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recomendations on a 1000 to 1500 watt inverter

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Mark W., Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    We heat the house with a pellet stove. We have for maybe 20 years now. I used to have a 4K generator to use as back up in case of power outage. But it was WAY to loud to be operating in the tight neighborhood we live in. MAX draw on the stove is 360 watts

    SO I hardly ever used it. Sold it.

    Now we bee taking about some sort of back up for the pellet stove and the fridge/freezer. Looking at numbers and suge ratings and all that it appears we need about a 1000 to 1500watt continuous inverter. I want to put one in my Dodge Dakota to work as a backup. Its quiet has a HD alternator I keep 15+ gallons of fuel in it and have plenty of extention cords etc to reach the stove and fridge. Plus having it in the truck would be useful camping or even just traveling to run the laptop etc. Hard part will be finding a place to mount it. The CB ended up having to be a All in the Mic unit.

    So looking on line I find good reviews on the Black and Decker 1000watt VEC049DCB but I thought I would ask the guys here if they had any recomendations.


    Budget would be under $200.00
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My brother burned up his pellet stove circuit board when he hooked it up to a generator last year. He didn't even know it had one till the damage was done.
    Make sure that your stove is plugged into a surge protector if it has solid state components.
    The biggest headache was finding a replacement, since it was an older model and was discontinued.
    Finally found one on eBay for $200.00.
     
  3. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    Dam! Would be better off with a good ol fashion woodstove for that kinda money on a circuit board.

    Definatly use a surge protector, some invertors have them built in. I would highly recomend gettin one over rated for your needs ike a 2000watt so you aint running it at peak power continiously. Also thats another thing to look at is Peak power (Maximun Power) and running power (sorta like for Car amps for subs and such) I would recomend 2000watt continous so if you want to add anything in future you can. Plus with higher peak power you can run power tools and such if need be.

    Hobo Frieght actually has a decent one I know ppl that has used the piss out off them (2 used them as a mobile computer cart in their shops, and 1 in their vehicle) and said they worked great and had them for awhile. But as always you get wat you pay for!

    Definatly something I been wanting to do for awhile just all takes $$ :( Definatly invaluable camping and road trips or in emergencies and such. (lol add a canopy, throw a custom wood bed frame with cabinets under it for storage and you would have a sweet camping truck but I prefer tents myself just an idea of mine til I realized A 5'11 tall person wont be very comfy in short 6' bed lol)
     
  4. tkdguy

    tkdguy Portland, Oregon Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Champion 3500 watt Weekender Generator offered by Caballas for $319.00. Is this a good unit, or junk? Seems cheap. Anyone have any long term experience with this one? Thanks.
     
  5. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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  6. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Inverters are pretty much standard consumer electronics with standard parts and standard quality. Most of them are not built for continuous use. The point above about max draw vs higher output is a very good one. Most such devices operate much more efficiently (less heat developed, more efficient conversion of DC to AC, altho the difference is insignificant in terms of most practical applications for a truck-mounted inverter. It simply means the life of the thing is longer) at medium/lower loads.

    If you can keep the max draw of the load down in the 30-40% range of the inverter's rating, it's far more likley to last a long time.

    I had to mount mine behind the seat against the back wall of the cab, and I ran heavy cables through the floorboard (silicone sealant around the hole) to the battery under the cab. Mounting it on the back wall of the cab also keeps it clear of things piled on top, damaging connections or building up heat. Then I ran an extra-heavy-duty extension cord from the output side down along the frame to the back of the bed. I have a hard plastic bedliner with some space behind it. Used a hole saw, ran the cord up through the rear corner of the bed, behind the bedliner and mounted it semi-permanently with a hole in the bedliner big enough to reach into to plug into the extension cord. Keeps things from rolling in behind the bedliner because the access port is up well above the bed floor. The cord's well protected, and easy to access.

    The inverter has (2) 120v sockets, and one is dedicated to running to the bed, the other is normally empty, but I can use it inside the cab if necessary. I make sure to only load one at a time. I forget what brand the inverter is, I got it at Auto-zone. 2000w I believe. Don't remember what I paid for it- I think under $200. I have actually used it most often to run a PA system out of the back of my truck for mobile music gigs, to be honest. It would work ok for a low-load RV trailer, or anything like that, too.
     
  7. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    Awesome set up the new toyota tacomas have outlets in the bed like that it should be standard on any truck expected to be a workhorse definatly want one for my beast than again i want a ton of stuff for it lol just keeping gas in the hog is a bigger priority right now.

    Another thing to consider would be an auxilary DEEP Cycle battery wired in. Maybe mount in toolbox or something. Just run with relay to battery so you can only draw power from deep cycle. Hop in the truck your battery is still fresh so fires right up, flip the switch and start charging (LOW Voltage!) And all is well. Just be careful wiring. Ground strap to bed/frame and a smaller wire to the trucks battery.(fused and relay to a toggle in cab) as the positive "Charging wire" and maybe a voltage regulator or gauge so you can monitor battery level and prevent overcharging.

