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Old 02-18-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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2016 27' International
Montreal , Quebec
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 149
Factory installed inverter

So far from what I read here it seems that the consensus is that the factory installed solar panel option is not worth it and that you can get better options for not a lot more money. I am wondering if it is the same thing with the factory installed inverter. If you choose not to go with the factory installed inverter does the unit still comes with the dedicated electrical receptacle. If it does not and you want to buy an inverter later on do you need to install electrical receptacle just to be used with the inverter or can you use the regular receptacle.

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Old 02-18-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
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The factory inverter package includes special inverter powered outlets. Like two or three. My trailer did not have the inverter package, thus no inverter powered outlets either. I did eventually install an inverter and wired it to power all existing outlets.

An inverter added later is a dilemma. It's virtually impossible to run new wires inside Airstream walls. There are ways to rewire the existing outlets to be powered by shore or inverter power. A project like this is not for the faint of heart, but if you are handy and unafraid to spend some elbow grease and money it's very possible. Search the forums. It's been discussed a lot.

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Old 02-18-2015, 06:44 PM   #3
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2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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Agree. If you don't order an inverter, you won't have the "pre-wired" 120V outlets/TV/Bluray that come with an inverter. The dilemma is that they install very cheap WFCO (Chinese) inverters that have fairly noisy fans. One of my fellow '15 Classic owners must have done 10 posts on this 1000W inverter fan noise. (And, it is located on the wall hidden under a dinette seat.) I have just completed a major replacement of the entire inverter situation for my new Classic -- including 4 6V batteries. What I would recommend for simplicity's sake is to order an A/S with their cheap inverter. Then order a Xantrex 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave from Randy at Best Converter. Pull out the cheap A/S inverter and install the Xantrex (you can sell the WFCO easily). It is a very easy install. Pos and Neg battery cables are already there from the A/S install. You will have to wire a plug after you unhook the 120V output from the WFCO setup...this is no more than a 20 minutes swap. If you don't have a trailer with the prewired circuits (see post above) you will be facing a nightmare of trying to run wires. Don't ask my how I know this..
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:06 PM   #4
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Kooskia , Idaho
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I also ordered my FC 20' with the factory inverter, even knowing it was a marginal WFCO inverter itself. I wanted the wiring from the batteries to the inverter, and the 120 volt wiring though, so I got the package.

So far the factory inverter has worked OK, even powering my toaster or small microwave. But it has an excessive idle current of 1.75 amps just being on, doing nothing, so I try to not use it much. I put a second Morningstar pure sine 300 watt inverter in which has a very much lower idle current and an automatic shut down and search function which reduces the load to almost nothing. That way I can leave it on virtually all of the time, and it only really turns on when a load is applied to it. I am very happy with that solution. I have yet to work out just how to best interconnect the big and small inverters to the pre installed inverter outlets, but have some ideas which I will be exploring and will post when I am happy with the solution. Currently I use extension cords for the small inverter, which is not much to my liking.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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We knew the factory system was insufficient for our plans. Thus we omitted factory solar and inverter options when we ordered our Classic.

When we did our custom 800 watt solar system with four six volt 300 amp hour lifeline batteries and a Magum MS 2812 inverter/charger, we made every outlet on the trailer operational from the Magnum. The only wire changes were the main power wires, not the secondary wires to outlets and appliances.
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:05 PM   #6
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Our Airstream has the factory inverter and solar packages and they have worked very well for us; this is a real upgrade from the 35 years of VW Camper van travel but we know how to use what is available.

The only upgrade we occasionally need is a little more battery storage than the two factory Group 24 Lifeline AGM's that came with the solar package, two Group 27 AGM's to cover the days of travel without full sunlight.

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