Montana Owners Club - Keystone Montana 5th Wheel Forum

Montana Owners Club - Keystone Montana 5th Wheel Forum (http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/index.php)
-   General Discussions about our Montanas (http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Full size fridge electric question... (http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79361)

CADman_KS 10-06-2019 01:43 PM

Full size fridge electric question...
 
I have a question about how the full size fridge electrical works.

My understanding is that there is an inverter in there that powers the fridge when you're not on shore power.

But, when you're on shore power is the electrical feed for the fridge coming thru the main panel (the converter/breaker panel) or still thru the inverter?

Just wondering about the longevity of the inverter if it's being used all the time. Maybe they are more robust than I think....

PNW Fireguy 10-06-2019 03:03 PM

On SP the inverter passes through the grid power from your Progressive Dynamics distribution center to the outlet feeding the fridge.

Arkware 10-06-2019 03:12 PM

I believe you are asking about a Residential Fridge (electric only).

Shore power feeds the breaker panel. (the converter is on one of the breakers)
A breaker feeds a 120 volt line to the inverter.
The inverter has a transfer switch built in which by-passes the inverter.

I power off my inverter when I'm on shore power.

hope this helps,

CADman_KS 10-06-2019 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arkware (Post 1162093)
I believe you are asking about a Residential Fridge (electric only).

Shore power feeds the breaker panel. (the converter is on one of the breakers)
A breaker feeds a 120 volt line to the inverter.
The inverter has a transfer switch built in which by-passes the inverter.

I power off my inverter when I'm on shore power.

hope this helps,

Thanks for the great responses!

Yes, I was referencing the Residential fridge. I didn't know for sure what to call it. ;)

I didn't realize the inverter had a pass-thru.

Thanks for the clarification!!!

jeffba 10-07-2019 12:32 PM

There is a transfer switch that selects which source power the refrig. Me I leave mine on. I do check out the readout once SP has been disconnected, just to make sure it is drawing power.

CADman_KS 10-07-2019 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffba (Post 1162195)
There is a transfer switch that selects which source power the refrig. Me I leave mine on. I do check out the readout once SP has been disconnected, just to make sure it is drawing power.

Having never had an RV with an inverter, it looks like we have a lot to learn about how all of this works together!!

Looking forward to getting to know about all of the new things in our RV...

WeBeFulltime 10-07-2019 04:26 PM

Your inverter only powers the reefer when it is turned on and you aren't on SP. Your batter(s) supply 12 volts to the inverter which ups it to 120 volt to run reefer. When the batteries drop below a certain level no more power to reefer. Mine has run on inverter/batteries (2 Group 27 wet cells) for 13 hours without quitting but very little else was being fed by batteries.

CADman_KS 10-07-2019 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WeBeFulltime (Post 1162212)
Your inverter only powers the reefer when it is turned on and you aren't on SP. Your batter(s) supply 12 volts to the inverter which ups it to 120 volt to run reefer. When the batteries drop below a certain level no more power to reefer. Mine has run on inverter/batteries (2 Group 27 wet cells) for 13 hours without quitting but very little else was being fed by batteries.

Thanks for the input!

I do understand how the inverter works, at least the 12V DC to 120V AC part. What I did not quite understand (or know about) is the auto-switching on the inverter when you're plugged into SP. That is something that's actually built into some inverters, but none that I've ever used.

I'm a recovering engineer by trade, I just have to know how things like this work. ;)

As for the length of time that the fridge will run on the inverter, I would think that it only requires a "large" amount of power when it's actually running. The newer residential fridges are pretty energy efficient, so as long as you kept the doors closed, and it wasn't a 110deg inside the RV, it should be good for a while...

Track50 10-13-2019 08:51 PM

When you're plugged into SP make sure the inverter is off! If you are plugged in with the inverter on they say it will fight how the power gets transferred. Before I hook up to SP, I make sure the inverter is off. When you unplug, turn it back on.

CADman_KS 10-13-2019 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Track50 (Post 1162850)
When you're plugged into SP make sure the inverter is off! If you are plugged in with the inverter on they say it will fight how the power gets transferred. Before I hook up to SP, I make sure the inverter is off. When you unplug, turn it back on.

I plan on testing this this weekend, but the swich in there is supposed to be automatic.

We shall see...

captjac39 10-14-2019 05:56 AM

I believe once you plug in the invertvertor will shut off so you are powered by whore power.

CADman_KS 10-14-2019 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by captjac39 (Post 1162868)
I believe once you plug in the invertvertor will shut off so you are powered by whore power.

Yes, this is what it's supposed to do. I don't know if it actually turns it "off", or just doesn't output any power. It might run all the time, but if it's not putting any power out, it should be idle.