    ALSO if this is something you decided to keep in your house you could use a couple deep cycles hooked to a trickle charger (built in power regulator and you have a few days worth of power THEN next step would be some solar panels and you would be on way to "off the grid" setup or atleast add some relief to your energy bills. Than again wrong time of year to buy solar panels we live in PAC NW not much more sun gonna be seen here til next year.....
     
  8. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Even cloudy days can trickle-charge a battery. I simply don't like the idea of being dependent upon electricity for a wood stove- nor upon the supply of pellets. Sure, you can purchase by the pallet and store up quite a bit. I would just rather be able to burn any wood in my wood stove, not a pre-processed fuel.
     
  9. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    x2 to that nothing quite like a good old heavy duty wood burning stove they are pretty efficient and get the house toasty. Not only that if SHTF especially during winter months those bags of pellets are gonna be gone by the time you get to the store. Plus horrible they require electricity so even in the event of a minor (overnight) power outage your family would go cold thro the night Cant go wrong with a old woodstove I wanna find an OLD one the newer ones are overpriced MADE IN CHINA Tin Cans nothing compared to AMERICAN Cast Iron lol NO Im not into Nationalism I just like well built things :flag:
     
    ATCclears and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    There's been some really good progess made into making wood stoves more efficient. Cast iron or heavy steel is good because of the thermal mass, radiates even when the fire burns low. Masonry is even better, if it's well-designed. Unfortunately most fireplaces are not well-designed. Best is a tightly designed stove insert for a fire place. Control the drafting for efficiency, heat the masonry for a well-regulated thermal curve profile. When not in use it needs to close tightly.

    Still doesn't help much if the house isn't designed around wood heat. Most of the homes I've lived in with wood heat had one really dry overheated room and were chilly to cold everywhere else. Wood heat works best for smaller homes designed around a common space.

    But in a SHTF emeregncy, you can always move everybody into the section heated by the stove for sleeping and survival purposes.
     
  11. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    Yeah would definatly need a way to circulate the air better and the house itself would def need to be designed to accumadate it accordingly. I like some of your input bout the cobb as a building material I come from a steel framing construction family so I am always interested in learning bout new more efficient materials. Someday plan to build my own house. Want to make it as efficient and long lasting as possible. Not so worried bout wrapping it in tinfoil and making it bulletproof but gonna do what i can to make it feasible safe. I like the lineX and concrete berms idea especially diquised by a nice shrub both aesthetically pleasing (so neighbors don think Im paranoid lol) and highly functional. But really In an SHTF event were it would actually need to be bullet proof and such I would be long gone far from any existing man made structure and even further from all the nut jobs (hopefully lol)
     
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well we had a real wood stove for maybe 10 years and the pellet stove kicks there *** in comfortable living. We buy less then 3 tons of pellets a year to heat the house (we have no other heat source except a single base board in the bedroom that is on maybe 3 weeks a year and only at night) cost to heat our house is less then $600.00 a year. With the pellet stove we can go away for a few days and not worry. The neighbor can scoop up more pellets and fill the hopper with no skill at feeding a wood stove and only have to do it every 30 hours.

    The stove MAX draw is 360 watts so a 1000 watt continuous inverter is 3 times the requirement. And I am looking at a 1500 watt likely.

    The purpose of this thread was to get reviews on specific inverters. Not to learn how to setup a bunker for SHTF.

    I am looking at the history of being in this house since 1988 and we have never been without power for longer then 48 hours. And I think that was only once. More common is less then 8 hours. So I just want something to deal with what is likely.
     
  13. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    LOL ok sorry sometimes take ideas and run with them lol :gun12: :eek:fftopic:

    I would recomend homedepot they carry Cobra brand which are always great products. I would still recomend a deep cycle battery in garage on trickle charger tho that way you can leave in your truck if you need too and not run the truck battery down if you are running it for a prolongeed time.
    just my:twocents:
     
  14. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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  15. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    What a steal! Last one I got used fried the first time I used it but it was just a little 200watt. You could easily run some automotive LED lights to living quarters easily straight from batteries so no wasted energy converting it to ac but now im gettin off topic again....

    Def gonna keep checking this thread out I am anxious to (hopefully) see whats the best invertor for the money.
     
  16. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was under the hood on the Dakota tonight and it appears there is a nice area just to the left side of the battery (I have the largest one that will physically fit in the tray) that will accept a mount for an Inverter. Since I park with my grill up to the carport I will put a 120V receptical in the grill to run the extension cord into the house.

    I'll most likely run a second line to the interior and set up a 120V power port in the lower dash or consol. Looking at getting one of the inverters that also have a USB port. Not that I can't charge off the cigg lighter etc.
     
  17. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Strongly recommend you go and join survivalmonkey.com and get with the real off grid people there who have lived it for decades, some in Alaska and such. I'm a former electronics R & D tech and I learned a lot over there. The game changes constantly and we are soon to go off grid

    I use the battery tenders, they are nice for motorcycles and my cobra, which see seasonal use
     
  18. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Champion is a good generator, I run a 7000 watt one. pretty quite. depenable.