy gauge wire, probably more with bends in the wire. With the inverter farther forward I'll need to put in a longer run of the 3-wire 12 gauge but that stuff is a lot cheaper than the heavy gauge wire, especially since I have plenty leftover from a prior project.

I'm going to run wire from the inverter to a single outlet near where I keep the coffee pot. That outlet will be dedicated to the inverter, it won't be shared with shore/generator power. That way I don't need to put in a transfer switch.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:41 AM
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My installation is similar, no transfer switch. I ran a cord from the inverter out to a weatherproof outlet box on the trailer tongue. I plug the trailer into it for inverter use. This powers the whole trailer. The fridge and water heater must be on propane. I also added a relay to disable the converter, when using the inverter.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:50 AM
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I also added a relay to disable the converter, when using the inverter.
In my case I don't think I want to do that. I think it's OK to have my solar panel charging the battery while the inverter is in use. I wouldn't be using the inverter when the generator is running but I don't think that would be a problem either. The only way the systems are tied together is at the battery.
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Old 10-14-2017, 12:42 AM
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The manual for my inverter does not specify if I can or cannot use a GFCI outlet that is external to the inverter. None of the diagrams show GFCI except for the two outlets on the Inverter itself. Both of the on-board outlets are GFCI.

Unless I hear otherwise, I'll use a GFCI and test to see if it works. If it doesn't then I'll replace it with a non-GFCI outlet.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:06 PM
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My Inverter is installed and operational! Woo hoo! I - more or less - completed a project in one day!

I tested the inverter with a power drill and it worked just fine. I need to tidy up the install with lots of cable ties. The remote on/off switch isn't working right. The light on the remote panel is always green and never shuts off the inverter. I'm going to send an email to Xantrex and see what they have to say about it.

Total length of wire from the battery to the inverter is about 70 inches.

The connection at the battery has a problem. The GFCI outlet works, but I haven't tested it yet by tripping the test button.



The positive terminal simply has too many cables going to it. The inverter cable (bright red) is on the bottom of that stack. I just barely got the nut on. I need a solution for that. I found battery post extenders but I'm having a tough time finding a battery stud extender. Any suggestions?
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  #41  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:02 PM
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On my trailer I used two of these

from Amazon tied together with one feeder from the battery to back behind the front part of the frame of the trailer. Then I fed three breakers

of different ampreage from the post to put all my major items on for protection.

I also put all my little items on their separate fuse connections using these
.

You can see part of it here.



I wish I had more pictures that showed it better but I have really cleaned up the mess that used to go to the batteries from the day I purchased it.
The battery only has one connection on each terminal now and it helps keep the corrosion maintenance down now also.

One thing to note on your install is, is that wire that you connected the two batteries together with the same size that your inverter feeds are? If not and you plan one using the max capacity of your inverter you should make a lead of the same size so you don't have any type of supply or heat problem in the smaller wire building up.
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  #42  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:47 PM
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That's a good question about the cable between the two batteries. I don't really know. It came with the trailer. I'm guessing it is either 2 or 4 gauge. I don't plan to push the inverter very hard. The coffee pot at 650 watts (for a short while) will be the highest draw.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:23 PM
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While not an inverter install, I did some writing cleanup a while back.
here is the info with photos.
https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l-project.html

Keith
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:08 AM
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That's a nice cleanup Keith. Mine is a mess throughout the trailer and 99% of it is that way from the factory. I would have cleaned mine up but it was cold enough that my fingers weren't working well and I need my trailer ready to roll Tuesday night. I really can't start another project. I did a similar distribution block on my side-by-side.

Does my solar panel wire need to go directly to the battery? Or could it go to a distribution block like you have? In my picture above, my solar panel wire is the small yellow wire spliced to the small black wire. I wasn't sure what that went to until I disconnected it. The solar panel controller really doesn't like not have a battery at the end of the line. A constant alarm goes off.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:39 AM
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I like the idea of the panel you mounted them on. Now I might have to redo mine again and put them all on one panel mounted on the upside like my other fuse box.



And I really liked the connection box for my trailer plug that I installed when I replaced it.



What a battery box should look like. One connection each pole make the maintenance much easier.




Last edited by Dakar Dad; 10-15-2017 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Added images
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