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Old 05-19-2020, 05:01 AM   #1
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Has anyone hardwire in an inverter?

Our 2017 freedom elite 26HE only has a converter charger and we would like to also be able to do some dry camping without always having to run the generator. I doubled up my house batteries to now have two 100ah batteries in parallel to work with but would like to simply add an inverter for now. Thinking of upgrading my converter to an inverter Charger when we do solar upgrade but that is a couple years off.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:12 AM   #2
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You have several options......

First, 200Ah is going to limit what you can power for any substantial length of time, especially without solar. You won't be powering an air conditioner, etc.

Second, you are likely looking at 1000W or maybe an 1800W Inverter depending on what you want to power and for how long. If you have a gas / electric fridge, it will let you power the fridge. You can power TV's, a coffee maker and possible some microwave use if you install a true sine wave Inverter.

I changed the way my Inverter was hardwired in my prior coach, a 2018 Outlaw 29H. It came with a Xantrex 1000W Inverter that only powered the TV's and stereo. I wanted something with more power and also wanted to be able to decide what outlets would be powered by the Inverter.

I replaced the stock Inverter with a Xantrex 1800 True Sine Wave Inverter. I then wired it like I have my house wired to use the generator if I ever lose power at home. This requires some manual processes to use properly and safely but I knew what I was doing and how the system would work so it wasn't an issue for me.

I did the following with all AC and DC power off to the coach.....

- I removed the AC input to the inverter. I was not worried about using the built-in Transfer Switch of the Xantrex.

- I then added a 15A breaker to an open slot on my WFCO Power Distribution Center.

- I took the output of the Inverter and wired it to the new 15A breaker that I added. I did this to allow the Inverter to back-feed the Distribution Panel Buss when I wanted to use the Inverter.

This is the process I followed to use my Inverter....

- When I wanted to use the Inverter I first turned off all breakers in the Power Distribution Panel. This included the Main breakers, the Converter breaker, etc.

- I then turned on the new 15A breaker that allowed the Inverter to provide AC to the Distribution Panel.

- I then turned on only the breaker to the outlet that I wanted to power. Again, I was limited to 15A circuits because I chose to use existing wiring and not run heavier gauge wire to use the 20A capability of the Inverter.

- When I was done using the Inverter, I had to reverse the procedure. I would turn off the new 15A breaker from the Inverter output to stop feeding the Distribution Panel. I then would turn on all of the breakers to restore the ability to use shore power or the generator.

My Outlaw had a 5000BTU air conditioner in the garage and with solar I could power it without a problem on a sunny day. I could also run my fridge on electric via the Inverter instead of propane. I could also power an outlet in the kitchen so my wife could use a crock pot to cook dinner while we were driving so I didn't have to be running the generator.

This setup worked great for my purposes but the approach may not be for everyone. You need to know what you are doing.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:36 PM   #3
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I was thinking of getting an inverter, around 1200W, with an automatic transfer switch, and wiring it as shown in this diagram. It wouldn't run the A/C or fridge, but I could power a TV, coffee maker, laptop, and maybe the microwave.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
I was thinking of getting an inverter, around 1200W, with an automatic transfer switch, and wiring it as shown in this diagram. It wouldn't run the A/C or fridge, but I could power a TV, coffee maker, laptop, and maybe the microwave.
It could power the fridge much easier than the microwave or even the coffee maker. You really should get an 1800 Watt for those things.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
I was thinking of getting an inverter, around 1200W, with an automatic transfer switch, and wiring it as shown in this diagram. It wouldn't run the A/C or fridge, but I could power a TV, coffee maker, laptop, and maybe the microwave.
If you aren't going to power something that is critical like a residential fridge, then you don't need an Inverter with a Transfer Switch. While having a Transfer Switch is a convenience, it really is designed to switch power over to the Inverter automatically so something like a fridge can keep running in case shore power gets cut unexpectedly or you don't want to forget to turn it on when you pull the shore power.

If you are just going to power a TV, coffee maker, etc., you might be able to save a few bucks and just power the Inverter on when you need it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:02 PM   #6
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If you aren't going to power something that is critical like a residential fridge, then you don't need an Inverter with a Transfer Switch. While having a Transfer Switch is a convenience, it really is designed to switch power over to the Inverter so something like a fridge can keep running.

