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Old 11-17-2022, 03:00 PM   #1
Rwork
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Inverter Help

I have a 2021 3781RL Montana Legacy and it is missing the inverter from the factory. Factory basically said, "too bad." So, I wouldn't recommend a Keystone product to anyone but doesn't help me now. What I need is your help/recommendations for installing an inverter.

What size and brand do you recommend, I'm thinking I'll only need one large enough to run the residential fridge while running down the road?
With or without an auto transfer switch?
What size batteries?
What brand and size of cutoff switch and fuse link?

Thanks for your help! At least the Montana Owners group is the best even though Montana as a company doesn't have much integrity.
 
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Old 11-17-2022, 03:45 PM   #2
Sr. Oso
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Stupid question- did you contact the dealer where you purchased the 5th wheeler? They should be able to start you in the right direction. There is some information that is missing...how many batteries do you have, solar panels, wiring in your basement for an inverter, a spot on the panel inside your 5er, etc.
FWIW, the gorilla in the room says that Keystone would not have just said "too bad." There must have been some words said that prompted a "too bad" from them. FWIW, I think you aren't providing all the information. I just can't believe that a dealer or a manufacturer would let a residential refrigerator go out without an inverter. Something doesn't add up.
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Old 11-17-2022, 03:58 PM   #3
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Keystone would have the build sheet with all the appliances model and serial number on it I would think. They should know it left the factory with one.
Perhaps the dealship "borrowed" it to repair another rig and forgot to replace it????
Has been known to happen these last couple of years with parts shortages.
Anyway, here's a diagram of how it should be hooked up.
I believe the standard was a 2000w inverter, which is way more than a fridge would need, I may be wrong. I think there was some internal 120vac receptacles also wired into it. That may be why they used a 2000w inverter.
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Old 11-17-2022, 04:04 PM   #4
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Keystone didn't say "too bad" they said since the PDI from the dealership indicated nothing was missing they won't do anything about it, they said I should have caught it while it was under warranty. It's a long 3-month struggle between the dealer, another dealer and Keystone. I sent pictures showing where the missing components should be located with no luck. A lot was left out due to it being irrelevant at this point, Keystone won't make it right. Anyway, all of the wiring is there only the inverter, fuse, cutoff switch and battery box is missing. I have a single battery box with the smaller battery, so I need a new (dual battery box) and what size are the batteries supposed to be. Plus, everything I mentioned in my earlier post. The wiring from the fuse panel is looped back on itself going to the refridge plug. I believe a new set of dual batteries going through a fuse, cutoff switch to an inverter and back and unloop the two romex wires and hook them to the inverter and I should be good to go.
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Old 11-17-2022, 04:22 PM   #5
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Shocked! DO you have a residential frig? If so I has to come equipped with an inverter. If you have the wiring in the battery compartment then it's just a matter of installing the inverter. The AC loop is opened and 120volt side goes to the inverter in and the other connects to the output. 12volt battery cables to the battery with a shutoff on the positive side. 2 group 24's at a minimum. Depending on the inverter you may have a remote panel and a 12volt activation wire to the inverter.
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Old 11-17-2022, 05:08 PM   #6
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It sucks that Montana and the two dealer won't make it right but I suspect there is more to this story (like one dealer "borrowed" the parts). But here are (partial) answers your questions.

Residential refers first came with a 1000W inverter. Then Montana decided to add inverted outlets to the system and upgraded the inverter to a 2000W model. Check the outlets in the kitchen, bathroom and entertainment center for little tags saying "inverted" or similar. If you have inverted circuits, you need a 2000W inverter. If you don't have any, then a 1000W inverter is adequate for the residential refer. I would install a 2000W inverter regardless to provide future expansion capabilities.

You don't need a Transfer Switch unless you plan on running an on-board generator. If no gen, then no need for a Transfer Switch.

The Montana supplied inverter is a basic unit. There are lots of them out there. Pick one you like with good reviews.

