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Old 08-09-2018, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default 12v tv choices

Hi, looking for some advise here,

We have a 1999 Xplorer that came to us with the original 9" tv with VCR player built in. I promptly removed it because we have never watched tv when we go camping and the 9" size made it difficult to watch anyway. Most of the time we entertain ourselves in the evenings with card games like Gin Rummy, or Spite & Malice, or Yahtsy and listen to the radio and sometimes talking books.

So, now we are preparing to retire in a few months and plan on some cross country trips with open-ended schedule and now think a tv would be nice.
I am a complete non-tech person (at least the modern kind of high tech, I do keep my Austin Healey running fine however). My cell phone is a 15 or 20 year old flip phone - I know nothing about "streaming", or making a "hot spot" (or even what those are ) and, more importantly, how to go about doing that. I've never even sent a "text", so complete rube here.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a tv and antenna?

I think a 22" to 24" can be made to fit but the reviews I have read on 12v tvs is depressing - there are a lot of complaints about most of them, including bad sound, failing DVD players, failing remote controls, poor customer service, etc.

So I am interested in the most trouble free unit I can get but, like everybody, I don't want to spend too much. I also need to learn about antennas vs satellite?

Beyond watching news and the occasional DVD, the one thing we both want to watch is Formula One racing and I wonder how could a person do that while on an extended trip?

Any help/ideas/opinions will be very welcome. I have about 4 months before we are freeeeeee!


Thanks,
Dave & Judy
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:23 AM   #2
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One short discussion here:


http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f2...ters-7727.html


There was another one also, but I will have to find it.


Somewhat related


http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f2...-12v-7982.html


What we just upgraded to this year from a 12v tv


http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...e-tv-7411.html


A bit earlier when we gave up on 12v dvd players


http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...gain-5695.html


Bottom line for us is is that it is starting to look very much like getting native 12v items doesn't really save any power to speak of, but really limits choices of products. We still have a lot of 12v stuff in the van, but we will probably be more amenable to adding 120v small items also, and that is why we added the small inverter powered 120v charging area that is in one of the discussions linked above.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:00 AM   #3
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For the antenna, we went with a "Wingman" UHF upgrade to the existing Winegard crank-up TV antenna. It seems to have improved DTV reception. If you don't have a roof antenna, the suction-cup flat digital TV antennas actually work pretty well.

For the TV, we went with an Insignia-brand 24" LCD unit and a separate Sony Blue-Ray player. Both the TV and the disc player run on 12-volts out of the box (by way of wall-warts), but I decided to power them with a pure-sine inverter, which I'd already installed for other purposes.

To watch racing, I think you'll need a satellite receiver. On that topic, I have no experience.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:47 AM   #4
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Default Congratulations on your 15 to 20 years FLIP phone......

Quote:
Originally Posted by D&J Phillips View Post
Hi, looking for some advise here,

We have a 1999 Xplorer that came to us with the original 9" tv with VCR player built in. I promptly removed it because we have never watched tv when we go camping and the 9" size made it difficult to watch anyway. Most of the time we entertain ourselves in the evenings with card games like Gin Rummy, or Spite & Malice, or Yahtsy and listen to the radio and sometimes talking books.

So, now we are preparing to retire in a few months and plan on some cross country trips with open-ended schedule and now think a tv would be nice.
I am a complete non-tech person (at least the modern kind of high tech, I do keep my Austin Healey running fine however). My cell phone is a 15 or 20 year old flip phone - I know nothing about "streaming", or making a "hot spot" (or even what those are ) and, more importantly, how to go about doing that. I've never even sent a "text", so complete rube here.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a tv and antenna?

I think a 22" to 24" can be made to fit but the reviews I have read on 12v tvs is depressing - there are a lot of complaints about most of them, including bad sound, failing DVD players, failing remote controls, poor customer service, etc.

So I am interested in the most trouble free unit I can get but, like everybody, I don't want to spend too much. I also need to learn about antennas vs satellite?

Beyond watching news and the occasional DVD, the one thing we both want to watch is Formula One racing and I wonder how could a person do that while on an extended trip?

Any help/ideas/opinions will be very welcome. I have about 4 months before we are freeeeeee!


Thanks,
Dave & Judy
OK... well...you know who else carries a "FLIP phone.... Raymond Reddington.....

As far as the 12 volt TV.....I've looked into this and everyone has dissuaded me from considering it......WHY??? Poorer picture quality....... The 110 volt TV will work a lot better....how much TV are you really watching??????

Here's even a better suggestion.... get an Android tablet, download the videos to your tablet and play those in your coach with a good speaker like the Bose Mini......

Streaming is incredibly easy....go to the store and they'll explain all of this to you....

AND the news...or TV...... if you have Direct TV..and get a satellite dish for the RV... Direct TV will activate your rig as a separate room in your house....for practically nothing per month....
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:00 PM   #5
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Hi Dave and Judy,

If satellite, satellite receivers are 110 volt and DISH has an advantage over Directv - oh, I've had Directv for 22+ years at home. DISH is HD with a much smaller antenna than Directv. You can have only DISH and activate it by paying the bill, deactivate it by not paying the next bill. You can also get the national network local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS...) by simply entering a zip code.

I won't go back over the multiple reasons that 110 volt wins out, just like a compressor refer. This same sentence is applicable for the most part with both tv stuff and a refer:

The reason 12 volt tv stuff exists and an absorption refer exists is that there is not enough reliable electrical power. One can have the electrical power of a 1950 rv or ............... It does not take much for the tv stuff compared to the refer.

Have fun learning, shopping.

Bud
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:47 PM   #6
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Default 120V TV on 12V !

