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Old 12-30-2017, 06:37 AM   #1
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Inverter Power in Kitchen Outlet

We just took delivery on 2018 International Signature and it seems the inverter powers only a few of the outlets in the rig. Particularly, the kitchen outlet is not powered. Looking at the schematics, I think this is by design. So now if we want to run any of our kitchen appliances while not on shore power (coffee grinder, blender) we have to go over to the dinette. The other solution is to run an extension cord from the dinette's outlet.

Am I missing something? Why not power the kitchen outlet?
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:49 AM   #2
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We just took delivery on 2018 International Signature and it seems the inverter powers only a few of the outlets in the rig. Particularly, the kitchen outlet is not powered. Looking at the schematics, I think this is by design. So now if we want to run any of our kitchen appliances while not on shore power (coffee grinder, blender) we have to go over to the dinette. The other solution is to run an extension cord from the dinette's outlet.

Am I missing something? Why not power the kitchen outlet?
As set up, your trailer (with 1000 watt inverter??) and limited battery capacity won't power many "kitchen" appliances. I believe what they intended was to power the TV, DVD, and recharge things like your laptop. So, yes, that is by design.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:00 AM   #3
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As set up, your trailer (with 1000 watt inverter??) and limited battery capacity won't power many "kitchen" appliances. I believe what they intended was to power the TV, DVD, and recharge things like your laptop. So, yes, that is by design.
The inverter CAN run my coffee grinder, blender and even my toster. In my old rig I had a power meter, so I know it take 25Wh (Watt Hour) to run the toaster once and it take about 40Wh to blend smoothie with my Ninja blender. Both are well within the 2400Wh capacity of the stock batteries.

The toaster draws about 600W, but it only runs a couple of minutes.

I run them from outlet under the dinette, so there is no reason not to run them from the outlet in the kitchen.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:12 AM   #4
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Inverter Power in Kitchen Outlet

Up until 2018 the airstream factory installed inverter had its own set of outlets located in several key places in the trailer. The goal was to allow the customer to basically watch TV, DVDs and plug in some low-draw accessories such as phone chargers / laptop plug.

It was never intended (from a design / equipment perspective) for the inverter to power high draw accessories such as blenders, microwave, toaster, hair dryers, Etc etc. that is why you won’t find inverter - powered outlets in the galley or bathroom.

Powering those types of devices typically requires a different solution than the stock 1000w inverter and stock interstate batteries. You’ll likely want to upgrade your batteries and inverter wiring (add more wet cell or move to higher efficiency / low resistance AGMs and move to a much larger gauge wire to the inverter), upgrade the inverter itself (move to a 1500w or 2000w pure sine wave unit) and also re-wire certain breakers in the panel.

On the low end you are looking at ~ $1,500 - $2,000 or so for parts and labor to do that job.

In my last trailer I installed such a system and it was handy in that every outlet in the trailer was “hot” when boondocking.

The alternative of course is to simply buy a generator - a honda 2,000 would deliver all the power you need for everything in the trailer with the exception of the AC unless you install an easy start....

And so on... power upgrades are a slippery slope it all starts with an inverter and before you know it you’ve set a $20k budget for lithium, solar, hybrid inverter charger, centralized monitoring, etc,
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:18 AM   #5
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The inverter CAN run my coffee grinder, blender and even my toster. In my old rig I had a power meter, so I know it take 25Wh (Watt Hour) to run the toaster once and it take about 40Wh to blend smoothie with my Ninja blender. Both are well within the 2400Wh capacity of the stock batteries.



The toaster draws about 600W, but it only runs a couple of minutes.



I run them from outlet under the dinette, so there is no reason not to run them from the outlet in the kitchen.


You need to be looking at watts and not watt hours. For example you can’t run a hair dryer for a minute and think you are okay by looking at watt hours. Also, what batteries do you have? I thought stock batteries were about 80 amp hours? You need to realize you can only draw these down to 40 amp hours without potential damage to the cells. 40 amp hours is nothing if you are running a high amp load using an inverter (which also has significant losses).
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:58 AM   #6
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My toaster draws 600W, my Ninja blender 400-450W and probably twic that much to start. My coffee grinder 150W. A 1000W inverter has enough power to run them.

One minute of running the toaster uses 10Wh (600W/60).

Battery discharge of 40Ah (50% capacity Amp/hour) at 12V gives 480Wh. 2 batteries = 960Wh. So in theory you can run the toaster for 96 minutes. There is also a time element but we only run the toaster for 2-3 minute at a time, so it is not significant.

I ran my blender yesterday from the outlet under the dinette; it worked fine. It is not a question of system capabilities. It is a question of convenience, or lack thereof.

A/C, space heater, convection oven are different. They run for a substantial length of time and so will drain the batteries. A small hair dryer? maybe, but I don't use one, so I can't tell.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:54 AM   #7
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My toaster draws 600W, my Ninja blender 400-450W and probably twic that much to start. My coffee grinder 150W. A 1000W inverter has enough power to run them.



One minute of running the toaster uses 10Wh (600W/60).



Battery discharge of 40Ah (50% capacity Amp/hour) at 12V gives 480Wh. 2 batteries = 960Wh. So in theory you can run the toaster for 96 minutes. There is also a time element but we only run the toaster for 2-3 minute at a time, so it is not significant.



I ran my blender yesterday from the outlet under the dinette; it worked fine. It is not a question of system capabilities. It is a question of convenience, or lack thereof.



A/C, space heater, convection oven are different. They run for a substantial length of time and so will drain the batteries. A small hair dryer? maybe, but I don't use one, so I can't tell.


