I am going to stumble into this discussion and cite to this link:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1UGW69E0Z ... W69E0ZQXBS
I probably will buy an inverter only. Probably the modified sine wave in the link above.*
And run a separate charger. **
Because my $2500 2500W Prosine Xantrex bit the dust and I never want a combo unit of anything again.
I also believe that running an inverter which is larger than what I actually need unnecessarily drains battery power just to run the inverter.
My largest amperage use is my microwave, which, incredibly, is run just fine on a very cheap Harbor Freight 750W inverter.
So, since I don't know much about electrical systems 120V or 12V or RV installations, and initially over-paid and over-designed mine, my suggestion is go pure or close to pure sine wave inverter but lower wattage than you think you need and for less money than you can afford to spend and keep the inverter separate from the charger so that you can afford to throw the unit away which dies first, replace it, but keep using the other unit until it dies.
Electrical gurus: Please, please correct my misunderstandings/misstatements so that I don't inadvertently mislead anyone who reads this post later.
* Hey electrical gurus: If my laptop runs off that brick-looking AC transformer in the cord anyway, doesn't it filter the modified sine wave anyway? I.e., doesn't the brick clean it up when it converts it to 12V DC to feed it to the laptop? (In fact, does DC even have a sine wave?) Better yet, I run my laptop off of a cigarette lighter 12V adapter, so isn't the modified sine wave 120V AC inverter irrelevant to my laptop? And what if I install a thin flat panel LED TV, can it also run on a 12V adapter too? Or, if I have to run it on a 120V AC inverter, will a modified sine wave inverter hurt it or cause it to flicker, etc., etc., etc.?
** I think I read somewhere that the chargers in the combo inverter/charger units cannot actually perform a full charge on a high capacity battery like our house batteries. And since I like some of the chargers and battery tenders (Battery Minder) out there, I want to be able to run the best available computer controlled charger desulfater out there, taking advantage of technical advances.
*** In fact, I am thinking I may run more than one inverter (the aforesaid Harbor Freight 750W inverter and the above-linked Whistler 1600W) and switch on only the size inverter which is needed for the use. That way I am not powering a 1600W inverter for my wife to epilady her legs while we are driving, but if I want to run both the microwave and
the coffee maker at the same time
in the morning before skiing, I can switch on the higher wattage inverter. What say you, gurus?
*** Finally, gurus, if you have other suggestions for better higher quality but not too much higher priced units to accomplish my redundant multiple inverter set up, or for a kick ass charger to bulk charge/float charge/desulfate and tend my 250 AH 12V AGM house battery, please suggest away.
Note: The following link also has some helpful information:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R3DUQ2DECX ... Q2DECXVI3O