Sunline RV Forum
Sunline User Photos

Go Back   Sunline Coach Owner's Club > Sunline Club Community Forums > Sunline Community
Click Here to Login

Join Sunline Club Forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-05-2018, 06:36 PM   #1
csp
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11
SUN #10218
csp is an unknown quantity at this point
Inverter question

Hello again Sunline owners club. My 1990 T243 has an inverter built into it. I am assuming the purpose is to convert 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC. Is this correct? I found it mounted down below the sink. I don't know what to do with it. Any info would be appreciated.

I have an off the grid camp set up on a mountain in southwestern PA. I have attached a picture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Camper cam_08_05_2018 7_55_48PM_1533513348356.jpg (84.3 KB, 15 views)
Attached Files
__________________

__________________
csp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 07:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,893
SUN #2097
mainah is an unknown quantity at this point
If it's original it's probably not an inverter. If it's an add on then maybe if so it should have some sort of on off switch and 120 volt outlets. The stock system made 12 volts from a 120V plug in (for the lights,water pump and such) and also charger the battery but did not make 120 volts from the battery like an inverter would it would be considered an converter/charger.
__________________

__________________
mainah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 07:49 PM   #3
csp
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11
SUN #10218
csp is an unknown quantity at this point
Okay. The label on the inverter indicated 120 volt input and 12 volt output. There are "regular" duplex receptacles in the camper. Is it correct to say that when the camper is plugged in, some of the power is 120 volt for the receptacles and the inverter(converter/charger) changed some of that power to 12 volt DC to run the lights and other 12 volt equipment?
__________________
csp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 06:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,893
SUN #2097
mainah is an unknown quantity at this point
Not quite the converter is powered by plugging the camper in the converter does not power the outlets it only makes DC voltage for camper use and doubles as a battery charger. The battery is the source of DC if the camper is not plugged in but has no connection to the outlets they are two different power sources. So if you need household power you will need an inverter, it runs on 12 volts DC from the battery and makes 120 volts AC the opposite of a converter. I see from your picture that you have a solar panel that will be your source of power to recharge the battery when you are not plugged in if you add an inverter you will need to be very conservative of what you power because the battery powers the inverter so you will have a factor of 10:1 on battery current draw so if you plug in a household device that draws 1 amp it will discharge your battery at 10 amps that is a rough figure but close enough to get the picture. Another tip inverters have what's known as idling current some are worse than others so even if it's not doing anything as long as it is powered by the battery it will be using some battery current so a disconnect for the inverter should be part of the equation. Because your original converter is hard wired it would not be advisable to power the outlets with an inverter by plugging the camper cord into the inverter because of diminishing returns all the while you are taking power from the battery the converter will be trying to recharge it.
__________________
mainah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 09:08 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Sunline Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,977
SUN #123
Sunline Fan is an unknown quantity at this point
Yep, the terms converter and inverter are often interchanged mistakenly. A converter is pretty cheap and common, put in all RVs. As Mainah said, the battery is needed not only for when you aren't plugged in, but when you are too. The lights, water pump, furnace fan, etc. all run off 12v. The converter doesn't put out enough to run multiple of these things at once- you need the deep cycle battery for that. The converter just keeps it charged.

Inverters are pretty uncommon in RVs, although they can be added. Some of the large, expensive motorhomes have them from the factory, but the inverter units themselves can get pretty pricey. It all depends on what you want to plug in too, to determine what size unit you need. Chances are if you want an inverter large enough to power larger electronics, you'll need a bank of deep cycle batteries and possibly solar charging to accommodate it.

A good resource to read about adding solar and inverters is by our own EMAM, Pat and Cindy: Every_Miles_A_Memory
__________________
2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
Sunline Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 05:15 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,893
SUN #2097
mainah is an unknown quantity at this point
The converters did have some pretty hefty 12 volt output but not much to charge the battery typically in the 30 amp range for lights etc the campers came with with a hand full of cabin lights my little T1700 had 13 lights with all of them on it was like 23 amps! Once replaced with LED's the current dropped to less than 4 amps! If you intend to bring the house with you you will need a hefty battery bank and BIG cables. 200+ watts of solar might get you by with an inverter. Even a pipsqueak microwave will sock your battery bank for 5000 watts
__________________
mainah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2018, 04:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 177
SUN #680
dkasten39828 is an unknown quantity at this point
Our original converter was rated as a 45-amp unit... not sure we ever asked it do do that much. When it died, we replaced it with a 45-amp Progressive Dynamics unit because it had a MUCH better battery charging section than the original... 3-stage with a desulfanating mode to help maintain the batteries BETTER.
__________________
*************************************
Dave & Cindy
'99 Chevrolet 2500 ext. cab (2WD)
5.3 liter V8, 3.73LS, Prodigy, Hensley Arrow
2004 Sunline Solaris SE T-2499 #5527
dkasten39828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2018, 08:52 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 71
SUN #10636
holmzie is an unknown quantity at this point
CSP brings up a few questions I would like to ask:

Hello, csp: Is there a make/model and any marking on it regarding the current (amps) rating of the output? Does it mention battery charging current separately? Perhaps a general question should be: Do they install "converter"s under the sink, ie: is this the "the" trailer's converter? If so, it would be a model designed for trailer duty, that is designed to permanently screw-mounted on a wall floor or shelf as opposed to "stand alone" on a shelf or desk. Isn't that a little close to a water source to be factory-installed? My 28 yr old converter is (was) screwed to the (rotted) floor under the rear bench bed, right at where the power cable comes into the trailer.

BUT BUT BUT: HERE is some questions I have wanted to ask the forum:

IS the 12 Volts DC (12vdc) that most trailer converters put out Filtered? or just rectified? If so, that may be good enough for lighting and fans, but is way too "dirty" or noisy for any electronic device not specifically designed for just plain rectified 12vdc. (I haven't put a scope on mine yet.)

Another question: Are NEWER "Converters" providing 12vdc, FILTERED and REGULATED like they SHOULD BE? (Aw, I know the answer)

CSP: I would be one to install a FILTERED and REGULATED 12vdc power supply ("converter") in my trailer. This provides clean power that is "as close to connecting to a 12v battery" as you can get. I have previously had to SHUT OFF a trailer's built-in converter in order to listen to broadcast AM/FM radio (and operate my Ham radios, too! The people I was talking to could even here the noise in my SIGNAL!)

I know this is probably covered elsewhere, but why not connect directly to the trailers 12 volt battery for clean !2VDC? You could, if the converter is shut off. When on, the charging circuit creates NOISE NOISE NOISE.

I will kick my soap box back under the bar and look forward to any comments and replies. Sorrrry I'm so long winded.

holmzie N2EXG
__________________
holmzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2018, 12:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 177
SUN #680
dkasten39828 is an unknown quantity at this point
holmzie... according to the paperwork and the website for our Progressive Dynamics converter, the guts (converter) section of the 4000 series panel we have is the same as the 9200 series converter/charger. It SAYS the 12-volt power is filtered, but I doubt it is the same quality as what you have come to expect from Ham radio rated 12-volt regulated power supplies. I suspect ordinary 12-volt uses in an RV would not require the higher quality regulated & filtered power required for radio work like yours (or mine one day!).
__________________
*************************************
Dave & Cindy
'99 Chevrolet 2500 ext. cab (2WD)
5.3 liter V8, 3.73LS, Prodigy, Hensley Arrow
2004 Sunline Solaris SE T-2499 #5527
dkasten39828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2018, 05:06 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,893
SUN #2097
mainah is an unknown quantity at this point
What is in a CPS that would need well filtered DC? Probably an original converter will have a pretty good 60cps being half wave on a scope and a modern one some switching noise. I don't know what the CPS machine uses for a power supply but I'm guessing a switcher it maybe just as noisy as your converter. I'm not real well versed on a CPS but is isn't basically a heater and a motor?
__________________
mainah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 09:49 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 71
SUN #10636
holmzie is an unknown quantity at this point
Hey csp, mainah, dkasten, and others.

Gorsh there manah, ya got me corn-fused. By "CPS" do you mean "Computer Power Supply"? I just don't have trailer vernacular quite down yet, or the related acronyms. My humble apologies.

csp: Love the solar and the off-grid part of your camping experience. Saw a brook in your video, Ahh, another source of POWer! Get a dc permanent magnet motor from a discarded treadmill, make or buy an impeller...get some PVC pipe and couplings..NOW you can charge your battery(s) in the dark, or during a storm!

Ok, off subject.

There are various things that I will need an inverter for in my tower/trailer. All of them require little 120vac current. One is the antenna rotor. another is a soldering GUN, (could use butane torch-iron?) and a few odds & ends. I have several cheap "modified" sine-wave units, from 50 watts to around 500. All but the 500 have a quiescent current below 75 ma. Newer ones are much better than 15 yrs ago in this regard. Now "pure sine-wave" inverters are available for about twice the price, which is still cheap considering what they were in the old days.