You do need a fuse block between the batteries and the inverter. I don't know what size fuse is required and it varies depending on the size of the inverter. Hopefully someone else will know.

A Disconnect Switch in between the battery and the fuse block is not required but highly recommended. You can easily buy one on Amazon.

Batteries sorta depend on how much you boondock. If you mainly stay at electric sites and only need inverter power to the refer while traveling, a couple of 6V batteries will be enough. Longer duration without 120V power will require more batteries.

I hope this helps.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwork View Post
I have a 2021 3781RL Montana Legacy and it is missing the inverter from the factory. Factory basically said, "too bad." So, I wouldn't recommend a Keystone product to anyone but doesn't help me now. What I need is your help/recommendations for installing an inverter.

What size and brand do you recommend, I'm thinking I'll only need one large enough to run the residential fridge while running down the road?
With or without an auto transfer switch?
What size batteries?
What brand and size of cutoff switch and fuse link?

Thanks for your help! At least the Montana Owners group is the best even though Montana as a company doesn't have much integrity.

I have to wonder what the back story is to this. 2021 model, now almost 2023 just now missing an inverter?? Did you buy this new or 2nd hand? Over the years I've had LOTs of issues and Keystone has stepped up; with a situation with a missing component like an inverter, if called for on the new trailer, to be "ignored" by both the selling dealer and Keystone is hard to understand. Maybe you could shed more light on that situation before just blaming Keystone....a year later and ??
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:52 PM   #8
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New Inverter Options

I just installed a used tested inverter listed on eBay that has a inverter/transfer switch all in one combo. You will need to purchase a additional On/Off controller to operate the unit but it can also be bought on eBay. Make sure you use only that type of on/off switch as the other types of Magnums use a 4 wire switch and this model uses a 6 wire switch (Ask me how I know). The Inverter/Transfer switch is listed for $174 but I made a offer of $100 and they accepted it. So I got the whole unit and control for around $150. Its a 2000 watt unit and will run a Res Frig without a problem. I don't know if you have any other outlets that will run off the inverter but if so this has enough power some other small items. You will also need a minimum of two batteries to operate. Here is the links to the two items

https://www.ebay.com/str/cmlsurplus?...75.m3561.l2563

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12548032253...QAAOSwAj5jBl9T
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:53 PM   #9
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sourdough, without rehashing the entire issue on this web site you will just have to trust me on this. I didn't realize it was supposed to have an inverter when I bought the RV. I used it locally with no issue with the fridge but now that I'm taking longer trips, I inquired at the local dealer about adding an inverter and they said if it had a residential fridge it is supposed to have an inverter. They checked it out and confirmed it didn't have one installed from the factory and started the process of getting it installed by Keystone. And no, it hadn't been removed by the dealer I bought it from because it doesn't have any screw holes anywhere it was supposed to be installed. The original dealer (1002 mile away) show "no equipment missing" on the PDI sheet, It must have been "penciled whipped" because it is evident that it's not there. Keystone said I should have caught it before the warranty expired. End of story...I just need help understanding what everyone else is using so I can buy the pieces and install it.
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Old 11-17-2022, 08:11 PM   #10
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Daryles, will my truck keep the RV batteries charged as I'm driving down the road pulling the RV?
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Old 11-17-2022, 09:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwork View Post
sourdough, without rehashing the entire issue on this web site you will just have to trust me on this. I didn't realize it was supposed to have an inverter when I bought the RV. I used it locally with no issue with the fridge but now that I'm taking longer trips, I inquired at the local dealer about adding an inverter and they said if it had a residential fridge it is supposed to have an inverter. They checked it out and confirmed it didn't have one installed from the factory and started the process of getting it installed by Keystone. And no, it hadn't been removed by the dealer I bought it from because it doesn't have any screw holes anywhere it was supposed to be installed. The original dealer (1002 mile away) show "no equipment missing" on the PDI sheet, It must have been "penciled whipped" because it is evident that it's not there. Keystone said I should have caught it before the warranty expired. End of story...I just need help understanding what everyone else is using so I can buy the pieces and install it.

