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Old 01-31-2016, 01:33 PM   #15
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Do what makes YOU happy.

Sometimes we miss the obvious though. I was a french press person until someone reminded me about Melitta pour over funnel & filters. Now a teapot on the range top to boil the water - dump a few tbsp. of coffee into the filter funnel and pour. Makes great coffee and ZERO electricity is used. AND it's faster than a Mr. Coffee, AND you make only what you plan to actually USE. Not six cups and throw out half of it.

If you routinely make a potful, Chemex makes a nice pour over system too.

I do have a convection microwave in my Airstream and I do use it quite a lot, however once I got the nesting pots and pans with removable handles plus plastic refrigerator lids, I tend to make traveling meals that will serve me 2 or 3 times... Again, reheating on LOW heat on the range top actually works better than the microwave, and doesn't take appreciably longer.

But of course when you're on a schedule, having food that can be eaten cold - sandwiches - is the best.

Paula
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Old 01-31-2016, 01:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Your translation is absolutely correct, if you have an inverter that is 100 percent efficient.

Most good inverters are about 80 percent efficiency. therefore to get 1200 watts output you would need 1500 watts input.

Two fully charge good batteries would last less than 1/2 hour.

Granted, it hurts nothing, other than being a huge drain on the otherwise very good battery setup.

Andy
Who runs an inverter for 1/2 an hour? I installed a 2000 watt inverter to make coffee with my favorite Moccamaster one cup coffee maker. We only use it when on the road or off grid and each cup uses exactly 2% of our battery capacity (as measured with our Trimetric battery monitor. That figures nicely with the results we get on our boat that has exactly double the battery capacity (2 4d AGM batteries on the boat 1 4d AGM battery on the Bambi) and our Xantrex battery monitor reports 1% of the boats bank used per cup from the same coffee maker...

I lived with the silly inverter Airstream installed for 4 years before I decided it was useless and switched to the one we have now. Should have done it 4 years ago!

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Old 01-31-2016, 02:03 PM   #17
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Thumbs up

Wow. I guess Andy doesn't sell to many inverters based on that glowing review.

I installed a 600 watt Samlex inverter, which has served me well for the past year full-timing. I might be upgrading to a Magnum 3000 watt hybrid, but it'd only be to run the A/C. So I'm waiting to see how bad I want to use the A/C this year.

I don't invert much of anything outside of charging two MacBooks and a 25-inch monitor for work. We almost never use our TV as we end up watching stuff on the laptop's.

I like making bullet proof style coffee each morning, which requires the use of a blender for 20 seconds. I have a small bullet blender from Target which is rated at 280 watts. I have no problems having my Macbook plugged in, the monitor on and running the blender for the few seconds in the morning.

Out of everything I have taken pictures of, I don't have any of my original install. I recently upgraded to lithium battery bank, so those pictures would confuse.

But I put together a diagram here of my previous install. I installed mine on the back wall similar to the way Lew above installs them. I included in my diagram the shunt, just in case you have solar or a battery monitor.

I accidently connected my inverter directly to the batteries at first and so my IPN Pro with my Blue Sky was giving me inaccurate usage data. Now I know better and know to connect things to the load side of the shunt.

Overall this is a pretty basic install. I also used 6 AWG wires. Seems more than enough for a 600 watt inverter.

Parts used:
Blue Sea Systems m-Series Mini On-Off Battery Switch with Knob- Red

Blue Sea Systems ANL Fuse Block with Insulating Cover - 35 - 300A

Blue Sea Systems 5133 300A ANL Fuse

Samlex America PST60S12A 600W Pure Sine Wave Inverter
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:09 PM   #18
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I am not an expert by any means when it comes to inverters, solar, electric usage etc.. I will though share my situation with everyone in this thread.
I, with the advice of a friend who installed solar panels etc. did the same install. 2 solar panels 150 Watt each with a Blue Sky 2000 Controller and a 800 Watt inverter in my system. Also at the time of the install, I included 2-27 Group wet cell batteries from Auto Zone. My batteries on most partly sunny days come up to full charge (14.07 Volts) in a relatively short time, obviously depending on the usage prior to sunrise. I am thrilled! I can use my 600 watt Black and Decker one cup coffee maker to make a cup and my batteries recoup within 5 minutes on a partly sunny day. My system is very basic but does the job for me. Boondocking running the 12V to Frig with gas, running the furnace 12V with gas, making a cup of coffee while I am watching TV. What more do I need. I was surprised at the minimal expenditure for what I have.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Wow. I guess Andy doesn't sell to many inverters based on that glowing review.

