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Old 12-20-2014, 04:26 PM   #1
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THOR #1377
Inverter

Hi,
I have just purchased a 2011 Thor Windsport 31D and want to fit an Inverter so I can run 110 v appliances while Dry camping. Has anyone done this? I have spoken to a couple of Camping World Techs but they don't have the inverters to hard wire in to the motorhome and don't seem to know how to do it. I have spoken to Thor Tech support but they are will not tell me how to do it for liability reasons. I want to hard wire to coach batteries and through the breaker box somehow so I can have power to all the outlets, microwave etc, would fit one around 2,500watts.
Appreciate any help or direction to who could do this for me, being from Australia I don't know who is qualified to do this work
Regards
Eric
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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I'm planning to do the same in our Axis. There's a lot of info around the Internet on how to do it yourself, but it's not something you should do if you aren't comfortable with it.

Camping World should be able to install an inverter for you. I can't imagine why they would tell you otherwise. If they can't, or won't, any good RV service facility should be able to do it for you.

Randy
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:03 AM   #3
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In my view, it is not practical for your RV.

The issue is not so much installing an inverter... the big problem is how to sufficiently power the inverter. Your coach battery or batteries will not be sufficient to run a 2.5Kw inverter for very long. Even a 100Watt portable inverter would present a significant load on your batteries.

You would need a significant upgrade to your batteries and whether you have the storage space or reserve weight loading is going to be challenging. That is why only large rigs with diesel pushers typically have such systems as they have the space for the 8~10 batteries required and the weight handling capacity for them.

Here is a good primer on sizing batteries for an inverter:

http://www.mdspower.com/inverters/ba...sizing_faq.pdf
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by groswald View Post
I'm planning to do the same in our Axis. There's a lot of info around the Internet on how to do it yourself, but it's not something you should do if you aren't comfortable with it.

Camping World should be able to install an inverter for you. I can't imagine why they would tell you otherwise. If they can't, or won't, any good RV service facility should be able to do it for you.

Randy
Hi Randy,
Thanks for your reply, will investigate with Mr Google, online, sure to be YouTube videos on how to install
Eric
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
In my view, it is not practical for your RV.

The issue is not so much installing an inverter... the big problem is how to sufficiently power the inverter. Your coach battery or batteries will not be sufficient to run a 2.5Kw inverter for very long. Even a 100Watt portable inverter would present a significant load on your batteries.

You would need a significant upgrade to your batteries and whether you have the storage space or reserve weight loading is going to be challenging. That is why only large rigs with diesel pushers typically have such systems as they have the space for the 8~10 batteries required and the weight handling capacity for them.

Here is a good primer on sizing batteries for an inverter:

http://www.mdspower.com/inverters/ba...sizing_faq.pdf
Hi,
That is some good technical advice, did you just change your post as I read a more lengthy one earlier? Guess I was thinking of installing one similar to what I had in my 31 ft Motorhome in Australia, only ever used the microwave for a few seconds to heat a coffee or reheat some left overs but only when I was getting good amperage in from the 400 watts of solar on the roof. I intend to fit solar panels as well, we generally only free camp or Dry camp as you call it. probably don't need the 2,500 watt, never used that much in OZ, the cost did not seem that much more for the larger one. Thor tech support is reluctant to give me instructions from a legal view point so will have to find someone competent to wire it into the system, don't want to have to run cables to each appliance I want to use. I can ring you and have a chat if you are OK with that, understand if your not, my email is ericgail@bigpond.net.au, you can email me your number, we bought the Windsport in Connecticut 10 days ago and are heading for Florida for obvious reasons, in South Carolina overnight in a Flying J Truck stop, have been using Walmarts a lot.
Hope to talk soon
Regards
Eric and Gail
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
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Yea, I changed it as I often go overboard and dip too much into the minutia, which loses the main point.
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #7
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If you want installation information, some owner's manuals are quite detailed in their installation. Xantrex for example makes some really nice RV inverters, and here is an owner's manual showing very detailed installation information (these particular inverters are 1Kw to 1.8Kw):

http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Pow...ork)%20(1).pdf


Here is the Xantrex website:

http://www.xantrex.com/power-product...inverters.aspx

You will still have the battery issue to contend with though, even with a 1kw load.

Also, you will have to ensure the converter (essentially the battery charger) in your power panel is turned off, otherwise the inverter will try to charge the batteries, which will try to power the converter... resulting in an endless loop of discharge.

Hard wiring an inverter into a RV's AC/DC system is something probably best done by a shop that is adept to doing these installations, as it can become quite complex... far more complex than using a portable inverter.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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Eric,

FW28z makes a good point. I missed the bit about boondocking. For that you will need some additional battery capacity at a minimum.

