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Old 03-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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1990 Pace Arrow Cigarette Liter

If I hook a power converter to my cigarette liter and run an appliance all night will the fuse blow before battery is low or will the battery go dead? And if it goes dead is this liter the coach batteries or is it the truck battery? Or will all three go dead??? Thanks for any insite
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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Hi!

Under normal circumstances, and assuming a normal and customary battery/fuse/portable inverter – AND a normally wired coach….

1. If the cigarette lighter is wired to the engine starting battery (“coach” battery), and you plug in a portable inverter and run it all night the battery will be run down to some point. That point will depend on how big your battery is and how much power (load) you drew overnight. It should not affect the other batteries (house set).

The danger is that your engine starting battery will be run down to the point of not being able to start the engine any longer necessitating a jump or battery recharge.

Some (but not all) RV’s have a special switch on the dash that allows you to temporality tie the house batteries (the ones that run lights, water pump, etc.) to the coach batteries to allow for emergency starting.

2. If the cigarette lighter is wired to the house batteries then it should last all night and still have some charge left (assuming a normal house battery setup) again depending on the load put on by the inverter. It should not affect the other battery (coach).

3. Either way, the fuse on the inverter and/or the circuit feeding the cigarette lighter should not blow.

Again, this is general information, but should apply to your RV if it is wired in a normal and customary manner.

One (potential) way to find out if the cigarette lighter is wired to your house batteries is to plug something in and kill the house batteries at the disconnect point. If the device shuts off it’s a good bet the lighter circuit is on the coach battery.

Hope this helps!

Mark (-:
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for the help Mark. I am the kind of guy that likes to figure how to wake up to a problem before I get into one.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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I agree with the post above also keep in mind most lighter plugs are not designed for
a lot of current draw so be careful what you ask of it.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post
If I hook a power converter to my cigarette liter and run an appliance all night will the fuse blow before battery is low or will the battery go dead? And if it goes dead is this liter the coach batteries or is it the truck battery? Or will all three go dead??? Thanks for any insite
Most cig lighter receptacles are not able to handle anything larger then appx a 150 watt inverter. Using the equation "Watts/Volts= amps"
150 watts divided by 12 volts equals 12.5 amps

Most accessory sockets can handle between 15-20 amps, so using the above example it would be okay to use a 150 watt converter.

Also as stated above you would want to locate an accessory plug for the coach, not the (dash cig lighter) chassis outlets. If you have a coach battery bank of 210 amp hours that gives you appx 100 amps of usable power. Therefore using the example above, if you are using 12.5 ah's (assuming nothing else is drawing current) you would be able to run your item safely for 8 hours as it would require 100 amps from the battery bank if the converter was operating at it's maximum wattage. 8 hrs X 12.5 ah's = 100 amps

edit
I read your other post that said your cpap machine draws 2.5 amps. If you mean it draws 2.5 amps on 115 volts (power pole) that means you need 25 ah's for a 12 volt system (2.5 amps x 10) You would need (at minimum) a 300 watt voltage converter.

You would be best off to hard wire a 5-600 watt converter for this. Only problem is you will need 200 amps to run it 8 hours.
that means you need a minimum 400 amp battery bank. Most motorhomes of your vintage have appx 200-250ah battery banks. (2 x 12 volt batteries). Also consider the battery bank needs recharging every day.

As for the batteries going dead, the two coach batteries should be able to be used independently from the 1 chassis battery.

May be best to try and plug your cpap into household current for the night if possible or look into getting a 12 volt cpap that draws less current.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:49 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. All this numbers have my head in a spin. But it sounds to me like the short answer is that I will have to run the generator all night or be on shore power to run my Cpap! Thanks again for all the good information....
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:33 AM   #7
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Thanks for the comments. All this numbers have my head in a spin. But it sounds to me like the short answer is that I will have to run the generator all night or be on shore power to run my Cpap! Thanks again for all the good information....
I really don't think so. CPAPs are 12vdc machines. They come setup with 120vac plugs, but have converters to step down to 12vdc. At this point I'm talking the air pump.

