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Old 06-17-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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inverter need for greyhawk

Can anyone tell me the benefits of having a inverter in the motohome when I have a generator? I am thinking of boon docking and just want to understand my power options better. Thanks, TED
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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Some campgrounds have restricted generator operation hours. As an example, if you want to watch TV after generator hours you need an inverter.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:01 PM   #3
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If you just want it for TV or video games for the passengers while driving you definitely will save on fuel. The down side while boondocking is the battery bank may not be large enough for extended use.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:34 AM   #4
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If your greyhawk is like mine, it only has one house battery. That will limit the time (like Grumpy said) you will be able to run on your battery. I hardly use the inverter while on the road. I am usually running the generator and house A/C while traveling. I have seen a thread on here where someone added a 2nd battery by expanding the battery compartment, but that seems drastic to me for the benefit.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:13 AM   #5
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To help clarify things: a generator makes 120V AC power to run your electrical outlets, television, microwave, coffee maker, CPAP machine, etc. An inverter changes 12V DC into 120V AC power to run those same appliances. It gets the 12V power from your battery, so it runs down the battery. The more AC power you use, the faster it will run down the battery. That's where the generator comes in. It will recharge the battery, so it can power the lights, thermostat, and the inverter.

As other posters have said, an inverter under load will run down a single battery pretty quickly. That's why serious boondockers will add a second (or more) battery(ies) to extend the time between required recharges with the generator.

Of course, if you won't be using any 120V appliances while off the grid, your single battery should last a day or two. But if you're not using 120V appliances, you wouldn't need the inverter. Hope that clarifies things.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brownie View Post
To help clarify things: a generator makes 120V AC power to run your electrical outlets, television, microwave, coffee maker, CPAP machine, etc. An inverter changes 12V DC into 120V AC power to run those same appliances. It gets the 12V power from your battery, so it runs down the battery. The more AC power you use, the faster it will run down the battery. That's where the generator comes in. It will recharge the battery, so it can power the lights, thermostat, and the inverter.

As other posters have said, an inverter under load will run down a single battery pretty quickly. That's why serious boondockers will add a second (or more) battery(ies) to extend the time between required recharges with the generator.

Of course, if you won't be using any 120V appliances while off the grid, your single battery should last a day or two. But if you're not using 120V appliances, you wouldn't need the inverter. Hope that clarifies things.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but how fast your battery runs down depends on the load itsef and the size or capacity of the battery. I run my 32" flat screen from a 150 watt inverter plugged into the 12V accessory jack of the TV antenna in my trailer. I do have two 6v golf cart batteries for the capacity (an easy modification to make), but it depends on how long I want to watch TV and what else I might want to run that uses 12V (DVD player, lights, furnace, water pump). If your needs are simple, go simple. You don't need a $1000 "whole RV" inverter, the installation & heavy gage wire if all you want to do is watch TV in the evening.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:43 PM   #7
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I use my inverter to power my coffee maker and microwave in the AM before generators are allowed to be run. i also bought a TV with built in DVD player that runs on both 12V and 110V so I don't need to run the inverter. I also have 2 golf cart batteries.
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