Plug in inverter - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-15-2014, 10:28 AM   #1
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Plug in inverter

First time post - As an outgrowth of the "electrically challenged" thread discussion, I am wondering how powerful of a portable inverter can one safely plug into the stock 12v outlet? 300 watts?
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:40 AM   #2
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At most 15 amps and more likely limited to 10 amps - x12 gives you 180-120 watts, assuming perfect efficiency. In other words, not much of one.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
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I use one rated at the following: INPUT: 12VDC, 15AMP, OUTPUT: 115VAC, 60HZ, 175 WATTS. I've used this for years in both my vehicle and in my Casita without issue. It also has DC and USB ports. DC is 10A at 12V, and USB is 1A @ 5V
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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Here's the one I use.
Amazon.com : Tripp Lite PV150 Portable Auto Inverter 150W 12V DC to AC 120V 5-15R 1 Outlet : Vehicle Dvd Players : Home Improvement
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:14 PM   #5
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I've got the exact same one --- somewhere, as I never use it anymore. I bought 12v chargers for all my electronics which was all I ever used the inverter for anyway...
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:23 PM   #6
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I have a 350 watt inverter that came with a lighter plug, but the plug had a 15 amp fuse inline. It also came with a cable to connect directly to the battery for use when full output was desired.

I'm pretty sure 15 amps is about it for a lighter plug.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamman View Post
At most 15 amps and more likely limited to 10 amps - x12 gives you 180-120 watts, assuming perfect efficiency. In other words, not much of one.
I agree, but that's still enough to run any laptop power supply (if you don't just use a direct from 12VDC supply), and a few USB power supplies or small battery chargers, all at the same time. No toasters or hair dryers...

I have a small (around 200 watt?) inverter in our van, and although it complains about low voltage unless the engine is running, it hasn't had any other problems. We have used it to run stuff such as camera and computer battery chargers - and a small heating pad - while driving.

DC outlets in cars are often marked "12V DC 120 W", suggesting a maximum draw of 10 amps and thus a bit less than 120 W (depending on battery voltage) of AC output.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:20 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone

Thanks for the replies. We will stick with our small inverter that we have been using on occasion in our vehicles. More importantly, I see that most of our electronic devices can be charged with an USB 12 volt adapter which should be well within the limits of our 12 volt outlets.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #9
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One thing to watch with the plug-in inverters is where you plug them in.

I ran into a problem trying to charge my laptop through a plug-in inverter plugged into a 12v outlet by the stove in my 19. Escape uses 16 gauge wire by default for its 12v outlets.

With the length of the wire run to this outlet through 16 gauge wire, under load there was enough voltage drop that my inverter would give up -- if input voltage dropped under 11.5v, it would fail. This was a Canadian Tire 200W inverter.

It works fine if I use the 12v outlet under the dinette -- shorter wire run.

For those who are still putting their build sheet together, you might consider increasing the wire size for you 12v outlets if you want to be able to run an inverter or anything else that requires a fair bit of power and is sensitive to low voltage.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:47 AM   #10
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I'm glad to see this thread ongoing. I've removed our el cheapo Harbor Freight inverter from our trailer because of the power draw. We used to use it for satellite radio and recharging my laptop. I can go from fully charged (12.7v) to 12.5v within the 2 hours it takes to charge my laptop. That's not cool!

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