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Old 07-20-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Inverter installation

My 2005 Safari was offered with an Airstream supplied 600 watt inverter. I don't have it, however. I would like to install an inverter. I haven't seen an Airstream inverter in action. Is it wired into the 110 volt system? I would like to power the 110 volt plugs and use an isolator when shore power is attatched.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:14 PM   #2
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I am a little confused by your question. An inverter is used to make 120 volt AC power from 12 volt DC. It allows you to use low power AC devices when running on battery power only.

If you are connected to shore power all of the wall plugs should have power.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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Our 2006 19' Bambi has the factory inverter..it converts 12v DC to 120v AC for dedicated inverter plug outlets. They can run appliances/devices requiring up to 600 watts....

The inverter plugs are separate from the regular 120v plugs...in order to use the dedicated inverter outlets the inverter must be turned on...and those outlets do not work on shore power...only the regular 120v AC plug outlets work on shore power.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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Some RVs with an inverter use some device to supply juice to all the 110 outlets when you are hooked to shore power, or using the 12v to 110v inverter. I don't know how that is done. Probably expensive.

When I installed the inverter on our '65 Caravel, I used a power strip with 110 outlets which I plugged into the inverter. When we are boondocking, I plug the TV, VCR, Dish box into the power strip outlets.

A completely separate 110v system. Very easy install that way.

Love it.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:20 PM   #5
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The factory installed inverter in our 2007 25'FB Safari is World Friendship Co., Ltd's model WF-600T (600 watt pure sine wave power converter.) You're probably better off by not having the factory installed unit that supplies a receptacle under the dining table and one by the TV. Airstream made the decision that if you have an inverter, you should only run your TV from the inverter supplied 120V A/C receptacle next to the TV. They didn't install a shore power 120V A/C receptacle next to the TV for use while on shore power. When you are on shore power you are converting 120V A/C to 12V DC with your factory installed power converter, you then use the 600W inverter to convert the 12V DC to 120V A/C which causes the ventalation fan on your power center to run continually while you are watching TV. Don't know why Airstream did not spend another $15-$20 and install a shore power supplied 120V A/C receptacle next to the TV when you pay $662.00 for the inverter option
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dabeach View Post
The factory installed inverter in our 2007 25'FB Safari is World Friendship Co., Ltd's model WF-600T (600 watt pure sine wave power converter.) You're probably better off by not having the factory installed unit that supplies a receptacle under the dining table and one by the TV. Airstream made the decision that if you have an inverter, you should only run your TV from the inverter supplied 120V A/C receptacle next to the TV. They didn't install a shore power 120V A/C receptacle next to the TV for use while on shore power. When you are on shore power you are converting 120V A/C to 12V DC with your factory installed power converter, you then use the 600W inverter to convert the 12V DC to 120V A/C which causes the ventalation fan on your power center to run continually while you are watching TV. Don't know why Airstream did not spend another $15-$20 and install a shore power supplied 120V A/C receptacle next to the TV when you pay $662.00 for the inverter option
That is peculiar...in our 2006 19' Safari SE Bambi...there is an inverter outlet and as 120V outlet near the TV...(but then everything in an Bambi could be said to be "near").

When on shore power we do not use the inverter. When using the inverter (and not on shore power), we just remove the TV plug from the 120 outlet and plug it into the inverter outlet and turn the inverter on...
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:16 PM   #7
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Our batteries and DC distribution center are forward in our AS.

I'm mounting an inverter in the forward cabinet that holds our TV, Sat receiver and DVD player.

I power all the TV stuff through one breaker protected power strip that's plugged into the normal AC socket when hooked to shore power.

When using the inverter, I switch the power strip from the Trailer's AC socket to the AC socket in the inverter. As most models, the inverter has it's own DC on/off switch.

The inverter is mounted as close to the batteries as possible to avoid DC resistance loss in the power cables.

