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Best/most logical apu/inverter/charging solution

TMFGO45

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Alright, currently I have just a standard 1500w inverter. My outlets in the truck split, and one connection plugs into the front of the inverter, and the other to the shore power plug controlled from the outside plug. So, when I'm plugged in, I have to unplug the connection in the inverter.

So, now I'm going to get an APU. I want to be able to charge my batteries with that, but also when I use the shore power plug from outside.

So, is there a way to keep my current inverter, and just add a battery charger. But then how do I get the outlets out of this split connection setup, and get them plugged into either the charger or the inverter in a way I don't have to keep disconnecting one plug or the other depending on if I'm on shore power, or battery power?

And of course my APU I'm thinking will have it's own control panel, then do I need an additional control panel for the inverter or charger?

Or lastly, is the easiest solution to break down and get an all-in-one inverter/charger solution? (at which point I will just have septate control panels just because of my own preference...)

Can't wait to see some thoughts on this.

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Monty

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My "shore power" (or APU), was hooked so that it did nothing except power my a/c, and heater in winter. It also powered a 500w converter that charged the batteries. My starting battery disconnected via a 12v switch hooked to the ignition.

When I tured the key off, the starting battery was removed from the system.

All electrical outlets in the van were powered from the inverter.
 

TMFGO45

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My "shore power" (or APU), was hooked so that it did nothing except power my a/c, and heater in winter. It also powered a 500w converter that charged the batteries. My starting battery disconnected via a 12v switch hooked to the ignition.

When I tured the key off, the starting battery was removed from the system.

All electrical outlets in the van were powered from the inverter.
I'm in a straight truck, but I know electrical equipment doesn't care what type of vehicle I'm in. But that isn't the setup I am looking for. I definitely don't want a battery separator. My APU should definitely charge batteries, but I also want my shore power to do that when it's an option for use. So with my current inverter, is anything I said in my OP possible?

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Monty

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Inverters do not charge ...... they make ac from dc.

You need a dc generator, or a converter to make ac into dc.

My converter charged both battery systems.
 

Rocketman

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I found a power distribution box a couple of days ago that I liked IF it works the way I understand it. The 110 AC power is supplied either by the APU or by shorepower. The distribution panel has its own converter built into it so that it supplies AC power and DC power to the truck...with circuit breakers built in for each. It cost something like $140. I'll see if I can find a link later.
 

highway star

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Inverters do not charge ...... they make ac from dc.

You need a dc generator, or a converter to make ac into dc.

My converter charged both battery systems.
Inverters with shore power will charge the batteries.

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Turtle

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Inverters with shore power will charge the batteries.
Not to be pedantic, but an inverter with shore power isn't an inverter. An inverter is a device that converts DC current into AC current. An inverter performs the opposite function of a rectifier (often called a converter). An inverter with shore power connections is an inverter/charger, two mints in one. It inverts DC current to AC current like a regular inverter, but also accepts AC current by the rectifier for the battery charger, and will pass excess AC current to power AC loads.
 
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TMFGO45

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Inverters do not charge ...... they make ac from dc.

You need a dc generator, or a converter to make ac into dc.

My converter charged both battery systems.
I'm aware. I'm not sure you are understanding my original post though.

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TMFGO45

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Not to be pedantic, but an inverter with shore power isn't an inverter. An inverter is a device that converts DC current into AC current. An inverter performs the opposite function of a rectifier) often called a converter). An inverter with shore power connections is an inverter/charger, two mints in one. It inverts DC current to AC current like a regular inverter, but also accepts AC current by the rectifier for the battery charger, and will pass excess AC current to power AC loads.
Turtle, do you get what I'm trying to say in my original post? Do you have a thought or a solution you think would be easiest/cheapest to implement keeping my inverter, or do I need to man up and just get the all-in-one inverter/charger?

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Turtle

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Turtle, do you get what I'm trying to say in my original post? Do you have a thought or a solution you think would be easiest/cheapest to implement keeping my inverter, or do I need to man up and just get the all-in-one inverter/charger?
Yeah, I do. The easiest/cheapest is what you described in the first paragraph of the original post. Easiest and cheapest is rarely the best.

If you're in the market for a new inverter, they have inverter/chargers with built-in transfer switches. Otherwise, what you need is something along the lines of this:
3-Way Auto Transfer Switch 30 Amps

 
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Rocketman

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I found a power distribution box a couple of days ago that I liked IF it works the way I understand it. The 110 AC power is supplied either by the APU or by shorepower. The distribution panel has its own converter built into it so that it supplies AC power and DC power to the truck...with circuit breakers built in for each. It cost something like $140. I'll see if I can find a link later.
This is the distribution panel I had found. WFCO WF8735P WF-8735-P Brown 35 Amp RV Trailer Power Center Converter Charger Camper Trailer RV

Turtle, would this not supply everything needed to distribute AC and DC power to the truck from a generator (or shorepower)? What I have in mind is having the generator output coming into a stationary plug inside the truck...a pigtail from that plug to this distribution panel. Then, I could have the choice of having the pigtail plugged into the generator output..or plug it into a shorepower cord. Either would supply AC power to the distribution panel, then let the panel supply the AC/DC to the truck.

I would probably just let it charge an auxillary battery and power what little DC power I need off the battery.

I do see something in the specs that bugs me. Everything basicly says it can carry a 30 amp AC load, but in the "input" spec, it shows 600 watts/5.5 amps? The only thing I can see is that is how much of the AC load is, or can be, directed to the converter for DC output?
 

