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Old 08-13-2020, 01:30 PM   #1
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Inverter and converter: question 2

I see these two terms used together often in posts, but not all converters have inverters, correct? My converter/distribution center is the factory supplied WFCO. I donít have an inverter.

Are inverters included on some models or are they after-market?

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:56 PM   #2
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-Converter: Takes 120V from shore power and turns it in to 12V to run 12V systems in the trailer.

-Charger: Takes 120V from shore power and turns it in to 12V (well actually 13.x to 14.x volts) to charge the batteries.

-Inverter: Takes 12V power from batteries and converts it to 120V to run 120V loads. Size of inverter dictates what can be run. Most common are 1000 watts that run the Television, DVD player, and a couple of standard outlets to charge laptops, etc. Some are 3000w that (with sufficient wiring) can run everything in the trailer, though for how long is dependent on how robust your battery bank is.

Typically, the Converter and Charger are combined in one unit. So correct terminology would be converter/charger. But people tend to just shorthand that and say 'converter'. The WFCO in your rig is a 'converter/charger.'

Inverter is a separate piece of gear.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:09 PM   #3
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I agree with Peter above, except in the case of something like the popular Victron inverter/charger units - like the popular MultiPlus series. In that case a single unit is both an inverter and charger.

Inverters are included on some models. Mine came with a 1000W inverter, but as part of my electrical system upgrade, that was removed and replaced with a MultiPlus 3000W unit.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:18 PM   #4
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That covers question #2.
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:32 AM   #5
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That sure does Rich! Thanks everyone. I know these may be simplistic questions, but I am trying to get an overall understanding of what does what and how. It never mattered hoping from campground to campground, but now that I am boondocking more, it does.

peace
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:46 AM   #6
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That sure does Rich! Thanks everyone. I know these may be simplistic questions, but I am trying to get an overall understanding of what does what and how. It never mattered hoping from campground to campground, but now that I am boondocking more, it does.

peace
Question #3?
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:25 AM   #7
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Yes. Last one, I think. More of a "do I understand this correctly?" question. At the risk of being redundant, I will put it here rather than start a new thread...

When on shore power: as stated in part by pcskier above, converter takes 120v, sends some of it to appliances (ac, microwave, outlets, ac/dc fridge), converts another portion to 12v and directs that to lights, pump, etc., and uses yet another portion to charge battery. Batteries do not power anything when on shore power.

When on battery power: Battery receives charge from solar panels via solar charge controller, then sends voltage to converter where it is distributed to all 12v items...

Somewhere in here the converter receives some amount of voltage from my tow vehicle to charge battery...

My ac/dc refrigerator senses the type of power being supplied and runs accordingly.

Also, in the WFCO manual is mention of a "transfer switch" that protects the convertor by "switching" between shore and generator power. Not sure what that is all about...

This all started as I tried to understand how to turn off the convertor and still power my ac/dc refrigerator when running a 2,200w gen and an easy start.

So, does it seem like I have a grip on the electrical system? Anything else that would be useful?

I appreciate your patience and help.

Curt
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by harphunt View Post
Also, in the WFCO manual is mention of a "transfer switch" that protects the convertor by "switching" between shore and generator power. Not sure what that is all about...

Curt
It's not technically between shore and generator power, but rather between the two separate 120V connections on the trailer - normally one on the side by the other utility hookups, and one in front.

You could connect shore power or a generator to either one.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:40 AM   #9
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SeaLevel... which "one in front?" Not sure what you are referencing. Thanks.

peace
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by harphunt View Post
Yes. Last one, I think. More of a "do I understand this correctly?" question. At the risk of being redundant, I will put it here rather than start a new thread...

When on shore power: as stated in part by pcskier above, converter takes 120v, sends some of it to appliances (ac, microwave, outlets, ac/dc fridge), converts another portion to 12v and directs that to lights, pump, etc., and uses yet another portion to charge battery. Batteries do not power anything when on shore power. "Not really, the converter converts to 12vdc, the 120 vac goes through a breaker panel to distribute the AC to your stuff"

When on battery power: Battery receives charge from solar panels via solar charge controller, then sends voltage to converter where it is distributed to all 12v items... " Again, there is a fuse panel powered by the battery or the converter output"

Somewhere in here the converter receives some amount of voltage from my tow vehicle to charge battery..." No, that charging wire goes to the battery, not the converter"

My ac/dc refrigerator senses the type of power being supplied and runs accordingly.

