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Old 08-10-2018, 05:00 PM   #11
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It sounds as if you are on your way to getting it figured out. Most of the things you require should be able to found or questions answered on the forum, as there is a lot of history and experience with this kind of upgrades and changes.


IMO, you woundn't be wasting money on a small inverter for the the TV, and you really won't need any inverter for a compressor frig if you do the marine frig style which run on 12v directly. You would need an inverter if you did the dorm frig style, which is just now getting more attention because they have gotten more efficient. Nobody has done one of the new ones yet, so unproven to this point. Using small inverters for things like TV and dvd seems to be a very efficient way to run things, and as you mentioned, gives many more options in components.



With a good battery monitor, you will be able to get a good idea of how much power you are using, how your recharging is working, and how full you get your batteries when you do recharge them in various ways. At that point, you should be able to see pretty plainly what would need improvement, if you need a big inverter (like to run a microwave), need more batteries or solar, etc. My guess would be you will not need a lot of new stuff, even to go with a compressor frig if you do find yourself driving nearly every day. Two batteries should let you run up to about 2 days easily with a compressor frig if you aren't using big power elsewhere. Some solar (100-200 watts) is often very useful for topping off the charge on lead acid batteries, so that might be something you would want.



It may be a good idea for you to start a thread on what you have, and where you want to end up, and get some input. That will also give you a place to put your results from your power use and battery charging tests once you get a monitor in place.
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:11 PM   #12
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Dave,

Your solar & battery setup sounds a lot like what's on my '2012 Airstream Avenue Suite (based on the Chevy 3500 Express). I even have a compressor fridge, yet we've not lacked for battery capacity on our last 13 day trip from the Texas coast to Yellowstone. We dry camped 9 of those nights hitting camp around 6pm on fully charged batteries from driving.

We ran our led lights & tv/dvd combo for 2-3 hours, MaxxFan or furnace overnight (depending on temperatures), and of course the fridge running full time. We never woke up to less than 70-75% battery charge per our solar monitor readout and coach monitor and we never ran the generator those nights. Sometimes when we wanted to heat something in the microwave for breakfast, we did fire up the generator, but not because of lack of battery power.

If your flooded batteries are in good condition (we had to replace the almost new ones that came with our rv) you may find they are enough. Once you start on the road to increase solar it gets expensive, and like us you probably have limited space on top for more solar.

I say try it on trip before taking on a big upgrade. Happy travels!
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:57 PM   #13
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Default 12 volt tv choices

I have a Xplorer 230XLW and also removed the original tv. My RV has the front convertible couch layout option, and the bulkhead in front of the head facing forward was the perfect mounting location for two or more folks to view it from the passenger seat (swiveled) and the couch. After much shopping I bought a 24" edge lit 1080P Element for Walmart for $140, and as you can see in the photos it fits absolutely perfectly, and I am extremely impressed with both the video and audio quality. Edge lit TV's are thinner designs, and this TV also has all of the control buttons on the left side as well, an important consideration. Although it it comes with a 120VAC converter brick, it can be eliminated to run the tv off of 12VDC easily. However, this RV had at the time the original converter (since replaced), which produced a 12VDC source that was too dirty for the TV to recognize. I found a 12VDC to adjustable voltage 9-15VDC device that cleaned up the waveform, but it was only 80% efficient, so, in order to avoid the efficiency loss of both the brick converter and an additional small inverter to power the tv while boondocking (using battery 12v), I simply used a three way six pole switch, and having one side fed by 12VDC house current and the other side fed by the output of the converter brick, I can switch to straight 12VDC when only powered by my batteries, and back to the brick output when running my generator or plugged in to 120VAC. This TV also has only one HDMI port, so I bought a simple, reliable manually switchable two HDMI port splitter, and hooked one up to an Amazon Fire stick which can be used when wifi is available (I use my phone's hotspot quite a bit for this) and the other port can be connected to a DVD player, a computer, etc. I also bought one of the flat panel boosted antennas, which also works remarkably well and actually seldom needs to be boosted, and use foam mounting tape to locate it in a different orientation if needed. BTW, I ran my AC connection form the microwave outlet, accessible after removing it, and my DC from the adjacent overhead lighting wiring circuit without issues.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:34 PM   #14
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Dave, go to jimindenver.com.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:35 PM   #15
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Default Thanks for the responses

Again, thanks for the well thought-out responses.

@rowiebowie. Sounds like what I want - I really want a compressor refer. The problem for me is that I don't think I have what you could call 'solar' since the panel is less than 1 foot square.... I have no idea what it puts out but must be about like a 'trickle charger'. If I am right then I would guess I need other stuff besides solar panels. Bottom line is that the trip you describe is exactly the way we travel so I am encouraged.


@ nicaland. I have a 230xlw also with the same layout up front. I did remove the couch/bed/seat and mounted a simple seat behind the table and spin the drivers seat so we have a dinette. So I have the same wall and had figured to put the tv there just like you did.
IMG_1110.jpg

I am impressed by the tv and also am going to study the other info you posted - I am in a steeeeep learning curve but like the idea of "hot spots"
Only problem is I will have to research phones and plans so this may take a while. But, again thanks, I'm learning a lot from this.


@ Thevon, Wow, that is some good info & I may get him to consult and help me determine what I should do.


Off to some vintage auto races for the weekend so won't have a chance to dig deeper until I get back.


