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Old 03-19-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
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Installing an inverter

I am the proud owner of a 17ft Escape that I purchased used last fall, and have yet to take it on it's first trip, so I'm getting antsy.
I do most of my trips are boondocking on my own, and I have never found the need to run a generator. However my wife, who is not a fan of roughing it when in the great outdoors, claims she needs to run a hairdryer when she comes on the occasional trip with me.
:
So I was thinking of installing a 1750 to 1800 watt inverter that should run the hairdryer for long enough when needed. Does anybody have any advice as to wether or not this is a do-it -yourself project, and recommendations as to makes, or any other useful suggestions other than leaving my wife at home.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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Re: Installing an inverter

camp where it's windy and warm and leave the hair-dryer at home?

(I'm afraid I don't know anything about inverters, particularly in reference to hair-dryers)
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Installing an inverter

Hi Dave, welcome aboard.

Those hairdryers draw lots of power, you do need to make certain the inverter is big enough. They will also draw the battery power down fairly quick. Do you have dual 6V or a single 12V battery, because the 12V will run out of juice faster.

An inverter that size should be hard wired, and unless you are knowledgeable at electricity, I would suggest having someone do it for you. Though not a hard thing to do, there are many things to take into account. You will need to wire the 12V DC input directly (though fused) to the batteries with as short of leads as possible, and the 110V AC output to the plug circuit in your trailer, but only through a transfer switch that would ensure you isolate this circuit from shore power when using the inverter.

The internet is full of information, and a knowledgeable sales person could be of great help too.

You may want to consider buying a 2000W gen set if your wife would be using a hair dryer every day and you are out for a bunch of days. You are not alone, I know of another couple where the wife is the same, and must have tons of other electrical devices at her grasp in order to survive roughing it. You might want to suggest she just shave her head too.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: Installing an inverter


Once again my post goes missing.

Anyway. 1,750 watt inverter is $300 plus tax at Canadian Tire. 3,000 watt is $500 plus. As mentioned they would be hardwired. Best hardwired to the tow vehicle so you can run the engine while drawing all that power. That's a lot of money to dry your hair and she might not want to stand next to the tow vehicle while doing it.

Just tell her you find it sexy when she tosses her head from side to side...

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Old 03-19-2009, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Installing an inverter

Thanks for the suggestioins.
I reckon a 1200W hair dryer would draw about 12 amps on 110V, so if run for only 5 minutes a day is only about 1 amp-hr, but then I could be wrong because I am electrically challenged.
I run a deep 12V deep cycle battery so that power usage shouldn't be an issue.
I had considered a Honda 2000 generator, but would prefer to avoid the hassle and noise of a generator
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Installing an inverter

You can get a 12 volt hair dryer, although that, too, will run down your battery after awhile.

http://www.rvsupplywarehouse.com/pro...d/279/pid/2812

Sure would cost a lot less than an inverter....


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Old 03-19-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: Installing an inverter

Good solution Cheryl, what will they think of next. :
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
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Re: Installing an inverter


I have a problem working out the math on these hair dryers. I'm trying to figure out how an AC hair dryer would require an immense amount of power to run the heating coils and fan and how a DC hair dryer could provide the same amount of heat, using much less power. Just doesn't compute in my wee brain.

As mentioned somewhere before, electrical appliances have two numbers to consider. One is the continuous use wattage and the other is the start-up wattage. Freezers and fridges, for instance need almost twice as much power on start-up. I'll have to locate the info I had on this. Gives the numbers for all sorts of appliances.

And, the advantage of a generator is that you can justify it as a back-up for use at home during an emergency, which is why I wouldn't go with the least power that works for your trailer.


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Old 03-19-2009, 09:48 PM   #9
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Re: Installing an inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett
Good solution Cheryl, what will they think of next. :
Well, just check out some of the things that they have "thought of next". Yep, a lot cheaper than an inverter. May need the generator to recharge your battery (or batteries), but ........ (www.12volt-travel.com) . On my list are the 19" HDTV with DVD player, crock pot, and yes, for my lovely bride, a hair dryer.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:39 PM   #10
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Re: Installing an inverter

I'll be interested to read the reports on how well these 12V products worked.

I just recall buying a 1-cup coffee maker from Starbucks. It only required 25 watts.
I plugged it into my 50 watt inverter and ran it through the cycle.
Then, I did it again, shortly after, and melted the power plug for the inverter.

A buddy melted his inverter running a 1/4 inch drill.

I suspect the 12V hair dryer delivers next to no heat and only just manages to run the fan.

baglo




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