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Old 08-16-2020, 03:20 PM   #1
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THOR #7174
Hurricane 35C Electrical issue

So getting solar put in along with new inverter and batteries.


Once inverter is unplugged fridge and TVs don't work and we are plugged into shore power. Is it possible that even on shore power it has to be run through inverter. Isn't there a transfer switch that should make everythnig run off shore power or the generator if they are on?

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Old 08-16-2020, 04:05 PM   #2
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Yes, the transfer switch is in the inverter. So if you "unplugged" the inverter (only plugs I have ever seen on an inverter are on the output) then you have nothing supplying the power to the items downstream of the inverter.
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:21 PM   #3
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So does that also mean only things downstream of the inverter will work off of my batteries? Electrical just isn't my strong suit and the guy doing install said all the ones he has done on coaches my size have a separate automatic transfer switch that should allow shore power to power everything without going through the inverter.
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:23 PM   #4
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So does that also mean only things downstream of the inverter will work off of my batteries? Electrical just isn't my strong suit and the guy doing install said all the ones he has done on coaches my size have a automatic transfer switch should allow shore power to power everything without going through the inverter.
Yes

Scary
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:28 PM   #5
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Well he'll be done in an hours or so...ugh.


So I can't run microwave or anything else off my batteries just fridge, two TVs and a couple outlets. Just seems odd you here about people running their whole coach while boon docking some even ACs if they go crazy or do I just have to plug microwave into a different outlet if I want it to work?
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:39 PM   #6
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Well he'll be done in an hours or so...ugh.


So I can't run microwave or anything else off my batteries just fridge, two TVs and a couple outlets. Just seems odd you here about people running their whole coach while boon docking some even ACs if they go crazy or do I just have to plug microwave into a different outlet if I want it to work?
You hear about people that have MODIFIED their RVs to do that:

Added more batteries and/or switched to Lithium batteries
Added Solar charging
Added a much larger inverter
Changed coach wiring to run everything from the inverter.

Very few RVs come from the factory with this ability.
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:56 AM   #7
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Well I just put 1Kw of solar, 4 lithium ion Battleborns, a charge controller and a 4000W inverter so I was hoping to power a little more than my fridge and TVs. Now the technician is saying I need a automatic transfer switch between shore power and the fuse box to make to work. So $7k later it appears if the guy is right $150 is holding me up...I thought I did my research and even asked the guy three different times if this would power my whole coach he said sure no problem, only thing I shouldn't be able to run is the ACs at least that's what I was thinking but we were hoping to actually be full time travelers next year and chase 70 degrees right now we are full time but mostly stationary.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:11 AM   #8
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So getting solar put in along with new inverter and batteries.


Once inverter is unplugged fridge and TVs don't work and we are plugged into shore power. Is it possible that even on shore power it has to be run through inverter. Isn't there a transfer switch that should make everythnig run off shore power or the generator if they are on?
Leave the inverter on unless in storage
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
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Well he'll be done in an hours or so...ugh.


So I can't run microwave or anything else off my batteries just fridge, two TVs and a couple outlets. Just seems odd you here about people running their whole coach while boon docking some even ACs if they go crazy or do I just have to plug microwave into a different outlet if I want it to work?
Inverters come in different sizes to do different loads. The bigger the inverter the bigger the $$$$$$$.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:05 PM   #10
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While you jumped head-long into 'something' you admit you know very little about, it's not uncommon that many RVrs, especially new to the different power systems, have some learning and experience to get under their belt before they really 'understand' the way that all the systems integrate to make a more 'seemless' experience - though most of us who have done it still have times when you really have to put on your 'thinking' hat in order to try to resolve an issue.

you have:
120v power systems - Shore Power, onboard Generator, and the Inverter, all providing power thru the Breaker Panel(at least most of the time, as some Inverters power some devices/appliances 'directly' from it's output and not to the Breaker Panel)

12v power systems - Converter(if you have one, and I think you do), and the House Batteries, both providing power thru the Fuse Panel

Alternator - which can provide power to charge your House Batteries, while driving

Solar - which can help to charge/trickle charge your House Batteries while parked and in the Sun, but, of course, only during the 'daylight' sun hours.


Few folks new to RVing understand that 'solar' typically does NOT power anything 'directly'... such as the fridge, air conditioner, water heater, outlets, microwave - nothing - but mostly ONLY to help recharge the House Batteries. This 'can' help offset the need for Shore Power or Generator run time, IF you have a sizeable Battery bank and an Inverter connected to those items/appliances you want to have 'off-grid' power.

