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Old 07-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face CigLighter/PowerSource/Converter/+700wMicrowave?

Quick question for someone who's knowledgeable about this stuff:

I'm going on a weekend trip with my 7 month old (otherwise alone).

I need to warm his bottles and food and therefore I'm considering bringing my (American) microwave (700w) along with my standard US three prong plug that taps directly into my truck's cigarette lighter/power source.

This should work, right? It won't like completely fry my car or something, right?

If this seems like a stupid question, forgive me. I'd just try it myself, but I'm leaving day after tomorrow and don't want unwarranted car trouble.

Thanks guys,

me!

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Old 07-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you'll need an inverter, but there should be a way to do it:

how do you run a microwave in a truck

Can I use a Microwave in my car?!? - Yahoo! Answers
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hello SwamiSalami,
You'll fry something. If your microwave needs 700 watts, that looks like about 60 amps to the 12 volt power point. Most are fused at 20 amps. Also the 700 watts may be the microwave output, and 1000 watts needed at the plug. That means something like a 1500 watt inverter and huge battery cables.

You'll need a different plan.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Most lighter plugs I've seen have a 15 amp fuse and the wiring going to it would melt if you pulled 15 amps for more then a few minutes.
To power a microwave you would need an inverter that taps right in to the battery of the vehicle.
To warm bottles, how about a thermus of hot water from a gas station (free hot water next to their coffee maker) and you drop the bottle in.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
To warm bottles, how about a thermus of hot water from a gas station (free hot water next to their coffee maker) and you drop the bottle in.
I know this works on the other side of the pacific, but I haven't been into many gas stations in the Republic yet. I guess we'll see.

Last road trip we took in the states he didn't mind drinking them cold. I say he didn't mind; he didn't love it, but i think he knew if he didn't eat it cold he wouldn't eat at all.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yea, it's weird because the element is supposedly built for this kind of thing.

I have an inverter (that's what I meant by converter). there's a 120w cigarette plug in the dash.

I dunno. I just hate how you have to be some kind of engineer to do ANYTHING these days.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Why do you need to plug this in to your car? take an extension cord along and plug in while you are stopped.
Other option would be a beverage heater that plugs in to the lighter plug, larger truck stops should have them.

To design a lighter plug that could handle the 60+ amps that you would need you would have to have 4 gauge wire or larger and much much heavier contacts in the plug, something along the lines of an oven plug or electric dryer plug, you might as well be asking why you can't plug your arc welder in to your lighter, to me the microwave is the wrong tool to try to use.

For the cost of an inverter that can power your microwave you could even buy a brand new camp stove and the fuel and pots to do all of the heating and cooking you want to do, it would also take up less space.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwamiSalami View Post
Yea, it's weird because the element is supposedly built for this kind of thing.

I have an inverter (that's what I meant by converter). there's a 120w cigarette plug in the dash.

I dunno. I just hate how you have to be some kind of engineer to do ANYTHING these days.
Hi SwamiSalami,
OK, sorry, I didn't understand. I can't find any information on the capacity of the in dash 120 volt outlet. Maybe your owners manual could help. My Ford has a 120 volt plug built-in, it's rated for 150 watts.
-mort
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What did you end up doing? My mom used to heat my brothers bottle on the intake manifold.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yea, so my inverter says no more than 150 watts. what good is that?

I just made stops and went into shops, which had microwaves of their own.

Honestly, it wasn't so bad. I only had to stop for this reason twice.

I was just worried, because we've taken two day long driving trips and that is very taxing in terms of feeding and changing.

I think eventually I'd like to sort this out, but then, eventually it won't be a problem anymore either!

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