Simple inverter question.

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Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
I am new but reading a lot.  Just want to clarify about the inverter on my coach.  The purpose of an inverter is to take battery DC power and convert it to A/C power so your A/C appliences can use it right?  Then, I only need this feature when not hooked to shore or generator power right?  If that is the case, I really only need my inverter when driving from point A to point B right?  Now, if I plan on Boondocking which I think means no hookups what so ever, then it may be better to have a larger one in that situation so not to have to use the genset at night disturbing the neighbors.

My question stems from the fact that I will only have a 600 watt inverter.  I know its on the smallish side but if all the above holds true then I should be fine as i don't plan on cooking a meal or blowdrying my hair while driving down the road.  It is kind of expensive to change them out I read and since it is small, it may not be wired in to every electrical device on the coach so replacing with a bigger unit still won't run everything.

any input or advice, words of wisdom.

Thanks.

Jeff
 

Bob Buchanan

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Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
3,038
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Hi Jeff:

>> The purpose of an inverter is to take battery DC power and convert it to A/C power so your A/C appliences can use it right?? Then, I only need this feature when not hooked to shore or generator power right?? If that is the case, I really only need my inverter when driving from point A to point B right?? Now, if I plan on Boondocking which I think means no hookups what so ever, then it may be better to have a larger one in that situation so not to have to use the genset at night disturbing the neighbors.
====
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

>> My question stems from the fact that I will only have a 600 watt inverter.? I know its on the smallish side but if all the above holds true then I should be fine as i don't plan on cooking a meal or blowdrying my hair while driving down the road.? It is kind of expensive to change them out I read and since it is small, it may not be wired in to every electrical device on the coach so replacing with a bigger unit still won't run everything.
====
Some will run the inverter to power the frig while on the road to save propane.

Do you plan to blow dry your hair or cook a meal while boondocking? As you have indicated, the inverter is a must if you plan any kind of AC usage while not hooked up (such as watching TV, running a AC power computer, or whatever).

Smaller units are connected to the battery bank (either directly or via a DC plug) and have an AC outlet or two that you plug an applicance or extension cord into -- whereas larger units can be wired directly through your house converter. The later requires a switch that selects either AC from the inverter or AC from shore or Genset.

Ultimately, size and how hooked up is a function of AC usage while driving and/or boondocking.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,114
Location
Davison Michigan
600 watt is enough to run a TV or two, and not much of anything else.

I had my coach equiped with an in-motion sattalite TV antenna and a digital video recorder/sat receiver. These require 120 vac full time, parked or moving, in order to operate. hence I put in an inverter, in my case a Xantrax prosine 2.0 2,000 watt inverter.  that leaves enough over to power the Microwave  But a hair dryer can max it out.

Most of the stuff in the "house" runs off 12 volts, I use 12 volts wherever I can, but the inverter takes care of the occasional "Must have AC" device.  It will not run the 'fridge or the roof top AC's or the hot water heater (they all take more power) but it does both televisions, the assorted audio/video gear up front, the computer and modem in the back and all but 3 outlets far as my testing finds  Does such a battery down though... but then I just added a couple of spare batteries, it can suck those all night and not complain
 

Jeff

Site Team
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
Jeff:

You can replace a 600 watt inverter with one up to 1000 watts without too much trouble depending on cable length. We used a 1000 watt inverter in our last m/h. It ran TV's, coffee pot (we had a two stage that would work on low power), and other small conveniences.

Our 2000 watt inverter in our current coach is much nicer but would be a much larger project and more expensive option to install.
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
Thanks everybody!  I will track down what the inverter actually powers and go from there.  I may replace it with the 1000 and hopefully that will get me by.  I don't know how they wired this paticular coach but I don't want to overload the wireing and cause any type of fire.

I will check back with more specifics when it comes down to modification time.

Thanks again for the clarification and hints.

Jeff
 

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