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  #11  
Old 01-04-2004, 10:29 PM
Range Rover
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Default Power inverters when camping

Did some tests on inverters a while back.

A 3.8 amp load (120volt) on an inverter hooked to one 12volt deep cycle battery will drain the battery in 6 1/2 hours. Inverters aren't that efficient. 20% of the power taken in from the inverter from the battery is lost in heat and in the process of voltage conversion.

They also don't handle large amp draws for long periods of time (need to get a large inverter for that, and those cost $$$). Plus, if you don't monitor the battery you have them hooked to (your car battery), you could easily get stuck in the campground with a dead battery.

I carry a 2500watt inverter with me at all times. Amount I have used it.... only to charge the battery on the video camera when I go riding. And you could use a small inverter for that (like around 200 - 300 watt), Other than that, I bring the 5500watt generator.

A large enough enough inverter will cost the same as a good used generator.

Glenn
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2004, 10:39 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

I hate to pop any bodys bubble, but you cant get more out of an inverter, than you put in.
heres some math.... To get 1000 watts out, asuming 120 volts, you have a current of 8.33 amps.
Watts=volts x amps
To have an output of 1000 watts, you need an input of roughly 1100 watts (a good inverter has a 10%loss), if your atv puts out 12.5 volts or so...youll need 88 amps. Needless to say, your wheeler isnt capable of that.
Your truck probably wont put out 88 amps, even at 5000 rpm. If you look in the specs, of your wheeler, and you see an alternator output of say....200 watts, thats the maximum output(usually at 5000 rpm.)
Another way to look at it...youd be pushing it, to get out 80% of your alternator max. A person might be able to run a 100 watt inverter, with out burning up their motor, but a 100 watt inverter is useless.
sorry to break the bad news.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2004, 10:40 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

Quote:
Originally posted by: Gaskett
Did some tests on inverters a while back.

A 3.8 amp load (120volt) on an inverter hooked to one 12volt deep cycle battery will drain the battery in 6 1/2 hours. Inverters aren't that efficient. 20% of the power taken in from the inverter from the battery is lost in heat and in the process of voltage conversion.

They also don't handle large amp draws for long periods of time (need to get a large inverter for that, and those cost $$$). Plus, if you don't monitor the battery you have them hooked to (your car battery), you could easily get stuck in the campground with a dead battery.

I carry a 2500watt inverter with me at all times. Amount I have used it.... only to charge the battery on the video camera when I go riding. And you could use a small inverter for that (like around 200 - 300 watt), Other than that, I bring the 5500watt generator.

A large enough enough inverter will cost the same as a good used generator.

Glenn
Thats good info. There are those that alarm and shut down when a battery reaches a certain point. You can also run them with the car or truck idleing. I also have a 1000 watt honda generator, but I was thinking, my truck already has a generator...

Marky

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  #14  
Old 01-04-2004, 10:50 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

Marky,

The car alternator is ok, for little inverters. But you jump to the large inverters, you'll be using more power than your car alternator will produce.

My truck is a diesel, so I have dual batteries and a 130amp alternator. The average car usually only has a 65 amp alternator, so you ned to power the car and the inverter off that amperage. You'll actually be fighting a loosing battle on a big inverter. You also need to keep the alternator above 1200 RPM to make it produce it's maximum output.

So, all in all, inverters are great, but not for large loads, and definitely not for long periods.

Those Honda generators are sweet. Nice and quiet, you could pratically put it next to the tent and still get some sleep.

Glenn
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2004, 11:02 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

I have a 400 watt inverter that my kids use inside my truck to run the tv and the playstation 2 at the same time. Works great. I need to wire in a 12v plug direct to my duel batterys in the trailer so they can use it in there. The trailer wiring and power source does not allow the inverter to be plugged into the ciggerette lighter outlet in the trailer, just blows fuses.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2004, 11:12 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

Quote:
Originally posted by: Gaskett
Marky,

The car alternator is ok, for little inverters. But you jump to the large inverters, you'll be using more power than your car alternator will produce.

My truck is a diesel, so I have dual batteries and a 130amp alternator. The average car usually only has a 65 amp alternator, so you ned to power the car and the inverter off that amperage. You'll actually be fighting a loosing battle on a big inverter. You also need to keep the alternator above 1200 RPM to make it produce it's maximum output.

