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Old 05-08-2016, 09:06 PM   #1
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Outlets

We're unclear about why we might want additional outlets, and what we would do with them. Also, why 12V vs AC? Why a USB port rather than an AC plug with USB adaptor? Can USB adapters work with a 12V plug? And why might I want outside power, and why might one type be better than another?

So many questions! Thank you for any and all answers.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:20 PM   #2
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Here's a good place to start: 12V outlets on Escape 19

It all depends on what equipment you want to run and what kind of power is required (AC or DC). And before anyone tells you that you must have a zillion outlets, I will state that I have only one 12V outlet and it gets used maybe (and that's a big maybe) one hour a day. I have three AC outlets (used only when plugged into shore power) and I only use one of them for a cube heater.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:20 PM   #3
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We're unclear about why we might want additional outlets, and what we would do with them. Also, why 12V vs AC? Why a USB port rather than an AC plug with USB adaptor? Can USB adapters work with a 12V plug? And why might I want outside power, and why might one type be better than another?

So many questions! Thank you for any and all answers.
Hi Folks, are you new to trailers? Just wondering how basic to make an explanation of why 12v vs AC.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:28 PM   #4
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12V always works (unless your battery is dead) but for AC to work, you need to be plugged in at a campground (or generator) if you aren't using an inverter (12V to AC.) Microwave and Air only work on AC.

USB ports are available as part of both AC and 12V outlets; USB is 5VDC power so can come from either source. Useful for charging phones/electronics.

Exterior 12V outlets are handy for powering a 12V air compressor should it be needed due to a low tire while on the road to get to a tire service place.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:39 PM   #5
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Assume we know nothing. You probably won't be far from accurate.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:18 PM   #6
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Assume we know nothing. You probably won't be far from accurate.
There are lots of threads that discuss this topic, but I'd suggest reading the website "The 12 Volt side of life". Excellent resource on RV power basics.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

The lights, fridge, etc in your RV run on 12V DC power - Direct Current. Your home runs on AC power - Alternating Current. They're quite different from each other. When you're connected to shore power at an RV park, the RV systems still run on 12 Volt DC power, but that's where the converter comes in - changing AC (household) power to DC. When you're not connected to shore power, you don't need to convert the power, because your battery or batteries are supplying 12 Volts DC.

Once you understand how a 12V DC power system works, the rest is much easier to understand. Then you get into receptacle types, inverters, solar, 6V dual batteries vs single 12v batteries, etc. It may sound complex but in reality it's simpler than you think. You can be well versed in RV power systems in pretty short order if you are willing to read and learn.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:49 PM   #7
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Just as at home, when you need an outlet in a certain place, it is convenient to have it. Recommend outlets both ends of the trailer (and/or the middle such as for a compressor to use on the tires). We use all of our extra ones but not all of their standard ones. USBs for phones and iPads and other items.

If you get solar and an inverter, you can run anything but air conditioning, although high-draws such as the microwave are limited. If you expect to only be plugged in at campgrounds, no need for solar or inverter. Campgrounds, however, may have many sites that have no electric and they sometimes fill their electric sites. So you might be interested in solar anyway.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:56 PM   #8
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In our opinion you can't have enough 12v sources. iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches, rechargeable flashlights, inflator pump, TV if not hooked up to campground power, rechargeable bluetooth speakers - in our Casita we have added extra 12v outlets and they all seem to get used a lot. Handy to have at least one or two 110 v AC outlets outside too for a fan, small heater when it's chilly but not cold, an induction cooktop or perhaps some lights (turned off at 10 pm of course). Admittedly we may be a little over the top in power consumption but we sure do have fun whether dry camping or with full hookups. Better to have the outlets and not need them than be frustrated that they aren't available.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:56 PM   #9
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There are lots of threads that discuss this topic, but I'd suggest reading the website "The 12 Volt side of life". Excellent resource on RV power basics.



The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)



The lights, fridge, etc in your RV run on 12V DC power - Direct Current. Your home runs on AC power - Alternating Current. They're quite different from each other. When you're connected to shore power at an RV park, the RV systems still run on 12 Volt DC power, but that's where the converter comes in - changing AC (household) power to DC. When you're not connected to shore power, you don't need to convert the power, because your battery or batteries are supplying 12 Volts DC.



Once you understand how a 12V DC power system works, the rest is much easier to understand. Then you get into receptacle types, inverters, solar, 6V dual batteries vs single 12v batteries, etc. It may sound complex but in reality it's simpler than you think. You can be well versed in RV power systems in pretty short order if you are willing to read and learn.


Well said Robert. Less than a year ago I knew nothing about RV electrical systems. Today I'm rewiring the 12v panel, installing solar, wireless fridge sensors, fans, etc. It just takes some patience and a tenacity to understand. This forum is a great resource for all these things!
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:24 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your help. I guess what I'm unclear on is the difference between DC and AC plugs... I only know AC. Are there special DC plugs, for DC appliances?
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:35 PM   #11
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AC (alternating current) circuits are typically 110 - 120 volts. (from outside power source)

The DC (direct current) circuits in the trailer are 12 volt. (from trailer battery)
The 12 volt outlet plugs typically are like a cigarette lighter outlet - just like in your vehicle. The 110 circuits have plugs just like your house.

