PDA

View Full Version : Generator/Inverter



foldbak
08-27-2013, 08:59 PM
Hey Guys and Gals,

Well I'm new to the Prowler family as I just upgraded from a 1993 24 foot Jayco to a 2005 290FLS. I love the floor plan and the pop out. There is so much more space then my last trailer. Now I can actually play fetch with my brown Lab "Rusty" in the trailer. I've been doing some upgrades to it such as LCD TV, stereo, etc. getting ready for it's madden voyage. My wife and I (and Rusty of course) are going to the American river for a few days next month to ring out the bugs. I'm in the process of installing a generator and inverter and have many question that I hope you can help with. :confused:

My Jayco was equipped with a custom built-in Onan 2500 watt gas generator and a 1500 watt inverter which worked great! Both unit had remotes inside making operation easy. My challenge is that I'm going to attempt the same upgrade on my own in my new Prowler. I purchased a 3600LP Onan nearly new for a great price. I'm going to mount it in the rear storage compartment. I know I'm sacrificing storage but it's my only option if I want push button operation.

First lets talk about mounting the generator. I'll need to drill 6 mounting holes to bolt the unit to the floor. (will need template). I'll also need to drill a hole for the oil drain. The muffler will need a hole as well. My understanding is that the unit pulls air in from the front side and pushes the hot air out of the bottom near the exhaust. I'll need to cut in a vent on the rear compartment door for fresh air.


Do I need to cut out a large vent size hole at the exhaust to help with heat?
Since this is a wood floor do I need to do anything special to protect the cutouts?


I'll need to drill a hole for the propane hose and remote wiring.

Can I use the rubber hose supplied or do I need to use ridged pipe? My intent is to run about 18' along the frame rail and tee it into the stove.


Now lets talk about the inverter. I want at least 2000 watts and I'll mount it in the same rear compartment in place of the converter. My understanding is that I need an inverter that has switching capability so I don't need relay switching. ( Switch's from generator to shore power automatically) As far as connection, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Inverter connects to the battery bank.
Inverter connects to the AC panel via the shore power connection.
Shore power connects to the inverter.
Generator connects to the inverter.
Am I going to have a problem mounting the inverter 30' away from the batteries?


When shore power is detected the inverter interrupts the generator to prevent feedback. The inverter acts as a charger and charges the batteries.
When Shore power is disconnected the inverter restores the generator.

Any suggestions as to a value priced inverter? Does this sound right? Am I missing anything? Thanks in advance for your help and assistance.

Moderator please move my post if in the wrong thread. :cool:

danemayer
08-27-2013, 09:08 PM
Hi foldbak,

Congratulations on your new Prowler and welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum. There's a great bunch of friendly and helpful people here and I expect some of them will jump in shortly with answers to your questions.

brianharrison
08-27-2013, 10:58 PM
Congratulations on your new Prowler. Wow you have an ambitious job ahead of you to install a complete automatic, push button generator, shore power, inverter system. Don't forget about the batteries that you select as well, as they need to be sufficient capacity to run all that you want on inverter power. I am not aware of a value priced inverter that has all the functionality that you are looking for - interrupt shore power, generator power, charge batteries.

I have a simpler system with no generator installed, nor automatic generator start. Here is a schematic of a system similar to what I have in my unit (less the generator and AGS). As well, I chose to wire a subpanel with 120V loads that I wanted to run on inverter. This way I keep the large 120V loads off the inverter (Air Conditioner, electric water heater, etc).

Others will help as well.

Brian

foldbak
08-28-2013, 07:34 AM
Congratulations on your new Prowler. Wow you have an ambitious job ahead of you to install a complete automatic, push button generator, shore power, inverter system. Don't forget about the batteries that you select as well, as they need to be sufficient capacity to run all that you want on inverter power. I am not aware of a value priced inverter that has all the functionality that you are looking for - interrupt shore power, generator power, charge batteries.

I have a simpler system with no generator installed, nor automatic generator start. Here is a schematic of a system similar to what I have in my unit (less the generator and AGS). As well, I chose to wire a subpanel with 120V loads that I wanted to run on inverter. This way I keep the large 120V loads off the inverter (Air Conditioner, electric water heater, etc).

Others will help as well.

Brian

Thanks Brian. I appreciate the response. One thing I'm trying to avoid is reconfiguring any breakers or factory wiring with the exception of the converter. I don't plan on running the AC unit on the inverter or exceeding the 2000 watts. If I need AC I'll start the gen.

brianharrison
08-28-2013, 09:07 AM
OK - then you could install an auto transfer switch (are you 30 amp service?) to auto switch out the shore power when the generator starts, run the outlet of the transfer switch into the inverter/charger, with auto AC power auto detect, and the outlet of the inverter/charger directly to your main AC panel.