You keep showing me that you can run these appliances off the inverter. I never said you couldn’t! Your original question was is this by design and why. I answered that.

Again, there will be a significant draw on your batteries running these devices. Inverters are not very efficient and for most people they will start a generator before running these devices. If it works for you....great!
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:52 AM   #8
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NOT laptop!

We spent the $2K & upgraded battery & inverter. Runs kitchen appliances & hair dryer (low power one) fine. However, the 12 volt did not adequately charge my laptop. Completely shut it down. Had to take it to the Apple store to get it restarted. Scary. Now when dry camping, the generator is fired up for computer charging.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:09 AM   #9
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Inverter Power in Kitchen Outlet

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindaebrewer View Post
We spent the $2K & upgraded battery & inverter. Runs kitchen appliances & hair dryer (low power one) fine. However, the 12 volt did not adequately charge my laptop. Completely shut it down. Had to take it to the Apple store to get it restarted. Scary. Now when dry camping, the generator is fired up for computer charging.


Doesn’t make sense that you have inverted 120 volts in the trailer and you can run appliances but your computer won’t charge.

You must have either plugged it into an outlet that was not powered by your inverter (hence no power for charging) or you didn’t buy a pure sine wave inverter and your laptop charger doesn’t like noisy 120v power generated from a cheaper modified sine wave inverter......
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:12 AM   #10
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"One minute of running the toaster uses 10Wh (600W/60)."

It's not that simple, because batteries don't behave in a linear fashion. When drawing high currents from a lead-acid battery, the battery is drained much more than your calculation would suggest. In other words, using your toaster reduces the battery's charge by a lot more than a simple watts/time calculation would lead you to think. For more details, see this explanation of Peukert's law. The bottom line is that batteries don't like heavy drains--even if they are short-term ones.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:26 AM   #11
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We spent the $2K & upgraded battery & inverter. Runs kitchen appliances & hair dryer (low power one) fine. However, the 12 volt did not adequately charge my laptop. Completely shut it down.
I agree with Wulfraat that there's something odd going on here. To begin with, if you were charging your computer from 12 volts, then the inverter was not involved. In any case, if your charging device--whether powered by 12 VDC or 120 VAC--was not defective, it would not have allowed your laptop to drain its battery as you described.

It would be interesting to hear more details about what happened. With the setup you described, it should not be necessary to run your generator just to charge a computer that requires, at most, 85 watts. Even a low-powered hair dryer uses many times that much.

(Tip for those with USB-C powered laptops such as Apple's current MacBook models" I've found that this "Gearmo" adapter does a good job of charging from 12 VDC, so it's not necessary to use an inverter to run your computer.)
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:22 PM   #12
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We installed a 2000w inverter when renovating and it is used almost exclusively for my wife hair dryer and occasionally the Toaster. If we pull over and aren't on shore power its awesome to have. When off grid for a few days it would only be for the few minutes of a hairdryer.
The batteries don't seem to be effected much, and I monitor them closely.
I have Inverter only outlets at the mirror..kit counter and din table.
My wife likes her hair dryer... and happy wife ..happy life!!
I have used it recently experimenting with running a slow cooker while driving all day and it worked well .... we plugged into shore power that evening otherwise it wouldn't be a good idea... we had a great dinner already ready and the trailer smelled awesome on arrival.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:28 PM   #13
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Again, there will be a significant draw on your batteries running these devices. Inverters are not very efficient and for most people they will start a generator before running these devices. If it works for you....great!

I have a 1,000 watt pure sine inverter because I don’t want to have to start up my Honda 1,000 watt generator just to use my toaster briefly or my wife’s hairdryer. All our receptacles are powered from the inverter. We boondock most of the time. We have two golf cart batteries so that helps. The key is moderation in the use of inverted power and like billrector said “If it works for you....great!”.

Dan
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:14 AM   #14
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Anybody has experience running the TV and DVD from the factory installed inverter? Last night we watch a DVD using the inverter, and after a hour and s half I noticed the battery voltage dropped to 11.7V. This morning it is around 11.5 when the furnace is off 11.4 when on. I think this is quite low.
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:39 AM   #15
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Anybody has experience running the TV and DVD from the factory installed inverter? Last night we watch a DVD using the inverter, and after a hour and s half I noticed the battery voltage dropped to 11.7V. This morning it is around 11.5 when the furnace is off 11.4 when on. I think this is quite low.
With my first trip in our 2017 27' Flying Cloud, anytime we turned on the inverter, we could practically watch the voltage drop. I had the batteries tested and NAPA declared them good. However, since then, Interstate confirmed that both were bad. That may have been my problem....and yours??

You should be able to run both the TV and DVD without a significant problem, but anytime you use the inverter (actually it requires power even when OFF) you will see it has an impact on the system.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:59 AM   #16
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Never let your batteries drop below 12.0-12.1v or they will be damaged by sulfation, especially if they are the crummy cheap interstates.

Once you “bounce” them below 12.0v (50%) a few times they will never hold a full charge again.

Boondocking with the stock group 24 interstates isn’t great and you’ll need to do a lot of power management to keep your batteries healthy and not discharge them too much.

This is one of the primary reasons people upgrade their batteries from the stock ones that ship with the trailer.

In my 2008 I had 2 high quality lifeline AGM group 27s jammed into the battery box and we would regularly run the tv for a couple hours at night then let the furnace run. They would get drawn down to 12.2/12.1 but never below.

In the morning 500w of solar panels up on the roof would have them back fully charged by lunch and provide power to the trailer through about 3pm in the summer.

Then cycle of drawing down the batteries would start anew....
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