Inverter? What am i missing?

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Sooeycute

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Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Posts
56
Location
Florida
Now this is strictly when I am boondocking. Real camping. Cooking over an open fire. Hiking in the national forest. Fly fishing. Exploring those national forest roads in the rockies.

I am a pretty much a full timer. I am a construction superintendent and set up wherever the job is. But periodically I take months off and head to the rockies. I am getting closer to retirement and planning to spend my summers boondocking in the rockies from New Mexico to Montana.

Anyway back to the subject. Inverters? I am sitting here looking around at all the devices that run on 110 volts. TV? what a waste of time when you are in a beautiful spot. Microwave? For me food prep is entertainment. So what If it a takes a little longer. Coffee pot? I use a kettle and pour over technique. I have a campfire cowboy coffee pot for the hardcore. AC? Just go a little further up the mountain.

What am I missing? What do I really need 110 volt power for?

Now if needed I always have my trusty Honda 2200i. That is what I have used for years to keep my batteries charged. $5000 is a lot to invest in a solar power system. But I believe for convenience it will be worth it.
 

donn

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Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
4,222
5K for solar seems a bit excessive. Two 125 watt panels and 4 golf cart batteries will get you a pretty decent solar system. What you personally need or want 120VAC for is up to you. When we boondocks we did carry a sat TV system for a couple hours just before bed. Microwave? Never too power hungry.
 

Sooeycute

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Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Posts
56
Location
Florida
Well it seems I have always been bad about over discharging my lead acid batteries. They only last me a couple of years. Of course that was with no solar. Just charging them up when necessary with my generator.

Now I have the disposable income to buy a $3000 battery. If it will last 10 years and the solar mostly keeps it charged up for me it will be worth it. In a few years when I fully retire I will be a little tighter with my money. I hope this system will be problem free while I travel my favorite places
 

Jayflight

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Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Posts
248
You do not need to spend 5 k for normal operation. I have less than 2 grand total in my setup. For small systems golf cart batteries are not really needed or used for TTs. They are heavy and requires a lot of additional space for 4 batteries. I was able to mount 2 group 31 wet cell batteries, 200ah on the hitch by turning one sideways and securing the battery box to the framing. I have 525 watts of solar and a 60 amp MPPT controller, which is adjustable for a trickle charge when the camper is stored. I have used the AGM batteries in the past. But I did not want to spend that much on batteries until I learned more of what I needed for my use.

I have a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter and do not run multiple items like a coffee pot and microwave at the same time. Of course if you drink a lot of coffee, you can always turn the coffee pot off for the time that you run the microwave and then turn it back on when you are done using it. The solar panels have evolved in wattage. The normal panels to achieve the same wattage is now done with half the panels. I have 3 175 watt panels when I created my system.

There is nothing wrong with overkill. But be mindful that you need to match your controller to your total amount of wattage of solar panels. My set up has worked for my 23 foot TT incorporated with propane frig, water heater and my exterior cooking equipment. I do call on my generator for the ac, if needed. But my time off the grid during the day and decent sunlight has not required it.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
962
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I've had an inverter even when I tent camped. A few hundred watts of AC power can allow you to use things that may not operate conveniently on 12V. My current RV came with a small inverter to run the TV's, and it comes in handy for charging tools, laptops and working other sundry devices as needed. Most of the time it's shut off and has zero impact to battery storage.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
72,979
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
What am I missing? What do I really need 110 volt power for?
Convenience and quiet. Why run that generator just to charge your phone or maybe a power tool battery? Or use a laptop for awhile? A 1000W pure sine inverter and 250-350 AH of batteries can operate most things, at least for awhile. Maybe lithium batteries, for low weight and long life.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,615
Location
Davison Michigan
Well I recall a few times I've been out in a Tent or Trailer (Or Class A) and let's say that sitting around the campfire was not happening (As in the rain was coming down so hard it looked like we were under water).... now when that happens a TV is nice or a Radio (i have lots of those) ... of course a good book works too.
 

Viajeros

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2015
Posts
386
You have it right. Essentially it is a nice to have, not need to have. TV and microwave are the main culprits in our rig. But like you say, if the scenery is great.... :)

Cheers.
 

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