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Old 10-13-2016, 07:29 PM   #11
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I run my led tv with a 150 w pluged in the lighter plug. Don't run high wattage stuff. Just tv or computer. No microwave or toaster. Use the gas stove.

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Old 10-13-2016, 08:08 PM   #12
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A thanks to all for their input so far and some more information from me.

My TV is an older 20" Sony LCD with a fluorescent backlight. According to the information on the back of it, it draws 55 watts. My laptop died years ago and I have been using a 2012 mini Mac for my computer needs. The mini Mac is rated at 11 watts idle and 85 watts max so I don't need very much AC power at all. I don't have a great need for a lot of TV but when the weather is bad it is nice to have something to keep me occupied.

On my trip this past summer I had an idea for TV on the down days but it had one major flaw - no AC power unless I was in an RV park. The idea? I downloaded several movies rentals on iTunes to my mini Mac to watch later when I had no TV reception or there was nothing worth watching on TV. With Apple's iTunes you have 30 days to watch a rental you downloaded and 24 hours to finish watching it once you start watching it. The rental price is the same as if you were watching it immediately after renting it. As you have 30 days to start watching the rental you really only have to have good internet once a month. I downloaded several movies before leaving on my trip and one or two more during the wee early morning hours when I was in an RV park with good wifi.

I only have one 12V outlet in the camper and that is a part of the TV antenna booster. Unfortunately it is 8 amps max which gives me between 80 and 96 watts if you factor in an inverter efficiency of 80-90% and even less when the battery voltage drops. That is cutting it close but if I swap out the spinning disk drive in the mini Mac with a solid state drive that would reduce the computer power needs if I don't do anything CPU intensive. I already added one SSD to the Mac and run off that so other than power on, the spinning hard drive isn't used. Mark, where did you get your 150W PSW inverter? I may give that a try before I start making modifications. If the combo blows the 8 amp limit, I could switch to a laptop for photo processing and rented movie watching.


More info. The parts cost to add more battery storage and electronics isn't a big issue for me but I want to dip my toe into the water before diving in with modifications. A schematic of my RV is below. As is typical, the Group 24 battery box is up front between the propane bottles and the front of the trailer. The power distribution center and converter is below the refrigerator. I was going to put the 450w inverter in the space under the stove/oven which has convenient access to the existing 6 AWG wire from the battery to the converter. I figure it is sized at #6 for the battery charging and little is used for other 12v uses.

If I were to go all out, I was thinking of putting in two Relion Lithium Ion batteries under the dinette and put an inverter charger in the same space. I would probably have to vent the space to handle the inverter charger heat but the lithium batteries like a more climate controlled space. That would put the system close to the power distribution system. But I'm leaning towards baby steps for now.

Great input guys. I appreciate it. My plan right now is to get a small cigarette lighter inverter and give that a torture test to see my real world needs.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin
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I would not feel comfortable boon docking for more than 2 days with a single battery. And that's before adding an inverter and running more things off of the battery. I have a Power Max battery box mounted on the frame behind the propane tanks. It looks like your trailer would have room for the same box. It has room for 4 batteries. I divided my box so I have (2) 6 volt batteries on one side. The other side has a Samlex 600 watt pure sine wave inverter, Trimetric battery monitor, Bogart solar charge controller, and a couple of bus bars for connecting the cables. There is divider with a rubber gasket to divide the box and keep any sulfur gas, from the batteries, away from the electronics. Input power is supplied by (3) 100 watt panels. If I am in a campsite that gets full sun all day I could probably get by with 1 panel but usually there is a fair amount of shade. Over engineering or over powering means less chance for disappointment down the road. Like many others on this forum I have become addicted to the mods but it is fun. Hope you enjoy your mods.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:36 PM   #14
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Converting from 12VDC to 110VAC then back down to 20VDC (computer) and probably 12VDC for the television isn't the most efficient way to maximize battery life. As already recommended, a 12VDC power supply for your computer will get that running directly from the battery. If you can't find one that has an appropriate power plug, you can use my solution - cut the power cord and put it back together with PowerPole connectors. Put the same connectors on a DC power supply and you can switch the computer's power plug from AC to DC easily.

