Can I Connect A Power Inverter Directly To My RV's House Batteries?
by Leo Welch
How to Connect a Power Inverter to Your RV's House Batteries
My RV's Battery Bank consists of two 6 Volt Golf Cart batteries wired (thru a charge controller) to a Solar Array. I'd like to wire up a Sunforce 175 Inverter to charge cell phones etc. - nothing heavy duty. Is there a problem with wiring this device directly to the batteries? Will it affect my DC system?
ANSWER Hi Leo, for the use that you are planning, you can actually use an Inverter that plugs directly into one of your RV's Cigarette Lighter Sockets. In fact, some of these Plug-In Inverters have built-in USB ports as well as standard 120 volt AC Outlets (like the one pictured below). That being said, there should not be a problem hard-wiring a 12 Volt To 120 Volt Inverter to the house batteries of your RV, if that is what you want to do. In fact some inverters require hard wiring to the batteries.
When hard wiring an inverter to your RV batteries there are two key factors you need to be aware of:
1. Using the proper gauge wiring. The gauge of the wire you use will depend on how many amps the inverter draws and how far you have to run the wire. Usually the inverter's owner's manual will tell you what gauge wire to use depending on how far you are going to have to run the wire.
2. The second factor of course is to make sure you maintain the proper polarity (negative to negative, positive to positive).
The Video below walks you through the process of connecting a wired Powner Inverter to a battery.
If you are not comfortable doing this yourself it would be worth your while to have an RV Service Center install it for you. That way if something goes wrong you will have someone to blame besides yourself.
Yes the inverter is going to draw power from the house batteries. While you are going down the road the house batteries will be charged by the alternator. When the generator is running your RV's built in charging system will also charge the house batteries. Since you have a solar charging system, you will always have a trickle charge going to your batteries.
How long the inverter will run off the house batteries alone; greatly depends on the wattage of the appliances being run using the inverter. The higher the wattage usage the less time before the battery is drawn down. Most power inverters produced now will automatically turn themselves off when your RV batteries get below 10 volts.
Hopefully this information has been helpful to you.
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