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Inverter Choice


alan0043

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Hi Everyone,

 

I need to install an inverter in the truck. I do not know what would make a good choice for an inverter. I already have a Battery Minder taking care of the batteries. If you could re-do your choice, would you stay the same or go with a different idea. The nice thing about this project, is that I have a clean slate to work with. What size, brand and model number should I look at ? Do I go beyond an inverter ? I would like to hear some reasons why. The truck already has shore power from the factory.

 

Thank you for any input,

Al

2012 Volvo VNL 630 w/ I-Shift; D13 engine; " Veeger "
  Redwood, model 3401R ; 5th Wheel Trailer, " Dead Wood "
    2006 Smart Car " Killer Frog "
 

 

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That would largely depend on what you plan on powering, how often it's being used and for what length of interval.

 

If your alternator and battery minder are filling your charging needs then it's likely not necessary to go beyond the addition of an inverter.

 

What size and type of battery bank are you going to be pulling from?

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Yarome is right. I have a Xantrex Freedom 1800 HF. Really only thing I'm powering is a small dorm frig going down the road and I use my truck batteries, not a separate bank. It has a built in battery charger, transfer switch and I have been very happy with it. Is modified sine though.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Take a look at the Kisea Abso line of inverters. For a truck they are a good fit. As others have said, you have to understand your needs first, then you can match the right inverter. LINK.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

PLEASE no PM's. Email me. jackdanmayer AT gmail
2016 DRV Houston 44' 5er (we still have it)
2022 New Horizons 43' 5er
2016 Itasca 27N 28' motorhome 
2019 Volvo 860, D13 455/1850, 236" wb, I-Shift, battery-based APU
No truck at the moment - we use one of our demo units
2016 smart Passion, piggyback on the truck
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
See our website for info on New Horizons 5th wheels, HDTs as tow vehicles, communications on the road, and use of solar power
www.jackdanmayer.com
Principal in RVH Lifestyles. RVH-Lifestyles.com

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I have the same inverter/charger in the truck that I have in the trailer. Yes it is overkill for my needs in the truck (except the time we got a early jump on the day and the wife used her hair dryer in the truck). It is also nice that in the event my inverter/charger ever fails in the trailer, a quick swap and we are back in business. Personally I was not too fond of the Battery Minder I had prior to installing the inverter/charger. I had to reset the settings every time I plugged the truck in or if power was lost. It also would turn itself off after about 30 days or so and I would have to again reset it. With the inverter/charger just plug the truck in and walk away. The fridge is on and the batteries are fully charged with out any extra checking and double checking.

 

I will admit that going this route is more costly. I got lucky and got a great deal on the inverter/charger for the truck. Other wise not sure if I would have spent that much for just the truck but I have seen where a few others have done the same thing.

2017 Entegra Anthem 44A

SOLD - 2004 Volvo 780. 465hp and 10sp Auto Shift (from 2010~2017)

SOLD - 2009 Montana 3400RL

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Yarome is right. I have a Xantrex Freedom 1800 HF. Really only thing I'm powering is a small dorm frig going down the road and I use my truck batteries, not a separate bank. It has a built in battery charger, transfer switch and I have been very happy with it. Is modified sine though.

 

Hi Carl,

 

This unit looks like I need to do a closer look at. I remember seeing the Xantrex in your truck. I think the unit can handle any future needs that I may have. Now to see who has the best price.

 

Al

2012 Volvo VNL 630 w/ I-Shift; D13 engine; " Veeger "
  Redwood, model 3401R ; 5th Wheel Trailer, " Dead Wood "
    2006 Smart Car " Killer Frog "
 

 

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Hi Carl,

 

This unit looks like I need to do a closer look at. I remember seeing the Xantrex in your truck. I think the unit can handle any future needs that I may have. Now to see who has the best price.

 

Al

Al,

 

These sell for mid $400's. For about $100 more you can get the one Jack suggested and it is pure sine wave and has the same features. Will say I've been pleased with mine but I don't run a lot of things with it.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Now to see who has the best price.

 

For the exact same unit it shouldn't be to difficult to pick one up for around $425 including shipping. I've often found marine stores, generally speaking, to have the most competitive pricing when it comes to inverters. Hodges Marine.

