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Old 08-26-2020, 06:42 PM   #1
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Enlighten me on what you use 12V outlets for...

I see that we can add 12V outlets both inside and outside. What uses have you found for them? With shore power, 120V outlets would work for most everything we have. With an inverter, the 120V outlets would still work, right? We mostly use USBs actually other than the Keurig (which can easily be skipped for a travel filter setup). Other than air mattresses and air compressors, what do you use them for in and out of the camper? I'm also curious what you use USB outlets for outside of the camper other than charging phones, computers, cameras?

Thanks for all your insights!
Jackie
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:28 PM   #2
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If you are on battery power, you will only get inverter power to only one outlet unless you also get an automatic transfer switch to make all the outlets hot. We use the 12V outlet for the vacuum which is almost never used. Some people get 12V coffee makers, fans, blankets, tv's, etc. The inverter wastes a bit of energy converting so the 12V can be more economical if you can find a suitable appliance. All of our low volt plugs are combo usb/12V.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:50 PM   #3
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I see that we can add 12V outlets both inside and outside. What uses have you found for them? With shore power, 120V outlets would work for most everything we have. With an inverter, the 120V outlets would still work, right? We mostly use USBs actually other than the Keurig (which can easily be skipped for a travel filter setup). Other than air mattresses and air compressors, what do you use them for in and out of the camper? I'm also curious what you use USB outlets for outside of the camper other than charging phones, computers, cameras?

Thanks for all your insights!
Jackie
That is a very good question. After 5 years, I am still wondering myself. The only thing I have ever used it for was to plug in one of the USB adapters to charge a phone.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:55 PM   #4
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We use them a lot! 2 of em!

For one we plug in our 300 watt power inverter so we do not wear out our big inverter for small tasks.

Our use of 12 volt inserts is limited to our WeBoost cell phone booster which has it's own, next to the TV. The TV is 120v. But we charge amps for guitars, guitars themselves, portable power stations to run our portable foot warmer on cold mornings and the newer devices that can take advantage of 78 watts or more of charging input. Someone always wants to charge something. This way we do not use the trailer batteries and fully charge the 500 w portable power station starting around 9 am. We have two panels and I am happy as can be about that!

If you run a microwave you need one anyway (power inverter that is), not to mention an Instapot. The little power inverter is used more than the big one. Lots more. When on shore power all the outlets are live. At times there can be a handful of Macintosh computers and iPads charging.

What I wish I would have put more in of is; USB 2 outlets and soon USB C. They are used all over the place. I look for these connections all the time.

Here is the little power inverter that can!



https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-300Wat...s%2C229&sr=8-6
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:55 PM   #5
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USB adapters for the phones and iPad, plus we have an "Endless Breeze" fan, which is 12v. We added several 12v outlets because I wanted to have flexibility in where we plug in that fan. As it turns out, we always have a battery monitor plugged into one of the 12v outlets.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:59 PM   #6
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My wife’s cell phone and a plug in air freshner
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:01 PM   #7
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I have a couple of inverters ( 85 watt and 200 watt ) that I plug in to 12V outlets to charge a laptop, iPhones, bluetooth speakers, camera batteries. I have a TV and DVD player and Sirius satellite radio that use 12V plugs.

The only time I've had 120V in 12 years is when attending the Escape rally in Osoyoos. The rest of the time I rely on my battery, solar panels, and if I must, a generator.
Wish I had a 12V outlet outside, under my awning for my 12V fan.
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:07 PM   #8
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To inflate our kayaks with an electric pump the dual six volt batteries have the umph. Also can use the Tug with motor running. Otherwise there isn't enough voltage going to the pump and then a risk of damage. Tug has AGM battery as a side note.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:21 PM   #9
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I don't know if this is worded to well but here goes.
Are you planning on camping in spots that do not have power? Folks who do so normally try and keep power use to a minimum to make the power stored in the batteries last as long as possible. Using an inverter, especially a larger one like what comes with the Escapes, to do a prolonged charge of a small load, like a USB device, is power wasteful. Just having an inverter turned on uses power, they also only have an efficiency of something like 90%. You save power using 12vdc receptacles over the inverter where practical.

