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LX and LXI (Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your LX or LXI model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THOSE ISSUES INVOLVED WITH ANY LAWSUIT.....list your LX and LXI Parts here too.

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2014
Joatha Joatha is offline
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Default Inverter Usage and the Refrigerator

So, this past weekend at the GT-Miami game, I had my first instance of boondocking where I didn't really need the air conditioners running. In theory, this meant I didn't need to run the generator. I attempted for a period of time to run off the inverter. And, I figured a few things out that day and I have some questions.

First, my observations:
1. If you want to run anything on 120V without shore or genny, you have to turn the inverter on. And, the only time you can turn the inverter on (or off) is when there is no shore 120V or generator 120V. You can't make changes to the settings when 120V is present.

2. The inverter seems to power the entire coach - not just selected outlets. This includes the refrigerator. So, when I turn the inverter on, it also kicks the refrigerator from gas to electric. I had to push the button to move it from gas to electric.

3. Running the refrigerator on electric is a ridiculous power hog. I pretty much ran the batteries down to the acceptable minimum power levels in about 4-4.5 hours. Fortunately, I had kicked the breaker on the electric water heater element or there's no telling how fast that thing would've dropped.

So, now my 2 questions....
1. Is there a way to turn what the inverter will do (automatically on or off at loss of 120V power) without having to lose 120V?

2. Is there a way to turn off inverter power to certain outlets automatically? Specifically, I want 120V to the refrigerator when the generator is running or it is connected to shore power. But, I do NOT want 120V to the refrigerator when it is running off the inverter and batteries. Another example of such would be the electric water heater. I am mostly concerned about this in the event of power loss when I am not present. I don't want the inverter to kick on and the refrigerator kill my batteries by going all the way down. I do realize that one mitigation it to turn on the auto-start for the genny.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2014
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WTarrier WTarrier is offline
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On our 96, the electric water heater element (in the AquaHot) does not work off of the inverter. The reefer and ice maker will, so we turn the auto mode off on reefer and set it to propane and turn the ice maker off. Even with the AquaHot running in cold weather we can go all night without the gennie. I do set it in the auto start mode but seem to get plenty of hours just on battery power. This includes TV and sat. dish, lights, and the other stuff. The exception is the convection side of the micro-convection oven. It will kick the genie in almost instantly.
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Old 10-09-2014
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G_man G_man is offline
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Jonathan, My answers below are just based on usage of the inverters in a '90 PT40 and in a '99 LXi43.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joatha View Post
So, this past weekend at the GT-Miami game, I had my first instance of boondocking where I didn't really need the air conditioners running. In theory, this meant I didn't need to run the generator. I attempted for a period of time to run off the inverter. And, I figured a few things out that day and I have some questions.

First, my observations:
1. If you want to run anything on 120V without shore or genny, you have to turn the inverter on. And, the only time you can turn the inverter on (or off) is when there is no shore 120V or generator 120V. You can't make changes to the settings when 120V is present. In both those coaches with a combined use of over 18 years, I NEVER shut the inverters off unless the coach was to be stored for a long period with no shore power. They shift from charge mode to inverter mode automatically and the batteries should allow for the inverter to stay on with minimal use of the generator while boondocking. I used to run a couple hours a day to keep everything charged.)

2. The inverter seems to power the entire coach - not just selected outlets. This includes the refrigerator. So, when I turn the inverter on, it also kicks the refrigerator from gas to electric. I had to push the button to move it from gas to electric. Correct, I always set the refrigerator to LP only to avoid battery/inverter use while boondocking. While most of the coach can run from the inverter, loads like the microwave or a toaster or hairdryer are short time uses and nothing should need to be bypassed or set to "off".

3. Running the refrigerator on electric is a ridiculous power hog. I pretty much ran the batteries down to the acceptable minimum power levels in about 4-4.5 hours. Fortunately, I had kicked the breaker on the electric water heater element or there's no telling how fast that thing would've dropped. The water heater is not connected to the inverter. Use your Aquahot, set to diesel only for hot water. As to draining in 4 to 4.5 hours; you either have a huge load operating somewhere or your batteries are not performing as they should.

So, now my 2 questions....
1. Is there a way to turn what the inverter will do (automatically on or off at loss of 120V power) without having to lose 120V?There is no need to do anything. In a properly operating system just leaving the inverter/charger on will automatically allow it to choose the correct mode. It should be seamless and the outlets will default to shore power if present, or to generator if running and finally to inverter if that is the only source.

2. Is there a way to turn off inverter power to certain outlets automatically? Specifically, I want 120V to the refrigerator when the generator is running or it is connected to shore power. But, I do NOT want 120V to the refrigerator when it is running off the inverter and batteries. Another example of such would be the electric water heater. I am mostly concerned about this in the event of power loss when I am not present. I don't want the inverter to kick on and the refrigerator kill my batteries by going all the way down. I do realize that one mitigation it to turn on the auto-start for the genny. There should be a duplex outlet behind the refrigerator accessed from outside. BB plugged the refrigerator into one of the outlets and the icemaker into the other. This outlet should have shore/genny power to one and inverter power to the other. Plugging the icemaker into the inverter outlet insures you have ice while running on LP and having the refrigerator plugged into the shore/genny only outlet assures it switches over to LP when no shore or genny power is present. Check your refrigerator outlet, if it is not already wired as I described, it can most likely be easily changed. The only drawback to this setup is that the refrigerator will be running on LP while driving instead of using the inverter which is running off the vehicle alternator while driving. My choice is to simply set the refrigerator to LP Only when boondocking.
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Old 10-09-2014
Alan Alan is offline
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Or you could just raise the shutoff arm that's inside the freezer to shut the ice maker off.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2014
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G_man G_man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Or you could just raise the shutoff arm that's inside the freezer to shut the ice maker off.
Why would you ever want to shut off the icemaker? No ice = no drinks on the rocks .
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2014
Joatha Joatha is offline
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Thanks for the replies!

I have been out of town for work and then to my sister-in-law's wedding. So, I'm just now getting back to read the replies.
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2014
Joatha Joatha is offline
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Just following up again on this thread....

So this weekend I had the occasion to use my LX again and I did some more boondocking and this time I left the inverter on as suggested and tracked how the battery usage went.

I ran the aquahot for the heaters (it was COOOLD!) and put the refrigerator on gas. I'm happy to report that I was able to run overnight without any issue. I actually made it about 10 hours or so before I had to run the generator.

One thing, however, I did notice was that the inverter panel is NOT accurate at all for the state of the batteries (and this is why I thought I could only go 4-5 hours). I had noticed this somewhat previously but it came fully apparent this weekend. I went to bed on Fri night and then woke up Sat and the inverter panel said my batteries were at 100% - completely full. Uh...no. I knew better. I looked at the voltage on the dashboard and it was down to about 11.7 volts - pretty much as low as I wanted to go. So, I fired the generator up. Suddenly the inverter panel changed and said I was at like 30% on the batteries. I let the generator run a couple of hours. The voltage climbed back up close to 13V (just over) - but the inverter panel never said my batteries were over 45% full.

I then turned off the generator for a few hours again and it went down to only 12.5V by the time I left. I decided to run it for the trip home. This time the inverter panel had it at about 65-70% and it never really went up or down even with the generator running and the batteries were charging.

Finally, I get home and turned off the generator and plugged in. In 15-30 minutes, the inverter showed fully charged and the voltage gauge showed 13V (a shade over) - just like it should.

Anyone else have any experience with the gauge on the inverter panel? Are they all this flaky or just mine?
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