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Old 11-03-2006, 12:46 AM   #1
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Hello, I have been watching for a deal on a good inverter so I can have A/C while on the road.
Now what I'm wondering is what all do you run from your inverter. I'm trying to figure out really how much inverter I need and I would love to hear from you good folks about what you use your inverters for and when. Do you just run the genny while on the road? I would like to save the gas not running the genny and of coarse the noise from it running. This is an upgrade for me and a fun one if I was to admit it. Just dont tell me wife I'm enjoying this upgrade
Thanks in advance, Have a great day!
Roy
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:46 AM   #2
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Hello, I have been watching for a deal on a good inverter so I can have A/C while on the road.
Now what I'm wondering is what all do you run from your inverter. I'm trying to figure out really how much inverter I need and I would love to hear from you good folks about what you use your inverters for and when. Do you just run the genny while on the road? I would like to save the gas not running the genny and of coarse the noise from it running. This is an upgrade for me and a fun one if I was to admit it. Just dont tell me wife I'm enjoying this upgrade
Thanks in advance, Have a great day!
Roy
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:58 AM   #3
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Most of use want to be able to run the microwave to reheat something, make a pot of coffee, watch TV w/ DVD, VCR or satellite or use a blow dryer. To do this a 2000 watt is a very common size inverter but is usually install at the factory due to the complexity and cost. THis is not to say it cannot be added after market; it can but unless you are well versed in electrical cicuitry it would be best left to a professional to do it correctly or at least have an electrician oversee your work. Here is a site that might be of some intrest: http://www.rvsolarelectric.com/sources.htm Good luck and let us know if we can be of further help.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:01 AM   #4
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Like RV Wizard said most just use the inverter to run appliances or watch TV. It would take quite an inverter to be able to run an air conditioner. Our coach is equipped with a 2000 watt Xantrex inverter/charger that we use as described above.

We use the generator if we want to run the roof air while on the road or boondocking. Most all generators just use 1/2 gal. of fuel @hr. on a light load to 1 gal. for really heavy load.
In all truthfullness I have never really noticed the difference in fuel consumption when running the generator while traveling and running both roof airs.

Compared to the fuel the CAT is using, the genset is minor.

Ron
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:58 AM   #5
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Hi Roy,

As the others have said, the inverter is very useful for powering 120 VAC appliances while on the road. Typically though, the inverter powers those 120 volt appliances that use high current for short periods of time and lower power appliances for longer periods of time. As an example, the inverter can run off battery power making 120 VAC to run your television for many hours, however to run your microwave, you may only get 1 hour of use. Running the A/C would deplete your batteries very quickly.

You're right in your thinking though that if you are driving down the road, you are charging the batteries while the inverter is discharging them so the project should work. This logic is correct, and we run our inverter all the time to run small appliances while traveling. My kids watch television, play DVDs, etc on 120 volts AC all the time when we're traveling.

Running the air conditioner though takes a lot of power. A typical A/C might consume 13 amps at 120 VAC. That equates to roughly 1560 watts. To invert 12 volts DC to 120 VAC, is increasing the voltage 10 times. By increasing the voltage 10 times, the DC current consumed is increased by approximently 10 times (plus efficiency losses) hence you'll require 130 amps plus the efficiency loss. The total battery power consumed will end up being 140-150 amps of DC power.

You can see by drawing that amount of power from your DC battery system, unless you have multiple alternators or a 250-300 amp alternator like some large busses, you can't run air conditioners for very long from the inverter.

Another item to consider is that energy is never free. Even if you had a alternator large enough to handle the long term power requirements of the air conditioner, the generation of DC by the engine consumes fuel. That DC power then has to be converted to AC by the inverter which may be 90 % efficient. You will probably use more fuel by the additional load on the alternator rather than just running the generator for a high load appliance like the air conditioner.

