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Old 05-26-2017, 03:57 AM   #1
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Can one use the AC plugs just on the house battery?

Newbie question. We have 2017 Synergy.
I need to use a laptop 8 hours a day Monday -Thursday. We find that the AC plugs do not appear to work on battery alone. The AC only appears to work if we use the generator, or are plugged into 30amp.
When boon docking is there a way to use the house batteries to keep my laptop charged, without having to run the generator for 8 hours/day?
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:03 AM   #2
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https://www.loves.com/~/media/Images...er-5-31-17.pdf

These work great!
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:10 AM   #3
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It's possible you can find an adapter to charge your laptop off of the 12 volt battery. The inverters are nice but will drain your house battery pretty fast maybe causing you not to be able to start your generator.
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:26 PM   #4
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good ideas....

So it sounds like there is no way to directly make our house batteries run the RV's AC plugs. Darn.
You make a good point that one would not want to run those down or could cause a problem starting the Generator later.
I have ordered a simple inverter to plug into the chassis battery as well as a "laptop auto adapter" ....but they say you would need to run the RV engine in order to avoid draining the chassis battery.
Has anyone used these Goal Zero products?
This line of devices appears to have its own battery and inverter. It can be charged up by 12V battery(cigarette lighter), shore power, or solar panels. Sounds like it may be a practical solution (although not inexpensive).https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D5RVMAM...=1Y0115DPNC0MU
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:27 PM   #5
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https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....302654213_.jpg
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:22 PM   #6
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Before spending the money on install and pray (install something and pray it works) have an inverter and AGS installed. Could be cheaper than installing multiple items that don't work.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppypaws View Post

.....cut.....

I have ordered a simple inverter to plug into the chassis battery as well as a "laptop auto adapter" ....but they say you would need to run the RV engine in order to avoid draining the chassis battery.

....cut.....
That's correct. Using your chassis battery would be OK while driving because your alternator will supply the power, but if boondocking for days at a time you should really avoid connecting anything to your chassis battery.

Your house batteries are there for exactly what you want to do. There is no reason to buy an extra (independent) battery/inverter system to use in RV. Those stand-alone Battery/Inverter units are designed for use in cars, tents, or other locations where they don't have house batteries available.

A small portable inverter or DC-to-DC converter powered from house batteries should be able to charge/power a laptop. And when house battery gets low, start generator for a while to recharge house battery.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:23 PM   #8
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Thanks Chance.
As far as I can tell, in our Synergy the house batteries are only used for the overhead lights, the retractable steps, and to trigger the generator start up. So I don't see and obvious hardwired "outlet" for the battery power. There are 2 house batteries under the stairs for the house.
So would one have to just use alligator clamps on the batteries that are under the RV stairs to hook up? Or would there be a more elegant way to tap into the House battery power.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:32 PM   #9
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Your house batteries provide all the 12VDC that the coach uses while boondocking. 12VDC is used for more than you listed in Post #8. Here are additional 12VDC uses:

Water Pump
Heater (blower and ignition system)
Refrigerator sensors and ignition system when using gas
All your CO, CO2, and Smoke detectors
Radios
Awning motor and LED lights (if equipped)
Ceiling Vent fans
Sensors and ignition system for you tankless water heater

So when you are boondocking there is NO 115 VAC current in the coach unless you are running the generator or have an inverter connected to the house batteries. And if you have an inverter it will probably be providing AC current to a limited number of AC plugs.

AC current is used to run the A/C, refrigerator when on electric, all the AC plugs in the coach, microwave. If you used an inverter to run your Air Conditioning, Refrigerator, and all the TVs, your house batteries would run flat pretty quickly.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:35 PM   #10
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Hi Ed,
Thanks. So is there an elegant way I can directly hook up to those house batteries to keep my laptop going?
Or would I have to open the steps and use alligator clips (like jumper cables)?
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Old 05-26-2017, 03:21 PM   #11
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You could just do the alligator clips, but since you are going to be using it often, I'd do a permanent wiring from the batteries to a DC plug near where you use the laptop most. You could also run it to a USB connection and connect the laptop to the USB to run it.
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Old 05-26-2017, 03:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bevedfelker
You could also run it to a USB connection and connect the laptop to the USB to run it.
I don't think this would work unless you used a USB type C connection (and your laptop supported charging via USB type C).

The standard USB connectors you see that Thor installs are the original USB Type A connectors that can supply up to 2 amps @ 5V for cell phone charging--not nearly enough to run a laptop off of (many can't even do that as the first USB spec was for only 0.5A @ 5V).
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Old 05-26-2017, 03:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Puppypaws View Post
Thanks Chance.
As far as I can tell, in our Synergy the house batteries are only used for the overhead lights, the retractable steps, and to trigger the generator start up. So I don't see and obvious hardwired "outlet" for the battery power. There are 2 house batteries under the stairs for the house.
So would one have to just use alligator clamps on the batteries that are under the RV stairs to hook up? Or would there be a more elegant way to tap into the House battery power.
If it were me, I'd install a 12-Volt plug (cigarette lighter type) near where I plan to use laptop on a regular basis if it's convenient. I'd want the power from the house batteries to go through a fuse, and wouldn't run it directly from battery with alligator clips -- not if I was going to use laptop often.

I'm assuming the laptop adaptor you purchased plugs directly into cigarette lighter plug. Look at power specs on it but I expect it's more efficient than using an inverter plus a laptop charger. Not that powering a laptop should make a big difference anyway, because as Ed mentioned, there are a lot of larger loads you will end up using while boondocking for days. Between lights, water pump, fans, etc., you'll have to recharge the house batteries on a regular basis. Still, every extra bit of efficiency helps.
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:51 PM   #14
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I picked up a Targus laptop power adapter a few years back... can't find it with quick search - but it had both a 110v and 12v option to power the laptop - and tips to fit almost anything...
When boondocking I power the laptop directly from the 12v (cigarette lighter)... More efficient that converting 12v DC to 110v AC for the PC power supply to convert it back to DC...

You would just need to add a cigarette lighter socket where desired.

I did find the 12v only version of it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00365EE2G
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:11 PM   #15
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As part of the purchase deal, I had the dealer install an 1800 watt inverter, mounted on the forward wall of the front storage compartment on the right side, and hard wire to selected outlets inside. That would keep your lap top going for a very long time. I have electric clocks, I don't want to have to keep resetting, and some other low draw items, such as phone chargers etc. So much easier than having to set it up every time you want to use it.
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