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Aaron-Laura 10-05-2017 08:19 PM

Changing out converter to an inverter/converter combo
I have a 2016 Bambi Sport, 22'FB. I have purchased a 200 watt portable Zamp solar panel. It is working GREAT for DC stuff. However, I want to install a inverter so my AC outlets will work off my batteries. Going to get a Xantrex product but wonder if I should just get an inverter or a inverter/converter combo. What's involved in the change out. And by the way I am a novice so will having a solar dealer here in Wichita put this in!

Isuzusweet 10-05-2017 08:30 PM

Just so you know there are many different types of inverters out there; Modified sine wave, sine wave, pure sine wave, square wave..........and you get what you pay for, big time.

I would look up reliability of any inverter and its manufacturers reputation BEFORE you purchase as many of these companies use off shore components.

Also realize that the amount of battery storage needed to power an inverter for 110v is HUGE! Turning on a microwave will kaput your batter power in no time.

Ganging an inverter with a converter is functionally a good thing to do, but remember this.........if one side goes kaput, and you have to get it fixed; you have no power at all. Also a Power Dynamics converter is cheap, cheap, cheap, compared to an inverter/converter.

You need to talk to Lewster before purchasing any components.


Bob Blarney 10-05-2017 08:37 PM

What 120VAC device do you have in mind? A device that draws only 120 watts would 10amps for the device, plus whatever losses that would be added by the inverter. So running a 120VAC device for any significant period might deplete your batteries quickly. Maybe you should consider an inverter generator - they're lighter in weight and run relatively quietly.

This looks like a good deal:

Aaron-Laura 10-06-2017 03:10 PM

We will only using the outlets, primarily for laptop, small floor fan, occasional hair dryer or curling iron. NO AC or Microwave. We use DC to charge phones, iPads, cameras. Aaron

Isuzusweet 10-06-2017 09:11 PM


Originally Posted by Aaron-Laura (Post 2018263)
We will only using the outlets, primarily for laptop, small floor fan, occasional hair dryer or curling iron. NO AC or Microwave. We use DC to charge phones, iPads, cameras. Aaron

Going to need Pure Sine wave for the electronics if you decide to power them, and you do realize that a hair dryer and curling iron use as much electricity as a microwave.....1500 watts usually.

uncle_bob 10-06-2017 10:21 PM


Best guess is that you will run a hundred watts into the inverter even doing the sort of small stuff you describe. Inverters are not very efficient running light loads. Rough guess is you are in the 10A range as a result. Eight hours of run time will hit 80AH. That's at the "stop using" point on your batteries.

A 200W pannel will give you a practical max of about 160W. If you get that for an effective 8 hours a day, you are doing better than most (full sun in June ...). Solar converter is 80 to 90% efficient. That takes 160W to 140 or so. At 13.7V into the battery, you get about 10A max. In a day, you get about 80 AH.

Now, your hair dryer likely pulls 1800W. That's about 170A off of your battery. In 30 minutes, it will flatten the battery if you do nothing else that day. The battery is less efficient
at that level of current. Three minutes of hair dryer takes away one of your eight hours of "low power stuff".

Bottom line is you don't have any margin. Ideally you would like to have a one day charge that will keep you running for two days (like when there are clouds). You would need about 2X the solar to get that done.


gklott 10-07-2017 10:27 AM

We're happy with our Magnum MMS1012-G pure sine wave, 1000W inverter charger. Cost is about $850. We added the ME-ARC50 Advanced Remote Control and the Battery Monitor Kit.

The MMS1012-G has the correct charging profiles for AGM and even lithium batteries. We use it with our Lifeline GPL-31T AGM batteries.

We only use the inverter for little things - laptop charger, small TV, etc. We do not use an inverter for A/C, cooking, hair dryer, curling iron, etc.


Wazbro 10-07-2017 06:43 PM

My parents trailer has an inverter/charger and the way the previous owner had it wired it "tries" to power the entire trailer. I hate that setup since if the air conditioner is on and the power goes out it will try to power it and overload, reset and overload........................... until the AC is turned off, the power comes back on, the battery dies or something fails. Really bad if you go out for a couple hours and the power goes out.

uncle_bob 10-07-2017 07:09 PM


Inverter / chargers don't *have* to run all the 120V outlets. With any inverter, it's generally better to think a bit about what you do or do not want to route to the inverter via the transfer switch. Transfer switches are an independent choice. Not all inverter / chargers have them. Some inverters have them built in ... It's a separate choice.


TinkersToy 10-08-2017 06:18 PM

I installed a 1000 watt (2000 watt peak) pure sun wave inverter under the bed with one outlet on the wall beneath the bed. With the 100 ah Li Ion battery it works fine to run the TV and charge the tooth brush etc. the 100 watt solar panel has been adequate during our weeklong trips.

uncle_bob 10-09-2017 09:18 AM


Note to those reading along:

1KW inverter will pull about 150A off the battery. At 2KW peak, it will run 300A. .... even for lithiums, that's not a good idea on a 100AH battery. Peak currents should be less that capacity. Will it nuke the battery instantly? nope. It will wear it out pretty fast.


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