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Old 01-19-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
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Zamp Inverter???

Our dealer sold us an 80 watt Zamp solar panel which I think has a good reputation. It is suitcase style and we like the battery re-charge when dry camping.
But, we have to run the generator for use of our Tassimo or toaster and occasionally the microwave. The generator is large and would be nice to leave it at home on short trips.
Zamp has a new line of inverters and we are considering getting a 2,000 watt one of theirs this spring for just this purpose.
Does anyone know much about this brand?
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:46 PM   #2
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Standard batteries could not feed a 2,000 watt inverter for very long. Put four Lifeline 6Vdc 300amp hour batteries (Model GPL-6CT) on their side under the sofa and wire series and parallel to create 12Vdc and 600 amp-hours of capacity.

Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

Rule of thumb is to use only 20% of the battery capacity or 120 Amp Hours.That would require close to 400 watts of solar cells to recharge in about five hours of sunshine, but you could then run the desired appliances. The Lifeline batteries weight in at about 90 pounds each.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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I don't know about the specific brand, but there are lots of inexpensive 1000 to 2000 watt inverters which will run the microwave or toaster. What is a Tassimo? Both the microwave and toaster will work fine on a "modified sine wave" stile inverter which is cheaper than a true sine wave one, but a true sine wave inverter is always preferable.

The toaster generally takes around 800 watts, and a very small (usually older) microwave can take as little as 800 to 900 watts, but most of the newer ones take up to 1400 watts.

Your batteries will be quite marginal for the load, assuming you have two type 24 batteries in your trailer. As long as they are in good condition, and mostly charged, they will run the microwave or toaster for 5 to 10 minutes without taking too much power, however, if the batteries are low from overnight use, all bets are off. A pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries in series would be a better battery solution. Remember, you also need very heavy wire from the batteries to the inverter which adds more expense, and you will also need a heavy T rated fuse and fuse holder in the inverter circuit.

Adding a large inverter to your trailer is not a trivial or simple plug and play situation. It needs to be properly thought out and carefully installed for proper use as well as safety.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
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We have 110 watts factory solar and 600 watt inverter. Not large capacity. But we now leave our generator at home, after the first few years of dragging it around the country, by using the propane for all heating tasks when without hookups.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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The batteries are just the standard dual 12v and understand that just changing them to the 6 V will make a big difference. Zamp thought the 12v batteries would work but just.
The Zamp unit comes with 15' of cable. thought of keep using the 12 v until they die then changing up.

The Tassimo is one-cup coffee brewer like a Kehrig and it's a 1,400 watt draw. Typically would only use the inverter for a couple slices of toast and two coffee's.
I planned to load the generator for the first small trip or two as back up till how this worked was known.

Thank you all for the information.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:17 PM   #6
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Yes, a 1400 watt load, via an inverter, will take 130 to 140 amp load on the batteries. For that kind of load you will really need some heavier duty batteries, like golf cart type. I am assuming the coffee brews very fast, but still the energy removed from the batteries for two cups plus the toaster will be probably over 20% of their capacity (I did some rough calculations). Also, the rated capacity of batteries is generally much lower at very high rates of discharge, which makes the system even more marginal.

Take your generator, or make coffee a different way.... grin.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:56 AM   #7
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There is a gas cooktop for boiling water that uses no electricity....
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Yes, a 1400 watt load, via an inverter, will take 130 to 140 amp load on the batteries. For that kind of load you will really need some heavier duty batteries, like golf cart type. I am assuming the coffee brews very fast, but still the energy removed from the batteries for two cups plus the toaster will be probably over 20% of their capacity (I did some rough calculations). Also, the rated capacity of batteries is generally much lower at very high rates of discharge, which makes the system even more marginal.

Take your generator, or make coffee a different way.... grin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
There is a gas cooktop for boiling water that uses no electricity....
Actually, that's good not only for coffee. It's good for boondocking anywhere, anytime you need just a little bit of hot water. Why heat gallons of water at a time in a water heater if you aren't going to use gallons of water at a time? A decent-sized teakettle will heat water on the cooktop for brewing coffee in an Aeropress, or for filling a sink with hot dishwater (or filling a portable washbasin for doing dishes outdoors), or even for heating enough water for a sponge bath if you don't have a lot of hair to wash (like me). It even helps for emptyoing your black tank; pouring a teakettle of hot (but not boiling) water down your toilet does wonders for softening up the solids before dumping the tank.

Plus you can heat the same teakettle over a campfire or a barbecue grill and save both propane and electricity.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:50 PM   #9
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Chuckling as I read the answers...which all make sense.
Difficult trying to give up the luxuries.
Perhaps we will pack the generator and put off on the inverter till the 12 v batteries need replacing in a couple years.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:46 PM   #10
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Not familiar with the Zamp line of inverters, but if they are like the rest of the Zamp line…..they are made in China and all they do is stick their name on it.

If you want to invest in a quality inverter or inverter/charger, look no further than Magnum Energy. Designed and built in the USA and all are fully field serviceable. That would be my choice, but some might say that I am a little biased.
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