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Old 06-21-2018, 07:57 AM   #1
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Question Options for Replacing Magnum Inverter/Charger

Just research at this time... peace of mind for me is extremely important. If I can make a change/upgrade that is not outrageously expensive and it provides better performance and/or reliability then I am willing to make the change.

With what Alex recently went through (link to his thread)...

And this

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCabin View Post
This might be of interest. A Safety Recall Report from the end of last year:


https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/201...7V704-4137.PDF
I do not want to experience the same.

Has anyone replaced their Magnum MS1012 inverter/charger with something else... and installed the replacement in the the stock location. Again, trying to minimize expense of having to relocate replacement. If I can install in same location, even better.

The dimensions for the stock inverter charger that came with my AI (Magnum MS1012) : 16.6"x8.4"x4.7"





So far, I have only found this one that could potentially fit... but have not clue as to reputation on reliability, noise levels, etc.

Xantrex Freedom XC 2000 817-2080 Power Inverter/Charger - US$$774.97 (True sine Wave AC power, Battery equalization, Power factor corrected Multi-Stage charging) - True sine wave 120 Vac inverter/charger with built-in transfer switch. Designed for recreational and commercial applications.

15.4"x10.8"x4.0"



It fits, it is 2,000 watts instead of 1,000 currently there... Fans would be facing the vents already in the area. But is it any good?? They have a 1,000 watts unit (Xantrex Freedom x 1050 817-1050 Power Inverter - US$540.96), a few hundred dollars less, but almost the same size, so figured doing the research for the 2K watts unit...

I can't find anything else that compact... what I get is larger and unable to accommodate in the same location...

Thoughts, ideas, recommendations?
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:59 AM   #2
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First point of clarification: At this point, do we have clear reason to believe that the Xantrex products are any better overall?

Second point of clarification: The pic above seems to be of a Xantrex 1,000 model (? or am I mistaken? - obviously they make multiple different models). Ours is a 2,000 and it has a very different aspect ratio (i.e., long and skinny). This pic shows it on its suspension shelf above the lithium battery, with buss bars beside it. The pic is from my closet mods blog post (here) so ignore the piece of cardboard - this is one of the few pics I've got looking down at the inverter without the closet floor in place.

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Old 06-21-2018, 09:03 AM   #3
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How about the Magnum MM1512MMAE ? (https://www.amazon.com/Magnum-Energy...charger+for+rv

It is 1,500W, the same dimension as the stock inverter, and hopefully does not have the same problem...

EDIT: Unfortunately, it is a Modified Sine Wave inverter...


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Old 06-21-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
First point of clarification: At this point, do we have clear reason to believe that the Xantrex products are any better overall?

Second point of clarification: The pic above seems to be of a Xantrex 1,000 model (? or am I mistaken? - obviously they make multiple different models). Ours is a 2,000 and it has a very different aspect ratio (i.e., long and skinny). This pic shows it on its suspension shelf above the lithium battery, with buss bars beside it. The pic is from my closet mods blog post (here) so ignore the piece of cardboard - this is one of the few pics I've got looking down at the inverter without the closet floor in place.

Reason for my thread reaching out to others here to comment. I do not know if the Xantrex are any better... going over a few reviews and videos to see what other folks are saying/reporting.

The model that you show in the photo is a different one...

http://www.xantrex.com/power-product.../overview.aspx

Your photo shows the : Freedom Xi - 4.7" x 9.4" x 19.2" - and that one does not show as having a charging capability... the HF model seems to have a charger as well - 4.2" x 9.5" x 18.0"


I am looking at the: Freedom XC - 4.0” x 10.8”x 15.4” - the 2,000 watt model (but also avail in 1,000 watts)

I was concerned with the additional length... for the Xi or HF... and in all honesty, was not even sure if it would be a unit that could work in an RV... I am learning on this... I saw the XC looking more rugged, two fans, shorter... figured I would further research that one. I am happy to see that the Xi could be an option (if I can fit it where the Magnum is).
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom23 View Post
How about the Magnum MM1512MMAE ? (https://www.amazon.com/Magnum-Energy...charger+for+rv

It is 1,500W, the same dimension as the stock inverter, and hopefully does not have the same problem...