I installed a 600 watt Samlex inverter, which has served me well for the past year full-timing. I might be upgrading to a Magnum 3000 watt hybrid, but it'd only be to run the A/C. So I'm waiting to see how bad I want to use the A/C this year.
When you fire up your AC, get out your stop watch, as a 3000 watt inverter most certainly run an AC, from 2 batteries, for about 5 to 10 minutes, maybe.

Also remember that most inverters DO NOT provide a good sine way at 120 volts AC. That alone will further hamper the AC operation.

Additionally, a bad sine wave can and does destroy equipment, which was designed to operate on household currents.

Watts are still watts and so is efficiency factors.

Been there done that in many years of behind the scenes of research.

Yes, inverters have their place. But I believe not often in an RV, since many many things operate from 12 volts DC and/or the gas stove, in almost every RV built today.

But, again, it's always up to the individuals choice of equipment and of course as always, his pocketbook.

As the saying goes, to each his own. If something is what a person wants, and can afford it, then by all means get it and enjoy it.

Some may laugh, but laughing is always an opinion, not fact.

Just trying to be helpful to some.

Andy
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:57 PM   #20
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Andy has a wealth of experience and his opinions are highly valued around here.........BUT........ inverters and their appropriately sized battery banks are a specialty that requires a considerable level of expertise and experience.

By using the latest emerging technology of lithium batteries and hybrid inverter/chargers, it IS possible to run your roof A/C for an appreciable amount of time at a rest stop without the need of a generator, or all day with a single 2000 watt generator.

This technology is NOT CHEAP but many are opting for it........especially Airstream owners.

The great majority of my inverter installations encompass whole-trailer wiring that will energize most or all of the 120 VAC outlets and appliances in the trailer.

Is this a necessity.......absolutely not! But it sure does make life easier for folks that spend large blocks of time in their trailers or full-time.

As they say in the marine industry ......'whatever floats your boat!' :-))


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Old 02-01-2016, 07:19 AM   #21
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Emerging Technology...

Lew, you said a mouthful when you said "emerging technology". I read a book in 1970 by Alvin Toffler called "Future Shock". I'll have to check to see if it's in Kindle form so I can re-read it. Sure as h*** it won't be at the bookstore... wait is the bookstore still in business?

Too much change coming too fast for anyone to keep up with it. The sum of human knowledge used to double every 5000 years... now it's about every 5000 minutes.

I know my cell phone is obsolete, I took it out of the box.

I bought an Apple Laser Writer - one of the first desk top laser printers - for $5000 in the 1980's. Grab the latest technology on everything if that's your joy - but remember it'll either be gone or almost free in another 5 years - so is it worth the premium in between?

I bought an Apple Laser Writer in the 1980's - paid over $5000 - and I think it printed at 600 dpi. Two years later the price was down to about $1500. Now I've got a color OKI sitting on the desktop that's not going to get any new cartridges because a NEWER printer would be cheaper. Whew.

Paula
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:10 AM   #22
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Ain't it the truth!!!!! Only problem with waiting for 'prices to come down' or 'if this is available now, I'll just wait until the next improvement is available' usually means that one misses the boat entirely.

For example, I've been asked when I think lithium battery prices will drop. After reading a report from China about the biggest manufacturers there........seems that most are still operating at a loss! No price drops in the forseeable future.

I do hope that Elon Musk and his Gigafactory will bring the new lithiums more into the mainstream.


