I'm a total newbie at the motorhome deal. My question is, on a recent trip(about 1hr and 20 mins), I was able to run the TV and dvd player for my kids in the cabin while we traveled. I didn't even think of running the generator until after we were done traveling. Everything worked well and my coach and house batteries seem fine. Afted some thought I began to wonder how the tv and dvd worked unless i had an inverter. Like i said, I'm a complete novice at motorhomes.
My motorhome is a 2007 winnebago outlook 31c. Where would i find an inverter if i had one? And is it even possible to run that stuff if i didn't and my generator was not running?
Chris, it is more likely that the TV and DVD are "12 volt" powered but this simply begins your investigation to match your understanding with the actuality of your particular rig. Are you able to see how the TV &/or DVD player are plugged into power? If so, the plugs are different for the two power sources with a standard 120 volt AC household plug or some, quite different in appearance, 12 volt connection.
If you can locate the power plug, simply unplug the 120 volt and see if it continues to function. If so, it's likely operating from the "12 volt" vehicle power. An quick check of the 120 volt plug with your multimeter or some small capacity 120 volt device to see if it is live (powered) with rig engine off or running will complete the investigation.
Depending on your other professional and life experience, you will likely find that you know much more about the rig than you recognize at this point but simply need to fill in the blanks as time goes on.
Others will likely provide better suggestions but my experince in servicing and using RV units brings to mind that one should invest time and make notes in order to understand some of the basics such as the question you pose:
Where is the power converter located?
Fuse/breakers for 12 volt and 120 volt?
Climb under the rig and locate the fuel tank, black water tank, grey water tank, propane,...all the main structures. Some photos of the under side are worth while. This will allow you to recognize problems or describe them more readily.
Own a multimeter and spend some time in learning how to use it to do simple tests such as checking the health of a smoke detector battery. This basic ability will allow others to help you to diagnise by "remote control" which can be a huge advantage if stuck somewhere with no local help available.
Find your house and engine batteries and how they are connected for charging.
All that stuff, a bit at a time. It is interesting to most people and builds an understanding of the vehicle which is a solid investment in terms of safety, convenience and cost of operation.
You likely know all that but just in case....
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I am a "typical service person" so should be considered to be lazy, incompetent, ignorant, and dishonest.
What you ran, ran off a built-in inverter installed to power the entertainment systems. Winnebago usually puts the inverter close to the battery to keep the heavy wire 12V runs short, and runs 120V wiring from there to the outlet. I would look for it inside the box that holds the circuit breaker panel and converter, or in another box at the same location.