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Old 11-22-2021, 07:10 AM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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AC power while on battery

Shouldnt be able to run AC while on battery? I thought these had inverters to do this.


Running my generator just to make coffee!!


thanks,
Aaron
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Old 11-22-2021, 07:59 AM   #2
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Forgot the picture!





Aaron
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:14 AM   #3
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Aaron, at best I think AS had a 400 watt inverter, not even enough to run a coffee pot! You would need 1500 to 2000 inverter to run your coffee pot.

Our 350 came from AS with one, but long gone by previous owners, that I'm sure burned out!

Beautiful camping spot!
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:07 PM   #4
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We learned early on to make the most of our propane system, stovetop, and oven for as much as possible. For coffee we boil water in an old fashioned teapot on the stovetop, then use a simple pour through Melita coffee maker. Can’t go without our good morning coffee and this does the job real well. We make it the same way at home except water is boiled in an electric hot pot.
Most of the essential things are doable without the 120v ac, just need to be a bit flexible and think a little differently than when you are used to doing those things a certain way.
We also use our oven a great deal on the road, for all kinds of dishes. It’s great this time of year cause it will help warm up the interior too.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:51 AM   #5
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How much AC power you have is directly related to the usable amount of capacity of the battery bank and the inverter.

A group 24 lead acid/AGM battery is usually about 80Ah which means you have 40 usable amp hours and 12v nominal.
A group 27 LA/AGM battery is usually about 90Ah which means you have 45 usable amp hours and 12v nominal.
A group 31 LA/AGM battery is usually about 100Ah which means you have 50 usable amp hours and 12v nominal.
A group 31 lithium battery is usually 100Ah with 100 usable Ah and 12.8v nominal.

A coffee maker will draw about 750 to 1200 watts
watts = volts x amps.
A rule of thumb is 100A DC @ 12v = 10A AC @ 120v = 1200w
A 1000w coffee maker
1000w = 120v x 84A DC or 8.4A AC.

A G24 LA/AGM with 40Ah = 40A x 12v nom. = 480w energy
A G27 LA/AGM with 45Ah = 45A x 12v nom. = 540w energy
A G31 LA/AGM with 50Ah = 50A x 12v nom. = 600w energy
A G31 lithium with 100Ah = 100A x 12.8v nom. = 1280w energy

There are also load considerations and voltage sag.

When a higher load (like 100A) is placed on a LA/AGM is reduces the usable AH capacity.

When a higher load (like 100A) is placed on a LA/AGM or lithium battery, voltage sag occurs which is a reduction of voltage under load. The load will also affect capacity.

Battle Born has a good comparison chart. It compares (1) 100Ah Battle Born lithium with 100A BMS vs (2) 230Ah Duracell GC2 6v batteries in series which have 230Ah @ 12v.
note that this comparison will hold true for most good quality 100Ah/100BMS lithium and good quality GC2 batteries. This is not a plug for Duracell or Battle Born.

What it does show is how voltage and capacity is affected by the amp load.

https://battlebornbatteries.com/comp...teries-series/

In these charts, a 50A load was the max applied which is 1/2 of the 100A needed for a coffee maker.

The LA/AGM were fully discharged in these tests, in real life you will not want to discharge less than 50% or 12.1v resting or it will cause a permanent reduction in life and capacity. Also, the LA/AGM batteries should be brought to a full charge on a regular basis to prevent sulfation which will also reduce life and capacity.

Battle Born lithium batteries typically have a 100A BMS which means that individually, they will not allow more than 100A discharge. In parallel, the discharge is shared. For a continuous discharge of 100 or more amps, multiple batteries need to be used or alternatively, use larger AH (200ah, 300ah or 400Ah) batteries with higher amp BMS.

Keep in mind that the larger the inverter, the more amps it will draw when idle. The parasitic draw is not much but over time it adds up. On standby, an inverter can use .5-1A per 1000w of capacity. That is 12-24Ah in a day.

A 2000w inverter will run a microwave, coffeepot, freezer or other appliances but you need the battery and charging capacity to keep up with your demand.

A battery is like a bucket with a hole in it. Between self discharge and usage, it will eventually empty. You have to fill it up before you run out. An empty battery is like an empty bucket, all it is - is dead weight taking up space.
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Old 11-23-2021, 04:17 PM   #6
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$20-$25k installed you can have a full battery system capable of running the AC for a few hours.

So yes they can. Just need to upgrade the "batteries"

Or maybe just stick with your generator.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:24 PM   #7
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Old school alternate solution

We use this when off grid; works great
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:23 AM   #8
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Only problem Rich, I have not figured where them K-Cups go!!! LOL
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:08 AM   #9
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Only problem Rich, I have not figured where them K-Cups go!!! LOL
Those are convenient but very expensive. As much coffee as I drink I'd be broke soon enough. My oldest son has this fancy K-Cup brewer he brings along on the fishing trip, holds about a quart of water in the reservoir and the whole thing sits on top of this K-Cup holder that holds about 50 K-cups. He likes variety. I like quantity. Chock Full 'O Nuts for me.

