Plug in Power Inverter good enough for limited camping duties?

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Is an Amazon sold plug in power inverter up to the task of inflating 2 air mattresses? As we get into camping, I need to figure out how to inflate these at sites that lack electric. A coworker told me they are worthless and that I need to explore getting a power supply instead…I see the value in those, but I’ve already invested quite a bit in getting into camping from scratch and would, at least for the time being, rather use an inverter if it can run air mattresses pumps.

All I can find on the air matteess is that it is 110/120V, 60hz.

I’m not set on any particular inverter, just something easily purchased.
 
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TCL

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It depends on how many watts of power the inflator uses. You can check the size of the fuse used on the inflator and multiply by 12 which is your cars voltage, and that'll give you the maximum wattage needed for the ONE inflator.
The inverters work fine, but I'm sure they have to sell 12 volt inflator units. The inverters are nice for a LED shop light or CFL, both lights draw minimal watts to use at a camp site for a short period with the vehicle off, like setting up late.
 

t1snwrbrdr12

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I hadn’t looked much into the inverters at all at the time of original post. I’m fine and actually more comfortable hooking up to the battery posts, even if I don’t need that much power.
 
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you need to know how much power the mattress inflator uses. amps watts whatever.
 
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If you wind up with a not-sine-wave inverter it will be hard on the fan motor inside the inflator. I'd get the 12V version like Killer recommends. Although upon re-reading it appears your mattresses have built-in inflators. Is there a tap for outside air?

Do you have any other 120VAC needs or wants?
 
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t1snwrbrdr12

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If you wind up with a not-sine-wave inverter it will be hard on the fan motor inside the inflator. I'd get the 12V version like Killer recommends. Although upon re-reading it appears your mattresses have built-in inflators. Is there a tap for outside air?

Do you have any other 120VAC needs or wants?
I still need to inspect, they haven’t been opened yet.

No other 120volt needs at this time. We made it without 120 last trip and don’t have plans for needing anything else.

I’d like to get a set up from that recommended one just to get the battery hookup as opposed to cigarette plug…but their descriptions read “modified sine wave”. Comments read that the 500 watt works fine with air mattresses, it’ll probably be on.
 
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Is an Amazon sold plug in power inverter up to the task of inflating 2 air mattresses? As we get into camping, I need to figure out how to inflate these at sites that lack electric. A coworker told me they are worthless and that I need to explore getting a power supply instead…I see the value in those, but I’ve already invested quite a bit in getting into camping from scratch and would, at least for the time being, rather use an inverter if it can run air mattresses pumps.

All I can find on the air matteess is that it is 110/120V, 60hz.

I’m not set on any particular inverter, just something easily purchased.
Are you sleeping on a Aerobed type mattress that requires it to be constantly plugged in to have air in it?

A regular inflatable mattress for glamping, you can buy an air pump that is battery operated or 12V cig lighter (plenty on Amazon).

real campers sleep within 2 inches of the ground, with sleeping pads that can be easily inflated by one's lungs.
 

t1snwrbrdr12

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I’m not real camping. I did that all through my childhood. I loved it, but air beds are cheaper than nice self inflating sleep pads, I’m cheap, and I have 3 girls to take with me who I don’t believe would love sleeping like that. Did I say I’m cheap? Thus, I’m not making that investment unless we really start getting closer to roughing it. My childhood camping consisted of weeks on end in New England forests, islands, etc with no running water or electric. That’s not my girls, though. Haha.
 
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I’m not real camping. I did that all through my childhood. I loved it, but air beds are cheaper than nice self inflating sleep pads, I’m cheap, and I have 3 girls to take with me who I don’t believe would love sleeping like that. Did I say I’m cheap? Thus, I’m not making that investment unless we really start getting closer to roughing it. My childhood camping consisted of weeks on end in New England forests, islands, etc with no running water or electric. That’s not my girls, though. Haha.
You never specified the what mattress you have that takes a 110V plug, which may be more expensive than buying an inflatable air mattress and pump from Wallyworld.

 

t1snwrbrdr12

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You never specified the what mattress you have that takes a 110V plug, which may be more expensive than buying an inflatable air mattress and pump from Wallyworld.



That looks way less glampy than ours.

I could see the issue there being that the mattress won’t fit through the tent door after inflating at the van.

Plan was an inverter alligator clipped to battery, extension cord into the tent to run the built in inflators in the mattresses.

Mattress only plugged in to inflate. Just one at a time. Not all night long.


They say 60hz. I’ve read people reviews that state they never saw above 200 watts running intex pumps. Not sure of the real wattage though.
 
