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Old 07-08-2010, 07:56 AM   #81
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7) The RV did not come with an inverter. I just installed a 2KW pure sine ware inverter. A 200A shunt resistor permanently mounted inside the battery box allowed me to check the current drawn. When powering the microwave, it draws a respectable 160A, and the wiring did not get hot. At such current, the 2-battery bank may be good for only 1/2 hr, but I only intend to use it to make coffee in the morning, or to use the microwave during short day stops or during night boondocking, without having to fire up the generator.
When I am done with these, I will think of something else to add.
Well, you have certainly done all the "right" things so far. You are really gonna enjoy it when you finally hit the road.

Our Roadtrek came with a 750W inverter which, of course, is not large enough for neither the Coffee maker nor the Microwave. In 60,000 miles, we have yet to "boondock" so it has been an issue... yet. On the other hand it does run our two computers and other odds and ends for about six hours everyday without depleting the charge in the battery bank. I think I am, nevertheless, gonna envy your setup.

Happy trails to you.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:20 AM   #82
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Wow - I can't imagine living without an inverter! Glad you got a good one.

Our inverter fans are starting to make funny noises. We expect problems any day now.....

We actually have replacement fans we ordered recently, but we don't want to touch the unit until it actually fails. Xantrex does not supply parts. They expect you to either replace your inverter, or send your failed unit back for "refurbishment" with freight shipping costs each way.

Some of our RV buddies have replaced the fans themselves.

But this thing is the heart of our motorhome, so when it goes, things might be awkward for a while unless we are able to fix it ourselves quickly.

Audrey
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:27 AM   #83
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Wow - I can't imagine living without an inverter! Glad you got a good one.
Audrey, what's your main inverter use? Haven't really used ours much given limited time without a shore line.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:36 AM   #84
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Audrey, what's your main inverter use? Haven't really used ours much given limited time without a shore line.
The way our inverter works, almost all of the house electronics go through the inverter, with the exception of a few lights, an electric outlet or two, and the air conditioners. Everything else loses power if we turn the inverter off.

I expect there is way to physically bypass the unit somewhere - we just haven't looked for it.

Of course the "main use" currently (pun!) is to keep both sets of batteries (house and chassis) charged.

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Old 07-08-2010, 10:44 AM   #85
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The way our inverter works, almost all of the house electronics go through the inverter, with the exception of a few lights, an electric outlet or two, and the air conditioners. Everything else loses power if we turn the inverter off....
Of course the "main use" currently (pun!) is to keep both sets of batteries (house and chassis) charged.
You must mean when you do NOT have an outside electric connection?

I though the CONverter changes 120 Volt AC power to 12 Volt DC and the INverter changes 12VDC from the batteries and change it to 120VAC to run 120v gizmos when not connected to shore power.

Of course it wouldn't be the first time I got goofed up about how my high tech RV works.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:47 AM   #86
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On the other hand it does run our two computers and other odds and ends for about six hours everyday without depleting the charge in the battery bank.
You can power laptops and similar DC appliances directly with a step up DC converter at the right voltage. My FIL had one that output the 16 volt DC his laptop needed from any 12 volt input
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:52 AM   #87
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You must mean when you do NOT have an outside electric connection?

I though the CONverter changes 120 Volt AC power to 12 Volt DC and the INverter changes 12VDC from the batteries and change it to 120VAC to run 120v gizmos when not connected to shore power.

Of course it wouldn't be the first time I got goofed up about how my high tech RV works.
You have it right.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:58 AM   #88
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I'm guessing Audrey has one of these, which does both:

Xantrex Technology Inc. - Freedom SW 2000 Inverter/Charger
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #89
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You must mean when you do NOT have an outside electric connection?

I though the CONverter changes 120 Volt AC power to 12 Volt DC and the INverter changes 12VDC from the batteries and change it to 120VAC to run 120v gizmos when not connected to shore power.

Of course it wouldn't be the first time I got goofed up about how my high tech RV works.
No. Even if we are connected to shore power, if we shut the inverter down, we lose our in-house power to almost everything. That is the way this motorhome is designed for some reason.

There is probably a way to bypass this, but we haven't tried to do it.

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Old 07-08-2010, 11:00 AM   #90
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I'm guessing Audrey has one of these, which does both:

Xantrex Technology Inc. - Freedom SW 2000 Inverter/Charger
We have the Xantrex RS2000 - also 2KW, but it is an Inverter/Charger. We just usually refer to it as "the inverter". Xantrex Technology Inc. - RS2000 Sine Wave Inverter/Charger

Right - it does both functions. Sorry for the confusion. Anyway - if this unit goes, we are highly inconvenienced.

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Old 07-08-2010, 11:07 AM   #91
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No. Even if we are connected to shore power, if we shut the inverter down, we lose our in-house power to almost everything. That is the way this motorhome is designed for some reason.
That's different from most, I suspect.

For us, when on shore power, the inverter is off. A separate converter/battery charger keeps the coach batteries topped off, but the inverter itself stays off.

When off of shore power we can either use the inverter to electrify the 120v AC outlets or run the generator (which of course charges the batteries as well).