Here's another option. It fits on top of a Coleman camping stove. Works great. I was pleasantly surprised
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:54 PM   #10
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All great info!


As most of my electronics have AC adapters, it seemed ideal to keep AC even when on battery. For coffee, my drip brewer only takes 10-15 mins to make a full pot. And nobody wants to hear the generator running at 5am in the morning!


Ill see what all I can get over to the 12V system then. Although I do see powerful inverters available. Perhaps it still might make sense as long as you dont make coffee all day.


thanks!
Aaron
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Old 11-27-2021, 04:57 PM   #11
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Just a thought, we also make coffee the day before and put it in a carafe or thermos bottle for the next morning. Run your genny during the day and brew the coffee, bottle it for the next morning.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:49 PM   #12
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An insulated stainless steel French press is another option. We had a glass one, but it broke as we should have expected. The insulated pot keeps the coffee warm on those 50 degree mornings.
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:10 PM   #13
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If you use k-cups, check out the MyJo from Presto, about $20 on Amazon. It holds a k-cup. Pour boiling water into the reservoir, set it on your cup and press down the bellows. No electricity needed. Perfect.
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Old 11-28-2021, 02:03 AM   #14
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Seems like two very different use case scenerios here......

Making coffee can easily be achieved using a low wattage unit and an inverter (or even one of the smallish 'power stations', like a Jackery, personally I use a Jackery 1000 and can even have coffee outside/tent camping)

Running AC? I have a 560ah LiFePO4 battery pack ready to go for Peanut that can run the AC for about 10 hours, but from that state takes about the same amount of time to re-charge, which means you need to be on shore-power, which means you would run the AC from the shore power. Running AC from batteries comes into its own is if you dont have a generator, but want to run the AC whilst driving, and will then re-charge the batteries over night once you reach the campground (assuming you can plug in). We are taking the AC out of Peanut.

Of course you can change out the roof-top AC to something more appropriate for running on battery. That works in Bella (our original 20ft) where we have a 800w AC (that runs on the Magnum inverter and 200ah battery) but a small AC is hardly going to make any impact on the 34ft motorhome! Even the latest units from Cruise'N'Comfort will struggle to cool that volume of air.

The real issue with high power battery packs/inverters is how to re-charge, not whether than can run the appliances. If you are boondocking that means a large solar array to keep up with use.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:00 AM   #15
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If you use k-cups, check out the MyJo from Presto, about $20 on Amazon. It holds a k-cup. Pour boiling water into the reservoir, set it on your cup and press down the bellows. No electricity needed. Perfect.
How did you boil the water? If you're using the propane stove for that then you could just as easily use a percolator and make a pot.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:45 AM   #16
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Aeropress

I use a small kettle for hot water on the stove and an aeropress. Makes great coffee and itís super portable.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:48 AM   #17
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Can some knowledgeable person address the viability of replacing the vehicle alternator with a 120v unit (20 amps for running roof a/c) then converting the 120v output to 12v (maybe 60 amps) for running the vehicle systems (and keeping the battery charged). It would save hauling a separate generator.
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdelroy View Post
Shouldnt be able to run AC while on battery? I thought these had inverters to do this.


Running my generator just to make coffee!!


thanks,
Aaron



AC? Meaning AC electronics or A/C air conditioning? If electronics, get a simple inverter that can be charged via a DC plug. That can run a few simple AC gadgets. If you mean A/C air, you need your generator with enough power to do so.
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:19 AM   #19
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Can some knowledgeable person address the viability of replacing the vehicle alternator with a 120v unit (20 amps for running roof a/c) then converting the 120v output to 12v (maybe 60 amps) for running the vehicle systems (and keeping the battery charged). It would save hauling a separate generator.



Check out Car Generator. It provides 1000-2000W of power. Runs off your car's battery. Like the Ford but a lot less expensive than a truck.
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:50 AM   #20
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Shouldnt be able to run AC while on battery? I thought these had inverters to do this.


Running my generator just to make coffee!!


thanks,
Aaron
. As others have pointed out you would need a lot more power from the inverter than is currently available from RV inverters common on the market. Why because the powers to be in the RV industry have continued to make hard to start very inefficient A/C units instead of producing new technology inverter compressors common in most new refrigerators and especially noted in the mini split heat pump units common elsewhere. These units use easy starting variable speed compressors that bring SEER up to 25 instead of 8 or 9 on the best hard starting RV units. Maybe we should look at the other side of the equation instead of hauling more batteries around to power old noisy technology.
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