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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning my electrical system and one of my wants is to power my water heater and other appliances directly off of shore power, but also charge my batteries with shorepower. I am looking at buying a separate inverter and charger, but I was wondering if had to buy one of those all in one Inverter/Chargers to make it work.

I am looking at this Inverter: Samlex 1000 (https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AYH6E6S/faroutride_parts_list-20/)
And this Charger: Sterline B2B 30A (https://www.amazon.com/Sterling-BB1...b366e4f4c5d7341c525faea19cd83e&language=en_US)

Can I accomplish what I want to do without buying one of those expensive all-in-one Victron Inverter/Chargers?

I'm an electrical newb, so go easy on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Additionally you can get those RV Converter's with chargers setup for Lithium if you go crazy and decide to go that direction (like I did).
I am going the Lithium route. Do you have an RV Converter you'd recommend?

You can go another route and buy an RV converter. They have as much capacity as you want and have breakers for several circuits, 12 volt fuzes, proper grounding and a battery charger. It does a lot for it’s price and is easy to install for one without much experience.
Can this really replace the inverter AND the charger? Why doesn't everyone go this route, I've never heard of these until now. Is there a drawback to this thing? I'm going to dive down the research hole now, thank you for sharing this idea!
 

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Hi,
You put in links to an inverter and to a battery to battery charger -- this will let you charge your house battery from the van battery, but it won't let you charge the house battery from shore power. Adding the Converter that RD mentioned would let you charge from shore power.

With an inverter charger and the B2B charger, you can charge from shore power and from your van alternator. Not all the inverter/chargers are all that expensive -- a quick amazon search brings up this one for example: https://www.amazon.com/soyond-3000W...ywords=inverter+charger&qid=1570050375&sr=8-7
I don't know anything about that brand, but it might be worth doing some research on whether you could pick up an inverter/charger that would do the job at a reasonable price with good quality.

One reason a lot of people use inverter/chargers is that when you are in inverter power, the neutral AC wire has to be bonded to the ground wire in the van, where as when you are on shore power, the AC neutral is bonded to the ground back in the shore power system. The inverter/charger handles this automatically. If you use the separate inverter and charger you have to work out how to do this via some kind of transfer switch.

You might also think about whether you need a B2B charger -- most people don't use them and only use a simple isolator between the van battery and the house battery. There are a few discussions on this forum about the relative merits of the two schemes.
Example isolator: https://www.amazon.com/Stinger-SGP3...ywords=battery+isolator&qid=1570051403&sr=8-4

Gary
 

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Because people love to complicate things for themselves! KISS is always the way to go!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hi,
You put in links to an inverter and to a battery to battery charger -- this will let you charge your house battery from the van battery, but it won't let you charge the house battery from shore power. Adding the Converter that RD mentioned would let you charge from shore power.

With an inverter charger and the B2B charger, you can charge from shore power and from your van alternator. Not all the inverter/chargers are all that expensive -- a quick amazon search brings up this one for example: https://www.amazon.com/soyond-3000W...ywords=inverter+charger&qid=1570050375&sr=8-7
I don't know anything about that brand, but it might be worth doing some research on whether you could pick up an inverter/charger that would do the job at a reasonable price with good quality.

One reason a lot of people use inverter/chargers is that when you are in inverter power, the neutral AC wire has to be bonded to the ground wire in the van, where as when you are on shore power, the AC neutral is bonded to the ground back in the shore power system. The inverter/charger handles this automatically. If you use the separate inverter and charger you have to work out how to do this via some kind of transfer switch.

You might also think about whether you need a B2B charger -- most people don't use them and only use a simple isolator between the van battery and the house battery. There are a few discussions on this forum about the relative merits of the two schemes.
Example isolator: https://www.amazon.com/Stinger-SGP3...ywords=battery+isolator&qid=1570051403&sr=8-4

Gary
Thanks for the info Gary, I had a brain fart when linking that B2B, what I meant to link was this Samlex 30A Battery Charger: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00H8N99YU/faroutride_parts_list-20/

I did not know that about ground switching, that's probably why the guide I'm following only has the batteries getting charged off of shore power instead of switching all their 120v outlets to be powered off of shore power.

I will be using Solar/Alternator/Shore to charge my 200ah Lithium. Even from reading on these forums it seems people recommend the Sterling B2B for Lithium batteries, though Battleborns site even suggests a battery isolator. I'm a bit torn on it.

What is your take on not switching 120v appliances to shore power and instead just charging batteries from shore and then inverter to power the appliances from the batteries?
e.g. Shore Power -> Charger -> Battery -> Inverter -> Appliance (e.g. hot water heater)
 

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Hi,
I guess one thing it depends on is how big your AC appliance load is going to be. The 30 amp battery charger is going to be putting about 30*12 = 360 watts into your batteries. If you are only going to (say) be running a microwave at 1000 watts for a few minutes, then the battery charger would catch your batteries back up pretty quickly, but if you have something like electric heaters or a 120 VAC air conditioner or other heavy loads that run a long time, seems like you would be better off with a direct shore power connection.

Agree that the B2B decision gets harder as you invest more in Li batteries. Hard to justify a $300 B2B to help protect $180 worth of golf cart batteries, but when you have $2000 worth of Li batteries you probably want to do everything you can to protect that investment.

