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Old 11-22-2005, 10:22 PM   #1
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Power Concerns

I am set to power up from scratch. I am considering two options.

1 - A converter/charger, with a separate inverter, and some sort of switch that will allow me to change the power source to my 120 circuit box from the line-in or inverter.

http://www.bestconverter.com/view_ca...&itemadd=70246

2 - an all in one solution inverter/converter/charger like this:

http://www.tripplite.com/products/pr...?productID=176



Does anyone have any thoughts on which? It seems like the tripplite route would be simpler and probably cheaper - but everyone seems to be using an intellipower...

Thanks for any help,

Carlos Ferguson
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:58 PM   #2
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Carlos,

Every 'power up' situation is unique and depends on your camping style and dependence on electronic appliances. What works for you might be wrong for someone else.

With that said, Tripplite has a good reputation as far as I know. If you do a lot of boondocking and have high electrical needs, you might want to pick a larger PWM (pseudo-sine wave) inverter, and add a smaller pure sine wave inverter for critical (TV/computer) applications.
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:35 PM   #3
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Mark,

Thanks for the thoughts - for what it's worth, I will do a fair amount of boondocking but will not use too much 120 - instead I plan to use mostly 12v for lights, laptop... I will add solar later to charge my agm batteries when I don't have access to shore power.

With that in mind, I am wondering if there are any deciding factors you can think of between this all-in-one unit or separate inverter and charger/converter?

Thanks for your help,

Carlos
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Old 11-23-2005, 04:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
Does anyone have any thoughts on which? It seems like the tripplite route would be simpler and probably cheaper - but everyone seems to be using an intellipower...Carlos Ferguson
Just my thoughts,
The advantage to the tripplite route is the DC to AC converter. I boondock most of the time do not need 120 Volt AC. I would weigh the decision on your needs. I have a small portable invertor, but have never used it. The tripplite cost is more then twice the cost of the Intellipower or the WFCO.
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:24 AM   #5
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Carlos,

If you plan to migrate to solar, I would design the system for solar charging from the ground up. There are a lot of solar power websites that can help you through the process.

If that is the case, and you plan to be primarily 12Vdc, then I would follow azflycaster's advice and get a small inverter for incidental use.

What is the single deciding factor? To my thinking it's flexibility. The Tripplite inverter/charger would work well for someone who has a single, predictable, fixed pattern of usage.

An example would be someone who breaks camp early every day and likes to pull over to the side of the road and fix a microwave breakfast.

That's the only example I can think of where you would need a short and relatively high power 120Vac inverter while not on shorepower. I'm sure there are others.

My point is that the Tripplite would work perfectly in this example, but there are a lot of other usage patterns where a separate converter/charger and a cheap inverter would be more flexible, and cheaper, and easier to change if your pattern of use changed.

So the deciding factor is flexibility. I would go with separate systems because they are cheaper, and easier to upgrade down the road if your needs change.
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:30 AM   #6
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Mark,

Is there anything more to adding solar than just putting in a solar charger between the panels and the batteries? If this is the case it seems to me I could add solar panels and the solar charger later, but your "plan from the ground up" makes me wonder if there is something I am not considering.


Thanks again,

Carlos
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:06 PM   #7
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Carlos,

If you put in solar you need to do a better job of monitoring (gauges) and maintaining your system.

What I meant by 'ground-up' is not to put in anything now that might be made redundant or too big for your optimum solar system. You don't want to find out that the Trippmaster is incompatible with solar after you spend $500 on it.
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