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Old 03-26-2018, 09:01 PM   #21
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That won't work for me Titanmike as we sometimes play the music kind of loud at times.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:04 PM   #22
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No cigarette lighter output in my camper just regular outlets and USB plugs.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Skyliner View Post
Just want to make sure with all of these posts about mounting an inverter via cigarette lighter output, that the OP doesn't think that a 600 watt can be run from one.

A 600 watt inverter will pull 50 amps and a cigarette lighter socket won't be able to do that.

DC Cable Sizing Tool - Wire Size Calculator - MM2 & AWG - solar-wind.co.uk has a wire size calcualtor to help you decide what you want to do. I personally would mount the inverter as close to the battery as possible and run romex to your desired location.

A 600 watt inverter is overkill for a TV. 200 watt continuous inverter should cover the TV and DVD player if you intend to use one with your TV.

The cost of technology has really come down so there really isn't an excuse not to use a full (true) sine wave inverter instead of a modified sine wave one. Your electronics will thank you.
Only if you load the 600 watt inverter to It's full rated capacity.

If you already have, or are getting a good deal on the larger inverter one should not be afraid to use it on a small circuit. Especially if It's installed in a manner that prevents someone from plugging in a toaster or coffee pot.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:15 PM   #24
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I had purchased the 600w as a daily deal on Amazon and for the price I couldn't go wrong. It was cheaper than a 200 or 400w, and it is a pure sine wave. Besides I figure it's always better to go bigger than needed.
So as I understand the placement of the inverter is because of heat transfer through the wires right. And some loss of power. But is it going to be working that hard to power a TV. From my batteries to the place I want to mount it would be anywhere from 10-15 feet no further, and I'm guess closer to 10 but I won't know for sure until I get there. From what I understand is I could use thicker wire, is that correct?
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:44 PM   #25
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Bedlined f250, there is no harm in using a 600watt inverter to run a 50 watt tv. I think the only thing that could be a downside would be the draw on the batteries when the inverter is idle, but turned on. Please look in the manual and post up how much the “no load” current is. This can vary widely from inverter to inverter with the same output power rating. 600 watts is 50 amps at 12volts. Really closer to 60 amps because any inverter is not 100% efficient. A 10 foot run to the batteries AND back at 60 amps needs at least #4 gauge wire. You could get by with #6 maybe if you run the inverter ground to the frame and make the existing batteries to frame ground bigger. If you are going to use only say 150watts out of the inverter then smaller wire could be used......until someone puts on a 500 watt load. In my case I had a 12volt power port close to the tv. The choice is yours. If I were doing it I’d look at the total of what I needed and use that with a small reserve. I don’t know for sure but I would be surprised if a150 watt unit wasn’t enough. Those go for cheap. Look up the load of the tv and anything else that you want to run like a satellite receiver. Jay
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:34 PM   #26
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In my casi I just installed the inverter in the open space under my stereo which is right next to the TV. I spliced into the wire feeding the stereo right after the inline 15 amp fuse. Since the TV is low power and I never crank stereo up to max volume (no teens left in my family, even grandkids) I don't ever see power draw even getting close to the 15 amp capacity of thatvwire.
As I said earlier, the TV draws little power so even with a tiny 120w inverter, you can crank it up as loud as the neighbours will allow. I have a sound bar and subwoofer on mine as well and the lot draws a little under 90 watts. 2-3 hours viewing in the evenings is no problem with 240AH of battery.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:36 PM   #27
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I have pics of an install in the A-Frame section. It’s not hard to install an inverter and a dedicated outlet.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:35 AM   #28
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I had purchased the 600w as a daily deal on Amazon and for the price I couldn't go wrong. It was cheaper than a 200 or 400w, and it is a pure sine wave. Besides I figure it's always better to go bigger than needed.
So as I understand the placement of the inverter is because of heat transfer through the wires right. And some loss of power. But is it going to be working that hard to power a TV. From my batteries to the place I want to mount it would be anywhere from 10-15 feet no further, and I'm guess closer to 10 but I won't know for sure until I get there. From what I understand is I could use thicker wire, is that correct?

It is not sensible to mount an inverter behind the TV, unless the house batteries are nearby, within a couple of feet. You should install the inverter near the battery AND put an 80 amp (blade) fuse in the +ve line between it and the battery. There are lots of wiring diagrams and help available via Google.

The highest current and heat effects will be on the DC lines. High currents are the results of high loads and high current causes heat. The aim is not to overheat the wires, they may melt and short. The AC lines will not/should not get hot. Keep the DC wires as short as possible and big (the inverter might come with a short set) to minimise this heat loss. Heat loss is power consumed for no value.

