Using Inverter while travelling

Nov 12, 2015
449
180
Colchester
Funster No
40,159
MH
Dethleffs Esprit I7150 EB
Exp
Since 2016
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
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
36,114
24,182
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
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.
 
OP
MichaelT
Nov 12, 2015
449
180
Colchester
Funster No
40,159
MH
Dethleffs Esprit I7150 EB
Exp
Since 2016
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.
Thank you, inverter already fitted by dealer so hopefully all present and correct:)
 
Apr 27, 2008
7,870
5,177
Eastbourne East Sussex
Funster No
2,327
MH
A Class
Exp
Since 1972
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.
 
OP
MichaelT
Nov 12, 2015
449
180
Colchester
Funster No
40,159
MH
Dethleffs Esprit I7150 EB
Exp
Since 2016
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.
Slow cooker? Does it not tip over?
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
36,114
24,182
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
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.
 
OP
MichaelT
Nov 12, 2015
449
180
Colchester
Funster No
40,159
MH
Dethleffs Esprit I7150 EB
Exp
Since 2016
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.
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.
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.
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
13,294
21,031
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
24,219
MH
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Exp
2013
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.
 
Nov 22, 2007
4,056
4,678
East Yorkshire
Funster No
900
MH
Rapido "A" Class, Mecedes
Exp
18+yrs plus 25+Towing
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 31, 2015
4,862
6,632
Cornwall
Funster No
36,638
MH
Hymer B544
Exp
An expensive experience.. still..!
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.
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)
 
Sep 12, 2016
1,386
2,001
Twin Lakes 17130 Soumeras France
Funster No
45,091
MH
Lunar Roadstar 800
Exp
6500 miles and 188 nights
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
 
Apr 27, 2016
1,011
460
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
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.
 
Reactions: DBK
Jun 25, 2018
333
283
Durham
Funster No
54,597
MH
Dethleffs Alpa I 7820-2
Exp
New to motorhomes 2019
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
 
Aug 3, 2016
816
723
midlands
Funster No
44,408
MH
Carthago 4.9 superior
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
 
Jun 25, 2018
333
283
Durham
Funster No
54,597
MH
Dethleffs Alpa I 7820-2
Exp
New to motorhomes 2019
Will check when back in van.
So you think the battery refers to the leisure battery?
 

Minxy Girl

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
18,766
18,683
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 1996
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)
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.
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
3,192
1,418
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
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
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.
 
Jun 25, 2018
333
283
Durham
Funster No
54,597
MH
Dethleffs Alpa I 7820-2
Exp
New to motorhomes 2019
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.
Spot on I think.

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

Attachments

May 31, 2015
4,862
6,632
Cornwall
Funster No
36,638
MH
Hymer B544
Exp
An expensive experience.. still..!
Spot on I think.

Makes sense now as at handover it was explained as a separate battery. Probably due to german/geordie translation :sleep:
If it’s anything like mine it’ll switch off before the batteries are too low...(y)
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
3,192
1,418
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
Yes, it will protect the batteries from destruction but will carry on trying to satisfy 240V demand until the batteries are depleted. It's easy to do!
 
Nov 22, 2007
4,056
4,678
East Yorkshire
Funster No
900
MH
Rapido "A" Class, Mecedes
Exp
18+yrs plus 25+Towing
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.
If your concerned about the lid moving, ours did not despite the best efforts of some of the USA`s worst road surfaces!, A Large elastic band over the Lid knob and under the pot handles should suffice?.
 
Oct 17, 2010
360
145
Barnoldswick
Funster No
14,138
MH
Carthago E Line
Exp
2010
Pop my crock pot on a tray on some non slip mats on the floor wedged somewhere, and use it on the run in the Motorhome, using the inverter, I also wrap it in a towel or such to turn into a cheap version of Mrs D thermal for it to carry on cooking once switched off. Works a treat.
 

Minxy Girl

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
18,766
18,683
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 1996
If your concerned about the lid moving, ours did not despite the best efforts of some of the USA`s worst road surfaces!, A Large elastic band over the Lid knob and under the pot handles should suffice?.
Not concerned but one advantage of the 'proper' transportable ones is that they also have a proper seal on the edge of the lid so it keeps the contents in and also keeps the heat in better than those without.
 
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