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Standard Outlet wired to waterproof Power Input Inlet mounted outside is better than the thing you posted with the extension cord style plug inside the van?
Rather than use that outlet plug you showed, cut the inside end of the extension cord off and wire it into a standard outlet.

NOCO -> extension cord -> standard outlet
 

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I went with the NOCO 120V in to a contractor type GFI extension 4 gang box , then 3 extension cords spread out along the pass side . Built in .
 

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Ah. The mention of 4000w peak surge made me think you had the version with the 120v sockets. Since your model is, in fact, connected to AC line, the internal transfer switch will send any surges right on thru your unit to whatever is plugged in to it... which is also the battery charger part of it. I will speculate that most of us do not have a surge protector and have (luckily) never had a problem. BUT... Adding a surge protector either at the power source or inline would certainly be the smart thing to do. And then you don't need to worry about it. --KenA
 
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2014-159 HR in CT
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If I read this correctly, you already have a wire going from an input port on the outside of the van to the Renology unit input. If you connect a shore power cord to the input connector outside the van, then the Renology charges your batteries.

If that's the case, you could:

remove the wires attached to the output of the Renology and put an AC plug on those wires... They go to the distribution panel, right? if you really want a surge protector, put it in line with this plug.

Connect an AC outlet to the output terminals on the Renology (label it INVERTER POWER).

Split the wire coming in from the shore power inlet so it goes 2 places... to the Renology input as it does now, and also to an AC outlet (label it SHORE POWER)

When you attach to shore power, the Renology will act as a charger and charge the batteries. AND, you can plug the distribution panel feed into the SHORE POWER AC outlet, so all your AC will feed from shore power, not through the inverter.

When NOT attached to shore power, move the distribution panel feed from the SHORE POWER outlet to INVERTER POWER outlet, so all AC will be provided by the inverter.

Basically, it's a manually operated transfer "switch"

(That's essentially my setup... I'm thinking about a transfer switch to replace the plug swap process at some point...winter project, perhaps)
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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Split the wire coming in from the shore power inlet so it goes 2 places... to the Renology input as it does now, and also to an AC outlet (label it SHORE POWER)
That is a good a simple solution. I think it could be simpler. Why even use the distribution panel.

My shore power is an extension cord connected to a 120 outlet, the 120 then continues to the system (ps, b2b, batteries, inverter).

When connected to shore power I get 120 from the outlet and do not use the inverter which has it's own outlet.

I don't use a lot of AC and I don't know too many people who plug in multiple 120 devices at the same time so I don't even see the need for a distribution panel. One guy built a van with 5 duplex outlets for... 10 devices at once?
 

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I agree... in LE's setup, the distribution panel is already there, so she might as well use it... no harm. My electrical setup is: a shore power inlet to a 1' circuit-breakered cord, then to a 1' GFCI cord, then to a few extension cords that feed a few outlets. Multiple outlets for convenient locations, not for multiple loads.

My inverter has a single outlet in the kitchen cabinet (right next to the shore power outlet) for the microwave and appliances when shore power is not available.
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
@proeddie is right, I already have the distribution panel and the shore power all hooked up. It just seems stupid to run it through the inverter charger when a simple extension chord setup works just fine. I just want to be able to do that with the van locked and alarm on.

The simplest way would be to install an inlet port in the bumper, then take one of my already installed outlets (I installed one on the dresser by the floor for a heater) and move the 12/3 wire from the distribution panel to the inlet port. Would that work?

If that doesn't work, then I could buy this NOCO. It's got a 12' cord, so I can run it from the bumper, under the bed and into the dresser.



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The simplest way would be to install an inlet port in the bumper, then take one of my already installed outlets (I installed one on the dresser by the floor for a heater) and move the 12/3 wire from the distribution panel to the inlet port. Would that work?
That would work but if I read correctly you won't be charging your batteries from shore power.

If you "take one of my already installed outlets (I installed one on the dresser by the floor for a heater) and move the 12/3 wire from the distribution panel to the inlet port" you will have shore power at that outlet. The 'shore power outlet'

If you would like to charge your batteries at the same time you connect another wire to that 'shore power outlet' and bring 120 to the AC input of the inverter.
 

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Can someone make a quick sketch of an outlet box with a male three pronged lead feeding it and a cable connected to that feeding the inverter at the 120 AC input.
 

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I think the entire raison d'etre of the Renogy inverter/charger is to be connected to the mains and provide uninterruptable power. @Lolaeliz is worried that connecting the inverter to the mains will somehow damage it. Surely Renogy thought about surge protection on an expensive product INTENDED to be connected to the mains? If not, complaints would be all over the various forums.

I, personally, am letting the box do it's job of keeping the batteries charged and switching over to the mains when available. No other stuff in between. Works great.

Other than that, @Lolaeliz seems to have a good handle on what she needs to do to provide a separate circuit. Either approach would work fine.
 

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I think the entire raison d'etre of the Renogy inverter/charger is to be connected to the mains and provide uninterruptable power. @Lolaeliz is worried that connecting the inverter to the mains will somehow damage it. Surely Renogy thought about surge protection on an expensive product INTENDED to be connected to the mains? If not, complaints would be all over the various forums.

I, personally, am letting the box do it's job of keeping the batteries charged and switching over to the mains when available. No other stuff in between. Works great.

Other than that, @Lolaeliz seems to have a good handle on what she needs to do to provide a separate circuit. Either approach would work fine.
It just seems stupid to run it through the inverter charger when a simple extension chord setup works just fine. I just want to be able to do that with the van locked and alarm on.
We were responding to this.
 