Thanks all,
Dave
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:58 PM   #16
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Glad to help Dave. Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further help. I have been thinking about my initial response in regards to my solution to being able to run a tv in your rv on 12vdc. Although it might have sounded a bit complicated, it really isn't. However, I mentioned that after I did this installation I had replaced the factory converter, which made the dual wiring job that I installed moot, and actually, as I suspect that you have the same converter that my Xplorer had (Magnatek 6300) it would serve you well in other areas to do the same thing first, particularly in regards to maintaining proper battery condition as well as faster charging of same, by replacing your existing dinosaur converter with a more modern 3 or 4 stage charger/maintainer section of this unit. These direct bolt in replacements send a much more refined 12vdc current to every circuit, which would among other possible improvements would allow you to run a tv that runs on 12-14 vdc with or without being equipped with a converter brick, which if equipped could be eliminated without issues, whether powered by batteries or through the new converter when powered by your genset or plugged in to shorepower. I suggest you look at installing Progressive Dynamic's PD 4635, for less than $200, although there are other units very similar that can do the same job. It's not difficult to do, instructions are available online and on YouTube, or you could hire an electrician to do it, should take less than an hour to complete, and your batteries would most certainly thank you for it! Enjoy your race weekend; I'm a big vintage race fan too, went to the Monterey Rolex challenge last year, the Classic Le Mans event this year, and my favorite, The Goodwood Revival in 2012 and 2014!
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:21 PM   #17
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I think that if you are going to run the TV or any other electronic device off of the batteries directly, with or without shore charger, solar, or alternator running, it is really a good idea to have a voltage stabilizer on the circuit. Most of the TV bricks are rated at 12v and don't give a tolerance on that voltage because it is irrelevant the way it is used. The voltage in the van, even if you are careful is going to vary at least from 11.5v to 14.5v with spikes showing up as things are turned on and off or charging sources come online. It has been a perpetual discussion of if that kind of variation will hurt the electronics, but we have had failures of stuff in the past when wired direct.



The problem as was mentioned by others is that the stabilizers use as much power as the brick plus a small inverter, so there is wasted battery capacity there. The "best" solution from a power standpoint is to get a true 12v native TV, aka trucker TV, as they are designed with protection internally that wastes less power than an add on stabilizer. Unfortunately, the TVs generally aren't the best quality or picture, but they are getting better.


When all was said and done, and we had measured all the power uses, we found that we can run a 110v TV (19v native with a brick) through a 120watt PSW inverter for the same, or less, power than it would use using a 12 to 19v DC converter. That amount of power would also be about the same as running the 12v, brick cut off, TV with a stabilizer. The actual differences between the power use on all of the above, if you have an efficient TV and inverter are only a couple of tenths of an amp, so none of them are a disaster.


As I have mentioned before, after all the testing, we just went for simple as the power use is all pretty much the same. We have a single power switch the turns on the 120w inverter, which runs the 110v TV and 110v DVD player, both of which are on bricks, but the actual power to the TV and DVD are around 19v.



You will also find that there are getting to be very few TVs and DVD players that are 12v native anymore, as most are higher than that and would need a 12v to higher voltage DC converter. Same is true for laptops and their chargers, so we also change the laptop off a 120w inverter and actually use less power than if we charge it with a 12v to 19v DC adapters we got for doing the charging. The way things are headed with most of the electronics not being 12v native anymore, and the small inverters getting very efficient, I think direct wiring will be a rare option in the future.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D&J Phillips View Post
Again, thanks for the well thought-out responses.

@rowiebowie. Sounds like what I want - I really want a compressor refer. The problem for me is that I don't think I have what you could call 'solar' since the panel is less than 1 foot square.... I have no idea what it puts out but must be about like a 'trickle charger'. If I am right then I would guess I need other stuff besides solar panels. Bottom line is that the trip you describe is exactly the way we travel so I am encouraged.


@ nicaland. I have a 230xlw also with the same layout up front. I did remove the couch/bed/seat and mounted a simple seat behind the table and spin the drivers seat so we have a dinette. So I have the same wall and had figured to put the tv there just like you did.
Attachment 6314

I am impressed by the tv and also am going to study the other info you posted - I am in a steeeeep learning curve but like the idea of "hot spots"
Only problem is I will have to research phones and plans so this may take a while. But, again thanks, I'm learning a lot from this.


@ Thevon, Wow, that is some good info & I may get him to consult and help me determine what I should do.


Off to some vintage auto races for the weekend so won't have a chance to dig deeper until I get back.


Thanks all,
Dave

There are lots, and lots, of threads on this forum about running compressor frigs, both with and without solar or engine generators, or huge battery banks. It all depends on how you camp and how often you drive or have shore power. It may pay to read some of the discussions and they will tell you how to total your power use, and how to evaluate your traveling style.


We have had a compressor frig for something like 8 years, and have run it with two wet cells, varying amounts of solar or none, and stock shore charger and alternator, plus our current high capacity system. The frig worked fine with all of them as long as we stayed with the style of camping that allowed it. We have never lost food or not been able to keep the frig cool since we got it, which we couldn't say when we had the 3 way absorption frig.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:35 PM   #19
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I have had good results from Skyworth. I have a 20 inch 12 volt TV/DVD combo in my 210P and we have found it to be very satisfactory. Skyworth is generally directed at long haul truckers and is typically sold through outlets which cater to them such as Truck Plazas and on line sites. Current draw is pretty low off the 12 volt circuit. Because it is intended for truckers it has decent voltage regulation built into the internal power supply.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:17 PM   #20
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You guys are overthinking this. Go down to best buy and take a look at the back of the TV. If it says DC in 12v it's a 12v TV. Cut the cable from the brick and wire it into your rig.

I've done this in a dozen peoples rigs. Usually it's the best buy insignia or element brand TVs, hey work just fine. Some were 14v and worked just fine. Slap a thin OTA antenna on a window with some cling tape and you have TV.

Heck, be cheap and use a pringles can as an antenna to grab wifi from your friend 2 blocks away and watch netflix.

Or be weird like me and read a book.
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