Best RV Inverter Reviews 2021 – Complete Buying Guide

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A good inverter can be one of the best investments you make for your RV. It’s one of those things that will help you enjoy RV life without giving up the luxuries of your home. The device works by converting DC to AC power, which is the power that your RV appliances need to function. This means that even if you’re boondocking, you’ll be able to run things like your LD TV, computer, AC unit, and refrigerator. However, since there’s a long list of inverters available on the market, choosing the right one might seem daunting. For this reason, we’ve created these reviews in order to help you find the best RV inverter among the top rated products in 2021.

Top 10 RV Inverters in 2021

Image Product name Details Check price
efficient rv inverter Krieger KR3000-12
  • 3000/6000 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (2), USB ports (2)
pure sine wave inverter Energizer ENK2000
  • 2000/4000 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (2), USB ports (2)
high power rv inverter converter Ampeak
  • 2000/4000 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (3), USB port (1)
power inverter with modified sine wave Giandel PM-2000KAR
  • 2000/4000 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (2), USB port (1)
high power rv power inverter Potek
  • 2000/4000 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (3), USB port (1)
rv inverter Xantrex Prowatt 806-1210
  • 1000/2000 watts
  • Pure sine wave
  • 110V outlets (2), USB port (1)
rv pure sine wave inverter WindyNation VertaMax
  • 1500/3000 watts
  • Pure sine wave
  • 110V outlets (3)
inverter with highest power output AIMS Power
  • 3000/6000 watts
  • Pure sine wave
  • 110V outlets (2), USB port (1)
affordable rv inverter VoltWorks VK-2000PBR
  • 2000/4000 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (3), USB ports (2)
power converter for camping Bestek
  • 2000/4600 watts
  • Modified sine wave
  • 110V outlets (3)

Best RV Inverters Reviewed

Krieger KR3000-12

best rv inverterKrieger offers one of the best modified sine wave inverters, which is perfect for running simple electrical devices, such as a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and other appliances. So, while it might not be able to provide power to sensitive electronics, it does provide an efficient and more affordable way to provide power to other devices.

You can connect DC battery cables directly to your 12V battery and the unit will convert 12V DC to 120V AC. It offers a 3,000-watt continuous capacity and a 6,000-watt peak capacity. Though, depending on your power needs, you can also choose this same model with 2,000 and 4,000 watts.

The RV inverter features high performance capacitors, which allow powering equipment with heavy surge loads. On top of that, the unit is equipped with high frequency transformers, which contributes to the higher efficiency of power conversion.

This power inverter for RVs is not only efficient but also safe. It comes with all the protection that you will need. These safety features include protection against low voltage, high voltage, overload, short circuit, and high temperature. To reassure buyers of the product’s safety and performance, this inverted has been tested and approved by METLAB.

Another advantage of this system is the LCD display. It allows you to keep track of the inverter’s performance. It shows you the battery level, output wattage, and input voltage. Additionally, it displays indicators if there’s an error in its operation.

This inverter also comes with everything you’ll need for the installation. It includes an inline fuse kit, battery cables, and an external switch. It even includes a remote control, which is very handy to have.


  • 3000 watts continuous power.
  • Modified sine wave.
  • LCD display.
  • 2 AC outlets.
  • All the necessary protection features.
  • Includes an installation kit.
  • Includes a remote control.
  • Approved by METLAB.
  • Compact design.
  • 3-year parts and labor warranty.
  • Not suitable for sensitive electronics.
  • Battery cables do not have clamps on one end.

Energizer ENK2000 2000-Watt

best pure sine wave inverterEnergizer ENK2000 is also one of the top rated RV inverters, which also uses modified sine wave technology. It provides the perfect backup power supply, offering 2,000 watts of continuous power and 4,000 watts of peak power. This power can be used to run most of your RV’s appliances and devices, such as the television, fan, microwave, and more.

It can also be used to power a small AC unit. Though, if you have a bigger unit, it might be better to opt for a 3,000 or 4,000 watt RV inverter.

The inverter is also equipped with all the necessary protection to ensure that it operates both efficiently and safely. It’s equipped with overload, high temperature, and short circuit protection. The device will notify you if one of these issues occurs by lighting up the indicators on its LCD screen. In addition to these error indicators, the LCD display also shows you the battery level, input voltage, and output wattage.

