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How strong does my Inverter needs to be?

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  • How strong does my Inverter needs to be?

    I would like to get an inverter for my new Van. I am still struggling between a Generator and a Inverter. But the short Sprinter Version has no space for a Gennie. So here my question. I found a Xantrex Inverter with remote with 5000 Watt at Ebay. Is that enough to run everything with 6 batts except the A/C? I will get an a/c what runs from the engine of the van. I have no clue about the watts. I am not sure yet what I am doing with the water heater, if I can run it over the engine too or if I have to connect it to the inverter.

  • #2
    I would go to Curtis Hanveys site and read up. There's lot of information there. I know he has an inverter upgrade too if you feel you need extra power for bigger dogs. I LOVE my Sprinter. Good luck!


    • #3
      I have the 5000/10000w inverter, different brand then you are looking at. I just would be careful of ebay though. I bought my first mistake there, 3000w & it blew up. Yes too small but hubby insisted he knew better lol. It didn't help it was cheaply made. The guy replaced it. Not 5hrs of having the new one installed & only running lights off it, it caught fire. We tried to contact the guy again but got no responce. The deal came with a charger that still worked for a few months longer. That is when we decided to not go cheap anymore & bought from Very good equipment & the people stand behind their stuff. Just keep all reciepts. We have a Wagon inverter 5000w. We only had one issue with the first one we had, they shipped out a new one & we've had no problems with it since & that was in 08'.

      I have 8 batteries & have no issues with power unless I am doing more then 5 dogs in a day then I might. My hotwater is propane so no power use there. My heat is mostly propane but that is acting up lately so on lightly booked days where I need a little more heat in the van I run my space heater, that takes up alot of power. What dryer will you be using? I use a Kool Dry, it is only 10amps so its very nice on the power. If you have a K9 that will take alot of power.

      The Soapy Puppy


      • #4
        What to look for in an inverter...and they are not cheap

        Stay away from the stuff on eBay. You will find that the 5000 watt rating is for "peak" use, and is not a continuous rating. Look for manufacturers such as Xantrex or Tripp-Lite. If you live in a temperate climate, you can get away with an inverter system. The desert Southwest and the Deep South have summer temperatures that will quickly drain your battery banks if you run an air conditioner.

        Make sure your choice of inverter outputs a true sine wave, and NOT a "modified" sine wave. Without getting too technical, a true sine wave is what comes out of your household outlets, and the power is "smoother". Modified sine wave inverters merely make a series of jumps, and the output can damage things like electronic motor controls.

        The cost of a generator versus a properly sized and outfitted inverter system is a wash.
        "With God's help, all things are possible!"
        Laura Lee Ray
        I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on


        • #5
          Thank's guys!
          My force dryer is black and yellow and I forgot the name of it,lol. It is not as powerful as all the others in the catalog and has no heating element. I just use it for the big dogs. For the small ones I use my hand held dryer because they are so scared of the big one.

          The inverter I found at ebay is a new one and the brand name is Xantrex. That's the name everybody told me to look for.
          Wouldn't be 5000watt enough if I run the a/c NOT with the Inverter?
          I still wait for an answer of the Engeneers of Curtis Hanvey about the water heater.
          But I looked up his website and guess what I was reading? His inverter system has only 3000 watt with 350 amps. and they run the a/c also with the engine of the van.

          So maybe the Inverter I've found isn't that wrong or underpowered, isn't it?
          and maybe 5000 watt with 6 batteries is working just fine. After I read the post about an inverter being a time bomb, I am even more confused. But there is no way to get a generator in this small Sprinter Van.
          I wished Doug would read this. I guess he is an absolute expert. Maybe I pm him tomorrow.


          • #6
            It might be a good deal since it is a brand some are suggesting, sounds to be the right watts. With the 5000w you can run 2 higher amp things with out too much issue but with the 3000w you can only run one at a time. I only caution you in buying from ebay, if something goes wrong with the inverter some people will leave you high & dry then you are out your money you spent on it. With they don't leave you high & dry, they work with you, answer your questions, replace if needed (with reciept) etc.

