Your opinions please!

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Coolbeanz, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    We pick up our new motorhome next Saturday :thumb::thumb::thumb: and it has everything we need except an inverter. There is a solar panel (believed to be 100w but awaiting confirmation) and 2 x 110AH leisure batteries. We plan to be off hook up at least 5 days out of 7. The inverter is only really needed for the hairdryer and charging the laptop and camera as everything else I can think of runs off 12 volt. We have LED bulbs ready to fit and we only expect to be watching TV (12V) for an hour max per day and not even every day. The only other drain I can think of will be charging Iphone/Ipad. We are considering a Sterling 1800W quasi sine wave inverter or a 1500W quasi sine wave inverter/charger. They cost roughly the same so my question is this: Is there any merit in having a 40AH inverter/charger as opposed to the straightforward inverter? (We will be in Europe and chasing the sun so hopefully the solar panel will be doing it's thing!!). I would welcome your thoughts please :Smile:
     
  2. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    We manage charging of phones + ipads using 12v car chargers which plug into the cig. lighter sockets.
    So, if you could find a hookup when the hairdrier is needed you'd be sorted.

    Wyn
     
  3. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    I have to dry my hair every day so not having an inverter is not an option I'm afraid :Sad:
     
  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    How about a 12v Hair dryer ?

    Laptops and cameras can be charged off 12v - we do it all the time. Also getting a 12v 3 socket extension gadget with a USB socket is quite handy too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  5. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    about as much use as a chocolate fireguard from what others have reported on the forum :Sad:
     
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  6. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    If the two are about the same price I would get the inverter as Sterling is a reputable make. The charger part is only any use when you are on hookup and your MH will already have a charger anyway.

    The hair drier was the initial reason why we installed an inverter, but once you have one it is useful for many other things such as the washing machine (never seen a 12v one) toaster and we also use ours for an electric kettle in the summer when there's lots of solar (we have 400W) as it doesn't heat up the van like a kettle on the gas does.

    Computers and phone chargers can be run off 12v though and its more efficient than using an inverter.
     
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  7. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Im not an electrician but im sure if you where to use your hairdryer it would take a massive drain on your batteries. I know folk have went for a B2B system but again i dont know much about that so wont try and tell you.

    There is a cheaper option and you will probably have loads of them lying around i think its called a towel :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  8. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    A travel hairdrier on high setting will draw 100A from your batteries. This will flatten a 110Ah battery in about half an hour. But don't worry, in practice our hairdrier is on for about 5 mins a day, which equates to only around 10Ah which even a single 100w panel can replace in 2-3 hours in the summer.
    Of course if you have hair you can sit on it might take longer.
     
  9. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Luckily I have short fine curly hair that dries quite quickly so perhaps I should explain the reason that I need a hairdryer. Because of my type of hair I don't use a hairbrush as it makes me look like someone has plugged me in to the mains and switched the power on!! :cry: I therefore need to use a diffuser to stop my hair drying in flat curls on my head so I tip my head upside down and dry it with a diffuser to give it body, hence the reason I will be getting an inverter. On average it takes me less than 5 minutes to dry my hair so it will not be a huge drain on the batteries. So on that basis no more suggestions of towel drying or 12v please!! :Rofl1:
     
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  10. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    have you considererd a wig?



    :Wink:
     
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  11. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Many times over the years!! I envy my husband being able to shave his head and if I thought I would look even remotely as cool as Sinead O'Conner I would be bald before you have finished reading this post :Rofl1:
     
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  12. Kiwi Coss

    Kiwi Coss Funster

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    My wife is in the exact same position. We had 1x 100watt panel and had to install another 80watt panel as in the winters sun there was not enough charge going into the battery. I have 3x110amp batteries only because we are always wild camping and gives me more flexibility to cover for UK overcast days.
    I saw an inverter hair drier combination at one of the shows for £350 and decided I could do better thru eBay and Argos.
    We bought an 1800watt pure sine wave inverter on eBay for less than £100 and a 1500watt hair dryer from Argos for less than £20. All sorted. lucky for me the guy who modified it so the switch is on the side o the cupboard told the wife only have it on for a bare mimium of time as she has a tendency to not listen to me sometimes. We tried to use the 12volt hair dryers and they were not suitable... She said she could blow thru a straw and get it done faster. That is the only time the inverter is used and all other charging is done via 12 volt. Whenever I get something that needs mains charging I go to Maplins and get a 12volt chArger . For the computer I have a 12v to 19v charger and the iPad has its own 12v charger. This is far more efficient and easier on the batteries than going from 12v to 240v back down to 19v. Hope this helps from someone who has been there done that. Colin
     
  13. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    When you say the winters sun was not enough to recharge the batteries was that UK sun or were you abroad? We will be in Southern Spain or Portugal every winter from now on so I am hoping that our current set up will be sufficient that we'll survive off hook up for several days at a time :Smile:
     
  14. Kiwi Coss

    Kiwi Coss Funster

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    We were in Portugal at the time in the middle of winter and it needed the extra 80watt panel and now it works fine with the winter sun. In summer it it is ok as you expect but if you only have 100watts you may struggle. If you go to Morocco next year with the funsters then you can get another panel fitted cheaply. In the UK it worked ok but we always head south for the sun around November. I would suggest minimum another 80watt but if you have room fit another 100watt or even bigger as you can't have too muck power going into the battery. We only had room on the roof for an 80watt but with the three batteries that covers us for the dull days.
     