You can also be assured that you’re buying a high quality RV inverter as it’s been tested and approved by METLAB. It shows that the device meets the industry’s safety and performance guidelines.

With this inverter, you can power several devices at once. It features two standard AC outlets and two USB ports with 2.4A each. For connecting to the battery, the system also comes with three feet 2-gauge battery cables.


  • 2,000 watts continuous power.
  • Includes 2 AC outlets and 2 USB ports.
  • Comes with 3-foot battery cables.
  • Overload and short circuit protection.
  • High temperature shutdown.
  • LCD display.
  • Approved by METLAB.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Lower power capacity.
  • Not suitable for sensitive electronics.

Ampeak 2000-Watt Inverter

rv inverter reviewsAnother good RV inverter recommendation is the Ampeak 2,000-Watt model. It’s a high-performing inverter that can deliver 2,000 watts of continuous power, converting 12V DC to 110V AC. As for its surge power, it reaches 4,000 watts, so it also offers high startup capacity.

The inverter also features three AC outlets and one USB port, allowing you to connect multiple devices at once. This means that you can power all the necessary RV electronics while you’re boondocking.

This is a versatile inverter that is widely applicable for powering many different devices. It’s compatible with lights, TVs, microwaves, electrical hand tools, and other devices that use AC power. However, its output waveform is a modified sine wave, which means that it might not operate well for delicate electronics.

The device is also safe to use as it also offers a handful of safety features. In case of overheating, short circuit, low voltage, overvoltage, or overload, the system will give an audible alarm automatically shutdown. And to make it easier to understand the issue, the unit will display an error code on the display.

Moreover, the device also comes with protection for its internal components. For that, it’s equipped with durable ABS material housing, which helps the unit withstand harsh environments.

One of the great features of this camper inverter is the smart digital display. It lets you keep track of all the unit’s performance information, such as input voltage, output wattage, and error codes. This means that at any time you can know the status of the inverter.


  • 2,000 watts.
  • Offers 3 AC outlets and 1 USB port.
  • Smart digital display.
  • Multiple safety features.
  • Automatic shutdown protection.
  • Built-in fuse.
  • Durable ABS shell.
  • Includes all-insulated ring terminal cables.
  • ETL certification.
  • 18-month warranty.
  • Low output power.
  • Not recommended for sensitive electronics.

Giandel PM-2000KAR Power Inverter

top rated rv inverterOne more 2,000-watt RV power inverter recommendation is the Giandel PM-2000KAR model. It’s one of the highest rated modified sine wave inverters, so it’s usable for powering most electrical units, except the sensitive ones.

This is a high quality RV inverter that delivers 2,000 watts of continuous power and 4,000 watts of surge power. It’s a sufficient power output for most RV applications, though might not be enough if you’ll be running lots of high power demanding electronics.

To power your appliances and devices, you can use two AC outlets and one 2.4A USB port. This allows for a wide variety of applications where you need to convert power from AC to DC.

The inverter features a full protection system. It includes overload, short circuit, low voltage, over voltage, thermal and other protection levels. This multi-level protection ensures the safe operation of the inverter and the appliances it’s used to power.

On the side of the inverter, you’ll also find an LED display. It shows input voltage and output power cyclically. The device also comes with a remote control, which includes a 15 feet cable. This makes it more convenient to turn the inverter on and off. Other accessories included with this product are shockproof pads and 2 feet battery cables.


  • 2,000-watt modified sine wave power.
  • 2 AC receptacles.
  • 2.4A USB port.
  • Offers full protection.
  • LED display.
  • Includes a remote control.
  • 2-foot battery cables.
  • Shockproof pads.
  • Durable aluminum alloy housing.
  • 18-month warranty.
  • Does not offer clean power.
  • Shorter warranty than on some of the other inverters.

Potek 2,000-Watt Power Inverter

good power inverter for rv useThis Potek device is also one of the best power inverters for RV use due to its reliably high performance. It supplies 2,000 watts of continuous DC to AC power, so you could charge multiple RV appliances, such as the refrigerator, lights, microwave, and other electronics. Its peak power is rated at 4,000 watts, so it can provide enough power to start up even high demand electronics.