If you are just going to power a TV, coffee maker, etc., you might be able to save a few bucks and just power the Inverter on when you need it.
If he doesn't get one with an ATS then he would either need to wire in a manual transfer switch or run the inverter all the time. You can't have the outlet of the inverter tied to a live 120 VAC circuit - you'll let the smoke out of the box.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:04 PM   #7
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If he doesn't get one with an ATS then he would either need to wire in a manual transfer switch or run the inverter all the time. You can't have the outlet of the inverter tied to a live 120 VAC circuit - you'll let the smoke out of the box.
That is a valid point...... but not if you wire the way I mentioned in my previous post. It is the easiest way to give you flexibility to power different outlets that aren't on the same circuit.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:10 PM   #8
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What coach do you have. In my Axis, I installed a 1200w inverter on the doghouse between the front seats, under the dash and wired a receptacle above the sink that I could plug the TV or small electrical appliance into. On the road, we had two 120 plugs and 4 USB ports at our feet and when stopped, if we wanted to watch TV, we just plugged in the wire from the receptacle to the inverter. The inverter was wired under the doghouse cover so I didn’t have to drill any holes there.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:11 PM   #9
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That is a valid point...... but not if you wire the way I mentioned in my previous post. It is the easiest way to give you flexibility to power different outlets that aren't on the same circuit.
Which is fine if you're savvy enough to operate that complicated manual transfer system, kinda like a suicide cord is fine to power your house from a generator if you're savvy enough to do it correctly.

But a system for those that aren't that electrically savvy should have measures and interlocks in place so that the two AC sources can never be tied together.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:18 PM   #10
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I added a 750 watt inverter to power tv/ps4 while on road in cool weather. Works good, put factory style breaker on positive side so it can isolated when not needed. I use to test battery capacity.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Which is fine if you're savvy enough to operate that complicated manual transfer system, kinda like a suicide cord is fine to power your house from a generator if you're savvy enough to do it correctly.

But a system for those that aren't that electrically savvy should have measures and interlocks in place so that the two AC sources can never be tied together.

I believe I made that disclaimer in my post...


This setup worked great for my purposes but the approach may not be for everyone. You need to know what you are doing.


I even kept a checklist of the steps next to the Power Distribution Center to make sure anyone would follow the proper steps... just like pilots do before they take off.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:11 PM   #12
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Many on this Forum have hardwired after-market inverters into their rigs.
The following link is very helpful, which is part three of 3 videos.
This video includes a wiring diagram from the WFCO Converter to the inverter to the outlets.
The inverter controls the non-GCFI outlet line (TV outlets, 3 way Fridge, other interior outlets)...


https://youtu.be/sSb6vC6orzM


As previously discussed, you must have an Auto-Transfer-Switch either incorporated into the inverter or as a separate unit within the inverter line.

The AIMS inverter discussed in this video is still available on-line but at a much higher price. Youíll also want to install the $30 remote. Here it is on Amazon...

https://smile.amazon.com/AIMS-POWER-.../dp/B074CL21FS
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
I believe I made that disclaimer in my post...


This setup worked great for my purposes but the approach may not be for everyone. You need to know what you are doing.


I even kept a checklist of the steps next to the Power Distribution Center to make sure anyone would follow the proper steps... just like pilots do before they take off.


As always the plethora of information is great. Thanks for the great insight folks. Hope to get things in place this week as our parks are opening up in June and we are heading out for a couple of weeks to break in the RV.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
Many on this Forum have hardwired after-market inverters into their rigs.
The following link is very helpful, which is part three of 3 videos.
This video includes a wiring diagram from the WFCO Converter to the inverter to the outlets.
The inverter controls the non-GCFI outlet line (TV outlets, 3 way Fridge, other interior outlets)...


https://youtu.be/sSb6vC6orzM


As previously discussed, you must have an Auto-Transfer-Switch either incorporated into the inverter or as a separate unit within the inverter line.

The AIMS inverter discussed in this video is still available on-line but at a much higher price. Youíll also want to install the $30 remote. Here it is on Amazon...

https://smile.amazon.com/AIMS-POWER-.../dp/B074CL21FS
Thanks that is really helpful. I was concerned about needing an ATS and how to write in
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Muggs View Post
I added a 750 watt inverter to power tv/ps4 while on road in cool weather. Works good, put factory style breaker on positive side so it can isolated when not needed. I use to test battery capacity.


