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Old 12-31-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
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Question Aftermarket inverter install International 27 FB

Calling all electricical experts .Is it possible to install an aftermarrket inverter system simular to a factory system 600 Watt . Basicly it runs the electroncs TVs , radio and Blue Ray player?
looking at a unit that dosen't have it,( we have it in our 23 FB Flying Cloud) .
The salesman at the dealer says yes they can
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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The answer is YES.
I installed an 1100 watt inverter in our '74 Argosy 26'.
It is important to locate the inverter as close to the batteries as you can. Keeping the 12 volt wiring short. Proper fuse protection on the 12 volt side is recommended.
In my installation I used dedicated outlets, separate from the stock outlets in the trailer for the inverter powered 120 volts.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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Yes an inverter can easily be added.

However I don't know if the new trailers are prewired for them when not factory installed, if not it would be hook up the inverter then wire to blue ray and TVs or extension cords instead of factory installed outlets for the inverter.

Note; radio is 12V and doesn't need inverter.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
The answer is YES.
I installed an 1100 watt inverter in our '74 Argosy 26'.
It is important to locate the inverter as close to the batteries as you can. Keeping the 12 volt wiring short. Proper fuse protection on the 12 volt side is recommended.
In my installation I used dedicated outlets, separate from the stock outlets in the trailer for the inverter powered 120 volts.
How did you run the wiring for the dedicated outlets and what gauge/type wiring did you use? Sounds like an interesting useful project.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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Running all that stuff will take a hit on the batteries and if it's cold and you are also running the furnace, another battery eater, you'll have to watch your power consumption. This is not going to be a big problem, but you will have to make sure you get them charged up the next day. If you are boondocking, you may need a generator and/or solar. You probably know this.

I'll bet you don't know this: A 400 watt inverter that plugs into one of the 12 v. wall receptacles should be enough. On our trailer, there's a receptacle behind the main cabin TV (also in bedroom where a TV can be installed and under the dinette table). These inverters are available at RV stores and cost about $65. I think the new ones have pretty clean power. Even if you need 2 of those 400 w. inverters, I'm sure it will be much, much cheaper than a dealer installed one.

The DVD player may also be 12 v.

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Old 01-02-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Running all that stuff will take a hit on the batteries and if it's cold and you are also running the furnace, another battery eater, you'll have to watch your power consumption. This is not going to be a big problem, but you will have to make sure you get them charged up the next day. If you are boondocking, you may need a generator and/or solar. You probably know this.

I'll bet you don't know this: A 400 watt inverter that plugs into one of the 12 v. wall receptacles should be enough. On our trailer, there's a receptacle behind the main cabin TV (also in bedroom where a TV can be installed and under the dinette table). These inverters are available at RV stores and cost about $65. I think the new ones have pretty clean power. Even if you need 2 of those 400 w. inverters, I'm sure it will be much, much cheaper than a dealer installed one.

The DVD player may also be 12 v.

Gene
gene, i'd check the wiring behind the plates for the plug before doing that. someone posted a pic on the forum that showed a melted wire back there. while the supply wire to the plate is ok, the wire from there to the outlet is awfly thin. i have the same thin wires in my trailer.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
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Good point Ricky. An RV sized TV doesn't take many watts and shouldn't be a problem, I hope. Though the inverter is rated at 400 w. and comes with the 12 v. plug that's not proof it is smart to use it that way. When I bought a small TV for the bedroom last spring, I think I checked out the watts. I like to think I did. And I thought two of the 12 v. receptacles were for 12 v. TV's and could be used for an inverter for a 120 v. TV too.

If it were a combination TV with DVD player, then I'd be more concerned.

Anyway, I wouldn't take anyone's word for it (including mine) because it is best to check it out yourself.

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:43 PM   #8
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I put our 1000W inverter right next to the batteries (which are in a box under one of the dinette seats. Since there was no easy way to wire it into the 120V breaker box on the other side of the trailer, I installed an outlet on the outside of the trailer, which has a cord inside which is normally connected to the same outlet that runs the converter.

When I want to use the inverter (e.g. we're boondocking) I:

1) unplug the converter from the internal outlet.
2) plug the exterior outlet into the inverter power ouput
3) plug the trailer into its own exterior outlet.
4) turn the inverter on.

This way we don't need a transfer switch, and there's no way to hook the trailer up wrong aside from forgetting to unplug the converter.