For the curious (like me), I'll report what I find out after this weekend...

PNW Fireguy 10-14-2019 07:46 AM

The inverter is on unless physically turned off and therefore always a parasitic loaf when on. When inverting there is some loss( maybe 2-3%) for the electrical “transformation” efficiency. The fridge duty cycle on the yellow energy sticker will give you the annual kw-hrs. Do the math to figure the amp hours needed at 12v.

Wayner197 10-14-2019 07:59 AM

Not true
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Track50 (Post 1162850)
When you're plugged into SP make sure the inverter is off! If you are plugged in with the inverter on they say it will fight how the power gets transferred. Before I hook up to SP, I make sure the inverter is off. When you unplug, turn it back on.

The above statement is simply not true. The inverter sits there and does nothing when hooked to shore power. Thatís what the built in bypass is for. The only time I shut my inverter off is when I store it. It wonít hurt a thing to leave powered on while hooked to shore power. Itís ok either way but it wonít hurt a thing to leave it on while camping.
Personal preferences arenít necessarily facts.

CADman_KS 10-14-2019 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wayner197 (Post 1162878)
The above statement is simply not true. The inverter sits there and does nothing when hooked to shore power. Thatís what the built in bypass is for. The only time I shut my inverter off is when I store it. It wonít hurt a thing to leave powered on while hooked to shore power. Itís ok either way but it wonít hurt a thing to leave it on while camping.
Personal preferences arenít necessarily facts.

The real way to answer the question is to put my amp clamp on it. Not for sure I want to know that bad.

This is where being a recovering engineer is in direct conflict with things that need to get done. ;)

jcurtis934 10-14-2019 11:33 AM

Well said cadman. The idle current on most inverters is very low, on the order of a few hundred milliamps. I just turn my on and off to minimize it's running hours and maximize it's lifespan. Personal choice as to what you wish to do. Transfer switches, whether built into or separate from the inverter just look for 120vac on the priority input which is usually the input connected to 120vac from your fuse/breaker panel. If no power on that input, the contactor flops over to the other input to get a source of 120vac. Good to see you educating yourself on the inverter install in your trailer!

CADman_KS 10-14-2019 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcurtis934 (Post 1162905)
... Good to see you educating yourself on the inverter install in your trailer!

In starting this post, that was my intention, educating myself, since we've never had an inverter before. All new territory, and I just wanted to understand how this thing works.

Not this thread is the end-all-be-all, but it doesn't sound like people are having issues with lifespan when they leave it on. I wish that it was in an easier to get to location than it is, if I decide I'm in the on/off camp. Not impossible, but not the most convenient either. Like, just put the inverter closer to the door kind of thing, and that would make it easier...

mhs4771 10-14-2019 03:24 PM

I guess we're lucky with ours. We have a remote display inside that controls the inverter. Giving me on/off control, battery status, and current draw when inverting.
It's been on 24/7 for 4 1/2 years, except for a short period while in for service and still going strong.

CADman_KS 10-14-2019 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhs4771 (Post 1162927)
I guess we're lucky with ours. We have a remote display inside that controls the inverter. Giving me on/off control, battery status, and current draw when inverting.
It's been on 24/7 for 4 1/2 years, except for a short period while in for service and still going strong.

I'm kind of surprised that the remote option is not the "norm". I do know that our inverter has a remote option. I wonder how much that thing costs? It would be super easy to wire that into the main "control" panel.

Hummm....

CADman_KS 10-14-2019 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CADman_KS (Post 1162931)
... It would be super easy to wire that into the main "control" panel. ...

Well, that sucks. The remote for the inverter used in our RV, only is a simple on/off. Doesn't do any monitoring at all... [:(]

mhs4771 10-14-2019 04:01 PM

There are many Inverters in use, and seems each MFR picks the brand they want to use.

captjac39 10-14-2019 08:15 PM

Inverter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CADman_KS (Post 1162075)
I have a question about how the full size fridge electrical works.

My understanding is that there is an inverter in there that powers the fridge when you're not on shore power.

But, when you're on shore power is the electrical feed for the fridge coming thru the main panel (the converter/breaker panel) or still thru the inverter?

Just wondering about the longevity of the inverter if it's being used all the time. Maybe they are more robust than I think....

To be sure it is off you can turn the battery switch off on the wall in the battery area which feeds the inverter. You can also turn the inverter off with the button on the face of the inverter near the read out

Track50 10-14-2019 09:30 PM

When we bought our Montana they said that it's not recommended to have the inverter on when plugged in. That was directly from the keystone rep. I feel safer taking his advice.

CADman_KS 10-18-2019 02:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Well, I did a little looking into this today while we are out on out maiden voyage.

