Question: Does anyone have experience on getting by on a 450 Watt inverter?
Background: I have a 2005 Salem LE 21FB. Like most travel trailers the battery is in the front and the converter/distribution panel is near the middle of the trailer. I've been thinking about my options for off-grid 120v power so I can run my computer and TV for photo processing while I'm boon docking. I've searched this forum on inverter info and read enough threads to realize nearly everyone does it differently.
Originally I was considering a 1500 watt inverter so I could also run the microwave but then I realized that I would have to run thick cables a fair distance to where the inverter would best be located (near the converter/distribution box) or have a short run of thick cables and a long run of AC cable. Then I though why not go small and use the existing #6 AWG cables from the converter to the battery and go with a smaller inverter? According to the user manual for the Magnasine 400W inverter (CSW412), the power lines between the battery and inverter should be #8 for 5-10 foot runs or #6 for 10-15 feet. I'm about at 10 feet straight line so I'm probably actually in the 10-15 foot range.
I would have to do some creative (but safe) wiring to have concurrent 12v to the distribution panel but going small would mean that all the wiring would be localized to the current distribution panel. I plan on replacing my interior lights with LEDs so the existing #6 AWG lines from the battery to the inverter and distribution panel may be able to safely carry the load with no overheating.
For charging I plan on a 100 watt portable solar array with direct connection to the battery. I only have a Group 24 battery so my storage is limited. Other options include:
1. Go lithium and put the battery or batteries under the dinette seat along with a decent inverter/charger and permanently turn off the converter and eliminate the front battery box.
2. Expand the battery storage up front and mount an inverter or inverter/charger in the front pass-through storage space.
3. Use a generator (not very exciting).
So for you electron misers, anyone getting by on 100 watts portable solar, a group 24 battery, and 450 watts inverter power?
By the way, here link to the manufacturer's page on the inverter:
400W 12VDC Pure Sine Inverter CSW Series | Magnum Dimensions