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Old 06-11-2019, 10:44 PM   #1
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Inverter use while boondocking

While boondocking and with the A/C circuit breaker tripped, can I plug the output of my 1000W inverter into the nearest trailer duplex receptical to energize the 120v outlets in the trailer? Obviously the connection would need to be removed before utilizing an external 120v supply. Any problem with the GFCIs installed in the trailer wiring.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:22 AM   #2
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Are you talking about an inverter generator like a honda 1000.? Or am i misunderstanding?
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:14 AM   #3
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They're talking about using a male to male plug to connect the inverter and the closest wall plug, to send AC power to all of the AS 120 vac wall outlets.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:17 AM   #4
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Using a cheater plug is bad business.

Don't do it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:00 AM   #5
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Yeah, if you have a small portable inverter that you plug into a 12v outlet, it has one or two AC outlets on it. Just plug your TV or coffee maker into that. That is how it was designed. Don't do the wrong thing with your trailer.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:55 AM   #6
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Thanks for your advice on the cheater cord. I will not go down that path.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
They're talking about using a male to male plug to connect the inverter and the closest wall plug, to send AC power to all of the AS 120 vac wall outlets.
We always called those suicide plugs.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:26 AM   #8
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Hi

In general, inverter use while out and about is not a good idea. They really suck the batteries down in a very big hurry. They are something you use for "minutes at a time" rather than all the time. Running this or that in the kitchen for food prep is ok. Watching a half dozen movies - not so much.

For the intended use, getting something to the inverter plug is not that big a deal. It also reminds you to unplug things and shut down. Powering the whole trailer is very likely to get you powering up lots of odd things. One obvious example is the fridge ....

Is this a "always" sort of thing? If you have a KW of solar on the roof and it's sunny out ... certainly not. If you have a 600AH (usable) battery bank, probably not. If you are set up with the normal batteries in a normal trailer, it's the way you should do things.

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Old 06-12-2019, 09:43 AM   #9
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Hi

In general, inverter use while out and about is not a good idea. They really suck the batteries down in a very big hurry. They are something you use for "minutes at a time" rather than all the time. Running this or that in the kitchen for food prep is ok. Watching a half dozen movies - not so much.

For the intended use, getting something to the inverter plug is not that big a deal. It also reminds you to unplug things and shut down. Powering the whole trailer is very likely to get you powering up lots of odd things. One obvious example is the fridge ....

Is this a "always" sort of thing? If you have a KW of solar on the roof and it's sunny out ... certainly not. If you have a 600AH (usable) battery bank, probably not. If you are set up with the normal batteries in a normal trailer, it's the way you should do things.

Bob
That really depends on how your trailer is setup. I have a camping trailer that is really a cargo trailer with shelving in it. it's what we used pre-airstream. I have a solar system that can be set up in varying positions. Inside the trailer, I had a 9 cuft fridge/freezer (apartment style with compressor) When boondoocking with that setup, I ran an inverter to power the fridge, computers (cause i can't get away from work), lights, and camera equipment. The Canvas tent was wired for 110V with lights. The fridge was a self defrosting unit.

I had 800 watts of solar panel I could set up, but the fridge would work off of 200W on a good day and have the batteries completely rechagred befor noon. 400 W on a so-so day. Bad cloudy days required the full 800W. As long as you have enough battery to make it through the night and enough solar to run your "stuff" as well as charge your batteries the following day, there is no problem running an inverter 24/7. I did it for a month at a time with no other power sources available.

You can't just make a blanket statement of yes or no on the OPs question. You have to find out what loads he is running (or wants to run) and how he will replenish the batteries.

However, also in the ops original question was the use of the male-mail plug to run with it. Another name we used for that kind of cord was "widowmaker".
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THMiller View Post
While boondocking and with the A/C circuit breaker tripped, can I plug the output of my 1000W inverter into the nearest trailer duplex receptical to energize the 120v outlets in the trailer? .
Please clarify. It is not clear what you are asking. If I think what you are trying to do, then that would be dangerous.


You would have to make a custom extension cord with both ends being male.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:44 AM   #11
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Which would be a) dangerous, b) a serious safety hazard, c) violates electrical codes, and d) could cause a ‘back feed’ situation. Not a good idea under any circumstances as many of us have pointed out.

If you need to do something like this, install a manual transfer switch and a proper connector for the inverter.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THMiller View Post
While boondocking and with the A/C circuit breaker tripped, can I plug the output of my 1000W inverter into the nearest trailer duplex receptical to energize the 120v outlets in the trailer? Obviously the connection would need to be removed before utilizing an external 120v supply. Any problem with the GFCIs installed in the trailer wiring.
As others have mentioned, that's not the way you want to do it.

Appropriate candidate solutions:
1) Make a cable that goes between the inverter and the 30amp input port on the outside of your trailer. Important to make sure you turn off your converter charger.
2) Install a transfer switch that allows the inverter to feed the 120V circuits internally. Again, important to turn off your converter.
3) This goes above and beyond your question, but consider a standalone high power lithium power station for your 120V uses. This will give you a lot for capacity and flexibility to boondock and power 120V devices.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:18 PM   #13
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NO! Plug whatever appliance you want to run directly to the 1000 W inverter.
And I assume you would only plug the 1000 W inverter into the cigarette lighter on your TV.

If you are charging your phone, no problem. If you are running your electric razor or TV, no problem but you probably want to have the engine idling in the TV so you do not drain its battery.

If you are running the coffee pot, make sure you know the wattage of the coffee maker.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:22 AM   #14
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We pretty much camp without hookups exclusively. We have a 2,000 watt inverter with a remote switch and 200 Ah of lithium batteries, see photo. We only turn it on when we need it for the microwave, toaster, hair dryer or small 5,000 btu/hr AC.Click image for larger version

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We don’t need 30 amp service, so we down graded our service to 20 amps, see photo. We installed a simple 3 way switch that selects either the hot leg from the inverter or the hot leg from the 20 amp shore power connection to feed the panel box. Click image for larger version

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With this setup, all our receptacles are powered by the inverter. This works well for us. The biggest problem is remembering to unplug the converter when we turn on the inverter.

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