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Topic: Inverters & Batteries - RT / PW / LT

Posted By: hobbssb on 03/20/12 05:29pm

As prospective buyers who've never owned an RV, we're sorting out differences between the 22'9" Sprinter models and need some help.

Both the RT Adventurous and LeisureTravel Free Spirit list 2-6v batteries (220 am hrs?) and an inverter in their specs. The Pleasure-Way Pleateau has 1-12v battery(90 amp hrs????) with no mention of an inverter.

Does that mean that when boondocking, in the PW with no inverter, we'd have to be running the generator every evening to make 120 current if we wanted to watch movies? And even if we had an inverter in the PW, its use would be limited with the small capacity 12-volt?

Thanks for helping us sort this out!


Posted By: MAU MAU on 03/20/12 06:29pm

Choose the vehicle and layout you like best, and worry about the rest later.

Your battery and inverter concern is truly a minor item that can be changed at any time with minimal expense. That's one of the fun aspects of purchasing a new RV is that you can customize it the way you want to with more batteries, better converters, solar panels etc.


Roadtrek 170 Popular


Posted By: Mandalay Parr on 03/20/12 08:05pm

Yes, you are right.


Jerry Parr
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Posted By: hmknightnc on 03/20/12 08:33pm

yes, you got it right. NewS has some good questions for you to help determine usability of that equipment for you


Posted By: 1775 on 03/20/12 10:06pm

With the two models that you list that have inverters you can use a limited amount of 120v power when the inverter is engaged. The two 6 volt batteries that Roadtrek uses are AGM and have 220 total amp hours. The inverter does drain down the batteries faster than running what can be run on 12 volts. As I understand it, Pleasureway is now using a 12 volt TV/entertainment system in some of their models so you would not need an inverter for the TV/DVD, and it will run for as long as there is sufficient charge. I am not sure what TV the Plateau has as the PW website does not list any details about the TV in the specs. No matter what make you have you are going to have to recharge in a day, maybe two depending on the draw,if you have been running on the inverter. No stock inverter in any of these models will run the A/C and in the new Roadtreks the outlets that are connected to the inverter are limited and the A/C is not on one of them.

If space allows you can add an inverter later to a model that does not have one. With only 90 amp hours of battery you will likely need to add another battery as well. BUT, when you are spending at the $100,000 level you really should not be having to add anything aftermarket and spend more money to get what you want.

If you want 120 volt power when boondocking to run all of your 120 volt appliances - A/C, microwave, etc. you need to run the generator (if you have one). The generator on the RT Sprinters run on propane and most likely are the same on the other companies' Sprinters due to the diesel engine. Generators are noisy and in some areas are restricted from use because of the noise and the carbon monoxide that they put out as it can be a hazard to nearby campers. If you are boondocking out where there is no one else around, the noise is only an issue to you.

Go and look in person at all of the Class B models that you are considering. Spend some time in each one and see that it has exactly what you are looking for and that you are comfortable inside. You will be spending a lot of time in a small space and that space should be appealing to you. After that take a test drive, and let whoever else will be driving besides you test drive also. If you can get to an RV show with each of these companies showing their models, that is the best way to compare and see immediately what you like- and don't like.


Roadtrek 190 Popular 2011

Meryl and Me Hit the Road


Posted By: NewsW on 03/20/12 07:02pm

First, figure out what your actual power load is.

It is never just "watching movies".

Lighting, fan, (forget AC and propane heater, both use lots of juice that is beyond inverter capacity and must run genset or be on shore power), accessories, water pump (to flush), power for fridge...

Then movie (screen, player, satellite receiver, etc.)

Plus whatever else.


Add up the actual load (estimate with sticker load).

Estimate inverter efficiency (from 50% to 80% typical).

Use 50%

-------------
Alternate method -- direct measurement

Best done is an actual measure with clamp on ammeter prior to inverter (that covers you for inverter efficiency) and everything turned on (including pump and fridge, running), then you know the value is a tad high.

------------------


Then take your fully charged batteries (maybe they will not be fully charged if you don't run enough hours to charge them every day).

And you can estimate time remaining based on current draw and battery capacity.

Note: as battery depletes, current draw rises --- and it quickly ends with inverter cutting out due to low voltage.




It is generally not good to drain battery --- it is cycle limited in life.

I personally like to not drain below 50% before recharging.



Converse side of this deal --- can your driving next day generate enough power (or via solar cells, or shore power, or whatever) to charge the batteries back up?

If you have no genset, you may need upgraded alternator.

* This post was edited 03/20/12 08:21pm by NewsW *


Posted By: gerrym51 on 03/21/12 05:53pm

hobbssb wrote:

As prospective buyers who've never owned an RV, we're sorting out differences between the 22'9" Sprinter models and need some help.

