Extra 12V outlet rating? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-02-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 727
Extra 12V outlet rating?

This evening I tried plugging my laptop into a Canadian Tire 200W inverter running off a 12V outlet in my 19'. The laptop power supply says its 65W, so I wasn't expecting any trouble, but it didn't work.

The inverter has a display on it that shows the input voltage. Before I plugged the laptop in, it read 12.1V. The solar controller shows 12.5V, so they're in the same ballpark. When I plugged the laptop in, the overhead light started to flicker a bit, and the voltage started to drop. Once it dropped down to 10V, the inverter cut out.

This surprised me...

I had plugged the inverter into the extra outlet I had installed. I decided to try it in the stock outlet in the dinette bench. Here it worked fine.

This suggests to me that the wiring used to install the additional outlet isn't of sufficient gauge for a 65W draw. (OK, a bit more than 65W, actual amount depending on how efficient the inverter is). 65W isn't that much power...

Have other people run into this?
__________________

__________________
Doug

2013 Escape 19 ("The Dog House") , 2012 Nissan Frontier
dbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Devil Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Steveston B.C., British Columbia
Trailer: 2012- 17'B.... 2016 Tacoma SR5 TRD
Posts: 455
Sounds like they taped into your over head light power supply ( flickering light ). Follow the wires back and see where they go.I think they should go to the fuse box with a heavy gauge wire so it doesn't heat up and cause trouble.
__________________

__________________
I've almost been everywhere man.
Almost been everywhere.....
Devil Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
GaryH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Parksville, British Columbia
Trailer: '07 17B
Posts: 151
Sounds as if the inverter you used was a modified sine wave, which doesn't work so well with electronics. They work good with resistive loads though. You need a pure sine wave inverter.
Inverters | GPElectric
__________________
'07 17B
'07 FJ Cruiser
https://www.1000cranesofhope.com/
GaryH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 727
Gary,

I'm not sure I agree. Yeah, the Canadian Tire inverters are fairly inexpensive, so they might not work well in general. But a laptop power supply is designed to handle all sorts of dirty power with wildly varying voltage. Plus it works fine off one outlet in the trailer, but not the other. That tells me there's definitely something different between the outlets.

So, yeah, maybe a better inverter will work better, but there definitely seems to be something amiss with the one outlet in my trailer.
__________________
Doug

2013 Escape 19 ("The Dog House") , 2012 Nissan Frontier
dbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 235
Need to talk with escape. I would expect that all factory installed 12 v plugs would work the same where ever they are installed. Please keep us posted.
dave1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,936
Not sure what my laptop draws, but a 300W inverter just barely keeps it going. It is a Crappy Tire model too.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 11:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 727
I haven't heard back from Reace yet, but I've done a bit more crawling around myself.

With a good tester hooked up, I monitored the voltage with a 50W light bulb used as a load. With the light bulb turned on, voltage dropped 1.2V at the additional 12V outlet. At the original outlet there was still a voltage drop but only 0.6V.

Looking at the wires themselves, they seem to be about 16 gauge. They might be 14 gauge, but I'm not certain just by looking at them. Using a voltage-drop calculator on the web (Voltage Drop Calculator), the numbers I'm seeing are consistent with 16 gauge wire -- the calculator gives a 0.5V drop at 10 feet, and a 1.2V drop at 25 feet (assuming 6 amps).

I presume these outlets are protected by a fuse, and I assumed it would probably be a 15A fuse. I need to verify that, though. It strikes me that wiring a 15A circuit with 16 gauge wire is not a great idea.
__________________
Doug

2013 Escape 19 ("The Dog House") , 2012 Nissan Frontier
dbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2013, 12:44 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 9,061
Excellent troubleshooting, Doug.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
It strikes me that wiring a 15A circuit with 16 gauge wire is not a great idea.
Not good for voltage drop, but perhaps (I'm not an electrician) fine for safe wire capacity. For comparison, a 15A household circuit uses 14 gauge wire... only one size larger. You might be surprised how small most wires in a car are.

I would want larger gauge, and a dedicated circuit... but my Boler doesn't have that, and I don't know if any RV manufacturer does.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #9
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,693
Doug,
Can you please tell us where these outlets are in relation to the converter and if they are wired directly to the converter or if they are off an existing 12v circuit? This may help with the wire sizing issue.
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 727
The converter is in the driver-side dinette bench. The standard outlet is installed in the passenger-side dinette bench. About 4' away, but probably about 8-10' of wire between them.

The outlet that I had added and that is giving me problems is in the front of the kitchen cabinet, just below the sink and stove. I traced the wires as far as I could, and they are routed towards the back of the trailer to the storage area just under the bed, then down through the floor. Since I have the spray insulation, that's where I lose them. I would guess that the total length is about 20-25'.

When I was playing with the voltage drop calculator last night, I used 10' and 25' as the respective lengths. The results I measure are fairly close to what the voltage drop calculator predicts for 16 gauge wire.

I don't see any indication that the wire is shared with anything else -- no splices that I can see -- though it might share a fuse. I haven't yet looked at the converter outputs or fuse labelling to see if anything is shared.

As for using 16 gauge wire with a 15A circuit, I'm worried more about heat generation in the wire than voltage drop. I don't have any notion of who much heat might be generated. If the wires are embedded in the spray insulation, there's also the issue that the heat can't dissipate. I'm also not sure it's 16 gauge -- that's just a guess looking at the wire. It might be 18 gauge, and it might even be 14 gauge. But the voltage drop is consistent with 16 gauge so that's my guess.

Still no response from Reace. He did respond promptly to some other questions I had before this one, so I'll give him another couple of days before I nudge him.
__________________

__________________
Doug

2013 Escape 19 ("The Dog House") , 2012 Nissan Frontier
dbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.