What's the deal with the INVERTER? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-22-2015, 03:36 PM   #1
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What's the deal with the INVERTER?

I'm trying to complete my build sheet and I'm stuck on this inverter business. I guess I don't really understand it, I know that sounds kind of lame but I've never had to deal with it. So do I need it?

Can someone explain the basics to me?
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:50 PM   #2
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Inverter creates AC voltage to feed your 110VAC outlets from the 12V battery when you want to run something with a household plug on it and you are not plugged into AC at a campground. Biggest criteria is the wattage of the device you want to plug in and how long you want to run it. Some must have their microwave, coffeepot, hair drier, or television but others don't. Usually people will get solar if they boondock a lot to recharge the batteries the inverter drains.

I didn't want to give up the storage space for a permanent one as portables are widely available if needed - but we have a 12V TV/DVD player if we want to watch movies while boondocking. If I'm planning on boondocking I just take a Honda 2000i generator along as it will also run the air conditioner should that be needed.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:50 PM   #3
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The inverter converts your battery current, which is DC into AC to operate things that have to be plugged in. However with some planning, most items can be operated off 12v as the entire trailer is, except for the a/c. Thus tv's and other small appliances can be purchased to operate off 12v, so inverters may not be needed, if you plan accordingly.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:20 PM   #4
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One of our favorite options. In the Escape 21 there are 5 AC outlets standard, however you must be hooked up to shore power to use them. With an inverter(we opted for the largest one ETI offers: 1500W) we can run a Vitamix blender. Some run other small appliances like TV's & DVD players that aren't 12V. It will power the microwave ETI sells- it is a small one, 700W I believe. If you get the inverter you really should get the transfer switch(making ALL, not just one outlet live). Looking recently at ETI's options list that may be the only way they sell it now.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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We got the 1500 watt also, and the transfer switch for all outlets. So far we haven't used it, and in all likelihood our use will be minimal, but it's one of those back-ups I just wanted to have. I had (have) a smaller (400 watt) built-in inverter on my Tacoma, and when I have tried using it for tools, it's pretty weak.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #6
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We too added the inverter and transfer switch are all outlets to our 19. In our 17, we used a portable unit. The smaller, 375W portable unit we purchased as an add-on was surprisingly noisier than the inverter in our current 19. The fan noise had a high pitch whistling sound, much more annoying than an ordinary fan sound.

We specifically ordered the 1500 W inverter and transfer switch to recharge my wife's hearing aids which unfortunately do not have the 12 V charging supply available. So, unless she wants to switch batteries frequently, overnight recharging is the best bet. I understand there are some people with other medical devices which need 110v as well.

Now that we have it, we find ourselves occasionally warming up those leftover muffins in the microwave when, in the past, we would have used the stove to do so. Works well, although we did have a transfer switch failure which ETI quickly resolved.

It just really depends on how you expect to camping, or in our case, glamping.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:07 PM   #7
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If you plan to camp without hookups, and you want to run AC appliances when doing so, get an inverter.

We use ours quite a bit, and are happy with the option.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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OK inverter for those times I'm not hooked up power

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
If you plan to camp without hookups, and you want to run AC appliances when doing so, get an inverter.

We use ours quite a bit, and are happy with the option.
So I should get an inverter to use when I'm not hooked up to power. When I'm not hooked up to power I am using battery power (recharged by solar). Won't using a bunch of appliances drain my battery?
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikcampbell View Post
Won't using a bunch of appliances drain my battery?
I'm surprised that nobody recommending the inverter also recommended a battery bank to run the appliances or at least dual 6V.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:16 PM   #10
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Keep in mind, bigger AC devices like the microwave such a lot of power out of your battery/s. As Glen mentions, if you go with the inverter, get the dual 6v batteries.

We use a small portable to recharge the dust buster, when we take it, and occasionally the drill/driver, no vitamix, have no need for the larger one ETI sells. It all depends on if you think you might benefit from have AC available at campgrounds that have no power hookup. Most places you can opt to get a campsite without hookups if you wish and save a few bucks doing so.

A 1500w should not be used to run the air conditioner.

The small portable jobs tend to have a noisy fan on them, we use ours outside via the external 12v port.
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