invertor question

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by 13Bravo, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. 13Bravo

    13Bravo New Member

    What does my invertor do ? There is a switch and a power button for the invertor, but i can't seem to figure out what it actually does.
     
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: invertor question

    The invertor converts 12 volts to 120 for small appliances such as tv while not hooked to shore power.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: invertor question

    yes as Nash said it converts 12 volts to 120 volts ,, that way u can operate certain stuff while driving or boondocking ,, also if u have a big enough inverter u can run u'r a/c ,, hope this answered u'r question....
    :)
    But on the down side,, the inverter is only as good as u'r house batteries are ,, in other words if the batteries are weak,, then so will the power from the inverter be ,, weak that is :)
     
  4. 13Bravo

    13Bravo New Member

    Re: invertor question

    I was playing with it last nite(the inverter) and was unable to get anything that plugs in to operate. Is there a way to test it? Is there a limitation on the type or size of inverter if i need to replace mine? I am in an 85 holiday rambler Imperial 33. As things wear out or brake I am trying to upgrade to newer and/or better. So far very little has wore out or broken, but i am new to this rv and not sure how all of the bells and whistles work.
     
  5. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: invertor question

    13Bravo, are you really looking at an INVERTER? Or could you be looking at a CONVERTER?
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: invertor question

    Sometimes the inverter is wired to only a few outlets and/or a few built in devices. Check the manual or wiring diagram to ensure that where you are plugging in is powered by the inverter. Also, check all the breakers and fuses.

    The primary limitation is your battery bank. If you don't have a lot of battery power, having a bigger inverter is a waste of effort. The next 'limitation' is what you want to power by inverter. Add up the power 'needed' and round up. If the inverter was installed at the factory, then you probably want to stay with the same size, unless you really know what you are doing (if the wiring and fusing is based on one size, just replacing it with a bigger one could cause problems).

    Finally, there is the 'type' of inverter. The cheapest ones put out a square wave, triangular wave or 'modified sine wave' which are very 'dirty' electrically ('noisy'). This can cause some devices to work 'funny' or even damage some devices. The best inverters are the 'true sine wave' which provide power as good or better than comes out of the wall. Unfortunately, these tend to be rather more expensive.

    Also, the bigger inverters often have battery chargers built in. You will need to make sure the new one matches the old one in this regard, or modify the wiring to compensate so the battery charging continues to work.
     
  7. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: invertor question

    Yes, 'converter' is the 'opposite' of 'inverter', takes 120vAC and makes 12vDC.
     
  8. 13Bravo

    13Bravo New Member

    Re: invertor question

    Texas Clodhopper, The switch that I was trying to figure out is like a light switch with 3 positions. The top position says inverter, middle position is blank and bottom says shore power. There is also a separate panel with a power button ad a reset button, but there are no indicator lights to acknowledge that the power is on or not.

    Hertig, I think I will just replace it(if its not working properly) with a stock equivalent. I don't want to get into the "never ending project"

    Thank you all for your knowledge and assistance
     
  9. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: invertor question

    Time to pull out the VOM (volt, ohm meter) and start checking. Did you try one of the tvs while not hook to shore power? As John said ,if it's a small inverter might just be wired to one wall plug, probably in kitchen area.
     
  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: invertor question

    Another thought, the batteries have to be fully charged or have some charge before it can convert.
     
  11. 13Bravo

    13Bravo New Member

    Re: invertor question

    so far I am unable to find which outlet if any it controls. I am using an alarm clock to check for power. Maybe it just doesn't work. Any Idea of how much they cost? What would be a good brand?
     

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