Also, in the WFCO manual is mention of a "transfer switch" that protects the convertor by "switching" between shore and generator power. Not sure what that is all about..." If your trailer has two outside shorepower connections, there will be a transfer switch to switch between them. It sense which one has power. This is useful if you have generator in a truck bed and a front connection"

This all started as I tried to understand how to turn off the convertor and still power my ac/dc refrigerator when running a 2,200w gen and an easy start.

So, does it seem like I have a grip on the electrical system? Anything else that would be useful?

I appreciate your patience and help.

Curt
Tried to answer above
Larry
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:34 AM   #11
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SeaLevel... which "one in front?" Not sure what you are referencing. Thanks.

peace
Some trailers have two places where you can plug in either shore power or a generator. When there is a 2nd one, it's usually in the front of the trailer. It's nice to have it there for when we want to plug in the generator sitting in the bed of our truck, or when it's just more convenient to plug shore power in there.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:38 AM   #12
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Inverter and converter: question 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaLevel View Post
Some trailers have two places where you can plug in either shore power or a generator. When there is a 2nd one, it's usually in the front of the trailer. It's nice to have it there for when we want to plug in the generator sitting in the bed of our truck, or when it's just more convenient to plug shore power in there.


Example:

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This is an upgraded Marine style connector. Available from the Smartplug folks on Amazon and other places. Hooks up solid, bigger, tighter contacts and itís very waterproof. Cover is stainless steel.

This is my inlet for the generator that rides in the truck bed. This will fit in the same hole and screw pattern as the OEM connector. I installed a NICE SOLID BlueSea Systems manual 30 amp transfer switch to select which inlet is connected to my OEM power panel.
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:41 AM   #13
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Ohhh. I don't have a connector up front, but I understand what you mean. Thanks. That looks wonderful rmkrum!

I assume I have a grip on the rest...

Curt
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:04 PM   #14
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Inverter and converter: question 2

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Originally Posted by harphunt View Post
Ohhh. I don't have a connector up front, but I understand what you mean. Thanks. That looks wonderful rmkrum!

I assume I have a grip on the rest...

Curt


Only hard part was triple-checking location, then (gasp!) drilling a big hole in the aluminum shiny bits. The rest is routine.

Ran the 10-2 w/ground romex wire in ďsmurf tubeĒ (corrugated blue conduit) under the kitchen cabinets to the front wall of the bathroom where I mounted the transfer switch plate a few inches above the countertop. No, I didnít grab a photo...sorry.
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:48 PM   #15
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Well, that modification is very clean!
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:21 PM   #16
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Gotta maintain the Department of Overkill Engineeringís reputation for high quality work as well as maintaining proper overkill...thanks for the kind words.
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:36 PM   #17
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One last question/thought. When people use a 2000watt class generator and an easy start, they generally need to shut the power off to the converter. How would that work with an ac/dc refrigerator? Since I canít run on lp, wouldnít that put my refrigerator on dc power?

Iíd rather not start ANOTHER topic.

Curt
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:53 PM   #18
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Inverter and converter: question 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by harphunt View Post
One last question/thought. When people use a 2000watt class generator and an easy start, they generally need to shut the power off to the converter. How would that work with an ac/dc refrigerator? Since I canít run on lp, wouldnít that put my refrigerator on dc power?



Iíd rather not start ANOTHER topic.



Curt


Probably would want a bigger generator or a set paralleled if your fridge is AC/DC powered. Thatís why some power margin is necessary. I went total overkill to 3500 watt inverter so I donít have to worry about it much.

Add up the amps load, and give it 10-20% extra for heat and altitude changes which will increase load or reduce output.

Right now Iím running without an EasyStart unit, and have no issues in the heat.
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Old 08-15-2020, 05:43 AM   #19
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Thanks for the reply. It only draws .5a on ac, but defeats the purpose if on dc. Looking more and more like the Champion 3100.
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Old 08-15-2020, 05:48 AM   #20
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harphunt, have you read your AS owner's manual thoroughly? Usually they do a fairly good job of answering the basic questions here IMO.

Happy trails,
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