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Old 06-28-2011, 11:00 PM   #1
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How do you use an inverter...?

I am new to this inverter business. I have owned motorhomes for years but I now have one with an "inverter" besides a "converter." I have no owners manual so I don't know how to work it. do I just plug into an existing receptical? Does it need to be a GFI receptical? What is the typical amount of time I can use it on a 100 watt light bulb for example? I would appreciate some knowledgeable answers before I try it out.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #2
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An inverter takes 12vdc and converters it to 120vac. You would normally use it to run a TV while running down the road but not a light bulb since your MH has 12vdc bulbs. How long you can run on the inverter is according to how may watts the device you are running is using, how many batteries and what size the batteries are that supply the 12vdc to the inverter.

A convertor takes 120vac and provides you with 12vdc.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texnet View Post
An inverter takes 12vdc and converters it to 120vac. You would normally use it to run a TV while running down the road but not a light bulb since your MH has 12vdc bulbs. How long you can run on the inverter is according to how may watts the device you are running is using, how many batteries and what size the batteries are that supply the 12vdc to the inverter.

A convertor takes 120vac and provides you with 12vdc.
If you can see the TV from the drivers seat then it's illegal to have it on while in motion in a lot of states.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:28 AM   #4
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Give us the make & model of your inverter and we can probably get you a copy of the owners manual. Here are a few links for more info.

U.S.Battery/Leader in Deep Cycle Batteries
http://www.dcbattery.com/faq.html#1
Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
http://www.rvsolarelectric.com/sources.htm
Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ, Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List, and
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramzfan View Post
I am new to this inverter business. I have owned motorhomes for years but I now have one with an "inverter" besides a "converter." I have no owners manual so I don't know how to work it. do I just plug into an existing receptical? Does it need to be a GFI receptical? What is the typical amount of time I can use it on a 100 watt light bulb for example? I would appreciate some knowledgeable answers before I try it out.
Normally, you would use your inverter for times when you are not plugged in to 120V power, or running the generator. As far as how long it will run depends on the Amp hour size of the battery bank you have. here is the deal it roughly takes 100 amps at 12VDC input to the inverter to make 10 amp 120V ac output so as you can see it takes a large battery bank to sustain a large load (coffee pots, hair dryers, and such) for very long. Sounds systems,Tv's, sat.systems, don't draw many amps and for the most part will run a good while.Do some reading on amp hour compacity of batterys, loads appliances draw on the internet you can get a good idea how long things will run. Also remember you coach lighting is most likele 12V as well so it is drawing from the same batterys as your inverter.RV Wizard gave you some good sites.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:48 AM   #6
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If you can see the TV from the drivers seat then it's illegal to have it on while in motion in a lot of states.
Maybe so, but that where did I state the TV was in the FRONT... it was just an example
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:28 PM   #7
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You can turn the inverter on when you need 120v power and are not connected to shore power or using your generator. It is probably wired to provide power to some, but not all, of the appliances and outlets in the RV. If this was an aftermarket add-on rather than a factory install, it may be wired to only a few things, or may even require that you plug directly to the outlets on the inverter.

What make and model of inverter is it? Does it also act as the charger, or do you have a separate converter/charger?

It takes 10 battery amps to make 1 amp of 120vac, so that 100 watt light bulb (100w = 120v x 0.8 amps) requires 8 amps from the battery. A single 12v battery has about 50 amps-hours available for use, so it could power that light bulb for about 6 hours.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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Thanks Gary. That's the answer I was looking for.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Maybe so, but that where did I state the TV was in the FRONT... it was just an example
And where did you say that it was NOT in the front? In fact I specifically said "If you can see the TV from the drivers seat".
That was also an example and general statement.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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A Television "Up Front" in a motor home is usually protected by an igintion cut out so it can not come on when driving (This is, actually, done by law) good reasons for it, I do not recommend overriding that.

However sometimes you are parked where the power is not, In that case the inverter can power your television or house radio for your viewing/listening enjoyment.. Depending on the size of the inverter (mine is 2000 watts) it may warm your microwave or run your electric shaver as well (mine can do that) power your laptop and more.

Also,k if you have another television, (NOT where the driver can see it) the Inverter can run it.

Also it can run a video recorder (Digital or video tape) so my-lady's daytime drama's get recorded while I drive the house.

How to use it: This depends on the type of inverter.. The inverter I have is what I call an "INLINE" model, this means it has a 120 volt IN as well as out, and it switches between SHORE POWER and Inverter (battery power) automatically.. It also contains the converter that charges the batteires.. So I just leave it on and let it do it's thing.

Some have "Stand Alone" these do not have an 120 volt in, just battery in, and of course 120 volt out.. On this kind when it's not needed, turn it OFF.

WHen putting rig in storage, on both of them, turn off, NOW: Mine has 3 on/off switches (And a 4th optional) to turn off for storage, I use the one on the inverter itself (or the optional remote which I do not have) this one kills 120 volt pass through as well as all other functions.

However since we full time.. I don't do that any more
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:20 PM   #11
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I have a auto tracking sat and a up front tv and yes I can watch tv going down the road but generally don't because I busy texting. Just kidding at least the texting part.
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