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pianotuna
Hi all,

There is a discussion going on as to how many of us have inverters--and what size they may be. I'm going to attempt a poll--which I'll probably mess up--but bare with me thanks!

If it is larger than 2000 watts please reply in the forum part of this poll as well?

Folks without inverters will have to answer no three times.

Thanks to all who answer!
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Nov 24 2009, 01:52 AM) *

Hi all,

There is a discussion going on as to how many of us have inverters--and what size they may be. I'm going to attempt a poll--which I'll probably mess up--but bare with me thanks!

If it is larger than 2000 watts please reply in the forum part of this poll as well?

Folks without inverters will have to answer no three times.

Thanks to all who answer!


And those with a 1000 watt inverter will have to answer no two times laugh.gif
Florida Native
I have a 400 W one that came with the coach and is hooked directly to TV. We rarely use the TV anyway and rarely use it. I have 2 each 400 W inverters. One is lef in the coach for computer usage. It is set up for the cig lighter. I have two that are conected to the engine battery. I keep another in my truck for computer usage when I find a free WiFi here and there. I also use it to charge my cell phone without having to buy a mobile charger. This almost paid for the cost of the El Cheapo inverter. This system works well for us with our style of camping and history of always having the needed accessories in the wrong place.
RLM
Good topic pianotuna. One more question on the poll might have been helpful. “Which do you prefer – an inverter or a generator?” I have both on my MH and since I use them separately in different situations, it would be hard to choose one over the other. I would be interested in someone else’s opinion on which might be better.

The positives are that the inverter runs everything in my rig (except the air conditioner which is a high amp basement unit) without extra fuel costs. Unlike the generator, it requires no maintenance. It makes no noise so I can use it 24/7 when a dry campground has “quiet hours.” It weighs considerable less than the generator.

But maintaining six batteries to power it is a real pain in the posterior.
John Blue
RLM,

Same here on all but the batteries. We use 8D AGM and never think a lot about them. We never spend much time thinking about power at all.
pianotuna
Hi all,

I was hoping folks would post the actual size, make and type of their inverter.

2500 watt 5000 watt surge, Cobra, modified sine wave.
Browzin
Lets see (2) inverters 400 watt and 1500watt/2000watt surge both Xantrex.
Also (2) generators Honda 2000 watt and forget what size the gas hog Onan that is built in is.

You didn't ask about solar panel capacity so I won't mention that.
RLM
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Nov 29 2009, 10:49 AM) *


I was hoping folks would post the actual size, make and type of their inverter.


Xantrex, modified sine wave, 2500 watts, 25 amps with RC7 remote in dash controller.

The important number is the 25 amps. One should be aware of what the appliances draw when operating several at the same time in order not to overheat wiring or trip a breaker.

QUOTE(John Blue @ Nov 25 2009, 07:50 PM) *


Same here on all but the batteries. We use 8D AGM and never think a lot about them. We never spend much time thinking about power at all.


John> Since I've had mine in service for 5 years and 50K miles it's about time to replace them.
I looked at AGM batteries and got sticker shock..expecially when I priced the Optima.

I consider that getting 5 years out of my current open cell batteries is a fortunate event. If both mine and AGMs are going to last the same time, I'm wondering why I should pay extra for an AGM. Can you help me with that?

John Blue
RLM,

I guess the items I like is no problems with water, acid burns, high power output, load them in rack and forget them. The AGM's do have a high price. The two 8D's cost $880.00 for the set. We like the high output power and you can last a long time running off battery power before we start up Gen set.

Optima batteries are super high cost and not that great to me. The AGM's will put out more power and will last seven to eight years in most cases.
Texasrvers
Based on discussions on this forum we just bought 2 AGM batteries at $245 each. (Merry Christmas to us.) I hope they are as good as everyone says. I do know we were tired of constantly checking and adding water to the old ones. Sounds like we are in for an easier time.
Florida Native
TexasRVers, what brand and size did you get? Did you pick them up or have them shipped to you? I think this is the route we will be taking ourselves so any info you can give would be appreciated. Thanks
Texasrvers
Hi Lindsay,

First I need to emphasize that we are not do-it-yourselfers. We knew we needed to replace the coach batteries, but you have to get under our coach to do that, and that was not for us, so we just went to Iron Horse RV (service center) in San Antonio and told them that we needed new batteries. We had planned to mention AGM's but before we even got the chance they recommended them. Course the first question they asked was if we keep the coach plugged in when it is not in use (we do) because apparently that is the easiest way to maintain AGM's. We really did not look around or get different prices and we did not even consider having them shipped to us. We just wanted it handled for us. As for the size and brand, we just went with their recommendation.

So answer to your questions: The brand is Deka which are made by East Penn, and they are each 6 volt. We do not dry camp so they said we should be fine with this size. We have had other work done at this service center, and it has always been good so we hope they did not steer us wrong this time.

Hope this helps you.

