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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > Power inverter question .

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Pecos

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Posted: 09/28/11 12:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My last inverter went up in smoke .
Not sure if I did it so I wanted to know if this is ok to do .
I have 2 aux batteries but they are not strong enough to power my microwave
for any time .
So if I get a new inverter and hook it up to the batteries (that have a charger on them to
charge when van is plugged in or when engine running) and when camping with no power
start van and plug micro into inverter to run .
Will this work ? Should this work ? Could this work ?
Thanks .
Chain

Fire Instructor

Upstate (Albany) NY Area

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Posted: 09/28/11 12:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My microwave is a 900W draw. My Xantrex inverter (1800W) will power it, but not for long, as I only have 220AH of storage. To power an inverter big enough to run a MW for any length of time you either need much more storage, a VERY big alternator, or a 120v generator. You also need to size the cables from the batteries to the inverter appropriately large to carry enough current. I did my solar system (300W), the 1800W Xantrex, and the 220AH of battery so that could run everything EXECPT the MW and the A/C off of batttery.


Fire Instructor

2014 Ram Laramie w/6.7L Cummins Diesel
2009 Rockwood 2607
300 Watts of SunTech Solar Panels
Rogue MPT-3024 Controller & Xantrex PW2000 Inverter

"If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking!" General George S. Patton


hotrod4x5

Southern Calif

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Posted: 09/28/11 01:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Microwaves are picky. I have a Xantrex 2000 watt and I can run the microwave, but it doesn't run at full power and not for very long.

What do you need to heat up that the stove/oven won't handle?


Rodney 2005 Laredo 29GS 2002 F250 V-10 Yamaha EF3000iSEB (and NOT a GS Member)


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/28/11 01:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Are those six volt batteries or twelve volt?

My "wave" draws a whopping 1591 watts.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3000 watt PSW inverter.

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Pecos

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Posted: 09/28/11 12:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fire Instructor wrote:

My microwave is a 900W draw. My Xantrex inverter (1800W) will power it, but not for long, as I only have 220AH of storage. To power an inverter big enough to run a MW for any length of time you either need much more storage, a VERY big alternator, or a 120v generator. You also need to size the cables from the batteries to the inverter appropriately large to carry enough current. I did my solar system (300W), the 1800W Xantrex, and the 220AH of battery so that could run everything EXECPT the MW and the A/C off of batttery.


Then I just don't get what use an inverter is for me .
Don't run a fan , computer or anything like that from it .
Just wanted to be able to heat up something when no power is available .
Thanks for the info .
Chain

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Pecos

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Posted: 09/28/11 01:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hotrod4x5 wrote:

Microwaves are picky. I have a Xantrex 2000 watt and I can run the microwave, but it doesn't run at full power and not for very long.

What do you need to heat up that the stove/oven won't handle?


I do bike shows In New mexico (HOT) and it's just easer to Micro then use
the stove .

pianotuna

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Posted: 09/28/11 05:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Are they wired in a balanced manner? How many amp-hours in total?

bananadanna

Cambridge, MA

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Posted: 09/28/11 03:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to use a microwave then plan for it.

My micro (650w output, 1100w input) works great off my 2000w psw Prosine 2.0 inverter and 440 ah bank. Xantrex recommended a bank greater than 400 ah for that size inverter. No need for shore power or engine idling. A big bank will limit the voltage drop from a 100a draw. A big voltage drop will shut down many inverters.

Buy a Kill-a-watt meter (often $20 on sale). Some libraries have them to loan for energy conservation. Measure the draw of your micro.

If you cheap out and buy a non-psw inverter then the micro may not work properly or take longer. Micros care about waveform more than most devices.

A different option is to use a magnetic induction burner (Sunpentown, $120) if you want half the waste heat as a propane burner. You still end up with a pot to clean. Actually a great complement to a micro if you do get the 400 ah bank.

Otherwise propane can't be beat for lots and lots of btus. We carry a bbq tank in a propane locker and find a propane bbq grill can do what a micro and cooktop can't. So many great compact campstoves if you want to keep the heat out of the van.


Dan
02 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 long tall home brew conversion


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Pecos

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Posted: 09/28/11 01:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi,

Are those six volt batteries or twelve volt?

My "wave" draws a whopping 1591 watts.


There 12V

1775

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Posted: 09/28/11 03:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are two things that I have been advised not to run from my inverter - the microwave and the A/C - both will work but will drain the batteries fast due to the amount that they draw. I run the TV, ceiling vent fan, lights, laptop computer, home entertainment unit and other small appliances plugged into 120 volt outlets in my Class B on the inverter with no problem. If all you want to do is heat something up you would be better to use your propane stove or consider adding a generator into your system to run your microwave.


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