Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
New Member
 
2004 19' Bambi
Santa Barbara , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Adding Interior 110 outlet from Solar

I have an '04 Bambi (19) that has an 80w Go Power Solar charging kit installed. We do a lot of dry camping and because the outlets don't work when we are "dry", I would like to add an outlet that we can plug small things into. I know I'll need an power inverter however, I don't know how to put it all together. I believe I would add the outlet on the front left side, under the table bench seat (where the water holding tank it).
Thanks for your thoughts.
__________________

__________________
sbair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Siloam Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,314
The most efficient setup would be to place the inverter as close to the battery as possible and then run the 120 volt AC wire to the most convenient location for use.
Converting 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC is not very efficient process. It takes a LOT of 12 current (amps) to make 120 volt AC power. The longer the distance between the battery and the inverter, the larger the wire must be to carry the high amperage current. But, a light 14 gauge extension cord will carry the 120 AC power anywhere in your trailer with very little loss.
__________________

__________________
Jeff & Cindy
Remi & Hunter
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
WBCCI #7026 Air #17054
"Fus-A-Lodge II"
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
Fuil-Timers
 
DreamStreamr's Avatar
 
2005 25' International CCD
Everywhere , North America
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 483
Images: 38
Send a message via Skype™ to DreamStreamr
We recently added a 400 watt inverter specifically to run a desk lamp we picked up for our dinette. It looks so great, what we had been looking for. Has a CFL 9 watt bulb, so doesn't use much juice. And we have 460 ah battery storage, lots of capacity. But we didn't have an inverter.

This was a cheapy inverter but is quiet and fits no problem near our battery banks, under our L-sofa. We plugged a short extension cord into it for the lamp. We plugged into the inverter also a switched outlet strip mounted on the back of the dinette backrest just under the magazine racks, facing the sofa. We installed a remote on-off switch for the inverter.

We use the inverter to power the lamp, of course, and the outlet strip provides all the outlets we need for charging two laptops, a phone, a tablet, all at once if we want.

Someday we might get a big boy inverter to do the "house". It would be a much bigger step, though, because we would then need an automatic transfer switch, disaster fuse, added distribution panel, and much bigger primary wires. Whenever we discuss it we readily agree, we don't need anything more than the convenience outlets from the current setup.
__________________
Jim N5RTG & Deb N4RTG
WBCCI #4822 SKP # 094415
find us here
http://dreamstreamr.com
http://dreamstreamr.wordpress.com
DreamStreamr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 07:10 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
CA_Tallguy's Avatar
 
1977 31' Excella 500
Zavalla , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 433
Yes, as has already been said -- put the inverter very close to the batteries, and keep the wiring very short. Also, you MUST use heavy gauge wire to the inverter as the current draw will heat things up. For a small inverter that will not run much, it isn't as big of a concern as a 2000+ watt inverter, but still -- you very much need to use decent cable.

It would be best to have the inverter close but separated from the batteries, however, as an inverter can generate small sparks and batteries can put off flammable gas.

Finally, you might want to get a decent quality inverter, if for no other reason than a good one won't need a fan running as often! I just picked up a 600 watt xantrex prowatt SW (sinewave) inverter for about $100 on clearance at Camping World. I think the employees marked it down more than they were supposed to. Still, looks like they are only $150 to $200 on the web. Very nice unit and the fan hardly runs compared to the inverter I previously had. I actually don't think it has run at all with the loads that I've put on it (TV+DVD, computer, cordless tool battery chargers).

Here's an informercial-ly video about it...


If you don't know about inverters -- the sinewave inverters are "clean" power and you don't have to worry about incompatibility or damage to certain electronics. The "square wave" inverters run just about everything but still -- to save 50 or 100 bucks they are not worth the risk to me. If I get a very large inverter, I might think about a square wave if I also still have this sinewave for sensitive things.

