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Old 05-24-2016, 10:20 AM   #1
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AC power

My sportsmobile has 4 (120v) wall outlets on the interior and 2 outlets on the exterior. I havent tested it connected to shore power since i bought it used but they provide no power from the house battery. I would like to be able to power a few AC plug-in type items like laptops and others and I mostly do camping without hookups. Is there an option to run those outlets off my house battery?

Is my easiest solution to just pick up a 1000w inverter to run off my house battery? maybe something like this Im really clueless about electrical systems so what ever is easiest, and safe.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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Most SMBs do not have an inverter built in.. so these 120v outlets only work when plugged in to shore power (or a generator).

Cheapest and easiest solution would be to buy an inverter like you linked to, just make sure the wire that connects it to the house battery is fused and of sufficient gauge to handle the amperage.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:00 PM   #3
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The least expensive and easiest solution might be to get a $100.00 generator from Harbor Freight. Unfortunately, they are noisy, need to be stored somewhere and consume gas and oil, but you would be in business in minutes. They also provide the advantage of being able to charge your batterys if you kill the start battery. An inverter will be smaller and silent, but will need to be installed properly and can exhaust your batteries quickly if you use high wattage loads. If you wanted to do a quick and dirty install, you could wire it directly to the battery using the proper sized wire and fuse,(as RPA said) and then plug your shore power cord into the inverter (many have outlets built in). A better instilation would be to hardwire it directly to your distribution panel. If you use the search function you will find plenty of info on installing and using inverters. They are simple and easy to wire (just two 12v wires and one 110v for most) but be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions closely to insure it's a safe instillation.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:21 PM   #4
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Maybe you can get by with a micro or smaller inverter? Big high watt inverters use more standby power than smaller ones. Unless you need high amps to power something, you might be better off with a couple small inverters that plug into 12vDC outlets. Most laptops only pull a couple of amps. The only thing I don't like about modified wave inverters is they tend to make your PC's power dongle run warm but I've used them for years and haven't had any issues. I bought a 12vDC power supply for my PC and don't even have to use an inverter to run it. Some of those small plug in type inverters are also equipped with USB ports for charging things like phones and cameras.
Cutting a larger inverter in to the vans electrical system is a nice luxury though. The size of the inverter should be based on what you want to power. Like Robb posted, a larger inverter needs the correct size leads going to the house battery. Several members have an inverter like you linked to tucked away and run a short cord to a dedicated 110 outlet installed in a convenient spot. Yeah it's not quite like having all the outlets powered up like when on shore power but how may 110 outlets do you need?
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
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It will be good to educate your self about modified sine wave verses true sine wave. As DaveB mentioned, there can be issues with a modified sine wave unit. It all depends on what you plan to run. Here is a good reference.....

http://xantrex.com/documents/Tech-Do...-Universal.pdf
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:19 PM   #6
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thanks guys, i learn something new every day around here!
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:46 PM   #7
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Greetings illking, It is deluxe to have a hard wired inverter with a transfer switch in a vehicle that sends power to the outlets. However it can be a bit involved. My off grid friends all use these small pure sine inverters for smaller loads that can't be run off of 12 volt.

SureSine - Morningstar Corporation

These are folks that have sophisticated electrical set ups and they still will use one of these when it's all that is needed. The advantages of these are they are pure sine, so they can safely power electronics, they burn little power in stand by compared to a larger inverter, there are no cooling fans, simple to hook up, and can run at full 300 watts without fail. They are pricy for 300 watts (260$ amazon, etc.) but they seem always work. And your not going to be running a coffee maker with one.
One person I know just wired it to his battery buss bar with a switch (and fuse) and then installed one outlet that is just powered by this inverter . Flip the switch=powered outlet. I don't want to talk you out of anything but just offer an alternative with what's available.

If I can be of assistance please ask
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by illking View Post
thanks guys, i learn something new every day around here!
You'll be forced to learn a lot more if you start fooling with inverters, which I recommend by the way. Dave's suggestion of a small plug-in type for one or two small chargers, etc. is a great idea, but if you actually need to power bigger things now or in the future I recommend a 1500 watt at least. Most microwaves are somewhere in the 1000 watt range, to give you some perspective, and you need some reserve over the rated power on everything for a stress free van life.

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Old 05-24-2016, 08:34 PM   #9
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...one more note.....if you want a larger inverter ....1000, 1500W etc. you need to have sufficient house battery capacity to run it at rated load, like powering a microwave.

I have a 1000W inverter and 350ah worth of house batteries, and the micro pulls the voltage down to around 12V or less with the microwave running.

.....so, for example one group 27 sized house battery will be struggling to power a 1000W+ inverter voltage-wise......just can't provide the amps...
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