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Old 09-17-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
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CAT 1000 Watt Inverter

I purchased a CAT 1000 Watt Inverter to supply a little dry camping/boondocking power. It comes with heavy gauge battery cables with alligator clips. A YouTube video shows this inverter connected to the battery of a vehicle. I am thinking about simply connecting this inverter to my Flagstaff MicroLite's RV battery and running a heavy duty extension cord from the inverter's 110 volt receptacle into my trailer with a multiplug connected to the other end. I can then plug in three items while making sure not to exceed 1000 watts. I have a battery meter that will tell me when the RV battery discharges to 1/3 capacity or so. I can then fully recharge the RV battery with my towing vehicle and repeat. In doing so I will learn how long the RV battery will last under certain loads and make adjustments accordingly. I would appreciate all comments and concerns regarding this set-up. I am planning a trip to see the fall foliage of the Ozark Mountains in late October and early November. I may find myself in some quiet campsite without power and am preparing. I choose not to buy a portable generator. Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2016, 06:24 PM   #2
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Depending on your battery size it may take quite a while to recharge with the tow vehicle. Those lines are notoriously small and only push 4-7 amps. If you have a 75 amp battery and take it down to 25 amps (and it is recommended that you don't go below 50%) you would have to run the tow vehicle a good 6-7 hours to recover your charge. Not a particularly efficient way to recharge the battery. Small generator would be a much better choice.

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Old 09-17-2016, 07:14 PM   #3
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Aaron, thanks for the information. I won't let the RV battery go below 50% charge. The inverter will be used primarily to operate small appliances on an as-needed basis, such as a fan and coffee pot, and to keep a residential refrigerator cold by plugging it in intermittently. I will dry camp for only a night or two, and will have a spare, fully charged, RV battery just in case. I learned to swim by being thrown into the deep end of the pool. I guess I'll learn to dry camp the same way. I know a small generator is probably a better way, but I really don't want to mess with gas cans and the noise, whatever the decibel level may be. This is as close to "roughing it" that this old boy can handle.
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:49 PM   #4
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Here is a website with a calculator on it that will give you an idea of how long the battery will last on a given load. The small 2500 watt Champion Inverter Generators are pretty quiet and will run 6-7 hours on a tank of gas, they are pretty affordable.

Let us know how it works out for you.

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Old 09-17-2016, 08:15 PM   #5
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Thanks, Aaron. You 'da man! ��
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:26 PM   #6
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Also consider that you can charge fairly fast from your tow vehicle by using regular jumper cables attached between the tow vehicle and the rv battery. If you run the vehicle at idle with no accessories on (headlights, A/C, rear defroster, etc.) you can probably get 35-40 amps of charging current. That would give an 80 amp hour rv battery a full charge from 50% discharged in about 75 - 90 minutes.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
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A college professor of mine advised that the secret to success is to surround yourself with people much smarter than yourself. This forum is proving it. Thanks everyone for all the good advice. I am getting ready to watch my Texas Longhorns take on Cal-Berkley. Hook 'em Horns!
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:20 PM   #8
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Don't use an electric coffee pot. Go to Walmart and buy a stove top percolator style coffee pot. Electric coffee pots are one of those amp hogs that can easily be replaced by a cheap percolator.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:37 PM   #9
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inverter

Check the tag on the coffee pot for wattage or amp draw. Most drip style will use 600 -700 watts alone. The fridge will run on the inverter but the startup will draw many times the running amps. A little larger inverter would do you good. Also, have you room for a second battery. If the battery is not too old you can add another of the same size in parrallel to double your capacity and maybe not require a recharge if you are not staying in one place long.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:04 PM   #10
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If you leave the inverter connected and powered on the inverter itself will draw down the battery. It would be better to have it off when not in use.
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