Installing an inverter in a van

Old 03-30-13, 08:38 PM
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Installing an inverter in a van

Hello, everyone! A friend and I are going on a road trip and working on installing a power inverter in our 1992 Dodge Ram cargo van.

We purchased this inverter: Whistler Pro-1200W 1,200 Watt Power Inverter: Patio, Lawn & Garden

and are using it with a 12V marine battery we got at Walmart.

There is a grounding post on the inverter, but since we're using it in a van we're not sure if we should be grounding it. Since we've installed a wood floor that it and the battery will be sitting on, and since it's inside the cab and we are using it as an isolated power source (not connected to the vehicle's alternator), it seems like it would be dangerous to ground it to the chassis. Does anyone have any advice?
Old 03-30-13, 10:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It's not dangerous to connect the ground to the vehicle it's just not needed.

Just to get a little off topic here. Have you used an inverter before ? They are power pigs. Depending on your load the battery may drain pretty quickly and you're going to need a way to re-charge it.

If you'd like.... you could tell us what you plan to run on it. Post the wattage draw of the device(s) and we could give you a ball park amount of expected battery life. Post the make and model of the battery too.

If you could charge that battery from the vehicle.
Old 03-31-13, 04:05 AM
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Using a battery isolater you could recharge it from your van's alternator as PJ suggested without risking drawing down your van battery to low to start. That is how it is commonly done. You might even want to consider changing the alternator on your van to a higher amp one.

Example: List: Battery Isolators | O'Reilly Auto Parts

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