Join Date: Jun 2015
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Suggest you use a DC heating pad instead of a AC blanket. Heat under is more comfortable than heat over. It also does not require the inverter to be turned on.
First step is to buy a "Kill-a-Watt" meter for about $25. Run the 120 volt stuff you want in the van in your house to determine the actual amperage of each item. Because the inverter is about 85% efficient you must divide the AC loads by .85 to get the actual amperage draw. Make a similar list for the DC loads. Then estimate how many hours (or fractional hours) you will run each item each day. The total amp-hr consumption will tell you the battery size required. The battery size in amp-hrs should be at least double what you use each day. (50% discharge).
The size of the inverter selected is determined by the total watts of all 120 volt items that you want to run at the same time. Doubt that a 400 watt inverter will run a coffee pot even without other items running.
Consider a DC TV so you do not need to run the inverter. .
Space is limited on top of a van so anything that gets more output from the same space IMO has value. You also want a solar charger that can be programed to match your battery bank and one that gives a 3 stage charge.
Best solution for the TV is a book. There will never be a TV in my van. One of the reasons for camping is to escape the TV. I do have a tablet to connect to the internet.
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