As it turns out, on our model, knowing if the inverter is even ON is not easy to discover. Turning it off, must be done completely blind. You have to feel arou d and find the power button and then hold it for a couple of seconds. The inverter does have a readout, but it's totally worthless because you can't see it at all.

While I don't doubt the previous post about Keystone recommending that the inverter be trained off, they obviously weren't too serious about a statement like that if you have to be a contortionist to turn it on and off in our model.

At this point our plan is to leave it on all the time, and disconnect the batteries to turn it off. They definitely didn't make it easy to do in this model. One thing that would help with this inverter would be to get the remote switch for turning it on and off. May have to look into that...

Here is a picture of where it is located, and it's about two feet from the opening, so not close, and the end with the plug on it is the end with the power button and display panel, and that is 4" from the wall, so close there too:

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...1&d=1571428646

RoadRunnerTR21 10-18-2019 04:18 PM

That looks like my inverter. It's a CSW1012 made by Sensata. Our inverter quit working on our trip out last Saturday. I have contacted the manufacturer today after getting back and have yet to hear back from them. I don't believe this is a contributing factor but when we hook up to SP I turn the inverter off. I only run it when hooked to the truck.

CADman_KS 10-18-2019 04:27 PM

It is a CSW1012. If they really think your going to turn it off on SP, they really need to make it convenient to shut on and off. I'm still nimble enough that I could if it was a requirement, but my parents couldn't turn it on and off. They just can't get back there to do it.

Not the greatest design if turning it on and off is a requirement.

If ours went out, out if warranty, I'd redo that whole arrangement to make it more user friendly. My front compartment is HUGE. I think I could find some room in there to do it "better". Again, I'm a recovering engineer. ;)

RoadRunnerTR21 10-18-2019 04:52 PM

Our inverter is in a pretty accessible location. I think much of it depends on the Montana model you have. The only thing I would do different is change the orientation to have the on/off switch and display face the compartment door.

CADman_KS 10-18-2019 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoadRunnerTR21 (Post 1163368)
Our inverter is in a pretty accessible location. I think much of it depends on the Montana model you have. The only thing I would do different is change the orientation to have the on/off switch and display face the compartment door.

It must be model specific, because ours is in a terrible location...

DebNJim B 10-19-2019 06:41 AM

Mine is in a similar location. I occasionally have issues with the GFI on the inverter tripping so I plugged one of these in the other side of the duplex so I can readily see if the circuit is on or off just by glancing in. I also put a remote thermometer in the fridge so I can monitor it while on the road.
https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Equ...483972&sr=8-10

hope this helps.

CADman_KS 10-19-2019 09:43 AM

Too new to tell for us if we're going to have issues with the GFCI, but that would be a pain if it was tripping that. Even a remote switch wouldn't help you in that situation because it would show that the inverter is on, and it is, but there's no output because the GF I breaker is tripped.

The remote fridge temp thing is a good idea if you're traveling a long distance. We typically only go about 60 miles to our favorite spot, so not the end of the world. But the plan is to go on some longer trips as well, so knowing what's going on back there would handy. Have to look into that...

jcurtis934 10-19-2019 10:01 AM

Inverters need to be as close as possible, but not in the same area as flooded cell batteries. If yours are not in the passthrough and less than six feet cable length from the batteries...keystone installed wrong. If you had agm batteries, then it could be in the front and on the back wall. Inverters are still only 90-93% efficient these days, so multiply whatever is drawn on the 120vac side max current including start and icemaker by about 12 and you get the max current draw out of the batteries. And the inverter manufacturers specify orientation for mounting the inverter, so you should look at the manual and make sure it was done correctly.

CADman_KS 10-19-2019 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcurtis934 (Post 1163430)
Inverters need to be as close as possible, but not in the same area as flooded cell batteries. If yours are not in the passthrough and less than six feet cable length from the batteries...keystone installed wrong. If you had agm batteries, then it could be in the front and on the back wall. Inverters are still only 90-93% efficient these days, so multiply whatever is drawn on the 120vac side max current including start and icemaker by about 12 and you get the max current draw out of the batteries. And the inverter manufacturers specify orientation for mounting the inverter, so you should look at the manual and make sure it was done correctly.

Maybe this is a bold assumption on my part, but I'm assuming that Keystone is meeting all of the manufacturers recommendations. It is within 6'. The issue is that they could meet all of the manufacturers recommendations, but you still can't turn the unit on and off easily, nor can you see at all what it's doing if you wanted /needed to know. That's the part I don't like...

mhs4771 10-19-2019 05:32 PM

My inverter is mounted on the Front Basement Bulkhead, directly behind the Battery Bank so my cables are only several feet long. But I also have a Remote Control mounted inside which displays the inverter status/battery status and also can turn the inverter on or off.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:24 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.