Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone have a brand and model of inverter/charger that they recommend, or maybe brands that they would specifically warn me away from? I'm looking at a Xantrex Freedom XC 2000 for my build, the form-factor works well for what I'm doing in my van, and the features seem good. I probably won't be using it for shore power charging very often, and I'll have a separate solar controller/charger anyway, so another option would be for me to get a stand-along inverter and separate charger just for shore power. Any and all thoughts welcome and encouraged, thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
798 Posts
We are a dealer/installer for Victron Energy and that is what we use and recommend. We are also a dealer/installer for Mastervolt and do recommend their products but we now prefer Victron because they have a better overall product line. We like to stay with one manufacturer in each build if possible.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,010 Posts
A lot depends on how much and what you need an inverter for. Some people just assume they need the biggest and best when in actuality NO! I have a cheapie ($120) 2k watt one from HF that does everything I need it to do and it’s worked flawless for 5 years but all I use for is to run my microwave for maybe 10 minutes a day and my coffee maker for 5 minutes a day. I could spend big bucks an have bragging rights about my sleek, high performance, super heterodyne charger/inverter that does everything but rock me to sleep, but I don’t need it so I don’t. I hardly ever plug into the grid for anything as my 300 w of solar does all I need it to do and more and if the sun ain’t shinin’ The alternator is spinning.

Bottom line - get what you need, NOT what someone else needs ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
My own 110v needs are simple. I've been using a Renogy 400 watt PS inverter for a couple years now. It's been quiet and flawless. I've tested its output on my meter and it's cleaner power than my home gets from the power company!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
392 Posts
Take a look at Kisae. We are a dealer and have very good pricing on their products. They have a nice inverter charger and also a DC to DC charger that works with both alternator and solar input. Consider a 1000 watt inverter if you don't expect large loads. That is a better match to the 200Ah battery bank. Most people buy an inverter that is too large. That wastes power and requires larger cables and related items and thereby increases component and installation costs. There are a lot of great kitchen appliances that run on less than 1000watts. Small Insta Pot pressure cooker is great and doesn't release steam while it cooks.

Kisae 1000 watt inverter: http://www.kisaepower.com/products/abso-inverter-chargers/true-sinewave-inverter-chargers/model/
Kisae DMT 1250 DC-DC charger: http://www.kisaepower.com/products/battery-chargers/model-dmt-1250/

Also be aware that UL458 for mobile inverters allows the output voltage to be split between hot and neutral. So 60V on each. not 120-0 as is in a structure. These should never be hardwired to additional outlets.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
What KOV said....


Harbor Freight 2000W inverter and a separate RV type charger/converter.... about $200


The only issue I had with the cheap inverter is that one brand of induction cooktop didn't get along with it, now I have a cheaper cooktop that works fine.




.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I suppose I could be a little more specific about my set-up, and what my needs are. Here's what I've got so far:


2) 150AH AGM batteries
roughly 400W solar (haven't actually purchased the panel yet)
Victron MPPT solar controller
Blue Sea ML-ACR for controlling connection to engine battery


I would likely be using the van mostly for long weekend excursions off-grid, but intend to sell the van at some point, and I feel that built-in shore power is a good feature. My own AC power needs are modest, some small device charging and running a laptop or two, but I'd like to build-in enough oomph to maybe run a small microwave or espresso machine for a few minutes. I'm thinking an all-in-one inverter/charger in the 1500w-2000w range, knowing full well that I don't have enough battery to produce those levels of power for very long. The transfer switch seems like a good feature, as does the multi-stage AGM changing that all the inverter/chargers seem to provide. I would prefer that the inverter be hard-wire to the dist. panel, and that the inverter be able to be powered-off so as not to draw power (or make noise) when not in use.


I'm expecting the solar to do most the of the charging work, and I'll connect to the engine batt while driving if I need an extra bump, as per KOV's suggestion (haven't decided yet if a B2B charger is necessary). Mostly I want the inverter to serve the basic AC runs throughout the van, but also have the option to power-up or charge from the grid via shore connection if needed.



There are a dizzying array of inverter/chargers available. I won't go the Harbor Freight (aka Hazard Fraught) route, but working up from there I see a lot of options in the $400-$700 range, and then a bunch of devices at well over $1k. I'm trying to keep the price moderate, but also don't want to make a bad choice and buy a real POS. In other words, looking more in the Kisae/Xantrex range rather than in Victron/Magnum land. Haven't heard much negative feedback on any particular brand yet, so maybe just making a choice based on size/features and price range is the way to go. Heck, if a HF inverter doesn't burst into flames immediately, then the rest have got to be reasonably reliable...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,217 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Victron 12 / 3000 / 120

