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Old 03-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #51
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There are alternatives to running high-draw household appliances with an inverter.
Instead of a electric coffee maker, you can use your propane stove to heat water for a cone filter or French press. You can get a TV that will run on 12V DC or 120 AC. You can get non-powered waffle, toaster and sandwich makers for use on the propane stove or your bonfire.
Instead of an electric hair-dryer, you can sit in the sun.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:06 PM   #52
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I mis-spoke in my previous post. We don't use an inverter. We just have the CONverter. I was considering replacing the stock #10 wire with #8 and wondered how easy/hard that would be. Can I use the existing hole and simply pull the larger wire through or do I have to make a larger opening?

Doug
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:18 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
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

I'd be very careful using that at full power plugged into the supplied 12 volt receptacle in the trailer. I would say that maximum would be 150 watts using the 12 volt receptacle and that might be pushing it depending on the length of the supply wire.

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:53 PM   #54
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You've got to be careful with these units. This one, for example: 375W delivered through 12v means you need 30A. I don't care what the package says, you're not going to sustain 375W with that unit. The 12V wires in your trailer won't support it, and the wires on the unit itself won't support it. For a short use, sure, but trying to sustain 375W could be dangerous.

I use a smaller one for charging batteries and things. 100W, iirc. That's only 8A over the 12v system -- shouldn't be a problem. If I needed to push it to 200W, I'd want to confirm the trailer wiring could handle the amperage. Anything bigger than that and I want a unit wired in with adequate wiring.

So, how much wattage do you need to sustain?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #55
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heh... what Barry said...
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry View Post
I'd be very careful using that at full power plugged into the supplied 12 volt receptacle in the trailer. I would say that maximum would be 150 watts using the 12 volt receptacle and that might be pushing it depending on the length of the supply wire.

Barry
Thank you! I only bought it to charge up a cell phone, tablet, iPod, laptop, or e-reader, none of which I have. But one never knows what the future holds.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:11 PM   #57
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Anything bigger than that and I want a unit wired in with adequate wiring.
Exactly!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #58
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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?
pkgman51
Some users wire a transfer switch so one or more circuits "switch" when the inverter is used. Others simply add a separate receptacle that is only powered when the inverter is on. It does make sense to have an inverter installed when the trailer is built - I believe Reace is currently installing them (or considering it) as an option.

Again, this isn't a necessary item, however if you dry camp and want to use 120V devices, particularly high powered ones, they are useful. If you have a large inverter you do have to consider how you are going to ''Refill" the batteries. I have the solar option from Escape and most days my batteries are back to 100% by noon. Without solar, you would need to run a generator, run the tow vehicle or plug into shore power every couple of days to recharge.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:37 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by NuthatchBC View Post
I mis-spoke in my previous post. We don't use an inverter. We just have the CONverter. I was considering replacing the stock #10 wire with #8 and wondered how easy/hard that would be. Can I use the existing hole and simply pull the larger wire through or do I have to make a larger opening?

Doug
While there are a few technical reasons for using large wires between the batteries & your converter, for the most part the #10 wire Escape uses is OK. Going up one wire size won't provide all that much of an advantage.

This may be getting too technical, but the major reason for going to a larger wire size is to get a 3 stage converter to go into the Boost stage. A 3 stage converter has a Boost (14.4V typical) a nominal stage (13.6V typical) and a float stage (13.2V typical). For the fastest charging you want the boost stage. The problem with the boost stage is it works well until the batteries reach about 80% of full, but after that start to "boil" the batteries. Too long in the boost stage will run the batteries dry. The nominal stage is for finishing off the last 20% & normal operating conditions & the float is used when the batteries are fully charged. The converter electronics determine what stage to use.

The problem is the voltage drop caused by too small a wire size between the batteries and the converter keeps it from going into the boost stage. In the nominal stage the batteries will charge, but slowly. If you are running a generator to recharge your batteries you want to do it as quickly as possible. Typically, a #6 or larger wire is used to get the best performance out of a 40 - 60 amp converter.

Again, for the short wire run typical in a small fiberglass trailer and the smaller 30 amp converter usually used, #10 wire is OK unless you do a lot of dry camping & need to recharge with a generator running for a short time.

A very useful website for 12 v RV information is The 12V Side of Life, Parts 1 & 2.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:53 PM   #60
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Back to that Tripp Lite inverter...

The operating manual available from the manufacturer's product web page contains this statement:
Quote:
Vehicle Electrical System Limitations
NOTE: Due to the limitations of certain vehicles’12VDC lighter/accessory outlet electrical systems,you may not be able to continuously run a full load (375 watts) from PV375 models. If you regularlyblow fuses, it may indicate your vehicle is not adequately wired to support a PV375 as it is designed.In this case, consult vehicle manufacturer recommendations for rewiring from the fuse block orbatterywith appropriate wiring (10 - 12 gauge) and fusing (at least 40 amp
While I would be a little leery of the 16-gauge input cord, the specs indicate a unit which should be able to sustain the rated 375 watt ouput, but of course that means 12VDC supply wiring (and "lighter" socket suitable for use at the inverter's stated input current of up to 40 amps.

I have a similar inverter in our van, and have no problems with it... but I don't power anything big enough to be an issue for the van's accessory socket and wiring.

If I were to plan on running something like this at more than about 100 watts, I would consider replacing the plug with a different design (trolling motor style? Powerpoles?) and installing a supply circuit of suitable capacity terminated in the corresponding receptacle. I wonder if Escape would install that at build time as a custom option?
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