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Old 01-25-2018, 01:21 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCamper View Post
In strict battery preservation terms, the 12v is still a better option though, right? I don't know how to calculate it.
12 volt will most likely be more efficient.

I'm not familiar with the ETI inverter, so I'll talk generalities.

Inverters are generally pretty efficient, like 90%-95% efficient or thereabouts, so you don't lose much there. The bigger inverters however consume power just sitting there. Handyman Bob says "Many big inverters constantly draw over two amps" Source: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

2 amps * 12 volts = 24 watts just to sit there. If you are using a 90 watt charger, then you pay maybe 5-10 watts for the conversion inefficiency of the inverter and 24 watts in terms of idle losses, so the idle losses dominate for low powered devices.

A DC charger in contrast will be sized exactly for your application, so the idle losses are much less. The 12 volt chargers need to convert 12 volt DC to DC (usually 20 volts), and likely won't be 95%+ efficient at that, but the idle losses are what counts.

So, what does all the above mean:
1) If you are running short duration devices, like a hairdryer or a coffee maker, you won't lose much to idle losses, so these are generally ok to use over the inverter. You'll only pay a 10% or so conversion penalty for high powered devices, which is the only kind you care about. You don't care about low powered devices that are used for short periods of time because they can't be your major power draw.
2) If you are charging something for a longer period of time, you'll be better off doing it via 12 volts.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:32 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by paulk View Post
12 volt will most likely be more efficient.

I'm not familiar with the ETI inverter, so I'll talk generalities.

Inverters are generally pretty efficient, like 90%-95% efficient or thereabouts, so you don't lose much there. The bigger inverters however consume power just sitting there. Handyman Bob says "Many big inverters constantly draw over two amps" Source: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

2 amps * 12 volts = 24 watts just to sit there. If you are using a 90 watt charger, then you pay maybe 5-10 watts for the conversion inefficiency of the inverter and 24 watts in terms of idle losses, so the idle losses dominate for low powered devices.

A DC charger in contrast will be sized exactly for your application, so the idle losses are much less. The 12 volt chargers need to convert 12 volt DC to DC (usually 20 volts), and likely won't be 95%+ efficient at that, but the idle losses are what counts.
That's great, thank you! Very helpful. I wish I knew the idle loss of the ETI inverter, I don't suppose anyone does?

I still feel like I'm getting the inverter just for the microwave, and the occasional, brief use we may get from it. That feels pretty wasteful at $950 cdn. I feel like I'd probably make it up or come close on resale. But I digress.

We may take a crazy turn tomorrow and say take off the inverter. Then what do we say, increase the gauge of one 12v outlet to 10? I feel like I asked about this last year when we decided to go without the inverter the first go round before we delayed our build. I feel like they said they'd only increase the gauge all around, not just for one. I'll ask.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:39 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by SouthernCamper View Post
I feel like they said they'd only increase the gauge all around, not just for one. I'll ask.
I had to go AWG 10 all round too, but only for the 12 volt outlets. They don't upsize the LED wires or anything like that. I wanted all my 12 volt outlets on AWG 10 anyways, so I didn't care about the requirement.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:42 AM   #64
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I had to go AWG 10 all round too, but only for the 12 volt outlets. They don't upsize the LED wires or anything like that. I wanted all my 12 volt outlets on AWG 10 anyways, so I didn't care about the requirement.
What are y'all plugging in that draws the higher wattages requiring the AWG 10?
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:48 AM   #65
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What are y'all plugging in that draws the higher wattages requiring the AWG 10?
Well, as stated above, I wanted to be able to run a 200 watt inverter. I don't own the inverter yet since I've just used 12 volt so far for all my appliances. Someday though...

Is this the ETI inverter?
http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr...SW1500-600.pdf

Inverter efficiently is 85%-90%. No load losses are 1 amp.

So, a little less bad than my numbers above, but in the same ballpark.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:00 AM   #66
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Well, as stated above, I wanted to be able to run a 200 watt inverter. I don't own the inverter yet since I've just used 12 volt so far for all my appliances. Someday though...

Is this the ETI inverter?
http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr...SW1500-600.pdf

Inverter efficiently is 85%-90%. No load losses are 1 amp.

