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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Small TT's

 > No power to outlets when in battery mode.

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wanderingaimlessly

Buggs Island lake

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Posted: 07/12/21 09:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most CPAP machines can run on 12 volts with an adaptor cord like this
Respironics version
as to charging phones etc, do you have any of the round cigar lighter plugs in the trailer? If so one of these usb charger should handle it.

rmauk

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 07/12/21 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We do NOT have an inverter, only a converter. I thank everyone for the education.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 07/12/21 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A good way to charge phones and other electronics devices is a USB receptacle


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/12/21 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rmauk wrote:

Thank you for this information. I was unaware that our converter did not convert 12VDC to 120V. We were only looking to charge cell phones and the like. also, a CPAP machine.


Correct, it is rather confusing that the RV industry decided to call the battery charger/power supply a "converter". While it does "convert" 120V to 12V in some respects it should have been called a battery charger since that really was the prime reason for the converter to exist.

For cellphones, tablets and even laptops you simply can use a 12V power port (AKA Cig lighter jack) to charge them.

Cellphones, tablets or any other 5V "USB" type charging port, any 12V power port charger can be used in a RV if you have a power port.

Looks like this..

[image]

If no power port is in your RV, you can add one pretty easily and you can also buy 12V USB chargers that hard wire into your 12V system.

Looks like this..

[image]

For a laptop, you can often find generic universal power supplies which are designed for 12V power ports. These power supplies are multi voltage and multi amperage design and you select the correct tip that connects to your laptop charging port and voltage and amperage is automatically selected by the tip selection.

For CPAP, there are CPAPS available that operate from 12V, yours may have a power supply "brick" external to the unit, if so there may be a 12V power port adapter available for yours.

Otherwise, if no direct 12V connection, you can buy a small 300W 12V to 120V inverter just for your CPAP unit. Be aware, if you need the humidifier support it is going to require additional battery capacity..

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 07/12/21 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

a word of caution on charging devices from a 12V cigarette lighter outlet. My experience is with the 14/16 ga wiring and usually pretty long runs in trailers the outlets are good for charging cell phones, etc. Where you can run into trouble is trying to charge a laptop or sometimes run a CPAP. My laptop charger draws 10A on 12V, enough that the voltage drop is enough to turn off the charger. CPAP with humidifier can be the same issue on 12V. So, if these give you trouble, best thing to do is run a dedicated short 12V run to an outlet with some #12 wire.


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wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 07/12/21 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Correct, it is rather confusing that the RV industry decided to call the battery charger/power supply a "converter". While it does "convert" 120V to 12V in some respects it should have been called a battery charger since that really was the prime reason for the converter to exist.

It’s probably because early model RV’s only converted and didn’t charge the battery. My sister’s previous 88 Coleman tent trailer had a switch between “converter” and “batt”. You had to charge the battery externally. Inverters also weren’t on the scene so converting was only in one direction, hence why they are now “inverters”.

I think the proper term for what most of us have is “converter/charger”.

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 07/12/21 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An inverter is easy to install with a dedicated outlet or 2. You will need 2 good batteries. Possibly solar if you aren’t going to be plugged in for a few days.


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Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 07/12/21 11:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I suggest you read the basics on RV electricity. It is not hard but it is different than you are accustomed.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/12/21 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wnjj wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

Correct, it is rather confusing that the RV industry decided to call the battery charger/power supply a "converter". While it does "convert" 120V to 12V in some respects it should have been called a battery charger since that really was the prime reason for the converter to exist.

It’s probably because early model RV’s only converted and didn’t charge the battery. My sister’s previous 88 Coleman tent trailer had a switch between “converter” and “batt”. You had to charge the battery externally. Inverters also weren’t on the scene so converting was only in one direction, hence why they are now “inverters”.

I think the proper term for what most of us have is “converter/charger”.


My Dad had a late 1970s TC which had a "converter" and no battery on board. Since no battery was on board of the TC and all the lighting was 12V the converter was a "power supply". Which is what the device is and should have been called.

When you work on electronic equipment, absolutely no technician will refer to a power supply section as a "converter". Nope, they call it what it is, a power supply.

Does a power supply "convert" voltages? Sure, but its function in life is to provide the correct voltage and amperage to your device and in the case of typical RV takes 120V and reduces it to 12V to provide power to your 12V items and charge the battery. In other words power your devices that work off of the battery.

Keep in mind, an "inverter" also "converts" from one voltage to another and that is why folks who buy a RV get so darn confused thinking they can plug in 120V appliances when not connected to commercial power grid or generator.

coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 07/12/21 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a 12 V outlet in the RV, you can get a small portable inverter with USB outlets to charge your phone, and a regular 120 V outlet to charge a laptop. You might also invest in a "battery bank" for cell phones so you don't have to charge so much, or in a small solar panel with appropriate chargers.

If you are out driving around in your tow vehicle, plug the inverter into your 12V outlet in there. A couple of hours should charge a phone and most laptops.


Single empty-nester in Middle TN, sometimes with a friend or grandchild on board

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