I'm looking to do a pretty minimal system. I want enough 110 juice to let the refrigerator run on battery while traveling so we don't have to leave the LP on. My wife takes med's that must be kept cool, so the refer has to run 24x7. I'd also like to be able to run the microwave for a minute or two while stopped to warm up lunch and whatnot.

I think the two size 27 coach batteries I have should do be OK for that. They are Harris 160 AH. Not great, but should work. If I remember correctly the E350 chassis has a 150 amp alternator which should be up to the job of keeping all the batteries up and the refer running while moving.

The system I'm think of is a Xantrex 1500 watt inverter. It also requires a transfer switch, huge fuse, some really big cables from the batteries to the inverter, and a remote on/off switch. I estimate the parts cost to be about $350 (USD) if ordered online. I'll do the work myself, so no labor charges.

I'll probably power 3 outlets. The refrigerator, the microwave, and the one on the end of the counter. The transfer switch auto-detects shore/generator power and switches accordingly so I don't have to worry about an outlet being powered from the inverter and shore power at the same time.

Randy
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:19 AM   #9
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The good news is if the fridge is your primary requirement for AC power, the typical 6 cu ft Norcold fridges Thor uses only requires 3A @ 120VAC, which is around 400Watts or less.

Your engine alternator should be able to keep up with that kind of load.

Last summer I used a portable Honda EU2000 genny to power our RV for 4 days; we were boondocking at an air show and they only allowed quiet generators... kind of ironic at an air show, but this was for night-time use.

I ran our genny at night, and those of you that have a Honda EU2000 know that in economy mode, it is really quiet with light loads. I noticed this with the fridge running, which kind of confirms the light load.

However, when we plugged in our coffee maker in the morning - wow! The genny kicked in at a high speed. Of course, anything like a coffee maker will take a lot of energy.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:59 PM   #10
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FW28Z,

Yeah, I calculated that a 600W inverter would run the refer with a bit of room to spare. But I figure as long as I'm going to do the work I might as well put in enough to run everything except the AC. Then, if we decide we like boondocking after I retire all I need to add is battery capacity and/or a bit of solar and we're good to go.

The only real question I'm still thinking about is should I go all the way and get an inverter with a really good 4-stage charger and get rid of the so-so converter/charger that Thor installs?

Randy
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #11
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Xantrex makes some great equipment. I had one in one of the previous boats I owned. If you buy one with a charger, you could probably go to AGM batteries at some point as I think most of their chargers are AGM compatible. And it would probably simplify making sure your charger is off when the inverter is running.

My family just bought 20 acres of rural property a couple of months ago that I will have access to with the RV next year, but I will have boondock as there is no power. So I am looking at running on my house batteries + propane for the fridge, oven, heater, lights, water pump, etc. I won't need an inverter, but I'll need some method of recharging the batteries.

Of course I could run the RV's genny, or even my Honda EU2000, but it's in the woods (nature), so I don't want to have the racket of a running genny, although the Honda is pretty quiet. So, I am thinking of buying a suitcase solar system:

http://www.renogy-store.com/100W-Por...t-stcs100d.htm

100 watts is not a lot, but hopefully it will be enough to charge the batteries each day with the small loads I anticipate having.

One thing I need to consider is reducing the load, and I think one issue with Thor coaches is the contactor that connects the batteries. That has to take a few Amp-Hours to keep closed. Why Thor didn't just put in a marine-type manual ON/OFF switch that takes no juice rather than a contactor that requires power to run off the batteries seems kind of dumb to me.

So I may have to retrofit the coach and get rid of the contactor.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:57 PM   #12
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I have 135 watts soar, and two (2) T105 Trojans. If for any reason you have to run the furnace, the fan really raises havoc with the batteries. IThe panel does pretty good if I can get full sun. Later in the year when it starts it's southerly arc, I don't get the full benefit any more, even with the panel tilted.
I don't have an inverter but have thought about one for a long time.
2000 or 3000 watt with 100 amp charger.
I was under the impression if you had the automatic switch over that was all that you needed. You could then go from land line to generator to solar without any worry.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:19 AM   #13
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Inverter

I just completed installation of a Xantrex Pro Watts 2000 pure sine wave inverter and a Blue Sky 200W solar panel project in my 2015 Thor Citation 24SR. The inverter definitely has its place for couple applications: on board entertainment - watch TV, in-motion SAT and quick microwave food warming. Another good use of the inverter is to power the refrigerator (in 110v mode) especially when engine is charging the house batteries. You can not use the inverter for prolonged heavy load such as electric water heater and air condition...