 

Personally... I would go the extra $125 and go with the Kisea Abso. You're getting just a bit more juice (2000/4000 vs 1800/3600), a 55amp charger vs. 40amp and a PSW vs. MSW.

 

If budget is important.. 125 bones is 125 bones. ;)

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For the exact same unit it shouldn't be to difficult to pick one up for around $425 including shipping. I've often found marine stores, generally speaking, to have the most competitive pricing when it comes to inverters. Hodges Marine.

 

Personally... I would go the extra $125 and go with the Kisea Abso. You're getting just a bit more juice (2000/4000 vs 1800/3600), a 55amp charger vs. 40amp and a PSW vs. MSW.

 

If budget is important.. 125 bones is 125 bones. ;)

 

Hi Yarome,

 

Thank you for the link. So far Hodges Marine seems to have the best price from the places I have checked.

 

Al

2012 Volvo VNL 630 w/ I-Shift; D13 engine; " Veeger "
  Redwood, model 3401R ; 5th Wheel Trailer, " Dead Wood "
    2006 Smart Car " Killer Frog "
 

 

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So far Hodges Marine seems to have the best price from the places I have checked.

Al

 

For mid range Xanny's Hodges is usually my "go to" company. It's pretty rare to find anyone offering that class range for less and their shipping is reasonable.

 

Amazon has one through a third party seller for $435 + free shipping. Personally.. I like their no hassle returns/exchanges and have a card that gives me 5% off amazon purchases ($20 off the $435) so I would buy through there, but sans cash back... I would save the 10 bucks (aka.. steak n eggs) and buy from Hodges. ;)

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Could a guy run deep cycle batteries behind an isolator for truck non vehicle system electrical loads? Not draw on the truck batteries at all?

 

That's the system that came in my truck. It has 4 golf cart batteries for the inverter, and has a large relay that can connect the house batteries to the truck batteries so the house batteries can be charged by the alternator.

 

It seems to work well.

 

FYI, we have a Xantrex inverter and it seems to work well.

2007 Volvo 780 Volvo D12D, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

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Could a guy run deep cycle batteries behind an isolator for truck non vehicle system electrical loads? Not draw on the truck batteries at all?

That's the way we're set up. We have 4 4D batteries that run an inverter. 140 amp Isolator keeps everything charged. Alternator into isolator, 2 leads out, 1 to each battery bank- Truck and "House". You do lose about 1/2-3/4 of a volt this way, but I don't have to remember to turn anything off. Inverter has its own charger for when we're plugged into shore power as well.

Alie & Jim + 8 paws

2017 DRV Memphis 

BART- 1998 Volvo 610

Lil'ole 6cyl Cummins

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The alternator we have I believe has Remote sense. When I installed the isolator I had several other electrical issues I was working thru.

When we bought this truck, it had an Ample Power aux generator that turned a huge alternator. Generator had issues and we sold it to Charlie at the first ECR we attended. With the generator I gave him the brains for the Ample Power system that was wired into the original truck harness.

We put a new alternator on after the rally (I paid a local shop to do it) and had a simple 3 position switch- 1, 2, 1+2, off, so I could charge whatever set of batteries I needed. But several times I forgot to switch the house batteries off and killed the truck batteries. I know that Blue Seas makes a nice ACR control, and there are other options, but I went the easy way with the isolator. Back to the story... With the Ample Power system spliced into the truck harness, there were electrical gremlins that would pop up, so I pulled all the extra wiring out and put the truck back to factory stock. Including replacing a well spliced harness. So the truck got back to a base point that everything worked and I started a "New" build for the truck house power built around the simplest way I knew of. Of course some of this was done left handed when the right wrist was broken..... because old Murphy said the truck would break down at the least oppurtune time....

I'll check the back side of the alternator and add the remote sense line if its available. Bumping the voltage up would be nice.

