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Old 10-07-2019, 11:17 AM   #1
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Inverter advice?

We have a 2018 Winnebago Sunstar. It did not come with an inverter. We have tried to purchase 2 different ones (really just want to be able to turn the TV on) but each inverter was unable to handle the tv. Each was powerful enough to run a small fan. The last one we tried was a pure since wave power inverter 300 watt car adapter that should convert 12V DC to 120V AC. Are we just not buying a big enough unit? Or could there be a problem with the plug that we are using (the one next to the dinette)?
Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:20 AM   #2
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Knowing the power draw of your TV would help greatly which may be a pain to get to at the back of the set. An inverter draws roughly 10 amps @ 12vdc for every 100 watts of output power. If all connections are good and proper power is being fed to the inverter and the TV won’t work, I’d guess it needs a bigger inverter. Which also makes me wonder if the 12vdc plug will supply enough current. Your 300 watt inverter is pulling about 30amps at full load and may be too much for that plug to supply for any amount of time.

Explanation link:
How long can I run the power inverter on my battery?

You may need to run a separate 12vdc line properly sized and fused to feed the inverter.


The TV in the bedroom of our 2018 32YE is smaller and has a power supply (black box) plugged into the 120vac outlet. The supply converts it to 12vdc @ 3.3 amps which plugs directly into the TV. The plan is to try running it directly with a 12vdc supply feed from the batteries. I need to regulate the voltage to prevent possible damage from charging voltages, etc, and was thinking of something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018WZK5XQ..._t1_B06Y5JHZG2

I'd still use the black box when plugged into shore power, just swap the input plugs since the back of the TV is very accessible.

If your TV is plugged directly into the 120vac outlet, (no black box power supply) then it would seem an inverter is your only option.


My thoughts for what it's worth, happy camping...
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:26 PM   #3
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Since our 2017 Adventurer came with a residential fridge my RV came standard with a 2000 watt inverter/charger (and solar and extra batteries). It’s fantastic having AC power on demand without shore power or the generator. I realize it’s overkill for watching TV, but I would highly recommend stretching for a more capable system from the get go.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:03 PM   #4
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Assuming that you're plugging into a 12V DC outlet, as thompwil mentioned, it may not be able to handle the current. In fact, if it can't, I suspect it would blow a fuse or trip a breaker depending on how the outlet is protected.

The best solution would be to wire the inverter to the house battery bank, ensuring that the inverter has a fuse or breaker to protect it. If not, you'll need to add an inline fuse.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:03 AM   #5
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Many of the smaller inverters have limits on their capabilities when plugged into a lighter style outlet. That is why they also come with cable and clamps for direct battery connection. If yours came with a cable and clamps, I would try connecting it directly to the battery at least as a test to eliminate the outlet as your blocking point.

We went through this same process last year and ended up deciding to just download videos from Amazon Prime onto our larger tablet and watch them there. It was good enough for our boondocking needs and we didn't need to purchase any additional equipment.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:20 PM   #6
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Way too much power demand for a 12 VDC socket. Bite the bullet and have a 2,000 watt (minimum) pure sine wave inverter properly installed. Or, forget using the TV and other 100+ watt AC appliances unless on shore power or generator. Installing the inverter may require upgrading your coach batteries as they can draw significant power and could draw your batteries to minimum in a hurry. They also draw current when "on" but not in use, also draining your batteries. In short, this system needs to be designed by a qualified engineer to keep from shooting yourself in the foot.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:05 AM   #7
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Hi!
Two things: Most important: Look that it is a "Pure" Sine Wave Inverter and not(!) a "Modified" Sine Wave. Reason: A lot of modern electronic devices do not work on "Modified" Sine Wave Inverters.

About the power: It's all about your needs... if you just need the power that children can watch a movie during transit or if yout want to run a CPAP during the boondocking night without the generator noise, 300W are ok. But if you want to start your coffee-machine during boondocking; you might be over the limit. As well as there is a need to calculate your battery capacity.

Best way is to know first what kind of devices you will run "offshore". You find their need of electric power on their specs. This will give you all the data (kW, kWh, ah; Formula: Ampere = Watt/Volt) so you can calculate the dimensions of your battery and inverter.

I suggest a minimum of 1000W inverter (pure sine) and 250ah house-battery capacity. This let you live quite well without gettig "out if power", even if you start a nespresso-machine in the morning. The investment for it is about $1200 with long-living/maintenance-free AGM-batteries.

600ah battery capacity and a 2000W inverter let you run a big residential fridge, TV, etc. during some days of boondocking.

You also have to know, that you charge your house batteries while driving, generator running or be connected to the shoreline. Because it does not make sense to install expensive large and heavy capacities for 7 day boondocking if your gray/black tanks are full after 3 days and you have to drive 1h to the dumping facility.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:06 AM   #8
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I use one of these https://www.harborfreight.com/750-wa...ugg_q=inverter wired directly to the battery, and wired to the outlets for both TVS. works great.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:09 PM   #9
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I agree with the advice above. If you are going to install an inverter, spend a little money and get a 2000 watt inverter to handle more than the TV. I have a 1500 watt, which works fairly well, but little things like the Keurig need a little more power on start up.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:18 PM   #10
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Would like to remove inverter

Occasionally I have issues with the breaker on the inverter tripping. Usually it can be reset, albeit a pain in the butt. I have tested everything on the inverter and all are working and there seems to be no shorts or anything.

The other day we had a bad storm and the inverter tripped. IT would not reset for about an hour.

I cannot envision any situation where I would need to have the things on the inverter without normal power or the generator.

