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Old 03-07-2013, 07:26 AM   #41
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Really. Those power tools don't work good without something to power them, and we have advanced here in Canada beyond using power tools now. We do not have power out at our rec land.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:19 AM   #42
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I wonder if Tim Taylor from "Home Improvement" could expand on this?
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:37 PM   #43
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How difficult is it to replace the stock wiring from the batteries to the inverter? I have considered this after noticing the current wiring is a bit small in gauge from what I would prefer. We don't use any high-power-requirement appliances but I think running larger gauge wire, say #8, would be a good idea.

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:48 PM   #44
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It depends on the size of your inverter. Typical draw on the 12V side of the inverter is at least 10X the draw on the 120V output. For example, If you have a 1000 watt inverter, the maximum output draw will be 1000 watts / 120V or 8.3 amps. Since there are losses in the inverter & you might not have a calculator handy, an easy way to do the calculation is pretending the output voltage is 100, adding some space for inverter losses. Using that, you can expect to draw 10 amps out which ends up being 100 amps in.

Even if you don't plan to "ever" load the inverter to its maximum, the wiring should be planned for it. You don't know what the future will bring & rewiring later is a pain. A wire size table such as Powerstream's is a starting point. Using the the table values for chassis wiring, it appears that a #6 wire would be adequate for 100 amp load (table quotes 101 amps), however you also have to take in the voltage drop caused by that current going through the wire. There is a calculator further down the page that lets you determine voltage drop.

For example, using the calculator for a 10' run of #6 wire, the voltage drop would be 0.813V so the input of the inverter would see 11.187V. Most inverters would shut down at this low voltage, thinking the battery was going dead. (Note - there is actually some leeway since a fully charged 12V battery is going to be at more than 12V.)

Anyway, the wire size is going to have to be increased to keep the voltage drop within reason. Xantrax recommends a minimum wire size for its 1000W inverter of #0. While that is pretty conservative, even with that size you will lose .2V heating the wiring. The important thing is to consider voltage drop in the wiring since you are working with low voltages. While 3% loss is used to calculate house wiring; that doesn't work for 12V wiring since you are starting with a lower voltage.

Sorry to go on so much about inverter wiring, but as I said, it is a pain to redo it. As to the wiring itself, I had cables made for me by GenuineDealz. While it would have been less expensive to do it myself, they have a good range of colors, can put what ever ends you want on the cable (and cover them with heat shrink) etc. I enlarged the hole in the floor the original #10 wiring ran through and resealed around the new wiring. If you have a 6V system, don't forget the jumper between batteries.

Be sure to add a catastrophic fuse as close to the battery as possible. I used a 150 amp fuse. I also wanted the ability to shut off the high power wiring into the inverter so I added a 250 amp switch.

Hope I answered all your questions.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #45
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Where does this leave me?

I'm not an electrical engineer so about now I'm getting a brain cramp.
What does all this mean? A trailer needs to be re-wired to run a coffee maker? The trailer comes with several 110v. outlets. What can be safely used from those outlets? Sorry. I'm real confused.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #46
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An inverter is used to make 120V AC from your battery. The outlets in the trailer are only live when plugged into a campground pedestal or a generator. If you want to run 120V devices when you don't have either, an inverter is necessary. The size of the inverter (and the wire feeding it) is determined by the largest load you plan to connect to it. If you don't dry camp, there is no need for one. Hope that clears things up!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #47
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There are 2 circuits in your Escape, a low voltage 12v system and a household 110v system. One operates off your battery and one while plugged in at a campsite. There are devices that will allow you to convert a 12v system to operate some 110 appliances, separate from your household outlets.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #48
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Catching On

Thanks. Things are becoming a bit clearer.
If one puts in an inverter to provide 110AC from a 6v DC source you need an inverter to change the voltage. Inverters come in various outputs depending on the Amps required to drive the desired device. The wires to the outlets need to be sufficient gauge to carry the load.
And then there is a crossover switch to switch the outlets from inverter supplied power to nuclear supplied power?
So, if an inverter is in the future it's best to put it in when the trailer is being put together?
Am I close?
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:52 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
There are devices that will allow you to convert a 12v system to operate some 110 appliances, separate from your household outlets.
Someone in another thread mentioned what they use. I am seldom plugged in at a campsite and I didn't need an inverter hardwired into the system, so I followed their advice and bought this:

Amazon.com: Tripp Lite PV375 Portable Auto Inverter 375W 12V DC to AC 120V 5-15R 2 Outlet: Electronics
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #50
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Getting close, not sure about the crossover switch statement.
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