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Old 04-15-2020, 11:56 AM   #21
KimNTerry
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
So, if you plan to install your inverter "near the battery bank" you can reduce the need for a long run "2 ga or 4 ga cables" from the battery to the inverter. You can usually run a 2' cable from the battery to the inverter and then run 14 ga ROMEX from the inverter to the wall outlet. That saves a significant amount of money (copper is expensive) and also saves enough weight in wiring to at least address in the "overall electrical distribution plan".

Depending on where your batteries are located, where you want to install the inverter and where you plan to install the 120VAC outlets, a bit of "planning the alternatives" can save anywhere from $40-50 in a small trailer to well over $100 in the price of long runs of 2ga copper cable.
Also always follow the instructions from the inverter manufacturer. Install instructions for my 1800 watt inverter charger specify a minimum 2/0 cable not longer than 5 ft. Fused with a 250Amp fuse.

The smaller inverter I want to get is a hard wired unit to be installed near the battery using 14/2 wire to distribute the AC current to an outlet.
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:33 PM   #22
KRumm
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Originally Posted by rabbit59 View Post
Also KRumm, what is your panel, controller, batteries, and inverter you use and why? If you don't mind sharing...Thanks
6 100w solar panels (three in series over the front bedroom fixed to the roof... three in series down the rear side that can be tilted - both paralleled together

Renogy Rover 40amp charge controller with Bluetooth app

2 200 12v Renogy AGM Batteries (should last 3 me days without sun)

AIMS 2,000w Inverter with transfer switch built in (this powers the kitchen outlets, microwave, entertainment center and one outlet in the bedroom
Renogy Basic shunt battery monitor (see 1/2 priced generic unit below)

The whole setup (with batteries) cost less than $2,000...

Here is links to items:

https://www.amazon.com/Newpowa-Monoc...s%2C420&sr=8-5

https://www.renogy.com/rover-li-40-a...ge-controller/

https://www.renogy.com/deep-cycle-ag...12-volt-200ah/
(Watch as they always do sales on website)

https://www.aimscorp.net/2000-pure-s...standards.html

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081SXH9TK...v_ov_lig_dp_it

Espresso Machine: https://www.wholelattelove.com/produ...ia-classic-pro
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:54 AM   #23
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Great input all...am learning lots. I appreciate you all taking the time. Hope everyone gets some camping time with all the craziness going on.
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #24
SDFlip
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Change TV

In reading about many boondocking blogs I am surprised that no one mentions changing the tv out. If you look at most flat screen tv's they run on 17v dc, so I looked around and found several 12v dc available. For a lot of you that would mean no inverter.
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:21 AM   #25
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In reading about many boondocking blogs I am surprised that no one mentions changing the tv out. If you look at most flat screen tv's they run on 17v dc, so I looked around and found several 12v dc available. For a lot of you that would mean no inverter.
Makes a lot of sense to me, you've got to consume power somewhere to go from 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC and then back down to 17 (or 12) volts D.C. Works if you can receive over-the-air signals. Now if Dish had a 12 volt receiver....
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:47 AM   #26
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About 90% of our trips are dry camping at state and provincial parks. When my original 12v batteries bit the bullet, I switched to 6v which was expensive but works better. I can go 2 or 3 days before using my 2100 watt Firman Inverter Generator to bring my batteries back up to snuff. I also have a 12v battery that I use exclusively with a power inverter to run my lcd tv in order not to drain off my main batteries. The system works great for me. Had a small solar panel for awhile but was unimpressed so I sold it.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:05 PM   #27
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by KRumm View Post
6 100w solar panels (three in series over the front bedroom fixed to the roof... three in series down the rear side that can be tilted - both paralleled together

Renogy Rover 40amp charge controller with Bluetooth app

2 200 12v Renogy AGM Batteries (should last 3 me days without sun)

AIMS 2,000w Inverter with transfer switch built in (this powers the kitchen outlets, microwave, entertainment center and one outlet in the bedroom
Renogy Basic shunt battery monitor (see 1/2 priced generic unit below)

The whole setup (with batteries) cost less than $2,000...