So, all in all, inverters are great, but not for large loads, and definitely not for long periods.

Those Honda generators are sweet. Nice and quiet, you could pratically put it next to the tent and still get some sleep.

Glenn

Thanks, I was thinking about the 1000 watt Inverter. My F250 also has dual batteries and I would direct connect it to one of them. I would run a TV most of the time, but I have a short term need to run my Sears air compressor/ inflator to pump up my air tank. I'm used to running power with the 1000 watt generator, and I think that would suit me good. The honda generator is good for a weekend or longer, but for a day trip, its just too much to haul around. I have a 9000 watt generator for the really big stuff! - Which is almost as big as my 400EX!

The thing is, If I buy a 1000 watt inverter, I have power when I need it. I don't plan on using it on full power all the time. But, I think it would be nice to have the extra power in when I need it. By the way. I check out Radio Shack today - 300 watt dual outlet with no bells and whistles for $99 bucks! LOL - I've seen the 1000 watt ones loaded for around $150.

Here are the specs of a 1500 watt one I am looking at:

Maximum Continuous output Power: 1500 Watts
Surge Capacity (Peak Power): 3000 watts
Optimum Efficiency: >90%
Output Wave form: Modified Sine Wave
DC Input Voltage Range: 10-14 Volts
No Load DC Current Draw: 0.5 Amp
Low Battery Alarm: @ 10.5 Volts
Low Battery Shutdown: @10.0 volts
Output AC Frequency: 60 Hz
Output AC Voltage: 110-115 Volts RMS
Thermal Protection Shutdown: >150 F
AC Receptacles (North American Standard): Dual
Warranty: 3 years
Plug In Protection: $2500
Weight 9.0 lb: (4.lkg)
Length: 17" (.43m)
Width: 9.5" (.24m)
Height: 3.1" (.08m)


Marky
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  #17  
Old 01-05-2004, 08:22 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

Marky,

That sounds like a real good inverter. It would work great on your truck with dual batteries. Just use some jumper cable wire and some clamps and hook directly to battery.

It would work great for a single day outing to run anything you need.

Your truck gas or diesel?

Check your PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-05-2004, 11:12 PM
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Default Power inverters when camping

Quote:
Originally posted by: Gaskett
Marky,

That sounds like a real good inverter. It would work great on your truck with dual batteries. Just use some jumper cable wire and some clamps and hook directly to battery.

It would work great for a single day outing to run anything you need.

Your truck gas or diesel?

Check your PM.

Gaskett,

Got your PM - and thanks. I had (repeat HAD) a 2003 7.3 SuperDuty Diesel, but I sold it, and purchased my dads used F250 with a 460 in it. So, I dont plan on plugging in the Inverter all the time or running the motor for a long period of time - more than 15 minutes. But I do want to be able to use the inverter in an emergency or if I need to pump up my air tank. I think the 1500 watt is too much for me, so I'm getting the 1000 watt one. I have a 300 watt one I can borrow for small stuff like battery charging. I've got a portable DVD player that I can keep charged with the little one too. Why I ended up picking the Cherokee one was the specs - Its gonna shut down before my battery is completely discharged - A good saftey measure incase I screw up. Another nice thing is that it hardly uses any power if no power is drawn from it.

Thanks for your help!
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2004, 01:30 AM
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Default Power inverters when camping

I've been using a 450W unit for several years, runs the TV and VCR just fine, but that's about the limit for this unit. Used it hunting for a week at a time on a seperate Deep Cell battery that I bring along just for the inverter, never ran out of power even after 10 - 1 1/2 movies. Charge the Battery over night and it's ready to go again for another week. That being said, I wish I would have gone larger, 800-1000w. These must be hook directly to the battery and turn them off when not in use, they use power even if you don't...
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2004, 02:27 AM
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Default Power inverters when camping

My 950 runs tv & vcr all night with 2 golf cart batteries. works great when you dont want to run generator
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Old 01-06-2004, 02:27 AM
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atv, battery, camping, can, install, inverter, inverters, invertor, power, run, running, small, truck, tv, vcr, work



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