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Old 12-05-2022, 06:08 PM   #1
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2022 25' Flying Cloud
Avila Beach , California
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Coverting TV/DVD to 12v

I have a 2022 25 FB FC. Currently installed with a 120v tv and dvd. for inverter power savings reasons I am thinking about converting to a 12v tv and dvd (now offered by AS on 2023 models). Now for my question, obviously I will now have to pick up a 12v source at the tv. The antenna power switch is located on the side of the tv and I am hoping that I can use a portion of that circuit to power the tv. I don't have the power draw specs on the tv but have to assume it is very low. Does anyone know what breaker the antenna switch is tied into? Also hope the wire size will support?

Apart from having to purchase a new 12v dvd the location is easy as it is located right next to the radio.

I deem this all necessary to try and recover all the power that the electric refrigerator is drawing. I still like to know whose idea it was to replace the propane one?
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Old 12-05-2022, 07:32 PM   #2
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Are you CERTAIN it’s a 120 volt AC Television..?? The reason I ask like that…is because the TV in my AS came with a power-cord to be plugged into a 120V wall outlet… But the cord had a “brick” …a small box-shaped device incorporated and when I read the fine-print on the “brick” it clearly indicated “120 VAC Input, 12 VDC Output.”
In other words…it’s actually a 12 volt DC television. I simply cut the 120v plug and brick off the cord… and used the cored with its’ opposite end still with its’ small TV-end plug … and connected it to my AS 12 system.

Alternately an electronics shop might be able to supply you with a 12VDC power cord for it.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:01 PM   #3
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Be careful about how you plan the wiring in a change like that. The TV needs what it needs (watts) to operate … maybe 150 watts or so ? So in power consumption, the only savings you will see would be removing the inefficiency of the inverter, that is probably minimal since you have a newer trailer (and a somewhat efficient inverter). When you reduce the voltage by a factor of 10, you correspondingly increase the current by a factor of 10, to deliver the same power, so if it was pulling 1.5A @120vac, it will pull 15A (approx) after converting to 12VDC. If you change the TV to something smaller, power consumption might go down, but only marginally so. If you stick to the same (approx) screen size, power used will probably be about the same. That means your 12V power feed needs to have a fuse, and wire gauge, that can safely handle that load. I don’t know what feeds the antenna booster, but I doubt it is heavy enough wire (and fusing) for such a load. I would be sure to look through those aspects so you know before you start if it will provide the improvement you hope for.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:01 PM   #4
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Easier to add another solar panel
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgwatkin View Post
I have a 2022 25 FB FC. Currently installed with a 120v tv and dvd. for inverter power savings reasons I am thinking about converting to a 12v tv and dvd (now offered by AS on 2023 models). Now for my question, obviously I will now have to pick up a 12v source at the tv. The antenna power switch is located on the side of the tv and I am hoping that I can use a portion of that circuit to power the tv. I don't have the power draw specs on the tv but have to assume it is very low. Does anyone know what breaker the antenna switch is tied into? Also hope the wire size will support?

Apart from having to purchase a new 12v dvd the location is easy as it is located right next to the radio.

I deem this all necessary to try and recover all the power that the electric refrigerator is drawing. I still like to know whose idea it was to replace the propane one?
Hi

The propane fridge change out was the idea of the EU regulators who outlawed their production. With no nice big factory making them real soon now, putting them in RV's ( all RV's not just AS ) is a thing of the past.

Your "12V" battery power can be anything from about 10.5V up to (maybe) 14.6V. The typical wall wart is regulated much tighter than that ( likely better than +/- 0.6V). A TV that uses a 12V wall wart may or may not be happy with 14.6 long term. Best to get a TV that is designed for RV use and rated for the kind of power an RV supplies.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:56 AM   #6
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If wired straight into the native Airstream 12 Volt system, the voltage seen by the TV will vary a lot, maybe between 11 and 14 volts depending upon whatever else is going on in the trailer. Whether the TV will tolerate that we don't know. To mitigate that a buck boost dc to dc converter can be used. It's basically a device that takes in a range of DC voltages and outputs a constant DC voltage.

