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Old 01-24-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
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Inverter and Batteries

Want to install a simple system for Boondocking looking for advice?

Biggest item would be the Micro wave 1100 wattS
than just tv and direct tv

what size inverter would be recommened?
I need new batteries what size 12 or 6 volt?
Do I need to disconnect my converter at anytime?
Do I need to disconnect my inverter when generator is running to charge batteries?
Is it ok to mount inverter in battery compartment?
Plan to run extension cord from invertor to living area for power, is this ok?

Thanks for ideas and help!!!
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:55 AM   #2
bandit
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Not being an expert on most of this topic I can offer one piece of advice. Most inverters produce modified sine wave AC power which is OK for most appliances yet not OK for sensitive electronics such as computors, CPAP machines, etc. Pure sine wave inverters are more expensive but likely worth the investment. I'll be watching others opinions on this as I am considering this route as well.
Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Pugtracker

Want to install a simple system for Boondocking looking for advice?

Biggest item would be the Micro wave 1100 wattS
than just tv and direct tv

what size inverter would be recommened?
I need new batteries what size 12 or 6 volt?
Do I need to disconnect my converter at anytime?
Do I need to disconnect my inverter when generator is running to charge batteries?
Is it ok to mount inverter in battery compartment?
Plan to run extension cord from invertor to living area for power, is this ok?

Thanks for ideas and help!!!
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:48 AM   #3
RickW
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You definitely want a pure sine wave. I would suggest 1800~2000 watts. Keep in mind that most ratings on watts are peak.

Personally I went this route for my inverter http://www.wholesalesolar.com/produc...m_ms_2812.html It is spliced in to the electrical line prior to the electrical panel. So when I turn the inverter on I have power to the entire coach. I don't have to run electrical cords. This also replaces my converter with a 4 stage charger.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:43 AM   #4
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This discussion is timely for me also. After a quick trip to Quartzsite for the next few, I willbe back to boondocking on BLM land outside Yuma Proving Ground. I have a 2007 3400RL and will move over solar pannels. I am poor boying it and will use what I had on my last 5th. It seems that we have to think things through.
i hate that sometimes... But I'm thinking that the batteries are the heart of the system, I have 6 6V batteries. So looking on the inverter side there was a 1750 watt modified sine wave and I found it wouldn't run the wifes curling iron and i fear for the desktop computer. So I got a 2000 W pure sine wave invertor and wioll use it for the house power. How to connect and where and sub-panels or not? There seems to be a switcher pre installed as a generator prep item so I plan to use that and connect there.
Coments and suggestions.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
mhs4771
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Keep in mind that 1100 Watt Micro-wave is cooking power, AC input will be more in the range of 1500 watts (that's the ratings on our 1100 Watt Micro-wave)
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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I put a SunForce 2500 Watt Pure Sine Inverter in my unit ($600.00 from Amazon). It also has remote control. There is also info on how I wired it on the second page. I installed a wall switch on the converter plug, so I can turn it ON and OFF when the Inverter is running.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...Terms=sunforce

I went with Six Trojan T-105 6 Volt Batteries.
http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...Terms=sunforce

I went with stick on Solar Panels, you can walk on them.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...Terms=stick,on
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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For people using CPAP's they have a converter built in or an external ones as they run on 12V. I use a 325w inverter for my CPAP plug and we use a 2000 Honda for our other power in the 5th. We are short term Boon Dockers.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
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the remote cuts off all 110V right

also my thinking is if I can run things off a extension cord 15 amp I could live comefortably off solar and 6 6V batterys
no ac, prop for heat, refrigerator,only use microwave when mostly charged up...

mike
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by thekennys

the remote cuts off all 110V right

also my thinking is if I can run things off a extension cord 15 amp I could live comefortably off solar and 6 6V batterys
no ac, prop for heat, refrigerator,only use microwave when mostly charged up...

mike
Six 6 Volts will run a lot. Depending on how much solar and how much sun you get. We run the refrigerator, the ice machine, coffer maker, TV, etc off of the inverter. Our Microwave draws 1900 watts, so you need to about shut off everything before running it. Don't use it for very long off the inverter, since it draws about 220 Amps on the battery.

We forgot to turn off the A/C once, and after six hours of traveling the voltage had drop to 11.2 Volts.

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Old 01-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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Pugtracker
come back here om things
i don't want to derail your project just to expand
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Almost every one of the boondockers here at the Quartzsite Circle are using inexpensive MSW inverters to drive CPAPs, BiPaps, computers, TVs, satellite receivers, modems, routers, phone chargers, and more. Don't believe every thing you hear, but do talk to the people who are actually doing what you plan to do.

