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Old 12-15-2005, 09:59 AM   #1
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I do not do much dry camping but am thinking about putting an Inverter to run the TV and power antena when we stop at Wall Mart or at a Football game tailgating.
I was trying to avoid all the wiring and expense. Why is the bad side of using a heavy duty 20 amp extension cord from my 50 amp plug and plugging it into the inverter. This would give me power thru the coach's panel box.
I have two 6 volt batteries installed in the steps and was thinking of maybe a Xantrex ProWatt 1000 or similar.
Would this be stupid or should I continue to run the generator until bed time?
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:59 AM   #2
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I do not do much dry camping but am thinking about putting an Inverter to run the TV and power antena when we stop at Wall Mart or at a Football game tailgating.
I was trying to avoid all the wiring and expense. Why is the bad side of using a heavy duty 20 amp extension cord from my 50 amp plug and plugging it into the inverter. This would give me power thru the coach's panel box.
I have two 6 volt batteries installed in the steps and was thinking of maybe a Xantrex ProWatt 1000 or similar.
Would this be stupid or should I continue to run the generator until bed time?
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:21 AM   #3
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EZ why not just go to Wal-Mart and pick up a small inverter that can be plugged into your cigarette lighter. That will give you plenty of power for those items and it will run off the chassis batteries. I do that in my coach even though I have a 2500W inverter as it is not a sine wave inverter and interferes with the TV. If the batteries should go low the inverter will shut off so you can't kill the chassis batteries, and even if you did you probably have a switch to start you engine from the house batteries, but it should never happen.
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:44 AM   #4
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The downsides are that any inverter should be in an "out of the weather" compartment and not in by the batteries due to the hydrogen gasses in there that don't mix with electronics. Also, the larger the inverter, and the farther away from the batteries, the larger the wire guage required to feed the inverter. A 1000 watt inverter will pull about 100 amps of battery power so you will need some fair sized battery cables to handle it. Plus, it will give off a fair amount of heat so you can't bury it in too small a compartment as it needs adequate cooling airflow.

You could plug in your 50 amp cord with a pigtail adaptor to the 1,000 watt inverter. You would have to exercise some power management to make sure that the A/C is off, the microwave doesn't kick in, the electric water heater is switched off, etc.

The biggest thing is that 1,000 watts isn't big, but it isn't small either. You can't run everything, like a 2,500 watt inverter does but you still need somewhat decent sized wiring to power it. If all you want to do is run the TV I'd go with Floyd's idea and install a small unit just to power those items. That way you can get by a smaller wire gauge, probably #10. That would be an easier install and the heat rejection wouldn't be that great so you could stick it most anywhere.
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:28 AM   #5
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If you hardwire an inverter into your rig's electrical circuit you'll need to disconnect the trailer's converter from the electrical supply. Otherwise, you'll be creating an endless loop of electrical conversion which will surely blow a fuse, breaker, or result in damaged equipment.

Using a lower wattage inverter, make sure all high wattage equipment such as the Air Conditioner, electric water heater, refrigerator, etc., are all turned off after the converter is disconnected.

Good luck, I installed a hardwired 750 watt inverter in my rig and find it quite useful for powering the TV and satellite receiver for short periods of time when boon-docking.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:19 PM   #6
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Small inverters are dirt cheap on ebay. Walmart also has a variety of sizes. The smaller the inverter, the less juice it will take.
ALSO, you can wire an additional cigarette lighter jack right off any of your batteries. Make a cord as long as you like and put it where you need it. If you do that, I suggest you get one with an in-line fuse.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:37 PM   #7
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That's how I hooked my 1500 W inverter up. A semi permanent 12ga extension running from the shore power to the inverter. The inverter is in the compartment next to the door and the batteries are under the step. About 3' of 4 ga cable. A remote off/on switch for the inverter next to the gen. starter switch. Works everything but the ACs perfect. The only inconvenience is that I trip the circuit breaker that shuts down the converter. That is not necessary if I just run the TV tho.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. I took the suggestion and bought a 500 watt inverter from Sam's this weekend. It has either clips or a cigarette lighter plug and in a case. Not bad for $28.00. If I am not happy with it, not a lot lost.
Thanks again, the RV in having some warranty decals replaced so I have not tried it yet.
This at least will let me know if I need an inverter or not.
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