EDIT: Unfortunately, it is a Modified Sine Wave inverter...


Brand no longer inspires any confidence with me... - reason for asking about other brands that could fit in there...

Looking for something that I could install myself and in the same spot... If money and space was not an issue... I would be driving to Lew for a Victron inverter/charger install...
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:51 AM   #6
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Does anyone remember, or checked, what is in the space under the stock Magnum inverter?

I do not believe the wheel well does not extend all the way in the cabinet.

There may be more room available there.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:21 AM   #7
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Photo does not show it well... but really, that is all the space that you have available in there. The Magnum rests on that wood panel... under that is the wheel well and it extends halfway into the space... the remaining space under it is used by the breaker box, fuse, solar charger controller, bus bar.

I was expecting to see this same bracket on the other side of the wood panel



Instead, there was nothing and I had to install a support (see photo) on the the front end because it was resting on top of those three relays you see in the corner of the photo...very poor install.




In the photo above you see room in there because the front panel holding the breaker box is pulled forward... once the panel holding the breaker box is installed in place, it takes up that area... they packed everything well in there...

So I know that I do not have any more space to play with to be able to fit it in there...

The replacement unit can be a bit wider as there is space on each side that I can use... not an issue. It can't be higher or too much longer... I can move the ACR to allow for a longer unit... but that is it. Should fit a unit 18" long (will confirm measurement tonight), but doubt anything longer than that...
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:52 AM   #8
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From my experience, electronics usually fail when pretty new- or a very long time later. (Assuming proper installation, load, power source etc).

I would speculate you will not have issues with the stock one (although increasing ventilation, assuring proper connectors etc would always be good).
But I certainly understand your reluctance to trust it.

If you DO buy something else, I would suggest burning it in under load for a month or two in the garage. That way you will have the best chance of not having issues.

I donít know how well the stock one does for battery charging, I know the stock one in my older version was awful. If left plugged into shore power it would cook the house battery. Fortunately it was a couple hour job to replace (I should have removed the floor of the closet like IB/LB did- likely would have saved me 90 minutes).
I did NOT burn mine in, but it would have been a good idea. I had no other issues with the stock one but the poor battery charging (it has no inverter) although I really like the new one. One neat feature is small LEDs that will individually light if a fuse is blown. Making it sure easy to find a blown fuse.

Just stuff to think about.

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Old 06-21-2018, 10:58 AM   #9
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Perhaps it would be simpler to ensure that the specified remedy in the Crestliner document is in place in your coach. It would appear from the document that the issue is related to the inverter been operated whilst disconnected from the batteries - possibly something which occurs during maintenance.
I think if you resolve the concern in the remedy you resolve the issue with the inverter and save yourself a lot of hassle and money.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:07 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

Thank you Mark! All this is just research for now. As you mentioned, if it was going to fail, it would had done so already... specially during the last few days with temps inside the coach in the 110ļF

I just want to do my homework and be ready if I need to replace it in the future.

What is required to bench test it and perform the burn-in process? Will need to research on that as well... if something is going to burn, better to burn down the house than the AI?
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:52 AM   #11
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Just FYI, I received the following info from Magnum:

"The issue is not with our inverter but with some connections made on the dc side during installation. If proper maintenance is performed on the battery cables to and from our inverter to the dc loads there should be no problems. All battery cables should come with a fuse that will blow if there is a short or overcurrent causing thermal runaway installed from the manufactuer."

I asked for clarification and forwarded them the AI manual with schematics.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
Reason for my thread reaching out to others here to comment. I do not know if the Xantrex are any better... going over a few reviews and videos to see what other folks are saying/reporting.

The model that you show in the photo is a different one...

http://www.xantrex.com/power-product.../overview.aspx

Your photo shows the : Freedom Xi - 4.7" x 9.4" x 19.2" - and that one does not show as having a charging capability... the HF model seems to have a charger as well - 4.2" x 9.5" x 18.0"


I am looking at the: Freedom XC - 4.0” x 10.8”x 15.4” - the 2,000 watt model (but also avail in 1,000 watts)

I was concerned with the additional length... for the Xi or HF... and in all honesty, was not even sure if it would be a unit that could work in an RV... I am learning on this... I saw the XC looking more rugged, two fans, shorter... figured I would further research that one. I am happy to see that the Xi could be an option (if I can fit it where the Magnum is).
That is the 2000 watt inverter we use to run our air conditioner and microwave. I’m a big fan of separating loads from charging which is particularly important with lithium battery systems like ours but is good practice in any system.