TMFGO45

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Turtle that seems like exactly what I will need actually! But I'm not sure if I'm detecting your sarcasm correctly. Are you implying with your previous post that this three way switch is not the way to go, or that it's fine, just don't keep using the method of me having to unplug outlets from the front of the inverter when I am in shore power? Or, are you saying both ideas are no good, and spend $1700 on a pure sine wave inverter/converter? Which after an APU purchase, I don't think I'm going to want to do haha.

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highway star

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Not to be pedantic, but an inverter with shore power isn't an inverter. An inverter is a device that converts DC current into AC current. An inverter performs the opposite function of a rectifier (often called a converter). An inverter with shore power connections is an inverter/charger, two mints in one. It inverts DC current to AC current like a regular inverter, but also accepts AC current by the rectifier for the battery charger, and will pass excess AC current to power AC loads.
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Turtle

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Turtle that seems like exactly what I will need actually! But I'm not sure if I'm detecting your sarcasm correctly. Are you implying with your previous post that this three way switch is not the way to go, or that it's fine, just don't keep using the method of me having to unplug outlets from the front of the inverter when I am in shore power? Or, are you saying both ideas are no good, and spend $1700 on a pure sine wave inverter/converter? Which after an APU purchase, I don't think I'm going to want to do haha.
Few get my sarcasm. :D

If you want to keep your current inverter, and as long as it's performing properly you might as well, then all you need is the 3-way switch to accomplish what you want. The switch automatically switches between shore, generator and battery power. No need to unplug and plug stuff when the power source changes. So you can pick one or the other plugs for your outlets, and plug that into the output of the switch (ATSC - Automatic Transfer Switch Controller), and no matter if you are on shore, generator or battery power, they'll have power. Just don't go over the 15 amps per outlet, same as any household outlet.
 

Turtle

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This is the distribution panel I had found. WFCO WF8735P WF-8735-P Brown 35 Amp RV Trailer Power Center Converter Charger Camper Trailer RV

Turtle, would this not supply everything needed to distribute AC and DC power to the truck from a generator (or shorepower)? What I have in mind is having the generator output coming into a stationary plug inside the truck...a pigtail from that plug to this distribution panel. Then, I could have the choice of having the pigtail plugged into the generator output..or plug it into a shorepower cord. Either would supply AC power to the distribution panel, then let the panel supply the AC/DC to the truck.
That should work fine.

I would probably just let it charge an auxillary battery and power what little DC power I need off the battery.
When you say "the battery", do you mean the cranking battery? Why would you run DC loads off a starting battery when you have an aux battery or battery bank? Plus, the Power Center Converter Charger has 4 DC circuits to run loads off of anyway.

I do see something in the specs that bugs me. Everything basicly says it can carry a 30 amp AC load, but in the "input" spec, it shows 600 watts/5.5 amps? The only thing I can see is that is how much of the AC load is, or can be, directed to the converter for DC output?
The 600 Watts is the power consumption. If you plug in into an outlet in your living room, that's how much electricity you'll draw, and will show up on your electric bill. It's like six 100-Watt light bulbs. Doesn't really have any effect on the output circuits.
 

Rocketman

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That should work fine.
Thanks....I had never saw one of those and was worried that I might be overlooking something.


When you say "the battery", do you mean the cranking battery? Why would you run DC loads off a starting battery when you have an aux battery or battery bank? Plus, the Power Center Converter Charger has 4 DC circuits to run loads off of anyway.
Yes, your correct, I would be using the aux battery only for the auxillary DC loads. In fact, at some point, I want every auxillary DC draw to come from the aux battery (radio, QC, Sirius, etc, etc).

What I want to do is use the converter side to just charge the battery (it seems to have a good battery charging system built in), then I'll just pull the DC loads off the battery instead of using the DC outputs on the converter. That way, I don't have to have the generator running to charge my phone..etc. I don't have but a few items that would require DC power anyway.

The 600 Watts is the power consumption. If you plug in into an outlet in your living room, that's how much electricity you'll draw, and will show up on your electric bill. It's like six 100-Watt light bulbs. Doesn't really have any effect on the output circuits.
Ok...just to clarify. The "converter" would pull 600 watts max? I could still pull enough power through the AC side to power the rooftop? (as long as the generator will supply enough power for both, obviously) I'm pretty sure that is the case..it's just the way they show it in the specs that throws a flag when i read it.

Thanks again. I'm pretty sure this is what I want. There are other brands out there, but I don't know one from the other. At least if I know what I want, I can ask an RV electrician for a recommendation. I'll likely have it all wired up by a pro.
 
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TMFGO45

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Few get my sarcasm. :D

If you want to keep your current inverter, and as long as it's performing properly you might as well, then all you need is the 3-way switch to accomplish what you want. The switch automatically switches between shore, generator and battery power. No need to unplug and plug stuff when the power source changes. So you can pick one or the other plugs for your outlets, and plug that into the output of the switch (ATSC - Automatic Transfer Switch Controller), and no matter if you are on shore, generator or battery power, they'll have power. Just don't go over the 15 amps per outlet, same as any household outlet.
One thing I forgot to ask with that switch. Does it tour pet to the batteries to charge them via either shore or generator when those are the sources of power? Or do I need yet another device?

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Monty

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Sorry for trying to make it simple ... but then my sleeper, (ac power requirements) were all pre-wired in the construction ... to the inverter. I used no outside power source to power them.
 

Rocketman

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Deleted: I misunderstood Monty's statement about "no outside power source". After re-reading his earlier posts in this thread..I get it now. :D
 
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