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Power Point: Adding AC Power

Adding AC Power to Your Rig the Right Way

Adam Blattenberg
Feb 1, 2012
Photographers: Adam Blattenberg
Photo 2/9   |   power Point Field Tested ac Power Kit
Dry camping with a generator is great, until that dreadful hour when all generators must be shut down rears its head. In an attempt to keep our fellow campers happy and to avoid a “friendly” conversation with the campground host, we abide by the quiet time rules and rid ourselves of all house power or alternating-current electricity. This means, for most of us, no more microwave, air conditioning, or TV. Hopefully you’ve got something to keep the kids occupied because we all know the value of a working TV before bed time.

This has been on our wish list for a long time now. The ability to have AC power anywhere you go can be a lifesaver. To obtain AC power from direct-current power (the type of electricity found in a battery or your car) you need a power inverter.
Photo 3/9   |   01. When searching for a place to mount the power inverter, two things need to be taken into consideration. First, the unit must be mounted horizontally. Second, ample ventilation is a must. Inverters can and do get very hot. Be sure not to cover any ventilation holes and keep the unit away from anything flammable.
Before searching for the right inverter, we sat down and thought about exactly what we needed it to power; the TV, of course, a few cell phone chargers, the mini-microwave, a laptop, and maybe a power tool or two if the need arises. With the knowledge that we wouldn’t be able to run everything at once, the decision was made on a 2,000-watt inverter. A short Web search found a modified-sine-wave, 2,000-watt-constant-and-4,000-watt-surge unit by Chicago Electric. This type of inverter will work fine for most appliances, but if you need to power up any super high-tech devices, medical equipment, or, say, a laser printer, you will want to step up to a non-modified-sine-wave inverter.

As it turned out our local Harbor Freight had our chosen device in stock. After picking up the inverter, we headed down to Pick-Up Parts in Southern California for the install.

Sources

Pickup Parts
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949-472-0390
www.pickuppartsmv.com
Baums Auto Supply
949-581-4041
http://www.baumsautosupplyoc.com

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