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Old 08-15-2014, 06:18 PM   #141
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The reason we are considering the inverter with the 120v outlets wired to it is because we may have many different items to charge at once and will need many outlets (12volt or 120volt) to do them all. Typically, we will come home from a weekend out and about exploring and will immediately plug two battery chargers with 4 NiMH batteries in each to recharge; also the battery chargers from my two cameras and my wife’s camera, so that’s three more. This doesn’t include the two laptops and two iPhones. All of the chargers we have now fit 120v outlets so we would have to replace them all with 12v power adapters, and I don’t know if Canon and Nikon make 12v battery chargers for their camera batteries, and they are all different. If we get 12v power adapters for all of them we will also need more 12v power connections in the trailer (at $50 each), so 6 or 8 more would be $300-$400, so when you add that to the cost of extra 12v power adapters for each device it’s getting up to the same cost as the 1500w inverter. And, there are already 4 120v power outlets in the trailer anyway; why not use those with the adapters we already have for our devices instead of adding more 12v connections?
The reason I posed my question was to see if there was a downside to installing the inverter (other than the cost). Specifically, I wanted to understand if once all 120V outlets are wired into the inverter does that still allow one to power those outlets via a current bush if plugged in so as to bypass the inverter in that situation. I believe “drpaddle” has given me the answer, which is “transfer switch”. I’ll run that by ETI for confirmation on that being installed with the full-on inverter installation.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:15 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by JabberwockJazzy View Post
Typically, we will come home from a weekend out and about exploring and will immediately plug two battery chargers with 4 NiMH batteries in each to recharge; also the battery chargers from my two cameras and my wife’s camera, so that’s three more. This doesn’t include the two laptops and two iPhones. All of the chargers we have now fit 120v outlets so we would have to replace them all with 12v power adapters, and I don’t know if Canon and Nikon make 12v battery chargers for their camera batteries, and they are all different.
To charge from 12V:
  • For the iPhones and similar mobile equipment, the charging standard is USB, so you just use under-$10 adapters as posted above... no big deal.
  • I don't know if Nikon sells a 12VDC charger (I doubt that they do), but we use a Nikon-specific aftermarket charger (which runs from either 12VDC or 120VAC as desired) for the batteries for our D70 and D300 cameras. I would expect to be able to find a similar charger for common Canon batteries.
  • The most expensive equipment to accommodate would be the laptops. 12VDC power supplies are readily available for normal laptops, but the last I checked Apple was still preventing production of them for the Mac laptops by withholding the proprietary Magsafe connector... a small inverter could be used for those.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:29 PM   #143
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I know nothing about batteries OR electricity other than paying the bill. Solar and generators and thinking about 12 volt... gives me a headache. I went with the two 6v batteries, bigger inverter and extra wire on the plugs... because I don't know what the future will bring. I know how I've camped in the past.. but future? I don't have a clue. BUT, I've read changing from a single battery to duals... cost bucks in a retrofit at ETI. I did it in the build, wasn't cheap and may not be needed EVER. But, I made my decision then... YMMV
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:49 PM   #144
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While I agree the more 12v outlets you have the more convenient it is ( I have 7x 12v in my unit) sometimes I wish there were more. Everything in the trailer can operate off 12v except for the a/c and microwave and most electronics are also dc operable. But converting a single battery to duals is not cost prohibitive except in the Escape 17 model. Both the 19, 21 and 5.0 have adequate space for expansion.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:28 PM   #145
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I resisted a inverter for along time. Put one in last summer mostly to run a hair dryer and curling iron for the "ladies" of the house . Found a hair dryer that draws under 1000 watts and it all works well.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:30 PM   #146
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Anyone else do the full inverter/transfer switch install to all 120v outlets in their trailer? Was it a good thing or did it turn out to be unnecessary? Would appreciate to hear experience with this ......
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:23 PM   #147
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Canon makes 12V chargers, there are also aftermarket ones available.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:57 PM   #148
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Anyone else do the full inverter/transfer switch install to all 120v outlets in their trailer? Was it a good thing or did it turn out to be unnecessary? Would appreciate to hear experience with this ......
You have to ask yourself whether or not you need it. I have it all but I installed it myself and already had the inverter laying around. I don't need it for my microwave but use it sometimes. The 700 watt microwave takes almost 10 minutes to boil two cups of water and puts a huge drain on the batteries so I boil water on my propane stove now in less time. I really like my inverter for my electric griddle and blender but wouldn't spend a lot of money to enable this capability. Like others said previously, 12vdc is the way to go for charging and powering almost everything. In the evening I am powering my cell phone, stereo system, lighting, computers and notepads, timer, clock ,etc all on the batteries.

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Old 08-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #149
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One solution for those that don't have enough 12V receptacles for all their chargers, etc is a splitter. They are inexpensive, and many include one or more USB charging ports. One example from Amazon.

While the example I pointed out doesn't get all that good reviews, there are many more available. Even though I have 5 12V receptacles in my 17B, I still find them useful. You do need to watch your overall amperage - don't use them to plug a bunch of heating devices, but multiple chargers should not be a problem.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #150
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I went 2x6V, 1500 watt inverter, full transfer switch, solar - I want to be able to use the microwave (some, not a lot) when dry camping with no generator. Also nice for coffee grinder. And used for power tools when working on it - my storage lot does not have power.
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