120v when on the road?

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Roamin Estate

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Sep 27, 2012
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I read a few posts about people plugging in their crockpots when driving. As far as I can tell, our 120 outlets don't work unless on shore power or genny. We have a 2010 24V Winnebago Chalet, and I read the manual but it wasn't incredibly helpful. Do you think we have the ability to use our outlets underway and I'm not seeing it or do we need to install something to make it happen?

I wanna make pot roast while we're driving...
 
J

jc2

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I would venture to say that you most likely will have a converter instead of an inverter.  Converters take ac when plugged in and create 12v and also keep your batteries charged up.  An inverter takes 12v from your house batteries and converts it into ac to power some of your electrical sockets, etc.  As a previous poster stated, it would be feasible/logical to use your generator when traveling for your ac electrical needs.  You generator, which would probably use in the vicinity of .5-.6 gal per hr,  would benefit  greatly instead of allowing it to sit from non-use.  7-8 times out of 10, our generator is running when we're moving to provide ac for the fridge, furnace or roof air(s), etc.
 

Alfa38User

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You would likely be far better off using the generator for all the reasons suggested by jc2. An inverter to power a crock pot would have to be a fairly big output version and would really chew up your available house battery(s) over the long time period required, even if they are charged somewhat by the engine alternator while going down  the road. The smaller versions such as those used for TV while boondocking won't cut it.
 

Water Dog

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Jim Dick said:
The biggest problem of running a crockpot while driving is you are REALLY hungry by days end!!!

That, and my wife has to keep wiping the drool off my face...! Just FYI, we typically use our inverter for our crockpot and have found that the engine alternator easily keeps up. I think the crock pot is somewhere around 200-250 watts. Our generator has the tendency to quit on us when we're moving down the road and I haven't addressed that issue yet.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There is no reason not to run the generator while driving. Most of them are very fuel efficient - I would guess about 0.3 gal/hour if only the crockpot is on.  You can also run the house air conditioning while the generator is on, if you like. That would probably bring the fuel consumption up to around 0.6 gal/hr on your coach with both the crockpot and one a/c on.
 

Just Lou

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Alfa38User said:
You would likely be far better off using the generator for all the reasons suggested by jc2. An inverter to power a crock pot would have to be a fairly big output version and would really chew up your available house battery(s) over the long time period required, even if they are charged somewhat by the engine alternator while going down  the road. The smaller versions such as those used for TV while boondocking won't cut it.

I would disagree that one would "be far better off" running the generator than using an inverter.  It does take a quality inverter of sufficient size for the task, but according to my battery monitor (Trimetric), I can run my crockpot while driving and still put more amps into the batteries, from the alternator, than I'm taking out.

I'm also not sure what is meant by the house batteries being charged "somewhat" by the alternator.  My alternator does a great job of charging all batteries when driving.  It supplies a higher voltage, and presumably more/equal current, than my charger.

When/if I run the generator for other purposes, like air conditioners, the inverter automatically switches to charger mode which allows the generator to power the crockpot.

I don't suppose either method of powering the crockpot has any effect on the aroma (drool factor), or taste, of simmering Beef Tips and Gravy or a good pot roast. ;D ;)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I don't think we can generalize about how well any given RV alternator charges the house batteries, or whether it has higher or lower charge amperage than the RV's own converter or inverter. Too many different RVs, with too many different components and wiring designs. Still, it's probably a safe bet that any post-2000 model Class A or Class C has an adequate alternator and wiring to keep batteries charged while using a crock pot, which typical has a load of about 600 watts (high) and maybe 300 watts on low. Crock pots usually cycle on/off, so the peak load is on perhaps only 30-50% of the time.
 

DearMissMermaid

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Alfa38User said:
You would likely be far better off using the generator for all the reasons suggested by jc2. An inverter to power a crock pot would have to be a fairly big output version and would really chew up your available house battery(s) over the long time period required, even if they are charged somewhat by the engine alternator while going down  the road. The smaller versions such as those used for TV while boondocking won't cut it.

My crockpot says on the bottom it is 200watts, so I bought a small inverter for under $30 and the crockpot cooks just fine off the tiny inverter. Since the engine alternator is feeding the house battery, it has plenty of inverter power.  I place my crockpot on a piece of rubber shelf liner  in the sink, but so far, nothing has ever slopped over the edge of the pot but with it in the sink, should I be forced to slam on brakes or something foolish, hopefully I won't be hit by a flying roast.  ;D

Yes it's good to exercise your generator now and then, but if my generator has had enough use for the month, I prefer the inverter.
 

Just Lou

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[quote author=Gary RV Roamer]
I don't think we can generalize about how well any given RV alternator charges the house batteries, or whether it has higher or lower charge amperage than the RV's own converter or inverter. Too many different RVs, with too many different components and wiring designs. Still, it's probably a safe bet that any post-2000 model Class A or Class C has an adequate alternator and wiring to keep batteries charged while using a crock pot, which typical has a load of about 600 watts (high) and maybe 300 watts on low. Crock pots usually cycle on/off, so the peak load is on perhaps only 30-50% of the time.
[/quote]

I don't think I was "generalizing" about anything.  I compared the output of my 160amp alternator to my Samlex I/C, with it's 80amp charger and/or my PD-9260 (60amp converter), and simply referenced positive readings from my Trimetric meter while running a crockpot.  All of this on a PRE-2000 coach. ???

I guess that was pure generalization about the smell and taste of crockpot food being the same in either case. :)
 

ArdraF

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We use our inverter for the crockpot.  We could use the generator, but the inverter gets charged enough while driving.  It depends on whether your specific inverter can handle your specific crockpot and whether the alternator can charge enough.  You have to do the arithmetic because every motorhome will be different.  And, by the way, we use the generator when we're in the hot desert and want to run the roof A/C.  Running the generator while driving works just fine.

ArdraF
 

Roamin Estate

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Sep 27, 2012
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so now i need a bigger crockpot to live up to the $9,000 inverter we just bought.  kidding!  i'm kidding!  very cool that you can run your generator while u/w - i don't know why i didn't think you could. i did decide that replacing the dinette with a couple recliners is higher on my list than crockpotting, so i will think about how important it is to me later and go from there.

again, thanks for all the information - i LOVE this forum!  (my husband, not so much.  he's realized that each time he hears "hey, guess what i read on the forum!", there are dollar signs attached.  weird.)
 

odie1234

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We have used the inverter sucessfully to run a crock pot while traveling, but since most of our travels are in warmer weather, the generator is normally on to power the house AC. We typically have a crock pot and a bread maker running while on the road.
 

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