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Old 09-08-2015, 04:16 PM   #1
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Television and Batteries

Newbie here. First RV a 2013 Sprinter Interstate. I am trying to understand the inverter however; you seem to need a physics degree to understand. I have learned that the AC can only work with shore power or gen. Can the television work on battery power alone, and if so, how? Thanks
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:46 PM   #2
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Yes to both. Your AC needs generator or shore power, as does the microwave, hairdryer & other items that draw a lot of juice. Your inverter converts battery power into 110 power sufficient to run small items like the TV.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:55 PM   #3
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Thanks, do I have to do something at the inverter to get the 110 for the tv. As is, when on battery power the tv will not turn on at all. thinking I need to do something. No problem with lights and fridge.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:45 PM   #4
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Due to my paranoia over running down batteries, we swapped out our TV for a 12v model and wired it into an unused circuit on our converter. This eliminated the need for an inverter and the inefficiencies that come with it. We also added a switch to eliminate vampire loads when not in use.

Not sure why Airstream does things the way they do.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:50 PM   #5
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We swapped out our TV for a 12v model and wired it into an unused circuit on our converter. Added a switch as well to eliminate vampire loads when not in use.
Same here. A 12 volt tv uses less battery than using an inverter to convert 12 vdc to 110 acv.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:12 PM   #6
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On another note, Apple TV runs on 12 volts. Even without access to the Internet, you can still stream movies from your iPad or iPhone.

When the new model comes out later this month, I plan to upgrade at home and repurpose the old one in the interstate.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:53 PM   #7
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with a couple of good batteries,, ie golf cart 6 volters, you can power the TV, microwave, hair dryer and most anything else with a good inverter short of the AC. the magnum 2000 watt plus 2 - 6v golf cart batteries and a couple of solar panels with a good charge controller will set you free..

the 12v stuff if nice but not HD, most are 720P or less.. not bad in a smaller 13-19 but when you get in the 28-32 or larger it's noticeable to me. plus 120v are less costly.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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Sounds obvious, but is your inverter turned on? If not, the TV will not have power. The inverter is a combination charger and inverter. Normally you would store the AI with the inverter turned off and then turn it on when needed. If I am missing the point of the OP I apologize.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:11 PM   #9
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GFtex, my rig is an Airstream Trailer, I have separate plugs for the inverter, yours maybe different but here's how it works. Somewhere very visible is a switch, maybe a button that activates the inverter. You turn it on & it begins to change battery power to 110, it's that simple. In my Airstream I unplug my TV & replug it into a clearly marked companion plug saying inverter, once done I'm watching the news in a highway rest area. Motor homes are different in some respects & I'm sure someone with the AI will jump in here & be more specific about your coach.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:33 PM   #10
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My AI is a 214.5. It has a magnum inverter/charger. There is a remote control panel in the back curbside overhead cabinet where you can turn the inverter on and off. Not sure if the 2013 is the same.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:38 AM   #11
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Same here. A 12 volt tv uses less battery than using an inverter to convert 12 vdc to 110 acv.
I can add to this that I love the 12 volt Jensen TV we installed (I'm LB_3's missus; see his comments above). We re-used the existing swing mount that was originally installed by Airstream, thus, no additional holes in the cabinetry. All I needed to do was fashion a new Velcro strap that fit its dimensions (the original TV was a Sony and had a different aspect ratio).

It's the perfect size for the available space - here's a pic I took about 10 days ago when I was sitting on the opposite couch, taking a break from making our rear door no-see-um screen. I wouldn't want to go any bigger than this. The picture quality is great (this is OTA signal - over the air) and I never have to worry about power consumption with it. So great to have a part of the Interstate fall into the "never have to worry" category!!
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:30 AM   #12
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Can the television work on battery power alone, and if so, how? Thanks
Yes, it can work without shore power or generator power, as long as the inverter and circuit breakers are turned on. Also, if you want to receive broadcast signals, the antenna amplifier needs to be switched on, and as you travel you will need to periodically re-scan the channels are you enter one coverage area and leave another.
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:55 PM   #13
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Can the television work on battery power alone, and if so, how? Thanks
When I purchased my 2011 AI back in 2011, there was only one TV (in the front). The TV is a 19" Toshiba TV/DVD Combo unit. If I remember correctly, even when I turned the inverter to ON, the front TV would not have power. The AI Dealer sales people told me that I can only turn on the TV when the AI was plugged into the shore power or when the generator is on. I wanted to be able to turn on the TV and play movies for my daughters in the front passenger seats when we are on the road. So, I purchased the following inverter:

Amazon.com: Wagan 2003-6 400W Continuous Power Inverter: Automotive

I plugged in the Toshiba TV power cord to this inverter and connected the inverter to the 12V outlet in the cabinet above the driver's seat. With this setup, the TV can be turned on at any time.

Furthermore, my daughters have been complaining that the TV pictures are too dark for them when they watch movies in the front passenger seats. The Toshiba TV/DVD Combo unit has a very limited vertical viewing angle. I recently found a TV that works very well for the front TV location. It is a LG 29" Ultra Wide LED TV. It fits the limited space very well and provide a very wide, much bigger and clear picture. The horizontal and vertical viewing angle is 178 degree, so the picture is very clear. I moved the original Toshiba TV/DVD Combo unit to the back couch position.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:46 PM   #14
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There is either something wrong with the wiring or a breaker or fuse needs to be reset or replaced. I have a 2011 and the front TV works fine on the inverter.

How far down does the 29 inch TV stick below the front cab ceiling?
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