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Old 06-25-2015, 08:10 PM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Inverter Upgrade 1986 345

Hello all,
I know this conversation has been had on the forums and I think I have read just about everything on here there is about the subject, but I do not have a UniVolt and I have a few unanswered questions that I was hoping you all might be able to assist with.

Attached are photos of the converter I have underneath my stove in my 1986 345. However I also have the DSquared breaker box in the cubbies in the bedroom that look like it may be the breaker box for the AC 120v.

If I wanted to upgrade to this Magnum RMS4024. It is a refurbished so the price is quite good. I know someone is going to say why do I need a 4000watt inverter. I say why not if the price is as low as this. However maybe I don't understand the full ramifications of this decision. Any opinions would be appreciated.

So my real question is this. Is swapping out the converter that I have possible with the proposed inverter and what am I getting myself into. Also what else would be needed to upgrade my rig to a 50amp service instead of the 30amp. And yes I have read all the comments on why I do I want to do that as you can make coffee on the stove instead of plugging it in.

Thank you all for you time in advance.

Garry Clark
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:12 PM   #2
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Garry,

The MS-4024 will NOT work in your trailer unless you are intending to use a 24VDC battery bank AND convert ALL of your internals that use DC (things like the fridge, furnace, A/C control board, lights........ just to mention a few) to 24VDC as well.

Magnum has some great pricing on factory re-furbished units, but you should stay with units that end in '12' and NOT '24' or '48' as these voltages are generally not found in RV use.


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Old 06-25-2015, 09:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Docseuss View Post
Hello all,
I know this conversation has been had on the forums and I think I have read just about everything on here there is about the subject, but I do not have a UniVolt and I have a few unanswered questions that I was hoping you all might be able to assist with.

Attached are photos of the converter I have underneath my stove in my 1986 345. However I also have the DSquared breaker box in the cubbies in the bedroom that look like it may be the breaker box for the AC 120v.

If I wanted to upgrade to this Magnum RMS4024. It is a refurbished so the price is quite good. I know someone is going to say why do I need a 4000watt inverter. I say why not if the price is as low as this. However maybe I don't understand the full ramifications of this decision. Any opinions would be appreciated.

So my real question is this. Is swapping out the converter that I have possible with the proposed inverter and what am I getting myself into. Also what else would be needed to upgrade my rig to a 50amp service instead of the 30amp. And yes I have read all the comments on why I do I want to do that as you can make coffee on the stove instead of plugging it in.

Thank you all for you time in advance.

Garry Clark
converter 110V -> 12 V
Inverter 12V -> 110V plus you will need an energy source like solar panels and a lot of batteries
Ask yourself how often you would use an inverter.
I would start with replacing that dinosaur converter you have.
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:49 AM   #4
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These forums are such an invaluable tool. Great catch on the 24volt. I will have to be more mindful on that going forward.

As far as converter vs. inverter does the converter piece of taking 120v > 12v not deal with charging the batteries and would be handled by the charger piece of the inverter? I assume it also runs the lights and other 12v items when on batteries, but does it have any roll in powering 110v outlets when on shore and generator power? How would an inverter handle running 12v items in lieu of a converter?

Does that 12v fuse panel not be replaced as it looks scary as well? Is there an inverter somewhere in my rig or is the 110v just straight 110v and I do not have to worry about pure vs. modified sine?

Thank you all for the help. As you can see I am a little confused as to how things are laid out now and appreciate your alls knowledge.

Garry
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Docseuss View Post
These forums are such an invaluable tool. Great catch on the 24volt. I will have to be more mindful on that going forward.

As far as converter vs. inverter does the converter piece of taking 120v > 12v not deal with charging the batteries and would be handled by the charger piece of the inverter? I assume it also runs the lights and other 12v items when on batteries, but does it have any roll in powering 110v outlets when on shore and generator power? How would an inverter handle running 12v items in lieu of a converter?

