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Old 02-13-2014, 09:26 PM   #61
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Not sure using the trailer as a ground is acceptable. There are shunts available.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:35 PM   #62
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Do I understand correctly that you're using the existing converter->battery wiring rather than using your 4AWG wire from battery->inverter? What's the wire gauge of the existing wire?

Or is this just a test, to make sure the inverter works?

As for the voltage, keep in mind that voltage drop will increase as you increase the load. The fact you see 12.9V is good, but you also need to test it under load.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:54 PM   #63
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Factory installed wire from the battery is 8 AWG. All my wires from the inverter are 4 AWG.

The back of the converter has a machine screw, to which all negative wires converge. A wire from this assembly point goes through the floor and is bolted to the frame underneath. I added my inverter negative wire to that common assembly point. The battery negative pole (8 AWG) wire is also grounded directly to the undercarriage frame.

Yes I have eyeballed all them factory attachments.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:21 PM   #64
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Myron,

The 8 AWG wire may be (is probably) too small for the 50A fuse. Given the short length, you may get away with it if the temperature rating of the wire (usually written on the wire) is high enough (90C or greater), but there's another problem.

From what I can see in your pictures, you've actually got both the inverter fuse, and the circuit breaker (30 or 40 amps to the trailier Pwr Cntr) connected to that 8 gauge battery feed. Theoretically, you could cause up to 80 or 90 amps to flow in that wire. That would certainly melt even high temperature insulation.

Given that in the best case you are at the very limits of the 8 gauge wire with only the 50 amps, any additional draw from the trailer while the inverter is providing its rated load could spell disaster.

You may want to consider replacing the 8 AWG feed wire from the battery with that 4 gauge, or run a dedicated wire for the inverter. The 4 gauge could be fused for up to 80 amps depending on the temperature rating of the wire insulation.

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:36 AM   #65
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Wait a minute. The factory decided installing 8 AWG wire is fine throughout. You say because I installed an inverter and used 4 AWG wire, (rated at 600) a bigger, fatter, stiffer wire that will handle a greater load, plus an inline fuse protecting the inverter that will (theoretically) blow sooner than later if there's a meltable surge from I have no idea where, that I should now replace the factory 8 AWG wires with 4's?

Theoretically, with all due respect....I don't think so.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:05 AM   #66
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Myron, have read your owners/installation manual (page 12) ?
The wiring schematic shows the 4 gauge wire connected directly to the battery bank and fused on the positive cable.
The 8 guage cable used by Escape TT between the battery and the converter is adequate for the electronics installed by them. The 8 guage wire is not adequate for the inverter. You cannot splice a larger guage cable upstream of a smaller cable and expect adequate electrons to flow. CONNECT THE INVERTER DIRECTLY TO THE BATTERY BANK WITH YOUR 4 GUAGE CABLE AND INSTALL THE FUSE IN THE POSITIVE CABLE LINE.You have been give good advise from several individuals.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:07 AM   #67
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Installing my inverter

Xantrex ProWatt 600 $184.39
8 feet 4 AWG wire $7.92
4AWG ring terminals $11.86 (copper is expensive)
50 amp fuse & holder $17.78

total spent $221.95

Jubal, I appreciate your input. Do not wish to dispute my helpful friends, However... My logic is as follows: If water flows through a 1/2 inch pipe at a given rate, would not that same water flow more freely and faster if the pipe is 1 inch?
Using that framework, can someone explain how or why one given physical energy source (water) would be different from another...(electricity) ? Seems to me in all cases the bigger conduit means faster, more efficient, not slower.

Is the factory converter any less a consumer of energy than my inverter? 12.9 volts is 12.9 volts any way you run it, right?
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #68
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Myron
Once again have you read your owners manual. The information provided is to help you attain success.
Voltage is not the only factor. 8 guage wire resists amperage flow more than 4 guage wire. A single strand of wire has the same voltage a several strands of wire but the single strand will "resist" more amperage flow then multiple strands. This would be a good time for you to pursue basic knowledge of electon flow. Logic does not trumph the proven physical laws of science.
HowStuffWorks "What are amps, watts, volts and ohms?"
This site has a good description using water flow.
Concerning electronics:
Success = priceless
Failure = potentially catastrophic results
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #69
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Man I can't believe this subject is up to 68 posts already. Was hoping all answers would stick close to the chase, but what the heck, still fun. Yes I read the manual (see my post #forty-seven and fifty-eight). Hope this string-out is at the very least helpful as a learning tool for others like me.

I will be going out to the trailer with my multimeter to test for amps.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:48 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
The factory decided installing 8 AWG wire is fine throughout. You say because I installed an inverter and used 4 AWG wire, (rated at 600) a bigger, fatter, stiffer wire that will handle a greater load, plus an inline fuse protecting the inverter that will (theoretically) blow sooner than later if there's a meltable surge from I have no idea where, that I should now replace the factory 8 AWG wires with 4's?
Yes.

The factory decided that 8 AWG wire was suitable for the amount of current which could be drawn by the DC distribution panel which is located with the converter. You have installed an inverter which can draw much more current, and bypasses the fuses of the panel, so you have greatly increased the possible load on the wires from the battery and invalidated the factory's choice.

I don't see anything wrong with that; you just need to finish the job and modify all of the affected components as appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
My logic is as follows: If water flows through a 1/2 inch pipe at a given rate, would not that same water flow more freely and faster if the pipe is 1 inch?

Using that framework, can someone explain how or why one given physical energy source (water) would be different from another...(electricity) ? Seems to me in all cases the bigger conduit means faster, more efficient, not slower.
Yes, I agree, that analogy is valid. Bigger pipe or bigger cable doesn't cause problems and does reduce flow restriction and energy loss due to resistance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Is the factory converter any less a consumer of energy than my inverter? 12.9 volts is 12.9 volts any way you run it, right?
The factory converter is not a consumer of DC power at all; it consumes AC power (and we have not been talking about the AC wiring here) and produces DC power from it. The consumer is the set of equipment (lights, pump, fans, electronics...) which are connected to the DC distribution panel which is located with the converter.

If the converter is the model listed in the 19' features list, it can put out up to 55 amps, so that's that maximum current which would be pushed from the converter to the battery through that 8 AWG cable.

Yes, the factory DC panel (with its attached circuits) is a less a consumer of energy than the inverter. 12.9 volts is still 12.9 volts, but the panel is limited to it's fuse rating (presumably something like the 55 amps converter output), and the inverter could use 60 amps, and is fused for 80 amps. Power is potential (in volts) multiplied by current (in amps); energy is power accumulated over time. Perhaps more importantly, the 8 AWG factory cable is being asked to handle the converter output or DC panel loads, plus the inverter load; it doesn't matter which is greater, but it does matter that they are adding up.

In your home kitchen, an electric can opener and a microwave oven are both provided with 120 volts, but the while the opener uses a few watts the microwave typically uses 1400 watts. If you wire a kitchen to run only can openers, you will need heavier wire if you add a microwave. If you wire a trailer to run up to 40 amps of lights and fans then add an inverter which can can use up to 60 amps, you will need heavier wire.

If you supplied the inverter from a circuit in the original DC panel, the original fuses would protect the wiring... but you would not be able to run the inverter anywhere near full load.

By the way, I was looking for an authoritative source of maximum current draw by the inverter, and I noticed that the Xantrex manual covers all PROwatt SW models (from "660" to "2000") with the same recommendation for input wiring (which is nonsensical). 4 gauge may be larger than required for the 600 model.
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