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Old 02-09-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
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INVERTERS/GENERATORS

Hey out there:

Can anyone point me in the right direction on buying the correct inverter? I will be using it to power a microwave/Ipad/couple of interior lights. etc. I have been looking on the sites DonRowe.com and TheInverterStore.com.

Also, does anyone use a portable generator? Honda make sone with an inverter installed in it. Cost about $900.

Thanks,

jjtwister
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: INVERTERS/GENERATORS

I like the TrippLite PowerVerters.. there is a difference between converters, inverters and PowerVerters...

The RV specific ones are here:
http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/pr ... riesID=820


I have had this one for years with no issues, and like the small form factor.
I think I paid $550 for it back then:
http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/mo ... delID=2939

The new one states it has an added feature: 1875 watts OverPower™ and 2500 watts DoubleBoost™ inverter output

It powers my 600watt microwave, HD TV, DirectTV HD Deck and a XBOX for years with a 8D battery, (now two 6volts in series, but more amp hours), and charges the battery up with a flawless record when docked:

Not sure if it comes with the remote display/switch panel, pretty sure you need to get that too but it's inexpensive relative to the PowerVerter..

When it goes, I'm probably going to go with the 2000Watt, Model 2012. But I havent really needed the watts lately; plus it's alot larger then the one I have now.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: INVERTERS/GENERATORS

A few other things to consider would be:
>Amperage draw. The larger the inverter, the more it draws from the house system when switched on. So as an example, a 2000 watt inverter could pull 3-5 amps when switched on to charge a cell phone where a small hand held 12v plug in inverter might pull less than an amp charging the same device.

>They make pure sine wave and modified sine wave inverters. Pure sine wave inverters are typically used for high end electronics, something most van owners don't have on board. Modified sine wave inverters are much cheaper in cost and are fine in most cases.

>Some inverters have control panels that provide electrical information to monitor AC/DC voltages, amperage, and even have alarms and/or data screens showing problems such as low or high voltage situations. Many times the data screen will tell you why the inverter shut down when a problem occurred.

>Some inverters have multi stage chargers (smart chargers) built in.

>Some inverters can monitor battery temperatures and can automatically shut down the charge when adverse temps can cause damage to the battery during a charging session.

I guess it’s what you want or need. Having a mid size backup inverter is a nice option as well. Generators win for a reliable power source. Unfortunately they take up space, require fuel, produce exhaust and make noise, but can work at night or heavy overcast. Solar is clean but might not work well in overcast situations.

Last would be a fuel cell but you still need an inverter.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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Re: INVERTERS/GENERATORS

Great advice.

Wanted to add that powerverters charge also charge 12volt house batteries when they have a 110v connected. Inverters just invert to 110v.

For me, I switch between the Honda 2000 Generator and the 1000 when camped to charge the batteries with the tripplites powerverter. When gas runs out the cutover is good enough that the DirecTV HD deck doesnt reboot. Everything 110 is still going until I turn it off and go into 12volt mode.
Both have done well in charging my bank of AGM batteries over and over.

The Solar panels, can with direct sunlight, cut it down to half as much needed with the generators, if not less, but they do help. On a good full charge I can go in hibernate mode and maintain it topped off, perpetual.

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Old 02-11-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Re: INVERTERS/GENERATORS

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRL
Great advice.

Wanted to add that powerverters charge also charge 12volt house batteries when they have a 110v connected. Inverters just invert to 110v.

For me, I switch between the Honda 2000 Generator and the 1000 when camped to charge the batteries with the tripplites powerverter. When gas runs out the cutover is good enough that the DirecTV HD deck doesnt reboot. Everything 110 is still going until I turn it off and go into 12volt mode.
Both have done well in charging my bank of AGM batteries over and over.

The Solar panels, can with direct sunlight, cut it down to half as much needed with the generators, if not less, but they do help. On a good full charge I can go in hibernate mode and maintain it topped off, perpetual.

Same here. No solar but carry a honda eu2000 generator. It does a great job of topping off house batteries and providing power when necessary.

R
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #6
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Re: INVERTERS/GENERATORS

I use a Honda Eu2000 as well, the quietest one on the market, and nice and small too. Will power anything you might need except an RV roof air unit. Also, no gasoline smell when stored in the van (if you remember to turn off the vented gas cap).
Also, if you are looking for a low end inverter only, i would recommend the Cobra 1500. It's less than $100 on Amazon and does everything i need and more. It will power a mid-sized microwave if you have battery power to support it, and it runs my AC dorm fridge all the time.
However, if money is no object, i'd get a proper RV inverter/converter (powerverter) as NRL suggested, they are designed specifically for the abuse of being in a moving vehicle and working 24/7 for years on end. That is what you will find in most camping trailers/RVs.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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Re: INVERTERS/GENERATORS

I went with a 1500W (continuous) inverter from DonRowe.com.

I need 110 while moving as often as I do stationary. Our large race trailer has a couple 24 cu ft fridges which need power, and we found running the genny didn't work, because going up hills would trip the low-oil cutoff. The inverter doesn't care, provides much welcome power for the half dozen laptops usually running on long drives, and is much quieter than our Briggs-powered Honda gen. Even with the van running to power the inverter, it's still much quieter. The 0.7 GMH the van uses isn't to bad to me. The inverter is hard wired to the AUX battery (stock location, but upgraded to Optima).
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