When using this camper inverter, you can also rest assured that the 12V battery and your RV’s appliances will continue working safely. The inverter provides that by using multiple levels of protection. It offers all the standard features, which include short circuit, overheating, overvoltage, overload, overcurrent, and under voltage.

For safer and more efficient operation, the unit also offers a smart cooling system. It works by activating the fans only when the temperature of the heatsink reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit. There are a few advantages to such a system. It reduces the operational noise output, prolongs the fan’s service life, and saves the battery’s electricity.

The inverter also features a display that shows power level readouts. The different levels indicate estimated output wattage with each one level representing 200 watts. If the load reaches 2,000 watts, you’ll see the display showing all ten LED levels light up. In this case, the LED level will also turn red and produce an audible alarm.


  • 2,000-watt output power.
  • Offers 3 AC outlets and 1 USB port.
  • Multiple levels of protection.
  • Temperature controlled cooling fan.
  • 8 internal fuses.
  • Includes 4 battery cables.
  • Estimated output display.
  • 18 months warranty.
  • Not suitable for sensitive electronics.

Xantrex Prowatt 806-1210

highly rated 1000 watt inverterXantrex also offers an excellent true sine wave inverter, making it a great solution to powering different RV gear and sensitive electronics. It’s ideal for those that are looking for 1000 watts power output as that is its rated maximum continuous output. The unit also has high surge capability, so it will also be able to handle the startup of demanding electrical loads.

For convenient and safe use, there are two GFCI AC receptacles. They allow powering multiple appliances simultaneously and they minimize the possibility of electrocution when doing it. Additionally, the device features one USB port, so you can also connect a USB-chargeable device, such as your tablet or phone.

This RV inverter is also designed with safety in mind. It automatically shutdown if there’s over-temperature, overload or low voltage. It also has over voltage and low voltage protection. Moreover, when using the remote control (which can be bought separately, the unit also offers automatic ignition lockout, which means that it shuts down the output if the RV’s ignition is not engaged.

If the inverter will experience any of these issues, you’ll see a fault indicator light up. This LED indicator is located next to the unit’s digital display. It shows you DC volts and output watts.

The device also provides trouble-free connection to your 12V DC battery. It offers heavy-duty terminals, which provide solid and dependable performance.


  • 2000-watt pure sine wave inverter.
  • 2 GFCI AC outlets.
  • USB port.
  • Meets UL458 regulatory standard.
  • Multiple protection features for safe operation.
  • Heavy-duty terminals for battery connection.
  • Automatic ignition lockout.
  • Built-in digital display.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Requires additionally adding an external fuse to the positive terminal of the input side.
  • Remote switch is sold separately.

WindyNation VertaMax Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter

1500 watt rv inverterWindyNation VertaMax also makes a good pure sine wave RV inverter. It offers an impressive output of 3,000 watts of continuous power, which is one of the highest outputs in RV inverters. This should be enough power to run even an AC unit, as well as other RV appliances.

The pure sine wave technology also makes this inverter more versatile since it allows it to power a bigger variety of electronic devices. It means that you can power various electronic devices without worrying that it will damage them.

This power inverter is equipped with 3 grounded AC outlets, offering the convenience of powering several appliances simultaneously. Additionally, there’s a hardwired terminal block, which you can use to set up a permanent AC connection. Each of these outlets is also equipped with a circuit breaker, which is added for safety in case there’s excess current from an overload or short circuit.

The smart design of this inverter also offers other safety features. They include alarms for high and low voltage, automatic shutdown for low voltage and high temperature, internal fuses for reverse polarity protection. All this is designed to prevent potential problems and to ensure safe use.

You can also monitor the performance of the unit by viewing the LED display. It shows you DC battery voltage and AC power consumption in watts. The inverter also comes with everything you’ll need for quick setup and use. Except for the inverter unit itself, it also includes 3-foot battery cables, remote switch, 300 amp ANL fuse, and fuse holder.


  • 3000 watts of pure sine wave power.
  • Delivers clean power.
  • 3 AC outlets with 3 circuit breakers.
  • Hardwired terminal block.
  • Multi-level protection.
  • Features an LED display.
  • Includes all the necessary installation accessories.
  • 1-year warranty.
  • Has some durability concerns.
  • Warranty period is shorter than on many other inverters.