'How' the Inverter is wired to provide power is also a difference in many coaches, as they can all be wired differently, depending on how the FACTORY does it, or how a DEALER does it, or how a DIY RV OWNER does it.
Larger 'whole house' Inverter coaches typically have all the outlets run thru a 'sub-panel', which is powered by the INVERTER, but also has power when on Shore Or Generator since the Inverter has a 'built in' Transfer Switch, allowing 120v Shore or Generator power to 'pass thru' to the sub-panel and to those outlets. Almost never are anything else powered by the Inverter - certainly not the air conditioner(s), water heating, etc., only 'outlets', which DOES provide for the microwave and fridge and computers and tvs and satellite receivers and dvd players and, well, anything 'plugged in' to an outlet. This can also serve you well when it comes to table-top fans to help cool things off, but it does NOT serve you well when it comes to electric space heaters in the winter months - they take WAY too much amperage - INVERTER do not like that, or, more specifically, BATTERIES do not like that.

If you have someone 'adding' an inverter to your existing coach, chances are they are either providing a small amount of 120v power to specific items, such as the fridge and one outlet, or they are also installing a 'sub-panel' of breakers to serve more or all of the outlets in the coach. It sounds like you are simply getting the 'easier' add-on Inverter for only a few specific items.
Can you still use the inverter for other items? Yes, but you then have to get creative - plugging in an extension cord to reach those other TVs or items you wish to plug in when the Inverter is your only power source.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:45 PM   #11
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Well I just put 1Kw of solar, 4 lithium ion Battleborns, a charge controller and a 4000W inverter so I was hoping to power a little more than my fridge and TVs. Now the technician is saying I need a automatic transfer switch between shore power and the fuse box to make to work. So $7k later it appears if the guy is right $150 is holding me up...I thought I did my research and even asked the guy three different times if this would power my whole coach he said sure no problem, only thing I shouldn't be able to run is the ACs at least that's what I was thinking but we were hoping to actually be full time travelers next year and chase 70 degrees right now we are full time but mostly stationary.
Sounds like you did your research and purchased the right items assuming that 4000 watt inverter has it's own internal transfer switch there is no need for another transfer switch for the inverter, but it sounds like you have a need for a more knowledgeable installer. What you now need is a sub-panel that has breakers for all the loads you want powered by the inverter. Move the breakers and wiring for those loads from the main panel to the sub-panel.

The output of the inverter will power the sub-panel. There will be a feed (from new breakers) from the main panel to the AC input on the inverter. That will get you to what you are trying to do.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:08 PM   #12
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Maybe I'm learning too late obviously. The so it looks like I have two issue per your diagram.
1. I do not have the RV ATS as shown, the only ATS is in the inverter.
2. I also would need a sub panel and rewiring of other outlets I want to run of the inverter.


I also don't see a converter in your drawing where in the diagram would that be?


I thought guy I hired knew his stuff but I guess not.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:13 PM   #13
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if you have an onboard Generator, you will have an ATS(Auto Transfer Switch)... although years ago some coaches used a more 'physical' Transfer of power, which was the owner exiting the vehicle, going to the shore power cord, and plugging it into a special 'outlet' for the flow of Generator power to get into the Main Panel : )

An ATS is really just a 'switch box', and may not be evident, unless you look close to the Shore Power cord, where it enters the coach, or behind the Main Panel, where it may be simply a part of all of the wiring points for the Main Panel and the Fuse Panel.

Typically, also, a Converter is 'part' of the Main Panel/Fuse Panel, built right into the bottom, with aluminum 'fins', like a radiator.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:28 PM   #14
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I do have a generator, I can't really see much between panel and shore power cord its mostly behind walls so assuming an ATS is back the somewhere. Just that some where saying the only ATS I needed was in the inverter, but if there is one between shore power and the fuse box and one inside my inverter sounds like I now have two.


Still a little confused as to whether or not I have a sub panel somewhere now? If not how are the fridge and TV outlets getting their power from inverter?



I can see the converter right beside the fuse box its kind big and labeled but just wasn't sure where in sequence it was.



I knew this was confusing which is why and didn't tackle this myself but my installer who has been "doing this for years" (actually referred by someone on here) said he was puzzled and would have to go do some research.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:33 PM   #15
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You have an ATS for the 120v power from Shore or Generator, which is a larger 'box' of switching between those sources.

'SOME' Inverters will have a built in 'pass thru' relay, sometimes referred to as an automatic 'switch', but it's purpose is only to 'pass thru' the 120v power that 'may' come from Shore Power or the Generator, when they are active. Otherwise, your Inverter provides that 120v power.