Gary
 

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An all in one inverter/charger with built in transfer switch isn't all that expensive and in my opinion, keeps it simple. Xantrex makes a really great unit for the money (in my opinion). And for the price of the inverter your picked and the dedicated charger, it's almost the same price and a smaller footprint/less wires:


And for charging from the starting battery, with lithium anyway, I always suggest a b2b charger so you can control the current to the battery and set charge voltages. I don't suggest a standard solenoid to link the starting battery with lithium and I'm not sure why Battleborn does (I guess the just count on their BMS to regulate the charge current). Check out Kisae DMT-1250 that does solar and b2b charging (saves a bit a money as you don't need a separate solar controller) I have this model, but from a different brand:


Renogy also just released a b2b with solar abilities as well but I haven't used one to know:


If you are going to go with expensive lithium batteries, I suggest getting the right equipment to ensure you are charging them properly.
 

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I am going the Lithium route. Do you have an RV Converter you'd recommend?
The one I used is the PD4045LIK

It's basically the same RV converter, but the charger has the output voltage setup for Lithium charging. Works fine, the only thing is, after using my van for 6 months, I NEVER turn on the charger from shore power. Basically Solar keeps the batteries topped up 100% of the time thus far. (someone's going to say I told you so) :)
 

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akarmy is right you may seldom use this BUT the few times I have needed it I would have had to make choices I didn’t want to make without it. I’d do solar/shore power/alternator power on any campervan just to know it is there when you need it. That is what makes the converter make sense to me as two of those are done relatively cost effectively.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The one I used is the PD4045LIK

It's basically the same RV converter, but the charger has the output voltage setup for Lithium charging. Works fine, the only thing is, after using my van for 6 months, I NEVER turn on the charger from shore power. Basically Solar keeps the batteries topped up 100% of the time thus far. (someone's going to say I told you so) :)
Oh yeah, I really just want shorepower for my 750W hot water heater. It looks like it'll take up about 50AH for a full heat cycle and perhaps ill be able to get away with that every other day, but my wife and I will be working from the Van too, so if its a couple cloudy days in a row it'll drain quickly.
 

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RV converter is the way to go, lots of options for all of the different scenarios. Can check at best converter or a variety of other places online. As RD has mentioned, it also functions as your DC fuse center. They are pretty cost effective for all they do. Nice thing is, it will give you options so that down the road you can adapt to different powering choices - you never know.
 

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I do not (yet) have any solar. I use a combination of B2B charging, with a Sterling BB1260, and shore power charging with my inverter-charger. It serves our purposes as weekend (and sometimes week-or-two) warriors. I can recharge from about 50% on the BattleBorn 100ah battery in less than an hour of driving. That is a heavy use during hot weather for vent fan, lights, CPAP and charging phones, misc. I will likely add another BB battery this winter, just for overhead for events where we cannot drive to charge. We can still just idle, but it takes longer than driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Renogy also just released a b2b with solar abilities as well but I haven't used one to know:

I'm interested in this Renogy product but in the specs it says "Maximum Alternator Input Power : 660W", I have a 220amp alternator, will my alternator be generating too many watts for this product?
 

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What many here fail to recognize is not everyone needs a 110 vac fuse panel. If you consider the fact that really a 110 vac outlet (or two) in your van is actually nothing more than an permanently wired extension cord from the shore power receptical that is, by law, always fused why do you need another breaker? You don’t!. Using the much preferred KISS method (as I do) all you need is a hard wired 110 vac receptical connected to your shore connection and another one (totally isolated from it connected to you inverter receptical (if you have one). Of course, you do need to use a bit of thought to remember which receptical is "live" and remember to switch the plug to the correct receptical but then you don’t need to rely on a needless, expensive automatic switching system and can get by with a simple 12 vdc fuse panel for under $20.

Of course, if you are a "power user" of power this isn’t the best solution but for many here who barely know a watt for an amp is is a safe, simple and practical way to do things.?
 

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I'm interested in this Renogy product but in the specs it says "Maximum Alternator Input Power : 660W", I have a 220amp alternator, will my alternator be generating too many watts for this product?
No, I believe the spec indicates the maximum watts that the charger will ever 'use' from the alternator.
 

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What many here fail to recognize is not everyone needs a 110 vac fuse panel. If you consider the fact that really a 110 vac outlet (or two) in your van is actually nothing more than an permanently wired extension cord from the shore power receptical that is, by law, always fused why do you need another breaker? You don’t!. Using the much preferred KISS method (as I do) all you need is a hard wired 110 vac receptical connected to your shore connection and another one (totally isolated from it connected to you inverter receptical (if you have one). Of course, you do need to use a bit of thought to remember which receptical is "live" and remember to switch the plug to the correct receptical but then you don’t need to rely on a needless, expensive automatic switching system and can get by with a simple 12 vdc fuse panel for under $20.

Of course, if you are a "power user" of power this isn’t the best solution but for many here who barely know a watt for an amp is is a safe, simple and practical way to do things.?
This is why I asked about the All-in-Ones elsewhere as that Will Prowse guy reviewed on his channel, All-in-One Solar Power Packages - Mobile Solar Power Made Easy! His channel is all about doing it yourself, but even he's said that it isn't worth it for most people, as these have it all prewired, auto transfer switch etc... and these are a little cheaper than the other option posted above... Xantex?

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Discussion Starter #20
This is why I asked about the All-in-Ones elsewhere as that Will Prowse guy reviewed on his channel, All-in-One Solar Power Packages - Mobile Solar Power Made Easy! His channel is all about doing it yourself, but even he's said that it isn't worth it for most people, as these have it all prewired, auto transfer switch etc... and these are a little cheaper than the other option posted above... Xantex?

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Do you have to have the inverter on to charge your batteries from the solar panel with this MPP Solar all-in-one thing? Sounds like the units are really loud when theyre on, which I won't need to have it on all the time, but I'd like to charge my batteries all the time the sun is out.

Also unclear whether this works with 30amp shore power.
 
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