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Old 01-31-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
'Ocean Breeze' :)
 
2007 19' Bambi
2008 23' International
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
Inverter switch?

Hello,

I have a question on my new-to-me 2008 23' CB International Ocean Breeze. The sticker says "Solar Pre-wire". There's a 100 watt panel up top and a 30 amp solar regulator panel inside under the dinette (crazy spot). I boondocked on the beach in Ventura recently and the solar panel kept charging the batteries, four days no problems. Used lights every evening, fridge and heater (on propane). Was very enjoyable. Just love my new trailer!

I did try to use the tv, but the tv didn't have power and I didn't see any inverter switch anywhere. I didn't really want the tv, but needed to charge my phone!

For a little history, about 13 years ago I bought a 2007 19' bambi that I added 100 watts of solar and had an inverter switch I used when off shore power that powered a tv outlet and a kitchen outlet. There was no "solar pre-wire" then.

There is no switch for an inverter inside my new trailer. Also, no outlets are marked for inverter. Couldn't run the tv or plug in a small space heater that was recommended in another forum (just in case the heater didn't work) or charge my phone. I tried all outlets. The original owners had a second tv installed for the corner bed. That outlet didn't work either. Also, no documentation in the box of papers that came with the trailer. Of course, I was so giddy when I bought it, I didn't ask anything about the TV or outlets or actually using the solar. I just saw that the batteries were charging.

I did just txt the gentleman I purchased the trailer from. He was the second owner. They always camped with hook-ups, never relied on the solar, but he thought there should be an inverter somewhere. He suggested I call the dealer.

So my question to the forum is in 2008 would someone install a solar panel and not have an inverter installed? Or did the "solar pre-wire" mean an inverter was already installed or not needed? Could a switch be outside the trailer? Also, could it be a fuse that needs replacing to get the tv outlet to work? I did throw the breakers just to see if that helped (didn't help). But I did not check any fuses.

Any thoughts for what to trouble shoot? Or comments on what the solar pre-wire included in my model/year?

Thanks for any advice. I'll take it to the dealer eventually and have them check it out. They are the same dealer that did the installation for the original owners.

I'm very happy considering everything else is in great working order. Just want to mainly have an outlet to charge my phone next time out!

Thanks,

Dawn
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:54 PM   #2
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Dadeville , Alabama
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Sound like you do not have an inverter in your system. Have you been able to locate one.
It could be very common for. Your trailer to have solar and no inverter. Solar would charge the batteries and you can run all your DC circuits fine, but without an inverter to convert the DC current to supply AC loads you will not have AC power.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:21 AM   #3
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If you're just looking to charge your phone there should be a 12V socket on the TV antenna panel. You can plug the adapter you use in your car to it then connect the phone to the USB and get a charge. Ours is a 2006 23' so I'm guessing the 2007 models would still have it.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:27 PM   #4
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
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Solar and inverters are separate and neither are required for the other. 'Solar Prewire' has nothing to do with an inverter. That's just wire the factory included to make it easier to add solar panels later. If you don't have outlets, especially behind the TV sets and your dvd player, that have blue stickers that say 'inverter' on them, you likely don't have one. Also, your tv's would have two sets of outlets back there, one for the inverter and the other to use when plugged in to shore power. The 'inverter' one also would have one of the plugs 'open' and the other 'blocked' with plastic material, to keep you from plugging in more than just the tv.

Another way to check...look in your battery box. How many black and red wires attach to your batteries and then go from the box and disappear into the trailer? If just two...very likely no inverter. An inverter most often has it's own wires leading from the batteries to the inverter, so you'd see two sets from the box to the trailer.

So now what, assuming no inverter? You can always add one, they are handy when off-grid, and have it wired so that it will feed selected outlets in your trailer with the inverter OR shore power, depending on if you're plugged in or not. It's called "pass through." People smarter than me (such as Ronnie/GMFL above) can tell you how. As a note on that, many basic inverters are only 1000 watts, so using a small cube heater as you mentioned could be problematic, unless you had one that has settings to draw less than 1000w. Most of them draw 1250 or 1500 on 'high', down to 750 or so on 'low'. But even then, that would be a real hit on your batteries if left running for a few hours. Small inverters when wired by the factory are generally intended to power just the tv and dvd player, and usually one more outlet under the dinette. Things like heaters, crock pots, electric skillets, etc...draw too much for a 1000w inverter, or if they draw less than 1000w, will kill your batteries in a hurry.

As noted, there should be a 'cigarette lighter' type of outlet in your trailer, usually around where the stereo and dvd player is. Get a charger that uses that, many even have two usb ports and a voltage readout. Even better, it's pretty easy to add a bank of USB outlets wired into that area. I just put one in for somebody that had a cigarette lighter type outlet, 2 USB ports, and an LED voltage readout for keeping an eye on battery charge level. It included a switch that turns the whole thing off. It was around 20 bucks on Amazon.

Lastly, check out the 23D thread (the 23d is what they used to call the 23CB). Lots of great info on your trailer and we will help get you started spending lots of money on stuff. You have been warned
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ad-166085.html
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:02 AM   #5
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2007 19' Bambi
2008 23' International
Fresno , California
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That's a great idea! I have one in my car, I'll give it a try!

Thank you for the suggestion.

Dawn
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:24 AM   #6
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2007 19' Bambi
2008 23' International
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
Thank you, pcskier.

Well it does appear that I have no inverter. But I will take your suggestion and look in the battery box to check for the additional wires you mention.

My previous trailer had a 1000 watt inverter and I was careful with what I plugged in. The little space heater I mentioned is a 500w ceramic one I found online. Small but if you stick it by your feet in a pinch, it takes the chill off nicely. I was just thinking to use it as a back up if the furnace went out.

I like that idea of the USB bank + voltage read out. I'll have to look into that. Do you happen to still have the URL for the product you got on Amazon?

I'll probably live with my set up as it is for a while and see what I really need. It has been 9 years since I sold my first Airstream and I do some things differently now - like how I make coffee for example. And with USB and bluetooth, it's all different. So if I can charge my phone with that cigarette-type outlet, and potentially a laptop and a little portable Bose speaker, without killing my batteries then I might not miss the inverter.

The reservations I have lined up so far this year are about 50-50 with hook-ups and not. And they are just long weekends since I'm still working full time. So it will be a learning year

Thanks again for the information and your suggestions. I appreciate it very much!

Dawn
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:31 AM   #7
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we use the victronenergy mppt for solar with 350 on 3 panels

and the 3000w inverter converted plus a few other of their system. they all talk together plus they give you remote access
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:35 AM   #8
'Ocean Breeze' :)
 
2007 19' Bambi
2008 23' International
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
Thank you, GMFL. You're right. No inverter. I just assumed there would be one based on what I had earlier. But it makes sense to have the solar just powering the batteries. In the short time I've had my new trailer, it has been very helpful.

Thanks for your response.

Dawn
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
'Ocean Breeze' :)
 
2007 19' Bambi
2008 23' International
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
Thank you, wamomae39. I will look into that. At some point I do want to add to my solar capacity when I get closer to retiring (counting down now) and will be able to take much longer trips to more beautiful off the grid places.

Dawn
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:35 PM   #10
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Park City , Utah
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This is the USB port I installed for someone in their trailer.



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GL4H4YK...roduct_details
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:52 PM   #11
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2007 19' Bambi
2008 23' International
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 15
Thanks, pcskier! That's great.
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