If you have someone wiring some 'specific' items thru the Inverter, such as the fridge and maybe one outlet, and they are not providing a new wiring scheme for a sub-panel of breakers for those circuits, then the Inverter will likely NOT have a relay, since 120v power from the Shore or Generator will never be attached to it - it is simply pulling 12v power from the House batteries and 'inverting' that into 120v power for those specific devices. But, 'how' the inverter is installed and wired will be the determining factor - we don't know how your 'professional' has done that.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:03 PM   #16
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I do have a generator, I can't really see much between panel and shore power cord its mostly behind walls so assuming an ATS is back the somewhere. Just that some where saying the only ATS I needed was in the inverter, but if there is one between shore power and the fuse box and one inside my inverter sounds like I now have two.


Still a little confused as to whether or not I have a sub panel somewhere now? If not how are the fridge and TV outlets getting their power from inverter?



I can see the converter right beside the fuse box its kind big and labeled but just wasn't sure where in sequence it was.



I knew this was confusing which is why and didn't tackle this myself but my installer who has been "doing this for years" (actually referred by someone on here) said he was puzzled and would have to go do some research.

The Converter is powered by 120 VAC from a breaker in the Main Panel.

Most OEM coaches do not have a sub-panel. They have a single line of outlets that go to the TVs and Fridge from the inverter's ATS. The Main Panel has an output breaker that goes to the Inverter as the other source for the Inverter's ATS to the TVs/Fridge line.

You need a sub-panel to do what you are trying to do which is power all AC loads except the Converter and A/Cs.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:09 PM   #17
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I guess slowly coming into focus. You said fridge would never be powered by shore power which explains why unplugging the inverter shuts off the fridge but my technician was completely baffled as to why if we were plugged into shore power everything wouldn't work, guessing if you have a residential fridge it's usually wired this way.


Guess I have to find someone else who really knows what they are doing.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:11 PM   #18
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"Most OEM coaches do not have a sub-panel..."

this is seemingly true, but my coach DOES have a sub-panel, and yet for several years I even did NOT realize it - it's integrated RIGHT INTO the Main Panel, which is a custom panel design by Progressive that is built for the factories for these coaches with 'whole house' inverter wiring designs - it makes it 'easy' for the factory install.

So, I have a 50amp 240v coach - where the 'A' hot leg provides power to 'every other breaker, and the 'B' hot leg that provides power to the others, although there is really a set of 4 15amp breakers on the far right that are NOT part of either of these hot legs, but are powered by the INVERTER.
Just 'looking' at the main panel's breakers, you wouldn't readily know this. But, when you have TWO 30amp breakers that both read: "Inverter Main", you start to ask yourself 'why' would I have two of these?

The first one is the Shore or Generator power TO the Inverter AND it's integrated Battery Charger. When you are on Shore or Generator power, the Inverter allows this 120v power to 'pass thru' to the sub-panel set of breakers, for all the outlets in the coach.

The SECOND one is actually the Inverter's 120v output for when you ONLY have the Inverter power and no shore or generator. This 30amp breaker is actually wired 'backwards', allowing the black wire to feed back into the breaker and to a 'power buss' where the sub-panel 15amp breakers all get there feed.

Crazy. True. and it works just fine!
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:12 PM   #19
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I guess slowly coming into focus. You said fridge would never be powered by shore power which explains why unplugging the inverter shuts off the fridge but my technician was completely baffled as to why if we were plugged into shore power everything wouldn't work, guessing if you have a residential fridge it's usually wired this way.


Guess I have to find someone else who really knows what they are doing.
Who said that? An inverter with an ATS powers the downstream loads (Fridge, TVs) from the Inverter (Batteries) when no SP or Generator is available, and from SP or Generator when they are available.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:22 PM   #20
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"If you have someone wiring some 'specific' items thru the Inverter, such as the fridge and maybe one outlet, and they are not providing a new wiring scheme for a sub-panel of breakers for those circuits, then the Inverter will likely NOT have a relay, since 120v power from the Shore or Generator will never be attached to it - it is simply pulling 12v power from the House batteries and 'inverting' that into 120v power for those specific devices. But, 'how' the inverter is installed and wired will be the determining factor - we don't know how your 'professional' has done that.



I think maybe he meant was there is no direct route from shore power to the fridge it MUST go through the inverter so without an inverter I don't have power to the fridge or TV even if its just passing through."


Now wouldn't it be nice if Thor actually gave you a diagram of your coach is wired...the manual is useless.


Not sure I'll ever understand all this...and you think to your self it can't be that hard I can figure this out...sometimes just maybe not.
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