Power Up Your Car Trips

If it's happened once it's happened a hundred times.  We take off for a day trip, a short commute, or a trip to Disney World, and the batteries of every cell phone, iPod, laptop, camera and gps go dead.  Sound familiar?  Here's help.  You probably already know that all those 'cigarette lighters' in your car are power ports.  We bought a power inverter, that allows us to plug in any standard electrical devices.  There are a few addendums and exceptions.

  • Each inverter has a maximum rating.  Devices must require less power than the inverter's rating. (300 watts appears to be the maximum for use in a car's power ports.)
  • If you exceed the rating of the inverter, you may blow a fuse in the car. That fuse could connect  other car parts (like interior lights.) Some inverters have fuse protection.
  • Some appliances just aren't meant to be used in a moving vehicle.  Coffee makers and curling irons should be reserved for use in stationary settings.  Just because you can use something in the car does not mean you should.  And remember, in a sudden stop, swerve, or turn, these appliances could end up flying across the car and hitting passengers. Secure heavy items when possible.
  • These operate off of your car's battery and may drain some of the charge.  Some inverters alert you or cut power if the battery gets low. 
  • Consult the manuals, manufacturers of these products (car power system, inverter, and appliance), and experts before use.

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