TX
Florida Native
Thank you. I have been considering getting Group 27 AGM and having them shipped to me for me to install. Our batteries like most Winnie's are under the steps and real easy to work on. Thanks again.
Texasrvers
You're welcome. Actually our batteries are under our steps also. We lift up a step to access them so they were not difficult to reach to add water. But apparently they do not fit through the step opening so to remove them you have to take them out from the underside. That is a pain, but now that we have the new AGM we hopefully won't have to worry about them again for a long time.

Good luck finding what you want.
FosterImposters
Been following this thread with interest as our pair of 6-Volt house batteries (came with the couch 3 years ago) are in need of replacement.

What does AGM stand for...did I miss this earlier in the conversation?
cool.gif
pianotuna
Hi FosterImposters,

You may want to surf here:

Technology

and click on "Battery selection".

AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. Be aware you may have "sticker shock"!

AGM batteries are quite wonderful--but they do require being brought to 100% state of charge as often as is possible. (every time would be perfect). Otherwise they will sulfate. They can be equalized to reverse that to some extent--but they can also very easily be damaged permanently when they are equalized--so follow the recommendations of the maker "to the letter"!

The best "bang for the buck" is still flooded lead acid cells. Go for the gusto and get as many amp-hours as possible for the physical space available--without going over the weight limit. I prefer 12 volt units instead of 6 volt ones.

QUOTE(FosterImposters @ Dec 4 2009, 07:48 PM) *

Been following this thread with interest as our pair of 6-Volt house batteries (came with the couch 3 years ago) are in need of replacement.

What does AGM stand for...did I miss this earlier in the conversation?
cool.gif

Texasrvers
According to a Google search it stands for absorption (or absorbed) glass mat, but that is as far as I can go. It has something to do with using a fiberglass (the glass part) mat (the mat part) between plates to absorb (the absorption part) the acid. I don't know enough about batteries to explain anything further, but at least we now know what AGM stands for. If you want to know more just google AGM batteries and several articles will come up that will explain this further.

Edit: I see Don posted his reply while I was writing mine. He knows far more than I do.

PS: Everyone mentions sticker shock and they are right. Our AGM's were over $100 more EACH than the quote for the traditional battery. We just felt that for us it was worth the cost. We'll see.
John Blue
This information from battery company and may help everyone who needs it.

AGM, or Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries

A newer type of sealed battery uses "Absorbed Glass Mats", or AGM between the plates. This is a very fine fiber Boron-Silicate glass mat. These type of batteries have all the advantages of gelled, but can take much more abuse. We sell the Concorde (and Lifeline, made by Concorde) AGM batteries. These are also called "starved electrolyte", as the mat is about 95% saturated rather than fully soaked. That also means that they will not leak acid even if broken.

AGM batteries have several advantages over both gelled and flooded, at about the same cost as gelled:

Since all the electrolyte (acid) is contained in the glass mats, they cannot spill, even if broken. This also means that since they are non-hazardous, the shipping costs are lower. In addition, since there is no liquid to freeze and expand, they are practically immune from freezing damage.

Nearly all AGM batteries are "recombinant" - what that means is that the Oxygen and Hydrogen recombine INSIDE the battery. These use gas phase transfer of oxygen to the negative plates to recombine them back into water while charging and prevent the loss of water through electrolysis. The recombining is typically 99+% efficient, so almost no water is lost.

The charging voltages are the same as for any standard battery - no need for any special adjustments or problems with incompatible chargers or charge controls. And, since the internal resistance is extremely low, there is almost no heating of the battery even under heavy charge and discharge currents. The Concorde (and most AGM) batteries have no charge or discharge current limits.

AGM's have a very low self-discharge - from 1% to 3% per month is usual. This means that they can sit in storage for much longer periods without charging than standard batteries. The Concorde batteries can be almost fully recharged (95% or better) even after 30 days of being totally discharged.

AGM's do not have any liquid to spill, and even under severe overcharge conditions hydrogen emission is far below the 4% max specified for aircraft and enclosed spaces. The plates in AGM's are tightly packed and rigidly mounted, and will withstand shock and vibration better than any standard battery.

Even with all the advantages listed above, there is still a place for the standard flooded deep cycle battery. AGM's will cost 2 to 3 times as much as flooded batteries of the same capacity. In many installations, where the batteries are set in an area where you don't have to worry about fumes or leakage, a standard or industrial deep cycle is a better economic choice. AGM batteries main advantages are no maintenance, completely sealed against fumes, Hydrogen, or leakage, non-spilling even if they are broken, and can survive most freezes. Not everyone needs these features.
Texasrvers
Thanks John.
pianotuna
Hi John,

Nice post.

Unfortunately not all AGM batteries are created equal.

All Lead Acid Batteries are endothermic under discharge. The lower resistance makes AGM batteries less exothermic under charge--but not completely so.

Bulk charging rates on some should be limited to 30 amps per 100 amps of capacity. Others may ask for different charging voltages (Optima recommends 14.8 if my memory serves).

Here is a link for those who want more information about one brand.

AGM charging

As I said earlier--it behooves the end user to find out how to treat their batteries in the best possible manner according to the particular maker.
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