AC power while boondocking

I understand that the 120V outlets in the [email protected] are only active when plugged into shore power.  I have a few low-power 120V AC accesories that I need to power, but I will be boondocking.  They are things like camera battery chargers (no there isn't a 12 V DC version) and laptops.

I know that I can get a power inverter, but what I want to know is whether I can link my aftermarket inverter to the existing 120V AC plugs? Will this break the shore power capabilities? Has anyone put a relay on this circuit to make it work?

What are people doing?


  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,171Administrator
    IMHO, this isn't advisable and could create some safety issues as well as end up damaging things if a miscue is made.  For all practical purposes you'd be better off to keep the trailers electrical system and circuitry isolated from an inverter and consider either adding two 6-volt batteries to boost your power capabilities and supplement it with a solar panel.  Certainly this can be done (tying an inverter into the system) but why risk damaging things when you can safely achieve your goals with the existing set-up and still use an inverter to the side for whatever else you need?  

    I had contemplated the same thing when I bought my first teardrop trailer nearly 8 years ago and now own a 4th trailer and have done just fine.  Solar is a great alternative and I've found I can live off the grid for long stints and don't miss a beat so far as energy needs, while living comfortably.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 [email protected] Max S
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  • VernaVerna Posts: 4,639Administrator
    I used a small inverter while off-grid for my satellite TV receiver (we all have our hobbies!). It was a 400 watt inverter if connected directly to the battery, or 100 watts if plugged into a 12V accessory receptacle. It worked, but even with dual 6-V golf cart batteries, you still need to watch how much power your chargers and such are taking. Be sure to read up on pure sine wave and non- pure sine wave inverters to determine which one you will need to buy, if you are not already knowledgeable about the difference. 

    Verna, Indianapolis, Indiana; 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red; towed by a red 2015 Toyota Tacoma V6 TRD 4x4; [email protected] Administrator.  If not now, when?

  • lapowers57lapowers57 Posts: 185Member
    edited November 2017
    What Verna said, a small inverter that plugs into a 12 volt outlet.  I bought an extra battery for my camera and the two batteries get me through at least a 3 day weekend.
    2016 [email protected] [email protected] S grey/red, towed by 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 4x4, Central Connecticut

  • RollingztoneRollingztone Posts: 15Member
    I used 10 awg wire to connect a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter directly to my batteries, isolated from the trailer electrical system. For added safety, I put a 25 amp in-line fuse on the positive wire. I use dual 12V 100ah LiFePO4 batteries wired in parallel. I tested the system by running 25 amps (300 watts) for 40 minutes with a hair dryer. Everything worked fine...the wires stayed cool. I'm not planning to push the system that much though. I use the inverter for my large/old laptop while dry camping. The computer's battery is about shot and it uses about 10 amps to charge. I'm very happy with the set-up.
    2012 PLVA [email protected] U-Layout, modified [email protected], Dark Blue Trim. 2008 GMC Sierra Z714X4 SLT 5.3L V8
  • dsatworkdsatwork Posts: 718Member
    I have a 1500 watt inverter tied to two 100 ah AGM batteries in parallel.
    2017 Tab Basic S Silver on Silver with Sofitel Cushions....upgraded from 2013 LG 5W....Towed by a 2016 Sorento V6 AWD w/5000lb tow capacity. Dave S. married to Jen aka SanDiegoGal We pull a Tab but live in a 2014 Airstream International Signature 27 FBQ...Talk about embracing a trailer lifestyle.
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