Most electrical systems in builds are build with a house in front of mind.
The light fixtures, refrigeration, stove, all of the outlets are Alternating Current (110 AC).
A van is native to 12 volts DC (Direct Current) which is different from household current which is either rated at 110/120 AC (Alternating Current) and for your stove or hot water heater 220/240 volt AC.
- The batteries are 12 volt DC
- The solar panels are 12 volt DC
- Your van is 12 volt DC
You cannot run household appliances in a van without a method to convert 110/120 AC to 12 DC.
In need of an interpreter
If a household refrigerator plug could talk, it would probably yell to your van, does anyone speak AC? That’s when your inverter answers, I do.
The inverter is a translator. Because the van speaks a different language the inverter serves as a mediator or interpreter between your household appliances and your van.
The translation process takes lots of energy as it translates from one voltage to another. More power is lost when the device is turned on, and less as it is running; but there was power loss during the conversion. Your battery was drained quickly and then slowed. That lowered your available power for the rest of your van.
One for the wise
Your van is native to 12 volts so why not use, buy or whatever 12 volt devices. You may already have 12 volt devices sitting around your house you didn’t know could work in your van.
For example. If you have a computer monitor with a power brick (you know the square thing you drag around with you laptop while it charges). For that reason in the information tech field we call it a brick – drag this brick… anyway! On that brick you will find writing or specifications about the voltage, amps and etc.
The writing tells you how much voltage the brick outputs. If that brick says output 12 volt DC or something like that, then the brick is converting 110 volts AC to 12 volt DC. Great! That computer monitor will work in your van. Cut the part that plugs into the monitor and run the cut end into your van’s 12 volt circuit and now you have a computer monitor.
You will find lots of things in your home that will run off your van — if you look hard enough. TV’s, game consoles, and etc.
This blender has it’s own battery. I own one and my wife owns another. I was able to go 5 days blending up to 25 times.
This blanket is a life saver if you don’t need to heat the entire van while you sleep. It uses 55 Watts. You can run it off a Jackery Portable Power Station – Explorer 240 all night.