Fitting an inverter

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Fitting an inverter

Post by sapper997 on Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:28 pm

I am thinking of fitting a 2000w power inverter in my 1997 Excecutive,but would like any ideas on where other Executive owners have
   fitted them, the one I am looking to fit is ebay No 290978190156 ( I can't do links and photos  scratch head  ).
   I have 2x 100amp leisure batteries, one under the drivers seat, and the other one in the space directly behind, over which I have
   fitted a wooden cover. The inverter measures 37x15x8cm and has a remote control, so my main thought is a/ where to fit the inverter
   b/ the remote, and c/ the extension socket/plug socket.
   Hope this makes sense, I am no electrician and would have it fitted by someone who knows what they are doing   confused3  , just looking
   for ideas from other owners.

   Ray
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Cymro on Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:44 pm

Forgive me for asking what may seem cheeky question (it's not meant to be) but why do you want an inverter?  Thinking about what equipment we have fitted or carry, most of our 240v things also run on the alternative of 12v, or on gas e.g water heater; space heater; lights; fridge; cooker; TV; audio system; medical CPAP machine; tyre inflator; fan etc.

The only things which must have 240v because they won't work on gas or 12v are the microwave, and the 1 electric ring on the cooker (which has 3 gas hobs and grill and oven).

So I wonder why it's necessary to have an inverter, even for wild / non-mains pitching?

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Gromit on Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:10 pm

Have to share Cymro's confusion. scratch head

I have thought about it of course, but then I applied Cymro's logic (years ago before making his virtual acquaintance smile! ) and decided to wait a while and see how many times I would have found an inverter essential - or even useful.

I'm still waiting! Whistle1

I suppose a lot depends on your preferred style of camping, but we have never found the need - with the possible exception of charging the e-bike batteries when off EHU. A friend of ours uses his inverter for this and says it gives his battery a caning. His battery is the size of a small coffin and he has about 200 watts of solar panel - and still only just manages.

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Re::fitting an inverter

Post by sapper997 on Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Hi Cymro, We have managed for years without an inverter but it would be handy at times, we spend three months of winter
                in Spain of which usually only a month of that is on campsites, the rest being camperstops or wild camping. my
                wife would like the use of a hairdryer " lots of hair "  hairdryer  and now and again a travel iron, and maybe a small
                microwave for convenience and to save her slaving over a hot stove. It's just a thought at the moment, "testing
                the water" to get other members ideas,

                Ray
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by dbroada on Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:26 pm

Have to agree with those above.

You don't have 200 amps of battery power, you have 200 amp hours of battery. At 12 volts that gives you a theoretical 2400 watts for 1 hour. With the inefficiency of converting your 12v to 240v you could drive your inverter flat out for about 30 minutes - and have 2 very flat batteries. 

As Cymro says, what will you be using it for?

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by dbroada on Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:29 pm

I think our messages passed in the ether. For your short term use an inverter may be practical. Try to buy the lowest wattage devices possible to get more use out of your batteries.

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Gromit on Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:53 pm

!2 volt hair dryer
https://www.amazon.co.uk/BaByliss-5344U-Travel-2000-Dryer/dp/B0056FXFRO/ref=pd_lpo_263_bs_img_2/253-4677730-7321732?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3ZTQ5QPCXJ13879SAKB1

12 volt microwave.
http://www.whispaire.co.uk/microwave1.html

12 volt travel iron.
http://leisurelines.net/12-volt-mini-travel-iron-2236-p.asp

As Dave (dbroada) says, inverters are very inefficient, so the above items would not only cost a lot less than a decent inverter (plus fitting), but would cane your battery less as well.

Just a thought

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Bagabargin on Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:55 pm

Just to add , that there was an inverter fitted in our previous motorhome when we got it ( and solar panal )  the previous owners did do some wild camping now and again and the wife needed it for medical reasons, a nebuliser I believe , for emergency charging .
 The batteries were mounted :- 1 under the drivers seat and 1 behind , under the bed/ side seat , the inverter mounted on the end of said bed behind the drivers seat .  I think we only used it once in 4 years ! I did toy with using my little slow cooker in transit but never did snigger
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by samleeds on Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:56 pm

I think the OP was looking for advice not a lecture on camping ethics but here goes.I have 2 x 110ah batts and a good solar set up. I run a 2000/4000w inverter the same as yours. My wife uses the hair dryer and micro wave plus the kettle and a few other bits and bats and we never run out of battery because.......

1. A hairdryer is 1000w and will take 100 amps from the battery so a 3 or 4 min dry will deplete the batteries by around 10 amps max, the kettle the same and the other stuff a lot less so if I am getting 4 to 5 amps from the sun over 10hrs my batteries get 50 amps back into them and with a normal 20 to 30 amps per day usage plus the 240v brigade from the inverter added, we never run out of battery and even if the suns down, the batts will cope very well as the next move we make gives us a split charge from the alternator at 35amps per hour.

