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Old 06-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Inverter for MH (for 2 tv's, VCR, coffeemaker)

I have been scouring the threads for inverter information. I think I have it figured out but am not sure. I'd like to have power (while driving) to a 19 inch tv upfront with a dvd/vcr as well as a 15 inch tv in the rear (both tube style).

I'd also like to have available power to power a coffee maker. There is potential for power to all 3 at the same time as we have 4 kids.
I have a Class C with only the main battery under the hood and an extra battery that is conected to the generator.

I believe I am after a "true Sine Wave 1500 watt inverter". To my understanding I dont want a "modified" inverter (u/k reason)..is this correct?

Is the 1500 watt overkill or not enough power (maybe 1000 watt good?) Am I fine to connect it to the existing generator battery?

Thx very much
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
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Our motorhome came with a 600 watt inverter that powers both tvs.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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I have used a 2000 watt MSW inverter for the last 6 years. It powers the 1100 watt microwave as needed. It powers the Keurig coffee maker as needed. It powers my oxygen concentrator and compressor as needed. All this while on the road or boondocked with generator off. Of course power must be managed. The heavy loads I mention run best individually. My early experience in buying inverters is that you really need one that has a continuous rating of 180% of your anticipated heaviest load. You will need at least two good coach batteries, and do not skimp on cable size, mounting the inverter within 24 inches of the batteries. If boondocking is your bag, you may want more batteries. Good luck!!
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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Hi BadBoy,
My assumption is you have totaled the WATTS of the appliances mentioned in the OP. If true, then you know the WATTS needed to power the appliances mentioned. The real challenge is the batteries. Space for the batteries as well as running the wiring and connecting everything. If you get into 1500 WATT inverters, 4 batteries would be needed, at a minimum. That is a lot of weight and space. Lastly, you'll need to determine how to keep the batteries charged when traveling and when camped.

What you are trying to do has been discussed many times. It is a big job.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
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1000 to 1500 watts for two TV's VCR and Coffeemaker

If that front TV is where the driver can see it.. KEEP IT TURNED OFF when driving. I am serious.. The fine would easily pay for a 1,000 watt inverter.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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If you just want to use it while driving then one battery is probably enough so long as it charges from the engine alternator. Now you may want to insure that the alternator is capable of supporting the load and has adequate cables between it and the inverter. As to watts add up the total of the three items and add say 10% for fudge factor.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
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I believe the load your talking about may be at the 1500-1600 watt level. Like some here have already suggested, you should have the added total load, in watts, that you expect to be running at the same time. That being said running an inverter at 100% will create a lot of heat which you will have to provide ventilation for and which will make finding a location for it more difficult.
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:50 PM   #8
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I don't think you need a true sine inverter for that stuff. I don't have one, the TV's work fine, so do the laptop and phone chargers.

Do you really want to be making hot coffee on the road?

We have a portable 400 watt cheapy. It will barely run a 19" tube TV, a laptop, and one of a video game or dvd player.

I need to get a bigger one, an 800 or maybe a 1000. Again, a modified sine. These things should cost a hundred, not a thousand.

Also, you might double check, our bedroom TV is 12 volt for some odd reason.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:08 PM   #9
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The only thing that comes to mind that fails to work with MSW inverters is electric blanket controllers, which reportedly burned out. Plug-in transformers that in turn recharge a battery powered portable device should be tested for high heat when used on inverter power. Again, I recommend a 2000 watt hard-wired MSW inverter. Good luck!!
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:20 PM   #10
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Plugging in Main MH Power Line into Inverter(while driving)?

Okay, I have found an inverter. Just wondering what you folks thought about plugging in the main power line (with adapter) right into the inverter while driving? I wouldnt go crazy with all the plug-ins on at once but I think that would enable me to use the existing plug-ins while driving?

I understand about the loss of power due to the distance from battery & inverter to the main power line but surely there would still be enough to power the tv's? Just trying to save some cutting etc...hmmmm??? thinkoin heavy duty extension cord would work well.