  15. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    To answer your original question I would say if your charger is OK just get the inverter as a stand alone, get on with a remote start stop panel so that can be mounted in the van and the inverter itself as close to the batteries as possible with heavy duty cable to minimise any voltage drop.

    As for the panel 100watt should be OK in the sun but once you have your inverter you might find that you want to use it more so then you might want more panel. Your quasi sine wave power will not run things with electronic circuitry ours wouldn't run the Nespresso coffee machine and the microwave was next to useless so we changed it to a pure sine.

    Martin
     
  16. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I presume that the two options you are considering are not both Sterling? Their 1800W quasi sine wave inverter costs £340 but the 1500W Inverter/Charger (which is pure sine wave) costs £1,200. I am not aware of a Sterling quasi sine wave inverter/charger.
    In my view, Sterling kit is good quality, as is Victron and Waeco. Given the existing Hymer installation of a Schaudt Electrobloc (EBL) charging system (which also monitors and controls all 12V distribution) I would not interfere with that by the addition of another charging system.

    My Hymer has an EBL99 which is quite capable of charging 2 x 110 Ah batteries. I also have a 135W solar panel connected to the EBL via a Schaudt LR1218 regulator which means both leisure and starter batteries are charged from the solar panel and the EBL control panel shows me the incoming charge from the panel. You might want to check how your panel is set up.

    So returning to the inverter issue, on balance, I would go for a simple, good quality inverter (check your devices do not need a pure sine wave output before frying them with a quasi model - I understand GHD hair devices are particularly intolerant of poor wave form). As others have said, an 1,800W inverter is a very inefficient way of charging small devices. Far better to charge them directly from the 12V if possible, or perhaps consider a second small inverter if that is the only route. I use a 150W pure sine wave inverter for the purpose but have no large inverter - my wife uses a gas hair curling thingy that runs from a cartridge.
     
  17. tick59

    tick59 Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1:
    GO ON GET YOURSELF A BALD HEAD. IT WILL BE A LOT EASIER AND THINK OF THE MONEY YOU WILL SAVE. INVERTERS, SOLAR PANELS MY ARSE!!! GET YOUR BLOODY HAIR CUT AND HAVE FUN!!FUN!!FUN!!
     
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  18. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Update

    Thanks for all the great advice as usual. I found the information below on Sterling's website and it reassured me about buying a quasi sine wave as opposed to pure based on what I want it for. Because the Hymer has a perfectly good charger I also realised I don't need the inverter/charger

    General opinion over the last few years was that the Quasi-sinewave inverter was dead, and the pure sine-wave inverters would rule the world (an opinion not shared by Sterling) sales of quasi-sinewave inverters have continued to out-grow sales of sine-wave, proving that there is plenty of life left in this technology. The principle reason is that most of the equipment such as mobile phones, t.v.s drill chargers and all that type of equipment which used to have a problem working with quasi-sinewave tends now work fine on quasi-sine as the effected equipment now tends to use switch mode power supplies in there design which works fine with quasi sine wave . This meant that rather than the problems getting worse over the years the problems have diminished, however this is not to say that the odd microwave, drill vacuum cleaner would not work (if there is a thyristor control circuit employed then this can still be a issue ) but there is no question this is becoming more rare as the years go past, plus its still usually a lot cheaper to replace a £ 35 microwave to a different model which will work rather than spend £ 700 on a sine wave model to make it work.

    Sterling has invested in a new range of quasi-sine inverters because they are smaller, lower cost, offer better performance, are more efficient and more reliable than sine-wave. We at Sterling have always found the quasi-sinewave inverter more than adequate for general requirements in boats and vehicles. There is still the odd appliance, such as washing machines, where quasi-sinewave inverters simply do not work, but all in all they do a great job – especially considering their cost. With this in mind, we have made a new range of DIGITAL quasi-sine inverters called the Pro Power Q. The idea behind this was to push forward this technology and bring in some new features. The most obvious change in this new inverter is its style, tough aluminum extrusion with great looking plastic end caps, euro and British sockets are on all this range ,enabling the unit to be compatible across Europe without problem. The new extrusion design has allowed us to reduce the size of the 1000-2500 watt units by nearly 40%, but still offer their full power and even better performance over the previous models.


    I managed to find a great deal online so thought I would share it with you. I also suggested they look at FUN with consideration to advertising and offering Funsters a discount as it could result in a lot of trade. Prices seem to vary from £340 to £390 at various motorhome parts dealers and boat dealers but I got it for £254.93.They were very helpful and offered to send the inverter direct to Edgehill Motorhomes and Paul from Edgehill is getting his electrician to fit it ready for when we pick it up next week. This is where I got it from: http://www.chandlerydirect.com/chandlery-store-uk/sterling-12v-1800w-quasi-sine-inverter-1424.html
    They were very good and called Sterling to check it would be sent immediately to ensure it would get to Edgehill early part of next week. They then called me back to confirm everything was fine. They were very friendly and helpful. :thumb:

    Now all I need to do is try to contain my excitement for 1 more week :Wink:
     
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  19. jemhorn

    jemhorn Funster

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  20. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Thats 360 watts. Better than most 12v dryers but we will stick with the inverter!
     
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