- Bart
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:47 PM   #9
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I'd go with Bart's suggestion ... installing the inverter is not difficult, but getting a dedicated outlet to run your TV likely is difficult.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
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I used 12/2w ground S/O cord. Available at HD or Lowes. Installed a male 20 amp plug on one end (to plug in to the outlet on the inverter). I located a box and install a duplex outlet (I used one of the orange 20 amp outlets) to distinguish it from all others. I ran the cord behind the storage bins under one of the twin beds, in a location where it wouldn't get damaged. The battery and inverter are located under that same twin bed.
With it wired totally independent of the shore powered outlets there is no risk of back feeding. The inverter I chose has a built in volt meter, which comes in handy when checking the status of the battery.
We have camped off the grid for 10 days. Running the TV and DVD player at will. Charging the cell phone, camera batteries and laptop batteries as well. We also run a stick type 120 volt AC vacuum cleaner once a day to keep the carpet clean. Along with running the lights and furnace. As we were camped in the Rocky Mountains above 9,000 feet. Temps down to 19 at night.
All of this on 1 Group 24 RV/Marine battery from Wal- Mart. No generator or power from the TV.
I use one 85 watt portable solar panel to keep the battery charged.
It is amazing how much power one can get from the sun at 9,000'. Especially when you can follow the sun with the solar panel throughout the day.
I do carry a spare Group 27 battery in the back of my pickup. In case it is needed. But so far, I have not had to use it.
Have the trailer wired with a receptacle identical to the 7 pin on the TV. With only the two pins connected to the house battery. I have both the male and female 7 pin devices wired to the spare battery. I can charge the battery while in the truck and not towing the trailer. I can plug the battery into the receptacle on the trailer near the house battery and run them in parallel. With just the house battery, I plug the solar panel into the outside receptacle that the spare battery would plug in to and charge the house battery via solar. I can plug the spare battery into the trailer as mentioned above and then plug the solar panel into the the female receptacle wired to the spare battery, thus charging both batteries. I know this is way more info than you asked for. As I mentioned in a previous post, I installed an 1100 watt inverter.
I keep looking at the shiny red Honda generators. But can't bring myself to the point of buying one. Where do I keep it, when not in use? Where do I keep the gas and oil? Especially when the solar panel is doing such a good job. And even better! It, the solar panel, makes zero noise and zero emissions.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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Thanks TG and Bart
The salesman told me that they would install the inverter next to the converter/distribution panel (which would be about 6 ft from the batteries) with a switch to activate the inverter, and from there the power would travel to the assigned circuts powering TV outet, etc., along the 120 volt lines. Now, all of that sounds good untiil you forget the inverter is on and the trailer is pluged into shore power. What could possible go wrong. I'm thinking power will shoot across the inverter to the batteries and kill who knows what including all the electronics pluged in.

TG,In your system , the inverter is isolated from the 120 volt system , and I believe that is what is going on in the factory installed system.

Bart... your system would prevent a mistake in hooking up 120volt with the inverter running . You can only have one system running at one time, am I correct?
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LAWBC View Post
Calling all electricical experts .Is it possible to install an aftermarrket inverter system simular to a factory system 600 Watt . Basicly it runs the electroncs TVs , radio and Blue Ray player?
looking at a unit that dosen't have it,( we have it in our 23 FB Flying Cloud) .
The salesman at the dealer says yes they can
Contact Samlex America in Burnaby for guidance on an inverter. Can Am RV installed an excellent system on my unit that allows one to use all existing plugs simply by turning on the inverter. It's like I was plugged in when I am boon docking. Cannot run the ac of course and I ensure that the fridge and wh are on gas. My son also installed a similar system on his 67 Globetrotter using solar panels, an automatic transfer switch from Camping World, And a Samlex inverter. His system also provides power to all existing outlets. The only way to roll.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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ahhh, just finished installing one right before Christmas, so, yes. I learned a lot. I installed a 1000 watt pure sine wave Xantex unit. My AS was not pre-wired and it was suggested that I not integrate to existing wiring. It had 6AWG battery wires and I needed to upgrade the parallel connections to 2AWG too. The inverter called for 2AWG. I ran two dedicated wires from the batteries thru the floor where the other battery lines ran through and under the front sofa to a spot where I mounted the inverter on the floor. I added a 150 amp circuit breaker to the positive wire then on to its connection to the inverter. I have an extension cord (4 outlet) to the credenza for the TV, B-Ray, sound system and HDMI switch. It works! I also have a second cord for use with my B-a-r-i-s-t-a!!! Coffee freak that I am.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #14
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Can Am RV installed an excellent system on my unit that allows one to use all existing plugs simply by turning on the inverter. It's like I was plugged in when I am boon docking.
Sounds nice Jim. It goes to show that you can integrate it too- for a price. Here is my "silver budget" methodology:

My cost was the unit ($249), a 150 amp circuit breaker ($30), 2- 60" Autocraft 2AWG battery post eyelet terminal cables 2 @14.19ea.($28.38), 2 foot of 2AWG cable ($4), #10 SS screws (6) to mount inverter and breaker ($1); 6 - eyelet ends for 2AWG cable ($2.37), 24" 4AWG cable for ground, 2- eyelet ends for 4AWG cable ($.79); solder and time. All said it was about $315 for my inverter addition plus the two grounded 4 outlet each extension cords ($7 each). I ran one cord thru the trailer conduit to the credenza. The eyelets were necessary for the cutting of the wire to accommodate the breaker and also for the parallel wire 6 to 2 AWG replacement wire ends. The grounding wire also needed eyelet ends.

It is not integrated into the trailer wiring - outlets, etc. It is stand-alone with an audible alarm and auto shut off if power drops too low- a 2 plug GFI outlet. I do have to turn the inverter on and off when not in use or it draws power even in a no load state- not a large amount but still a draw. Being totally separate from the trailer's system there is no concern for burning wires, other systems, etc. So, from the posts here, it seems there are several ways and different degrees of integration.
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