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Old 07-15-2018, 08:19 AM   #1
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Inverter installed!

After reading many threads on this and other forums I decided to tackle an inverter installation myself. I already had roof top solar but wanted to be able to use the microwave and charge my computer so wanted to have all existing outlets powered on the inverter. I picked up a 2000 watt inverter from Camping World and ordered an automatic transfer switch from Go Power. I have limited electrical experience but the install went without a hitch. Will be Escaping the Florida heat soon heading to Yellowstone for a few months.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:24 AM   #2
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I also installed an inverter, a bit smaller at 1600 watts. We use it for the microwave and the vacuum cleaner. We have been quite happy with it, if you recognize there are some limitations with the microwave. The first is, that your batteries have to be above 80% charge, and second that you are limited to the amount of time you can run the microwave. We have not discovered just where that sweet spot on time occurs but it is around 10 minutes.

Your results may vary depending on age of batteries.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:28 PM   #3
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I just tried the microwave and it's not going so well. It will run on a very low power setting but not on full power. As you mentioned probably due to the age of my batteries. They are flooded deep cycle but approaching five years old. What batteries do you have?
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:58 PM   #4
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My batteries are starting their fourth season, they are dual six volt. What is the starting voltage on the batteries? 12.6 or 12.7 is considered full, 12.1 is 50%. What is the wattage of the microwave, I am running 700W, they are often higher than that in actual use. What gauge wire are you running from the batteries to the inverter, how long are they? I believe mine are a meter long and are 0 gauge.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
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Looks good, but I'd like to comment on your battery cable size supplying the inverter. For a full 2000w output, I think the recommended cable size is 4/0, which is a very hefty cable. Your cables look quite a bit smaller. This may explain why your microwave isn't working as it should.

Also, the inverter should be fused with a 350A fuse.

You may never need the full 2000w from the inverter, but since you put it in, it's incumbent on you to use the proper size cable and fuse, else you may burn your Escape down, and most likely you'd be in it when it catches fire!

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Old 07-15-2018, 06:29 PM   #6
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Dual 6 volt Interstate Deep Cycle batteries. Label says 122 min @ 75 amps? Before running microwave monitor reads 12.8, 100%. Microwave is max output 700 watt. I used 6 wire from battery to inverter, same as ETI used to power distribution. Tried 15 seconds on HI and inverter starts beeping at 3 seconds and stops microwave at about 6 to 10 seconds. Did run for 30 seconds on lowest power setting. I'm still leaning toward a battery problem but appreciate any feedback.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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May not be visible in photo but there is a 300A fuse installed. So you don't think 6 gauge wire to inverter is enough? Thanks for your feedback. I probably would have gone with a smaller inverter but got a real deal at half price.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:46 PM   #8
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Question: Is it possible that having under sized wire (6) from Battery to Inverter would cause problems running microwave when battery is at 100%? Should I go to 2/0 wire? Can someone explain why ETI uses 6 gauge from battery to power distribution panel? Sorry, wish I had a better understanding of electricity.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:29 PM   #9
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Question: Is it possible that having under sized wire (6) from Battery to Inverter would cause problems running microwave when battery is at 100%? Should I go to 2/0 wire? Can someone explain why ETI uses 6 gauge from battery to power distribution panel? Sorry, wish I had a better understanding of electricity.
Yes, it's very possible that your undersized cable is limiting current draw (due to resistance) to your inverter, which is having difficulty providing enough watts to your microwave. Also, the longer the battery cable, the higher the resistance. Keep your battery-to-inverter cables as short as possible. My inverter is right next to my batteries, and the cables are one foot long.

Assuming your microwave is pulling 700w from the inverter, then the inverter would need #2 AWG cables to meet the load. Anything smaller than 2 AWG will restrict the current flow to the inverter.

As far as ETI using 6 AWG cables, that's enough to power the 12v side of things in your trailer. Lights, Maxx Fan, etc. Your inverter is entirely separate from the 12v accessories.