If your television has a 110 cord that plugs directly into it, it's probably connected to a DC converter inside to provide 12V power for the television electronics. It should be easy to tap into the output of the internal power supply to run a DC power in line for use off of the battery. You could also add a buck/boost converter to the television power line to stabilize the voltage supplied to it, making it independent of battery voltage.

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Old 10-16-2016, 01:06 PM   #15
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Phil, my computer is a mini Mac which is not a laptop and only has a AC cord to it. Yes there is a transformer inside but there isn't a lot of space to mess around in it and other than shielding the bluetooth antenna, swapping out the hard drives with solid state drives, and upgrading the memory, I'm not going to modify it to see if I can get it to run on 12v. And since I'm not modifying the computer, I may as well leave the TV alone.

I've decided to go with a 150 watt pure sine converter from Go Power. I found a good deal on eBay for an unused one and I'm going to give the setup a try while my trailer is here at home. If it doesn't work out, I haven't put much $$ into the project and can modify as necessary but with only a 150 watt inverter being on when I need it, I'm not drawing a lot of juice.

I'll update this thread to let others know how I get along. Thanks all!

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Old 10-16-2016, 03:57 PM   #16
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Location: Mid Michigan
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Kev, it looks like it may be a little late for you but this is the inverter I bought from Amazon for $106.
Samlex PST-120-12 Pure Sine Wave Inverter 120 Watts AC DC 120 VAC USB Port 12V
Nice compact unit that I hung right on the back of the tv wall mount with a couple wire ties. Plugs into the 12v acc outlet of the booster. Works great with my Furrion 32" led and direct tv receiver. The combined draw for both is around 100 watts. It also has a usb for charging phones.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:00 PM   #17
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Thanks Mark but I already paid for the Go Power on eBay. That does look like a nice compact unit.
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Old Yesterday, 07:35 PM   #18
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Apparently my lighter plug isn't up to snuff. The TV is 55 watts max and the computer 85 watts max, 11 watts idle. The 150 watt inverter should have no problem handling the load. I've tried starting the TV then computer after a minute or so and the reverse order. In both cases I can hear some clicking in the inverter/12v outlet area and then the computer or tv or both will shut down. As it is an eBay inverter, I thought it may have been a return item that had problems so I brought the inverter, tv, and computer to my car for a test run. It worked flawlessly so the inverter doesn't appear to be the issue.

For me this means either install a dedicated 12v outlet near the distribution panel or consider getting a 12v tv and a laptop. I could also install a 115v AC outlet near the distribution panel that dedicated to the inverter. Then I don't need to worry about wiring a transfer switch or do any more involved electrical system modifications.

As I have the winter to sort things out, my next test is to spend an evening on the tv/computer with the inverter wired directly to the battery in a standalone configuration to confirm that the inverter can handle the load and the battery has adequate capacity.
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Old Yesterday, 08:21 PM   #19
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 165
In my case I look at more batteries = more weight and I have a truck camper so I want my weight in necessities, not batteries.

I opted for a 3000 watt Xantrex Pro Sine, way more output than I will ever need but, you need to look at one, the idle current usage (all inverters whether being used or not, consume current (called idle current consumption), unless the inverter is equipped with a remote shutdown. The Pro-sine ships with a remote shutdown and the 3000 watt Xantrex has a very low idle current consumption as well.

Typically, the larger output the inverter is, the less the idle current consumption is.

I run a single Group 31 seep cycle and the battery easily powers the inverter all night supplying my Cpap machine the 50 platry running watts it needs.

I went with the big PSW inverter as a hedge against future upgrades One other nice thing about running a big output power PSW inverter is residual heat from operation is a non-issue. The fan never comes on and the case never even gets warm. That allowed me to put the inverter very close to the battery in the compartment with the FW tank and battery box, as space is very limited in a TC. I used welding cables for the power leads as well and crimp on solid copper lugs for the cable ends.

I ran the output via Romex to a dedicated outlet labelled 'Inverter Only'.

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