A proper inverter wiring is the key to maximize the limited battery capacity. Here is a short description of my installation:
1. In my Thor Citation 24SR, it come with a transfer switch for shore power and generator.
2. I added a second transfer switch for switching between the inverter and output of first transfer switch. Move the line output of first transfer switch (shore power and generator) from MAIN 110v circuit panel and wired it to the "GEN" input side of the second transfer switch. Wire the inverter (see step 5) to the "Shore Power" side. This way, the output of first transfer switch has higher priority should either one of the shore power or generator power is active.
3. Connect the output of the second transfer switch to "MAIN" input of 110v circuit breaker.
4. Disconnect the onboard converter from the 110v branch circuit and move "both" LINE and Neutral wire to the output of first transfer switch via a 15amp single breaker or a dedicated GFI circuit. This will prevent the converter/inverter short circuit loop.
5. Install a 30amp line cord (10/2) from Xantrex to the second transfer switch's shore power input.
6. Connect 12v battery to Xantrex using 00 (2R) gauge battery cables. Make sure the Xantrex is located as close to the house batteries as possible to minimize the voltage drop in the cables. I mount the inverter within 2 feet of the house batteries. Be sure to add a 250Amp ANL fuse on the +12v side and a chassis ground wire.
7. Add a Xantrex remote control somewhere inside the coach. I mounted it right at the entry doorway along with existing control switches.

Mounting location:
1. The second transfer switch is mounted inside the bedroom platform behind the back panel. From there you will have access to the output of first transfer switch and 110v circuit breaker.
2. The Xantrex inverter and the fuse holder are under the subfloor above inside of the baggage compartment. Beware of the waterline above the subfloor.

Hope this help to answer your question.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by pocowok View Post
I just completed installation of a Xantrex Pro Watts 2000 pure sine wave inverter and a Blue Sky 200W solar panel project in my 2015 Thor Citation 24SR. The inverter definitely has its place for couple applications: on board entertainment - watch TV, in-motion SAT and quick microwave food warming. Another good use of the inverter is to power the refrigerator (in 110v mode) especially when engine is charging the house batteries. You can not use the inverter for prolonged heavy load such as electric water heater and air condition...

A proper inverter wiring is the key to maximize the limited battery capacity. Here is a short description of my installation:
1. In my Thor Citation 24SR, it come with a transfer switch for shore power and generator.
2. I added a second transfer switch for switching between the inverter and output of first transfer switch. Move the line output of first transfer switch (shore power and generator) from MAIN 110v circuit panel and wired it to the "GEN" input side of the second transfer switch. Wire the inverter (see step 5) to the "Shore Power" side. This way, the output of first transfer switch has higher priority should either one of the shore power or generator power is active.
3. Connect the output of the second transfer switch to "MAIN" input of 110v circuit breaker.
4. Disconnect the onboard converter from the 110v branch circuit and move "both" LINE and Neutral wire to the output of first transfer switch via a 15amp single breaker or a dedicated GFI circuit. This will prevent the converter/inverter short circuit loop.
5. Install a 30amp line cord (10/2) from Xantrex to the second transfer switch's shore power input.
6. Connect 12v battery to Xantrex using 00 (2R) gauge battery cables. Make sure the Xantrex is located as close to the house batteries as possible to minimize the voltage drop in the cables. I mount the inverter within 2 feet of the house batteries. Be sure to add a 250Amp ANL fuse on the +12v side. Also be sure to add a chassis ground wire to the inverter.
7. Add a Xantrex remote control somewhere inside the coach. I mounted it right at the entry doorway along with existing control switches.

Mounting location:
1. The second transfer switch is mounted inside the bedroom platform behind the back panel. From there you will have access to the output of first transfer switch and 110v circuit breaker.
2. The Xantrex inverter and the fuse holder are under the subfloor above inside of the baggage compartment. Beware of the waterline above the subfloor.

Hope this help to answer your question.
The step 6 of my last posting has some changes:

6. Be sure to add a 250Amp ANL fuse on the +12v side. Also be sure to add a chassis ground wire to the inverter.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:38 AM   #15
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THOR #1377
I installed a 1500 watt Tiger Claw Pure Sine wave Inverter yesterday, all working OK
Thanks again for all your input
Kind Regards
Eric
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:02 PM   #16
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This is an old thread. However I just visited my local Thor dealer, (Mike Thompson RV), and noticed that all the 2015 Hurricane and ACE models on their lot include the Xantrex XM1000 modified sine wave inverter.


