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Old 01-26-2007, 10:18 AM   #1
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In the thread "Your MH Dealer", a topic came up concerning the bedroom reading lights where Lundy suggested that they be available on 12v as well as 110v. I talked with Burk who tells me that all new Alpines are being wired for those lights to operate through the invertor on 110v. My question to Lundy and anyone else who would like to respond is what circumstances would require that you need those lights to operate on 12v? If there is interest in this option, I will present the request at our next Focus Group meeting in August.

Thank you! Gail
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:18 AM   #2
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In the thread "Your MH Dealer", a topic came up concerning the bedroom reading lights where Lundy suggested that they be available on 12v as well as 110v. I talked with Burk who tells me that all new Alpines are being wired for those lights to operate through the invertor on 110v. My question to Lundy and anyone else who would like to respond is what circumstances would require that you need those lights to operate on 12v? If there is interest in this option, I will present the request at our next Focus Group meeting in August.

Thank you! Gail
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:54 AM   #3
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Gail, we have both the 12V and 110 reading lights in the bedroom. We prefer the 12V, even when hooked up to power. My concern w/ the 110V lights is remembering to turn off the inverter when it's lights out when dry camping. Also, if you need a light during the night, ( and the inverter's off) it's not going to be available.

I realize that a lot of folks have the residential reefers now and leave their inverters on all the time, but I think if you turn off your inverter at night, the 12V lights would be needed. Just my $0.02.

Susie
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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I agree with Skip and Susie. Being a newer coach, we have only the 110V wired through the inverter. We would like to have 12V for dry camping so we don't have to remember to get up to shut off the inverter.

Has anybody converted the 110's to 12v, and if so, how did you do it?

Looking for an alternative to a flashlight or a stick-on small battery powered light.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:55 PM   #5
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Oldforester, in theory you should be able to trace your reading light wires back to the fuse box and simply swap them over to 12V fuses. Or do you have any other source of 12V power in the bedroom? Maybe run a line from that to some new lights that you install in the cabinet. Skip's not home right now, but if you're interested, I can ask him for more info.

Susie
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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We had combination 12V/110V lights throughout our boats. Check Boat US or West Marine.
I am curious how the residential refrigerator holds up through the night on the inverter?When we used to run the 3 way refrigerators on 12V through the night we ate all of the batteries up. We learned very quickly when we were dry camping in our motorhome that make certain it was on propane.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:04 PM   #7
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Ted III, we have the residential reefer, and have no problem with having it on all night when we are dry camping. Usually, we run the generator for 2 hours in the morning and maybe an hour at night to be sure the batteries are charged well. I don't think the reefer uses very much power, especially at night when it is closed up tight.

Skip/Susie and Oldforester, thanks for your input. I guess since we have the residential reefer and always keep our inverter on, I just haven't thought about needing 12v. You make a good point, though.

Is there a lot of interest out there for this option??
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:27 PM   #8
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I was quite disappointed once I found out the BR lights didn't work on 12 VDC. Like most other dry campters, just running it throught the inverter is not a very good option. When in bed reading, it is inconvenient to get up and turn off the inverter. In pitch darkness it would require turning another 12 V light on or carrying a flashlight to turn off the inverter and getting back into bed. Maybe we could get miners' caps to alleviate the situation.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:02 PM   #9
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SteveS: Possibly I need to learn something that I am very much unaware of. Why would I turn the inverter off? I never turn it off. Do we have a different product in the 2005 from the 01?
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:27 PM   #10
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Skip, Ted and Steve,

Thanks for the feedback on the lights. I had a 42' twin diesel boat before this coach, and I spent a lot of money at West Marine. I also appreciate the thought on tracing the wiring back to the power source and switching them over to 12 v fuses.

I think I will look at West Marine for combo lights and find a different 12v wiring source (currently they are in the overhead lights and not really relocatable). I could run some light wires directly from the battery compartment, because it's right below the bedroom floor on the curb side. That's probably the best alternative to get some 12V lights up there and allow me to shut the inverter off before I got to bed.

The reason I shut the inverter off before I go to bed when dry camping is the inverter takes a fair amount of battery power, and my batteries are at least 25% stronger in the morning if I don't have the inverter on all night.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:43 PM   #11
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I guess I am just old fashion. I have had a lot of electrical problems with my 06 so if I have less reason to rely on 110 service when dry camping. I just don't like to depend upon the inverter for basic services. My refer is the combo unit, so 110 service in not needed there. In my 00 unit, we had the 12 volt lites in the bedroom and used them regularly at night and shut of the inverter when dry camping. At the recent DRR there were 127 folks dry camping; so there must be a great deal of interest in that type of camping. Just because we have inverters, I don't see any reason to have to rely on them for a couple of hours of night-time reading and then getting up to shut off the inverter. The bottom line is that the folks that make the decisions on what should be put on an RV should first spend more time living in them. Or, if they don't personally like to RV, pay attention to those who do. I guess I am in the minority but my 2 children were raised in a RV lifestyle and now love to camp----but at campgrounds with far fewer services that most Alpine owners would prefer. Therefore, I speak for myself. Although I really like a nice hot shower, I also love to camp with my kids and grandkids more so dry camping is what we do. If I never fire up the gen, that would be great. Give my 12 volt lites in the bedroom and above the dining table!!
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:54 AM   #12
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Ted - Some of the newer Alpines are all electric and need the inverter on if not plugged in to shore power/generator running. For most of the Alpines, the inverter doesn't need to be on. Therefore, if you are dry camping, you want to minimize battery drain as much as possible. The inverter draws battery current even when there is no 110 VAC electrical items turned on. I haven't actually measured the ambient drain of the inverter but when I worked on such things from my previous aircraft employment, the drain amounted to 1.5 - 5 amps (depending on the size and model of the inverter) when nothing was powered on. This drain will waste available battery power significantly by staying on overnight. Even if you have substantial solar charging capabilities, you still have to replinish the wasted battery power from leaving the inverter on over night. With the newer systems, this additional drain could make the difference between the generator automatically turning on during the night...mine doesn't automatically turn on so it is not a problem. One more thing, if 12 V systems will be used and dimmers are also included, they need to make sure the dimmers are not rheostat dimmers because they will waste power (in the form of heat) if the lights are dimmed.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:06 AM   #13
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I enjoy reading in bed, imagine my surprise in Quartzsite when we turned off the generator and the bedroom went black, because the inverter was inop. Our hardy thanks to Paul (sorry Paul, didn't get your last name!) at Desert Rat VI for finding our faulty fuse and getting us back in Inverter Heaven! I had been reading the threads, I hadn't checked out our lights. Our other MH's had the 12 volt in bedroom, just 'asssumed' the Alpine was the same! Pretty nice feature to have the 12volt! I doubt we will consider going to the 12 volt in bedroom. Our inverter is usually always on. When it works!
-dale
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:20 PM   #14
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Hi All,

Thanks to everyone for their insite on this issue. It is my understanding that WRV went to 110v for these bedroom lights so they would have residential brightness for reading. And, since they now put the residential frigs in most of their rigs, the inverter must always be on anyway.

While this may seem like a small thing, it sounds like it is a concern for those of you who don't have the residential frig and do a lot of dry camping. However, before we present this at the Focus Group, I would like to get a little better feel for how big of an issue it is...or is it just a few folks that would like this feature? If you have had any discussions with others about this issue, please let me know here or in a private message if you prefer.

Again, thanks for all of the input so far.

Gail
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