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Old 10-18-2016, 03:12 PM   #1
Lynn
 
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What's the best inverter to buy?

I have a 2005 25 ft. AS with solar. Would like to install an inverter to run the microwave, coffee pot, etc. when not connected to electrical. Can anyone suggest a good inverter to buy and install?

thanks

Lynn
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:36 PM   #2
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Are you looking strictly for an inverter or would you like an inverter/charger that will also keep your batteries properly charged when in shore power?

For the latter, look to Magnum ( made in the USA) and Victron. Both are high quality pure sine wave units available in several sizes. Both are fully field serviceable unlike many of the cheaper units and have 3-year factory warranties.

Victron also has several excellent units that are inverter-only. I would use a minimum of a 1500 watt unit.

Be certain that your batteries will be up to the task of providing for the large amperage draw that an inverter will be pulling from those batteries.

A 1200 watt microwave will pull 130-140 amps from batteries while operating.


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Old 10-18-2016, 06:04 PM   #3
Lynn
 
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Thanks Lew for the response. For batteries, I currently have Interstate Deep Cycle 6V GC2-XHD-UTL 232 AH. Do you know if these would be ok?
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by aliner View Post
Thanks Lew for the response. For batteries, I currently have Interstate Deep Cycle 6V GC2-XHD-UTL 232 AH. Do you know if these would be ok?
They will work but I would not count on them to hold charge over an extended period of use. You will also see large transient voltage drop numbers when under a large load like a microwave.

There's a little theorem called the 'Peukert Effect' that states that as you increase the size of the load on a lead acid battery, the effective size (capacity) of that battery (or battery bank) decreases exponentially.

Different types of lead-based batteries have different co-efficients that are used in the calculations and liquid cells have one of the highest. AGMs have one of the lower values, and there is no discernible Peukert Effect on lithium batteries.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:08 PM   #5
Lynn
 
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Ok, sounds like I have some work to do in order to have an inverter/battery setup to meet my needs. Thanks again for your feedback and advise.

Lynn
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:30 PM   #6
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Several years ago, I bought a boat that had a relatively new Xantrex inverter in it that in just a few years had turned to toast & needed to be replaced. The numerous boat repair guys I spoke with consistently recommended Magnum. I bought & installed a new 3kw Magnum, which has worked flawlessly for going on 5 years now. If somehow it crapped out & I couldn't get it repaired, I would buy another without question. A little more $$$ than others, but in my experience worth it.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:47 PM   #7
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I am going with the Magnun 1012, good for my 23D flying cloud. Will charge batteries and such well and compatible with solar. Also, for $170 you can buy the programmable remote, which allows you to customize battery charging cycles and increase Charge voltage as needed.

I have been researching for about two weeks, and this is where I have landed.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:18 PM   #8
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Good choice. Be sure to connect the temperature probe too. This way the charger will provide full temperature compensation to the charging voltage.

You can also easily add their ME-BMK for a complete battery monitor system.


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Old 10-19-2016, 06:06 PM   #9
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I'm having my Classic 25fb upgraded to the Magnum 1012 1000w inverter/charger. I've instructed the tech to isolate the microwave, fridge 110v, A/C and water heater circuits from the inverter. This allows all 110v receptacles to be used for inverted power. This required a new AC circuit panel, a Progressive 30amp panel.
http://www.bestconverter.com/PD5000-...l#.WAf6djKZPMU

and a new DC panel
http://www.bestconverter.com/PD6000-...l#.WAf6zjKZPMU

We are upgrading our Interstate Grp 27 batteries to Lifeline 220ah 6v batteries.

We don't use our microwave much. If we use it to cook a couple of frozen dinners it would require more than 5 or 6 minutes of use which would require a whole lot of battery capacity. Just not worth it to us. Using a pizza stone in the oven in our LP oven makes the oven more useable for warming up meals/left overs and baking. One appliance we have just purchased is a Greville juicer which is 900 watts. Hopefully we will be able to use it with the Magnum. We will back up the batteries with 200w of roof solar plug the ability to plug in 200watts of portable panels. We also have a propane powered Honda 2000w generator as back up on rainy/cloudy days.

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Old 10-19-2016, 06:06 PM   #10
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We just redid our system and put in lithium ion batteries, solar panels and got a Honda generator so we can boon dock. It has been quite the set up and getting it all running just right. We put in a Magnum generator as we heard that both this and the Victron were good but that the customer service at Magnum was superior. We have used the customer service a ton since buying the inverter and trying to get the system set up and running and charging properly. Make sure you get someone who knows what they are doing with all the systems or it could take months to get it right.
Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:07 PM   #11
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And the Magnum comes with remote but you can more easily program it right on the device.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:25 PM   #12
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The Magnum remote is optional and used to program specific charging parameters for the specific battery type. The Magnum 1012 comes with the battery temperature sensor. We can't afford lithiums at this time. We'll see how the Lifelines will work out. I had to store my new Lifelines for a couple of months before delivering the trailer to the company doing the work and the voltage only dropped a 1/10 of a volt on each battery but it still showed 13v. I'm lucky to show 12.7v on my Interstates after resting for over a month after a full charge.