Anyone have a brand and model of inverter/charger that they recommend, or maybe brands that they would specifically warn me away from? I'm looking at a Xantrex Freedom XC 2000 for my build, the form-factor works well for what I'm doing in my van, and the features seem good. I probably won't be using it for shore power charging very often, and I'll have a separate solar controller/charger anyway, so another option would be for me to get a stand-along inverter and separate charger just for shore power. Any and all thoughts welcome and encouraged, thanks.
I bought a Victron 12 / 3000 / 120. ( volts / watts / charge amps )

I never installed it, as the battery drain for the 3000W was more than I wanted for my 250ahr batteries

https://www.victronenergy.com/inverters-chargers/multiplus-12v-24v-48v-800va-3kva
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
526 Posts
There are plenty of inexpensive Pure Sign Wave inverters, but most are high frequency so be aware of their limitations (they run hotter and cant handle surge well but they are much smaller). Xantrex makes GREAT inverters but come at a pretty high price too (though a little bit cheaper than Magnum and Victron).

Also keep in mind your battery bank size. You should never really draw more than .5c (which is the capacity of your battery in amp hours divided by the rate of discharge. Example 100ah battery discharging at 50 amps is .5c) from your battery for long term health. Since you stated you want a 1500-2000 watt inverter, at 2000watt at 12v you are drawing 166amps from the battery, that's before the conversion efficiency. Cheaper inverters are anywhere from 75-80% efficient. The more expensive inverters typically have an 85-90% efficiency, but lets just assume 85% efficiency. that 166 turns into 195 amps so we can just round up to 200 amps. Also keep in mind voltage drop with high discharge. With a small bank, you're going to have more voltage drop at higher discharge rates so you might trip your inverters low voltage disconnect with a smaller bank. For long term health of the battery, I would suggest no less than 400 amps of battery (regardless of chemistry)..

Now I do understand you said you have light loads, but you stated you plan to sell the van down the road. I wouldn't build a system that isn't up to snuff at it's rated capacity for long term use, even though YOU know the limitations, someone else might. Either go with a bigger batter bank, or a smaller inverter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,217 Posts
I think the 1100-1500 watts is the sweet spot for 200++ amp hour battery sets. At it’s max it will draw that .5c and should run a small microwave etc. Disclosure- I don’t have a microwave in my van.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
Take a look at Kisae. We are a dealer and have very good pricing on their products. They have a nice inverter charger and also a DC to DC charger that works with both alternator and solar input. Consider a 1000 watt inverter if you don't expect large loads. That is a better match to the 200Ah battery bank. Most people buy an inverter that is too large. That wastes power and requires larger cables and related items and thereby increases component and installation costs. There are a lot of great kitchen appliances that run on less than 1000watts. Small Insta Pot pressure cooker is great and doesn't release steam while it cooks.

Kisae 1000 watt inverter: http://www.kisaepower.com/products/abso-inverter-chargers/true-sinewave-inverter-chargers/model/
Kisae DMT 1250 DC-DC charger: http://www.kisaepower.com/products/battery-chargers/model-dmt-1250/

Also be aware that UL458 for mobile inverters allows the output voltage to be split between hot and neutral. So 60V on each. not 120-0 as is in a structure. These should never be hardwired to additional outlets.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
I have the Kisae 2000W and although I have nothing else to compare it to it works flawlessly. I use it with 300W solar, 280ah AGM battery. It's a charger as well which I can use for shore power if needed. My advice is to buy your inverter from someone who can give you support, especially if you are doing the install.

Shaun
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
We are a dealer/installer for Victron Energy and that is what we use and recommend. We are also a dealer/installer for Mastervolt and do recommend their products but we now prefer Victron because they have a better overall product line. We like to stay with one manufacturer in each build if possible.
Hi jostalli

A few months back I stopped in @ “Go Power” & while there I saw a “Go Power” BM it seems exactly like my Victron BM712 with the exception of the face place on the gauge which had the “Go Power” logo. So obviously curious I asked the Go Power guy & he told me what I believe is the truth as it actually is a negative statement for both Go Power & Victron in my mind (I believe unfavourable statements over favourable ones for obvious reasons)

Your statement of “sticking with one manufacturer” at best is misleading in my opinion for the reason I do not believe in several cases the “listed manufacturer” is really making the parts but the face plate in this particular case. I’m sceptical that sticking with one manufacturer is the best practice, especially when we do not truly know who is truly manufacturing these parts. I believe the “manufacturers” hide these real truths for obvious reasons

There is loads of information out there - some of it is even true

Opinions on this of course will vary
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
526 Posts
Hi jostalli

A few months back I stopped in @ “Go Power” & while there I saw a “Go Power” BM it seems exactly like my Victron BM712 with the exception of the face place on the gauge which had the “Go Power” logo. So obviously curious I asked the Go Power guy & he told me what I believe is the truth as it actually is a negative statement for both Go Power & Victron in my mind (I believe unfavourable statements over favourable ones for obvious reasons)

Your statement of “sticking with one manufacturer” at best is misleading in my opinion for the reason I do not believe in several cases the “listed manufacturer” is really making the parts but the face plate in this particular case. I’m sceptical that sticking with one manufacturer is the best practice, especially when we do not truly know who is truly manufacturing these parts. I believe the “manufacturers” hide these real truths for obvious reasons

There is loads of information out there - some of it is even true

Opinions on this of course will vary
A lot of manufactures do this with lower end products; they are farmed out to china. Either Victron just bought this from a factory in China and doesn't have an exclusive deal or maybe a patient expired and this is a knock off. The specs look to be the same as their BMV700 and not their newer BMV712.

