Originally Posted by DanM-AZ
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I don't have a big need for AC when camping, but I do have a few battery powered devices for which the only charger I have is an AC wall-wart. I have a Harbor Freight 400 watt inverter that so far I just open the lid on my battery box and clamp directly to the battery. That wasn't so good when I got rain dumped on me this weekend, so I am considering rewiring a couple of my existing AC outlets to attach (only) to an inverter. The Harber Freight unit doesn't have the handy remote turn-on ability though.
Well Blackhat6mike never responded about his inverter setup so I ended up figuring it out on my own. Here is a picture of the inside of the microwave cabinet with the microwave pulled out. The little labels I added to the photo detail a number of different electrical mods that I have done in there. This includes the addition of a small 300 watt pure sine wave inverter:
This is the inverter:
What's nice about this unit is 1) it is a pure sine wave inverter; and 2) the cooling fan does not come on unless it is supplying more than 100 watts. That means that it does not waste power just running the fan when driving small loads.
The inverter is only connected to the one AC outlet in the back of the microwave cabinet. I switch the inverter on and off through the solar charge controller that is mounted on the forward surface of the microwave cabinet:
The DC wiring from the solar charge controller to the inverter is only 10 gauge wire. Being conservative, I fused the inverter DC supply with only a 15 amp fuse. What that means is that even though the inverter is rated for 300 watts, with a 15 amp fuse, power is limited to only 180 watts (12 volts times 15 amps). Generally I will be using far less than that because as I mentioned, my main purpose for AC while boondocking is to charge small devices through wall-warts, for example an electric razor and a rechargeable headlamp:
Still having fun making my electrical upgrades