*Some* CPAPs come with humidifiers and some of them come with 120vac heaters for the humidifiers.

My wife's is one of the latter. This describes what it looks like. A 120vac plug goes to a black box. From this box a 120v wire goes to the heater. Another wire goes to the CPAP and plugs into it with a 12v plug.

Being faced with your problem, I bought a cig liter plug from the manufacturer online ($15). Then I bought a cig lighter receptical from Radio Shack. I wired that to a 12v wall light. Now the CPAP runs on 12v and off the coach battery. The humidifier still works but is no longer heated. Wife says no difference.

The 2.5 amp is AC when using the heater, and that is MAX amps on High. Since you can eliminate the heater and 120vac, you only need 12v and the wifes is only 2 amp dc.

Even with 1 12v battery, I'm very confident you can run your CPAP all night without using the generator.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:48 AM   #8
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Im a little confused, I need to disconnect the humitifier? I need to ware the cpap directly to a light? No converter? There seems to be two plugs on the 12 volt side of my cord. Is one for the cpap and one for the heater?
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:54 AM   #9
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Do I need something like this?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:22 AM   #10
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Ok I looked at my machine again. It has a single pole plug in it. Are you saying that this is a simple two ware plug? I can hook a lighter plug to it and run it from my lights with no converter, inverter or anything other than just two leads from the battery???
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Im a little confused, I need to disconnect the humitifier? I need to ware the cpap directly to a light? No converter? There seems to be two plugs on the 12 volt side of my cord. Is one for the cpap and one for the heater?
I don't know what brand or model you have, if you post that, I could be more specific. However, you shouldn't have to disconnect the humidifier.

Start at the wall plug of your unit. It goes to a box that is a converter. Out of that box you should have 2 wires. One goes to the CPAP and plugs into it with a small round connector, which is 12v.

The second wire should be a 120v wire (not converted by the box) which goes to the humidifier. On ours it's permanently attached to the humidifier. This wire powers the heater.

So, if you can get by without the heater, you do not need an inverter and run your generator all night. But, you do need A 12v power sourse at the location you want to use the CPAP. If you sleep close enough to the cig lighter in the dash, you just need to get the cig cord for your CPAP. These are available at http://cpap.com

Because our bedroom is in the back of the MH, I had to tap into a 12v circuit to power the CPAP, which happen to be a sconse light since it was next to the bed.

I don't know if you have the electrical knowledge to perform what I did in the bedroom but, if you can get this done, you will save $$$ on an inverter and a ton of $$$ on generator fuel.

One last thought, if you can utilize the dash plug, be aware this will run off your chassis battery. You will want to be sure when you have shore power or run the generator, that your system also charges your chassis battery.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #12
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Do I need something like this?
Yes, but you would have to cut your existing wire to use this. It would be better to buy a new cig plug cord for your specific machine. Then you cant still use it on 120v when that's available.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Ok I looked at my machine again. It has a single pole plug in it. Are you saying that this is a simple two ware plug?
Yes, there are 2 small wires inside of it, which are 12v.
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I can hook a lighter plug to it and run it from my lights with no converter, inverter or anything other than just two leads from the battery???
Correct. Again, if you just cut the wire and add a cig plug, you will not be able to run it again on 120v unless you reconnect it back to the converter box that came with your CPAP.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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Thank you for the suggestions and help. I did cut the 110 wire from the Cpap and put a liter plug on the 12volt side and spliced in a receptacle in next to the bed. I have two new deep cycle batteries and I run the machine for eight hours. Batteries seem to not have been effected? I say that because the test panel still shows batter 1 and battery 2 still looking good or have same number of lights. I do wonder if I will have to run the engine for eight hours in order to put back the charge I used????
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