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Old 01-04-2020, 07:30 PM   #1
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Inverter for Hair Dryer

My wife likes to be able to use a hair dryer to dry her hair after shower in the morning. Pretty common I'm sure. However, when we are not connected to shore power it won't work. So I'm thinking of getting an inverter to solve the problem. It seems my dealer mentioned to me once that they would suggest installing an inverter with a switch to automatically switch from AC to DC and visaversa. Any other suggests on how to fix this? Don't want to lug around a generator.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:08 PM   #2
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Hope you have at least two 6v golf cart batteries.
And installing an inverter to power the outlets, isn't an easy job.
But you have no information about what type, year, make and model of RV you own.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:27 PM   #3
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Most blow driers are 1875 watt units. 1875 divided by 120 = 15.625 amps at 120 volts. A good “rule of thumb” when using an Inverter is to multiply the amps at 120 volts by 10 as a quick way to figure what you would be using in CONTINUOUS amps from your battery bank. That would mean you would be using over 156 amps from the batteries. This is more amps than the typical starter uses. Even running a 13.5K btu AC would take less. 2 6volt golf cart batteries would be gone in a few minutes at best. Jay
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:00 PM   #4
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Easy sort of.

You need a 3000 watt inverter. 2-4 six volt batteries. A length of 0/2 welding wire, 200 amp fuse, inverter on off switch. Add a plug where she wants it. Run wire to the inverter. 2 days of effort.

Or run an extension cord to the rv shore power from the inverter. Add a dogbone. All 110 circuits would be hot so you would have to be careful to not use too much. Some effort to hook up. 6 hours or less.

Well not real easy!

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Old 01-04-2020, 10:18 PM   #5
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As was said, a hair dryer can burn a lot of battery power pretty quickly. You may be better off lugging out the genny since you'll likely need it after the hair dryer is used anyway. Would save the cost and hassle of installing the inverter. More information on your current set up will help us give better advice.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:29 PM   #6
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Way easier to buy a 50lb 2000w inverter generator. That's what I got so the DW can use her hair dryer and the microwave.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:21 AM   #7
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I used my hair dryer for 2 summers while on solar. 2x235W panels, 1500W inverter and 4x6V golf cart batteries. My original hair dryer was 1875W so greater than the 1500W inverter would handle. Solution was simple.....I bought a travel dryer, on HI it was 1100W. Took a bit longer, but it was the cheapest/easiest solution to this problem.

The batteries took a bigger hit from the coffee pot each morning. And 5 family members charging, microwave and watching TV and using all the lights.

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Old 01-05-2020, 09:28 AM   #8
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Perhaps an easier solution would be a cordless portable hairdryer that runs on batteries.
https://www.amazon.com/WHS-Cordless-...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Haven't checked, but there are probably cheaper models available.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:35 AM   #9
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a small generator would be the 'simplest' solution... no need for 'extra' battery capacity, no need for an 'inverter', etc., simply for the few minutes use of a hair dryer...

but, it also comes in handy when making coffee, using the microwave, and CHARGING the batteries! Nice : )
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:33 AM   #10
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I used a hair dryer to test my dual 6v battery + inverter setup. Didn't last long before the inverter shut itself off due to low voltage from the battery.

I routinely connect a 4000w inverter directly to my truck battery with thick gauge wires to power power tools at sites with no AC power. I need to run the engine at about 2000rpm for the alternator to supply enough power for my 1.5HP air compressor. Don't know the wattage but it runs off a wall outlet at home.

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Old 01-05-2020, 01:39 PM   #11
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IF the only thing you are going to do without 120VAC is run a hair dryer, then you are better off to get a 2000 watt inverter-generator, otherwise you will put out a lot of money for more battery power and solar OR a generator instead of solar to recharge the batteries... lest they sit too long discharged and be damaged.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:24 PM   #12
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Using the hair dryer on low heat setting would drop the load to 600 to 800 watts, and would probably be fine with a 1500 watt inverter and dual batteries. You can also attach jumper cables from your tow vehicle with its engine running as noted above to reduce the load on your RV batteries.