AIMS Power 3000-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter

recommended rv invertersThe best pure sine wave inverter for RV use is the AIMS Power, which can provide a reliable and clean supply of power for your recreational vehicle. It offers 3000 watts of continuous power and a whopping 6000 watts of surge, making it suitable for appliances that have high start-up requirements. If you have lower power needs, the unit is also available with lower capacity options.

As this inverter uses pure sine wave technology, it means that it delivers converted power that is most similar to city power. This will allow you to safely power even complex computer systems, such as computers, medical equipment, laser printers, pumps, etc.

This RV power inverter is also designed for efficiency, with the full load efficiency rated at 90%. For safety, the unit is also equipped with all the essential protection. Its safety features include short circuit, over and under voltage, high temperature, and overload protection.

The device also features intelligent cooling fans, which help to keep the unit cool. The fan’s operation is audible, but it’s not annoyingly loud. So, it makes the unit run quieter and cooler.

There’s no LCD screen. Instead, it features only LED indicators, which means that you keep track of the wattage and voltage readings.

Another advantage of using a pure sine wave inverter is that they usually pack a lot of power in a compact unit. The same is true for this device. It’s one of the most lightweight and most compact inverters on the market.


  • 3000-watt pure sine wave inverter.
  • Safe for sensitive electronics.
  • Runs cool and quiet.
  • Highly efficient.
  • Includes all the essential safety features.
  • LED indicators.
  • USB port and 2 AC outlets.
  • Internally fused.
  • Soft start technology.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • 2 year warranty.
  • No display.

VoltWorks VK-2000PBR

good modified sine wave inverterThe last RV inverter in our top 10 list is the VoltWorks VK-2000PBR model. It’s also a 2,000 watts inverter, which is perfect for low to medium loads. It also has 4,000 surge power, which should be enough to start up various appliances. However, some appliances that require high power in the startup phase, such as air conditioners or microwaves, might overpower the system. So, check your power needs before choosing this system.

This is a modified sine wave inverter, so it is suitable for powering most devices, with the exception of delicate electronics. The unit provides 3 AC receptacles and 2 USB ports, which allow simultaneous charging of multiple devices.

With a 90% efficiency, the device also provides fast charging. Moreover, it’s equipped with an efficient cooling fan that works to dissipate heat during operation. It works quietly and efficiently, providing effective prevention of a malfunction due to overheating.

The inverter also provides a safe power supply. It comes with all the protection features that an inverter should have. And if any of the safety features are activated, the unit displays its error code on the included LCD display.

On this display, you can also view the status of your 12V battery as it shows the current DC voltage. You can also view the output as it shows the load in wattage.

This inverter for campers and trailers also comes with a remote control and a 15-foot cable. It offers more convenient control of the unit. On the remote control, there are also LED indicators that show the battery status, if there are any faults and if the inverter is on or off.


  • 2,000-watts rating power.
  • 3 AC outlets and 2 USB ports.
  • 90% efficiency.
  • Efficient and quiet cooling fan.
  • Includes all the necessary safety features.
  • LCD display.
  • Includes a remote control.
  • Includes battery cables.
  • 18-months warranty.
  • Uses the modified sine wave technology.

Bestek 2000-Watt Power Inverter

rv inverter converterBestek offers one of the cheaper RV power inverters. It provides a total of 2,000 watts of continuous output and 4600 watts of surge output. This is enough output to power a variety of appliances, such as the TV, fans, heater, electric grill, and others.

It uses modified sine wave technology, so while in the description of the product you will find it saying that it can also be used for powering laptops and other sensitive electronics, we would not recommend it. However, it is safe for powering any non-sensitive electric system.

With this inverter, you can also power multiple devices simultaneously as it features three standard AC outlets. The only thing missing is USB ports, which could have been a good addition.

The inverter does offer a multi-level protection system. It has protection against input over and under voltage. It also includes over-load, over-current, over-temperature, and short circuit protection. Lastly, there are also 6 pieces of 50 Amp external replaceable fuses, which are added to protect your battery and electric devices. You also get 6 spare fuses in the box, so you’ll be ready with a replacement.

This travel trailer inverter doesn’t offer an LCD screen. Instead, there’s just one indicator. It either lights up green when the system is working normally or red when one of the protection functions has been activated.