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Old 07-15-2018, 08:30 PM   #10
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I just checked on my wiring and the cables that were supplied with the inverter, they were 2 gauge, apparently the manufacturer felt that was correct with the fused cable they provided. I do recall checking what the wire gauge was between the two batteries, this being the wire that ETI installed. I do not recall what the gauge was but that it was adequate for the requirements of my inverter. Yours may be different.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:46 PM   #11
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What’s the max voltage 6 gauge wire can handle? Combined with a 300A fuse and up to 2000W draw, is that a fire hazard?
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:36 AM   #12
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What’s the max voltage 6 gauge wire can handle? Combined with a 300A fuse and up to 2000W draw, is that a fire hazard?
I show up to 350A depending on the length, 350A being 24" combined + and -.

2000W at 12v is 167A, which can go a max of 48" combined cable length. Anything longer could be a fire hazard.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:02 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I will install 2/0 gauge wire over the next few days and post the results.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:14 AM   #14
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Dual 6 volt Interstate Deep Cycle batteries. Label says 122 min @ 75 amps? Before running microwave monitor reads 12.8, 100%. Microwave is max output 700 watt. I used 6 wire from battery to inverter, same as ETI used to power distribution. Tried 15 seconds on HI and inverter starts beeping at 3 seconds and stops microwave at about 6 to 10 seconds. Did run for 30 seconds on lowest power setting. I'm still leaning toward a battery problem but appreciate any feedback.
Your wire size is too small. You can check this by measuring the voltage at the batteries & at the input to the inverter. I suspect you will find that while the microwave is running, the voltage at the inverter is quite a bit lower than that at the batteries.

If it is the same, then you can suspect the batteries, but mine were going strong after 7 years of fairly heavy use. I ran 2/0 wire between the batteries & the inverter. I probably had a longer run than you since the 17's batteries are on the rear bumper, but I still think you need to go larger on the wire size.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:34 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I will install 2/0 gauge wire over the next few days and post the results.

The wire size to the battery was the first thing I noticed and was going to say something if the electrical gurus didn't. Glad you are getting it straightened out. That is the power of posting clear pictures and having knowledgeable people on the forum that don't mind taking the time to share their expertise and help keep others out of trouble.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:01 PM   #16
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Great info... I just got my 19 and plan to install a 2000 watt inverter and transfer switch. Looking at the wires from the batteries into the electrical "closet" they look way too small. Anyone else notice this? Maybe one only gets bigger gauge wires if one orders the inverter with the trailer? Need to do more digging but first look at those battery wires did not impress!
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:56 PM   #17
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Great info... I just got my 19 and plan to install a 2000 watt inverter and transfer switch. Looking at the wires from the batteries into the electrical "closet" they look way too small. Anyone else notice this? Maybe one only gets bigger gauge wires if one orders the inverter with the trailer? Need to do more digging but first look at those battery wires did not impress!
The wiring from the batteries to the inverter are separate from the wiring to the converter. See the drawing of my trailer wiring below.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:13 PM   #18
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The wiring from the batteries to the inverter are separate from the wiring to the converter. See the drawing of my trailer wiring below.
OK that makes a lot more sense! Going to measure the run from battery box to the electrical cubby so I can make up the appropriate cables. Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:16 PM   #19
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Inverter installed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
The wiring from the batteries to the inverter are separate from the wiring to the converter. See the drawing of my trailer wiring below.
Bird walk:

Say, Tom, just glancing at your diagram I notice a discrepancy between it and my trailer’s wiring, specifically, you list a 50A breaker between the solar and everything, whereas I know for certain that ETI wired mine with a 30A breaker. I know this because I recently had to replace it (one loose connection led to breaker failure). Just my own curiosity but I’m wondering why you would have a 50A fuse but I have a 30. Ours is a 2017 19 with two factory installed solar panels totaling 320W (theoretical) of solar input.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:37 PM   #20
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Bird walk:

Say, Tom, just glancing at your diagram I notice a discrepancy between it and my trailer’s wiring, specifically, you list a 50A breaker between the solar and everything, whereas I know for certain that ETI wired mine with a 30A breaker. I know this because I recently had to replace it (one loose connection led to breaker failure). Just my own curiosity but I’m wondering why you would have a 50A fuse but I have a 30. Ours is a 2017 19 with two factory installed solar panels totaling 320W (theoretical) of solar input.
Tom did a lot of work upgrading his electrical and hopefully will clarify. He is far from stock. Unless he changed it a picture in a previous post shows he has a 40 amp CB in-line with his solar controller.

Latest thoughts on battery monitor and charge controller
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