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Old 07-21-2021, 11:14 PM   #1
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THOR #16721
AFFORDABLE 500 watt (or less) inverter?

Looking for an inverter to run LED TV (100 watts or less) and 2-way refrigerator (propane/AC)... possibly a laptop occasionally. Anything else I crank up the genny.

It looks like I would need EASILY less than 500 watts. There are tons of the cheap knock-off Chinese $35 cigarette plug types... not a lot of confidence in those. Renogy, etc. name brands seem to be at least 700+ watts, going up to 3000+... WAY above my needs, and WAY above my budget!

I browsed Amazon, but get endless hits on the el-cheapo brands. There MUST be a name brand, low wattage inverter out there - NOT a $200+ model!

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Old 07-21-2021, 11:54 PM   #2
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$70 Pure Sine Wave inverter from a decent brand. Not the best, but that would be too expensive, and certainly not the worst. (Not sure what "name brand" means to you.)
https://smile.amazon.com/BESTEK-Inve.../dp/B082MDRC64
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:17 AM   #3
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Most “name brands” are the same cheapo made in China units with different stickers on them.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:50 AM   #4
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THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
Looking for an inverter to run LED TV (100 watts or less) and 2-way refrigerator (propane/AC)... possibly a laptop occasionally. Anything else I crank up the genny.

It looks like I would need EASILY less than 500 watts. There are tons of the cheap knock-off Chinese $35 cigarette plug types... not a lot of confidence in those. Renogy, etc. name brands seem to be at least 700+ watts, going up to 3000+... WAY above my needs, and WAY above my budget!

I browsed Amazon, but get endless hits on the el-cheapo brands. There MUST be a name brand, low wattage inverter out there - NOT a $200+ model!
How do you plan to power these items from the inverter? Extension cords? Or tap into existing circuit runs? To do the latter you would need either Manual or Automatic Transfer Switches. ATSs for inverters run about $60 each and I don't know of any sub-500 watt inverters that have an ATS built in.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:51 AM   #5
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THOR #16721
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Originally Posted by atreis View Post
$70 Pure Sine Wave inverter from a decent brand. Not the best, but that would be too expensive, and certainly not the worst. (Not sure what "name brand" means to you.)
https://smile.amazon.com/BESTEK-Inve.../dp/B082MDRC64
Saw that on Amazon... under consideration. By name brand I mean Renogy, Go Power, etc., but I see Bestek pop up a lot. I'm not familiar with that brand... but that's probably because I haven't been in the market for an inverter for several years.

Bestek did seem to get good reviews, and $70 is a really decent price for my needs. Only problem in this is portable... I would most likely wire it permanently, which would probably void any warranty (cutting off those alligator clips). Would also need to wire a remote switch and run wiring for fridge, to the bedroom TV, and probably an auxiliary outlet.

The other situation is figuring out some sort of fail-safe transfer switch to avoid back-feeding it when on shore power or genny power.

This whole idea started from wanting to run bedroom TV from battery power... and 12volt TVs are ridiculously priced vs AC. So the inverter idea started... and expanded to the refrigerator and maybe a low wattage auxiliary outlet... nothing more.

??? Ideas ???
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
Saw that on Amazon... under consideration. By name brand I mean Renogy, Go Power, etc., but I see Bestek pop up a lot. I'm not familiar with that brand... but that's probably because I haven't been in the market for an inverter for several years.

Bestek did seem to get good reviews, and $70 is a really decent price for my needs. Only problem in this is portable... I would most likely wire it permanently, which would probably void any warranty (cutting off those alligator clips). Would also need to wire a remote switch and run wiring for fridge, to the bedroom TV, and probably an auxiliary outlet.

The other situation is figuring out some sort of fail-safe transfer switch to avoid back-feeding it when on shore power or genny power.

This whole idea started from wanting to run bedroom TV from battery power... and 12volt TVs are ridiculously priced vs AC. So the inverter idea started... and expanded to the refrigerator and maybe a low wattage auxiliary outlet... nothing more.

??? Ideas ???
Increase your budget and buy a 1000 watt inverter with an integrated ATS or buy a stand-alone ATS to use. Your fridge is going to pull 400+ watts all by itself.

Find the circuit that powers the TVs (they're normally on the same circuit) and add it to the fridge circuit and power them from the inverter. It's much easier to do this in the vicinity of the breaker panel rather than running new circuits through any MH.
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:49 AM   #7
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THOR #16721
Fortunately wiring is cheap, but it looks like I'm getting well north of $300 for this project... in the vicinity of a 32" 12volt TV. I have to run wiring either way. Going the inverter route gave me a cheaper 120v TV, but the correct/safe inverter setup eats up any cost savings going with an AC TV.

I was shying away from a $340+ 12v TV... wasn't worth the "cost for the use" we'd get out of it. But sure looks like a combo inverter/ATS AND a $120 32" TV is going to exceed that significantly...
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:14 AM   #8
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THOR #13228
Quote:
Originally Posted by atreis View Post
$70 Pure Sine Wave inverter from a decent brand. Not the best, but that would be too expensive, and certainly not the worst. (Not sure what "name brand" means to you.)
https://smile.amazon.com/BESTEK-Inve.../dp/B082MDRC64
Bought this same unit. My goal was simple - a place to run/charge laptop while driving or boonedocking. Mounted it behind the Driver seat and in reach of the passenger. Works perfectly and the USB charge ports are a bonus.
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