Running dual inverters, with one dedicated to the freezer?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by GYPSY65, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Heavy Load Member

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    I purchased a nice inverter from NAPA a few years ago, maybe $5-600 one and it worked great but when I had my thermoking Apu installed I ordered that with an upgraded inverter
    Don’t know the size but I can run my micro. Cook skillet, have a small box freezer etc. just can’t kick two heavy items on at the same time for obvious draw reasons but that’s never been a problem unless I’m using the skillet and toss something in the micro without first turning the skillet down.
    Just get a beep and I can usually catch it before I need to reset the inverter

    All that to get to this
    Can I install my NAPA invert along with my current one and allow that to be dedicated to maybe the freezer and one plug?

    My guess is no as I’d still be pulling juice and putting a strain on the batteries

    When I do cook in the truck I do kick on the Apu so there’s juice flowing.
    Just wondering if this is a workable idea or just do it as I have been

    Thanks for any help and ideas
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  3. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

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    I will definitely strain the charging system and batteries, the tri pac comes with a 65 amp alternator, you can upgrade to a 120 amp. I would isolate the batteries for shore power and put in deep cycle marine batteries. They will handle the abuse better than your typical battery. They do not like big loads for long periods. Really kills them in short order.
     
  4. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Heavy Load Member

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    Thanks for the info. That’s what I was thinking would be the outcome

    I believe I have the upgraded alternator as well
    The dedicated battery sounds like a good plan
     
  5. Howard A Read

    Howard A Read Bobtail Member

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    That was a good piece of information.
     
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  6. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    Two inverters, bad idea. One inverter with a power strip, ok idea. Sounds like what you're after is more plugs and this will give you that.

    Extra plugs off one inverter will let you attempt to run more things at once and will just trip the inverter if you over do it.

    Trying two inverters will tax your truck (APU, batteries, wiring) big time and is risky.

    What you really need to do is learn what appliances use a lot of power. Microwaves, hot plates, , coffee pots, things with resistance elements like toasters, toaster ovens, hair dryers, small electric heaters, etc. These all use a LOT of AC power. More than one of any of them in a truck at one time is a bad idea. On the other hand, you can plug 20 chargers (battery chargers, phone chargers, laptops, etc.) in to one inverter/plug and it will run them all fine. You have to know the wattages of the appliances you are using. It's often printed on the bottom of the appliance.
     
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  7. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    Each inverter pulls a little bit of power, when they’re on, even when not in use. Depending on the size of the inverter, and the size and length of the cables. The cables also lose some power through resistance, more if they’re oversized. So correct size is important. I hooked up 2, one for the fridge to run constantly. Another more powerful one for coffee pot, or microwave. Only turning it on when being used. Both are wired separately to the battery, with their own fuses. In theory the smaller one draws less juice. Only time the 2 together draw more than one is when they’re both running. The difference is the amount of power needed to run the extra inverter itself. It’s minimal. I’ve had issues, but it’s related to bad inverters. Not the set up itself. I did it so I’d have a working inverter already set up, as a back up, should one fail. It’s a good thing, since I’ve had 3 fail. Lol. It’s all new to me. The inverters were bad. Currently just running one 2000w in place of the original 1500w. I replaced the original 1000w with a 1500w, it smoked out also. I’m convinced it’s just bad inverters, considering where they came from. It was a $200 gamble. So far the 2000w is holding up well. New larger fridge pulls the same juice as my small one did. New coffee pot pulls more. Old one ran off the 1000w new one needs a 1500w. The 2000w will run both. Time will tell. It’s a learning process, all new to me. Eventually I’ll buy another 1500w, to run fridge, TV, and anything else that stays on or needs plugging in to charge. Keeping the 2500w off unless being used for coffee or micro. That’s the plan. Always having at least one that will run the coffee pot or micro, should the other one go bad. For now I’m inverter poor. Lol. A 3000w draws quite a bit, being on while not in use. I was trying to avoid that. I only have 3 batteries. Probably upgrade to 4 in the future. Main thing is to have a fuse at the battery, and adequate size cables, based on the inverter and length of cables. Longer cables need to be upsized one thickness, for every 6 feet. Based on what I’ve read. By no means am I an expert. Proceed at your own risk!! Lol. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  8. goga

    goga Light Load Member

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    Don't see the point in two inverters. Running one 5kw, have mid size AC fridge from HD on it all the time, laptop, dash cam, chargers, power tools, etc. 34hrs during log reset with engine off is fine, 1hr run to recharge in between. Have dual purpose Alliance batteries though. And yes, don't see the point of running any high power any cookware in the truck, there is a butane gas stove for cooking purposes, have no desire install new batteries every year, they are heavy)
     
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  9. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    I agree, I'm running a 2500 watt reliably going on 4 years and no problems but I do go through batteries every year. I've been running SLA's though and am about to swap to AGM dual purpose. Alliance show to be made by East Penn which I like and have had great luck with in personal stuff. Where did you get yours and how much? I'm currently looking at the Duracell AGM dual purpose ones from Batteries Plus (10% off $250 each, same price/discount for years now). The Duracells are also made by East Penn. Probably the same battery if you are running group 31's.
     
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  10. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    On here I'd say you are basically an expert. I've noticed that as far as truckers go few know much of anything about properly using an inverter. This isn't calling anyone out, we're drivers not electrical engineers. Before I started fooling with RVs about 20 years ago I didn't know anything either.

    We do have some 'house' needs that most people other than the RV community don't though and that's why knowing the basics about how to size and wire an inverter should be important to any OTR trucker. Thanks for explaining what you know for folks here.

    What inverters have you had bad/good luck with? I have never trusted the truck stop brands. I've used Zamp, AIMS, Xantrex and Tripp-lite but there are a LOT of inverter makes nowadays. The 2500 watt AIMS pure sine wave I have now has been the best one I've ever bought. It just works, no drama. It's been rattling down the road with me for 500,000 miles now.
     
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  11. goga

    goga Light Load Member

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    FRTLR any dealership, paid 112 each, I think. They are usually go for couple of years from my distant past experience. I've had 6 yrs break in trucking, lock downs kicked me back.
     
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