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Old 12-26-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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EMS or active inverter as part of the SMB build?

I'm looking at two things for a potential build. One of those is a hardwired EMS from Progressive, about 300 bones, but it has a voltage display.

On some of the RV forums, there are a lot of stories about fricasseed electrical systems, either from using the dryer outlet, or a bad wiring job on a RV outlet. Having an EMS would prevent major damage (and the magic smoke from the appliances from leaving), as well as protecting against burnout due to low voltage conditions.

Another idea I'm looking at is a Victron or Magnum Energy "hybrid" inverter. This is an "always on" inverter that all the 120VAC stuff gets wired into and functions similar to an online UPS in a data center. The good thing about this is that if the voltage from a campground sags below 90-100 volts, the inverter will use power from the battery in order to keep a proper voltage going. Obviously, this can't last forever, but it does a good job at protecting against undervoltage burnout, as well as brief blackouts or just dirty power. This inverter also is a five stage charger for the batteries, including an equalizing stage as well as a desulphating stage.

Has anyone had experience with either system or perhaps might know pros/cons for these?
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: EMS or active inverter as part of the SMB build?

I had the 50A EMS on both of my previous RV's and really liked having it. It was really nice having the peace of mind. I self installed both of them, pretty easy if you are so inclined. If you mount it somewhere that isn't easily visible I would get the remote display for it.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: EMS or active inverter as part of the SMB build?

I would suggest always having some type of AC protection while on shore power. Many inverters have that built in. Mine monitors both AC and the DC and will tell me if there are voltage or frequency problems. A standalone unit is nice though and I've seen some high tech ones on the larger RV's. I've seen them in action where we had an issue at a reservoir recreation area and this guy came screaming. I looked at it and he was right. Luckily it was only low voltage but even if it were high voltage it would have locked out the shore power. If you plan to run a converter rather than a high end inverter, the EMS unit should be a good choice. You might want to shop around if you can find an inverter with everything you need all in one package as it might save you a little money.
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