So, a little less bad than my numbers above, but in the same ballpark.
I guess what I meant was what will you be plugging in to lead you to want the 200w inverter? I'm still tossing around the idea of a portable, but just can't quite figure out what I'll be wanting to plug in.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:08 AM   #67
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I guess what I meant was what will you be plugging in to lead you to want the 200w inverter? I'm still tossing around the idea of a portable, but just can't quite figure out what I'll be wanting to plug in.
For me, an electric toothbrush or some future computer that doesn't come with a 12 volt outlet, or some other gizmo my kids will "need" in the future.

My current computer has a 12 volt plug option, and there are AA battery electric toothbrushes, and my 5 year old hasn't discovered XBOX yet, so for now no need.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:55 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
Well, as stated above, I wanted to be able to run a 200 watt inverter. I don't own the inverter yet since I've just used 12 volt so far for all my appliances. Someday though...

Is this the ETI inverter?
http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr...SW1500-600.pdf

Inverter efficiently is 85%-90%. No load losses are 1 amp.

So, a little less bad than my numbers above, but in the same ballpark.


That is not the inverter that ETI installed in my 19 in August. This one is: http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr..._GP-HS1500.pdf

88-91% efficiency, and 1.45A power draw at idle, unless in Powersave Mode, then .28A.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:41 PM   #69
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Another way to look at inverter use is not the battery capacity, but the ability to put back what you use.

If you purchase the 6V option, you will have 110 usable amp hours (if you go by the standard rule that you should not exceed 1/2 the amp hour capacity). There is very little you would do with the 1500 watt inverter that would use most of that. The heaviest user is probably the microwave at 1 1/2 amp hours per minute, and most of the high power loads are short run devices (coffee pot, toaster, hair dryer, etc).

So, think of the battery as a storage tank. As long as you can put as much electricity into the batteries as you take out, all is well. They act as a buffer in that you can take out more over a short time, then put it back at a lesser rate over a long time.

A generator will solve both problems - it provides 120V for your high power devices & charges the batteries at the same time. The problem is it isn't all that good at finishing off the last 20% of the charging cycle since it takes hours at low current levels & wastes gas, you have to carry a gas can, they make noise, are not allowed at some places or times, etc.

Installing enough solar to equal even a small 2000 watt generator would be difficult on our small trailers (think 20 100 watt panels) and to be able to use it any time, far more than 220 amp hours of battery would be necessary.

The 160 watt roof mounted panel supplied by Escape can produce up to 9 amps, although in reality, it produces less even in the summer with overhead sun, at northern latitudes and during the winter low angle sun & short days. Under average summer conditions, you can expect to get 40 - 50 amp hours per sunny day, less as you move north.

It is difficult to predict what the average non inverter trailer owner uses, but 20 - 30 amp hours per day is a reasonable, even high estimate unless you are winter camping & set your furnace for 72°F. So, that leaves about 20 amp hours for the inverter. At 1 1/2 amp hours per minute, you have about 15 minutes of microwave use per cycle, enough for most uses.

Again, this approach pretty much ignores the battery capacity (as long as there is enough) and uses the ability to recharge it as the limiting factor, and I feel more useful than just going by the battery size.

Personally, I wouldn't add a high power inverter without a good battery monitor, one that keeps track of amp hours in & out of the batteries. This lets you know if you have the capacity to run the microwave, toaster, etc, or should use an alternative method of cooking, put off recharging your laptop or cameras, etc. It lets you determine when the batteries are topped off, and if you still have sunlight, tells you it is a good time for using the inverter (or 12v system) to power non time critical loads. Typical monitors are the Bogart Trimetric or the Victron.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:43 PM   #70
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Battery locations

Battery locations:
  • 17'
    • outside, on the back, just ahead of the bumper (which is on an extended frame, compared to other models)
    • battery is in a box (if two batteries, two boxes)
  • 19'
    • outside, immediately ahead of the body on the tongue
    • in the storage box if you have the box; in their own box (or boxes) if not
  • 21' and 5.0
    • inside, under the dinette seat (exact location depends on regular versus U-shaped dinette)
    • in a sealed box
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:47 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by SouthernCamper View Post
That's great, thank you! Very helpful. I wish I knew the idle loss of the ETI inverter, I don't suppose anyone does?
Some Escape owners have sophisticated electrical monitors which measure the current supplied by the battery. If any of them have the inverter, they can just turn the inverter on with nothing plugged into it and nothing else 12 V running, and read the inverter consumption. Sorry, that's not me.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:29 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Another way to look at inverter use is not the battery capacity, but the ability to put back what you use.