As for quality, Xantrex is generally considered a high quality unit (as compared to the unbranded Chinese units sold at Harbor Freight etc). They’re used by numerous RV manufactures but their reputation is probably a half step behind Magnum inverters. Well, at least until this most recent incident with smoking Magnums.

This Xantrex in our application is packed in pretty tight on the top and front but it draws air from the bottom and exhausts out the back. It does over heat and shutdown after about an hour or hour and 20 when running the AC if we don’t remove the air grate in the front of the cabinet. Luckily the grate is held in place with magnets so removal is as simple as grabbing it and pulling it off. I’m thinking about 3D printing a duct to route cool air from the front cabinet grate and adding a fan to move heat in the cabinet to the fridge vent.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:55 PM   #13
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I understand that the topic for this thread is to find a replacement for the Magnum inverter/charger that comes in the AI. But, the following from Magnum tech support might be relevant:

"The issue is not with our inverter but with some connections made on the dc side during installation. If proper maintenance is performed on the battery cables to and from our inverter to the dc loads there should be no problems. All battery cables should come with a fuse that will blow if there is a short or overcurrent causing thermal runaway installed from the manufactuer.

Crestline coach and Airstream do not wire the systems the same. Make sure the batteries are always connected when ac is applied to the coach. (shore or generator) You would not want to have shore power to coach with an open dc circuit that could cause ac ripple inside the inverter. No one should ever be plugged into shore with the battery cables off the inverter or have a battery switch open between house bank with shore power applied to input of inverter. If you need to work on batteries do not have the coach plugged into shore until batteries are connected to inverter. The battery B+ cable will have a fuse inline so that if there is a short on the battery side it will trip before the cables get too hot and cause thermal runaway. We have been making these units for 12+ years and never had any fire related problems because of overlapping protection inside unit and installation protection on the dc and ac side with proper breaker or fuse sizing.
"
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom23 View Post
I understand that the topic for this thread is to find a replacement for the Magnum inverter/charger that comes in the AI. But, the following from Magnum tech support might be relevant...
Indeed relevant as it explains the situation suffered by Crestline and provides the clear explanation of what not to do and how it should be wired. Still does not explain Alex's situation... guess we will have to wait for the final report once he gets all the information from Airstream.

Searching on comparisons and reviews I came across this write up. Thought I would share:

http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...-vs-36059.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by CMS
As a professional who is on many, many, many boats and on the receiving end of even more emails regarding failures, glitches etc. here is my experience.

IMPORTANT: All large amperage inverter/chargers can be DANGEROUS for unattended charging. Why? Every unit I know of only offers a maximum of 1 battery temp sensor or NONE at all (see Sterling/ProMariner below). If a battery fails internally, and the single temp sensor is not on it, you now have 80A to 150A +/- charger feeding into this battery failure which can lead to thermal runaway and extremely dangerous situations. This is a failing of not only the industry but also the standards organizations. If you want unattended charging please be safe and use the smallest charger that can maintain the batteries and satisfy DC shore loads. Always use a charger with at least 1 battery temp sensor..

Don't let this be your boat, when you're not there: (and this was well after it had been isolated and cooled off a bit)

Magnum - One of if not the most reliable brands of marine suitable inverter/chargers I install or come across. Perfect? Hell no, but better than many. My biggest complaint is the utter stupidity of no voltage sensing circuit. No matter how big you size those wires there WILL be voltage drop between the batteries and charger and we can't ignore switches, over current and all the terminations on-top of the wire voltage drop. Aiming for a 2% or for a 3% voltage drop may sound fine until you realize that at 14.4V that means only 13.96V at the batteries when the charger is now in CV mode before the batteries get there and charging slows dramatically, well before it should.. For folks who only want to run the genset for a short period, and get the most energy back into the batteries, this engineering lapse = LAME

Victron - Again, very high quality, robustly built, weighs a ton and quite reliable. Victron support is also quite good but bugs and fixes can take some patience. The good remote is also very $$$$$. Victron gets charging, and the short duration high current charging we do on boats, and they offer a DEDICATED volt-sense circuit. Kudos to Victron for actually understanding battery charging needs.