I use the outside 12vdc "lighter" connector for the fan. Pre inverter install, I used it for a small inverter to charge the drill, vac, and a laptop. I did it outside cause the inverter fan was noisy.

Inside is only used for the cell booster. Some folks use a 12v TV.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:40 PM   #10
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An outside 12V outlet is also very handy for a 12V portable air compressor pump for your tires such as https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Comp...NsaWNrPXRydWU= We find that a pump like this makes it easy to keep the tires inflated to the proper settings.

We put 12V outlets all over inside and use them a lot, to charge cell phones and smaller things. As Padlin points out, the big 1500 W inverter, uses a fair amount of battery power just by simply being turned to the 'ON' (ready) position so I think most turn their inverter 'ON', then use it for a larger item like a microwave or Coffee maker, then turn it off. It is more efficient to use 12V straight from the battery (via the 12V outlets) if you can, than to use an inverter, which converts 12V to 110V cuz that takes power to make this transition and will run your battery down. IMHO 12V is the best way to power-up, whenever you can and save your inverter usage for the bigger gadgets you can't live without! -Bea
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Old 08-27-2020, 06:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jgntch View Post
I see that we can add 12V outlets both inside and outside. What uses have you found for them? With shore power, 120V outlets would work for most everything we have. With an inverter, the 120V outlets would still work, right? We mostly use USBs actually other than the Keurig (which can easily be skipped for a travel filter setup). Other than air mattresses and air compressors, what do you use them for in and out of the camper? I'm also curious what you use USB outlets for outside of the camper other than charging phones, computers, cameras?

Thanks for all your insights!
Jackie
A single 12 volt plug in USB adapter can have 4 USB plugs that are always the latest standard.

USB Quick Charge.JPG

You don't need 120 volts to power them, and you're not building in obsolete USB ports.
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Old 08-27-2020, 06:36 AM   #12
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An outside 12V outlet is also very handy for a 12V portable air compressor pump for your tires such as https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Comp...NsaWNrPXRydWU= We find that a pump like this makes it easy to keep the tires inflated to the proper settings.
I would be EXTREMELY careful as to which 12v portable air compressor I plugged into a 12v cigarette lighter type outlet. Portable compressors can draw far more amperage than 12v the rating for the outlets installed by ETI. For that matter, Reace told me that a small inverter should not be used above a total capacity of 200 watts or so because the wiring used will not handle it. We’re talking “meltdown” here.
I have a Viair 12v compressor that is powerful enough to inflate a tow vehicle tire quickly. It does not come with a 12v plug; it comes with alligator clips for direct connection to a 12v battery. I believe most 12v outlets (I could be wrong) are rated for a maximum of 10 amps DC? Again, I would check any 12v compressor for its power requirements before plugging it in to an ETI supplied 12v outlet.
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:11 AM   #13
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I made up a 20 ft 12 gauge extension cord for my 12 VDC air compressor that plugs into the 7 pin trailer receptacle on my vehicle .
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:54 AM   #14
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We have 2 12V fans (Caframo) at either end of our 19. We also have dual attachments to both these 12V plugs for charging 2 cell phones and 2 tablets. Outside we have a single 12V plug for running the air compressor for topping off the trailer tires or pumping water from a 5 gallon jug unto the fresh water tank. We do have the inverter and transfer switch, none of the 12V accessories run on A.C.. On A.C. we run the vacuum cleaner, instant pot, instant kettle, and we'd get a blender if we can figure out where to store it. In our case 12V or A.C. are not the same use.
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:28 AM   #15
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I would be EXTREMELY careful as to which 12v portable air compressor I plugged into a 12v cigarette lighter type outlet. Portable compressors can draw far more amperage than 12v the rating for the outlets installed by ETI. For that matter, Reace told me that a small inverter should not be used above a total capacity of 200 watts or so because the wiring used will not handle it. We’re talking “meltdown” here..
Wow- thanks for that warning Carl. Will double check the specs on my pump.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:09 AM   #16
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I would be EXTREMELY careful as to which 12v portable air compressor I plugged into a 12v cigarette lighter type outlet. Portable compressors can draw far more amperage than 12v the rating for the outlets installed by ETI. For that matter, Reace told me that a small inverter should not be used above a total capacity of 200 watts or so because the wiring used will not handle it. We’re talking “meltdown” here.
Yes, thank you Carl for the heads up! I will also go double check my specs as well! -Bea
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:24 AM   #17
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I would be EXTREMELY careful as to which 12v portable air compressor I plugged into a 12v cigarette lighter type outlet. Portable compressors can draw far more amperage than 12v the rating for the outlets installed by ETI. For that matter, Reace told me that a small inverter should not be used above a total capacity of 200 watts or so because the wiring used will not handle it. We’re talking “meltdown” here.
Great information Carl, I wouldn't have thought along this line had I been considering a portable inverter.