One more advantage of this camper inverter is its rugged design. It’s built with solid aluminum alloy housing, which makes the unit able to stand up to all kinds of severe environments. It protects the internal components and helps to prevent damage from drops or bumps.


  • 2000 watts.
  • 3 AC sockets.
  • Multi-level protection.
  • Comes with 4 battery clamps and 6 50A fuses.
  • Solid aluminum alloy housing.
  • High speed cooling fan.
  • Convenient carrying handle.
  • CE, ETL listed.
  • 18 months warranty.
  • Not pure sine wave.
  • No USB ports.
  • No wattage or voltage meter.

How to Choose the Right RV Inverter? – Buying Guide

Before buying a certain RV inverter, it can be useful to know what contributes to one of them being a high quality product. This would help you make a more informed decision and ensure that you buy the right RV inverter for your needs. So, here are a few things to consider when choosing the best inverter RV inverter. Keep an eye for these features when comparing different inverters and you’ll be able to pick a unit that will allow you to get the most out of it in your particular situation.

Differents Types of Inverters

One of the first things to know about power inverters is that there are two main types of them: pure sine wave and modified sine wave inverters. They use different technologies for converting the DC to AC power. Depending on the intended application, one type of the inverter might be better for you than the other.

  1. Pure (true) sine wave. This output waveform offers an output that is very similar to the utility supply. All electrical equipment sold on the market is designed for a sine wave. So, when using a pure sine wave inverter, it guarantees that the appliances will work to their full specifications. This sine wave also generates a much cleaner output, so it’s safe for powering all types of electrical equipment, including sensitive ones, such as laptops, digital microwaves, flatscreen TVs, and others. However, while these inverters are more efficient and more advanced, they are also more expensive.
  2. Modified sine wave. These inverters use a more basic form of technology, which results in a choppy wave. It works with most electrical equipment, though it’s more suitable for simple electronics. However, this equipment may run with lower efficiency. Moreover, equipment that uses a motor, such as refrigerators, pumps, and fans, will use more power from the inverter. Moreover, modified sine wave inverters can be damaging to some electronics. That’s why it’s a better choice and a more affordable option for applications that would not involve any sensitive or delicate electronics. This can include battery chargers, dimming lights, laser printers, digital clocks, laptops, and more.


Another thing to consider is how many watt inverter do you need. Choose one that would meet the power requirements of your RV’s appliances. Start by determining how much power you use in your RV by calculating the total wattage of all the appliances that you regularly use. Add to that 15% extra, so you could have some overhead. Then, look for an inverter with a higher maximum continuous watt rating.

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that the appliances use more power when they are starting up. Due to this, check also the maximum surge wattage of an inverter. This will show how much power it can supply in the short period of time that is required to startup the appliances.

That’s why check both continuous and surge wattage output. And make sure that your power requirements are under those numbers. If you buy an inverter with a capacity that is less than your power needs, your investment will be basically useless. However, at the same time, it shouldn’t be producing a lot of extra power that you will never use.

Input and Output Voltage

When choosing an RV inverter, determine also the unit’s input and output voltage. Most RV batteries are 12 volts, so in this case, you’ll need a 12V DC inverter. Make sure that the inverter you’re buying matches the voltage of the battery that will be supplying the power.

Just as important is the output voltage, which is the AC voltage that the converter converts to from the 12V DC. Keep in mind that electrical devices in the United States typically use 120V AC power. In other parts of the world, it can be between 220V to 250V. That’s why it’s important to buy an inverter with the right output voltage, which would ensure that it’s compatible with the appliances that it will be powering.

Built-in Protection

Make sure also that your new RV inverter comes with all the necessary protection. This would ensure that if the unit will run into some problem, it will not compromise your safety and will not damage your appliances.

All the products that we’ve mentioned in our RV inverter reviews include all the most important protection. All of them offer thermal, overload, short circuit, low/high voltage, and other built-in protection features.

For efficient overheat protection, look also for an inverter that features an intelligent cooling system. Since power inverters do tend to get hot during operation, this feature is essential for its safe use.


A high quality RV inverter should also be efficient A good level of efficiency that you’ll find on most RV inverters is 90%. A highly efficient inverter will ensure that the unit doesn’t consume too much energy.