Best Buy Insignia brand has a 22" TV. The key to look for is one that has an adapter that powers the TV instead of a TV with a standard 120V wire going in the back.

The adapter on my 22" model just happens to convert 120V AC to 13V DC and that's what powers the TV! (look on the black power adapter module that comes with the TV... it will list output voltage...anything from 12 to 14V DC should work fine on 12V)

Buy a matching connector and connect to a 12V source in the RV, being sure that you get the + and - to the right connection on the plug.

That's it! Has been working for a few years with no issues. About $100 - a lot cheaper than a "made-for-RV" 12V TV.

Quality-wise, there is no difference between a 120V TV with a 12V power supply and a 12V TV connected directly to DC.. same picture, same sound, same reception capability... of course an Insignia TV isn't quite as good as a Samsung, but it is great for smaller TV sizes (up to 32")

Sorry but....powerwise, a TV uses the same amount of power (watts) on 120V AC or 12V DC... on 120V it uses less amps, on 12V it uses more amps, but the total amount of power it uses from your RV power source is the same!
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proeddie View Post
Sorry but....powerwise, a TV uses the same amount of power (watts) on 120V AC or 12V DC... on 120V it uses less amps, on 12V it uses more amps, but the total amount of power it uses from your RV power source is the same!

This is sort true, with explanation. The power the TV uses is the same but it has to receive the power in the form it needs, be it 110v or 12v or 19v. Most TVs covert 110v to some other voltage either with a wall brick or internally, the 12v TVs that are specifically for vehicles may or may not be leaving the voltage at 12v and if they do they likely run it through a stabilizer.


The point is that the variation in power use we are talking about INCLUDES whatever other power using items that are required to deliver the correct power to the TV. That can be an inverter that uses 6 amps of wasted power or one that uses .2 amps. It can also include a DC to DC converter to change the DC voltage than might use as much power as an inverter does. If it is a true 12v TV that ha a wall brick that you don't use, you should really use a voltage stabilizer as in vehicles the voltage varies a large amount and those use extra power too, about the same as a small inverter.


So when you go shopping for a TV for the van, you can chose whatever voltage you want and adapt it, but when you compare power use between systems you have to include all the power that is being used. Many of us have been surprised lately as we have carefully looked at various things that can be run on 110 of an inverter or through a 12v adapter or as just 12v direct with stabilizing. In most cases the total power use was quite close, even for the latest versions of dorm frigs which used to consume way more power than a DC frig. A lot of it has to do with the fact the new smaller inverters are getting much more efficient and with very low parasitic draw compared to the large inverters that run the whole van. Our two small Samlex inverter have about .3amps parasitic and that appears to not carry over to when in use so not wasted when running. Our large Magnum inverter in the van has 1.5 amps of parasitic.
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:29 PM   #8
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I replaced one of my original 120VAC Sansui 19Ē with DVD TVs after the picture went plank. I got a similar sized Jensen 12V with DVD player. It gets better reception than the Sansui. Photo attached.
IMG_1530.jpg
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:22 PM   #9
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I bought this small one to replace a similar model that got damaged. Since the tv in my rv hangs off the rear wardrobe only about 2 feet from my face, a 13" was big enough.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Axess-Produ...72.m2749.l2649

The replacement was the same number as my old one, but a revised design with better sound and easier to use remote. Has built in DVD and ports for every kind of connection. Runs on 12v and for $128.64 & free shipping it was right for me. Durability is not something I can speak to, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:35 PM   #10
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Wow, As I expected you all have come thru with a lot of info to digest.

First, I do apologize for my slow responses, as I said before I am not yet retired and am still running my small business and sometimes get overloaded with work.

I like the idea of the small inverter with little parasitic loss simply because there are more 120v tv choices out there (and cheap ones too).

Based on other threads I have been reading here as well as this one, I am thinking I should change my approach - the one other electrical upgrade I would love is a compressor refer. We have had all the struggles others have described with the absorption refer - and would really like a stable refer when we take off on 'round the country trips'.

If I go for a small inverter and a 120v tv will I be wasting my money on a small inverter?

Perhaps I might be better with a complete make-over with a couple of solar panels and a bigger inverter that can run the tv as well as the refer?

I have read several threads where a "battery monitor" is the first thing folks need and I think my stock 'battery monitor' is not up to the standards described on the forum.
IMG_1475.jpg
So I now think I should back up a bit and start with a battery monitor and then learn what I need in the way of solar and batteries and associated equipment - admittedly a bit daunting because there are so many elements I don't understand.

Not sure if I should start another tread but here is some basic background info if it helps:

We are usually 'travelers' more than 'campers' - would be rare for us to stay in one spot more than two or three days, so I am not looking for 'totally off grid for weeks' type of boondocking. We do however, try to stay on BLM or other remote camps as much as possible and hardly ever look for electrical hook-up camping spots. This is a 1999 Xplorer on a Dodge chassis and the current set-up is a small solar panel about 12" square and two flooded 12v deep cycle batteries, and an Onan 2800 as back-up.

I'm trying to piece together in my own mind what I should be using because I have little faith in the local RV shops - have had either very high prices and/or really shoddy work so far and would rather screw it up myself that to pay a lot for someone else to screw it up for me.

While I am admittedly poor with electronics, I am a life long machinist/mechanic/welder/fabricator so I am good with that side of things I just don't know what components I need.

Again, ideas are welcome because I am floundering.
Thanks again all,
Dave
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:00 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, 06:11 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, 08:57 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, 09:34 PM   #14
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Dave, go to jimindenver.com.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:35 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, 11:58 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 08-18-2018, 12:21 AM   #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 08-18-2018, 12:30 AM   #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, 10:35 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, 10:17 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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