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Old 05-17-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
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Portable Inverter Use

We have a cigarette lighter powered 140 watt inverter. Thought this would be an easy way to charge/power a laptop for working while camping. We would just plug it into one of the 12 volt receptacles in our Escape. I'm comfortable using this in my truck's 12v receptacle but unsure of the wiring capabilities in the Escape.

Anyone has experience with this? Is this OK?
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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It'll be fine, I used a 300w without burning down the trailer.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMPortland View Post
We have a cigarette lighter powered 140 watt inverter. Thought this would be an easy way to charge/power a laptop for working while camping. We would just plug it into one of the 12 volt receptacles in our Escape. I'm comfortable using this in my truck's 12v receptacle but unsure of the wiring capabilities in the Escape.

Anyone has experience with this? Is this OK?
Yours is almost identical to ours. Used it a couple nights ago with our laptop to watch a movie before sleep. Works fine.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:49 PM   #4
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We've been wondering the same thing, trying to avoid an inverter on our build list. Thanks for starting this thread.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:57 PM   #5
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I like the idea of this, mainly because you'll minimize your battery drain by just charging/powering off a smaller unit. I think these come with a built in 20 amp fuse as well, to prevent overload.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:16 PM   #6
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I had a discussion with Reace regarding portable inverters. He suggested that the wiring ETI installs for 12v outlets would best be restricted to 150 watts or less. At the time I was considering a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter. He said that would be OK as long as I didn't try to use all 300 watts. As an alternative, I had ETI install a heavy duty 12 v outlet near the battery using higher gauge wire. I believe it is 10 gauge stranded, but it could be 8 gauge.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:24 PM   #7
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I use a 300-watt inverter in our van, but as Reace suggested a typical "lighter" socket and wiring are not suitable for this power level; I only use it at much less than the inverter's capacity. I would have no concern with a 140 watt inverter.

I would check the laptop's power supply. While the one I'm using at the moment has a 60 watt power adapter and would be fine with that 140 watt inverter, our other Windows laptop has a 180 watt (output) adapter which takes up to 234 watts (input) so it could potentially overload that inverter... depending on the state of the laptop battery's charge and what the computer is doing.
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