No need to "rehash" the story, I just haven't seen it or figured it out yet. No matter, get 1000W inverter (all kinds of brands) with an internal transfer switch. Wire the batteries to it and the outlet to your fridge to that along with incoming AC. If it was never checked, and you bought it new, are you sure you haven't overlooked it somewhere? I've seen them in cubbyholes, the top of the passthrough, in the front compartments etc. You can use the existing batteries (if you have 2) for the RV to power the inverter or wire up a standalone.
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Old 11-17-2022, 10:06 PM   #12
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sourdough, I took it to the local Keystone dealer, and they couldn't find it but did find the yellow romex wire looped back on itself indicating that it had been wired for an inverter. The unit was built Sep 2020 during the pandemic so maybe it was a shortage of parts, who knows. My coach came with only one battery so I understand that I will have to change out the batt box to one that will accommodate two batteries and the batteries are a size larger than I have now (I have a single size 24 batt now). Thanks for the info. I've been reading up on inverters and was wondering what everyone else is using. The info you shared about getting an inverter with a built-in transfer switch answers one of my questions. Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2022, 11:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwork View Post
Daryles, will my truck keep the RV batteries charged as I'm driving down the road pulling the RV?
The MOST I have seen through the 7 way cable 12v charging wire is 7A going into batteries at 39%.
It's a trickle charge at most.
I installed a DC-DC charger and love it.
If you don't boondock, but want to have a backup charging source (without carrying a generator) I highly recommend one.

https://www.montanaowners.com/forums...hlight=charger
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Old 11-17-2022, 11:31 PM   #14
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Randy,

Based on your intent to only use the inverter while driving to power the reefer a 1000 watt inverter should do the job. You might want to consider a 2000 watt as the price will not be much different and you may find you want more capability in the future.

I would also install a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries hooked in parallel. NOCO makes some nice battery boxes. https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-HM426-Co...2-8997e41410bb
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:23 PM   #15
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Contact the state Consumer Protection agency of the state where you bought RV. The inverter is standard equipment and if you bought it new it supposed to have it. If it is missing, somebody needs to make it right and you don't need to worry about who will be taking care of it, let the attorney's work that out after you are made whole. If you bought it used and it was sold as is, you're out of luck. Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:18 PM   #16
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To much time has passed

I agree that details are missing. Its hard to understand how much time passed prior to identifying the item missing. An RV requires a lot of preventive maintenance to keep it out of the dealership repair shop. If this amount of time passed without being noticed, I recommend you look at all the system in your unit.
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:54 PM   #17
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Trust me all, I've seen this and worse. I work part time at a SOB dealer as a service tech. Not too long ago we had a travel trailer come in for warranty work for no power when not connected to shore power. The owner owned the unit for 8 months.

The batteries were NEVER installed. At that time the batteries were typically installed at the factory. They failed to install, our internal PDI failed to install, customer walk through PDI failed to notice, 8 months plugging into shore power, and here we are. IT happens. Believe me. The batteries in this coach are not readily viewable.

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Old 11-23-2022, 06:43 PM   #18
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The thing is, unless you boondock, you would never notice missing an inverter.
Even driving down the road with no power, residential fridge will stay cold.
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Old 11-23-2022, 09:28 PM   #19
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When you have no shore power and the inverter is off (gone) you will definitely see it in the fridge if you open it and look. If one doesn't pay attention then yes, in a day or 2 you will find "stuff" not to your liking in the fridge.
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Old Yesterday, 04:02 PM   #20
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I have a 2018-3791 with the residential fridge. You'll need at a minimum a 1000 watt inverte & transfer switch designed to switch between shore or inverter power to keep the fridge running. This transfer switch has nothing to do with a generator prep package . This one is for an inverter setup only. Also with 1 yellow top Agm Optima battery I can run down the road indefinitely powering the fridge hooked to the truck 7 pin connector that provides 12v to the Rv.
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