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Old 06-06-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Power AC from Batteries

Hello:

I am purchasing a 300 Motorhome. I would like to be able to run the AC power while rolling down the road but without running the generator. I just want to be able to run laptops, charge cell phones etc. Nothing big like AC units or Microwaves.

I asked the current owner and this function is not available. AC work while plugged in or running the generator.

In my searching for a MH I came across one that could do this. I imagine I just need an inverter between the battery and the AC panel. I would think that device would need a safety feature so that it switches off when it senses AC coming from the generator or from being plugged in. I would think this is standard issue. For example someone could accidentally fire up the generator while being plugged in to street power.

Just trying to get my mind around this. Obviously I don't have much experience with this.

Thanks

John
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:59 AM   #2
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Get a small inverter from radio shack. We have one that plugs inti the cig lighter in truck or the Same in the trailer. Lowes, Home Depot, auto parts also sell these. Jim
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
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I have a 12V charger cord for my cell phone which also has a USB plug. You can probably purchase a 12V cord for your laptop also. Both of these avoids the conversion loss of an inverter and eliminates another piece of hardware.

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Originally Posted by jkaftan View Post
Hello:

I am purchasing a 300 Motorhome. I would like to be able to run the AC power while rolling down the road but without running the generator. I just want to be able to run laptops, charge cell phones etc. Nothing big like AC units or Microwaves.

I asked the current owner and this function is not available. AC work while plugged in or running the generator.

In my searching for a MH I came across one that could do this. I imagine I just need an inverter between the battery and the AC panel. I would think that device would need a safety feature so that it switches off when it senses AC coming from the generator or from being plugged in. I would think this is standard issue. For example someone could accidentally fire up the generator while being plugged in to street power.

Just trying to get my mind around this. Obviously I don't have much experience with this.

Thanks

John
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:23 PM   #4
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I have one of those too but posted here because I would rather not do that. I was looking at a 2000 Winnebago that could do this. Seems pretty basic to me. Just wondering if anyone has done it.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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All you need is an inverter of your desired wattage and a transfer switch wired in. Not terribly complicated, you just need a good electrician.

I run a big inverter without a transfer switch, I switch manually with two air conditioner disconnects using only one insert that makes connection so that I can't have two sources working at the same time.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:26 PM   #6
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Thinking about it, I am about 99.9% that some of the better inverters have transfer switches built in.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkaftan View Post
Hello:

I am purchasing a 300 Motorhome. I would like to be able to run the AC power while rolling down the road but without running the generator. I just want to be able to run laptops, charge cell phones etc.
John
Most newer cell phones, iPods etc. can be charged from a USB connection. You can buy the little 2-USB plugs that fit into a cigar lighter if you have those in your MH. Laptops have different requirements on voltage but they are all above 12v and 3+ amps. That would mean at least a 600 watt inverter, minimally. If you don't want to buy the portable (cigar lighter plug) inverter you will need to have an electrician wire one in, along with the transfer switch.
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