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Look on the package for the air mattress and get the wattage. The ones I saw were rated to consume for 50watts for the fan. Thats not bad.

The DC to 120V inverters are fairly efficient (>90%) so the inverter would need 55 watts from the car. 55 watts/12V is ~4.6amps. Most cigarette lighters nowadays have 10 amp fuses in the plug so 4.6 amps is a comfortable fit.

Air up one at a time and you'll have some power left over for a light or small fan if needed.

Don't worry about signwave vs modified signwave for this application. The fan doesn't care. the most common computer UPSs are APC, Cyberpower ets are quisi square wave output and work fine.
 
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These are nice, but take up way too much space in the tent. But if you have the space, why not I guess.
It's probably going into a car camping 6-person tent that is relatively inexpensive (with fiberglass poles which gets irritatingly stuck in the pole sleeves during set up and tear down), so space isn't technically an issue.

Back to the OP, it's probably a .65 A pump (see instruction manual), which is less than 100W on a 120V plug. A cig lighter inverter should be fine.
 
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Ciggy plugs and receptacles are horrible electrical connectors.
I'd not trust one for over 60 watts continuous and 120 watts for under 4 minutes. Those that list 120 watts or more, should have a giant asterix next to them saying temporarily capable of that.

Even if the receptacle is wired with 10AWG, which none are from the factory, the plug itself is likely 16awg and the current likely passes through a steel spring within that holds the inline glass fuse, and steel is a horrible conductor of electricity

I've experimented a lot with them, after having given up on them. for any task over 25 watts continuous.
Some designs do better than others, but they age quickly when asked to pass 120 watts continuous.

A 12v tire inflator can certainly inflate an air mattress, but they are basically high PSI, low volume pumps, an air mattress pump is basically the exact opposite.

An Airmattress with its own built in 115vac pump will likely work fine on a cheap MSW inverter, especially if it is attached right to battery posts.

While a 150 watt inverter will likely be more than enough to power it.
The '300 watt' surge rating, might not be enough, or not of enough duration to get the pump moving if restarting it when there is already pressure in the mattress. The surge rating of inverters are often measured in microseconds, and nearly meaningless unless the surge is of equal or less duration.

Lots of reports of some using an inverter to power a f 115vac dorm fridge, and they need to get a 1000+ watt inverter to handle the surge, even though after the compressor is upto speed, it only draws 62 watts.

While a MSW inverter will likely not be best for the electric motor of the built in mattress pump, the mattress is likely to develop holes before the motor burns out from having been run too long on a MSW inverter.

I've woken up on the floor more than once on an air mattress, even the good ones which do not cripple my back.

Many inverters will come with both alligator clamps and a ciggy plug, and the ciggy plug will say 120 watts maximum on it, and that is generous.

Often people see an inverter as the solution to all household appliance power needs.

Some will put huge inverters on tiny batteries. Its similar to filling a dragster with just enough fuel, to reach the starting line.

An inverter can easily reveal a weak battery. It can behoove one to idle their engine when powering an inverter, if their remaining battery capacity is unknown.

An inverter is usually only about 85% efficient.
An inverter will have a standby draw. Turned on and powering nothing, it can draw 6 to 8 watts.

My 800 watt inverter, when I turn it on, powering nothing, spikes to 0.8 amps, then drops to 0.15 amps. When I use it to power a load, then turn off that load, then it draws 0.68 amps forever after, until turned off.

So if the airmattress has a small leak, and one needs to reinflate it every few hours, leaving the inverter on just to do so can deplete a weak battery to the point it might not be able to start the vehicle.

Expect to see a spark when hooking an inverter's clamps to a battery's posts.
It can be a large spark.
Keep in mind this spark is why they say that when jumpstarting, to hook the ground up second, not to the battery negative terminal itself but nearby, so any oxygen/hydrogen possibly near the battery top, does not have a chance to ignite.

While it's unlikely to happen, it can.
The inverter spark, when attaching directly to a battery, is always a bit alarming, even when expected.
 
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As an alternative, I can’t see a mattress inflator needing more than 20 watts at most. These things run off of D cells in portable guise, after all. The ryobi lineup has a 150watt 120v inverter for the 18v batts and a 300w sine for the 40v batts. I’d be pretty certain than any inflator will use a stepped down Dc motor (think hair drier) which wouldn’t be affected by the stepped wave of a non-sine wave inverter. Neither ryobi inverter is particularly expensive. I think I paid 60 for the 300w 40v sine, which has been good. The big expense was the first 40v power tool with the battery.
 
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