OK, one last bit of advice -- buy an inverter that isn't oversized for what you think you will need. They run more efficiently when matched to the load, or so I've been told.
__________________
WBCCI #1711
Texas Gulf Coast Unit, Texas Airstream Harbor
Angelina National Forest, Zavalla, TX
CA_Tallguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 07:26 PM   #5
Fuil-Timers
 
DreamStreamr's Avatar
 
2005 25' International CCD
Everywhere , North America
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 483
Images: 38
Send a message via Skype™ to DreamStreamr
Man, I want the sine wave inverter you got, CA Tall Man. Great deal and much better setup than I bought. We weren't really looking for more than a pocket inverter to run the lamp so we under-spec'd it trying to get by.

Then we realized, Hey, this is a cool thing to have -- so we rigged it for more convenience. I'll be following your advice on (1) getting a better quality one, preferably SW; and (2) gaining a quieter one, although we barely hear it under the sofa.

Thanks for great post!
__________________
Jim N5RTG & Deb N4RTG
WBCCI #4822 SKP # 094415
find us here
http://dreamstreamr.com
http://dreamstreamr.wordpress.com
DreamStreamr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
CA_Tallguy's Avatar
 
1977 31' Excella 500
Zavalla , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 433
I forgot to mention one thing about mounting location -- you need to think about turning it on and off as it will draw current even if items plugged in are not powered up. So it should be accessible for that. The xantrex units have a remote panel you can buy but I'm not 100% certain that you can turn it on and off from them so best to check that out first. Somewhere I read that safety regulations made it so you could only turn OFF the inverter from the remote but to turn it on you had to do it right on the inverter. Seems too bad if that were the case so I do hope that I am wrong and they work for on AND off.

My inverter is in the credenza next to the fridge so I can reach it no problem, but I have HUGE welding cable running there from the batteries because that's where my solar controller also is located.

Another way to wire it would be with a switch (high current or using a high current relay) on the 12 volt feeding the inverter, but again you need to make sure that the inverter would switch on and off using that method. I think many use electronic switches that start up in the OFF position when power is applied. So this method may not work on any inverters at all. Can't say for sure.
__________________
WBCCI #1711
Texas Gulf Coast Unit, Texas Airstream Harbor
Angelina National Forest, Zavalla, TX
CA_Tallguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 08:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,791
Just a couple of more things on the Sine Wave vs. the Modified Square Wave type inverters.

The SW typically have a higher standby loss (that is current draw when at idle, not powering anything). Typical is 1 to 1.25 amps. Standby losses on most Modified Square wave inverters is in the range of 0.06 to 0.1 amps. Some go as high as 0.6 amps. So, if you leave the SW on when not using it, it will eat into your batteries at a much faster rate.

The overall efficiency of the SW inverters is somewhat less than a MSW inverter, partly due to the factor above. SW generally in the 85% to 88% and MSW in the range of 90% to 92%.

I am not pushing one over the other, but I did want to point that information out.
__________________
idroba is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
Fuil-Timers
 
DreamStreamr's Avatar
 
2005 25' International CCD
Everywhere , North America
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 483
Images: 38
Send a message via Skype™ to DreamStreamr
Spot On about the switching circuit.

I used a too small relay first time, and the inverter can reclose the relay contacts on it's own -- not a good thing. I am installing a 50amp 12vdc relay instead of the original 30amp relay. Nice thing about using a high current relay is using a very small current circuit for switching. I have a micro-switch mounted next to the ham radio, easy to reach and use.
__________________

__________________
Jim N5RTG & Deb N4RTG
WBCCI #4822 SKP # 094415
find us here
http://dreamstreamr.com
http://dreamstreamr.wordpress.com
DreamStreamr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Seeking Feedback: solar solutions for full-time telecommers burnsdl Generators & Solar Power 7 08-19-2011 02:31 PM
Solar Power for Battery Maintenance Tumajin Generators & Solar Power 10 08-12-2011 06:10 AM
Help my solar controller caught on fire bmklawt Generators & Solar Power 8 06-28-2011 09:59 AM
How much solar do I really need sgoetz Generators & Solar Power 12 05-19-2011 08:28 AM
Pex for fresh tank outlet DanielB Fresh Water Systems 12 01-23-2011 04:10 PM


Airstream Classifieds



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Airstream News Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Airstream news in your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]