Running an inverter is a luxury and a back up but not a bad idea as the batts will cope and as to where to mount the inverter, answer is as close as possible to the batts as the thick cables required have volt drop properties. Mine sits on top of my GEL BATTERIES that dont gas or overheat.

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Gromit on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:03 pm

samleeds wrote: I have 2 x 110ah batts and a good solar set up.
Good lecture Sam smile! and I think your batteries and solar set up is the key issue when using an inverter during longish spells off EHU. Without the capacity and power of a system like yours I doubt if it would be viable.

I think yours is about equivalent to my friend's coffin battery and roof full of solar panels.

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by samleeds on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:30 pm

The 2 x 110ah batts are under the hood and help with weight over the front axle and the solar is a 100w flexi laying flat on the roof and weighs 2.2kg. Gets me by with a modecum of glamp without the odius clumpy roof blemishes.

Sadly we like comfort and love to be able to rely on luxuries that are available with minimum effort. Nor for everyone but it keeps mission control happy so why not.

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by -mojo- on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:20 am

As alluded to above, the two things you need to get right are cabling and battery capability.

At full capacity a 2kW inverter should (in theory at least) be pulling around 160 Amps from the battery. This is comparable to or more than the peak load of a typical starter motor - so you need cabling of roughly the same size as the main cable on a vehicle battery. If you under-specify the cabling, the least you can expect is that the inverter's output voltage will sag under load, and this may trigger the low voltage cutoff (if it has one).

The other thing is to be sure that your battery/batteries can sustain this type of load without being damaged. Most leisure batteries cannot - their internal structure will distort very quickly and they will lose capacity.

When I was having my current van built, I asked the converters whether they would fit a microwave on an inverter. They declined to do so on the basis of previous experience - which was that it always resulted in premature failure of the leisure battery. They have been converting vans since the 1960s, so I went with their experience and did not have one fitted (so my microwave runs when on EHU only).
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by samleeds on Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:51 am

-mojo- wrote:As alluded to above, the two things you need to get right are cabling and battery capability.

At full capacity a 2kW inverter should (in theory at least) be pulling around 160 Amps from the battery. This is comparable to or more than the peak load of a typical starter motor - so you need cabling of roughly the same size as the main cable on a vehicle battery. If you under-specify the cabling, the least you can expect is that the inverter's output voltage will sag under load, and this may trigger the low voltage cutoff (if it has one).

The other thing is to be sure that your battery/batteries can sustain this type of load without being damaged. Most leisure batteries cannot - their internal structure will distort very quickly and they will lose capacity.

When I was having my current van built, I asked the converters whether they would fit a microwave on an inverter. They declined to do so on the basis of previous experience - which was that it always resulted in premature failure of the leisure battery. They have been converting vans since the 1960s, so I went with their experience and did not have one fitted (so my microwave runs when on EHU only).

In response to your findings, I decided to install gel batteries as they are somewhat more forgiving than normal deep cycle batteries, but my investigations, prior to installation, found that the maximum draw from a leisure battery should not really exceed the power rating of the battery (110amps) for any sustainable length of time, but as long as the batteries were not drained down below 25% under extreme load, most good quality batteries will cope well with such extraordinary loads. I never use appliances over 1000w and never keep these appliances under load for longer than 5 mins anyway, so I operate on the safe side of good regarding battery care and to date, I have never had any issues.

One further thing i need to add is that some people prefer to camp and enjoy their vans on a more al fresco basis, some of us like the glamping angle, but in essence, we are all both right to enjoy whatever pleases us and the debates will always remain healthy on both sides of the arguments. I have a very good friend that takes this debate to different levels, he actually refuses to set foot in any van that has a tv in it and goes ape when he sees a BBQ fired by gas. Such extremes are hard to understand because times evolve and we all need to move with them. If technology provides us with luxuries, then we should choose to move the way we all feel comfortable with and fondly embrace others points of views as personal preferences that deserve to be accepted. In my case, allowing mission control to dry her hair with a dryer that resembles the one at home, makes her happy and we all know that a happy wife makes for a happy life. Sadly 12v hair dryers are about as effective as an ashtray on a motorbike and I rest my case.

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by -mojo- on Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:47 am

Agreed - I'm really only thinking of the technical issues here, and the potential problems using an inverter with a real leisure battery.

As you say, the question of what luxuries you choose to have is a completely different one. I'm one of those that won't have a TV in my van, and I have no need for a hairdryer - but I'm certainly not trying to pass judgement on anyone who does!
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by samleeds on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:09 pm

-mojo- wrote:Agreed - I'm really only thinking of the technical issues here, and the potential problems using an inverter with a real leisure battery.

