Choosing The Best Power Inverter For Van Life & RVs

Type of RV Inverter

The first step is to determine what type of inverter you need. The two main types are: – modified sine wave (MSW) – pure sine wave (PSW)

Inverter Size

The next thing you need to consider is the size of your inverter. The output wattage will be printed on the device and usually starts at about 100 watts.

Inverter Size

You can use this formula to determine the wattage you need: (Wattage of Device) x (Number of Devices) = Total Wattage Needed

Continuous Power or Running Power

This is usually the labeled rating of the inverter, so if you’ve calculated you need a 3000w inverter, that means you need a device that can provide 3000w of continuous power.

Peak or Surge Power Rating

Inverters can provide a greater surge of power in short bursts. This is especially useful for appliances that demand a power surge on startup, like a compressor fridge or induction cooker.

Input Voltage

Most RV and campervan electrical systems have a 12v battery bank. Some have 24v, and even fewer have 48v. All of the inverters on our list are 12v models as it’s the most common battery bank voltage for recreational vehicles.

Output Voltage

Electrical devices will either run on 110v or 220v AC, so choosing a compatible inverter is essential..

Static Current or No-Load or Idle Consumption

No-load consumption refers to how many amps the power inverter uses when switched on but has no appliances running on it.

Efficiency Rating

An inverter with a 90% efficiency rating uses 10% more energy than the device it’s supplying.