If you purchase the 6V option, you will have 110 usable amp hours (if you go by the standard rule that you should not exceed 1/2 the amp hour capacity). There is very little you would do with the 1500 watt inverter that would use most of that. The heaviest user is probably the microwave at 1 1/2 amp hours per minute, and most of the high power loads are short run devices (coffee pot, toaster, hair dryer, etc).

So, think of the battery as a storage tank. As long as you can put as much electricity into the batteries as you take out, all is well. They act as a buffer in that you can take out more over a short time, then put it back at a lesser rate over a long time.

A generator will solve both problems - it provides 120V for your high power devices & charges the batteries at the same time. The problem is it isn't all that good at finishing off the last 20% of the charging cycle since it takes hours at low current levels & wastes gas, you have to carry a gas can, they make noise, are not allowed at some places or times, etc.

Installing enough solar to equal even a small 2000 watt generator would be difficult on our small trailers (think 20 100 watt panels) and to be able to use it any time, far more than 220 amp hours of battery would be necessary.

The 160 watt roof mounted panel supplied by Escape can produce up to 9 amps, although in reality, it produces less even in the summer with overhead sun, at northern latitudes and during the winter low angle sun & short days. Under average summer conditions, you can expect to get 40 - 50 amp hours per sunny day, less as you move north.

It is difficult to predict what the average non inverter trailer owner uses, but 20 - 30 amp hours per day is a reasonable, even high estimate unless you are winter camping & set your furnace for 72°F. So, that leaves about 20 amp hours for the inverter. At 1 1/2 amp hours per minute, you have about 15 minutes of microwave use per cycle, enough for most uses.

Again, this approach pretty much ignores the battery capacity (as long as there is enough) and uses the ability to recharge it as the limiting factor, and I feel more useful than just going by the battery size.

Personally, I wouldn't add a high power inverter without a good battery monitor, one that keeps track of amp hours in & out of the batteries. This lets you know if you have the capacity to run the microwave, toaster, etc, or should use an alternative method of cooking, put off recharging your laptop or cameras, etc. It lets you determine when the batteries are topped off, and if you still have sunlight, tells you it is a good time for using the inverter (or 12v system) to power non time critical loads. Typical monitors are the Bogart Trimetric or the Victron.
Well that is very helpful. Thank you. We'll get a monitor. I'll carry on that conversation another day after I do some research
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:33 PM   #73
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i think i've asked the opposite of this question but if you are plugged into shore power, and you plug into a 12v/usb outlet, will you be drawing from your battery? is this fine since you're replenishing from shore power?

just asking to be sure we have enough 120v outlets to include our phones etc. if we can just as well charge our phones on USB/12v despite being on shore power, then we're fine with stock 120v outlets.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:16 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by SouthernCamper View Post
i think i've asked the opposite of this question but if you are plugged into shore power, and you plug into a 12v/usb outlet, will you be drawing from your battery? is this fine since you're replenishing from shore power?

just asking to be sure we have enough 120v outlets to include our phones etc. if we can just as well charge our phones on USB/12v despite being on shore power, then we're fine with stock 120v outlets.
when you're plugged into shore power, all 12V usage is supplied by the power converter built into the camper.. our escapes have 45 or 55 amp converters so they can do this AND charge the batteries at the same time.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:50 PM   #75
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Phone charging using trailer's USB plugs

We found that charging our phones via the trailer's 5 volt USB plugs is a lot slower than charging our phones by plugging the little phone converter into 120 volt power. This occurred with both Apple and Samsung phones while the trailer is on shore power. I think this must mean the little phone converter voltage out is higher than the trailer's USB plug voltage.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:48 PM   #76
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We found that charging our phones via the trailer's 5 volt USB plugs is a lot slower than charging our phones by plugging the little phone converter into 120 volt power. This occurred with both Apple and Samsung phones while the trailer is on shore power. I think this must mean the little phone converter voltage out is higher than the trailer's USB plug voltage.
Yes, that's probably true, but it's a lot more complicated than you might believe. There was basically a free for all in the rapid charging space, and now those little USB cables carry everything from 5 volts to 20 volts and just about every voltage in between (mine does 9 volts), and they also have different maximum current specs too!

