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Old 10-29-2016, 08:27 PM   #1
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Build Sheet Help - Inverters

We are also in the process of going through the build sheet for our Escape 17B which we need to finalize very quickly. Lots of great input from other members recently in various threads/postings which we are going through religiously. However, not much commentary on whether its worth having one of the ETI installed inverter options for dry camping. For my way of thinking, you would not be using an inverter for powering anything that requires heating as it would be much too draining for the battery/ies. What other uses would there be for power that couldn't be met by some kind of off the shelf inverter that would be much cheaper than the pre-installed options. What are members experiences and do they think its worth it?

Patricia & Chris
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:38 PM   #2
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The only reasons I've heard over the years are to run a microwave, a coffee maker and a hair dryer.
We don't microwave, we use a Melita filter and thermos ( heating water on the stove ) and use solar ( the sun and wind ) to dry hair.
Items such as Mac, iPhone etc are charged by a small, cheap inverter or by 12V cords and/or USB. TV and a DVD player have 12V cords, but we usually watch them at home.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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We had an off the shelf inverter in our old camper that we had to hook up when we needed it. Having it factory installed this time is just a luxury with a super clean looking installation.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:52 PM   #4
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I am getting the inverter for my laptop. Things that are 120V need to have DC changed to AC. So if you have a laptop, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, etc you'll need the inverter.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:58 PM   #5
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I have a 12V DC charger for my MacBook Air and in any event you can plug the 120V AC charger into a small, cheap inverter.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:18 PM   #6
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We have a small portable inverter, 300 or 400 watts. Works fine for recharging anything that needs such as well as the 2 times I broke out the TV. Have considered adding a big one like ETI installs to run the MW, hairdryer, and maybe an electric blanket. All are doable if one is careful.
As it is we've managed without one this long so I'm in no hurry.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:22 PM   #7
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By the way, Escape Trailer Owners Community - View Profile: gbaglo, I notice from your (many!) posts that you have a RAV4 towing your Escape 17B. This is relatively small SUV. Do you have an equalizer / sway hitch. We have a 2005 Honda Pilot with a towing capacity of 3,500lbs and a maximum tongue weight of 450 lbs. Although in theory these are fine, it has been suggesed that I get an equalizer hitch and sway bars. Also I see you are just down the road from us in North Vancouver. What do you think about getting AC?
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:23 PM   #8
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It depends on what you want to power. We've dry camped while using an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, a toaster oven for baking, a Crock Pot, and of course, our household coffee maker. You can do very well without an inverter, provided you don't plan on using such things, or you have 12V appliances. Or, you can simply purchase an aftermarket one.

There's alot to be said for 12V appliances instead of AC and an inverter, mainly because they won't drain your batteries as much. There's quite a bit of loss in the inversion process, and household appliances are typically designed to require more power to operate than ones designed for RVs. We liked the factory install, so we went with it. We would not have done so without the solar option.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:24 PM   #9
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I use a 1000 watt inverter to power a 600 watt drip coffee maker, a 900 watt toaster & a 600 watt microwave. I have 195 watts of solar on the roof & a 160 watt portable panel - I need both for the winter months, but the rooftop keeps up during the summer.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
What other uses would there be for power that couldn't be met by some kind of off the shelf inverter that would be much cheaper than the pre-installed options. What are members experiences and do they think its worth it?

Patricia & Chris
North Vancouver
Any more N. Van. members and we'll have to have our own chapter, maybe with Baglo as President.

Lot's of opinions on this topic. It's pretty much up to how the individual would use it. We've had inverters in our boats and trailers since they first became available. I added an inexpensive one myself. The major reason is that we like to use the microwave for reheating food from time to time. Not heavy use, just occasionally and it doesn't make sense to us to have a microwave that's not usable when camping.

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Old 10-29-2016, 10:38 PM   #11
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We have a small portable inverter, 300 or 400 watts. Works fine for recharging anything that needs such as well as the 2 times I broke out the TV. Have considered adding a big one like ETI installs to run the MW, hairdryer, and maybe an electric blanket. All are doable if one is careful.
As it is we've managed without one this long so I'm in no hurry.
Hi Padlin,
What portable inverter do you have? I am working on my 17B build sheet and really only need to charge my laptop and flashlight. No microwave, AC or big draw appliances will be on board. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:54 PM   #12
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This one is 75 watts and cost $12.99 on sale at Canadian Tire.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:08 PM   #13
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This one is 75 watts and cost $12.99 on sale at Canadian Tire.
Thanks! I am beginning to think for my laptop and flashlight recharge that the 1500W inverter option money might be better spent elsewhere.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:14 PM   #14
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I'd spend it on 12V DC outlets, front and back, inside and out. I run inexpensive 12V extension cords and 12V splitters, but that's messy.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:20 PM   #15
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I agree. Extra 12 volt outlets would be better. You can charge a laptop directly from the 12 volt, with the right power adapter. There's no loss either unlike an inverter.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:33 PM   #16
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In agree. Extra 12 volt outlets would be better. You can charge a laptop directly from the 12 volt, with the right power adapter. There's no loss either unlike an inverter.
Since no laptop actually runs on 12 volts, the right power adapter is a DC-to-DC power supply. That means there is loss, just not as much as going through both an inverter and an AC-to-DC power supply. Less loss is good, so the more direct approach is better.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:35 PM   #17
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Since no laptop actually runs on 12 volts, the right power adapter is a DC-to-DC power supply. That means there is loss, just not as much as going through both an inverter and an AC-to-DC power supply. Less loss is good, so the more direct approach is better.
True, the brick means there is some loss, but at least there is no loss at the point where the power is provided.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Since no laptop actually runs on 12 volts, the right power adapter is a DC-to-DC power supply. That means there is loss, just not as much as going through both an inverter and an AC-to-DC power supply. Less loss is good, so the more direct approach is better.
Sort of like this conversation. One can get mired in the details and the poor person who asked gives up trying to understand.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:06 AM   #19
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By the way, Escape Trailer Owners Community - View Profile: gbaglo, I notice from your (many!) posts that you have a RAV4 towing your Escape 17B. This is relatively small SUV. Do you have an equalizer / sway hitch. We have a 2005 Honda Pilot with a towing capacity of 3,500lbs and a maximum tongue weight of 450 lbs. Although in theory these are fine, it has been suggesed that I get an equalizer hitch and sway bars. Also I see you are just down the road from us in North Vancouver. What do you think about getting AC?
Patricia,
Read your Honda Pilot owners manual carefully. We have a 2011 Pilot, and its manual, along with some other years' manuals from Honda, that I have read, specifically prohibit weight distribution hitches (WDH) for the Pilot, because it is of 'unibody' construction, instead of a full frame like a truck, so damage can occur. There was a posting some time back from a Honda owner who had damage to his factory hitch on a Pilot due to a WDH's forces.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:17 AM   #20
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I wish somebody would post that prohibition directly, from the manual. Most vehicles are unibody these days. If a WDH is incorrectly installed or applied, it can cause damage.
My Toyota manual says "Toyota does not recommend". That is entirely different from "prohibits". I have been in communication with Toyota and they said they do not have a relationship with a WDH manufacturer, which is why they don't recommend one.
I had a service about six months ago and specifically asked them to inspect the hitch receiver. They reported all was well ( after eight years of towing ). You will note that the caution in the manual is highlighted by CAUTION and the yellow field. The section on weight distribution is simply black text on white.
I can't imagine that a Honda Pilot is that fragile.
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