Using Inverter while travelling

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by MichaelT, May 17, 2019 at 3:53 PM.

  1. MichaelT

    MichaelT Funster

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    Is it OK to use the inverter to charge stuff up that cannot be charged via USB while travelling. Was thinking the drain on the battery would be nil as it is charged up as you go along by alternator but not sure if it is recommended or safe? Obviously MPG may suffer a bit but at least you still have a full battery bank on arrival to use as normal?
    Thanks
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Yes, will work fine on the engine battery but the split charge won't keep up with current drain on the hab battery if wired to that.
    Don't forget to put a mega fuse in the Pos wire near the battery. Size will depend on inverter output.
     
  3. MichaelT

    MichaelT Funster

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    Thank you, inverter already fitted by dealer so hopefully all present and correct:)
     
  4. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I have used the inverter to power a slow cooker when travelling. No problem if the sun is shining as the solar keeps it all charged but the split charger will not provide enough charge to the leisure batteries if the inverter is drawing any significant current The solution is either a b2b charger or inverter running from the vehicle battery.
     
  5. MichaelT

    MichaelT Funster

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    Slow cooker? Does it not tip over?
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Probably fitted to the hab battery.
    If you have a multimeter check the hab battery voltage when you pitch to see if the split charge is coping.
    It really depends what, and for how long, it's charging.
    Don't want to find your battery has died by mid evening.
    If it is fitted to the starter battery restrict it's use to light loads when the engine isn't running or you may find it won't start when you need to.
     
  7. MichaelT

    MichaelT Funster

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    Yes fitted to hab batteries, no issues so far but not used the inverter when travelling yet. Was thinking about Mrs T's E Bike more than anything and maybe a laptop but most other stuff we have can charge off USB ports so not an issue.
     
  8. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    Assuming you are just going to be charging something like an ebike battery or a rechargeable vacuum cleaner the system should cope but if it is a very heavy load, say roasting a chicken :) then you will arrive with flat and dead batteries. I can only suggest try it, initially with small loads and work up.
     
  9. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Cannot speak for "Euro-boxes" as they could have a different charging set-up. But we used ours in the R-V to Cook the Lunch in the slow cooker many times.(y) Put it in the kitchen sink. (sink dry of course!);). Plug in the inverter (110V) and piping hot lunch by midday stop(y).

    Maybe will have to try it in the Rapido sometime?.:). In theory unless the charging regime is grossly different?, It should work OK. I have left a site early morning, after a heavy winter night`s use, and by mid morning or so the Hab batteries are back up to scratch(y) according to the monitoring Meter.:rolleyes: So the alternator is charging, as the solar`s would not bring the batteries up that quick, if at all.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 5:12 PM
  10. Just smiffy

    Just smiffy Funster

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    You’ll be fine for one of these at a time.....(y)

    As for slow cooker, just go round roundabouts slowly......;)


    Put cooker in the sink....(y)
     
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  11. Madcaravanner

    Madcaravanner Funster

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    We have our 1000W plumbed in and use it to charge on the move - we have 2 x13amp sockets and use both - our double USB socket is wired directly (with an in-line fuse) to the battery bank of 3 x 110AH batteries

    have have charged
    2 x laptops or 2 x cycle batteries whilst driving and still arrived with 14v in the bank
     
  12. autorouter

    autorouter Funster

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    I think an ebike charger is about 150 watts for two or three hours, so it's not a huge load. About the same as a pair of old-style halogen headlights plus wipers and fan. Shouldn't be a problem for the alternator.
     
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  13. Bustup15

    Bustup15 Funster

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    Don't want to steal thread but...
    Inverter fitted on new Dethleffs.
    On main panel above door I can select max input/output?? on a dial up to 16a.

    Selector switch options
    charge only/off/on

    Did not realise that an inverter would have its own battery?
    Is this to provide power without impacting on leisure battery or to provide additional grunt on heavy loads?

    Cheers
     
  14. Lanerboy

    Lanerboy Funster

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    I have a factory fit inverter in my Carthago and I often have it on charging both our ebikes whilst driving never had more than 1 or 2 bars of battery power used doing this
     
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  15. autorouter

    autorouter Funster

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    That sounds like a combined inverter and mains charger. What is the make and model?
     
  16. Bustup15

    Bustup15 Funster

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    Will check when back in van.
    So you think the battery refers to the leisure battery?
     
  17. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I have a large Crock Pot slow cooker which has securing clips on the lid ... had it for yonks, never used it in the camper but as it's meant to be transportable shouldn't be an issue, not sure if you can still buy them though.
     
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  18. two

    two Funster

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    Sounds like you may have a Victron inverter/charger. If so, when on EHU the dial is used to set the max current EHU can provide and then it takes the rest from your batteries. Take care not to trip the bollard, or everything will be from the batteries until they are dead.
     
  19. Bustup15

    Bustup15 Funster

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    Spot on I think.

    Makes sense now as at handover it was explained as a separate battery. Probably due to german/geordie translation :sleep:
     

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  20. Just smiffy

    Just smiffy Funster

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    If it’s anything like mine it’ll switch off before the batteries are too low...(y)
     

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