Hook Up Power Inverter To Battery

Discussion in 'Trucking Electronics, Gadgets and Software Forum' started by cat 500, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. cat 500

    cat 500 <strong>"Kitty Cat"</strong>

    Oct 24, 2007
    Can someone tell me how to hook up a power inverter to the battery without drilling holes in the body of the truck?
  2. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    you pretty much need to drill a hole in the floor unless there is already one there. Power inverts need LARGE wire and that wire gets very expensive fast. If you have to run it to an existing hole say in the firewall and then down you can easily double the cost of the inverter just for the install.
    Also be SURE to use a gromit in the hole. don't just stick the power wire through a hole in sheet metal. it will wear through the coating in no time and burn the truck down. Also use a fuse on it as close to the battery as possible. Those fuses are not cheap either because you need a big fuse. I spent like $200 on stuff to install mine and I had the wire already. I mounted mine inside the closet behind the drivers seat and drilled a hole in the floor in the front corner of the bunk because the batteries were right below it. The longer you have to run the wire the larger the wire needs to be. THe install kits they sell for inverters are marginal at best as far as wire size and it's really only good for two feet. over that you have to use a larger wire
  3. cat 500

    cat 500 <strong>"Kitty Cat"</strong>

    Oct 24, 2007
    Thanks MM. I will pass that info along to hubby.
  4. Area904

    Area904 Light Load Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl
    That's pretty good advice!

    READ the instructions that come with the invertor. Whatever wire size is called for, go at least one size bigger, regardless of cost (we're talking fire safety here). Don't scrimp on cheap wire! The heavier the insulation, the more strands, and the higher the ratings, the better. Mount the invertor inside but as close to the batteries as possible with it still being convenient to get to (shorter, larger cables means less voltage loss and more power available). Don't forget that these things run HOT under full load... they need at least some ventilation and shouldn't be placed directly against most plastics or anywhere near flammable liquids, flares, etc., or where they can get wet from leaks or condensation. Never wrap one in plastic! Use metal spacers (pipe or tubing) and longer screws to raise them OFF the carpeting, if needed.

    Never use a bigger fuse than recommended. Circuit protection (fuse or circuit breaker) should be mounted near the batteries. If the cables chafe through or are somehow shorted by something outside, protection inside won't prevent a fire! Make sure all terminals are of the appropriate electrical size and rating and soldered to the cables, if possible. Use at least two layers of heat shrink tubing on all bare wire or uninsulated connectors, and tiewrap or clamp all cables to solid framework to prevent movement and damage.

    Do it right the first time, or you may not get a second chance!
    dbook, slomocopshow and cat 500 Thank this.
  5. Otter

    Otter Light Load Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    Milton, VT.
    In the Freightliner Classic I put my inverter behind the passenger seat, I ran 4 Gage welding lead through the grommet in the firewall where the electric harness goes through, near the heater, then I tie wrapped the welding lead to the electric harness, and went to the starter. Going to the starter may be the shortest route to power, depending where the battery box is located. many trucks have holes in the floor with plastic plugs. Welding lead is more flexable than automotive cable and carries more currant for the same size.
    dbook, slomocopshow and cat 500 Thank this.
  6. soundman

    soundman Light Load Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Here's a couple more tips:

    1) Protect the wiring by putting plastic wire loom around it. This is the black (usually) plastic corrogated tubing usually used on vehicle harnesses. You can get it at auto parts or home center stores.

    2) Seal any holes you make with silicone to prevent exhaust gases from leaking into the passenger compartment.
    dbook, Big Duker and cat 500 Thank this.
  7. cat 500

    cat 500 <strong>"Kitty Cat"</strong>

    Oct 24, 2007
    Thank you everybody. You have been so helpful. Hubby was wondering about how to do it and still be careful and I said " I know some people who will know and be glad to help". You guys are awesome. Thanks.
  8. Truckerjo

    Truckerjo Road Train Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Your best option is to take your truck to a dealership to have them install your inverter... It will cost you $125-175 depending on model (make sure you bring you own power cables, they will charge you big bucks for them, that's where they get you, also make sure you get the correct gage of wire) Why i say take it to the dealership? in case your truck burns to the ground you have a record it was professionally installed and insurance will pay...
    cat 500 Thanks this.
  9. Ken Worth

    Ken Worth Medium Load Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Great Plains
    I cut up some battery cables...the expensive ones...and got rubber grommets and clamps from the hardware store. The instructions say the shorter the cable, the better,so that means you should drill two holes. I bought a fusebox designed for large wire from an electric motor dealer and screwed it to the wall of the battery box.

    If they're telling you that you can't drill two 3/4 holes for an inverter, you should check the Truckers Report website for a good company to work for. I hear it's a very good site.
    cat 500 Thanks this.
  10. centralnyguy

    centralnyguy Bobtail Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Rome, NY
    In most of your Freightliners in the clothing closet where you hang your clothes on the floor underneath the cushion there is a hole already there with a grommet in it. You can use that to run the cables. But as one of the other posters above has stated . Make good and sure you use a grommet around the wires when you run them because if they wear through your going to have yourself a marshmallow roast using a tractor trailer . I hope this helped you...God Bless !
    slomocopshow and cat 500 Thank this.
  • Draft saved Draft deleted