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Old 08-06-2021, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Inverter

If you have purchased a Hi-Lo at the factory (in this case a 2009 25-foot Hi-Lo Classic), how long should the inverter last and when should it be replaced?

We were on a trip in Tenn. The inverter kept tripping and having to be reset. I have to admit I had all the lights on, the air conditioner running (hot as Hades up there), and was heating food in the microwave.
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Old 08-06-2021, 04:06 PM   #2
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Dee, are you on a 30 amp circuit, if you are I think you're expecting to much running AC, Microwave and your Converter (Inverter changes 12DC to 120AC). If the converter runs and doesn't trip without the microwave and AC on I think you're just pulling to many amps at one time.
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Old 08-20-2021, 06:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee Tillotson View Post
If you have purchased a Hi-Lo at the factory (in this case a 2009 25-foot Hi-Lo Classic), how long should the inverter last and when should it be replaced?
Dee,

Any electronic assembly has a property called "mean time between failures" (MTBF). This number is for a fixed set of conditions: ambient temperature, humidity and stuff. The number is useless for us mortals and the inverter manufacturer won't disclose it anyway. Statistics are involved. The number is kind of an average of many such assemblies running full-loaded continuously until they break.

My advice is to replace yours when it dies but it might be a good idea to buy a spare one now while you can.

Quote:
We were on a trip in Tenn. The inverter kept tripping and having to be reset. I have to admit I had all the lights on, the air conditioner running (hot as Hades up there), and was heating food in the microwave.
I have no idea what wattage your inverter is and the only thing I can suggest is to make sure that the heat sink(s) is clean and un-obstructed and that the fan (if it has one) is also clean, operational, and unobstructed.

Must be quite a big inverter if it can run an A/C and a microwave ... I'll bet the battery doesn't last long ...
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Old 08-20-2021, 11:00 PM   #4
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Luisa and Dee - as Gary posted, I think the device being talked about was the Converter, not an Inverter. A Converter changes 120V AC power to 12V DC power, which then can charge the battery, power trailer lights, fans, water pump, and so on.

An Inverter, on the other hand, changes 12V DC power to approximately 120 V AC power. The cheaper ones produce a modified sine wave output (square waves), but the more expensive ones produce pure sine wave current. An Inverter gets ALL its input from the trailer's battery.

Now, back to the Converter and the problems Dee had. A Converter passes the campground's 120V AC power directly through to appliances like the Air Conditioner, refrigerator and water heater (if running on AC) and Microwave. It really doesn't have to do any work at all to pass the AC current. It actually simply transfers from the shore power cord to the AC circuit breakers and from there, to the appliances. But, if you are drawing a heavy AC load, there is very little left over for the Converter to "convert" to 12V DC to run everything else - lights, water pump, fans, DC portion of the refrigerator AND, battery charging. Now, your shore power AC input is limited the 30 Amps, by the main input circuit breaker. I'm sure the heavy AC draw by your AC appliances AND the additional AC power needed to produce the DC output exceeded 30 Amps and overloaded the 30 Amp input circuit breaker and it tripped.

Most of the Converters used in HiLos are rated at 45 Amps, so it will TRY to pull more than 30 Amps, if it needs additional input to produce the output you demand. I've had mine pop the campground's circuit breaker when trying to run the A/C, refrigerator and water heater on AC power. So, I now ALWAYS run the refrigerator and water heater on propane, even if at a full hookup site.

I apologize for sounding pedantic, but this thread seemed to be missing the actual problem and the needed fix.

- Jack
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Old 08-21-2021, 01:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
Luisa and Dee - as Gary posted, I think the device being talked about was the Converter, not an Inverter. A Converter changes 120V AC power to 12V DC power, which then can charge the battery, power trailer lights, fans, water pump, and so on.
Thanks, Jack, that's what I remember from my engineering days.

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An Inverter, on the other hand, changes 12V DC power to approximately 120 V AC power. The cheaper ones produce a modified sine wave output (square waves), but the more expensive ones produce pure sine wave current. An Inverter gets ALL its input from the trailer's battery.
Quote:
Now, back to the Converter and the problems Dee had. A Converter passes the campground's 120V AC power directly through to appliances like the Air Conditioner, refrigerator and water heater (if running on AC) and Microwave. It really doesn't have to do any work at all to pass the AC current. It actually simply transfers from the shore power cord to the AC circuit breakers and from there, to the appliances.
I'm abit puzzled by "passes" and "transfers" but I don't have an AC wiring diagram for my Hi-Lo.

Quote:
But, if you are drawing a heavy AC load, there is very little left over for the Converter to "convert" to 12V DC to run everything else - lights, water pump, fans, DC portion of the refrigerator AND, battery charging. Now, your shore power AC input is limited the 30 Amps, by the main input circuit breaker. I'm sure the heavy AC draw by your AC appliances AND the additional AC power needed to produce the DC output exceeded 30 Amps and overloaded the 30 Amp input circuit breaker and it tripped.

Most of the Converters used in HiLos are rated at 45 Amps, so it will TRY to pull more than 30 Amps, if it needs additional input to produce the output you demand. I've had mine pop the campground's circuit breaker when trying to run the A/C, refrigerator and water heater on AC power. So, I now ALWAYS run the refrigerator and water heater on propane, even if at a full hookup site.

I apologize for sounding pedantic, but this thread seemed to be missing the actual problem and the needed fix.

- Jack
Perhaps I should have dug through all the Vendor stuff and found the Converter info before mouthing off ...
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Old 08-21-2021, 04:51 PM   #6
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Luisa, sorry for the confusing terminology. What I was trying to say by "passes" is that the 120V AC only goes through circuit breakers to get from the shore power cord to the AC powered appliances. It does NOT have to go through any "active" conversion or transference devices in the body of the Converter at all. The Converter does NO "work" on the AC current. It just acts as a convenient place to pull some of that AC current off the path to convert to 12V DC.

If there was no need for AC to DC conversion, you could eliminate all the electronics and just run the shore power wiring to binding posts and from there, split it through individual circuit breakers to the appliances. (You'd be depending on the campground circuit breaker in this case if ALL your appliances were on and you were pulling too much power. So, our Converters have an additional 30 Amp circuit breaker to limit the current draw from the power pedestal.)

In replacing my Elixir Converter, I found how this was essentially the way the AC side was wired, in both the old Converter and the new different branded one.

- Jack
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Old 08-22-2021, 03:48 PM   #7
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We had a Progressive unit between the campground pedestal and Hi-Lo when we lost AC to the Hi-Lo (the pedestal's 30 amp C/B was tripped). There was no fault indicated on the Progressive unit but I removed that unit and plugged the Hi-Lo straight into the campground pedestal. That's when the converter's 30 amp C/B tripped. After a reset to the converter's C/B everything worked for the rest of the trip.

After returning home I contacted Progressive. The old unit was repaired by Progressive several years back due to overheating of the pigtail and Progressive agreed that MAYBE there was a hidden reason for the failure. Of course I kept the original receipt just in case (lifetime guarantee to the original purchaser) and Progressive sent me a new unit. Problem solved.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Beach
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Old 08-29-2021, 08:50 PM   #8
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Had a similar issue on our x country trip this summer....When it was hot outside, I had to run the fridge and water heater on propane to prevent the AC 30 amp input breaker from tripping....
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