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Old 06-20-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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Inverter question

We'll be picking up our 5.0 in a couple of weeks and that devil in the details is keeping me up at night. Quick questions...

I am having a 12 volt outlet installed at the foot of the bed near the television mount. The TV we have is a 22 inch Samsung that according to its specs uses up to about 35 watts. The television uses an AC/DC converter as a power supply.

My questions are:
(1) can I use an inexpensive 150 watt inverter plugged into the 12 volt outlet to run the television without burning down the trailer or frying the TV?
(2) Can I buy an adapter so the television can run directly from the 12 volt plug without the inverter?
(3) Is it worth it to ask Reace at this stage of the build to install something like a 1000 watt inverter for the TV and maybe the microwave too. What the heck, right?

Thanks.

Tim

P.S. I'm trying to avoid calling Kim or Tammy AGAIN.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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Tim:

If your TV will run directly from the 12 volt outlet this would seem to be the easiest solution.

Before we wired in a 300 watt true sine wave inverter we used a small 200 watt portable modified sine wave inverter that plugged into our 12 volt outlet. We used it both in the car and trailer and it was useful for charging batteries and worked okay.

I installed our 300 watt inverter myself this year after we had Escape install our solar system. We don't have a microwave in our trailer and our needs are modest. There is no end to "going big".
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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If you are planning on using a inverter for a microwave you will need a inverter that is 1500 watts or larger. Possibly a larger battery bank.
Estimated Watts
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
If you are planning on using a inverter for a microwave you will need a inverter that is 1500 watts or larger. Possibly a larger battery bank.
Estimated Watts
Jubal, have you taken into account that the microwave in the 19' and probably the 5.0 is 700 watts??
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
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No, I did not know the microwave supplied by Escape trailers uses 700 watts. After corresponding with Escape, I thought the demand was higher. Still 700 watts is close to the recommended 30% margin.
Thank you for the information.
Sigh, another senior moment.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:47 AM   #6
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Thanks folks.

I tried the television in my truck with my 150 watt inexpensive Tripp Lite inverter and it seemed to work fine.

I hesitate to use it in the trailer because everything I've read says the inverter must be as close to the battery as possible with heavy gauge connections. My 12 volt outlet in the 5.0 will be about as far from the battery as possible. I'm guessing the wire from the battery to the 12 volt plug Reace installs in the trailer can support a 150 watt inverter (about 12 amps?). The television should draw only about 3 amps (35 watts/12 volts), so I think I'm OK.

Thanks again.

Tim
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:12 AM   #7
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With only 3 amp draw you should be fine from the factory 12v outlet. Ideally a 12v plug that fits your tv would also work.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Careful with this...

I ran into a problem trying to run a 65W laptop off a Canadian Tire inverter. The problem isn't that the wiring or outlet can't handle 65W, but rather that the voltage drop across the distance to the outlet is sufficient that the inverter gives up and cuts out. When I plugged my laptop in, the voltage display on the inverter starts to drop, and when it drops far enough (around 11 or 11.5V for the Canadian Tire model I was using), the inverter gives an alarm and cuts the power.

You can find various voltage drop calculators on the internet (e.g.: Voltage Drop Calculator). To use it, you need to know the wire material (copper) and size (Reace uses 16ga for outlet wiring), voltage (12.5V is a good number to use), phase (DC), # of conductors (single set), distance (maybe 25'?) and load (3A for 35W).

Plug those numbers into the calculator, and it tells you the voltage at your outlet will be about 11.9V. You're probably OK with that, but maybe not.

If you will be heart-broken if you can't use your TV at that outlet, you might want to ask Reace to increase the wire size, or find a TV that runs off 12V.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvansnell View Post
If your TV will run directly from the 12 volt outlet this would seem to be the easiest solution.
I agree.

Tim, is the output of the TV convert 12V or slightly higher? It should be labeled right on the converter. Does the manual list an acceptable input voltage range?

A Jensen TV in our motorhome uses an external converter like this, and was even supplied the a power cord ending in just bare wires for connection to a vehicle's DC power. Jensen intends this model for mobile use. Of course the idiots at Damon used the converter and didn't provide a DC outlet at the TV location so we still need AC power to run it...
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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Jim and Brian— When I bought the TV I saw that it had an AC/DC power brick and assumed it was 12 volts. Of course, it's 14 volts input.

If my little inverter works then my wife and son will be happy to watch some TV while off grid. If not, so be it.

Perhaps I'll install an inverter (or give Reace a call) down the road.

Thanks again for everybody's help.

Tim
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