Adding inverter to Scamp?

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Solari
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Adding inverter to Scamp?

Greetings! I'm rather new to the Scamp world, having recently bought a 2011 13' Scamp for full time traveling. Am so looking forward to it. : )

I need to add an inverter for use of my laptop/computer, etc. I'll also want to charge up my phone/iPad, etc. Are there any recommendations for such and how would the inverter hook into to the existing Scamp electrical system with the converter already in there? 

As info, in addition to the usual way the Scamp works with either house battery or electrical hook up, I also have a Renogy suitcase solar system I will be using. 

Many thanks for any suggestions, tips, etc!

Ray

 

Greg A
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Inverter

Welcome to the clubhouse!

I would look into getting a 12v charger for your laptop and then wire in one or two 12v outlets with USB http://amzn.to/1Rw44SV and skip the expense and install of an inverter. Or you can simply use a 12v inverter for your laptop after you put in the outlets, however the direct 12v laptop charger would probably be more efficient.

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Gordon2
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RE: Inverter

Greg is (as usual) dead on in his advice.  Avoid the inverter if you can.  This charges my laptop from a cigarette lighter type 12 volt outlet. The only problem is that it is item specific and will not charge my other laptop, etc.

I am not an electrician so take the following for what it is worth and confirm your plans with a qualified person.

Its the "etc." in your question that determines what you need to do.  If you simply must power other 120 VAC stuff and cannot do it from 12 VDC, then you might need an inverter but IMHO it should be your last option.  If you do go the inverter route, then the size that you need will determine how best to wire it in. So you have to be specific in what you need to power.  I have a small inverter that i can run up to 400 watts on a cigarette lighter type plug but if you use a larger one then wiring to a separate fused 12 VDC circuit or even directly to the battery (with appropriate fuse) might be needed. 

As for adding 12 VDC and USB outlets, what I did was create two new fused circuits from the electrical distribution box. This insures that the total power draw for all 12 volt stuff from the panel does not exceed the rating of the existing wiring, and that the individual circuits that I added have an appropriate fuse for the wire size I used and the current rating of the outlet(s).  I also added another connection directly to the battery using 10 gauge wire and a 30 amp fuse for ham radio gear that can draw 20-25 amps. Of course that would fry the house wiring that has a 20 amp fuse if I tried to wire it into the existing wiring. It will draw down the battery pretty fast if I pull that much current, but its safe and could also be used for a higher power inverter.

As for the solar suitcase, see http://www.scampowners.com/forums/solar and MANY threads on the other forums.  If you plan to be solar dependent to any extent than I think you should look into a battery usage meter such as the TriMetric.  Otherwise its about impossible to know how much power you are using or can use. On the other hand, if you are only going to use the solar suitcase once in a while to top off the battery - hooking it up to the battery terminals as Renogy intends - then the KISS principle works OK.

Solari
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Great advice, all. Ideally I

Great advice, all. Ideally I'd like to keep things simple, esp. considering I have minimal electrical knowledge. In an ideal world, I'd keep all my usage to DC in that vein, but there will be some items that need AC. Now and then I will want to use my iMac (40w idle, 199w max) for heavy duty work but if necessary I can wait for shore power in those cases and use my laptop in the interim. The other "etc/misc" items are basic things like my electric toothbrush and trimmer (both which charge with internal batteries). Those stay charged up on their own batteries for a week thereabouts so no need for constant charging. 

Other than that (including iPhone/iPad) my needs are fairly minimal and I like the KISS princple. So maybe a basic pure sinewave inverter for "on demand" use (i.e. when I need to use it) where it remains otherwise unplugged? 

If this belongs in the Solar discussion, let me know and I'd be happy to move it if I can figure that out. I posted here since inverters aren't necessarily exclusive to solar and there will be times I'll be plugged into shore power. (Gordon, the kit I have has a ViewStar controller built in which also monitors the battery).

Speaking of, that brings up another question -- in the standard configuration when the Scamp is plugged into shore power, does the inverter still need to be used? There is an AC electrical outlet in the Scamp next to the temp controller and one outside of the Scamp, both do not work with the battery so I assume they're only for shore power (which I will be able to confirm when I get the chance to hook up). 

Thanks again for your thoughts -- I really appreciate them!

Ray

 

athearn2
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USB Charger

I'm not much up on the new cars and your profile doesn't say the year of your RAV 4 but don't most newer cars have USB connections built in? Can you charge your USB devises with your TV? That would be the most KISS! Also it might be best to install the inverter in your TV and charge your stuff while driving. If you need to charge stuff while parked you could hook your solar charger to your TV battery. There are many models of  inverters available made to install in vehicles. This would also mean making fewer holes in your Scamp too. Just my thoughts!!

Solari
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I bought a Morningstar

I bought a Morningstar SureSine 300 watt inverter and will have it installed with an outlet to plug items into. It's quite efficient and draws little from the battery with no fan needed, pure sine wave, etc. Will be all set. Thanks for your suggestions.

Solari
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Update: Ended up installing

Update: Ended up installing it inside  the front compartment on the starboard side since it would be closest to the battery for minimal voltage drop. A standard outlet was installed on the outside under the bench, making it easy to plug things into. It works great so far in standby mode where it only "turns on" when something is plugged in.