P.S. (to "thekennys") Glad to have you here at Q!! Find me tomorrow and I can point out those who can answer any question you might have.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:03 AM   #12
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Hi, we're doing more boon docking than we expected. I've put on two 137 watt panels and a heliotrope controller in 2010/11. This year I added a 2000 watt pure sine wave Xantrex Pro inverter ($300), and powered two dedicated plugs, one I added to our back counter and the other to my storage area. (I chose not to install the transfer relay) I've also replaced about 20 lights with led's. I'm doing this with 2 - 6 volt interstate workaholic batteries. My next upgrade may be two more batteries when my current ones need replacing but so far the system s working great. Goog luck!
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:52 AM   #13
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Ditto from what Carl said. This is our 1st time to the Q. We have no experience boon docking. With a bunch of help from the experienced members here and a little modification, we have been very comfortable and had everything perform as we needed.

We have a modified sine, 1500w inverter, and started out with 2- 6 volt batteries. I run the extension cord from the inverter to power my whole rig. My goal was to run my cpap on 110v, be able to make a pot of coffee in the morning and run the heater. After the first few nights, the batteries were pretty much dead in the morning. With the help of the experts here at the Q, they measured my use, tested my batteries, etc. We made a few modifications, first we added 2 more 6 volt batteries. I borrowed a few led's (until I can get an order into Michael Taylor). I made sure everything was unplugged including the TV and microwave. That did the trick. I am waking up with 12.4 volts. After I make my coffee and run the heater and use 3 led fixtures for light, I checked my voltage again (after sitting for a few minutes), I am back to 12.4 volts.

It has been a great experience, learning how to modify our behavior just a bit, all guided by a great group of MOC members.

Ken
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by RickW

You definitely want a pure sine wave. I would suggest 1800~2000 watts. Keep in mind that most ratings on watts are peak.

Personally I went this route for my inverter http://www.wholesalesolar.com/produc...m_ms_2812.html It is spliced in to the electrical line prior to the electrical panel. So when I turn the inverter on I have power to the entire coach. I don't have to run electrical cords. This also replaces my converter with a 4 stage charger.

I did the same set-up, with the same Inverter/charger, one of the very best, I have been told.
You do want pure sine wave. many devices will work fine without it, but many do not. Don Rowe's site put it better than I can: http://www.donrowe.com/inverters/inv....html#modified

Keep all batteries the same size and type, new should not mix with old, for charging reasons, and the longest life of the battery bank.
Like Rick said, the charger should be in the Inverter, it will handle the battery bank properly. (Pure sine Inverter/charger)
The set up can be as simple as a inverter powering only one or two circuits, but you will so be plotting on how to expand the system soon.
If you can swing it, AND you will be keeping the trailer, do it right the first time.
Here are links on my system and generator set-up.
BTW, I'm not saying my system is the 'right way' for all, but it is for me. I have not added solar yet, you may want to do it all at once, or in stages, you can get by with the generator for charging until you decide to spend the $$ for the solar.
Good luck!
Ozz


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Old 01-25-2012, 04:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by brenkco

Ditto from what Carl said. This is our 1st time to the Q. We have no experience boon docking. With a bunch of help from the experienced members here and a little modification, we have been very comfortable and had everything perform as we needed.

We have a modified sine, 1500w inverter, and started out with 2- 6 volt batteries. I run the extension cord from the inverter to power my whole rig. My goal was to run my cpap on 110v, be able to make a pot of coffee in the morning and run the heater. After the first few nights, the batteries were pretty much dead in the morning. With the help of the experts here at the Q, they measured my use, tested my batteries, etc. We made a few modifications, first we added 2 more 6 volt batteries. I borrowed a few led's (until I can get an order into Michael Taylor). I made sure everything was unplugged including the TV and microwave. That did the trick. I am waking up with 12.4 volts. After I make my coffee and run the heater and use 3 led fixtures for light, I checked my voltage again (after sitting for a few minutes), I am back to 12.4 volts.

It has been a great experience, learning how to modify our behavior just a bit, all guided by a great group of MOC members.

Ken
Ken are you using a solar panel

David
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #16
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No, this is our 1st time boondocking. If we just do this once or twice a year, for us the generator and a few gallons of gas is economical. We used about 1/2 gallon of gas a day for our 11 night stay.

Ken
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by brenkco

No, this is our 1st time boondocking. If we just do this once or twice a year, for us the generator and a few gallons of gas is economical. We used about 1/2 gallon of gas a day for our 11 night stay.

Ken
Great thanks for the reply, i do have a question when you recharge with your generator do you have disconnect your inverter? thanks again
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:40 PM   #18
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I switch the inverter off when not in use. I installed a single pole, 20a switch for the converter as it must be off when using the inverter.

Ken
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Pugtracker


Great thanks for the reply, i do have a question when you recharge with your generator do you have disconnect your inverter? thanks again
As always, the answer is: "it depends".

Disconnecting the inverter or not, is a function of how you have it installed. Ken powers the whole coach (via the shore power plug) off of the inverter. He has to disconnect the inverter to attach the generator. I use dedicated circuits from the inverter to power just what I need. That way I can run the inverter while also running the generator. Another option is to use an automatic transfer switch (which may exist if you have a generator prepped unit) which will do the switch for you. There are lots of choices depending on what you want to accomplish.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #20
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Just making sure if I go with two six volt batteries i will be hooking them up in series. Does anything have to change on the charging of these from my converter or our truck. have to ask LOL

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