New Inverter/Charger and Solar Setup for Class A

tonkamog

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Feb 21, 2022
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Newbie here looking to upgrade my power system in a class-A motorhome. Currently has a factory setup of 12k split phase generator that I want to keep and a Magnum 12v 2800w inverter/charger that drives one side of the split phase system. It is currently powered by 8 FLA batteries.

My goals are to upgrade the battery bank to be able to run everything from battery, including light usage of one of the air conditioners and installing a solar panel array on the roof to be able to be more or less self sufficient. I would like to install a 5k+ 48v inverter/charger or all-in-one with the associated DC-DC converters to charge from the alternator and keep the chassis batteries charged. I will likely move the high draw 12v accessories (hydraulic jack power and slide-out power) to the chassis batteries. I really only use them when the engine is running anyway.

My biggest questions have to do with the AC side of the system: The only 240v appliance is the dryer and I'm ok with not ever running that on inverter, but I would like to maintain the split-phase system since the generator and standard 50-amp plug and transfer switches provide that currently. Which inverter/chargers or all-in-ones would you recommend that will switch the entire split phase system over when plugging in or using the generator? Of those, would they support the rare instance where I want to plug into a 30a outlet, tying both legs of the 240 to one 120v feed? This is the lowest priority; just curious if any of them would support it.
 
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The only 240v appliance is the dryer and I'm ok with not ever running that on inverter,
This is the first factory 50 amp RV that has a 240 VAC load I've seen.
Would you please post a picture of the ac/dc distribution panel?

As for inverter/chargers...
 

tonkamog

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This is the first factory 50 amp RV that has a 240 VAC load.
Would you please post a picture of the ac/dc distribution panel?
I could be wrong about the 240v. The coach is in storage, but here is a pic I have of the main AC panel - don't have one of the sub-panel.
 

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I could be wrong about the 240v. The coach is in storage, but here is a pic I have of the main AC panel - don't have one of the sub-panel.
Appears to be 120/240 panel but I don't see any double pole branch circuits.
There is a washer dryer on the position 4a which is a 20 amp circuit on a tandem breaker.
 
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I just learned something.
According to this its a main lug only panel.
So the hot feeders must land on the 50amp double pole breaker.
I wonder if there is a physical lockdown device for the breaker.

Factory did this, confirm?
 

tonkamog

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Yes, it is all factory. I don't have a photo, but there is a sub-panel for the leg that can be fed by the factory inverter. It has all the breakers for the more common items, like microwave and outlets. I believe the other leg, which is on the main panel above, is currently pass through and only hot if the generator is on or shore power plugged in. I would like to power both legs with whatever inverter/charger/AIO I find.
 
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Yes, it is all factory. I don't have a photo, but there is a sub-panel for the leg that can be fed by the factory inverter. It has all the breakers for the more common items, like microwave and outlets. I believe the other leg, which is on the main panel above, is currently pass through and only hot if the generator is on or shore power plugged in. I would like to power both legs with whatever inverter/charger/AIO I find.

You won't be able to power everything but both of the inverters I linked are split phase and can feed the panel you posted.
 

tonkamog

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As for inverter/chargers...
That magnum shows promise. I might even be able to maintain my current magnum remote/wiring.
 

tonkamog

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You won't be able to power everything but both of the inverters I are split phase and can feed the panel you posted.
Yes, I understand that. My plan is just to not use the electric boiler (it's primary source is diesel anyway), dryer, and two of the air conditioners. -or maybe experiment with mini-split system for one or two of the air conditioners.
 

jberger

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FWIW, I'm running (2) Magnum MS2812's so it's possible to just add a second one for L2, that's how ours is setup. We have one for L1, one for L2 and we don't stack them, they run independently.
I can run 2 of the AC units from the system, 1 per inverter, and it's nice for evenings when you are boondocking but still need to cool the coach for a while.
I'm guessing yours is set up in a similar manner, you have 1 leg that is connected to L1 in the panel, 1 AC and the "inverter capable" loads are attached to it. Then L2 has the rest of high amperage loads and possibly a second AC.
This setup would let you power essential loads on 15a, 1 AC plus loads on 30a, and all of the loads (but not all at the same time) on 50A connections.
 

tonkamog

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FWIW, I'm running (2) Magnum MS2812's so it's possible to just add a second one for L2, that's how ours is setup. We have one for L1, one for L2 and we don't stack them, they run independently.
I can run 2 of the AC units from the system, 1 per inverter, and it's nice for evenings when you are boondocking but still need to cool the coach for a while.
I'm guessing yours is set up in a similar manner, you have 1 leg that is connected to L1 in the panel, 1 AC and the "inverter capable" loads are attached to it. Then L2 has the rest of high amperage loads and possibly a second AC.
This setup would let you power essential loads on 15a, 1 AC plus loads on 30a, and all of the loads (but not all at the same time) on 50A connections.
I suspect you are right. I hadn't considered just using another MS2812
 

tonkamog

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@tonkamog have you gotten your class a out of storage?
Yes, Joey. Here are both power panels. Like jberger said, it looks like it is running most inverter loads in stock config on one leg. I received my batteries from China, so I am working on getting them top-balanced. Let me know any other questions you have now that the rig is on the street here.
Main AC Panel 1.jpegMain AC Panel 2.jpeg
 
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