Can the inverter be easily removed? I would like to throw it in trash.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:44 PM   #11
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There are several ways to wire an inverter. Probably the most common way is a moderate capacity (1,000-1,500 watts) inverter that is wired to supply either shore or inverted battery power to selected outlets- often those that serve the television and the bedroom. In that case you can just take the AC input wires to the inverter and bypass the inverter and connect them directly to the AC output wires normally coming from the inverter. Then disconnect the heavy DC cables to the inverter, insulate the ends properly or pull them back to their source. Then you can remove the inverter.

But if you do this you probably will lose a couple of thousand in resale value.

David
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi6998 View Post
I agree with the advice above. If you are going to install an inverter, spend a little money and get a 2000 watt inverter to handle more than the TV. I have a 1500 watt, which works fairly well, but little things like the Keurig need a little more power on start up.
I agree. IMO the smallest inverter I'd recommend for an RV would be a 2000 Watt to power anything you have inside, except the air conditioner. Of course, you may not be able to power everything at the same time, but that's kind of crazy anyway. As for the A/C, I don't care how many batteries you have to power an A/C unit, they will lose their power way before you are ready to shut it down, and now you need the generator to run for 12-24 hours to get the batteries back to full. Just use the generator for the A/C. Charging lead acid batteries is inefficient and require you to put back twice the energy you took out. Lithium batteries are much better (90+ percent efficient), but you still need to run the generator longer to recharge than you ran the A/C. No free lunches here.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:07 AM   #13
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I agree. IMO the smallest inverter I'd recommend for an RV would be a 2000 Watt to power anything you have inside, except the air conditioner. Of course, you may not be able to power everything at the same time, but that's kind of crazy anyway. As for the A/C, I don't care how many batteries you have to power an A/C unit, they will lose their power way before you are ready to shut it down, and now you need the generator to run for 12-24 hours to get the batteries back to full. Just use the generator for the A/C. Charging lead acid batteries is inefficient and require you to put back twice the energy you took out. Lithium batteries are much better (90+ percent efficient), but you still need to run the generator longer to recharge than you ran the A/C. No free lunches here.
I tend to agree. I've been considering a hybrid inverter mainly to provide surge power for running an AC on generator (or perhaps even 15 amp connections). I might even use it to run the microwave for 1 minute to warm up my coffee, but I'd probably just use the stove due to the issues you mention.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:34 AM   #14
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I tend to agree. I've been considering a hybrid inverter mainly to provide surge power for running an AC on generator (or perhaps even 15 amp connections). I might even use it to run the microwave for 1 minute to warm up my coffee, but I'd probably just use the stove due to the issues you mention.
I've run the microwave (900 Watt?) and 900 Watt blender at the same time to test the load capacity on my Aims 2000 Watt PSW inverter. I had no issues as these devices are run for relatively short periods of time. The output of the inverter services all of my ac loads, even the air conditioner, but I know that won't work out very well. I just turn on the inverter (remote switch) when it's needed and operate the RV like I'm on shore power. When I'm done with the ac appliances, the inverter is shut off, as it draws about .5 amps in standby and I'd rather use that battery power for other things.
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:55 AM   #15
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I've run the microwave (900 Watt?) and 900 Watt blender at the same time to test the load capacity on my Aims 2000 Watt PSW inverter. I had no issues as these devices are run for relatively short periods of time.
My concern is just the demand on the batteries, not the inverter. I'd probably rather use the propane to heat the coffee rather than battery capacity, which would probably be reduced by morning in any event.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:47 PM   #16
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My concern is just the demand on the batteries, not the inverter. I'd probably rather use the propane to heat the coffee rather than battery capacity, which would probably be reduced by morning in any event.
If your battery(ies) can't handle that small load you need to replace them or redesign your dc power system. Inverters can be hogs on power because roughly you need to multiply the ac amp load by 10 to get the dc amp load. And they use power just being connected, so power them down when not in use. Your battery(ies) need to be able to handle this. Plus, multiply that by hours of use to get your daily amp hour load. In short, build the system correctly or forget about it. Use it or lose it (get rid of it). There is no half way, it's just like fording a river and nobody thinks that half way is okay there.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by camperZ View Post
We have a 2018 Winnebago Sunstar. It did not come with an inverter. We have tried to purchase 2 different ones (really just want to be able to turn the TV on) but each inverter was unable to handle the tv. Each was powerful enough to run a small fan. The last one we tried was a pure since wave power inverter 300 watt car adapter that should convert 12V DC to 120V AC. Are we just not buying a big enough unit? Or could there be a problem with the plug that we are using (the one next to the dinette)?
Any help would be appreciated!
Sorry, this thread took off on a tangent about whole house inverters when all you asked for was how to power your TV set.

Assuming your TV is the flat screen LED TV in the 25-40 inch size it would only pull about 30-50 watts.

My 43" LED TV in my RV pulls about 2.5-3 amps of 12V DC through my whole RV inverter. This equates to 30-36 watts of power. It is good to note that the back of my TV says it uses 110 watts. That may be the max it could draw, or maybe there is a fuse that will blow if the TV pulls more than 110 watts. Whatever, it doesn't matter, the TV only pulls about 30-35 watts. I have had other LED TV's and they have measured the same, 25-35 watts when in actual use.

To diagnose your problem more info/detail would really help.
-- Have you checked your house battery? Have you checked the house battery voltage when you tried to use the inverter? You could have a bad battery.
-- Note that the 12V outlet at the dashboard may connect to the chassis battery (engine starting battery).
-- What size/type/model TV do you have.
-- Where are you plugging in your inverter? A 12V cigarette lighter type outlet or connected directly to the battery.
-- Are you plugging the TV directly into the inverter?
-- Are there any lights on the inverters that come on when you try to use the inverter? The small 100-300 watt inverters I have used, have had lights that flash or come on if they detect low battery voltage or an overload on the 120V AC side.
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