If you are installing an inverter, consult the instructions for proper DC wire sizing according to the length of the cables to ensure good inverter performance.

In our Lance camper, I made a more elaborate installation...

I installed a rotary switch that allowed me to power the camper from: 1. shore power 2. off 3. inverter.

When inverter was selected I had to install an additional SPST switch in the converter/charger AC circuit to turn it off when in inverter mode.

I then also turned off the AC breaker to the fridge when in inverter mode.

This made all the Lance's AC outlets now powered by the inverter...I could actually run the microwave from the inverter (1500 watt) for light duty chores.

I've thought about doing something similar in the AS, but the AC breaker box is in the rear, and everything else is up front...to power all the AC outlets, I'd have to run an additional AC cable from the inverter up front (inverter has to be close to the batteries) back to the breaker box...and install a rotary selector switch there....just too much work...I think I'll stick to switching the power strip's plug!
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:38 PM   #8
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I mounted our inverter directly to the inside aluminum skin. It makes a great heat sync. The fan on the inverter, which is temperature controlled, seldom comes on.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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It's difficult to decide how many and which outlets to power when you use a small inverter with limited battery power.

I solved that problem by installing my 400 watt solar charging system, 300 amp/hour batteries and the 2000 watt sine wave inverter in my TV, which is also my service van. This way, I just plug in my CCD thru the 30 amp cord into the waterproof outlet at the bumper of the van and power the entire van like it was attached to a regular 120VAC power source. I also get to run my corded power tools from the van when needed and there is no 120VAC source.

One must be careful, though......as the inverter WILL run the fridge on AC AND will START THE AIR CONDITIONER !!!!!!!!!!!! You can be sure that the batteries will be down to nothing in a flash with that kind of draw on them!

Mexray is correct about the wiring. You should always err on the side of larger conductors when adding an inverter to your power system. I used 4/0 cables to connect the new house batteries to the inverter, even though they are within 24" of each other. The longer the distance, the larger cabling you need to avoid voltage drop. The installation manual included with the inverter should detail the wiring requirements.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:54 AM   #10
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I understand how Airstream hooks up the inverter now. Thanks, Ron
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:29 PM   #11
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Inverter

Greetings:

I, originally , was also confused with the inverter...&..outlets. I have a 2006 Safari and as mentioned previously, the only outlet available where a TV can be installed is in a cabinet above the table next to the frig. I have a World Friendship inverter that has an AC bypass. ( Don't want a 12 V TV...does such a thing exist??)Your inverter has to have a bypass to do this.So here is what I did....The deal here is that inverter has a bypass...an electrical cord with a male electrical connection on it. So ..one the 120AV outlets next to the inverter outlet on the wall at the left front of the cabin can be by used and a hot 120V electrical line run down into the seat compartment where the inverter is located. I connected that circut to the male inverter cord and ran the current to the inverter circut. The inverter circut wire will already be in that location. Net result....if NOT on shore power the inverter can be turned on and the circuts labeled " inverter " will supply 120AC current...if on shore power the 120AC will run through the inverter and provide 120AC power to the inverter circut. Either way you can run your TV on 120AC and all the inverter circuts will always have 120V power, even if on shore power. I would say, just be careful to have good solid electrical connections and use an ample amount of electrical tape at all connects. This method will not supply inverter 120AC to any other appliance. Safe/ Sorry issues here Be sure to turn on/turn off the inverter appropriately. WHY AIRSTREAM DIDN'T DO THIS IS BEYOND ME. IT'S JUST LIKE THE ONE CRUMMY TOWEL RACK IN THE SHOWER/ TOILET AREA.


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Old 08-08-2008, 09:39 PM   #12
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Greetings:

Back again...forgot. If you are worried if this should be a " fused line" ..the inverter has a 7 amp, circut breaker , resetable....and has 2 automotive 35 amp fuses inside the casing. So your safe. If it blows and the circut breaker will not reset..check the fuses.

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