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Old 07-26-2015, 03:50 PM   #71
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A clock is easy: just get a battery-operated one. (1)AA battery once a year.
Hang it or stand it up wherever you need it.
We have a couple in our home that we've had for years.
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:59 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
It's coming down to the wire -- 4 more days until Build Sheet due!!! It's almost complete but, of course, some last minute decisions.

I've got solar.
Planning on boondocking 95% of the time.
Was not going to get the inverter.

But now I'm wondering: maybe I SHOULD get the 1500W Inverter with one outlet.

Pretty clueless about how that works. I recall reading that a 1500W hair dryer will not work with the inverter. What does the "1500W" actually cover? In other words, how many watts can I realistically plug in? And for how long?

Back to that "cannot-live-without flat iron." The one I have is 220W. Is that OK?

If I had an electric clock, could it be plugged in 24/7? Won't be doing that but just trying to figure this all out.

Thank you!!!

p.s. A friend took me out yesterday to teach me how to tow. I towed her boat. Easy! Then it was time for backing-up "class." Wow: Very confusing. But started to get the hang of it after a while. (I used the "hands on the bottom of the wheel" tip I had read) But can see how easy it would be to jacknife. Next week we're going to go out and tow her horse trailer. Step by step.

Ellen, you will not be hooked up so unless you get the 1500-watt inverter, you cannot use the microwave or a hair dryer. We use the EMS readings --- surge protector --- to see the number of amps that any item uses. A hair dryer may take, for instance, 5 amps on a low setting and 13 on a high setting. The microwave would take at least what the high setting is using of such a hair dryer. The inverter will only allow you to use high-draw items for a short time and only one at a time --- but you can use them. We have had a few people reporting that they use their microwaves with the 1500-watt inverter.

If it is raining or cold, you may want that inverter --- and we find it is rainy or cold many times when out with the trailer.

We use clocks with batteries but there may be a clock on the microwave.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:49 PM   #73
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Ellen, keep it simple and it helps. If you want to run AC anything when you're boondocking, you need an inverter. Otherwise, you don't.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:11 PM   #74
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Just to be clear if someone thinks AC means air conditioning --- it does not. Air conditioning is noted as A/C.

AC means using your 120v outlets for the items you would usually run on 120v if you were hooked to shore power.
But cannot run the A/C with either inverter and the solar set-up.

With the lesser inverter that many buy from ETI (not the 1500-watt) many AC items can be run but not the microwave or a hair dryer, as far as I know, although maybe a hair dryer on the lowest setting is possible.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:15 PM   #75
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Why not a generator instead of inverter, when you need AC plug power?

Backing up is a new trick for me, been practicing at the local HS lot. I Am hoping it will get easier! Hand on the bottom and thinking driver side or passenger side is helping me. Also, bought a tadi brother backup camera, and it is helpful (eTi has these on build sheet options now!) The issue I have is getting into my drive, street is busy. I am going to work on intial line up so when I cut I am missing my mailbox!

Congrats! It will be done before you know it!

PS - adjusting andersen hitch took me some time, but now it is feeling pretty good, if you get this option you will probably have ETI set it up before you leave. It is pretty easy to connect and disconnect after the initial setup. I can definitely feel the 19 foot escape behind my Honda Ridgeline, but it drives and turns pretty smoothly going forward!
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:30 PM   #76
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Why not a generator instead of inverter, when you need AC plug power?
!
Opinion on whether it's worth having an inverter vary widely. Let's not get into a discussion about whether you'd rather stay in places with power rather than boondock.

But seriously, my view is if you find a microwave handy at home then you'll undoubtably find it's occasionally handy in the trailer. I think my 3,000 watt inverter was less than $200. No biggie for being easily able to heat my soup, stew, pizza and a few other things.

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Old 07-26-2015, 11:33 PM   #77
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our inverter with transfer switch is awesome, I can make coffee quickly anywhere
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:25 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by dave macrae View Post
our inverter with transfer switch is awesome, I can make coffee quickly anywhere
Now that would be a good reason for an inverter!

I guess really it depends on how often you will use it. If daily then the price doesn't seem too bad and totally worth it, at $550 for 1 plug, and $850 for all (Canadian dollars.)
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:24 AM   #79
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French Press. Better coffee, no AC needed. We Boondock 50% of the time and don't miss the inverter. Love the 160w solar panel however. Battery is always charged.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:32 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
I've got solar.
Planning on boondocking 95% of the time.
Was not going to get the inverter.
This is most likely what I would do if buying new again. In all my years of camping, even with a trailer thrown into the mix starting 25 years ago, I have never had any need for 120V, and like Jim N said, focus on everything electric being 12V. My thinking at this time though, is that solar would be some kind of portable solution, one not on the roof of the trailer. Maybe Ron can build me a setup like he has.

You can survive very well without 120V, if you want, and this is what it comes down to, how do you WANT to camp. I prefer to keep it relatively simple. I can heat up anything on my stove and BBQ. I can make really great coffee in the time it takes to make it with an electric coffee maker. It might take a minute or two longer, but I am not usually in a hurry, as one of the main reasons I like to camp is to slow things down. Other than A/C, there is nothing built into your trailer dependant upon 120V, and to use it you will need to be connected to the grid (other than a genset).

Like Ron said, it is easy to add afterwards if you find you really do want it. I bought a 500W (I think) inverter that I could connect to the battery, but have never used it, and it now collects dust in my garage.

One other consideration is solar collection, and that if you don't use an inverter powering larger appliances, you will be able to get away with a smaller panel to keep up with your needs.
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