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Old 09-05-2010, 09:04 PM   #1
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2002 Sandpiper - Can't find inverter switch

I have a 2002 27' Sandpiper travel trailer I recently purchased. I frequently camp at primitive sites in the local national forest. The owners manual states there is a 1000W built in DC to AC inverter and the switch location should be either in the bedroom, kitchen or near the power panel location. I have searched and searched and I can not find this switch. (It appears there are not any 12V plugs either).

Basically I would like to be able to plug in my laptop computer, charge my cell phone etc when camping out in the forest. And as I said I can not for the life of me find the inverter swith location.

This is my first travel trailer so I have much to learn and appreciate any assistance. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TwinLakeCamper View Post
I have a 2002 27' Sandpiper travel trailer I recently purchased. I frequently camp at primitive sites in the local national forest. The owners manual states there is a 1000W built in DC to AC inverter and the switch location should be either in the bedroom, kitchen or near the power panel location. I have searched and searched and I can not find this switch. (It appears there are not any 12V plugs either).

Basically I would like to be able to plug in my laptop computer, charge my cell phone etc when camping out in the forest. And as I said I can not for the life of me find the inverter swith location.

This is my first travel trailer so I have much to learn and appreciate any assistance. Thanks in advance!

Hi and welcome.

If the switch exists it may be inside one of the cabinets.

I do not know your trailer but will give you a generic answer as for 2002 trailer. I would be very surprise if the trailer has a DC to AC converter.
Unless it came with a generator. Do you have a generator?


The battery DC power is usually used for DC lights, water heater, refrigertor and heater controls when you only have DC power and only using propane for dry camping.

If you did have a true DC to AC convertor I would think it would be close to the batteries and that compartment. Usually the battery cables will show you where the convertor is located.

Hope fully someone will help out and maybe prove me wrong but I hope this is helful and a start.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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12V DC to 110V AC is called an INVERTER

110V AC to 12V DC is called a CONVERTER

All RVs come with CONVERTERS which are also the battery charger.

Very few RVs come with an INVERTER, they are an accessory added by the user or installed by the dealer at the time of purchase if requested. Many RV manuals are generic and not specific to each rig, so it is very possible you don't have one. Again, it is very very rare for manufacturers to install inverters at the factory.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:04 PM   #4
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I appreciate you guys taking the time to respond.

I do not have a generator but a quiet generator is on my list of items to purchase.

The main reason I believe there could be an inverter is I can not find a 12V outlet plug anywhere either. I have checked and rechecked cabinets and walls and every location I can think of for a 12V outlet. I have checked the obvious locations of the tv cabinet location (there is a 110v outlet, satellite and cable tv outlets) but that appears to be it.

I could be totally wrong on this whole factory installed inverter thing. I am just a little baffled why I can not find find a 12V outlet either...
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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Our rig didn't come with any 12v outlets either other than the one on the dash and the one that is always built into the TV antenna booster amplifier. The lack of 12v oulets doesn't mean you will have an inverter.

Like I said you usually will not find them installed on RVs from the factory. The exception is usually your more expensive diesel pusher coachs which in many cases do have inverters. On our Georgetown it wasn't even an option. I even asked if the factory would put one on and they said they don't do it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:33 PM   #6
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I don't have any 12 volt DC plugs in my trailer.
But if you needed on it is really easy to add one off of your battery power.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:30 PM   #7
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Thanks again for the info. Looks like I will be adding a 12V outlet or two and purchasing an inverter in the near future.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:07 PM   #8
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Ditto to no 12v outlets, not even one on the antenna booster panel. But at least in ours there are 2 spare 12v fuses in the panel that can be wired for whatever we desire and one will be an ourlet in the bottom of the pantry as it is right beside the converter panel and I don't want to tear a new trailer apart.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:33 PM   #9
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Thanks again for the info. Looks like I will be adding a 12V outlet or two and purchasing an inverter in the near future.
Purchasing an inverter right away is probably premature unless you boondock, and unless you have a decent sized battery bank (say 2 6 VDC golf cart batteries at least), and unless you have a good 3 stage charger and generator. An alternative means to recharge your batteries is with solar panels. The standard converter that comes on most RV's will suffice in a pinch but they have a bad reputation for boiling batteries dry and undercharging them as well which lead to the ruination of many RV battery banks. A proper 3 stage charger is recommended. Some converters like the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series have a built in charge wizard that gives it 3 stage charging capability. The PD 9100 series can have a charge wizard added to give 3 stage charging. I'm sure there are other convertors as well which do a commendable job in battery charging so look around and read the forums.
I think you would benefit from reading a wonderfully informative website related to the 12V battery systems. I think it is called "The 12 Volt Side of Life". Google that phrase and you should find it. There are 2 parts and you will benefit immensely if you are a newbie since batteries are probably the most important component of camping other than the RV itself. There are also lots of threads on these forums related to inverters, converters chargers and batteries that will help you. Just do a search.
Enjoy your RV'ing.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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I found the website. Darn good information and thank you for the lead!

Basically my wife and her side of the family prefer to primitive/boondock camp in the local national forest. Typically for three to four days at a time. We currently get by with a single 12V battery, though we don't use much power other than for lights and for the water pump. Our travel trailer is a 27' Sandpiper, no slide outs.

I plan on upgrading next year to dual 6V batteries and add an inverter as I would like to be able to plug in my laptop, charge my cellphone and watch a little tv now and then.

I have a dream of being able to primitive camp and utilize the air conditioning, though I understand that means the purchase of a portable generator (preferably a quiet one $$$) and my budget doesnt quite allow that yet.

In the meantime, I am enjoying what I have and having fun planning for next year's camping adventures.

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Originally Posted by starburst2 View Post
Purchasing an inverter right away is probably premature unless you boondock, and unless you have a decent sized battery bank (say 2 6 VDC golf cart batteries at least), and unless you have a good 3 stage charger and generator. An alternative means to recharge your batteries is with solar panels. The standard converter that comes on most RV's will suffice in a pinch but they have a bad reputation for boiling batteries dry and undercharging them as well which lead to the ruination of many RV battery banks. A proper 3 stage charger is recommended. Some converters like the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series have a built in charge wizard that gives it 3 stage charging capability. The PD 9100 series can have a charge wizard added to give 3 stage charging. I'm sure there are other convertors as well which do a commendable job in battery charging so look around and read the forums.
I think you would benefit from reading a wonderfully informative website related to the 12V battery systems. I think it is called "The 12 Volt Side of Life". Google that phrase and you should find it. There are 2 parts and you will benefit immensely if you are a newbie since batteries are probably the most important component of camping other than the RV itself. There are also lots of threads on these forums related to inverters, converters chargers and batteries that will help you. Just do a search.
Enjoy your RV'ing.
Lloyd
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