            The Soapy Puppy


            • #7

              You will not be able to run your water heater and AC off 6 batteries if they are both running off the inverter with a traditional set up. Your batteries will wear out very fast. You could hedge your load from the water heater by not filling with cold water and figure out a way to use a heat recovery pipe to reduce your water heater power demands. Or run a propane water heater.
              You might be able to reduce your air conditioner load with enough insulation but then your BTU requirement will drop and you'll have to find a smaller air conditioner for it to work right.
              A lot of work to avoid 2 more batteries or even 4 more. It gets pretty hot and damp in Texas.
              How much insulation do you have in your floor? The floor is often over looked even though it is a favorite of some news people to go out and cook an egg on the side walk during a heat wave. Black top streets and drive ways get a lot hotter then people think about until they try to bare foot a crossing to the other side. The more extreme the climate the more you need to insulate and block out unneeded windows.


              • #8
                does anyone know what kind of maintenance is required on these inverters? I have one and it's fine, but I got my van/business from a Franchise that is not help at all. I need to know about maintenance on these inverters and they offer no info to me. Do any of yall perform any maintenance on yours?


                • #9

                  If they appear to be getting hair in them through their cooling vents then eventually it will need to be cleaned out to keep it from stopping the flow of air. Taking one apart without instructions is not easy at all and you may end up trashing it. Each brand/size is a little different to boot. The manufacturer of the unit generally have a service department for repairs who can do the clean out and test them for problems. As a simple rule of even after they are disconnected from the batteries there is enough power for a 2 second burst of being on left in the capacitors. Turn it on and off a couple of times after the batteries are disconnected but before removing it.
                  Ive seen them pretty packed full with hair. The fans in them are common CPU fans. They eventually have to replaced but that is after a number of years of use and you can hear them when they start to wear out just like on a computer tower.
                  If they are not some how getting any hair in them regardless of why then no you should not have any reason to open it or send it in except to replace the fan from wear. You may also void any warranty the unit has if you open it up on your own.


                  • #10
                    Yes and no

                    How strong? What are your requirements? to figure this out, look at each thing you plan on using. they will In most cases have a amp rating, add them up, Clippers, AC, lights, heater,HV.... multiply that number times 110, that = watts. amps x voltage = watts. Two things to remember, when things start up they "surge" use more power at first then settle down. So now you know how much you need.... but remember unless you have multiple groomers in your van, I cant think of a reason you would be using hot water and the HV at the same time. learn your process, Only turn on what you are using. You will be surprised what you can get away with. I run a very sensitive meter via a shunt...... (because I can) to keep track of every micro amp used during the process. Once I got my wife on board with the program by showing her, She runs all day.
                    Now I know I'm going to catch some flack here.... Pure sign wave vs Modified sign wave inverters.
                    Remember , NO WHERE in life is there a free ride, Are pure sign wave inverters better? YES. They put out a clean sign wave that electronics love. for this Nirvana of power you are going to pay... the inverter costs more and it costs more to use as its less efficient. what this means is you will either get less time out of your batteries or will require more batteries.
                    and now for the flack Do you need it?
                    It has been stated that Modified sign wave inverters "damage things like electronic motor controls." This is true. Many types of motors like stepper motors or motors that use a frequency feed back control, poor sign waves play havoc with. That being said,,, (cringing) Nothing Ive seen in the day to day use in the grooming industry uses this kind of motors. Nothing in our day to day use, not the variable speed HV or clipper vac, not even the electronic controlled AC unit gives a hoot that you are presenting a modified sign wave to it. By far the most common inverter used in this industry are the Aims and Wagon, These are modified sigh wave inverters, and they are used every day . I use a magnum energy, It is a modified sign wave inverter, 99% of the generators used put out horrendous power signature yet they run day in and day out.
                    Is it better Yes, Is it required .... No.
                    please forward all hate mail, curses, negative energy (pure and modified sign wave), barbs voodoo doll likeness to 4 sibs..... SHE MADE ME DO IT!!!!


                    • #11

                      You are correct. No hate mail required lol. Good going on the shunt and a meter.