In effect, your vehicle's charging system becomes your "generator".
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2504 View Post
Most blow driers are 1875 watt units. 1875 divided by 120 = 15.625 amps at 120 volts. A good “rule of thumb” when using an Inverter is to multiply the amps at 120 volts by 10 as a quick way to figure what you would be using in CONTINUOUS amps from your battery bank. That would mean you would be using over 156 amps from the batteries. This is more amps than the typical starter uses. Even running a 13.5K btu AC would take less. 2 6volt golf cart batteries would be gone in a few minutes at best. Jay
Where does the "10" come from?
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:54 PM   #14
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I would say he is using it to give an approximate amperage number for the 12v in relation to 120v not exact of course.
Another way to use an inverter is just to install a couple designated outlets. Make sure you use large enough 12v cables to prevent the inverter cutting off due to low voltage when the batteries my not actually be low. If she would keep it down to 10 minutes would be best.
The generator is probably cheaper but maybe you could find other uses for the inverter that are not as severe and not need to start the generator.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:03 PM   #15
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Hair dryer what's a massive load on your electrical if you try to run it on an inverter. A normal 1800 watt home hair dryer pulls more current than your microwave oven. We run big battery Bank big solar bank and a 900 watt hair dryer. If I can get my wife to use it in the morning are batteries recover by dark. generally unless you are really well-versed in managing your power I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Gordon View Post
Where does the "10" come from?
it is simple math and does not even allow for the efficiency loss of inverting the power.

Without factoring in the loss due to any efficiency of the inverter, a 15 amp load of 120 volts becomes a 12 volt 150 amp load on your batteries.

An average pair of golf cart batteries will give you less than a hundred amps of actually usable current. To get into it a little deeper, under peukert's law,. brand new batteries are rated based on a 20 amp load. When you run that up to a 150 amp load, you significantly reduce that usable capacity. On top of that, remember, brand new batteries are only putting out their rated load while they are brand new.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:18 PM   #17
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...the reality is that an inverter of any 'affordable' size and ease-of-use for this owner would simply be impractical for the use of a very high-amperage continuous use of a typical hair dryer... unless the owner wants to replace the batteries very soon, or find them almost unusable for everything else, otherwise, while camping.

it's hard enough for RVrs to off-grid without having battery issues, anyway, so adding another 'big' draw would be simply disasterous, or, at the least, very aggravating when all the lights go out for the rest of the day. A generator would be needed, regardless.

Yes, there are a few adventurous RVrs, and those willing to spend time and money to 'upgrade' their systems to provide these types of 'amenities' while off-grid, but the average RVr is not going to find this economical for such a simple need.

I have a 2000w Magnum Inverter/Charger, and 4 6v House batteries, but I don't take the liberty to use a hair-dryer while on Inverter only, that's something better designed for the Generator's 120v output to handle, and since we've making Coffee and using the Microwave in the morning anyway, it makes sense that the generator is the 'go-to' powerplant for this type of amperage draw. My batteries aren't really designed to do this, even though they may be technically 'able' to.
Some folks may try this from time to time, and everyone camps differently, but each owner must decide what is more important, especially when off-grid.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:32 PM   #18
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Where does the "10" come from?
A very simple example. No loss 100% efficieny



Running a 1200W item


With 120VAC you draw 10A.

With 12VDC you draw 100A.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:46 PM   #19
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We use hair dryer as needed (not me, believe me, not enough hair...) and microwave (even at rest stops to heat up lunch).

But we have a 2k inverter, 2 420AH batteries, and 600W of solar. I didn't want to deal with relying on a generator constantly. I'd have to look, but I think it all cost me about $2600. I do have a generator in the truck though. I think it has 5 hours on it, which was the break-in time....
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by aeblank View Post
We use hair dryer as needed (not me, believe me, not enough hair...) and microwave (even at rest stops to heat up lunch).

But we have a 2k inverter, 2 420AH batteries, and 600W of solar. I didn't want to deal with relying on a generator constantly. I'd have to look, but I think it all cost me about $2600. I do have a generator in the truck though. I think it has 5 hours on it, which was the break-in time....
That's over 5x what a 2000w inverter generator can cost.
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