Details here:
https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile...charging-work/

Since everyone has different and competing standards, you'll likely only get rapid charging using the charger provided by your device manufacturer, unless you are very careful matching standards. The ETI USB port, since it doesn't come with a phone, is likely 5 volts and 500 mA per the original USB 1.0 spec.

Luckily, change in on the horizon and someday soon everyone might use the same universal spec.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:28 PM   #77
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We found that charging our phones via the trailer's 5 volt USB plugs is a lot slower than charging our phones by plugging the little phone converter into 120 volt power. This occurred with both Apple and Samsung phones while the trailer is on shore power. I think this must mean the little phone converter voltage out is higher than the trailer's USB plug voltage.
USB was originally 5V at 0.5amps, which is 2.5 watts. the Apple IPad introduced 5V at up to 2.1 amps which is 10 watts. Qualcomm came up with a QuickCharge specification which uses a dynamic charging voltage (starts at 5V but can go up to 15V, and a couple amps) but the USB committee said NON STANDARD, DO NOT DO THAT, QualComm did it anyways, this is found on some phones from 2-3 years ago, and the USB jacks that support this have a green 'tongue' inside.

the latest spec is USB C, which is a new connector that can be plugged in either way, USB C can support a range of charging currents, all at 5V, my Google Pixel supports up to 3 amps for rapid charging (but, it charges almost as fast on 2 amps due to battery heat management).

so... odds are an older USB built-in charging port is that original 0.5A spec. replacing it with a 2A 'ipad' compatibel USB charger would be a huge improvement.


I've had good luck with these chargers,
https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_...seq=1&format=2

if I was doing a built-in charger, I'd use something like this,
https://powerwerx.com/panel-mount-du...er-high-output
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:16 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
Yes, that's probably true, but it's a lot more complicated than you might believe. There was basically a free for all in the rapid charging space, and now those little USB cables carry everything from 5 volts to 20 volts and just about every voltage in between (mine does 9 volts), and they also have different maximum current specs too!

Details here:
https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile...charging-work/

Since everyone has different and competing standards, you'll likely only get rapid charging using the charger provided by your device manufacturer, unless you are very careful matching standards. The ETI USB port, since it doesn't come with a phone, is likely 5 volts and 500 mA per the original USB 1.0 spec.

Luckily, change in on the horizon and someday soon everyone might use the same universal spec.
Unless they have changed it since August, 2017, the ETI USB double port is rated at 2.1 amps.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:05 PM   #79
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You need a USB tester to really see if the claims of a 2 amp output is true. The best $1.50 you can spend.
I use one of these and it works perfect...just plug it in line. Hook up your low iPad to the factory charger and you will see an approx. 2 amp draw. Hook it up to most cig plug thingys that claim 2 amps output and you will be lucky to see 1 amp...trust me I have tried many. Still on the search. We need to charge 2 iPad pros, 2 phones etc. I will be searching out a multi port charger with at least 5 amps to be split between ports.

3.5V 7V 0A 3A Digital LED Display MINI USB Power Current Voltage Meter Tester Portable Current Voltage Detector Charger Doctor-in Voltage Meters from Tools on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:21 PM   #80
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I can not recommend this one as I have not tried it but you need something with proper guts that can give the correct current to each port so your high current devices get charge properly and your low ones don’t overheat.
I do not like the open design of this one but it does display what is required to give a muilti port unit 5 amps of available charge.

VEBSTLIFE DC DC 7 60V to 5V 5A 4USB Output Buck Converter Step Down Power Supply +Case voltage transformer-in Inverters & Converters from Home Improvement on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
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