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Hi,
I agree with the idea that you already have an inverter/charger that handles the switchover from shore to inverter power automatically. This is the ideal solution - why not use it. The transfer switch that is built into the inverter/charger will keep the shore power from interfering with the inverter. Its a good, safe ideal solution that you have already paid extra for - I'd just use it. As pointed out above, this will also get you automatic charging of your battery from the shore power.
The solutions that just basically get shore power into your van via an extension cord are fine for people who don't want to pay the extra for an inverter/charger, but you already have it.
I've been using my inverter/charger this way for 7 years with no problems. Has anyone here had an problem with their inverter power being damaged hooking it to shore power?

Just wire your existing inside 120VAC outlets to the AC output terminals on the inverter/charger, and wire the incoming shore power to the 120VAC inputs on the inverter charger and let the inverter/charger do what its designed to do.

Gary
 

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@proeddie is right, I already have the distribution panel and the shore power all hooked up. It just seems stupid to run it through the inverter charger when a simple extension chord setup works just fine. I just want to be able to do that with the van locked and alarm on.

The simplest way would be to install an inlet port in the bumper, then take one of my already installed outlets (I installed one on the dresser by the floor for a heater) and move the 12/3 wire from the distribution panel to the inlet port. Would that work?
Yes it would, BUT you would lose the fused protection that the distribution panel provides. My suggestion provides fused inverter OR shore power when available, to ALL of your outlets and AC items, and bypasses the Renology unit when you want to. No new holes, no wires to run, everything is done in the area by the inverter...

You would need a 2 gang plastic electrical box and 4 outlet cover, two AC duplex outlets, a plug with wires to go to the inverter input, and a plug to connect to the wire going to the distribution panel...

What I'm not sure of is, if you have a shore power inlet outside the van now, what it looks like, and where the attached wire goes.
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Hi,
I agree with the idea that you already have an inverter/charger that handles the switchover from shore to inverter power automatically. This is the ideal solution - why not use it. The transfer switch that is built into the inverter/charger will keep the shore power from interfering with the inverter. Its a good, safe ideal solution that you have already paid extra for - I'd just use it. As pointed out above, this will also get you automatic charging of your battery from the shore power.
The solutions that just basically get shore power into your van via an extension cord are fine for people who don't want to pay the extra for an inverter/charger, but you already have it.
I've been using my inverter/charger this way for 7 years with no problems. Has anyone here had an problem with their inverter power being damaged hooking it to shore power?

Just wire your existing inside 120VAC outlets to the AC output terminals on the inverter/charger, and wire the incoming shore power to the 120VAC inputs on the inverter charger and let the inverter/charger do what its designed to do.

Gary
I hate my inverter charger. When I first got it, I hooked everything up, tested it, everything worked great. I unpugged the shore power and went inside. I Came out an hour later and the alarm was going off. Turns out it was a faulty unit and they replaced it. Now I'm afraid to leave it turned on when I'm not there, especially to leave a heater running overnight (at 40° to protect the batteries from frigid weather). So I figured I'd have a separate inlet port NOCO thing, just for this antifreeze heater situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Yes it would, BUT you would lose the fused protection that the distribution panel provides. My suggestion provides fused inverter OR shore power when available, to ALL of your outlets and AC items, and bypasses the Renogy unit when you want to. No new holes, no wires to run, everything is done in the area by the inverter...

You would need a 2 gang plastic electrical box and 4 outlet cover, two AC duplex outlets, a plug with wires to go to the inverter input, and a plug to connect to the wire going to the distribution panel...

What I'm not sure of is, if you have a shore power inlet outside the van now, what it looks like, and where the attached wire goes.
All 4 of my outlets right now have fused protection through the distribution panel for both inverter power and shore power. All I need is one outlet / NOCO connection that connects straight to the house electric so I can leave the inverter charger turned off. It's just for one thing, that being a space heater set to 40° to keep the batteries safe on super cold nights. I'm trying to leave the inverter charger turned off while I'm not there because of my bad experience with my first inverter charger.
 

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I hate my inverter charger. When I first got it, I hooked everything up, tested it, everything worked great. I unpugged the shore power and went inside. I Came out an hour later and the alarm was going off. Turns out it was a faulty unit and they replaced it. Now I'm afraid to leave it turned on when I'm not there, especially to leave a heater running overnight (at 40° to protect the batteries from frigid weather). So I figured I'd have a separate inlet port NOCO thing, just for this antifreeze heater situation.
Maybe give it another chance? Everyone deserves a 2nd chance :)

Are others with this inverter charger having problems using it as intended?

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
We were responding to this.
Maybe give it another chance? Everyone deserves a 2nd chance :)

Are others with this inverter charger having problems using it as intended?

Gary
No, it’s just me being a little nutty. That was very nicely said about the second chance. I should do that. There are so many black holes in my electrical knowledge that confidence is not high.😝
 

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For what it's worth, I have a Xantrex Freedom XC inverter/charger. The directions state there needs to be a fuse between the shore power outlet and the inverter. I installed a Blue Seas 30 amp main. No problems to date. This inverter has an internal GFI outlet with 2 plugs built in. No need to add more; I very rarely use them.
 

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For what it's worth, I have a Xantrex Freedom XC inverter/charger. The directions state there needs to be a fuse between the shore power outlet and the inverter. I installed a Blue Seas 30 amp main. No problems to date. This inverter has an internal GFI outlet with 2 plugs built in. No need to add more; I very rarely use them.
Hi,
It seems like the shore power pedestal should have a breaker to protect your shore power cord - maybe they are just being extra cautious in requiring a 2nd breaker?

Gary
 
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