Xantrex - Four years ago was the last Xantrex inverter or charger I installed. I tried hard to talk the customer out of it but "J-Boat installed it and they know what they are doing." Of course all this "J-Boat knows what they are doing." completely ignores the 2006 Xantrex 2000W inverter/charger that failed by 2012 and was more costly to repair than replace, and it was dead in six years.....

Today, in 2017, I am still waiting for the "fix" to the inverter, promises, promises, yada, yada, yada but as of yet no fix to this issue. Course when this fix eventually comes, if ever, I get to eat the labor to remove, repair and reinstall the unit for their design error.. It has been 4 freaking years..

The issue is that Xantrex used a powder coated mild steel case (on a marine inverter) that VIBRATES like a snare-drum under certain AC loads. It's so loud you can't even hear yourself think. If I were to upload the video you would be HORRIFIED. I have not uploaded the video due to some real colorful language and the Xantrex bashing I did during the video.. (heat of the moment stuff) At first they denied the issue could even occur, and I was the first... This = LYING and they knew it. I was at the Annapolis show and speaking with others in the trade and discovered this is actually a well known issue and I was NOT the "first". Intentionally lying to one of your installers = FAIL...

Xantrex has been promising a new "aluminum case" for this unit and they've had four years to fix it. ZILCH! Don't even get me going on the piles of Xantrex TruCharge battery chargers I have replaced or the lack of knowledgeable tech support folks who don't even comprehend Ohm's Law nor have likely ever heard of it.. Also, no volt sense circuit and one of the most horrendous remote control user interfaces I've encountered.

Sterling/ProMariner - A dated product with very little control or programming other than for 6 different voltage programs (7 if you want to charge at 15.1V with no battery temp sensor) and no custom programming option at all. Sterling actually tries to sell the simplicity (lack of features) as a feature but the truth is they've not kept up with the times. The units also have low charger output compared to inverter rated watts when compared to others. Even the 12V 2500W Sterling Pure Sine unit can only charge at 80A yet a Magnum 2000W can charge at 100A. These units do not even offer a battery temp sensor...

Mastervolt - There is a lot I like about Mastervolt but past reliability has not been not one of them. They have gone to "high frequency" inverters (less costly to produce) and the reliability compared to old school heavy massive transformer based units had not been impressive, in my experience. They have made some changes and the reliability is reportedly getting better but time will be the real deciding factor. The MassCombi's can also do voltage sensing but it requires a Mastervolt Master shunt to do so. This increases the cost of installation over say a Victron that has two simple terminals for voltage sensing. When used as a stand alone unit custom programming them to an appropriate or correct voltage profile for your bank also requires software, a computer and two Mastervolt communication devices. If you are a DIY these added devices can also add up cost wise. Like most of the others they only offer one battery temp sensor, but heck this is better than none...

Outback - While not as popular as the above units they will do nearly everything but wash your dishes. They are robustly built, have excellent tech support but no standard dedicated voltage sensing circuit. For accurate voltage sensing they require a Flexnet DC, at an additional expense.. Their remotes are also quite good and the user interface is pretty straight forward. My only real complaint is the complexity for a DIY install due to the amazingly in-depth manual and vast amounts of programming & use features/options.



I won't comment on other small players in the marine market other than to say the reliability I see has been pretty poor, especially high frequency models. Many of them are not designed nor suitable for a marine application and can actually be dangerous.

Please be sure you purchase an inverter charger designed specifically for marine use so neutral/grounding bonding issues are correct for a marine application. Also be sure it is built to meet UL458 standards, especially if not buying from Magnum, Mastervolt, Outback, Victron etc., & it should preferably be tested to the marine supplement of UL-458 or UL-458-SA.
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