Overdrive Extra

Todd Dills

Xantrex: 3 inverter installation tips

| May 25, 2012

1. Installation best at the factory or authorized dealer aftermarket: If you’re considering an aftermarket inverter installation to an older truck or mulling options on a new vehicle, take it under advisement that leading inverter manufacturer Xantrex Technology reps have formally recommended inverter installation by a truck OEM or an authorized dealer.

According to Xantrex, inverter shipments have risen sharply since 2005, and the company expects sales to increase at least 40 percent in the next few years as interest in powering in-cab electrical loads from TVs, microwaves and more without idling grows.

Other benefits of the devices for owner-operators, says Steve Carlson, OEM sales manager for Xantrex, inlude reduced fuel costs and savings on truck-engine wear and tear. Installation of an inverter will also “enhance resale value,” he adds.

Factory-installed, Carlson says, you can be certain “the manufacturer uses the proper size cables, fuses and components for the system. OEM or authorized dealer installation will give the fleet operator confidence that the inverter-charger unit will function properly without harming the truck’s electrical system.”

Also, installing the system up-front will be more economical in the long run, he adds. If the operator chooses to install an inverter on an existing truck, Xantrex suggests using a qualified service location.

2. Avoid self-installation: While Carlson recommends against it, we’re curious to know who’s self-installed an inverter in recent memory. Tell us here in the comments. He noted common mistakes being use of ”under-sized battery cable that can lead to overheating of the cable and consequent damage to the truck and property and risk to personal safety.”

3. Look for UL458 standard: Carlson urges truck operators to look for an inverter compliant with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) standard 458. “Products certified to UL458 standards maintain high electrical standards for safety and are designed to withstand the rigors of demanding in vehicle applications,” he says. “Many power products in the aftermarket don’t carry the UL listing, which is recommended by many trucking industry associations.” Xantrex products meet UL458 and other application-specific standards.

  • Don Steinman

    I installed a Freedom 458 in my 2000 Mack Vision about five years ago. I followed the manufacturers instructions to a T and have had no problems whatsoever. I run hvac, TV, microwave , and other hotel loads such as a coffee pot with no problem. I also used a battery separater and four group 31 batteries to run the system separately from the regular truck batteries. Works flawlessly.

  • Cliff Downing

    I installed a Xantrex IP1012 AL inverter charger in my present truck and have one ready to go for my next truck when it delivers. Mounted it right in the battery box along side the batteries. Fully weather proof unit, emits hardly any RFI, and is built like a tank. Heavy duty battery cables used to wire it up, with an isolator inline. Will have to mount the next one along the frame rail outside on a shock resistant mount. I love these units since they take up no under bunk space and are very well built units and I can have it plugged in while at home to keep batteries charged and continuing to operate fridge and other cab items with the truck off for days.

  • http://overdriveonline.com/channel19 Todd Dills

    Don, Cliff, thanks for the tips, thoughts. They seem fairly simple to install with a little electrical know-how, eh? Any further advice for novices?

  • Nanette

    A very good product. see http://www.gpstruckercbradio.com

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