There are two separate wiring systems in the trailer, 110 and12 volt.

Both the 110 v (campground power) and 12 v (battery power ) sources feed into a converter box, (standard in the Escape trailer) which is a type of breaker box. The converter box has both 110 circuits with breakers like your home and 12 volt circuits with fuses like your vehicle. This converter box knows what power is connected to it. The default as it were is 12 volt from the trailer battery.

When plugged into 110 AC, at a campground, the converter box can then supply 110 AC to the appropriate electrical circuits. It also will convert the 110 incoming to 12 volt so that your lights and other 12 volt appliances, like the Max Fan and water pump, continue to operate with 12 volt power but not coming from your battery.

This will conserve the energy in your battery as no power will be drawn from the battery when you are plugged into the campground power. The converter will also be charging up your batteries at the same time if you are plugged into the 110 volt source.

If an appliance is 110 AC it will not operate on the 12 volt outlets as is the opposite.
As others have said, to use a 110 volt AC appliance you either need to be plugged into a 110 AC source at the campground or have a separate power inverter installed which will take the 12 volt DC from your battery supply and convert it to 110 volt AC.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:38 PM   #12
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Ah hah! Now I get it. Thank you!
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:11 AM   #13
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As mentioned, do read "The 12 Volt Side of Life", both parts. Well worth the time for anyone new to RVs.

Be easier to understand the need, or not, of extra power outlets, once you understand the power system of an RV.

The plumbing system is another good thing to understand at some point. Just so happens that the same folks that wrote up The 12 Volt Side of Life were kind enough to write up the plumbing system.
Water, Water, Everywhere!

I'd have my wife read both but then she'd have no use for me.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:30 AM   #14
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I'd have my wife read both but then she'd have no use for me.

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Old 05-09-2016, 08:46 AM   #15
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small inverter

Another thing to keep in mind is that depending on your needs you don't necessarily have to have the large inverter (1500W?) installed by Escape to retain some inverting capability. In a previous Scamp we powered a 110V LCD TV with a small portable 100W inverter when off grid. This was in lieu of buying a 12V television. An advantage is that it can be moved to whichever outlet you need. Obviously this is limited to low draw devices: LCD TV, small fan, electric shaver, phone charger, laptop. No coffee makers or toasters! To stay within the limits of the wiring and fusing of a typical 12V outlet the small portable inverters appear to be limited to 150W max.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:10 AM   #16
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We're unclear about why we might want additional outlets, and what we would do with them. Also, why 12V vs AC? Why a USB port rather than an AC plug with USB adaptor? Can USB adapters work with a 12V plug? And why might I want outside power, and why might one type be better than another?

So many questions! Thank you for any and all answers.
Some uses for outside outlets -

120v - I carry a toaster oven for baking when I have hookups. In hot weather moving it outside onto a table prevents heating up the trailer. I have also used it a couple of times to provide power for a neighbor. When it won't annoy neighbors, it can be used to power a radio.

12V - A 12V fan (Endless Breeze, for example), is a good way to keep bugs away while sitting outside. With a USB adapter it is useful for charging neighbor's phones, etc. If you have a 12V air pump, it can be useful for filling trailer tires.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:52 AM   #17
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Just curious, if you have an outside usb/12v outlet I'm assuming it's always live. When boondocking, can wandering souls, etc be recharging their phones etc. if ur not at the trailer? I was thinking about all the gypsy backpackers in Quartzsite that gather around the plug in McDonalds. Not that there's anything wrong with providing some juice to wandering souls, just wonder if they know to look for these outlets on trailers.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:56 AM   #18
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Exterior ac outlet

Lee
Like others have mentioned we've used our exterior AC outlet often. Last week while fishing, we used an exterior outlet on a friends camper to power an electric filet knife. We've used ours like Jon to run our toaster oven outside on a table when it's too hot or "crowded" to cook inside. Last fall at Niagara we had a camping neighbor plug in a star projector which everyone around the campfire enjoyed. We carry a medium duty extension cord to extend the range also. Exterior AC is a handy feature that you never quite know how you'll use on your handsome Escape.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:08 AM   #19
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Just curious, if you have an outside usb/12v outlet I'm assuming it's always live. When boondocking, can wandering souls, etc be recharging their phones etc. if ur not at the trailer? I was thinking about all the gypsy backpackers in Quartzsite that gather around the plug in McDonalds. Not that there's anything wrong with providing some juice to wandering souls, just wonder if they know to look for these outlets on trailers.
Don't see why they couldn't just up and plug in, it is always live. Can't say it's something I've fretted over.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:11 AM   #20
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Wouldn't it take some major cajones to plug into someone else's camper? There's an old joke I sometimes tell where the punchline is Sometimes the bull wins you all can probably write the rest of it from there. I did have a very nice bicycle camper using a tent next to us in Canada ask if he could plug into the same current bush as we were using to recharge his phone. It was raining that day and he had the phone and charger in a plastic bag setting on the post. I told him it was good with me and went inside to study up on CPR
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