The XANTREX Freedom series (http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/inverter-chargers/overview.aspx) are inverter/chargers that you may want to look at. I have the Freedom SW3000, unfortunately this is not a "value priced" inverter. Take a look at the HF liine. Here is a quick diagram on page six of the HF manual. (http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Inverter-Chargers/Freedom-HW/Freedom_HF_Install_Guide(975-0395-01-01_Rev-C).pdf)

Hope this helps.
Brian

foldbak
08-28-2013, 09:38 AM
I found a value priced inverter made by Aims. http://www.theinverterstore.com/3000-watt-inverter-charger-12-volt.html#

Anyone have any experience with this brand? I can buy it for $449.00

TravelTiger
08-28-2013, 10:17 AM
We have an AIMS 2500 watt, model bct010009d. It's huge, btw! http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/08/28/a6egu6eg.jpg

Purchased from The Inverter Store last year, along with cables.

We only use it to run a compressor for airing up tires. So far, works great!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free (http://tapatalk.com/m/)

foldbak
08-28-2013, 12:06 PM
26166
is this correct?

After talking to a tech I found that I need a auto transfer switch

brianharrison
08-28-2013, 01:29 PM
I missed it in your earlier posts but mounting an inverter 30 feet away from the batteries may cause frequent low voltage drop outs for the inverter. I would suggest minimizing DC wiring runs and increasing the AC wiring runs.

Remember on the DC wire size calculation to add both the positive and negative cable lengths to calculate voltage drops - ie you will have 60 feet of wire length for an inverter 30 feet away from the battery bank. Try to keep voltage drop less than 3% for the max current the inverter will draw (2000w inverter will draw up to 175 amps at 11.5v, a reasonable battery voltage when pulling on 12v system).

Brian

pegmikef
08-28-2013, 04:01 PM
Take a look at TravelTiger's picture earlier in this thread and note the size and length of the battery cables. I would recommend something like that. I have a 1200 watt inverter on my golf cart and that is about the size cables I needed for it. I use it to run small tools such as hedgetrimmer, drills, pumps, electric chainsaws, etc., but it does suck down my Trojan battery bank.

TravelTiger
08-28-2013, 04:28 PM
Those are 1/0 awg, they were recommended by the Inverter Store.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free (http://tapatalk.com/m/)

foldbak
08-28-2013, 04:47 PM
Well some of my question have been answered.

1. I'll have to include a transfer switch
2. The inverter will have to be mounted close to the batteries.

Now the problem is where do I mount the converter?

brianharrison
08-28-2013, 04:54 PM
I misunderstood your earlier posts - I believed you were looking to install an inverter/converter combo unit. Converter usually is near the batteries for the same reason the inverter is near the batteries - to minimize voltage loss through the 12v wires to/from the batteries. Can it stay in the same place where it is currently located?

Brian

Sumo
08-28-2013, 11:07 PM
Why do you want a 2000 watt inverter?

foldbak
08-29-2013, 07:39 AM
I want at at least 2000 watts but I think I'm going 3000 watts. I really don't need that big with a built in generator since I dont plan to run the AC on the inverter. If I need AC I'll fire up he Gen.

My understanding is that the Onan pulls air in from the front side and pushes the hot air out of the bottom near the exhaust. I'll need to cut in a vent on the rear compartment door for fresh air.



Do I need to cut out a large vent size hole at the exhaust to help with heat?
Since this is a wood floor do I need to do anything special to protect the cutouts?



I'll need to drill a hole for the propane hose and remote wiring.


Can I use the rubber hose supplied or do I need to use ridged pipe? My intent is to run about 18' along the frame rail and tee it into the stove.

wdk450
08-29-2013, 10:29 AM
How well is the proposed generator location isolated from living areas to keep carbon monoxide out? I would recommend a 2nd carbon monoxide detector inside somewhere near the generator location. The original generator prep factory install in my Bighorn had a sheet metal shroud for surrounding the generator.


I want at at least 2000 watts but I think I'm going 3000 watts. I really don't need that big with a built in generator since I dont plan to run the AC on the inverter. If I need AC I'll fire up he Gen.

My understanding is that the Onan pulls air in from the front side and pushes the hot air out of the bottom near the exhaust. I'll need to cut in a vent on the rear compartment door for fresh air.



Do I need to cut out a large vent size hole at the exhaust to help with heat?
Since this is a wood floor do I need to do anything special to protect the cutouts?



I'll need to drill a hole for the propane hose and remote wiring.


Can I use the rubber hose supplied or do I need to use ridged pipe? My intent is to run about 18' along the frame rail and tee it into the stove.

foldbak
09-05-2013, 08:31 PM
So does anyone have experience installing an Onan gen in an enclosed space?