Moreover, keep in mind that some inverters also consume power even when there are no devices connected to them. In this case, it would be convenient to have a remote control, which would allow you to easily turn off the unit whenever there’s no power draw.

Number of Outlets and USB ports

Check also the number of outlets and USB ports that the inverter offers. The more outlets and ports it will have, the more devices you will be able to power simultaneously. Look for a unit with at least 2 AC outlets.

It’s also an advantage if the outlets are GFCI protected. This is an extra protection feature that helps to prevent electrocution, providing safer use of the unit.


When buying an RV inverter, look also for one that comes with a digital display. This feature would allow you to keep track of the inverter’s performance. Typically, an inverter digital display will show input voltage and output wattage, so you could know the level of the battery and how much power you’re drawing. Some inverter digital displays will also be able to show error codes, which can be helpful in identifying faults.

If an inverter is not equipped with a display, it will typically have LED indicators. They will mostly only show if the inverter is on and if there’s a fault in the system or not. However, you will not know the precise voltage and wattage.

Remote Control

You’ll find that some RV inverters come with a power switch. It can be either wired or wireless. This remote control might not be a must-have accessory for an inverter, but it’s definitely a handy addition to have as you’ll be able to turn the unit on and off from inside your RV. It can be especially useful if your new inverter will be installed in a hard to reach area.


RVs have a limited amount of space. Due to this, consider also the size of the inverter that you’re buying. Before making a purchase, plan out where to install the unit. This will help you determine the available space and choose an inverter that would be able to fit it.


When comparing different RV inverters, the durability of the unit should also be a concern. Its build quality will be one of the determining factors of how long the unit will last. Look for a unit with housing made of sturdy materials, such as aluminum alloy. This would help protect its internal components, preventing damage if the inverter gets dropped or bumped. This can add to its longer lifespan.

Noise Output

RV inverters are equipped with cooling fans, which are added to their design to prevent overheating. When they are running, they dissipate excess heat and help to cool down the unit. However, while this is an essential part of any inverter, there’s also a downside to them. Some of these fans tend to be loud when they operate, which can be disturbing for those inside the RV. To avoid this issue, read some user reviews to understand if there had been any complaints about the noise output of the inverter.

UL Listing or ETL Certification

To ensure that you’re getting a safe inverter, look for one that has been independently tested and has been given UL listing or ETL certification. This shows that the product meets the best electrical safety practices for power inverters. Other common certifications that you’ll see on inverters are MET and SCA.

Ease of Installation

Consider also the RV inverter installation. The easier it is, the less hassle you will have and the less time you’ll need to have the system set up and running.

The easiest option is when an inverter can be plugged into a 12V port of an RV battery. It’s also an advantage if the inverter comes with the battery cables included ready for the installation.

However, other inverters might require hard-wiring for the installation. This type of installation will be complex and will require more time.


As with any other purchase, the price of an RV inverter should also be an important consideration. With a certain budget in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down the options. This will make choosing the best RV power inverter a faster process.

However, when considering the price, keep in mind that inverters are also priced based on their power output. A 3,000 watts inverter will cost more than a 2,000 watts one. So, make sure that you buy a unit with proper wattage, so you wouldn’t be spending extra money for more power than you need.

RV Inverter Use Tips

  1. Always use an RV inverter that is rated high enough for the electrical devices and appliances that you’re using.
  2. For best inverter performance, use it with a battery that is in good condition and fully charged.
  3. If you’re using a modified sine wave inverter, keep in mind that it will not be able to power electrical devices with a motor to its full extent.
  4. If you’re using shore power, it should be coming through as AC power. In this case, an inverter is not necessary and you can turn it off. However, if the shore power is DC, then you’ll need the inverter to convert it to AC.
  5. Make sure that the power inverter is installed in a properly ventilated area since they tend to generate heat.
  6. When connecting the RV inverter to the battery, make sure that you use battery cables with the proper wire size.

RV Inverter Frequently Asked Questions

What is an RV inverter? What does an inverter do?

An RV inverter is a device that is designed for the main purpose of converting DC power to AC power, which is used by most standard appliances. Typically, it converts 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC. It can also be 240V AC, depending on the country.