Geez, these toys are complicated!
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:11 AM   #92
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Now we know how RV'ers stay mentally sharp in retirement!
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:18 AM   #93
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Now we know how RV'ers stay mentally sharp in retirement!
You got it! There is a huge learning curve you have to scale, AND constant new challenges to deal with and "learn from". And if you're not willing to dig in there and figure things out and get hands-on occasionally, you'll probably not be happy owning a motorhome. These things are unbelievably complex.

Trailers aren't nearly so complex, but you still have to deal with a few systems.

Audrey
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #94
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What braking system are you planning on using for your toad?
The absdolute best. He is planning to leave his entire rig in the driveway.

Ha
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:19 PM   #95
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In that case no need for brakes, just wheel-chucks.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #96
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You can power laptops and similar DC appliances directly with a step up DC converter at the right voltage. My FIL had one that output the 16 volt DC his laptop needed from any 12 volt input
Yes, that is correct. However, a lot of things only have a 120v plug -- electric shaver, for instance. Therefore, as Audrey says, one would be lost (or cry alot) without a way to convert 12v to 120v. Our Invertor, as mentioned in other posts, also charges the house batteries. (I do have an device that takes from the house batteries to keep the chassis battery charged -- this is important when on shore power for weeks at a time.) Anyway, an Inverter is an absolute necessity.

Our Roadtrek use both 12v and 120v equally through the house so I can "live" without either one but...

Our generator, BTW, has only 29 hours on it -- 8 hours break-in and one hour every month as exercise.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #97
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Our generator, BTW, has only 29 hours on it -- 8 hours break-in and one hour every month as exercise.
What a waste. Ours has 2,800 hours...
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #98
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What a waste. Ours has 2,800 hours...
I agree. However, unless you "boondock," a generator is just excess weight that you haul with you. I have been wishing for an opportunity to use it... well, wishing in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" vein.

Today, was almost an opportunity... I had visions of Wal-Mart flooding my head. We pulled into the Glendive (MT) RV Park at 3:00 and they had no empty spaces (for $30-$40 a night). This was our first experience at that situation. We, then, went about two miles away to another campground that had plenty of open spaces -- lots of shade trees even -- and charged $!6.50 for FH, $15.50 for W&E, and $10.50 for parking/tenting. I would have chosen this park anyway had I known about it. Wow! Did we luck out.

So the Genny gets another day off -- sorta early retired.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:35 PM   #99
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I'm sure you will come up with the time to enjoy your RV in a little while. Sounds like life got in the way.

If/when you decide to fully retire, you'll have more time to enjoy it.
I dunno about quitting my part-time work now. I've got two houses to maintain. Though I am fairly handy, there are things I cannot do myself and have to pay. The RV is also thirsty. I have not refilled its tank after our first 400-mile round trip. I do not know how to read the fuel gauge accurately yet, but assuming that its scale is linear (which they aren't most of the time), I may get around 10mpg. That's for driving only 60mph and towing no toad yet.

Too many mouths to feed. And Europe still beckons. Got to keep w*rking. Let's pray that the Dow will get back to 14,000 soon.


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When you say "added a tap to a propane line" exactly how did you add the tap? Propane can be really nasty stuff (has a wider explosive range than gasoline) and constant vibration is very hard on all joints.
I found that RV'ers commonly use what is called an "extended stay kit" to put a tee into the RV tank line, BEFORE its regulator. The use is to allow them to attach a common BBQ portable tank to fuel the RV, in case the RV tank runs dry. This way, they can use the toad to haul the portable tank(s) to the refilling station without having to drive the entire RV there.

As the above is a high pressure point, I do not like it. So, I tap into the low pressure outlet of the RV dual-stage regulator, which feeds a short rubber hose attached to the RV hard-line. I guess the rubber hose's purpose is to provide some isolation against vibration that might cause fatigue and fracture the line, like you said.

My intention is to use the RV tank for external cooking, not to feed the RV appliances from an external source like most people. Anyway, the low pressure is only 11" of water (less than 0.5psi), and it feels safer. I use common copper NPT parts for that.

I dry-fitted all the parts and the valve (which will feed a long 10' hose to the external burner), but have not installed them permanently. As the regulator now has to support these extra few ounces, I want to make a bracket to support it.

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NW, why not get a french press coffee maker? If you can boil water, you can make coffee.
That's what my wife said. But I like the convenience of a regular coffee maker. Plugged into a timer, it will wake me up with the aroma of fresh-brew coffee in the morning...

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What braking system are you planning on using for your toad?
Tow brakes? I don't need no stinkin' tow brakes! The toad curb weight is only 3200 lbs.


Just kidding!

I have done a bit of research here and looked into systems such as the Brake Buddy. I have also read about RV'ers who claimed to have so much problems with tow brakes, such as the thing engaging or dragging and causing them to burn out their toad's brakes. So, they decided to do without.

In my case, with a humble class C instead of a big class A, do I dare do without tow brakes? Perhaps one quick tow around the block will convince me really quickly that I need one bad.

Anyway, that is independent of the towing brackets and tow bars that I need to buy and install. So, one thing at a time...
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:40 PM   #100
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What a waste. Ours has 2,800 hours...
A generator seems a bit overkill for a Roadtrek, given size and weight and probably not a diesel gen anyway.

But it is absolutely essential for a DP.

Audrey
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