Not everyone uses there trailers the same and we should be determining our camping style and our potential electrical needs when making these decisions.

We have the ETI all outlets inverter and find that it along with the one solar panel and two 6 volt batteries works very well for us.

We find using rechargeable battery operated tools (Ryobi) to be simple and efficient. No extra outlets or cords to plug in, I keep my Ryobi tools in a tote and take it along. In the tote I carry 3 batteries, the charger, a drill (I use it for the stabilizers), a vacuum, a leaf blower (awning and patio area / rug), a lantern, a project light, a fan (can be used inside or out) and a tire inflator (works great for topping off tires, I'd think if tires were extremely low you'd be looking at more than just adding air).
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:04 PM   #18
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We find using rechargeable battery operated tools (Ryobi) to be simple and efficient. No extra outlets or cords to plug in, I keep my Ryobi tools in a tote and take it along. In the tote I carry 3 batteries, the charger, a drill (I use it for the stabilizers), a vacuum, a leaf blower (awning and patio area / rug), a lantern, a project light, a fan (can be used inside or out) and a tire inflator (works great for topping off tires, I'd think if tires were extremely low you'd be looking at more than just adding air).
I'm a big fan of Ryobi tools and the one+ system as well... 2 fans, drill driver, tire infiltrator, project light and mini leaf blower travel with use. Leave with charged tool batteries and I don't have to use my trailer batteries when dry camping for these items. So handy, all cordless and there's always good deals on these tools and batteries during holiday sales.

Using the mini-leaf blower on the awning prior to closing is a joy. Use it to blow off the picnic table also... 160mph claimed air speed.
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:21 PM   #19
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-Inside: 12V TV, charge cell phones, small fan, small inverter
-Outside (I wired up my own rated for 15A): air bubbler for live bait, small air compressor, transfer pump for freshwater from container to onboard tank

I don’t see the need for exterior USB. I know one owner who had both fail on his 21. One can easily plug in an adapter into the standard 12V socket as has been mentioned. Personally on the exterior I would just want one high quality marine-grade 12V outlet on each side. Preferably with dedicated wiring and fuse and rated for at least 15A.
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:56 PM   #20
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I'm a big fan of Ryobi tools and the one+ system as well... 2 fans, drill driver, tire infiltrator, project light and mini leaf blower travel with use. Leave with charged tool batteries and I don't have to use my trailer batteries when dry camping for these items. So handy, all cordless and there's always good deals on these tools and batteries during holiday sales.

Using the mini-leaf blower on the awning prior to closing is a joy. Use it to blow off the picnic table also... 160mph claimed air speed.
That darn auto correct made me think you were hauling a Chinese spy around with you.
I’m all Milwaukee my son is all Dewalt.
We all have infiltrators.
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