While this is a possible solution I think it's not worth the hassle. Stick with the inverter and the 120 volt TV, then turn off the inverter you're done watching TV if you're concerned with saving power.
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Old 12-06-2022, 02:34 PM   #7
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Easier to add another solar panel
Charging is not the problem during the day as I have 300watts, but going into the evening with fully charged batteries (180 am hr) after watching a movie (with inverter engaged) there is not enough power to run the heater throughout the night assuming a setting 2 setting on the fridge. Never had this problem on my 2012 FC with propane fridge. I am not quite sure what problem AS was trying solve when then went electric.
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Old 12-06-2022, 02:38 PM   #8
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What you suggest is pretty much what we do but even with 2 brand new fully charged 6V agm's (180amp/hr) I cannot run the heater throughout the night. Just last week was camping in a location where the temps were at zero and with interior temp set at 60F there was not enough charge to run throughout the night. The only things that were running were the refrigerator and the heating fans.
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Old 12-06-2022, 02:44 PM   #9
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My experience on my old 2012 trailer was the inverter pulled considerable current. Never put a clamp on it to measure it but if I accidentally left the inverter on for lets say 8 hours with nothing else connected the batteries were below 50%.
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Old 12-06-2022, 02:47 PM   #10
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That's a good tip, next time I get to my trailer I will look at that. I wonder why AS would do that as stepping the voltage creates some power loss.
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Old 12-06-2022, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgwatkin View Post
I am not quite sure what problem AS was trying solve when then went electric.
Truth is, most people that buy an Airstream aren't boondocking with it. A 12 volt fridge is probably a better solution for the majority of their customers as they cool quicker and typically work better in hot weather.

There's also the fact that it simplifies installation at the factory since 12 volt units don't need a vent stack that takes up roof real estate and there are fewer lines to plumb.

And then there's the potential liability related to the few units that catch fire or leak.

Anecdotally, I also hear that Propane units are getting harder to source as the manufacturers move away from the technology.
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Old 12-06-2022, 03:46 PM   #12
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Well I boondock with it…. in fact, while dry-camping in Chaco Canyon (no elect/water) we actually watched Robt Redford’s DVD on our TV on the battery.

12V LED Televisons don’t pull the power 120V units do. We watched several DVDs over that 3-day trip on our single Group 24 lead-acid battery.

(There’s actually more to the story on our 12V TV: We bought our AS used and it had the old frequency TV in it which would not work on the new HD frequencies.
I went to WallyWorld and found a $99 LED television which was a direct fit on the OEM TV mount…and threw away the original TV. The new $99 TV had a 120-volt power cord…but I bought it knowing it was actually a 120VAC to 12VDC type of power cord…which told me I didn’t have to plug it into 120volts. Yaaay!
And so to quote Paul Harvey… Now…You know the rest of the story.)
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:10 PM   #13
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Some of the smaller Insignia televisions sold by Best Buy used to be 12v televisions and there was the power brick on the cord. You plugged into the 120v and it supplied 12v to the tv. I did like others suggested and just got a cord to plug directly from the tv to the 12v outlet next to my antenna switch.

But, it looks like most of the newer Insignia televisions now use an internal power converter. It's no longer on the cord and so it's impossible to plug into the 12v outlet to run it without doing some internal surgery.

There are other brands out there with power bricks on their 120v cords, but be careful. What I've seen is that most of them run on a higher voltage than 12v, like a few that run on 18v. They won't be happy plugged into a 12v outlet.

in the end, for our second tv in the trailer I just got a 120v Amazon Fire TV sold at Best Buy. I suspect it's also made by the people that made the Insignia brand. The power consumption on it showed that it burned fewer watts than my older Insignia that can run on 12v directly, so even including the small loss due to inefficiencies of the inverter it takes less from the batteries to watch television.
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