Does that 12v fuse panel not be replaced as it looks scary as well? Is there an inverter somewhere in my rig or is the 110v just straight 110v and I do not have to worry about pure vs. modified sine?

Thank you all for the help. As you can see I am a little confused as to how things are laid out now and appreciate your alls knowledge.

Garry
Garry,

You probably don't have an inverter in your rig now.

The inverter/chargers do not work in the same way as a converter system. With the converter, the unit produces 12VDC (nominal) from the 120VAC shore line. It then energizes the DC fuse block and charges the batteries with the remaining capacity. It can run the DC loads in the coach without the need for batteries if you are permanently connected to shore power. The batteries supply the 12VDC loads when off-grid or running down the road.

In inverter/charger takes 120VAC (either shore power or generator) and passes it thru the unit to your breaker box, and will also energize the 120VAC breaker box (if properly wired) when off-grid by using the battery bank as a power source, thus creating 120VAC from the 12VDC batteries when the inverter is 'on'.

When on shore power, the inverter's charging section puts it's rated amperage and programmable voltage into the batteries to keep them properly charged. The house 12VDC loads are drawn directly from the batteries. It will not work without a battery bank connected to it.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:25 PM   #6
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Your 110 AC volt loads should be working straight from shore power.

If you have no shore power an inverter changes your 12 volt DC to 110 AC. And if you have it hooked up right you can use all of the 110 AC stuff that way from your batteries.

A converter would be built into your battery charger to take 110 volt AC and use it to charge your batteries, but you need the rest of the controls to make sure it does not over charge them or anything like that.

So... What exactly are you trying to do? What is your end goal again?
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:30 PM   #7
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Gang,
Sorry I am just now getting back to this thread.

My main goal is to replace the older electrical components I have for safety and to also better condition my batteries. I just want to make sure that if I am going to put time and money into the project that I pick the better long term option.

I understand the difference between a converter and inverter and you all have done a great job explaining what is powered by what and when. I am still not sure to go the Inverter route instead of the converter route. In my mind the inverter makes more sense as I get all the capabilities of the converter, but I get the added bonus of being able to use the 110V outlets while on battery power.

To be honest though I have access to shore or generator power about 90% of the time. However in the future if I would like to explore more off the grid locations or add in solar to the mix the Inverter again makes more sense to me.

I do believe that swapping out a converter for another converter may be the easiest path as I am not sure how much wiring rework I would have to do to replace what I have with an inverter.

Thanks again for all the information and comments,
Garry
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:26 PM   #8
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In phase two of my 325LE rebuild, I plan on adding an inverter 2000 watt to the converter that is currently under the stove. I will convert the forward R/S underbelly compartment to another aux. battery box for three group 27 marine deep cycle batteries along with an upgrade to my battery isolator for 3 circuits instead of 2. My reason for this is to eliminate the need for running the generator while driving and my kids can still watch the TV and I can use my coffee pot. I plan on adding two duplex orange colored outlets for the inverter only, one C/S near TV and the other R/S on the counter close to the overhead light switch.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:48 PM   #9
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To the OP.

I too this past winter looked at replacing my old converter with a Magnum converter/inverter hybrid. However the very high price $2,000.00+ US price, lack of battery space and questionable reliability stopped me in my tracks. I worried about having all my eggs in one basket and should the unit fail I would be out both the converter, inverter and all electrical power. I replaced the converter with a Progressive Dynamics 9260 with the remote charge wizard for less than $200 US.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-PROGRESS...7d6d5e&vxp=mtr

I have a fairly new Onan Marquis Gold 6500 propane generator that was installed in 2007 so If that unit goes south I may replace it with extra battery storage, an inverter and a solar array. Hopefully the technology will get better, more efficient and cheaper with age. Until then I would stick with your generator if I were you.

As for changing your coach to 50 amp, you will need to change the transfer switch, main electrical cable to your breaker box and your breaker box. I will PM you what info Brad sent me for the conversion.

Cheers
Tony
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