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Old 04-13-2010, 09:16 PM   #1
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would it keep up?

Okay, I have one of the portable ice makers from Emerson. I think its rated at 130 watts. My question is if I plug it into an inverter while driving will the trickle charge from the TV keep up with the draw or would it draw more than the input? I'm guessing that the inverter also has some amount of minimal draw as well. So what do you think?
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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Wiser heads than mine have pointed out that tow vehicle alternators don't put out much more than the tow vehicle needs. The result is that the coach batteries recharge at a very slow rate -- up to several hundred miles to refresh 50% depleted batteries.

How efficient are inverters? Your TV putting out 12V and 11 amps would only begin to add up to 130 watts. This might not keep a coke cold.

Tap, tap, tap.... waiting for somebody who has better facts than I do.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:52 PM   #3
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130 watts at 115V would draw about 1.13 amps, at 12.6 volts the draw would be about 9 amps. Most small solid state inverters are better then 90% efficient, so 10 or more amps should be enough for the ice maker.

The unknown factor is is the voltage drop in the wiring between the generator and the inverter, since the tow vehicle has regulated voltage a small drop in voltage at the trailer could result in discharging the trailer batteries.

One solution might be to run a seperate circuit from the tow vehicle to the inverter, as long as the voltage drop isn't too much to activate the inverters low voltage cut-out you should be okay.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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the truck/alternator/battery/wiring would do a BETTER job at this ...

if the inverter/icemaker was IN the truck (inside a cooler?) and plugged into the 12v dash outlet.

at least then the coach batteries would be UNaffected.

of course it's nice when the truck STARTs normally too...

battery age, wiring age, alternator age and so on...

give it a try and let us know.

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Old 04-14-2010, 06:12 AM   #5
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Use caution. If you draw close to 10 amps through a "12 volt dash outlet" a good deal of heat will be generated in the connection. Pay attention to any heat build up in the wiring and the outlet. If possible find the load rating on the outlet.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
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Most charge lines i have measured don't do better than a 5 or 6 amp charge rate. Not enough to keep up with the ice maker.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:50 AM   #7
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shoulda used MORE smilies...

ice maker in a cooler?

that's called a BAG of ICE and requires no amps from the dash.
___________

the newest f250s come WITH a 110v/150w inverter built into the cabin.

many of the suvs or kid haulers now have 4 lcd screens INSIDE along with power ports for a variety of charged gizmos.

folks using laptops IN the tow vehicle typically use 150w inverters to keep the puters putin...

so the "12v dash outlets" have moved past simply being cig lighters.
____________

i always tow with the fridge ON, so there are 3-4 trays of ice AND a bin full ready to use.

now about those watermelon daiquiris enjoyed while driving....

get a tailgator!

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Old 04-14-2010, 09:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I am really liking the ice machine, but it is causing some reshuffling of procedure. Previously I would buy a bag of ice and that would pretty much fill up the freezer in my smaller refer. I tried doing ice trays, but that REALLY limited the amount of ice. With bag ice, there was ample ice, but not much room for any other frozen items.

With the ice maker, I have a whole bunch more room in the freezer, but off the grid no ice. What I have come up with so far is a small (maybe 6x6 inch) container that I fill with ice in the freezer that I will fill up to use between running the generator at which time I will make more ice. I,m sure there is a better way to handle this, but I don't know what that would be yet.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:54 AM   #9
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get a YETI,

3lbs dry ice, one 7 lb bag cubed ice, cold beer for 7 days.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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As long as you don't expect to charge the house batteries too, from the tow vehicle, it will work fine. I would expect that the house batteries will see around 13 volts, at which point they will neither charge nor discharge.

The tow vehicle alternator should have plenty of capacity for that. 10 amps isn't that big of a load.

I have modified my charge line so that it uses 8 gauge wire throughout and a pin-type rather than blade-type connector. If you do that, you should be able to run the ice maker and still charge the house batteries a little.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
As long as you don't expect to charge the house batteries too, from the tow vehicle, it will work fine. I would expect that the house batteries will see around 13 volts, at which point they will neither charge nor discharge.

The tow vehicle alternator should have plenty of capacity for that. 10 amps isn't that big of a load.

I have modified my charge line so that it uses 8 gauge wire throughout and a pin-type rather than blade-type connector. If you do that, you should be able to run the ice maker and still charge the house batteries a little.
You can work out the details if you connect (temporarily or otherwise) a voltmeter and an ammeter to the charge line.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:09 PM   #12
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200 amp alternator

yep, they are out there. The problem is the TV batt condition controls the charge rate-unless you do something different. You can purchase an isolator or you can manually control which batt is being charged. Now, as stated, the "normal" 7 pin connections and wire size is certainly NOT going to pass much amperage back to the AS. So, if you are going to use the capacity of a large TV alternator (check yours-you'll be amazed, maybe not 200amps but those dang thangs have a lot of capacity) you will need appropriately sized charging conductors (Bat and Bat return) and correctly sized connectors to get a big charge current back to the AS. It can be done quite easily. Most semi tractors have such connections to their trailers. If you want, contact what is generally referred to as an "Auto Electric" type of Co. they usually have all types of auto electric eqpt as well as folks who know what you want to do. another alternative to large cabling between TV and AS is to locate the inverter in/on the TV close to the battery source and run 120vac back to the AS. Fuse both ends of the cable as a safety, and be sure to get wiring that is stout enough to survive the flex joint at the hitch.
Ice and locating the ice maker in the TV are both options as well.
be cool, pun intended
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