Originally Posted by 76sovereign
....I guess I need a list of what I will need and how to hook it up....That sounds so simple doesn't it?
It really *is*. If I can do it.......then....
Start with a list of appliances you want to run. Then check which ones you want to run at the same time. Then check the continuous wattage requirements for each. Then check the maximum surge of which appliances will start up at the same time. All that is needed to decide on what size inverter to buy.
I don't know about the fridge. Seems the general consensus is that you don't want to use electricity to run it while boondocking...or if you do, be ready to "pay" for the wattage through both inverter size and amp hours used from your battery storage. I get mixed messages on the "running down the road with the propane on......". I'm sure that the fact that I do run the fridge on propane while running down the highway....(Although I immediately shut-'er-down at the gas station) will open a can of worms. I have not heard of folks burning down from doing so. (Flame suit on...Mfg. Lawyer's three-piece flame suits on).
After you check out the correct sized inverter, you have to decide whether you want pure sine or modified. It apperas you want to run TV and computer. My money goes solidly on pure sine...More money. But I, personally, think it's a must.
Next, you figure out whether you need to purchase an inverter with a built-in switch (for auto switching between generator or shore power or inverter power) and/or one with a built in three-stage charger.
More personal choice and money choices. As I said before, I happened on a pure sine inverter at 3600 watts that had no charger or switch. I'm simply switching by taking the shore plug and plugging in to a 30 amp female socket I installed in the bay that holds the shore power cord. So, I'm either on shore power, inverter power, or unplugged and just using the existing system (gen set w/converter or 12v
house batteries). For charging, I bought a 3-stage 10 amp Go Power charger and wired up a proprietary 110 socket with an on/off switch that I turn on whenever I'm hooked to shore power.
All of those choices will determine your wiring into or separate from the existing system.
Finally, the batteries. There's too much good info on this forum to discuss the pros and cons of which batteries, etc. But the two primary determinations should be how much room you have and weight you can/want to carry, and the amount of storage capacity you'll think you'll need/want. Pretty easy to figure out amp hours...But I think the real way to tell is start the system up with your best guess, run it for a while, and then add if you've shorted (bad pun) yourself.
As I stated, it's really easy. But I did it the easy way....I just created a completely different and separate system. When and if I ever want to integrate the inverter system into the house system, or when I want to get the inverter system's batteries charged up with the MH alternator, or add a switch, I'll have to get some professional help.
I would not have even tried the system I now have without the help from all the folks on this Forum. And I thank you all. It's working perfectly.