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Old 09-27-2017, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Adding second inverter

In our 2016 210 I have the underhood generator (aux alternator) and the "minimum 2500 watt" inverter which I think is actually a 3000 watt Power Star LW3000-12 sine wave inverter. In testing that I have done, it can handle about 2000 watts, but as you approach 2500 watts, the voltage drops off considerably. Also, when looking at the waveform on a scope, the sine wave approaches a square wave over 2000 watts. This inverter draws about 6 amps with no load, which limits extended use while dry camping.

I had a Xantrex 2000 watt sine wave inverter collecting dust in the garage so I have installed that and wired it to the Power Star 12V terminals with 2/0 gauge welding cable, and ran a surge protector power strip to the kitchen counter area.

https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-PROWa...+wave+inverter

The added advantage of this inverter is the low idle current of 800 milliamps, so we can charge our cell phones overnight without worrying about draining the house batteries.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:25 AM   #2
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What is the purpose of doing that. If the Xantrex is a pure sine wave (you mentioned sine wave) and the other is obviously a modified square wave, who knows what will happen if both are running at the same time. You also now would have two AC power sources, so neutral bonding could get wierd.

The voltage drop you see with the original inverter is typical, especially if you read it with a true RMS meter and is why you get less actual power out of a modified sine wave. The wave form normally gets progressively worse as you approach max output, and the lower quality the unit, the sooner it happens and the worse it gets.

IMO, if you need more output and better wave form, find one inverter that will do the job, and that may be the Xantrex by itself, but I would get rid of the second one.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:43 AM   #3
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Yes, I have considered just replacing the (cheap) Power Star sine wave inverter/charger with a higher powered better quality unit, but I think I will wait a year or 2 as we are still under warranty.

Adding the Xantrex is just temporary, mainly for the low idle current while dry camping. There should be no issue with neutral conflicts, I am just plugging in griddle, induction hot plate, wok, hibatchi grill and keurig on the separate powerstrip when cooking (not all at once of course...! ha ha)
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prfleming View Post
In our 2016 210 I have the underhood generator (aux alternator) and the "minimum 2500 watt" inverter which I think is actually a 3000 watt Power Star LW3000-12 sine wave inverter. In testing that I have done, it can handle about 2000 watts, but as you approach 2500 watts, the voltage drops off considerably. Also, when looking at the waveform on a scope, the sine wave approaches a square wave over 2000 watts. This inverter draws about 6 amps with no load, which limits extended use while dry camping.

I had a Xantrex 2000 watt sine wave inverter collecting dust in the garage so I have installed that and wired it to the Power Star 12V terminals with 2/0 gauge welding cable, and ran a surge protector power strip to the kitchen counter area.

https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-PROWa...+wave+inverter

The added advantage of this inverter is the low idle current of 800 milliamps, so we can charge our cell phones overnight without worrying about draining the house batteries.

+1

800 milliamps is good. Much better than 6 Amp.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:41 AM   #5
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sounds like your original inverter is a pile of junk. 6 amps at idle! yikes.
my Magnum 2812 has minuscule draw at idle and seems to be large enough to carry all loads in the van. It's rated for a surge of 4500watts. I'd say it's a much easier project to swap out your existing with a better inverter than trying to add a second one.

also, I doubt you are really preserving your warranty adding a second inverter - you pretty much are throwing out your electrical warranty by what you've done.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:15 AM   #6
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I doubt that warranty is affected as the auxiliary inverter is not integrated. It's just a stand alone unit at this point. It would be easily disconnected.

The ProWatt is basically a light duty unit.

A direct link to Xantrex is better than an Amazon link: Power Inverter, Pure Sine Wave Inverter, Marine Inverter, PROwatt SW

The 1800 watt continuous rating is likely at PF .95 so suitable for resistive loads but not suitable to run an Air Conditioner as a long term solution for example.

Thanks for confirming that the Power Star is basically a low budget solution. It works but wouldn't fair well if tested against a Magnum or Outback or even Samlex. Maybe one day Roadtrek will install a high quality brand name inverters in their new coaches.

A Magnum would be a nice upgrade.

I recently opted for a Samlex for a project. 2 amp no load draw or 700 milliamps in power save mode.

For charging your phones, an automotive 12V adapter would likely waste much less power than running an inverter overnight. I'm assuming your newer coach has USB outlets so that's probably much more efficient than using an inverter also. Note: those USB outlets are likely another source of continuous parasitic loss.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:25 PM   #7
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I have 2 inverters; the main higher power is Magnum MMS 1012 and lower power is Mornigstar 300W. Both are on separate circuits and have their own bonds. Shore power goes through Magnum built in transfer relay. I started with 1000W one but due to rare use and standby draw of 420mA I decided to get and additional 300W with 55mA idle draw, that is a drop from about 20-30% of my daily Ah needs to practically nothing. The 300W is clearly identified as shown on the picture and it became mine main unit. Doing a conversion again I would just have a 300W one plus a good battery charger.

Both inverters are pure and clean sine wave so my addition was not due to improvement from a modified square wave, I always found calling it a modified sine wave a marketing ploy, I guess sine looks better in marketing terms.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:16 PM   #8
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OK, my ignorance is going to show here and I'm sort of hijacking the original post so I could start a new thread, if that's more appropriate...

A while back I asked about adding an inverter to run our computers. Initially, the advice was to use a 12v car charger for the laptops, but it turns out they want a minimum of 15v and sometimes I need to use a tower for work. Also, don't know if this is important, but at home, I use a surge protector.

The second use would be to run a 900W microwave for about 10 minutes a day. Turns out we miss having that option. Particularly when we want coffee at 5am. We drive every day so I don't think the batteries will be a problem.

Do you all have a recommendation for brand and size of inverter? Sounds like Zantrex or Magnum would be best. Anything else I should be looking for?
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:28 PM   #9
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The 1800W Prowatt should do it. Power Inverter, Pure Sine Wave Inverter, Marine Inverter, PROwatt SW

A 2000W PSW Samlex should do it as well. The fan runs whenever some models are on so might be annoying.

Add an inline transfer relay for convenience: Inline Transfer Relay

After those you get into the heavier transformer based units at 50+ lbs in weight. They're much more able to handle heavy loads without failure but likely overkill for the usage you describe.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
OK, my ignorance is going to show here and I'm sort of hijacking the original post so I could start a new thread, if that's more appropriate...

A while back I asked about adding an inverter to run our computers. Initially, the advice was to use a 12v car charger for the laptops, but it turns out they want a minimum of 15v and sometimes I need to use a tower for work. Also, don't know if this is important, but at home, I use a surge protector.

The second use would be to run a 900W microwave for about 10 minutes a day. Turns out we miss having that option. Particularly when we want coffee at 5am. We drive every day so I don't think the batteries will be a problem.

Do you all have a recommendation for brand and size of inverter? Sounds like Zantrex or Magnum would be best. Anything else I should be looking for?
I agree with Xantrex, one thing to remember is that microwaves are rated at cooking power output, the actual draw could be 40-60% higher. My 600W microwave takes practically 1000W input.

So, your 900W microwave will dwarf your computer needs for which 300W is sufficient. The difference in wiring between 1800W and 300W inverters will be AWG 1/0 versus 10, battery bank also needs to be able to deliver 150A draw. Microwave doesnít come for free, letís say $50. But, infrastructure required needs expensive cables and about 500 Ah of AGM or flooded batteries, so batteries alone, for exmaple4 x 115Ah12V Fullrivers will cost you over $1K.

The cost ratio of microwave to needed infrastructure is about 1:30 ($50/$1500).
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