Some inverters also have a third wire for temperature sensing. This wire should be anchored to the -ve side of the battery (or to the chassis/ground) it if not used.

Most inverters have some sort of indicator or panel to show the amount of power being drawn, the cumulative power consumed and maybe percentage of battery life left. Therefore it should be visible somehow, even if in a locker you have to open.


As JAY2504 says, (paraphrasing), the bigger the better and bigger is not overkill, it is 'head room'. Too big is a waste of money, but somewhere between 300-600w is a good average size for minimalist use. Don't try running an electric jug or toaster from it though, they are usually rated above 1200watts. Use the gas to boil water and as a toaster, or eat dry bread.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:11 AM   #29
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inverter diagram

DID you see my diagram page 1 ??
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:43 AM   #30
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Just to check, but do you even need an inverter? Depending on the TV, it might already be capable of running on 12V. If the TV has an external power brick, there's a good chance that's 12V DC going into the TV from the brick.

If not, it may still be cheaper to just buy a TV that works on 12V instead of installing an inverter. The TV in ours was the cheapest one on sale at Best Buy at the time we bought it, and while we weren't looking for a 12V TV since we don't boondock, it was a happy surprise to realize it was capable of it.
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:48 AM   #31
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Good point. In the house I have a 32" Best Buy Brand that does work on 12 volt. I was thinking about switching them out but my Directv receiver needs the inverter anyway so I decided not to bother. Although it would be good to do that because it seems kind of inefficient to hook up a inverter to change 12 volt to 120 volt and plug in a TV that has a brick to change the 120 volt back to 12 volt.
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:19 PM   #32
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Just to check, but do you even need an inverter? Depending on the TV, it might already be capable of running on 12V. If the TV has an external power brick, there's a good chance that's 12V DC going into the TV from the brick.

If not, it may still be cheaper to just buy a TV that works on 12V instead of installing an inverter. The TV in ours was the cheapest one on sale at Best Buy at the time we bought it, and while we weren't looking for a 12V TV since we don't boondock, it was a happy surprise to realize it was capable of it.
Great idea, if the TV is the only think you want to run while boondocking.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:21 PM   #33
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Maybe when this TV breaks then I will shop for a TV you guys are talking bout. But right now I have a TV and an inverter so wire and a fuse seems the best route to me.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:46 AM   #34
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How do you turn off the bloody predictive text, it drives me nuts. My typing is bad enough without it adding to my mistakes.
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:36 AM   #35
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I had purchased the 600w as a daily deal on Amazon and for the price I couldn't go wrong. It was cheaper than a 200 or 400w, and it is a pure sine wave. Besides I figure it's always better to go bigger than needed.
So as I understand the placement of the inverter is because of heat transfer through the wires right. And some loss of power. But is it going to be working that hard to power a TV. From my batteries to the place I want to mount it would be anywhere from 10-15 feet no further, and I'm guess closer to 10 but I won't know for sure until I get there. From what I understand is I could use thicker wire, is that correct?
You have two options. Heavier wire to the inverter. OR

Install inverter close to batteries and run 120v to new outlet near point of use.

If you can't or don't want to fish wires through walls, there are "Safeway kits" that include outlet, Safeway, and pieces necessary to join Safeway lengths or turn corners. Safeway is small and can be installed in corners in order to make the long runs less noticeable. Use 3 #14 wires rather than to max in the Safeway.

Be sure to mark the outlet "Inverter" and show max capacity. 600 w is good for charging laptops, etc.

For those installing large inverters and don't want to make them whole house this is a way to keep the 12v feed wires as big as possible yet not have to buy long lengths.

FWIW, the inverter I purchased came with a wired remote on/off switch which makes control real simple.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:35 PM   #36
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You have two options. Heavier wire to the inverter. OR

Install inverter close to batteries and run 120v to new outlet near point of use.

If you can't or don't want to fish wires through walls, there are "Safeway kits" that include outlet, Safeway, and pieces necessary to join Safeway lengths or turn corners. Safeway is small and can be installed in corners in order to make the long runs less noticeable. Use 3 #14 wires rather than to max in the Safeway.

Be sure to mark the outlet "Inverter" and show max capacity. 600 w is good for charging laptops, etc.

For those installing large inverters and don't want to make them whole house this is a way to keep the 12v feed wires as big as possible yet not have to buy long lengths.

FWIW, the inverter I purchased came with a wired remote on/off switch which makes control real simple.
I still think a version of option 2 is the best. Put the inverter next to the batteries to keep the heavy cables short, run a power extension cord to the mains camp input socket outside the unit and trip the breaker to the charger/converter. You should be able to do this and still close the locker door. That's the way I used to do it till I wired it in. I only had to drill one 1/4 inch hole near the mains socket to let the cord though.
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