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Old 10-08-2017, 10:11 PM   #1
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Escape 19 inverter and transfer switch

Finalizing the build sheet for our 19. I'd like an inverter and transfer switch but think I can install my own for a lot less money.

Has anyone installed their own inverter/transfer switch? Any issues that I should know about? Where did you locate them, etc. I'll go with the 2 X 6V batteries for sure.

Any assistance appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:53 PM   #2
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Has anyone installed their own inverter/transfer switch? Any issues that I should know about? Where did you locate them, etc. I'll go with the 2 X 6V batteries for sure.

Dan
I bought an inexpensive 1500 watt MSW inverter, about $150 CDN, and used a DPST switch as a transfer switch. It's primarily for the micro-wave outlet although anything else can be plugged directly into it also. We're not heavy users of the micro-wave but sometimes it's nice to have.

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Old 10-08-2017, 11:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kingbiscuit View Post
Finalizing the build sheet for our 19. I'd like an inverter and transfer switch but think I can install my own for a lot less money.

Has anyone installed their own inverter/transfer switch? Any issues that I should know about? Where did you locate them, etc. I'll go with the 2 X 6V batteries for sure.

Any assistance appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan
Dan, if you're comfortable and competent doing trailer wiring, then fine, you can save a few bucks by doing it yourself. In our case however, the convenience of having someone else do it far outweighed any potential savings from a DIY job.

As for location, the most logical place is where Escape installs theirs on a 19 - under the driver side dinette bench.
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:17 AM   #4
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I'd like an inverter and transfer switch but think I can install my own for a lot less money.
Perhaps... it depends on what components you choose, and that depends on what functionality you want.

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Any issues that I should know about?
If you want the transfer switch to mount as neatly as the one used by Escape, you might want to choose that same switch (presumably the WFCO T-30).

If you want more than one circuit to be powered by the inverter, you will also need a sub-panel... that is, another box of circuit breakers. So the issues would be choosing, paying for, and locating that sub-panel. It's all manageable, but adds some complication and cost.

Escape uses a panel with two circuits, generally located inside the same cabinet as the main power centre.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:08 AM   #5
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I did my own, although not on a 19. No surprises, just takes a good amount of time if you're careful. Figure out what you need and sources for a fuse/breaker and cables. Choose an inverter and switch and see where you can fit them as they vary in size.

I added a plywood piece vertically at the back of a bench seat, mounted the components to it, some before installing the plywood.

I used a Magnum CSW inverter and a Xantrex transfer switch for 1 existing AC circuit.

Can't say I saved any $ though.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:03 AM   #6
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I'm thinking I would get a 30 amp transfer switch. The incoming shore power would run to the primary input. Output from the inverter would run to the secondary input. The output side of the transfer switch would feed main AC electrical panel. This is just a nice clean setup. I don't really need a big inverter, 500 watts or so. Doesn't need to be pure sign wave. That said, is all the electrical under the dinette seat or just the 12 volt panel?

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Old 10-09-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
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That said, is all the electrical under the dinette seat or just the 12 volt panel?

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Yes. The incoming 110 volt enters at the left rear, runs along the wall in the cavity between the bathroom wall and the exterior shell and to the panel. The panel has both the 110 volt breakers as well as the 12 volt fuses. So everything is close at hand for installing an inverter in that area.