Here is links to items:

https://www.amazon.com/Newpowa-Monoc...s%2C420&sr=8-5

https://www.renogy.com/rover-li-40-a...ge-controller/

https://www.renogy.com/deep-cycle-ag...12-volt-200ah/
(Watch as they always do sales on website)

https://www.aimscorp.net/2000-pure-s...standards.html

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081SXH9TK...v_ov_lig_dp_it

Espresso Machine: https://www.wholelattelove.com/produ...ia-classic-pro
Thats the perfect system I am hoping to set up. Thank you for posting g the links.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:18 PM   #28
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Unhappy

We are looking at the same system upgrade as the OP. With dry camping as our priority.

We just bought this used Sprinter which has nothing but a converter and a 12V battery. So we will need EVERYTHING upgrading the converter/batteries and adding some kind of solar.

I do have a question: How do I bypass the stock converter when adding an inverter or do I even have to??

Also if I mount the inverter next to the battery in the front compartment. Do I need to run additional (larger) wire to the 120V outlets inside?

Thank you for the great links and info.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:05 PM   #29
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We are looking at the same system upgrade as the OP. With dry camping as our priority.

We just bought this used Sprinter which has nothing but a converter and a 12V battery. So we will need EVERYTHING upgrading the converter/batteries and adding some kind of solar.

I do have a question: How do I bypass the stock converter when adding an inverter or do I even have to??

Also if I mount the inverter next to the battery in the front compartment. Do I need to run additional (larger) wire to the 120V outlets inside?

Thank you for the great links and info.
If you are adding a inverter you do not need to bypass the stock converter. There are many ways to do it depending on your needs. You can have the inverter power only a couple of outlets or you can run an extension cord from the inverter into the trailer and power what you need from there.


Having said all of that...you can do a lot of dry camping on 2 6volt batteries and a small inverter. Everything in the trailer is designed to run off of 12volt power and propane. The only thing you need ac, 110volt power, for is the air conditioner, microwave, and house style outlets. So I just have a small inverter plugged into the 12v outlet behind my tv to power the tv and Apple TV. I donít need the 110 outlets for anything else. I run my generator when I need the microwave and coffee pot.

Hereís a video on my setup

https://youtu.be/iaQZY_naOdE
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:51 PM   #30
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My 55" TV only draw 78 watts (Label on back)... So I installed a small dedicated inverter in the TV console just for the TV & Apple TV box so I don't need to run the big inverter to watch TV

https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-300W-P...350752&sr=8-29

I also added a 12v switch in the TV console to turn the inverter off and on...

https://www.amazon.com/Twidec-Rocker...s%2C431&sr=8-9

I have a second identical 300w inverter that I mounted underneath the dining room table to power my laptop...
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:02 AM   #31
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Gotta agree with Mike. We're really satisfied with our simple and inexpensive set up. I've been watching a couple of threads on this subject recently and I'm just not understanding the overkill, (IMHO) where folks are wanting to run "everything" on their batteries. A pair of good 6v or even 12v batteries will work just fine for a weekend of camping and much much longer if you have some method of topping them off (recharging) during the day. Yes, there are those who need to run a CPAP and to those folks I say "Good on Ya" for continuing to get out there to camp and enjoy life! You likely need a more sophisticated system.
For us, we watch movies when we feel like it. Use the CD and lights as much as we want. Keep the Cougar warm when we're camping late in the season and generally enjoy our time camping. Of course, to each his own, but the KISS method works for us
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:01 AM   #32
X-Jaywalker
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Originally Posted by Logan X View Post
If you are adding a inverter you do not need to bypass the stock converter. There are many ways to do it depending on your needs. You can have the inverter power only a couple of outlets or you can run an extension cord from the inverter into the trailer and power what you need from there.


Having said all of that...you can do a lot of dry camping on 2 6volt batteries and a small inverter. Everything in the trailer is designed to run off of 12volt power and propane. The only thing you need ac, 110volt power, for is the air conditioner, microwave, and house style outlets. So I just have a small inverter plugged into the 12v outlet behind my tv to power the tv and Apple TV. I donít need the 110 outlets for anything else. I run my generator when I need the microwave and coffee pot.

