The Don Rowe Blog

Nov 7

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RV Inverter Charger

posted by Patrick Fallon

When you are ready to install your RV inverter/charger, it’s vitally important you are aware of specific safety guidelines before any installation ever begins.  That is what we’ll be covering, here.

An RV inverter/charger needs a good amount of TLC; more than you might think—the same care you would offer a computer or expensive iPhone.  It’s a microprocessor- controlled device with sensitive components than can be damaged quite easily.  For example, in a high-humidity environment, the life-expectancy of an RV inverter/charger can actually become compromised—so much so, that some companies’ warranties can become null and void if this type of exposure is determined.  Therefore, when installing, avoid environments that are problematic—sources of high heat, high moisture, including exposure to salt water spray.

When installing, keep these environmental factors in mind:

Adequate Air Circulation:

While in operation, the inverter/charger requires plenty of unobstructed air in order to maintain an ideal operating temperature and sustain peak performance.  Restricted ventilation can be problematic since dangerous overheating can occur and the inverter can completely shut down.  Additionally, any air flowing through any of the equipment’s openings should have adequate space to travel away from the device; and an absolute minimum of 3 inches of empty space should surround any part of the machine at any time.

Keep It Dry And Cool:

No fluids or liquid sprays of any kind, including water, should come in contact with the equipment, which means water sprinklers, rain and snow should be avoided, at all cost.

Though this piece of equipment can withstand a wide range of temperatures, staying within the span of 32 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit is very acceptable, although the cooler the better.

Play It Safe:

The inverter/charger should never be stored in the battery compartment and, in fact, needs to be situated well away from the RV’s battery area due to the potential for explosions.  The inverter/charger needs its own compartment that is well ventilated and should never house any flammable liquids or gases.

DC Cables—Size Matters:

The length and size of your DC cables can, and will, affect the performance of your equipment.  In fact, the bigger the battery cables, the better.  Cables that are not size-worthy, will contribute to minimized efficiency, reduced surge power, and lowered output voltage; and all this will place expected stress on the inverter.  If the circumference of the cables is too small, generated heat can contribute to the onset of a fire.

Harmful Battery Gases:

Though batteries were mentioned briefly, here’s a bit more:   it’s crucial the inverter/charger is not housed or placed above them.  Did you know that gases emitted from the battery can cause corrosion to the inverter/charger?  If, however, the equipment, for whatever reason, needs to be placed above the batteries, the inverter/charger must have an independent compartment (as stated earlier) and there must be a gas-impermeable wall, in place, separating the two compartments.

Enjoy the numerous benefits and conveniences your RV inverter/charger will provide; but play it safe!

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