Thanks, was able to order an AIMS 2000 watt with remote. Should be in by Tuesday so I can wire in next week.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:58 PM   #16
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My inverter wiring

I installed a 1500/3000W inverter w/remote in my Thor 22GOC under the refrigerator above the wheel wells. I elected not to integrate the inverter circuit with the house wiring. Attached is a DC wiring diagram w/wire gage for my camper. As to the AC side, I have four 15A outlets, using 14/2 w/ground, connecting to self contained [no box needed] moble home outlets. Since I ran 8ft of +/- DC cable to the inverter, 1/0gage welding cable was used. A 250A circuit breaker is in series. The max amperage draw for my inverter is 150A.
Physically running the AC Romex cable from the inverter to the outlets from under the refrigerator to the TV in the overhang, beside the stove [coffee pot], and other side of the camper [behind dinette] was a pain. I'm very glad to have it now that it is done. I also added two shore power 120v 15A outlets.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
I installed a 1500/3000W inverter w/remote in my Thor 22GOC under the refrigerator above the wheel wells. I elected not to integrate the inverter circuit with the house wiring. Attached is a DC wiring diagram w/wire gage for my camper. As to the AC side, I have four 15A outlets, using 14/2 w/ground, connecting to self contained [no box needed] moble home outlets. Since I ran 8ft of +/- DC cable to the inverter, 1/0gage welding cable was used. A 250A circuit breaker is in series. The max amperage draw for my inverter is 150A.
Physically running the AC Romex cable from the inverter to the outlets from under the refrigerator to the TV in the overhang, beside the stove [coffee pot], and other side of the camper [behind dinette] was a pain. I'm very glad to have it now that it is done. I also added two shore power 120v 15A outlets.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the diagram- thats really helpful to see.
I just got a cigarette type inverter that i can plug into the dash board to keep it simple when i want to run small AC devices.

How do you physically plug into your DC/AC converter if its mounted under your sink? Did you wire in a outlet or just make a extension cord?
Also- did you upgrade your batteries to AGM?
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
If he doesn't get one with an ATS then he would either need to wire in a manual transfer switch or run the inverter all the time. You can't have the outlet of the inverter tied to a live 120 VAC circuit - you'll let the smoke out of the box.
I just run inverter straight from battery and mounted near entrance. Coffe pot, Microwave, fans can all be pugged into it. I ran heavy wire and doubled up wire.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gte534j View Post
Thanks for the diagram- thats really helpful to see.
I just got a cigarette type inverter that i can plug into the dash board to keep it simple when i want to run small AC devices.

How do you physically plug into your DC/AC converter if its mounted under your sink? Did you wire in a outlet or just make a extension cord?
Also- did you upgrade your batteries to AGM?
My inverter has a remote on/off switch I installed on the cabinet wall next to the stairs. I ran four permanent lines with 14/2-g Romex wire and installed outletl in walls/cabinets permanently. To connect the four lines to the inverter, I installed a conventional wall plug on the other ends of the wires to plug in. The inverter has an interior circuit breaker. My four AC lines DO NOT connect with the other AC lines in the coach! I even used different color outlets to distinguish the inverter lines from the original house lines.
My house batteries are a pair of Marine deep cycle units.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:39 PM   #20
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THOR #6286
Plug Shore Power Cable Into Inverter

I have a Chateau 23U. I kept one battery under stairs for the 12V circuit. Iíve added a couple hundred watts of solar and can run my converter at any time if my 12V system needs more juice. Iím actually planning to add another AGM battery but havenít needed it so itís not a priority. I added two Battle Born 100 Amp Hour batteries to run a Giandel 2200 Watt Pure Sine Inverter. Itís all located under the dinette seating. The BB Batteries are fine inside and they charge quickly with solar. Iíve added access panels, meters, etc., but none of that is important. Everyone has different needs and layouts. I ran and extension cable from my inverter location to my shore power plug cubbyhole/storage. So, when Iím on the road or whenever I need AC Power I plug into my extension cable like I would when hooking up to a pedestal except this is done inside the cubby and I can run my microwave, coffee pot, etc., even at rest areas. I still have a generator but it already has a transfer switch so no worries about needing to add another switch. Yes, I realize I canít operate my air conditioner and as far as the converter; I turn it on if I need it - from the breaker. The beauty of this setup, for me, is I have use of all outlets and TV without any complicated wiring. Hope that helps. JP
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