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Old 11-10-2017, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek Inverter Upgrade

I'd like to replace the 700w inverter in my 2004 Roadtrek with a 2000w so as to be able to run my microwave. I reached out to Roadtrek and they said I should get a professional to do this since the wiring might need to be upgraded among other reasons. Does anyone know if my swapping out the inverter would necessarily require new wiring?
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:40 PM   #2
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The new inverter could draw 3 times the current from the batteries. You definitely need to verify that you've got the correct gauge cables for that. Then you need to run additional AC wiring to connect the microwave. This is not a drop-in replacement.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:18 PM   #3
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The '04 I had came with a 600W Tripp-Lite inverter/charger. The wiring was 6 gauge so good for 50A DC (50A x 12V = 600W)

'04 was a change over year and the first model year to come with the inverter/charger. My unit actually had one 30A self resetting breaker in the mix leftover from previous year designs I assumed. The other breakers were 50A.

So, in addition to upgrading the wiring, the circuit breakers would also need to be upgraded.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ManWonder View Post
I'd like to replace the 700w inverter in my 2004 Roadtrek with a 2000w so as to be able to run my microwave. I reached out to Roadtrek and they said I should get a professional to do this since the wiring might need to be upgraded among other reasons. Does anyone know if my swapping out the inverter would necessarily require new wiring?
You have to ensure that your coach battery capacity will be sufficient to supply the increased demand on the batteries by the higher power inverter.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
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You do need quite a bit of battery to run the microwave through the inverter. We could successfully run the micro in our 07 Roadtrek 190 with 260ah of GC2 wet cells, but it was pretty iffy if they were under 50% full. AGMs will do better, but you will still have a cutoff someplace in the the state of charge due to low voltage. You likely will pull high 90s amps on full AGMs, and up to 120amps or more as the voltage and state of charge drop.

An the later Roadtrek Chevies, getting the micro on the inverter circuit is not too bad a job, as you can just wire the AC from the micro to the kitchen inverter circuit or to the tv cabinet. Disassembly of some of the kitchen is needed, but doable. Yours has a slightly different kitchen setup, so things may be a bit different than ours,

For many folks who want to run the micro off an inverter, it is helpful to have the engine running also to get some help from the alternator, but you will only have 50 amp DC wiring and an isolator that will drop some voltage, so won't get as much benefit, or none if the 50 amp breakers trip. Upgrading the wiring and going a separator, would allow you to get pretty much enough power from the alternator for the microwave, so hardly any battery depletion. It works out much better than starting an Onan to run the micro a couple of minutes.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:00 PM   #6
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You do need quite a bit of battery to run the microwave through the inverter. We could successfully run the micro in our 07 Roadtrek 190 with 260ah of GC2 wet cells, but it was pretty iffy if they were under 50% full. AGMs will do better, but you will still have a cutoff someplace in the the state of charge due to low voltage. You likely will pull high 90s amps on full AGMs, and up to 120amps or more as the voltage and state of charge drop.

An the later Roadtrek Chevies, getting the micro on the inverter circuit is not too bad a job, as you can just wire the AC from the micro to the kitchen inverter circuit or to the tv cabinet. Disassembly of some of the kitchen is needed, but doable. Yours has a slightly different kitchen setup, so things may be a bit different than ours,

For many folks who want to run the micro off an inverter, it is helpful to have the engine running also to get some help from the alternator, but you will only have 50 amp DC wiring and an isolator that will drop some voltage, so won't get as much benefit, or none if the 50 amp breakers trip. Upgrading the wiring and going a separator, would allow you to get pretty much enough power from the alternator for the microwave, so hardly any battery depletion. It works out much better than starting an Onan to run the micro a couple of minutes.
Hi booster,

I agree that it works out better than starting an onan when it should not be started, obnoxious and wrong to do. Otherwise, I choose to give up this one feature of running the microwave vs everything involved to accomplish this one feature as I have about the same setup with my 05/04 190P. I'll just make the coffee at 6:00am another way.

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Old 11-10-2017, 07:11 PM   #7
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I hear you Bud, every little "feature" we need, or just want, is one more complication of the systems and extra cost. There is merit to a simple system, especially if it well suits your lifestyle and use. If we had to hire and pay labor on the things we do to our van, I am sure we would be a lot closer to your style that what we have. As it is, I have a good hobby, and we get stuff done at bargain rates, as I work cheap
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Old 11-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #8
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OrÖget a smaller microwave and a smaller 1000 watt inverter which what I did on my Agile. I can run one at a time our K-cup Coffee brewer or the 600 watt MW (actual power usage is about 950 watts) off our 220ah AGM battery without the engine running and it works ok. You still need to upgrade the wirings and breakers though.
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Old 11-10-2017, 08:25 PM   #9
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... It works out much better than starting an Onan to run the micro a couple of minutes.
I'm starting to think running the Onan isn't so bad after all!

BTW - what got me thinking about this was my wife needed to heat a heating pad for a lower back injury. And so I thought it'd be great to just upgrade the inverter. Or maybe just add another one directly wired to one of the batteries.
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Old 11-10-2017, 08:50 PM   #10
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Especially if it is a short term thing like a heating pad therapy, going right off the batteries with a standalone inverter is not a bad idea. Getting set up for convenient use of the microwave is much, much more work and money.
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