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Old 05-13-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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2005 22' Interstate
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Installing Inverter to run all AC outlets in Airstream Interstate

Hello,

This is my first post. I will be picking up my first Airstream this weekend, a 2005 Interstate.

I've been doing a ton of research utilizing these forums and have learned a great deal. I have already bookmarked a bunch of links concerning installations of a solar panel/charger/etc.

I'm now considering an inverter and have a couple questions.

I'd like to install one that would run all the existing 110V outlets inside the motorhome. Should this be installed inline between the shore power/generator relay switch and the existing converter charger? What other switches should I be looking at installing? Any links to other webpages with this type of installation already done?

Thanks for any help you can offer. I have done some searching already but some clarification would be great.

Thanks again and take care,

AJ Nealey
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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1) In general, such an installation should be made bearing in mind that you probably don't want the inverter to try to run the air conditioning, the fridge, or the water heater.

2) Consider that some larger inverters have built-in transfer switches, sometimes optional. (Xantrex freedom and the similar Xantrex sinewave inverter-chargers, for example)

3) Consider that you may be replacing the converter with an inverter-charger rather than just adding an inverter.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #3
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AJ,
I recently installed a Xantrex Freedom 10 (1000 watt) Inverter/Charger. The installation calls for another breaker box for a total of two.

(1) The main breaker box has two breakers, on 20amp breaker for the Air Conditioner and another 15 amp breaker for the Inverter/Charger INPUT.

(2) The secondary breaker box has one 15 amp breaker for the Inverter/ Charger OUTPUT which feeds all of the 110v electrical outlets in my Sovereign.

The Freedom 10 Inverter/Charger has a built in relay. When the relay detects 110v current it passes the current directly to the secondary breaker box feeding all of the outlets in my trailer. As you can see, there is no way to feed the Air Conditioner via the Inverter. I never use the Inverter for the microwave or the wife's hair dryer (I use the genny for that). Pictures of my installation can be found in my blog.

The Freedom 10 is also an effective charger, putting out 14.45volts and 50amps. I have large 2 guage cables connecting the Inverter/Charger to my batteries. It works much better than my old Magnetek 55amp charger.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I'm getting a better idea now.

The Interstate currently has a converter/charger already installed that houses my 12 VDC and 110 VAC fuses and breakers. I guess I would run power from one of those breakers from the converter/charger out to my inverter/charger to power that. Now my next question is, can I run my AC output from the inverter/charger back into in the converter/charger to supply power to the AC breakers that I choose to have power (i.e. - everything except the fridge/air conditioner)? Or will I have to run a separate breaker box?

Thanks again!
AJ
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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It depends. Some people would say that you have to have two breaker boxes no matter what. I would tend to say, that with the proper breaker configuration on the inverter/charger itself, that might not be necessary. With an interstate, you may find that there is only one circuit you want to power from the inverter, maybe two. The Xantrex Freedom series can be ordered with two breakers, and the circuit(s) affected can be rerouted to the Xantrex, and (one of) the empty breakers can then be repurposed to supply power to the Xantrex.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
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An inverter is powered by the coach batteries, which have a very limited reserve. I thought the Interstate has a 2.5 kw propane generator onboard (to the envy of us trailer folks). Isn't this much better for your 110 volt needs?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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Thanks again for all of the input. I've picked up my Interstate over the weekend and absolutely love it!

The reason for wanting the inverter is for stealth purposes when camped at the race track as not to disturb my other camping neighbors. It does, in fact, have generator but would rather not use it if I didn't have to.

I'm curious, would the charger from my converter, along with the charger from an inverter conflict with one another when both hooked up?

AJ
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