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Old 06-05-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
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A Plan to Wire Inverter Power to all Interior Outlets - Need Review

Using a variation of an idea I found on another forum, I drafted the attached schematic to wire the output of an Inverter to the existing outlets on my Airstream. Operationally, the idea is to have a very simple manual system (rotate the switch between Shore and Inverter) that's fail-safe. I am asking for comments, especially folks with electrical knowledge.

The key is this Changeover Cam Switch. It would be wired with three postilions, Shore - Off - Inverter.

On my Airstream all outlets (interior and exterior) are wired through two 20-Amp circuit breakers. One of those circuit breakers also powers the Refrigerator, while the other also powers the Converter. With this design, under shore power everything is powered, but while under Inverter, just the outlets get power. Obviously this involves some re-wiring, but I've tracked down the wiring and found that other than the Refrigerator everything is behind the panel. I'll have to run a unique wire to the Refrigerator on the other side of the camper.

Please take a look at the schematic and let me know if there is a fatal flaw. Thanks!

- Kurt
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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Seems like an awful lot of unnecessary re-wiring to me. You didn't specify what type of inverter you are using. The first problem I see is the Romex, which is fine for a house but NOT for an RV. Yu should be using nothing less than marine grade stranded cable for any re-wiring. I really don't care what Airstream uses, as I have spent unnecessary hours tracking down breaks in solid copper wiring caused by work hardening in moving vehicles.

If you go with a quality 2000 watt (or 2800 watt even) inverter/charger system (like the Magnum MS-2012 or MS-2812), you can dump your worthless OEM converter and charge your batteries properly with temperature compensation and full adjustment for size of your battery bank and type of batteries.

You can then have up to 2- 30 amp output circuits that will then run everything in your trailer with no additional wiring, using all of your existing circuits and breaker box. This happens because the inverter/chargers have an internal transfer switch that will automatically do the switching for you. Just a bit of minor re-wiring is necessary.

A much simpler, more elegant solution to your re-invention of the wheel....so to speak!
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:08 AM   #3
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Well I agree this idea isn't for the faint of heart. I don't have 2K to throw at a total 2500 watt upgrade. With only two group 24 batteries they wouldn't hold up long anyway. I just wanted to find a way to feed Inverter AC to the existing outlets that's easily and safely reverted to shore AC. Adding dedicated outlets, stringing the wire, seems like a bigger PITA. I estimate costs to be about $50 for the switch and another $20 for pull box and extra wire.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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Kurt, If you shop the web, you will see many vendors selling the Magnum ME-2012 2000 watt inverter/charger for $1195 and the ME-2510 2500 watt version for $1289. These are the MAP (minimum advertised price). You can also buy factory re-furbished units with a 1 year warranty for less.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:29 PM   #5
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Help! Hooking up the new inverter for solar

I have a 1976 31' International. In the mid-90's solar was added. They installed a TRACE Engineering DR Series Power Inverter/Charger and 4 batteries. The inverter has since failed.

With help from a Sunelco dealer I bought a XANTREX Prowatt SW 1000 inverter and an Iota DLS 30/1Q4 charger. I'm at a loss on how to hook it up!! Have a number of wires coming out of the old inverter that connected to the wires from the Airstream. This NEW inverter has no external connecting spots for these wires, only 2 plug-ins.

Soooo, I think I'm just missing something simple here ..... I would appreciate any help or advice! Thanks so much
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Using a variation of an idea I found on another forum, I drafted the attached schematic to wire the output of an Inverter to the existing outlets on my Airstream. Operationally, the idea is to have a very simple manual system (rotate the switch between Shore and Inverter) that's fail-safe. I am asking for comments, especially folks with electrical knowledge.

The key is this Changeover Cam Switch. It would be wired with three postilions, Shore - Off - Inverter.

On my Airstream all outlets (interior and exterior) are wired through two 20-Amp circuit breakers. One of those circuit breakers also powers the Refrigerator, while the other also powers the Converter. With this design, under shore power everything is powered, but while under Inverter, just the outlets get power. Obviously this involves some re-wiring, but I've tracked down the wiring and found that other than the Refrigerator everything is behind the panel. I'll have to run a unique wire to the Refrigerator on the other side of the camper.

Please take a look at the schematic and let me know if there is a fatal flaw. Thanks!

- Kurt
Why not just leave the refrigerator wiring as is and switch it to propane when on inverter? Less elegant, but simpler. It would require you to remember to do that, so a label at the transfer switch might come in handy.

Al
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gretaseyr56 View Post
I have a 1976 31' International. In the mid-90's solar was added. They installed a TRACE Engineering DR Series Power Inverter/Charger and 4 batteries. The inverter has since failed.

With help from a Sunelco dealer I bought a XANTREX Prowatt SW 1000 inverter and an Iota DLS 30/1Q4 charger. I'm at a loss on how to hook it up!! Have a number of wires coming out of the old inverter that connected to the wires from the Airstream. This NEW inverter has no external connecting spots for these wires, only 2 plug-ins.

Soooo, I think I'm just missing something simple here ..... I would appreciate any help or advice! Thanks so much
Hi

If you have a *lot* of wires hanging out, it sounds like you may have pulled the power panel (the gizmo with the breakers) as well as the inverter.

What you *should* have:

1) Big FAT cables to the battery. One positive and one negative.
2) Power leads to the power panel to feed the converter / charger. They will terminate in a dedicated breaker.
3) Control cables that run to whatever sort of panel you once had
4) Power leads to the dedicated inverter outlets (if wired that way).

What you *might* have:

5) Leads to a transfer switch

Since the trailer was rewired since it was new, it's anybodies guess as to what you have in there. Did you take pictures of how the old gizmo was wired in? (or is it still in place?)

Bob
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