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Old 01-12-2020, 08:06 AM   #1
jdixon980
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Looking adding inverter; Need advice

Looking at adding a inverter and a few more batteries to experiment with boondocking. Only planning on a few weekends and a couple of NASCAR races a year. Just donít want to run a generator every time I want to do something. I was looking at a Go Power IC2000. From my understanding itís a inverter, charger and transfer switch in one unit. Just wondering if this is overkill unit? I would like to be able to use TV, coffee pot, and any receptacle. Really donít want to worry about which leg runs what. Also looking at a Predator inverter generator from Harbor Freight. Which size would I need? Would like to run at least on AC if needed. I keep reading about soft starting AC with generator. What does this consist of? I am thinking of 4 six volt golf cart batteries for battery bank. I am thinking this project will run me around $2500. If anybody has any better options or cheaper options, would love to hear about them. How hard is all this to hookup? Like I said, the more I read. The more I am confused. Think I have confused myself writing all this!
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:11 AM   #2
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I have installed the go power unit your talking about. I do know it had a recall last year so make sure its the updated unit. The customer that I installed it for also put a pair of go power 200W solar panels on the roof. He loved it and only had the factory gp27's in his class A. Wiring can be a bit tricky but its all spelled out in the installation manual. 3500W or better for an AC to operate. I don't have any experience with the soft start kit, so someone else can explain.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:46 PM   #3
Logan X
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A much cheaper option is 2 batteries (I use 2 6v, which is a popular choice) and instead of installing a big inverter I use a smaller inverter just for the TV. The smaller inverter is plugged in to the 12v outlet behind the TV so there is no wiring. $50 for the inverter and about $200 for the batteries.

You can’t run the coffee pot or the outlets, but for me the cost to benefit ratio makes it worthwhile. I run the generator in the morning for about an hour to make coffee and charge the batteries.

Pretty much everything else you need in the trailer runs on the 12v system.

Here is a video about my set up.

https://youtu.be/iaQZY_naOdE

And here is my inverter. A disclaimer about the inverter- it is rated for 300 watts but if you plug it into the 12v outlet on the trailer, that outlet is not rated for that much wattage. You can use it for the tv or small stuff, just not a hairdryer or big appliance.

https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-300Wat.../dp/B07KQ4Q2L5
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:23 PM   #4
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My generator inverter install.

You can get a 4K Aims pure sign wave for $1000 bucks. A transfer switch for $100 bucks. Project cost maybe $1600? With a couple good deep cycle batts you can run an AC unit!

See my pictures. Just need a bit of modification if you don't have a built in gen set.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:14 PM   #5
roadglide
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I would love to laugh seeing the 4 k inverted distorting a couple good 12 volts batteries running the AC . I have 3 k Aims inverter that’s over kill . When I use a toaster looking at my volt meter hard wired in side the camper and seeing the 1200 watt toaster draw my 3 agm 12 volt 345 AH batters is concerning . For the op question 1000 amp inverter , 20 amp controller if your going to use solar panels, couple good batteries.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:07 AM   #6
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I have a Predator 3500w Inverter Generator from Harbor Freight. Starts and runs my 15k a/c unit just fine, also runs a few other things at the same time. If you want to see it in action go here:
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:18 AM   #7
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if you want to run a/c your best bet is still a generator.


an inveter for minor things like TV.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:52 AM   #8
foldbak
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Just to clarify, I don't run my AC on the inverter. However I am able to and do run the microwave, TV, and at times a coffee maker at the same time. Better too much then not enough. Plus I got a screaming deal on the inverter that I couldn't pass up.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foldbak View Post
Just to clarify, I don't run my AC on the inverter. However I am able to and do run the microwave, TV, and at times a coffee maker at the same time. Better too much then not enough. Plus I got a screaming deal on the inverter that I couldn't pass up.
Thanks for that clarification. For anyone new to this or considering an inverter to be clear you would need a lot more than "a couple of good deep cycle batteries" to run the air conditioner.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:01 AM   #10
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I was parked next to a 40' fifth wheel this summer near Las Vegas. He was so very proud of his solar system. His roof was "filled with solar panels, his front storage bay (actually the dead space under the stairs) was filled with twelve (12) 6 volt golf cart batteries... He was bragging about how he can boondock for days and his only limitation is water, never electricity.....

I asked him, "Where do you do most of your boondocking?"

His answer, "Oh I never pull it off paved roads, it's too heavy to pull down most of the trails through the desert."

So, without saying it, it looks like he "built a system that's too big and heavy to use to do what he was trying to accomplish." Not to mention the "fossil fuels he's burning to tow his green system from 50 amp site to 50 amp site"....

Now, if he was going to do most of his camping at WalMart or Cracker Barrel...

My point is: There comes a time when "enough to have bragging rights is too much to be practical"... I'm inclined to think that guy in Las Vegas was somewhere beyond reasonable and well into the ridiculous realm with nearly 1000 pounds of batteries and a roof you can't see as he towed from full hookup site to full hookup site..... I didn't think to ask him how long he can run his air conditioner, my guess, maybe an hour in the desert sun before his batteries are at 50%.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:16 AM   #11
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John,
I wish I had the problem the fellow you had encountered has (more money than he knows what to do with). My problem has always been just the opposite.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:53 AM   #12
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Marshall,

Me too.... I do some "foolish things" at times, but I usually can justify them (as out there as some of my justifications can be) but I can't, for the life of me, justify a "house style solar system capacity" with all it's fragile components, heavy battery bank, automatic "panel aiming systems" and upkeep/maintenance requirements for installation in a piece-meal fashion, on an RV that already barely has enough capacity to carry the necessary things for comfort and safety without adding (nearly doubling, in some situations) the payload needed to have supper (cake) and eat it too...Ö

And, to make matters even worse, to think that he's connecting that "state of the art green system" to an RV with "virtually no insulation, single pane windows, a 60% efficient furnace and "air leaks from hell and back" at every corner, seam and opening....
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:03 AM   #13
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Yes, but at least he's "green"! Or at least the place he bought all that stuff from has lot's of his "green" now!
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
Yes, but at least he's "green"! Or at least the place he bought all that stuff from has lot's of his "green" now!
My guess is the second one... He was plugged into the 50 amp power, both air conditioners running and I could see two roof vents (hiding among the solar panels) open on his roof.....
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:49 AM   #15
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Would have loved to be a fly on the wall to hear all the mental gymnastics going on in his head to justify his system. Should have been astonishing.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:21 AM   #16
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