Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-16-2014, 09:29 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,319
Default 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

All the talk on the Alvin, lithium battery, Zion, etc threads wants me to ask a very basic question. What is your preference, to run as much as you can on 12 volts and leave the inverter off most of the time, or have an RV that is set up to run 110 volts all the time, with the inverter continuously on. Not talking about when on shore power or generator though.

What we have seen over the years, and what we have done, is to get almost everything onto 12 volt power and leave the inverter and it's inherent losses of almost al the time. Exceptions for us, right now, are the microwave and a hair dryer. Alvin, etrek and other newer units appear to be setting up for continuous 110 volts to the van with the inverter always on when on the batteries.

The 12 volt method would almost certainly use less battery power, but the 110 version lets you use much more common items easily. I am sure there are lots of other pluses and minuses for both ways.

Will a switch to 110 in the general world be more related to getting the cost of huge battery banks and charging systems down to the non high end units, or will there always be a market for the more minimalist 12 volt powered RV?

If you were putting an RV together right now, what would you do? Would it be different if cost were not an issue, or if you were on a tight budget?
__________________

booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 251
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

Since we have the ETrek model, I consider I have 110 available any time I want it, which is nice. I accept that this capability cost me a lot of dollars.

That said, the inverter stays off most of the time (noisy) because everything I need to just exist in the RV runs fine on 12 volt -- water, heat, light, electronics rechargers. The only questionable item is the compressor reefer. I'll run it overnight on 12volt, but it seems happier on 110.
__________________

__________________
2015 RT CS with E-Trek
obgraham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2014, 11:19 PM   #3
Gold Member
 
Arlo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 95
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

As an E-trek owner, I too tend to use the inverter only when necessary. Fan noise is definitely an issue, which would no doubt be less on smaller inverters. My spouse and I really enjoy Apple TV in the evening, which requires 110v, so that is our main reason for running the inverter for a couple hours. Our small fridge works fine in 12v mode.
Arlo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2014, 11:22 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,425
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

It's Alvar.

Our goal is to be able to use our B in its entirety the same way whether it is plugged into shore power or boondocking. It really is that simple. The biggest frustration was our morning coffee. Problem solved. Our microwave was mostly a bread box without shore power. The only thing we have changed is getting rid of the propane stove top for an electric induction cooktop because we could and we could also get rid of propane since we will have an Espar diesel powered on demand hot water heater and coach heating (with 12V fan?). The only thing I will not be able to use unless hooked up to shore power is an infloor electric radiant heat pad down our aisle. Air conditioning has always been a non-factor but we could run it too a limited time. Bottom line is we don't have to make a decision of whether we need an electrical hookup or not on any given night. The only things in need seems to be the microwave and coffee maker and they are short time use items. For charging stuff we will have USB plugs about. The computers would need the 110VAC outlets. My wife could use her hair dryer. We should have enough battery power that we would never need an Onan generator. So we deleted that. So, boondocking, to use all that stuff I mentioned, which would you rather put up with, a running generator or an inverter?
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2014, 11:35 PM   #5
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

I too have a RT 2015/14 E-trek CS Ext version. I use a CPAP machine that I now run using a small 12v - 115inverter plugged into the 12v system. No fan required and it works. That would work for someone who only needs small wattage 115v items i.e.: Apple TV.

I too am not happy with the fan noise of the 5000watt inverter that RT uses. But live and learn.
bikerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2014, 12:11 AM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,425
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

I have no idea what a 2800w Outback inverter will sound like but it is right under the bed behind our driver's side wheel well. I will find out.

__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2014, 02:06 AM   #7
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,746
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

We're probably going to see a mix of DC and AC for a long time.

I think Fantastic and Maxx fans are only 12v. Pumps and macerators are probably available at 12v, 24v or maybe even 110v AC.
Items like air conditioning, microwave ovens etc. can be had running on DC but they tend to be very expensive.

I think I'd just continue with the mix we have now if getting a new unit. I'm still a fan of propane.
__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #8
Gold Member
 
Arlo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 95
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerbill
I too have a RT 2015/14 E-trek CS Ext version. I use a CPAP machine that I now run using a small 12v - 115inverter plugged into the 12v system. No fan required and it works. That would work for someone who only needs small wattage 115v items i.e.: Apple TV.

I too am not happy with the fan noise of the 5000watt inverter that RT uses. But live and learn.
Hmmm, good point about using a tiny inverter for the Apple TV. There is only one 12v outlet in the AV cabinet, and the TV is plugged into that, but I should be able to use a 12v splitter and a tiny inverter to power the Apple TV. There is a 10amp fuse on that circuit. TV draws 5 amps and Apple TV much less, so it should work. Makes me wonder if an inverter with 2 AC outlets would let me power the Sony surround sound from the same circuit.
Arlo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2014, 01:14 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,425
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

My Pleasure-way Plateau had a small 400w inverter just for the TV and my 2011 Great West Van Legend had a similar setup of a 750w inverter just for the TV. The odd thing is whenever we camped where TV reception was decent we were usually at an electrical hookup campsite. So, in both instances I rigged connections directly to 110VAC outlets to get around running the inverters because, even small, being right next to the TV, I found them the fans to be too loud and annoying.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,319
Default Re: 110 volts or 12 volts for your "stuff"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
My Pleasure-way Plateau had a small 400w inverter just for the TV and my 2011 Great West Van Legend had a similar setup of a 750w inverter just for the TV. The odd thing is whenever we camped where TV reception was decent we were usually at an electrical hookup campsite. So, in both instances I rigged connections directly to 110VAC outlets to get around running the inverters because, even small, being right next to the TV, I found them the fans to be too loud and annoying.
That wiring system is a bit odd, I think, and not the way a 110/12 volt system really works the best. Usually, I would think the shore power would go to a transfer switch that would change the 110 outlets from inverter to shore power depending on what was available, so the change would be invisible to he user, unless they chose to have the inverter off most of the time (then they would have to turn the inverter on when they wanted 110v, but that is all). Of course doing it this way requires one larger inverter instead of little ones at the appliance.
__________________

booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.