Hereís a video on my setup

https://youtu.be/iaQZY_naOdE
Thanks Mike...great information. We are keeping it simple as well. But like dry camping with the grandkids. The previous owner installed a Marine +12V battery with 625CCA, which is the first to go. I want to buy Made in the USA components and I will be ordering the (2) 6V batteries you have. My rig does not have the 12V cigarette plug, but I will be checking out the simple "pure sine wave inverters". I have read the battery monitors are important as well and heard a lot of good things about the Victron products. We dont use the AC much, so I do not need a big generator. It would be nice to have a small unit handy. I appreciate your help and video. Thx again
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:14 AM   #33
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Thanks Mike...great information. We are keeping it simple as well. But like dry camping with the grandkids. The previous owner installed a Marine +12V battery with 625CCA, which is the first to go. I want to buy Made in the USA components and I will be ordering the (2) 6V batteries you have. My rig does not have the 12V cigarette plug, but I will be checking out the simple "pure sine wave inverters". I have read the battery monitors are important as well and heard a lot of good things about the Victron products. We dont use the AC much, so I do not need a big generator. It would be nice to have a small unit handy. I appreciate your help and video. Thx again
Iím happy to help. It sounds like you are on the right track. Enjoy the trips with your grandkids!

Just for further information, I can keep the batteries (2 6v batteries with 232 amp hours each) topped off if I run the generator about one out per day. If I donít run the generator I can camp for three or four days, depleting the batteries to about 60% state of charge, before I need to recharge
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:53 PM   #34
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Gotta agree with Mike. We're really satisfied with our simple and inexpensive set up. I've been watching a couple of threads on this subject recently and I'm just not understanding the overkill, (IMHO) where folks are wanting to run "everything" on their batteries. A pair of good 6v or even 12v batteries will work just fine for a weekend of camping and much much longer if you have some method of topping them off (recharging) during the day. Yes, there are those who need to run a CPAP and to those folks I say "Good on Ya" for continuing to get out there to camp and enjoy life! You likely need a more sophisticated system.
For us, we watch movies when we feel like it. Use the CD and lights as much as we want. Keep the Cougar warm when we're camping late in the season and generally enjoy our time camping. Of course, to each his own, but the KISS method works for us
Thank you. KISS is a great way to go. I am a technical guy and have a natural instinct to over think everything.
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:59 PM   #35
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We have since converted our trailer to run solely on battery (when 120v is not available) such that we can watch TV, run our CPAPs and still get 2-3 days of use before we need to recharge. We plan to get a small generator to help with the charging should that happen again.

So I'm curious. What did you do to get several days out of your batteries. I mainly want to be able to run on 12v for 24 hours. Just a fan when it's hot and the furnace when its cold. I have a generator for the big loads during the day.
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Old 04-28-2020, 06:34 PM   #36
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We haven't been able to test the endurance of our system yet. Based on what others with similar configurations have said, we're hoping for a couple days between recharging, but it really depends on the usage - even overnight temperature is going to play a significant role.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:27 PM   #37
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So I'm curious. What did you do to get several days out of your batteries. I mainly want to be able to run on 12v for 24 hours. Just a fan when it's hot and the furnace when its cold. I have a generator for the big loads during the day.
I use two, 232 amp hour, 6 volt golf cart batteries. I have camped off grid with them many times, in temperatures down to 25 degrees F. I use the furnace, fridge, lights, water pump, charge phones, and watch 8-10 hours of TV per day.

I average about 15% battery discharge (or 85% state of charge) per 24 hour day. I’ve gone three days without recharging with about 40% battery discharge (or 60% state of charge).

60% state of charge is as low as I will take my batteries. Taking them below 50% will damage them and shorten their lifespan.

I highly recommend using two six volt batteries.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:09 PM   #38
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X2 on two 6 volts, only thing better is four of them.
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:52 AM   #39
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Rabbit, the initial thread, wanted to know about upgrading his batteries and we have moved into solar, tvs and other things.

Hey Rabbit, so how did you upgrade your batteries. If you wanted a 'little' upgrade just put 2- 6 volt batteries into your trailer.
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:52 AM   #40
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Logan X: When you are down to 60% SOC, you just run the generator and let the built-in charger charge the batteries? How long does it take from 60% SOC to get to 100%?
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