Both the RT Adventurous and LeisureTravel Free Spirit list 2-6v batteries (220 am hrs?) and an inverter in their specs. The Pleasure-Way Pleateau has 1-12v battery(90 amp hrs????) with no mention of an inverter.

Does that mean that when boondocking, in the PW with no inverter, we'd have to be running the generator every evening to make 120 current if we wanted to watch movies? And even if we had an inverter in the PW, its use would be limited with the small capacity 12-volt?

Thanks for helping us sort this out!



as fara s i know the 2012 pleasure ways use 12 volt televisions with
advd slot. this avoids needing an inverter and use less battery power


Posted By: truepath on 03/21/12 07:35pm

I'd try to run everything on 12 volts and avoid the inefficiencies of an inverter altogether. I'm not at all sure why the B manufacturers don't install 12 volt TV's as apparently Pleasure Way does (see above).


Posted By: NewsW on 03/21/12 08:03pm

truepath wrote:

I'd try to run everything on 12 volts and avoid the inefficiencies of an inverter altogether. I'm not at all sure why the B manufacturers don't install 12 volt TV's as apparently Pleasure Way does (see above).



There are very few 12V TVs out there.

Have to really look to find one.


Posted By: ffjeff on 03/20/12 10:32pm

Our 06 PW sprinter has the single gel cell and it only powers the TV and DVR. Usually will last 2 days without a recharge.


Posted By: 2oldman on 03/20/12 10:34pm

yes and yes.


Posted By: smkettner on 03/20/12 11:04pm

yup, you know what you are talking about.
These are important considerations if you will be off grid a lot.
Often people modify the factory set up but there is very limited space in a van.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675 watts solar
Send a PM if I missed something


Posted By: bananadanna on 03/21/12 09:07am

I like Mau Mau's approach with the following caveats:

Adding a second battery is very useful and typically room for it can be found. This would satisfy most campers without any high-draw needs. Solar panels can displace gen time but two batteries may not run a microwave. The genset can handle heavy draws and is pretty much a requirement for air conditioning while drycamping.

If you want the equivalent of a no-gen stickhouse outlet then room for four batteries and a nearby 2000w inverter ought to be available. Maybe 8 cu ft. (Worst case is no underside room for any of it.) Gen use may not be needed at all if you don't need ac. Solar panels might also not be needed for drycamping if you drive a few miles every couple of days. Quiet camping is a real luxury IMHO.

So buying a rv with possible room for four batteries and hard-wired inverter gives you the most options. If you find you don't seriously drycamp then no harm done and use the space for something else.


Dan
02 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 long tall home brew conversion



Posted By: Davydd on 03/21/12 09:19am

My old 2005 Pleasure-way Plateau and my current 2011 Great West Van Legend had and has a small inverter of about 450W for the TV. The TV is a standard LCD that normally plugs into a 110v outlet. The inverter enables just that one outlet from battery power. In the case of the Plateau the outlet was part of the inverter and concealed in an enclosed cabinet. I opened it up when I added a new digital LCD TV on a swing arm. With both Bs, whenever, I was hooked into shore power I plugged the TV into a normal 110v outlet because I found the small inverter fan noise so close to the TV a little bit annoying.

Great West Van offers an option of a larger inverter of I think about 1750w or 2000w which is intended to power the 110v outlets thus the plug in microwave and 110v coffee pot. In their new Legend EX with the extended 24 ft. body they have four auxiliary battery compartments. That's a lot of possible amp hours. Mine has two 12v with 210 amp hours total.


Davydd
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter B Camper Van
Visited states in an RV



Posted By: ffjeff on 03/23/12 11:54am

Another way to save on power consumption is to go to the TV's settings menu and find the power setting. We had the origianl Samsung that Pleasure way had installed and droped from like 64 watts to 36 in power saving. A little color saturation loss was all.
When Hi Def became the standard we replaced it with a Hi Def model from BestBuy rather than add a converter which would use even more power, it too has power saving features that will extend the battery life a few hours.
The old Samsung replaced my old computer monitor an cleared out a lot of space on my desk in the garage.


Posted By: Davydd on 03/22/12 08:20am

truepath wrote:

I'd try to run everything on 12 volts and avoid the inefficiencies of an inverter altogether. I'm not at all sure why the B manufacturers don't install 12 volt TV's as apparently Pleasure Way does (see above).

In boondocking situations in national and state forests, national parks, etc. there is rarely TV to watch. Near metro areas and where there there is TV coverage we are more than likely to camp at a site that has shore power electrical. A small inverter for a TV is rather inexpensive and I suspect with more options that you can pick up a 110v TV cheap enough to offset the cost and still have more choices. I did replace my analog LCD in my old Pleasure-way with a new digital LCD that was better and a bigger screen.


Posted By: hobbssb on 03/22/12 08:50am

Per John at PleasureWay re. the TV in Plateaus:

"Units coming offline now are 120V with a small inverter to run them.
Previous 2012 models are strictly 12V."


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