Traveling in a camper or car with a trailer has many advantages, but it may also involve some inconveniences. We are accustomed to using many electrical devices on a daily basis and it is difficult for us to imagine that we would suddenly give up all of them. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize this problem.
We talk about electricity in a camper with Grzegorz Michalak from Dometic Poland.
Camprest: How can you run, for example, a hair dryer and a coffee machine, i.e. devices that consume a lot of electricity during operation, in a camper that is not connected to the 230 V network?
Grzegorz Michalak, Dometic Poland : The solution to this problem is to use an inverter, commonly known as a converter. These devices are divided into pure sine wave inverters, intended for all types of receivers, and modified sine wave inverters, to which devices controlled by sensitive electronics should not be connected. The wide range of Dometic products allows you to match the right device to the needs of different customers. The power of our products ranges from 150 W to even 3500 W, so depending on the power of the dryer or coffee machine, we can offer an appropriate inverter. For example, if a coffee machine has a power of 1200 W, the type of converter will depend on whether it is a drip or pressure model (electronically controlled). For the former, the optimal solution will be to use an inverter with a modified sine wave PP2002 with a power of 2000 W, while for the latter, a better solution will be an inverter with a pure sine wave MSI1312 with a power of 1300 W. However, the dryer can be easily connected to both of these devices.
What devices can be used to charge a laptop or use another device that does not require so much energy, e.g. a toothbrush?
Pure sine wave voltage is required to power a laptop or toothbrush charger, but due to the low current requirement, low power inverters are sufficient. These are, for example, the MSI212 or MSI412 models with a power of 150 and 350 W, respectively. Please remember that some receivers consume much more current when starting up than in normal operation mode. However, this does not require the use of more powerful inverters, because each of them - regardless of whether it is a weaker or stronger model, with a pure sine wave or with a modified one - has approximately twice the starting power, which allows it to compensate for the difference in the "shortage" of current.
Do you have inverters that can be used both when traveling in a camper and in a passenger car, after connecting to a regular car cigarette lighter?
Yes, Dometic offers such solutions. This is, for example, an inverter with a pure sine wave MSI212 (150 W) or with a modified sine wave PP150 (150 W). Both are equipped with a special plug compatible with the cigarette lighter socket. Due to the power consumption, only devices with this power can be connected to the cigarette lighter socket. The vehicle's installation simply will not support the connection of more powerful models. The cigarette lighter sockets are protected by a fuse of approximately 30 amperes and this corresponds to the power of the mentioned inverters, as their peak power is 350 W, or approximately 27 amperes.
Is there anything that may limit or prevent the use of an inverter connected to the cigarette lighter in a camper or passenger car?
We must be aware that power sockets in many modern vehicles or campers are different from classic car cigarette lighter sockets. At first glance, they look similar, but the power socket increasingly has a smaller fuse, i.e. approx. 15 amperes, and is specially protected with an internal ring that prevents the connection of a cigarette lighter or devices with the correct plug but with higher power.
If someone has efficient solar panels on the roof and large batteries and wants to be independent of connection to the 230 V network, and at the same time be able to use a hair dryer, laptops, a coffee machine, and charge camera batteries in the camper, what should they do? to install in a camper?
In such a situation, we should first of all know our electricity demand, i.e. the power required to operate all the devices we want to use at the same time. In order not to use too powerful inverters, we can refrain from brewing coffee while drying our hair and vice versa. In such a case, the inverter power should be adjusted to the power of the most powerful device that will be connected to the 230 V power supply. Since pure sine wave inverters are much more expensive than those with a modified sine wave, we can also use another solution, i.e. buy a high-power inverter with a modified sine wave voltage. to operate high-power receivers that can operate with a modified sine wave, such as a toaster, hair dryer, drip coffee maker and electric kettle, and a low-power inverter with a pure sine wave to operate e.g. audio/video devices and toothbrushes that require pure voltage sinusoidal. This will be a cheaper solution than using one high-power inverter with a pure sine wave.
What news can we expect in the near future?
I can already reveal that for the next season we are preparing a new version of products from the "Power and control" category, which includes products related to energy and lighting. Detailed information will be published in the 2018 catalog and on our website.
Thank you for talking to us.
We also wrote about inverters here: Electricity on board a camper - how to take care of it?
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