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Old 30-05-2015, 11:05   #1
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Vacuum cleaner?

I've been spoiled having ac power at dock for years. Now at mooring with 12v and my trusty wet dry is rusting and old. Is there a good 12v vac? I do have an inverter but the energy conversion is not efficient. Does anyone have experience charging one of the higher quality cordless vacs with 12v ?

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Old 30-05-2015, 18:03   #2
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

We've been using a Black & Decker car vac we bought in San Diego about 1987. Really. It plugs into a cigarette lighter style socket. Now, I have to admit that it's getting kinda tired, but still works okay. But going that way might be a solution for you if you don't need to use it above decks.

I agree that a rechargeable would be more convenient. Maybe someone else out there knows how much one would draw?

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Old 30-05-2015, 19:54   #3
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

I use a rechargeable, forget which brand, black and yellow in color I feel, came as a set with a drill; looks like one of those dirt devil toys. Drill's good (even has a decent size chuck), but the vacuum is a joke.

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Old 30-05-2015, 20:03   #4
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

So far the rechargeable vacs I have tried were a waste. Black & Decker Dust Busters are garbage. They have minimal suction, the batteries have a short life and cost more to replace than a new Dust Buster.

I also got a similar hand vac with a Ryobi tool set that is marginally better. Slightly better suction but the batteries do last.

If you can't get 120V AC power then look for a 12V DC plug in mini canister unit.
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Old 30-05-2015, 20:19   #5
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

Take rugs "upstairs" and shake 'em out.

I've never found a 12V or rechargeable vacuum that works worth shoot.

Since you have a 120V and an inverter, use it. Sure, there are inefficiencies in using an inverter, but, heck, what's it there for? Run the engine while you're using the vacuum, neither sound is wonderful, right?
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Old 30-05-2015, 20:31   #6
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

Black and Decker Flex units are pretty good at sucking up stuff. Their filter is good and doesn't blow the dust back out at you. These are not shop vacs though.

They recharge using a wall-wart that draws a few watts from the 120V outlet. Any small inverter will power the wall-wart. It may be possible to recharge from 12V but haven't tried it. We recharge it whenever the generator runs for pulling down the freezer about an hour each day.
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Old 30-05-2015, 20:33   #7
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

I've been using a Makita 18V vacuum for two years now and it is awesome. Last year I even took the step of hardwiring in a 12V makita battery charger. My power tools take the same batteries so the setup works very well for me.
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Old 30-05-2015, 23:00   #8
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DEWALT 1/2-gal. Cordless 18-Volt Wet/Dry Portable Vacuum (Tool-Only)-DC515B - The Home Depot

We have one on our boat. Love it! Use it to clean up after drilling, sanding, and even "house" cleaning. Hepa filter is expensive to change ($20) but we haven't had to change it out yet. Waiting for the after-market knock-off.

It's small. Guessing about 6" wide, 18" long, 6" tall? Great suction and fully rechargeable with either a 12v charger or 110 volt charger. You can buy attachments for it also.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:41   #9
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

I use the little rechargable Dyson. In the US it comes with an AC wall wart, but i found a 12v powersupply on my travels. Advertised as Dyson Car Charger.
The Dyson seems to clean well, but not on construction stuff - it's canister is too small.

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Old 07-06-2015, 09:49   #10
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

I would stick with 120VAC. The little tiny shop vac works very well. You really don't have to run it long right? Very nice for an occasional "get the sand out" cleanup or cleaning up after that project. I've never found a 12V that was up to the task for me.
Battery units always seem to have very limited battery life. I have one now that is only 2 years old and works pretty well. But at this point, if you don't charge it for 4 hours immediately before use. It wont work more than a few seconds.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:00   #11
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

Originally Posted by rossny View Post
I do have an inverter but the energy conversion is not efficient. Does anyone have experience charging one of the higher quality cordless vacs with 12v ?
You pay the price either way - simply using a 120V vac on the inverter or charging batteries off the inverter for a cordless vac.

How long and often do you vacuum? I can't imagine even the worse inefficient inverter costing you more than an extra amp-hour or two during a vacuum use.


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Old 07-06-2015, 10:58   #12
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

Home Depot sells the Ridgid 18V wet and dry shop vac. It has great suction but is really noisy and the lithium battery only lasts 5 or 6 minutes.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:25   #13
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

If you are living aboard a reasonably large boat, an inverter is not an unreasonable piece of boat equipment. It then allows you to vacuum with high efficiency, run power tools to make some more messes, and even charge your other portable toys. But don't waste your money on cheap inverters. You get what you pay for in this case.
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Old 07-06-2015, 14:23   #14
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

Milwaukee makes an interesting wet and dry battery powered vacuum. Uses the same batteries as their 18v power tools. If you just getting into or thinking of buying a new battery powered drill, etc, might think about committing to the Milwaukee line. One set of charger and batteries for all your off cord tools. Most of the other tool makers also make a similar battery powered vacuum. I'm partial to Milwaukee, love that red.
Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum (Tool-Only)-0880-20 - The Home Depot

Currently have a 2000 watt inverter and use a small Home Depot Wet and Dry Shop Vac. The inverter allows to me to use most of my corded power tools so a very handy addition. The inverter is a cheap Xantrex which works fine powering everything except some electronically speed controlled tools, specifically a Bosch Saber Saw. The saw is just dead when plugged into the inverter. Will work with a micro wave if I stoop so low as to install one. A lower wattage inverter would probably work just as well but check your tool requirements to be sure of enough wattage.
Stinger 2.5-gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum-WD2025 - The Home Depot
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Old 07-06-2015, 21:18   #15
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Re: Vacuum cleaner?

We have one of the Dyson stick vacuums. The charger runs from a 12 volt wall wart, so a socket and wire will plug it in to your 12 volts. It won't do water, but it's great on cabin soles, upholstery, cleaning up woodworking messes, etc.

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