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Old 10-24-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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Inverter Installation Method

Last week I ordered a Flying Cloud 27FB; and I still have some time to change the options. I didn't order the boondocking package from AS but arranged with the dealer to install a 85w solar panel, 4 Lifeline batteries, solar charger, 2000w inverter and an auto transfer switch that routes the 110v from the inverter to the converter when shore power is removed. This means all the 110v outlets in the trailer will be active. But it seems to me there's going to be a waste of power; I'm taking the 12v from the batteries to the inverter making 110v; which in turn powers the Parallax converter which turns it back to 12v.

My boondocking will be limited to 1 night sleepovers. I will install a satellite dish on the roof.

Am I doing the right thing by this configuration or am I better off with the factory option instead. I think the factory method with it's 650w inverter powers only select outlets.

Maybe keep my original config but not have the inverter's output not sent directly to the Parallax?

What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rawn77 View Post
Last week I ordered a Flying Cloud 27FB; and I still have some time to change the options. I didn't order the boondocking package from AS but arranged with the dealer to install a 85w solar panel, 4 Lifeline batteries, solar charger, 2000w inverter and an auto transfer switch that routes the 110v from the inverter to the converter when shore power is removed. This means all the 110v outlets in the trailer will be active. But it seems to me there's going to be a waste of power; I'm taking the 12v from the batteries to the inverter making 110v; which in turn powers the Parallax converter which turns it back to 12v.

My boondocking will be limited to 1 night sleepovers. I will install a satellite dish on the roof.

Am I doing the right thing by this configuration or am I better off with the factory option instead. I think the factory method with it's 650w inverter powers only select outlets.

Maybe keep my original config but not have the inverter's output not sent directly to the Parallax?

What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Ron
Hi Ron,
I think you need to draw this all out on paper. You will gain nothing from plugging the converter into the inverter except to waste power from the loss in the converter and thus discharge your batteries sooner. In fact with your ac transfer switch, you should include contacts to disconnect the converter from AC.
I have the factory package, but it is pricey for what it offers, however I wanted it done when I got the trailer. It does only power two outlets.
If you call airstream they can probably sent you a diagram of the trailer's DC wiring. There will be one in your manual when you get your trailer.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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Hi Ron,
I think you need to draw this all out on paper. You will gain nothing from plugging the converter into the inverter except to waste power from the loss in the converter and thus discharge your batteries sooner. In fact with your ac transfer switch, you should include contacts to disconnect the converter from AC.
I have the factory package, but it is pricey for what it offers, however I wanted it done when I got the trailer. It does only power two outlets.
If you call airstream they can probably sent you a diagram of the trailer's DC wiring. There will be one in your manual when you get your trailer.
Regards,
Ken
Ken,
Thanks for the reply.
Did you mean that the transfer switch should be installed so that when boondocking, the batteries are powering the DC outlets directly (in other words, the converter is NOT)?
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
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Ken,
Thanks for the reply.
Did you mean that the transfer switch should be installed so that when boondocking, the batteries are powering the DC outlets directly (in other words, the converter is NOT)?
Yes, that is correct. The output of the converter is wired directly to the batteries (through some circuit breakers and perhaps the use/store switch) so all the DC lights, outlets, etc will all have power whether the converter is on or not. With the factory installation, only the two AC outlets powered by the inverter will have have power. If you install your own inverter with a switch to switch its output in place of shore power all the AC outlets will have power. You would want to be sure all unnecessary AC load was off, that would include the converter. The refrigerator and water heater should be on gas only. There are probably others that don't pop into my mind right now.
Hope that helps,
Ken
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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Even with 4 batteries you will need to pay attention to the available amp-hours vs the load you might put on them. High amp appliances like a microwave, hairdryer, coffee maker or toaster are going to put a crimp on the high life. Don't even imagine air conditioning...

After four years I'm at the end of the service cycle of my OEM flooded batteries. Even at the higher price, I haven't heard about AGM expected life beyond that. It takes some care regardless of the type of battery. Perhaps AGMs can discharge somewhat below the 45-50% capacity that flooded batts will tolerate. But the entire amp-hour capacity of any battery is not available to you. Discharge completely and service life will be affected. Roadkingmoe has posted some of the best amp hour analyses of solar use.

In a lot of situations trailer-top solar cannot produce enough amp hours in one day to recharge a bank of 2 batteries (or 4). The umbilical needs hundreds of miles before any significant recharge can happen in one day's drive. I suspect that you will find trailer use patterns different than the one-night proposed. It's great to plan on that trip to a national park or some remote national forest.

Traveling is fun. Hookups while in transit are easily available. I find myself at the end of the road without hookups once I arrive out in the sticks. Running my single $1000 Honda genset during meal prep and early evening covers most of my 120 volt needs in a day.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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Ken
I spoke with my dealer, and he confirmed to me that the converter does get disconnected when the inverter is turned on.
Here's his response to my email:
"The way we install the invertor it switches through an automatic relay
that switches the power source from the power cord to the invertor when
the invertor is turned on. The convertor we power directly from the
power cord so it is automatically disconnected when the invertor is
turned on. "

I'll have to make sure I switch the fridge & hot water to gas, as well turn off the subwoofer. If anybody can think of anything else, please let me know.

and Bob,
Right now, I have an ordinary 27' TT with 2 regular type 24 deep cycle batteries. The umbilical cord (I like that term) recharges them fully after a few hours. I've been doing it every weekend the whole season. Hopefully I'll have similar success with the 4 AGM's (with a little help from the solar panel) and a few hundred miles.
Which genset do you have? 1 or 2k?

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions.
You gotta love this forum!

Ron
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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I keep the inverter 110 separate from the coach 110 on both trailers. I plug what I want into the inverter. No guess work. Easy to know exactly what I am using. No nasty surprises with dead batteries.
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