Inverters - cheap or very expensive

Hi everyone, how good are the plethora of cheap 2000 - 3000 W inverters, compared with the ridiculously overpriced expensive ones.

I know you get what you pay for, but 10 times more seems like we are being ripped off by the big boys in this space.

I do need one for my caravan, just not sure of the expense to buy Ozzie.

Cheers
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, May 23, 2016 at 21:29

Monday, May 23, 2016 at 21:29
Why are the expensive ones ridiculously overpriced?

Couldn't you say that, equally, the cheap ones are ridiculously underpriced?

Basically you get what you pay for.

The cheap ones have modified sine wave output that may kill some appliances you plug in. You have to know and be careful. Make a boo-boo and you let the smoke out of your appliance. And they may not necessarily last the distance, 'cos they're cheap.

The better "ridiculously expensive" ones are pure sine wave. Just like mains power, they will run anything within their power limits.

You pays your money, you take your chances.

Cheers
FrankP

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 23, 2016 at 21:34

Monday, May 23, 2016 at 21:34
I wish we always got what we pay for - but the rule seems to be that you pay double the price for something that is 10% better.

But first you may be referring to different types of invertor to get such price differences Gold Hunter.

If its for general caravan use you should get a sine wave one which normally costs more.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, May 23, 2016 at 22:40

Monday, May 23, 2016 at 22:40
The differences can be very significant.
Higher efficiency, so lower power consumption.
Lower stand by power consumption.
Adjustable sleep modes for when no appliance is running.
Ability to run very large overloads for much longer times.
I bought a good quality one 12 years ago and never regretted it.
I usually leave it turned on 24/7.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 600495

Reply By: Gold Hunter - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 06:49

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 06:49
As I said, you do get what you pay for, however the pure sine wave inverter on eBay below seems ok.


Pure Sine Wave Inverter 2800W / 5600W 12V-240V With Remote Control 2.1 Amp USB

Which brands would you recommend for a good one.

Cheers
AnswerID: 600499

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 15:49

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 15:49
Xantrex and Enerdrive are both excellent.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 07:13

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 07:13
Are you sure you want a 3000W inverter? Firstly it needs a 15A 240v connector.

Most importantly, At 280A at 12v input ( with the rated 90% efficiency), a 100AH battery will last all of 10 minutes - tops.

On a sunny day, 120W of solar panles will recharge your battery enough in about 7 hours to use the 240v for another 10 mins tomorrow. If it is overcast you may have to wait 2 - 3 days before using it again.

I don't know what you're using it for, but please be aware that you won't get to use your 240v appliances for very long.

I would have thought you would need 6 - 10 big 100 AH batteries in your camper to get even light to moderate use out of an inverter like that. Then how do you recharge them in a reasonable time?
AnswerID: 600500

Reply By: steved58 - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 11:38

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 11:38
Out of interest what do people run on their inverters I have only found one thing I need to run on my inverter and that was a nebuliser my dog needs and if I searched around I bet I could find a 12 volt one Maybe the microwave but can get along without that
Cheers
Steve
AnswerID: 600508

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 12:07

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 12:07
1300W PSW inverter, 460Ah of AGMs, 600W of PV.
Electric blankets (better than 12V ones) 120W max.
Drink heater (Birko 850W) for coffee etc.
Bread maker 450W max when cooking.
Power tools....various.
Hair dryer on low. 1200W.
Lap tops, phone and camera chargers.
Soon to add booster for diesel water heater 750W.
Used to run a 1.5HP 240V air compressor (you need a quality inverter to handle the start loads for motors).

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: steved58 - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 14:20

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 14:20
Looks like your spoiling yourself only need the phone chargers for me and have them on 12volt
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 16:00

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 16:00
1800W PSW Xantrex inverter, 360Ah lithium batteries, 440W PV

Microwave
Milk heater/frother for navigator's cappucino
Travel hair dryer (for navigator. Driver has not enough hair to need one ;-) )
Travel iron. Navigator likes to look neat on the rare occasions we go to town.
Laptop
Charger for 36V chainsaw
Charger for cordless drill

Cheers
FrankP

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FollowupID: 869883

Follow Up By: eaglefree - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 18:47

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 18:47
With these inverters....how long will it take to charge my Prius?
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 19:13

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 19:13
Ours is an earlier version of this from SEA, purchased in 2004.
http://www.solaraustralia.com.au/voyager.html

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome.
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Follow Up By: PhilD - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 20:55

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 20:55
2000W Tortech inverter charger 400 Ahr Lithium 500 watts PV
Nespresso coffee machine, angle grinder, charge drill battery, air conditioner, hair dryer, microwave, iron, Mac Book Air.
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Follow Up By: Member - Trevor_H - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 20:26

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 20:26
My 1990 Golf only had 3 12v lights total.....obviously designed for caravan park use. Rather than try and run 12v wiring for everything, my electrician fitted a mains-Off-inverter switch with ELD included. The 1000W pure sine wave invertor was MEN modified to be the same as mains supply. All the lights were changed to LED so the inverter only uses around 3A with 3 lights on. Also allows me to run Laptop monitor from the existing power points.
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FollowupID: 869968

Reply By: Gold Hunter - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 22:21

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 22:21
Thanks everyone, I'll have around 400ah, 450w solar. Reading these replies does make me question why I need an inverter, as most things can be operated from 12v. Charging cordless drills, etc would wait for a night at a CP. "the navigators hair dryer" is another thing altogether though. I want to thank everyone for their patient replies. Cheers
AnswerID: 600528

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 05:14

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 05:14
Yeah, my law of sufficiency has me sticking to 12v devices unless it's very difficult to replicate 240s. Simplicity, reliability and efficiency are the rewards.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 06:45

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 06:45
And most importantly safety Sigmund.

Why people want 240V around a campsite and vehivle unless necessary is beyond me.

If you are aware of the risks and procedures, and are on the move for long periods there is a case. but for weekend / week long camping, 240 to power hair dryers and coffee machines is asking for a death in the family. Especially those who leave it on all the time.

My advice is get a relatively small inverter and only turn it on when in use for those devices that can not rum on 12v. If you have a cordless device, get one that has a car charger.

240V left on 24/7 is dangerous. Imagine you have a car accident and the fire is put out with water.
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Follow Up By: eaglefree - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 07:50

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 07:50
12volt hair dryers are $28 at online store caravansplus
Cheers
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FollowupID: 869904

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 08:55

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 08:55
Apparently if you wait long enough it dries by itself.

And wait really long and it's no longer an issue at all!
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 09:16

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 09:16
Power Hunt make good high power 12v stuff. They were in Australia but pulled out.

12v 400W hair dryer.

The secret is heavy duty plugs and cable. Personally I woudl cut off their plugs and use andersons
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FollowupID: 869907

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