Alie & Jim + 8 paws

2017 DRV Memphis 

BART- 1998 Volvo 610

Lil'ole 6cyl Cummins

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Al,

 

No matter what inverter you buy just remember to put a big fuse in line and use proper size cables from batteries to inverter.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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I think I've posted this before, but if it's not easy to connect a remote sense wire or if you want the inverter/charger to be able to maintain the truck batteries, there's always this option:

 

Bussmann RB-BS-1315 Bi-Directional Battery Separator

 

It's a solenoid-based system, so there's (practically) no voltage drop across it. If either battery bank is being charged, it links them together. If the group falls below about 13V, they disconnect from each other. Then there's also a control terminal where, if supplied 12V, you can force the link between the two banks. That can be useful if you need to help start the truck with the house batteries. I've had the Sure Power part by the same part number on my rig, and have been very happy with how it works. It would seem that Sure Power makes them for Bussmann, but Bussmann charges about half price. At $55, it's a pretty simple setup.

45' 2004 Showhauler -- VNL300, ISX, FreedomLine -- RVnerds.com -- where I've started to write about what I'm up to

Headlight and Fog Light Upgrades http://deepspacelighting.com

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Al,

 

No matter what inverter you buy just remember to put a big fuse in line and use proper size cables from batteries to inverter.

 

Hi Carl,

 

Thanks for the reminder about a fuse. I am trying to get a shopping list together of what I need. Do you know what size is your fuse ? 250 amp or 300 amp ? I will also use welding cables because of it being more flexible.

 

Hi David,

 

Thanks for posting the idea about the battery separator. It would be a good idea to add it now for that cost. That way I could be ready to add some house batteries at a later date. Is there anything else that I would need ?

 

Al

2012 Volvo VNL 630 w/ I-Shift; D13 engine; " Veeger "
  Redwood, model 3401R ; 5th Wheel Trailer, " Dead Wood "
    2006 Smart Car " Killer Frog "
 

 

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For managing dual banks the Hellroaring isolator, the Blue Sea ML-series relays and the AmplePower Autoswitch all make a good system. All will compensate for voltage drop. But a simple isolator WITH voltage compensation will also do the job. The "smart isolators" are really the way to go for more than a basic system.

 

If you are not going to draw a lot of "hotel" (house) power then keeping it simple with a single bank works the best. A fridge or occasional use of a microwave does not justify a separate house bank unless you just want it.....But lots of "camping" in the truck would justify a separate bank. Lots of camping might also be managed adequately by a good inverter/charger if you have shore power. The chargers in the better inverters do charge a bank very well.

 

Before complicating things with another battery bank, it would be wise to really understand your needs.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

PLEASE no PM's. Email me. jackdanmayer AT gmail
2016 DRV Houston 44' 5er (we still have it)
2022 New Horizons 43' 5er
2016 Itasca 27N 28' motorhome 
2019 Volvo 860, D13 455/1850, 236" wb, I-Shift, battery-based APU
No truck at the moment - we use one of our demo units
2016 smart Passion, piggyback on the truck
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
See our website for info on New Horizons 5th wheels, HDTs as tow vehicles, communications on the road, and use of solar power
www.jackdanmayer.com
Principal in RVH Lifestyles. RVH-Lifestyles.com

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Al,

 

Mine is 300 amp class T if I recall. Will let the electronic gurus chime in but think other classes will do just as well (ANL).

http://www.donrowe.com/ANLBF300-300A-ANL-Fuse-Kit-p/anlbf300.htm

 

http://www.donrowe.com/Samlex-DC-FA-300-300-Amp-Fuse-Kit-p/dc-fa-300.htm

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Hi David,

 

Thanks for posting the idea about the battery separator. It would be a good idea to add it now for that cost. That way I could be ready to add some house batteries at a later date. Is there anything else that I would need ?

 

Al

 

Al,

 

There's really no need for it if you have only one battery bank--though planning for where to mount the separator wouldn't hurt.

 

If I had a truck and trailer though, I might still consider one on the charging line instead of an ignition-switched relay. That way if the truck is running, the trailer is charged, and if the trailer is charging the truck is charged also (provided the trailer and truck are connected, of course). 100 amps is definitely overkill for that, but they don't really get cheaper going smaller.

 

In deciding whether to run an inverter off of a separate battery bank or not, it's worth looking at when the inverter shuts down. If you know it'll shut down at a point where you can still start the truck, no worries. But that's variable too--cold temperatures, battery age, cable condition, type of starter, etc. all factor into what voltage that shut off would need to occur at.

45' 2004 Showhauler -- VNL300, ISX, FreedomLine -- RVnerds.com -- where I've started to write about what I'm up to

Headlight and Fog Light Upgrades http://deepspacelighting.com

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