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Old 10-09-2017, 12:27 PM   #8
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Just remember that there are devices that you don't want on the output of the inverter, such as the converter, water heater, and refrigerator. This is why in makes sense to install a sub panel rather than switch the entire main panel. Some installers plan on shutting off specific breakers, but it is easy to forget...
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:31 PM   #9
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My 600W ProWatt Xantrex inverter has a standard duplex outlet. I took it's case apart and ran wires from the duplex to the wall chase behind the bathroom and added a second duplex below the bed and near the fridge. No transfer switch.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:44 PM   #10
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My 600W ProWatt Xantrex inverter has a standard duplex outlet. I took it's case apart and ran wires from the duplex to the wall chase behind the bathroom and added a second duplex below the bed and near the fridge. No transfer switch.
To test my understanding, then you only have those 2 outlers in the inverter, correct?
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:38 PM   #11
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Correct.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:51 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the information. I've decided to just let Escape put the inverter/switch in. I confirmed that they are using a pure sinewave so the price isn't too far off. Plus we'll be spending a few weeks on the road after we pick it up so I'll need it along the way.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:41 PM   #13
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I have a 2018 19 on order and was also thinking about doing a DIY on the inverter. Might not save a lot of money but could possibly use better quality components. A single DPDT switch could serve as transfer switch. Relays could be used to isolate the frig, AC, and converter when on inverter power. Having it done by ETI does have that advantage of being able to use it during my multi-month trip back home from ETI though. Need to think more on it!
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:33 PM   #14
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I like the idea of having all my ac circuits available on the inverter. The downside is that a 1,500 watt inverter draws more current even if you aren't pushing it hard. Some folks choose to go with multiple small inverters and only turn on the one they need at that time. As you can see from the thread, I went back and forth on this and ended up going with the factory install.
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:46 PM   #15
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I have a 2018 19 on order and was also thinking about doing a DIY on the inverter. Might not save a lot of money but could possibly use better quality components. A single DPDT switch could serve as transfer switch. Relays could be used to isolate the frig, AC, and converter when on inverter power. Having it done by ETI does have that advantage of being able to use it during my multi-month trip back home from ETI though. Need to think more on it!
I opted out during the build, thinking if I want I would do it myself later. Well, I had it decided for me that we should do it. I researched components and in the end got pretty much what Escape uses, as it is a good system and is not too badly priced. By the time I sourced everything I need, secondary panel with breakers, transfer switch, inverter, control switch, and misc wiring stuff, it ended up costing me near as much for everything as it would have cost for Escape to supply it installed.

If one thinks they would go with a 1500W inverter I would highly recommend they have Escape do it, even though I can handle it no problem, I still wish I had of got it as an option.
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Old 12-31-2017, 05:26 PM   #16
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I did a DIY 1000w install this summer. Used a Magnum Dimensions CSW w/remote, and a Xantrex Inline Xfer Relay. Tapped into the circuit that feeds the loft area of the trailer, giving me about 1/2 the outlets and the MW if I were to want it.

I agree the difference in price is minimal. I do like to be able to pick my own make and model of equipment, same as I did on the solar. There was recently a thread on what your inverter actually outputs, voltage wise. I check the Magnum and it was 120.3 vac., pretty darn close.

A big plus on DIY is that you understand it when you're done.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:54 AM   #17
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Wonder if ETI would consider using different inverter? I understand the output voltage of the one they use is a bit on the low side and have also read on forum that it will cut off at higher solar charging voltage. Neither of these seems good to me but having ETI doing the install does Guess I will ask them the question!
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:58 AM   #18
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Wonder if ETI would consider using different inverter? I understand the output voltage of the one they use is a bit on the low side and have also read on forum that it will cut off at higher solar charging voltage. Neither of these seems good to me but having ETI doing the install does Guess I will ask them the question!
From what I've read, the GoPower inverter does have a slightly lower voltage output, but they've gone back to using the Samlex, which does not. You might just want to confirm they are installing the Samlex. Mine (SSW-1500-12A) works well.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:58 PM   #19
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From what I've read, the GoPower inverter does have a slightly lower voltage output, but they've gone back to using the Samlex, which does not. You might just want to confirm they are installing the Samlex. Mine (SSW-1500-12A) works well.
I think they have gone back to the GoPower GP-HS1500 inverter, the 1500 model that is designed to use the solar controller as the remote. (that is what came in my August 2017 21).

The inverter is solid, but it does produce lower AC voltage than I'd like - 108V. My coffee pot & toaster take longer on the inverter than when plugged in a pedestal, and there is a slight difference in microwave times.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:16 PM   #20
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I think they have gone back to the GoPower GP-HS1500 inverter, the 1500 model that is designed to use the solar controller as the remote. (that is what came in my August 2017 21).
If that's the case, they might be willing to install the Samlex instead if the customer supplied it, since they're already familiar with it. But then there's always the cost issue with shipping.
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