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Old 02-03-2016, 07:31 AM   #23
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Lew, thanks for your input and pictures, they are reassuring.

Andy, your points are all valid and I am thinking hard about the cost vs function. I am only looking at Pure Sine inverters that claim to be usable with sensitive electronics. Having fried the clock in a coffee maker with a cheap inverter on a friend's boat I am being a little more careful.

Paula, I appreciate your thoughts on camping vs civilization. I have a room full of tiny, light, well used, camping equipment that does not get used much as we have accepted that we are Glamping now.

With that I have few more questions:
1) The price of 2000 watt inverters seems to range from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand. What are the differences and do I need to be concerned about them.

2) From under the front bed, can I get to the 120V wires that go to the generator shore power plug on the front?

3) Is the shore power plug on the front isolated from the main shore power plug on the side by an automatic isolation switch. Is this sufficient isolation assuming the front shore power plug is not being used.

4) if an inverter is off, does it matter if the output side of it is hot, as in exposed to shore power.

5) I seem to have a pretty good converter in my Classic. Is there any reason I should be looking at an inverter/converter combination?

Thanks
Brad
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:17 AM   #24
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Historically, inverters (electronic circuits that take DC power and convert it to AC to simulate the power line) were pretty awful in the waveshapes they produced. But that was like in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Most today that are pure shine will be fine with modern electronics.

Modern electronics that can efficiently switch at many times the power line frequency can produce a output voltage that is pretty close to a sine, meaning it has little harmonic content. This eliminates the issues with square wave and modified sine outputs, since the power line itself is ideally a sine. It is still a bit more expensive to produce inverters with sine wave outputs, but the extra cost is no longer that much and is getting steadily lower. Today, sine wave output inverters are common.

So really, I think the concerns are outdated at best, IMO. And I know others might not agree. But I feel to dismiss an inverter completely is to ignore the modern needs of a lot of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post

For example, I've been asked when I think lithium battery prices will drop. After reading a report from China about the biggest manufacturers there........seems that most are still operating at a loss! No price drops in the forseeable future.

I do hope that Elon Musk and his Gigafactory will bring the new lithiums more into the mainstream.
They technically are mainstream if you think about all the uses in other platforms. Modern electronics and hybrid vehicles.

Also, people waiting for the prices to come down don't understand what they are paying for. And don't understand that the prices are already appropriate and AFFORDABLE.

Let's take AMSolar, you look at the 400aH kit. It's 3,299.00 and you think "That's a lot of money compared to me buying some Trojans."

But you're looking at it in a wrong way. Completely wrong.

You are not just buying 4 batteries that you are going to slap in your RV.

In order to use the lithiums properly, you are also buying the Battery Management System, Sense boards and a few other pieces you need to have safe usable system. And they put it all in a kit, and mounted half of it to a board so you can install it right out of the box!!! Trojan isn't doing that for you.

When I priced the Sinopoly cells from a supplier in Canada they were $153 US. And you need 16 of them to make a 400aH bank so that's $2448.00 - then you have to factor in the BMS (this ranges from $200 to $500) and sense boards (these range from $40 to $80), and solenoid ($150), wires, switches.... All of that adds up.

Actually AMSolar's pricing is very FAIR. It's almost at cost on my math, so I imagine or hope they have a deal to buy in bulk so they can make some money.

When you factor that into the pricing, and then also consider the advantages of why it's better, then the price becomes understandable. They are not coming down. Do not expect them to be cheaper.

$153 per cell is cheap. Let's not forget, that my 400aH of batteries is equal to 360aH of usable power. 400aH of AGM's is equal to only 200aH so you would need 600aH to get close to mine. If you price based on that, you are half way to the cost of the Lithium cells. Start considering the advantages.

People justify the added expense of AGM all the time, even though it weighs more and has less power than a wet cell counterpart. Į\_(ツ)_/Į

Honestly, I think we are at the lowest they are going to be for now. Probably see prices rise as interest rates and inflation rise.

So like Lew said, you might end up missing the boat.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:29 PM   #25
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Lew who????? :-))


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