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Old 10-21-2016, 01:12 PM   #13
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We were boon docking 30-45 days a year. Considering an inverter we went for the "etc." and decided to skip powering the microwave and coffee pot. Saved a lot of dough on the inverter and cables, somewhat smaller cables are much easier to route, and the inverter's current draw at idle seemed quite low.

Although we use our microwave to boil water once each in the morning and afternoon, it's so easy to just use the kettle on stovetop. Reheating food works very well in the oven or on skillet, again obviating need for microwave. Microwave is a convenience to us, not a necessity.

We were running four of the same Interstate GX2 6v batteries as you, for a rated 460 amp hours, so could have operated a 1,200 or 1,500 watt inverter for short durations no problem. But, two years later, we're still very happy with our Samlex pure sine wave 600 watt inverter with remote.

As I said, easier to install because of smaller cable requirement and provides all we need. We keep an outlet strip "hot" so whether we're boon docking or going down the road, we have outlets always powered. Too, I installed a receptacle on a dedicated line from the inverter to the fridge outside enclosure. This lets me power a small power tool or my portable 110v air compressor outside without getting the generator out of the truck.

Best of all? I think we paid $250for this inverter, plus another $50 for the disaster fuse holder. I had the HD cables and lug terminals for hookup in my wire bin.

This doesn't fit your bill for powering the coffee pot and microwave, but thought it might help to offer another view on it. YMMV - Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:47 PM   #14
Lynn
 
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Thank you DreamStreamer and everyone else for responding to my request. A lot of options to consider, bottom line due to the cost of full hookups etc. when traveling, dry camping from time to time saves $$$$.

Lynn
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:52 PM   #15
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A lot of good comments on this topic which I read with interest as I have just completed the installation of a Go Power IC-2000 W inverter/charger to complement the 160w solar installed earlier in our 2005 Classic 30 SO. Keep points to consider being intended use vs battery capacity, DC battery cable size related to amperage draw, and logistics of connecting larger sized cables (in my case I went with 4/0) and the problem of routing AC cables between the AC panel at the back to and from the inverter/charger up front. I bought the remote control too. Testing the operation today with a one minute run of the microwave showed the inverter pulling 147 amps and the voltage dropping to 11.22v but rebounding to 12.4v right after and on resuming charging mode charge current of 0.1 amps. We decided to run the inverter output to the main panel vs installing a sub-panel, recognizing that when inverting we will not be able to run everything. I understand the inverter will shut down if the voltage drops below the chosen value (I think default is 10.5A). I would be happy to share the details of the installation with anyone who is interested, but must say that the customer/technical support from the Canadian distributor - Carmanah - was excellent with immediate telephone help and email responses < 24 hrs.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:25 PM   #16
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Magnum install question

I was wondering if someone could provide some more info on magnum, or even example wire diagram. I am wondering the best way to do this to be able to still use shore power occasionally, but then battery when dry camping.

I think I have two choices:

1. I could wire the magnum with AC input from existing 2017 23D parrellax breaker, and wire magnum out put directly to the inverted circuits.

2. Or I could do what kelvin was saying, keep existing shore power isolating AC, Microwave, and then add a second 110 set of breakers to go to all of the other outlets. In this case AC input for magnum would come from existing breaker/shore power, and magnum AC out would go to a new panel with all the wall outlets etc.


I gues another option is to just run shore power to AC input of magnum, and then the output from magnum to the input on existing AC breaker panel. Would this work, or would the magnum limit the amp draw as I believe it has a 20 amp breaker. If installed this way would the AC trip this breaker?


Does this sound correct? Which option have others done? Is there an easier way that would allow shore power to be used on all circuits, and also the magnum, say if I wanted to try microwave?

Thanks
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:30 PM   #17
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Thanks Lew, which one is better the magnum or the trimetric from bogart?
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:56 PM   #18
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Hands down Samlex. Have compared most and dropped Magnum after 1 year. Mainly because when there was a problem with a unit, the sent the consumer to a "authrized repair facility" instead of in house service that Samlex provides. That was enough for us.
Available in 350 to 3000 watts, with or without remote. Zero returns in 9 years, hard to beat that record.
Samlex PST-UL series for pure sine without charger and Samlex EVO for inverter/charger.
Do the comparisons on features, price and warranty procedures.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:36 PM   #19
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Thanks overlandrr, where is Samlex made?
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:43 PM   #20
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Thanks overlandrr, where is Samlex made?
Acording to website China,Taiwan,Holland and Canada.
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