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Old 08-20-2015, 10:52 AM   #11
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Thanks mickrock,

That was definitely a concern of mine. I can tell you that the roof takes a bit more muscle to raise. My trip from home to camp spot was about 150 miles one way that includes an elevation change of 1400 feet to over 8000 feet. My rig remains level from front to back, and I had no issues of bad handling, including passing and being passed by big rigs. I love the low profile of the trailer under travel, especially being able to see out the back window in the rear view mirror. Attached photo is of the rig at a Taco Bell stop on the way home.

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Old 08-20-2015, 04:12 PM   #12
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Inverter

Hey Blackhat6mike, you still there?

I like what you've done, installing an inverter off your solar DC system, to at least one AC outlet, that you switch on or off as needed. Is it just the single outlet off the inverter that you show in your photos? What make and model are you using? 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.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:16 AM   #13
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You may want to look at a Norcold 12 vdc 120 volt Freezer Fridge combo for your compressor drive fridge. I have seen them used on Altos with their built 190 W solar array. Owners seem quite happy with the automatic switching capability and the priced seems to be about the same. Also you will probably want to get a Girard on demand water heater. Just thought I would mention that one. Again replace of the the standard 6 gallon heater is about the same and hooking it is relatively easy or so I have been told.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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Thanks for the heads-up! I think this one maybe?
http://www.amazon.com/Norcold-NR740B.../dp/B00AJVLGXA

It is rated at 3.75 amps of current draw when the compressor is running. Let's assume that would be 50% of the time over the course of 24 hours. That calculates to 45 amp-hours in a day, less than 25% of my battery capacity. But during sunlight hours, that current is fed from the solar panels while there is still more than enough solar current to concurrently recharge the batteries. Sounds good!
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanM-AZ View Post
. . .
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:
http://www.amazon.com/MicroSolar-300...JHD9YQ37HWECS0
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
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