Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just went out and bought a small 400 watt power inverter. (They are on sale at Pepboys Auto).

Anyhow, the unit fits perfectly in my console between the two front seats but I was wondering if anyone knows of any reason why I might now want to place it there. The only thing I can think of is if it gets hot and melts the plastic but I don't think that is possible is it?

Please advise. Thanks!
 

·
on line
Joined
·
21 Posts
I don't think something inside the console, with the lid closed, is easily noticeable. I was thinking of putting a converter in my X, too, but I was looking at an under-seat install. Circulation is definitely better under there, and more room - even with a subwoofer amp already in place.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Actually the one I purchased is small enough to actually fit in the console closed so no one can see it. But good point! That is what kept me from getting a larger model.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
280 Posts
I bought one as well and it fits in the console with the lid closed. Just make sure you do not cover up the fan and there is good circulation in there.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The model I bought had a 1200 watt one that would be perfect for under the seat. I suppose you are right about more circulation but I thought the console top off, I might get a cooler environment there then with the carpet on the floor. The other cool thing is that the inverter connects right into the jack in the console too so no extra cable running anywhere.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So I guess the next question would be what do you guys use your inverter for? I was thinking laptop if I camp out in the X. I was also thinking maybe a small portable air compressor for tires perhaps! Although I dont know if 400 watts is enough for even a small one.....
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
I plan on putting one under the drivers seat. I have an amp under the passenger seat.

Since we are talking inverters... I plan to run it directly to the battery and know nothing about inverters.

sorry to hijack but I this kidn of fits.

How big of a one could you run of a direct connection to the battery? What size is good for portable DVD players, laptop etc?

Do they have off switches, so if I don't need it which would be a majority of the time, I could switch it off and not suck any power?

Good brands?
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I will double check but mine is a vortex I believe. Mine has an off/on switch and lights to show if it is working properly or not. As for the other info, I can't help you man. Sorry!

Oh! I know this can't be totally accurate but the brand I bought came in a case that illustrated the kind of things you can plug into it. I noticed the higher up it went in watts, the bigger the electronics got. Not really scientific per say and I dont even know if I would trust it but since I dont know too much about it, I figured it was a nice gesture....h ah ha haah a
 

·
on line
Joined
·
641 Posts
SoCalXterra said:
So I guess the next question would be what do you guys use your inverter for?
The only thing I have ever used mine for was on a long road trip I had some rechargeable AA batteries, and I plugged the AA battery charger into the inverter so the batteries got recharged while I was driving.

As for 'what can you plug into your inverter', the answer is....
anything that doesn't draw more than 400 watts of power.

Well, you can plug in whatever you want, but if it draws to much power, the item just won't work, or, the inverter's overload protection will kick in, or, you will see some smoke ;-)

If what you want to plug in doesn't list the wattage on it's label, just multiply the voltage times the amperage:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt
For example, if you have a corded drill that is rated at 3 Amps, 3 x 120(volts) = 360 watts, so it should work just fine.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,484 Posts
Oh Crap here I go! Yea the converter need fresh air, but with AC on in there it will do, most have thermal overload protection and low voltage protection, (Shuts off below 11 volts automatically) Only the largest will run an air compressor, It's more Watts than Amps. So, It will run a TV, Light, Fan, pretty easy but anything with a high amp load such as an air compressor, nota.

This site http://www.roadtripamerica.com/dashboarding/Power-Inverters.htm explains the types hows and whys pretty good.

But, MC has several, All a different size, the smaller ones get used the most, let me explain. My 100 watt one from A Pilot truck stop (Cobra) will easily power my laptop and a Batt charger for some AA's And it has a USB port to charge my blackberry. $29

My 150 Watt will run the 19 in TV, (Yep) and a fan. $19

My 300 Watt will run all of that above, better have the car running though or the battery may go kaput. $29

I have a 400 watt I use to run an electric drill, and some more heavy load stuff. Discount store $29

The point is, why task your system with a 400 watt inverter when you only need 80 watts, you are making 400 watts of power and only using 80 most of the time. Matching the inverter size to the need saves drain on your battery and allows you to run a lot longer on a battery with the vehicle shut off. I can run 2 times as long on my 100 watt than I would with my 300 watt running with the car shut off, like camping. Plus, the 100 watt one don't need or run an internal cooling fan, so inside the console is ok place for it, lid open.

If you only have $ to buy one, go for the 400 watt it's about all you will ever need. But kinda keep the car running or use a separate Marine battery as I do.

But, 90% of the time I find the 100 watt one or the 150 watt one in use, really! Don't worry, it will tell you pretty quick if you overload it, but to run a laptop, that's your man!

Also note that Any Chain truckstop has loads of choices on power inverters, no one should be without one, Truck drivers use them more than any other group of workers i can think of. Truckstops also sell some of the way larger units that will run a Microwave, and the cables needed to hook them up properly.
I use a Pilot or Flying J truckstop for Inverter needs. Although Sam's club and discount stores often have them for less than $20 for 150 watt and below.

At my cabin last month we ran two 75 watt lamps for about 9 hours on a single Marine battery (pictured in my boat somewhere here) and it only dropped 1 volt using a 150 watt inverter. (And we did not have to listen to the cooling fan run on that inverter like we would have on the 300.)

MC
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
So a 400 watt would run almost anything I would ever need to run off of it.

Would a 400 watt have to be run off the battery since the manual says the outlets are not to exceed 120w or 10A?
 

·
on line
Joined
·
15,651 Posts
The wires that run to the cig lighters is very very thin. You will most likely blow a fuse if you try to draw too much power. Worst case, you will melt the wires.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
muzikman said:
Worst case, you will melt the wires.
Thats why I decided to run my off the battery, but for the original poster its something to think about.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,484 Posts
lostboy said:
So a 400 watt would run almost anything I would ever need to run off of it.Would a 400 watt have to be run off the battery since the manual says the outlets are not to exceed 120w or 10A?
Well they have no idea what you are plugging it into. But if you overload it a fuse will blow and that gives you the answer. It's always better to run the cables like in the kit at a truckstop, but, I run a 32 in TV, a Fan several lights a DVD player and my Laptop off my 400 watt one in my boat with the supplied Cig lighter cord, so far as long as 5 hours no blown fuses and no melted wires. That inverter is the newest technology that has reduced draw and better sine wave. Pictured here. Hey looks like you can read the details!

I have been running inverters for over 30 years I never had one melt a wire before blowing a fuse. They are more protected now than ever. More juice is better though. The math on your instructions don't add up, a 400 watt that says only run 240 watts? Naaaa Unless it has like 4 outlets. (Most 400's have two) But if I was taking it to the limit all the time yea, more juice is better, wire to Battery. But small stuff, the cig outlet will do fine. On this one pictured, Cig outlet on a pigtail from Battery. MC
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
so I have been looking at these now for about an hour.

To hook it to the battery they all come supplied with ‘alligator clips’, I assume there is no problem in getting new wire or removing the clips and adding an end that will stay on the battery. I also assume its ok to ground anywhere as long as it’s good and clean.

Could someone tell me if I am wrong?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top