The VE.Direct port (on the back of the BMV and this battery monitor) is nothing more than a serial connection that can transmit and receive data on a standard protocol. The difference with victron is they make the majority of their products talk to each other with that protocol for a better user experience for both monitoring and programming. So his original statement of sticking with one manufacturer applies to Victron in this use case. Example their MPPT and Battery monitor can share voltage and temp information with each other. This is helpful with temp compensation for your lead acid and solar charger or preventing charge below freezing for lithium. While GoPower may have the same battery monitor with serial port and bluetooth, their MPPT does not (in fact they use PWM and not MPPT) so there is no communication between the two.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
798 Posts
We are a dealer/installer for Victron Energy and that is what we use and recommend. We are also a dealer/installer for Mastervolt and do recommend their products but we now prefer Victron because they have a better overall product line. We like to stay with one manufacturer in each build if possible.
Hi jostalli

A few months back I stopped in @ “Go Power” & while there I saw a “Go Power” BM it seems exactly like my Victron BM712 with the exception of the face place on the gauge which had the “Go Power” logo. So obviously curious I asked the Go Power guy & he told me what I believe is the truth as it actually is a negative statement for both Go Power & Victron in my mind (I believe unfavourable statements over favourable ones for obvious reasons)

Your statement of “sticking with one manufacturer” at best is misleading in my opinion for the reason I do not believe in several cases the “listed manufacturer” is really making the parts but the face plate in this particular case. I’m sceptical that sticking with one manufacturer is the best practice, especially when we do not truly know who is truly manufacturing these parts. I believe the “manufacturers” hide these real truths for obvious reasons

There is loads of information out there - some of it is even true

Opinions on this of course will vary
Nebulight gave a great answer why we stick with one manufacturer.

Go-Power is making an illegal copy and I was told has received a cease and desist letter. This happens quite frequently in China, unfortunately.

You are welcome to buy Chinese knock-offs but as a professional camper van builder we strive to carry only the highest quality equipment and components, as they are less prone to have problems. But, if a problem does arise we are authorized dealers/installers so we can support the product. If we cannot figure it out we have the support of a great team at Victron.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Who Manufactures the Victron Shunt

Nebulight gave a great answer why we stick with one manufacturer.

Go-Power is making an illegal copy and I was told has received a cease and desist letter. This happens quite frequently in China, unfortunately.

You are welcome to buy Chinese knock-offs but as a professional camper van builder we strive to carry only the highest quality equipment and components, as they are less prone to have problems. But, if a problem does arise we are authorized dealers/installers so we can support the product. If we cannot figure it out we have the support of a great team at Victron.
Hello jostalli & Nebulight

First I have no problem with Victron. I have 3 of their products & with my limited use of my 712BM I can report I love it

I agree for interface & user reasons “especially” with proprietary interface software “apps” it is best to stick to one manufacturer. I would as I don’t want more than one app to bluetooth monitor or operate equipment in my van.

The point I was trying to make is this; “I believe Victron & Go Power are buying the same shunt & possible other components from the same Chinese Manufacturer”. Cheap or otherwise
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Honda Generator/Inverter

I bought a Victron 12 / 3000 / 120. ( volts / watts / charge amps )

I never installed it, as the battery drain for the 3000W was more than I wanted for my 250ahr batteries

https://www.victronenergy.com/inverters-chargers/multiplus-12v-24v-48v-800va-3kva

After buying the Victron 3000watt cont 6000watt peak inverter I then sized the batteries:eek: & realized “I was gonna need a bigger boat”. I did not install the Victron (great specs 93% efficient apparently huge programmable features- the greatness goes on & on), but overkill for my weak link 250ahr agm battery bank

I concluded if I need 120v for a short period & I’m not plugged into shore power then I could plug my Honda generator 2200 into the shore power & get 120v 1800watts from that

I may change my mind, but from our limited road experience (since March 2019), we figure some experience & use before altering things is best. We run most of our electrical requirements from 12v very efficient equipment & adapt for other 120v needs. It is great to get ideas & information on this forum (priceless), but nothing compares to real road experience
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
526 Posts
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top