When you order a camper trailer from Escape Trailer Industries (ETI), you get to choose from a lot of options. You can even ask for things that aren’t on an options list. Maybe they will do it (for money), and maybe they won’t — but if they can, and it’s not a problem or a risk of some kind, they will. It’s something that makes them stand out from most other RV manufacturers. And this is also one way ETI evolves its product: many items now on the options list started out as individual customization requests.
That means that, after you get your trailer, you’ll see new items on the options list that you never thought of, and wish you had (this has already happened to us: now there’s an option for an LED light strip installed just below the awning, outside, and we would have asked for it had we known about the idea). But what the heck, this just gives us more projects to do in our spare time, and there’s no shortage of help available on the Escape Owners’ Forum if we’re not sure how to proceed.
One popular option that we considered seriously is the factory-installed inverter, which turns 12-volt, direct current (DC) electricity into 120-volt alternating current (AC) juice. This is handy for those who camp without plugging in to a “current bush” somewhere — say, out in the desert, or down an empty fire road, or even in a campground that doesn’t have utilities available at the campsites.
Because the truth is, RVs are 12-volt creatures. They’re designed to run off car batteries (12-volts, yup) or, more often, specially made, deep-cycle batteries (also 12-volt) that are designed to have their charge depleted and then recharged many, many, many times, without giving up the ghost. There is all sorts of chemistry and physics about batteries and you can spend months trying to figure it all out, and it’s kind of interesting, up to a point, and then you just want to go camping and would someone please just tell me what to buy.
There are some things that aren’t 12-volt creatures, and won’t ever be: microwave ovens, blow driers, air conditioners, most coffeemakers, and range of other appliances. Other items — like TV sets — come in both flavors, but the 12-volt choices are limited. Then there are all those gadgets we have (smart phones, bluetooth speakers, etc.) that have 120-volt plug-in charge cords. Sometimes there’s an available 12-volt, “car” charger, and sometimes there’s not.
If you’re going to camp away from current bushes a lot, and if you simply must have (or just want) your microwave, hair dryer or similar available, you need an inverter. You can buy small portable ones, or you can, if you’re ordering an Escape trailer, get one installed that will turn battery power into 120-volt AC and send it to all the AC outlets in your trailer.
They charge for this, of course, and for every other option, and unless you’re independently wealthy you have to make choices. We decided No Inverter for Us, because (a) we’ll probably be at campgrounds with current bushes a lot and (b) we can live without the microwave for days at a time, we think, and (c) if we’re off the grid and it gets so hot we want air conditioning, we’re probably going to head home anyway — or, at least, to the nearest current bush.
We can always add an inverter later if our camping habits pan out differently.Sharing is caring!
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