The inverter is still a very worthwhile addition to your rig, but it's use is more for short term or lower power requirement uses. It's perfect for the television or for heating something in the microwave. The microwave draws high current for short periods of time while the TV is long term low power. Both are perfect applications for the inverter.
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:35 AM   #6
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An inverter is great for everything except the air conditioner and refrigerator these appliances use alot of power. I installed a RS2000 inverter with a sub panel and added 2 more T-105 6 vt batteries a total of 4. This unit runs everything except the refrigerator and air conditioner.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:24 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your replies, I should have stated my post a little different. I said I wanted to have A/C while on the road and what I meant was ac 110vac power while on the road. I really never thought I would be able to run the inverter for the Air Conditioner but I was hoping to run the fridge so I didnt need to use the propane while driving. I heard from people about how unsafe using the propane while one the road is but I used to do it all the time with our camper. I thought that a coffee pot and microwave would be cool and of coarse the kids want tv and maybe playstation or something.
Sounds to me that a 2000 watt inverter is the most common and I think that is what I will go with. I've seen the 3000watt vectors but even if you are not using them they are pulling a couple of amps doing nothing.
So, thanks for your input and your great idea's.
Have a great day!
Roy
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:32 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by realtyroy:
Thanks everyone for your replies, I should have stated my post a little different. I said I wanted to have A/C while on the road and what I meant was ac 110vac power while on the road. I really never thought I would be able to run the inverter for the Air Conditioner but I was hoping to run the fridge so I didnt need to use the propane while driving. I heard from people about how unsafe using the propane while one the road is but I used to do it all the time with our camper. I thought that a coffee pot and microwave would be cool and of coarse the kids want tv and maybe playstation or something.
Sounds to me that a 2000 watt inverter is the most common and I think that is what I will go with. I've seen the 3000watt vectors but even if you are not using them they are pulling a couple of amps doing nothing.
So, thanks for your input and your great idea's.
Have a great day!
Roy </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Roy,

I had no problems running the refridgerator and even the microwave (reheating coffee) on my old coach using the $39, 700W inverter from Harbor Freight. My current coach came with a 400W inverter built into the entertainment area so I have not felt a pressing need to get a second yet.

Just don't load up and manage the loads and you may be surprised what you can do for well under $100.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:48 AM   #9
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I run my fridge on AC current off of the inverter while traveling without the generator running with no problem. It is alreay cold though, so it doesn't run that much. I have a 1500w Xantex/Trace inverter and 4 6V golf cart batteries and 2 12V starting batteries. My alternator is a 160A model. If I want to run the air conditioners while traveling I run the generator. I need 50A shore power to run both AC units and everything else if I'm not running the genset.
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:21 AM   #10
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I installed a 2000 watt invertor that I purchased at Harbor Freight. I run my laptop & refrigerator. I have (2) Sears Diehard group 27 deep cycle batteries.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:08 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by realtyroy:
I thought that a coffee pot and microwave would be cool and of coarse the kids want tv and maybe playstation or something. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Roy,

That's exactly what we use our inverter for and it works very well. My kids can't travel without the TV, and adapters plugged in for their toys. As long as the inverter keeps them happy when I'm driving, then I'm happy too
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:05 PM   #12
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To; Realtyroy;

Re; How much wattage inverter&gt;&gt;?

As you can see by my signature, I use the inverter whenever the rig is unplugged, which is probably 75% of the time., When plugged in the charging part of inverter is activated. Where I park and store rig, there is no electricity, so the solar panels keep batteries at 13.5 volts on Float mode with the solar controller , the 200 amp alternator also helps keep the batteries charged when driving because the frige and front A/C-heat-pump are run through inverter.

If affordable, invest in some solar panels and if you plan to keep rig awhile, buy a larger capacity inverter to hanle any future add-ons.

I had problems with my system for a couple of years until a tech at an FMCA rally took tthe time, about 3 hours, and found the manufacturer had not installed a ground wire from house batteries to chassis. The problems have been gone since we installed a 4/0 welding cable as ground. All other cables were changed to 4/0, trying to find problem before the non-ground was found.

Hope this info helps. Any questions, ASK AWAY

Thanks=== AIME=== AJBJRVERS===
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:18 AM   #13
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Here's a new alternator that might help the serious boondocker. ?

http://www.rasertech.com/tech_alternator.html
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