View Full Version : DC to AC Inverter install and location - MPG183

06-22-2012, 04:40 PM
Thinking about the added convenience of AC when there's no shore power. Any experiences on size, installation problems, or good/best location in MPG [partic 183]?

06-22-2012, 05:00 PM
MountainTop, I don't have any first hand experience, but I have been studying the whole "off grid" power options for some time. I have found two very good resources for you.

1) The 12volt Side of Life (http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm)

2) Solar RV Panels - Camp Anywhere In Style (http://www.solarrvpanels.com/)

Be sure to look at both pages of "The 12volt Side of Life" and there are many pages on the "Solar RV Panels - Camp Anywhere In Style".

HTH, Keith

06-24-2012, 08:25 AM
We use a small (300 watt I believe) Radio Shack inverter plugged into the DC cig lighter port on the tv antenna plate on the side of the little shelf with the radio on a 181. Use it to charge electric razor and cell phones. No problems at all. btw, see my post about the solar panel we added. It's been working like a charm. We dry camped for almost a month and never lost power.

06-26-2012, 03:45 PM
If you use solar panles be sure to disconect battery when in storage as I over charged a battery by not doing this. I have a 400 watt in the truck and a 1700 watt in the trailer, I use a separate battery for the inverter, my preference

06-26-2012, 09:09 PM
Hi Chainsaw, were you using a solar charge controller or just had the solar cell connected to the battery. I'm using a charge controller which is supposed to prevent overcharging, but it didn't come with any specs so I'm not sure exactly what it's doing

06-29-2012, 09:12 PM
MountainTop, you aren't going to run the a/c off of batteries or solar! The air conditioner draws too much power. It is too hot to go out to the mpg and check on the fuse, but let's assume that the a/c is on a 15 A circuit. I'm going to really oversimplify here, not because I'm wanting to insult anyone's intelligence, but because this is actually a fairly common idea. That 15 amps at 120 volts is roughly equal to 150 amps at 12 volts. If you have a battery that is rated at 600 amp-hours, you have (in theory) four hours of a/c use before your battery dies. Actually, you can only pull a battery down about 50% before you damage it, so your 600 amp-hour battery will power your a/c for two hours before it needs recharging. If the a/c draws 20 A, you're looking at 90 minutes of air conditioning. In both cases I'm ignoring the draw of the inverter itself and the actual inefficiencies involved. In addition my examples assume that you use NO other electricity - no lights, radio, computer, etc.

Now, if you add a generator and/or solar panels AND are in a place where you use the a/c only for a brief period each day you may be able to get by. If you are serious about this, you're going to have some work to do. First replace all of the lights in your mpg with LED bulbs. Then find out how much current your camper draws when everything is off. (You might be surprised at how much is running even when you think everything is off.) Now go price some new deep cycle batteries, the solar panels and controller, and a generator. It might be cheaper to buy a new RV.

06-29-2012, 10:06 PM
Mountain Top, the Florida chapter leader, Mickey Meridith, "Mickey" on the forum, has done a lot of work on his rig preparing for boondocking, living off the grid. I am sure he would give you lots of good advice on how to go about it. He has solar panels, a battery bank, a top notch inverter, plus a generator. Ask him, he can give you good info.

Hogan Cooper

06-30-2012, 08:50 AM
Dumb question MountainTop, when you say 'convenience of AC' are you referring to Air Conditioning or 120v AC (alternating current) power?

07-21-2012, 08:12 PM
I really want to throw two panels on my roof and create a good system. Here is a good place to look for solar everything.