Anyone ever done this..forgive me if I sound like a moron haha
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:46 AM   #11
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You want to keep those DC wires as short as possible. The length os the coach is way too long.
The 12 volt side of an inverter pulls a lot of current under load, ~ TEN times the current delivered on the AC side.

I bought my new inverter yesterday, and I'll be installing it today.
Black and Decker from Lowes, $79. Also bought a length of 8 gauge black and red stranded wire, and some heavy duty fuseholders from the car audio department in Radio shack.

The inverter will go in the left most overhead compartment. I'll pull the trim off the drivers side and run the wiring down to the DC control center on the firewall, attach the fuse, use the unused aux battery lug to get inside, and pull power from the load side of the house battery disconnect relay. This way the inverter will shut off when I hit the discinnect.

On the AC side... The circuit is labelled "Appliance" and it has a 20 amp breaker. It goes to the fridge, then to an outlet above the pass side recliner, then forward to the the overhead console and an outlet at the passengers feet.

I'm going to break this circuit at the recliner, and run the inverter AC into it in the overhead.
The fridge will still get normal shore power from the appliance breaker, but everything from the recliner forward will be powered by the inverter.

I'm gonna stick the little one behind the fridge, and use it to run the ice maker!
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:44 AM   #12
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If you run all that stuff at the same time you will be drawing 100 amps or more which will require at least three batteries and large cables between the batteries and inverter.

The best way to wire the inverter is through a separate circuit breaker panel. If you plug in the whole house you will have to remember to turn off the air conditioner, refrigerator, water heater and anything else that used 120 volts electric.

What will you use to charge the batteries? If you drain down three batteries and have a small converter it may take days to recharge the batteries and if the alternator is not large enough it may everheat and be destroyed while driving.

Just adding a 1500 watt inverter will turn into a big and expensive job if done properly. The system must be balanced between the batteries, the charging system(s), the inverter and the loads.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:55 AM   #13
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BadBoy,

I was in a similar position with the RV I bought used last year . . . I did quite a bit of research and upgraded last month.

Here's what I did:

Replaced 2 older 12v deep cycle house batteries with 2 new 6v golf cart batteries from Sam's Club, approx. $75 each and wired them in series using existing wiring.

Installed a 1200 watt inverter (Amazon.com: Vector VEC053D 1,200 Watt D/C To A/C Power Inverter With Power Levelů) which I was able to get at a Black & Decker Outlet store near me for $99.

It did not come with cables, but 3' long 4 gauge cables were available for approx. $12. The cables had round eyes on one end to attach to the battery and came with (unattached) studs that fit into the inverter . . . I guess that would make installation easier IF you had a crimper for such heavy gauge wire?? . . . I had to find someone in town to crimp them and then drill a large enough hole to pass the end with the eye through to the battery compartment.

The most useful thing that I learned in my research is that installing an inverter is a little like real estate . . . location, Location, LOCATION!! . . . you MUST keep the inverter close to your batteries and use heavy gauge SHORT cables.

My house batteries are on a tray directly below the driver's seat. I mounted the inverter behind the pedestal on the seat and drilled holes into the battery compartment. Since I needed holes big enough to get the cable eyes through, I then wrapped the cables with black electrical tape and used silicone sealant and rubber grommets to seal around the cables. Once the cables were attached to the inverter I wrapped the positive stud/connection with electrical tape in case anything metallic came in contact.

I topped off the project with a PD9260C charger/converter upgrade to keep the batteries charged. I haven't tried merging the batteries to get juice from the alternator yet, but may do so on longer trips this summer.

YMMV, but the 1200 watts and 2 golf cart batteries work fine for my needs . . . runs the front flat screen, laptop, cell phone chargers and a box fan for several hours in the evening and makes coffee in the AM with the flat screen running for a couple of hours before I fire up the generator to re-charge. I doubt that your one 12v house battery and alternator will keep up with your needs even with an new inverter??
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post

We have a portable 400 watt cheapy. It will barely run a 19" tube TV, a laptop, and one of a video game or dvd player.
Jim,

By chance, does it get 12v from the cigarette lighter socket?? . . . I couldn't get anything close to 400 watts out of mine because the internal wiring to the cigarette lighter socket was so tiny.
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