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Old 09-10-2022, 10:09 AM   #1
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Inverter?

We are going to be doing some short term (3 days at a time) boon-docking on our winter snowbird trip. To make life a bit easier we are considering adding an inverter. We really only need it to power the coffeemaker, the microwave and the TV. Is this something we should attempt ourselves? How big of an inverter would we need considering that we would only be operating one of these devices at a time? What length of time can we expect it to operate without running down the coach batteries? Do we need different batteries? We have the original batteries that came with our RV purchased new in 2018. My husband is very handy but not an electrical expert. Suggestions?
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Old 09-10-2022, 10:32 AM   #2
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To answer your first question, we use a Honda 2000 to provide power for the TV, coffeemaker and microwave. It also provides power for the batteries so no additional batteries would be needed when you are running the inverter generator for power. We added a voltage meter so that we can manage the batteries when boondocking. Generally, we run the Honda 2000 for an hour or more each day. We do not use the AC or heater, and use propane to operate the frig.

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Old 09-10-2022, 11:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kabotcrew View Post
We are going to be doing some short term (3 days at a time) boon-docking on our winter snowbird trip. To make life a bit easier we are considering adding an inverter. We really only need it to power the coffeemaker, the microwave and the TV. Is this something we should attempt ourselves? How big of an inverter would we need considering that we would only be operating one of these devices at a time? What length of time can we expect it to operate without running down the coach batteries? Do we need different batteries? We have the original batteries that came with our RV purchased new in 2018. My husband is very handy but not an electrical expert. Suggestions?
Your microwave will pretty much determine the size of the Inverter you need.

I installed a 2,000 watt Inverter in my TT as my microwave had a nameplate rating of 1.35 KW. A Renogy 2 Kw inverter fit just right. A true sine wave unit and at the time it cost just under $300.

The Microwave will draw a fair amount of current at startup so a smaller Inverter may not be up to the task.

Of course an Inverter is only part of the story. You need enough battery power, not just to keep the Inverter running while under load, but also to be able to keep voltage high enough to prevent Inverter from shutting down. Many will have 2x 6V Lead Acid batteries in series. I chose to use 2X 100 amp hour "Lithium" (Battleborn) batteries.

Because of the high current draw (125 amp when microwave is running) it's best to mount the Inverter close to the batteries and then run the 120 volt output the microwave, coffee maker, and TV. I merely plug in my shore power cord to a 30 amp outlet I installed outside my TT. Just have to remember to turn off converter at the power panel and switch refrigerator to gas only.

As a side note, I would not run my TV from a large Inverter. Too much wasted energy. I have a 300 watt True Sine Wave inverter that I use to run my TV/DVD and it draws half the standby current of my 2Kw inverter. May even be able to power the TV/DVD player from 12v, depending on TV.
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Old 09-10-2022, 12:00 PM   #4
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We do have a generator which we can use for the microwave and coffeemaker but were looking for something that we could use to power the TV to watch a movie at night. So, we would need something that could run for several hours and not run down the batteries. Maybe we don't need a large inverter but just a small one for the TV?
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Old 09-10-2022, 12:06 PM   #5
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Moved thread from the Forum Administration/News/Member Accounts section to the Electrical and Charging Systems sub-forum.
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Old 09-10-2022, 01:50 PM   #6
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We do have a generator which we can use for the microwave and coffeemaker but were looking for something that we could use to power the TV to watch a movie at night. So, we would need something that could run for several hours and not run down the batteries. Maybe we don't need a large inverter but just a small one for the TV?
An Inverter like this is just the ticket for a TV.



https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Even though I have the large inverter I use this one for my TV. Only $47 on Amazon. I just plug mine into the cigarette lighter type power outlet on my TV antenna amplifier.
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Old 09-10-2022, 01:55 PM   #7
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We do have a generator which we can use for the microwave and coffeemaker but were looking for something that we could use to power the TV to watch a movie at night. So, we would need something that could run for several hours and not run down the batteries. Maybe we don't need a large inverter but just a small one for the TV?
It sounds as if your tv is powered on 110 not the 12v battery.
If all you need is something to power your tv for several hours at night, you might want to consider a portable power station. The market changes too frequently to recommend one, but look for one that has an ac outlet and can be charged different ways... ac, 12v, usb c, even solar panels (although that's the most expensive and least reliable. Find out how much your particular tv will use over 4-6 hours and buy the one that fits your needs.