It's wired as a pass through inverter, (not a separate few outlets), with ALL outlets having inverter access. There is also no switch to flip for inverter use. If the XM100 is turned on, the inverter automatically provides power to the outlets if the generator or shore power is not providing AC power.


They still come with the standard two 12v deep cell batteries, so there isn't much capacity. You can watch television for a few hours, or charge your notebook and electronics, but that's about it.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by groswald View Post
Eric,

FW28z makes a good point. I missed the bit about boondocking. For that you will need some additional battery capacity at a minimum.

I'm looking to do a pretty minimal system. I want enough 110 juice to let the refrigerator run on battery while traveling so we don't have to leave the LP on. My wife takes med's that must be kept cool, so the refer has to run 24x7. I'd also like to be able to run the microwave for a minute or two while stopped to warm up lunch and whatnot.

I think the two size 27 coach batteries I have should do be OK for that. They are Harris 160 AH. Not great, but should work. If I remember correctly the E350 chassis has a 150 amp alternator which should be up to the job of keeping all the batteries up and the refer running while moving.

The system I'm think of is a Xantrex 1500 watt inverter. It also requires a transfer switch, huge fuse, some really big cables from the batteries to the inverter, and a remote on/off switch. I estimate the parts cost to be about $350 (USD) if ordered online. I'll do the work myself, so no labor charges.

I'll probably power 3 outlets. The refrigerator, the microwave, and the one on the end of the counter. The transfer switch auto-detects shore/generator power and switches accordingly so I don't have to worry about an outlet being powered from the inverter and shore power at the same time.

Randy
I had Camping World install the setup you listed above exept the inverter size was a Xantrex SW1000. The inverter was wired into circurt 3A on the diagram Thor provided me. This circuit allows me to power the Frig, TV's in the front and bed room, alone with five outlets including the outlet in the bedroom.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
This is an old thread. However I just visited my local Thor dealer, (Mike Thompson RV), and noticed that all the 2015 Hurricane and ACE models on their lot include the Xantrex XM1000 modified sine wave inverter.


It's wired as a pass through inverter, (not a separate few outlets), with ALL outlets having inverter access. There is also no switch to flip for inverter use. If the XM100 is turned on, the inverter automatically provides power to the outlets if the generator or shore power is not providing AC power.


They still come with the standard two 12v deep cell batteries, so there isn't much capacity. You can watch television for a few hours, or charge your notebook and electronics, but that's about it.
Here are some issues you should be aware of:
1. If the Gen/Shore power is active, will the XM1000 limiting it pass thru current to 15A?
2. The modified sine wave may damage your electronics devices.
3. My XM2000 will power up all the outlets, refrigerator and Sat receiver indefinitely when in motion. It will sustains all the loads for at least five hours when in parking mode.
4. XM2000 will also work with the microwave for few minutes without needing to turn on the generator.
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Old 02-27-2015, 02:39 PM   #19
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I have a 2015 Thor Challenger 37ND. It came with a Xantex Pro XM1800 Modified Sine Wave inverter with two house batteries. The first thing I did before we took delivery was to have the dealer add two additional batteries.

This inverter has a built in transfer switch and a remote monitor panel with an off/on switch. It automatically transfer when shore or generator power is available.

The only problem I see with this inverter is that it could do damage to the refrig. & other electronics. The first thing I did was contact Thor customer care to question the use of a Modified Sine Wave inverter to run the 110 volt Whirlpool refrigerator (Per Whirlpool this refrig. requires pure sine wave power), it has a motor that could be damaged with the use of modified sine wave power. Thor had no interest in correcting this issue. Hope for them there is no problems. I have a 7 year warranty.

We have left the refrigerator running for several days and the four batteries have not had any problems keeping up. It was well worth the effort to add the two additional batteries.
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
.....
Last summer I used a portable Honda EU2000 genny to power our RV for 4 days; we were boondocking at an air show and they only allowed quiet generators... kind of ironic at an air show, but this was for night-time use......
Airventure?
I once camped there 7 or 8 nights in a tent. have been many times.
I'm a huge aviation buff, and private pilot. Hope to take my coach to Sun n Fun this year. First chance I'll have since owning it. Not sure that I'll be able to though.
Tented at Sun n fun once, right across the road from the generator area. I'll never forget the one guy with a huge construction genny. Me and another guy moved a plywood sign to block some of the noise. Helped a little. The onans weren't bad as i remember, at least compared to that monster....


Now, back on point.
When on our recent 2 week RV trip, I sure would have liked to have an inverter.... only for operating my Keurig. I'm the only coffee drinker, and when boon docking I had to start the genny just long enough for 1 cup.
But I pretty much have written it off for the reason you outline re too little space for batteries
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