As you say, the question of what luxuries you choose to have is a completely different one. I'm one of those that won't have a TV in my van, and I have no need for a hairdryer - but I'm certainly not trying to pass judgement on anyone who does!
Aw never mind. Next time i see you, you can pop round for a glass of home brew and a squint at my telly and if you need to, you can dry your hair and warm your supper in our microwave, lol.

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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by -mojo- on Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:07 pm

Thanks for the offer - I'll pass on the hairdryer as I don't have any hair, but the homebrew would be nice (possibly. I say that as an ex-homebrewer!).
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Re:fitting an inverter

Post by sapper997 on Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:15 pm

Thanks everyone for your interest, opinions, and advice,....but as to my original post, it seems no Executive owners
   out there have fitted an inverter....... The jury is still out  confused3  
  
   Ray
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by ICDC on Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:05 pm

Guilty..you don't need one..trust me they are more demanding..just do the Ehu if you want power ..power to the people is not inverters.. :-))
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by samleeds on Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:18 pm

sapper997 wrote:I am thinking of fitting a 2000w power inverter in my 1997 Excecutive,but would like any ideas on where other Executive owners have
   fitted them, the one I am looking to fit is ebay No 290978190156 ( I can't do links and photos  scratch head  ).
   I have 2x 100amp leisure batteries, one under the drivers seat, and the other one in the space directly behind, over which I have
   fitted a wooden cover. The inverter measures 37x15x8cm and has a remote control, so my main thought is a/ where to fit the inverter
   b/ the remote, and c/ the extension socket/plug socket.
   Hope this makes sense, I am no electrician and would have it fitted by someone who knows what they are doing   confused3  , just looking
   for ideas from other owners.

   Ray
Ray

I Have the exact same one as that and believe it or not, I replaced it last week with the same one. It blew and the company replaced it free of charge no questions. It is positioned right in front of the passenger seat on the floor meaning ive got 12 inches of cables only and the remote is mounted behind the passenger seat on the stickie outie wings. The inverter is wired directly into the van side of the hook up box so when we are in a field we just switch off the orange zig switch that charges the battery on hook up, otherwise you will be charging the very battery you are taking power from. When we are on hook up, just unplug the plug from the inverter and place it into a dummy female socket as the prongs on the plug will be live from the hook up. You can leave it connected to the inverter as long as you dont hit the remote or you will get a conflict.

The 2000w is over reated, it is modified sine wave so dont use anything rated over 1500w and be aware that whatever you are usingdevide the wattage of that appliance by 10 and thats the amps you are dragging out of the battery. For example our microwave is 800w so we take 80 amps out of the battery so 10 mins will will drag about 15 amps out of the battery. My hair dryer gets used for 5 mins in the morning and its 1000w so drags about the 12 amp mark from the battery. All the other stuff we use is tv, charging sockets for phones and music stations with laptops etc. Ive got 3 x 110ah gel batts and 3 x 100 w flexi solars and Im allways up on power. Hope this helps

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Re:-fitting an inverter

Post by sapper997 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:49 pm

Sam
Thanks for the technical details, most of which have gone over my head scratch head. I have decided not to go down that road after weighing up the pro's against the cons, ....hair dryer 5 mins !!!! my wife takes 15-20 mins at home on full power hairdryer  which would probably flatten my batteries, I'll forgo the microwave and stick to gas, and as for the amount of time I use the laptop I'll stay with the 12v charger, but thanks everyone for your input.

     Ray........Luddite,...and proud  lol4
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Gromit on Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:01 pm

Mrs Gromit has the ultimate hair dryer.

Improves her appearance too!! Whistle1  broomstick


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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by bikeralw on Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:39 pm

Ha! At home Mrs Al also takes around 10 minutes with an enormous hairdryer, followed by 10 minutes with another fearsome electrical tool that resembles a medieval instrument of torture..
On EHU she has to make do with something a little smaller that doesn't trip the switch, but when we're touring we usually move on each day, so the heater vents on the van are directed to her hair, with the blower cranked up to max.
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by samleeds on Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:51 pm

I personally cant see that inverters are going to be good for anyone that needs to use HD electrical equipment like we have at home. The draw is far too strong for the job in hand. 5 mins on a hair dryer, 5 to 10 mins on a microwave and 3 to 5 hrs charging laptops and the like is about as much as these inverters can handle without going over board. I get an average of 10 hrs sunlight and on an average day my 300w solars give me between 80 to 120 amps of returned power into the batteries over the 10 hours of daylight.

Im happy but whos to say Im on overkill, each to their own. Im sure there is a happy medium for all out there and if its not broke, dont fix it. If there is a need, find a solution or go with the flow.

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Re:- fitting an inverter

Post by sapper997 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:12 pm

ooooooh   Gromit you are brave  lol4  lol4 .............Ray
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Re: Fitting an inverter

Post by Gromit on Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:15 pm

sapper997 wrote:ooooooh   Gromit you are brave  lol4  lol4 .............Ray
Only when she has her head in the towel and can't see what I'm up to!! Whistle1

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