Remember, an inverter runs off battery power and you don't want to run them down.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:16 PM   #8
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Thanks all for your helpful suggestions. We have decided that a small portable power station with a solar array will suit our needs. I didn't even know those existed! Our winter trip to AZ will be the test!
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Old 09-24-2022, 11:44 PM   #9
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Or look into 12v TVs. It's small but letting a 110v TV covers DC battery power to AC via the inverter then the TV covers is back to DC internally or with transformer on the power cord.
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:01 AM   #10
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Personally - it's camping. When really camping - as in boondocking - I use the propane stove/oven for cooking and an old fashioned percolator on the propane stove for coffee.

True, very old school campers use the campfire for cooking and percolating coffee.
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Old 09-25-2022, 07:39 AM   #11
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Personally - it's camping. When really camping - as in boondocking - I use the propane stove/oven for cooking and an old fashioned percolator on the propane stove for coffee.

True, very old school campers use the campfire for cooking and percolating coffee.



Agreed, for summer camping. But, when we live in our camper for several months in the winter and it gets dark and cold early, I need more!
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Old 09-25-2022, 08:06 AM   #12
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Look at the back of tv's many have a DC power input jack
all you need to do is get a step up transformer that can supply the voltage / current you need .. No inverter required it will run off the 12v battery.


example: https://www.amazon.com/Step-up-Conve...097GT324T?th=1


NOTE... you need to add a on/off switch to the transformer so it won't add to the parasitic drain when TV not in use
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Old 09-25-2022, 05:15 PM   #13
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Look at the back of tv's many have a DC power input jack
all you need to do is get a step up transformer that can supply the voltage / current you need .. No inverter required it will run off the 12v battery.


example: https://www.amazon.com/Step-up-Conve...097GT324T?th=1


NOTE... you need to add a on/off switch to the transformer so it won't add to the parasitic drain when TV not in use
****

This really is not a transformer but rather a DC-DC Converter.

A real transforner only works on AC current.
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Old 09-25-2022, 05:34 PM   #14
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****

This really is not a transformer but rather a DC-DC Converter.

A real transforner only works on AC current.
But a DC-DC Converter is still more than efficient than an inverter, isn't it?
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:00 PM   #15
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But a DC-DC Converter is still more than efficient than an inverter, isn't it?

yup and if you get one that runs just over 10 amps ..

you should be able to power a couple of TV's without having to worry about heavy wiring and placing near battery etc etc


cost about 30.00
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:41 PM   #16
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But a DC-DC Converter is still more than efficient than an inverter, isn't it?
I don't know. Has anyone seen the mfr's data. There's still losses in conversion and DC-DC Chargers that only "goose" charging voltages 2-3 volts can have huge losses, well over 10%..

Conversion efficiency is missing from mfr's listing. Only "idle current" of 10 ma is mentioned in Q&A.

And what do those who have 120v DVD players do? Still need a small inverter.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:45 PM   #17
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I don't know. Has anyone seen the mfr's data. There's still losses in conversion and DC-DC Chargers that only "goose" charging voltages 2-3 volts can have huge losses, well over 10%..
Well, everyone always says to get a DC power supply for a CPAP because it will drain the battery less than running it from an inverter. I have a 12 volt power supply for my CPAP which requires 24 DC input.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:32 PM   #18
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... Even though I have the large inverter I use this one for my TV. Only $47 on Amazon. I just plug mine into the cigarette lighter type power outlet on my TV antenna amplifier.
Mike, I know you're very conscious of voltage drop. How much does the inverter draw, and how much loss is there in the line to the DC power outlet?
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:09 AM   #19
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Mike, I know you're very conscious of voltage drop. How much does the inverter draw, and how much loss is there in the line to the DC power outlet?
With only 5 amp current draw through a #12 wire the drop isnt't significant. Total length of supply wire is ~8 ft.

Both TV and DVD player draw very little power compared to TV's of old.
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:18 AM   #20
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I purchased this 12V TV/DVD combo. Uses about 4A. Only use inverter for MW or coffee pot.

SuperSonic SC-2412 LED Widescreen HDTV & Monitor 24", Built-in DVD Player with HDMI, USB, SD & AC/DC Input: DVD/CD/CDR High Resolution and Digital Noise Reduction https://a.co/d/5sdWW9n
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