Lastly, (thankfully?) I saw some comments on REPLACING the charge controllers AND the 12vdc converter outputs of the typical trailer "CONverter". For my radio work, this "converter" could be modified into a quality standard "regulated linear power supply". (OR a very quiet "switching mode regulator"?) The heart of this is the HUGE transformer, and some replace the rectifiers with a full-wave bridge unit, This would be the best of both worlds. Was this mentioned here in the Sun Line forum? There are articles in our "QST mag, CQ mag, and in forums and magazines all over the place. Older RVs and trailers all had 12v incandescent lighting which REALLY represents a large, continuous load that could easily overheat a "lesser" than adequate transformer. I think mainah brought that up in another thread.

I require 22 amps minimum of solid 13.8vdc ("12vdc") for my 100 watt radio. 30 amps would cover a second radio and accessories.

Remember, a radio "load" is NOT necessarily continuous, but has to be well regulated. With Morris Code or SSB voice, the load can change instantaneously from about 1 amp to 20 amps, which can drive some regulators crazy!

OK, holmzie: Blah Blah Blah! Get on with it!

Just run some nice 8 awg wire to the operating position, and get some Anderson Power-Pole connectors, and voilà! Now you don't have to pack that separate power supply. And NO NOISE!

Since writing this I also would consider placing a/the regulator remotely: right at the operator(s) position. This would allow 12vdc lighting and accessories to be upstream from the regulator(s), as they don't need regulation, just filtering. This would also provide a degree of isolation for the radio equipment. When off-grid (on battery power), the switching function would remain, (and any remote regulator would have to be by-passed in this mode)

Stay FREE!

holmzie N2EXG



My Ham Radio buddies are all nodding there heads now. We're a tight-knitted bunch, yah know.
__________________
holmzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 12:09 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,893
SUN #2097
mainah is an unknown quantity at this point
Oh I thought it was a breathing machine thingy you were talking about! I run my ham gear from the batteries and the converter at the same time no issues no noise It's a modern one at 45 amps granted the batteries help with regulation to an extent I have never tried to directly run HF from the charger but I would think most any resistance would look as a load to a solid state device the converter really isn't much different than a external power supply by design.
__________________
mainah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 12:20 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,893
SUN #2097
mainah is an unknown quantity at this point
For a water wheel generator I think I would go with a automotive alternator the treadmill motors are high voltage designed to be regulated with PWM. A 12 volt alternator with all ready have all the regulation you would need. For max smoke it would want to turn about 3K RPM.
__________________
mainah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 08:13 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 71
SUN #10636
holmzie is an unknown quantity at this point
I like the way you think, mainan.

The following comments are my opinion only, for which I am not responsible for any wrong facts or misleading statements contained therein:

Here's what I think. Automotive alternators require a field current, and are not efficient at low power delivery. low rpm even worsifies the matter. you may need to "kick" an alternator with a source of 12volts just to get it to produce power. The regulators on some (chryslers?) even apply full field current upon start-up, up to some rpm/voltage threshold in order to quickly recharge the lowly Lead-Acid battery. I had a devil of a time on Field Day, long ago, i got suckered in to peddling a bike/alternator combo, and I'll never do THAT again! I do use 'm for my 12v chargers with a junked 3 - 5 hp engine, works well!

Bunch of off-gridders make there own Perm Mag alternators using magnetron or old hard-drive magnets, or other Rare Earth magnets. I may be nuts but I'm not crazy. you can actually buy perm mag alternators designed for power gen if you have the money.

Though they have brushes, I find a treadmill perm mag motor, (I own 3) typically 90 - 120 volts or more, really great with small windmills, bicycle power, and peltion water turbines. These little darlings squirt out power at any rpm. all yo need is a diode. Of course, it'd b nice to have a switching mode regulator. OR go with a trace inverter $$$ or other charge controller. 120 volt AC is better if the brook is a long way away.

I never found a brook for my little water wheel...yet. BUT: I did light a 6o watt bulb handcranking a bicycle with the treadmill motor/generator, and charged a Field Day operator position and made contacts for the extra pedal (human) power points.

holmzie N2EXG
__________________

__________________
holmzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Inverter question RUSKEY Introduce Yourself 3 06-18-2010 04:46 PM
Inverter Fan Running after Boondocking nickster60 Repairs and Maintenance 3 11-21-2008 03:24 PM
inverter vs. noninverter generator Tweety Sunline Community 20 10-21-2008 02:26 PM
Inverter---Which One For General Use, Like A 20" Televi Marylyn Sunline Travel Trailers 6 07-08-2008 11:26 AM
Converter/Charger (Inverter?) ScottK Sunline Travel Trailers 3 06-15-2008 08:49 AM



Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sunline RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:10 PM.