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Old 08-10-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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LCD TV, inverter question...

I did a search but couldn't find an answer, sorry for the noob question.

I just took my 2009 25' CCD on my first trip and back.

It would be nice to have TV working on boondocking trips so that kids can watch DVD or something, and when I go to football games, I'd like to watch some TV while tailgaiting. I do have a 2000w genset but don't want to run it all the time with tv if possible.

I have a 23" (I thinik) Samsung LCD TV, and it is plugged into a normal 120v outlet on the wall, but the wall also has what seems to be a 12v outlet, like a cigarette lighter socket.

My question is, if I only want to run TV (or sometimes my laptop), would it be the easiest/cheapest to buy a small inverter, plug into 12v, and then plug the TV into that?

I think LCD TV consumes a few hundred watts, so what would your recommendation of the size/capacity of the inverter be?

If I'm at a place (like the Rosebowl parking lot apparently) where I can't use the generator to run the 120v, would using this set-up with inverter drain the battery very quickly?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 08-10-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
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I'm not sure of your "run time" but I would be cautious of your power quality.

I'd hate to burn up an expensive TV using a cheap inverter.

I'm with you though, I want to watch TV whenn boondocked. I elected to go with a large tablet laptop. I can feed my video into it.

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Old 08-10-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
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I have a Sony 19" LCD that I believe uses 18 volts. When boondocking I use a 400 watt inverter plugged into the 12 volt circuit and that works fine. I also use a digital converter plugged into the same inverter without any problems. If you actually need 120 volts then that might be another matter but my system works just fine.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #4
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I would consider installing a bigger inverter than the 12 wall plug will support. Those 12 receptacle will only carry a couple of amps without over heating. If you got a 500 watt inverter I would hard wire in to the battery. If you install it in the cabinet below the tv you could just swap the tv plug to the inverter.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:07 PM   #5
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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I've frequently used a 500 watt modified sine wave voltage inverter to power my 20" LCD TV for 2-3 hours with no problem, and without a significant drain on my two AGM batteries. Should you decide to to with an inverter, consider getting a quality one such as Tripplite, with more wattage than you need.

Prior to the 20" set, I had a 15" LCD running on a 400 watt inverter. The inverter cooling fan was supposed to kick in for anything over a 80 watt draw. It never came on unless I hooked up the satellite receiver.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #7
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I hard wired (inverter power leads to fuse panel) our 1200 watt inverter...

then I plugged the TV, Sat Receiver, DVD player into a surge protector...

I can then plug the one male surge protector plug into the trailer's AC receptacle when we're on shore power....or....plug the surge protector into the inverter's AC receptacle when we're boondocking...I used a short, heavy extension cord between the inverter and mounted the female end next to the trailer's AC receptacle so it's easy from one to the other...

In any event, a good surge protector is a great device to protect your electronics... especially when you don't know how good an RV park's power hookups are...
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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I tried the small inverter at first. But, I kept burning them out.
It's really pretty easy to snake some extra cables into the trailer along side existing lines.
Over time you'll find lots of 120v electric things you'll want to run off a good size inverter.
TV, hair appliances, computer, extra fans, etc.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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"TV, hair appliances, computer, extra fans, etc."

Truth! That's why I bought the Honda EU2000i generator.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #10
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Thanks all. I think I'll just use a small plug in inverter at this time. I try not to use a bunch of 120v applicances when boondocking, and I do have a 2000w Yamaha generator, so should I need a lot of stuff, I can always fire one up.

I really need it in places where generators are not allowed, but I try not to bring/use a lot of appliances sort of defeats the purpose being outdoors, but when I'm tailgaiting, I just need to keep up with the games...getting ready for college football season....
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:38 PM   #11
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I bought a 12 volt TV and forget the inverter and the generator. What could be simpler? The 12 volt TV will run longer on your existing battery capacity because you are not suffering the losses of an inverter. I also obtained an automobile adapter for my laptop so I can plug it into the 12 volt outlet as well.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:18 PM   #12
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I use a 80 watt inverter, I think the 19" samsung is 60 watts so that works fine. However, after spending $250 in LED bulbs, now I'm thinking that $350 for a 12-volt TV might be the way to go. If i can find the stand, i could move the samsung to our spare bedroom and recycle our last tube tv. Anyone used one of these 12-volt tvs?

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Old 08-11-2009, 05:28 AM   #13
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I just installed a 32" LCD/DVD TV in my trailer. I investigated using an inverter to power the TV while Boondocking.

My TV uses between 100-200 Watts AC.
My DC cigarette plug is for loads under 8 AMPS.
The inverter to power the TV would demand between 8.33 - 16.67 AMPS (excluding losses).
I would need a 300-400 Watt inverter. Use a Pure Sine Wave inverter (more expensive) instead of a Modified Sine Wave inverter to avoid RF interference.
I would have to hardwire the inverter to the battery or the breaker panel. Use the shortest cable run possible between the battery and inverter. The cable run from the inverter to TV can be longer.
To watch a long TV show, movie or a football game will require a sufficiently sized battery bank. A couple Group 24 or 27 batteries would probably be insufficient for a 3-4 hour football game.
I use my Honda EU generator for the TV/DVD operation. I've ruled out the inverter for the TV operation because of the battery requirement.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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Canada is in North America - so they are American owned & operated.

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