It uses the power supplied by either an RV battery, solar system, your truck, or other source. And it makes that power supply suitable for running your onboard appliances and electronic devices.

How does an RV inverter work?

Most motorhomes and campers use 12-volt batteries for power. These batteries provide only direct current, which means that the current continuously flows in a circuit from the negative terminal of the battery to the positive. It runs only in this direction.

Moreover, these batteries can only provide low DC voltage. This voltage is not enough for the operation of most devices, which require higher voltage and AC power or alternating current power. Most devices are designed for 120V AC power and it is the power that is supplied to all homes in the U.S.

The purpose of an inverter is to increase the DC voltage and convert it into alternating current power. It converts it to alternating current by using switching devices. They continuously turn on and off, which sends the current in one direction and then the other. As for increasing the voltage, inverters typically use transformers, which work as amplifiers. And a result of all this, you get 120V AC from 12V DC.

What are the benefits of RV inverters?

The main advantage of having an RV inverter is that it will allow you to use your onboard devices on the go. So, while you’re boondocking or camping in an area where there’s no shore power, you’ll still be able to enjoy the luxuries of your home. You’ll be able to watch TV, use the refrigerator, charge your phones, or work from your laptop.

What is the difference between an inverter and a converter?

While the main purpose of both inverters and converters is to convert power, there is a difference between them. Inverters invert the 12V DC power from your batteries 110V AC power, which allows you to use 110V appliances and devices. Converters, on the other hand, do the opposite. They convert the voltage from AC to DC.

What size inverter do I need?

The size of an inverter is measured by the capacity of its output or its wattage. And the answer to how many watt inverter you need depends on how you plan to use it. More specifically, it depends on how many appliances and devices you plan to power with it.

To estimate the required inverter size, you need to start by determining your power needs. To do this, look around your RV at all the appliances that you plan on plugging into your new inverter. On each of these appliances or devices find a corresponding wattage rating. Then, add up the wattage numbers for all your devices. On top of that, add about 15-20% and the final number will be the lowest wattage that you should look for in an inverter.

For example, if you want to power in your RV a portable heater, a laptop, a microwave, a mini fridge, and an LCD TV, they on average have the following wattage ratings: 1500, 100, 1200, 100, and 250 watts. Added together, you have 3150 watts. With an extra 20% on top, you get 3780 watts. In this case, you would look for an inverter with an over 3780 wattage rating. Or it would be a 4000 watts inverter since most inverters come in rounded up sizes, such as 2000, 3000, and 4000 watts.

However, the numbers are average. Check the wattage for your specific devices to get more accurate ratings.

Also, keep in mind that you probably won’t be running all these appliances simultaneously. For example, both the portable heater and the microwave have a high power draw. So, you could choose a lower capacity inverter but just manage which appliances you run at the same time.

When determining inverter size, another thing to keep in mind is that bigger isn’t always better. An inverter with a lot more capacity than you need will just have you spending more money than you need since you won’t be using it to its full potential.

What can I run on a 3000-watt inverter?

A 3,000 watts inverter is enough to power multiple RV appliances. For example, you could run your laptop, minifridge, lights, fan, or TV at a time. However, you could also manage the load but running only the necessary appliances simultaneously. This means that you could use your air conditioner, but then switch to using your microwave, which would allow the inverter to handle the load.

Do you really need a pure sine wave inverter?

You might not necessarily need one, but you will definitely benefit from one. First of all, they provide cleaner energy, which means that you would be able to power a bigger variety of devices, including sensitive ones. Secondly, these units are powerful and efficient.

However, modified sine wave inverters also offer good performance and they are usually cheaper than pure sine wave ones. So, if you don’t mind sacrificing power and you don’t need to power sensitive electronics, a modified sine wave inverter will also be a good choice.

How to install an inverter in RV?

For specific steps of the RV inverter installation process, it’s best to consult the manual that came with your particular product. This would ensure proper installation according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

However, in most cases, the process will require wiring the inverter to your RV batteries. To do so, choose a place for the inverter that is as close to the batteries as possible, which will help to minimize the DC wire run. However, avoid placing the inverter in the same compartment as the battery, unless you have a sealed or AGM battery.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the installation location for your inverter is that it will need room to breathe. Since they tend to get hot during operation, it’s important that it has enough space around it for proper airflow.

To connect your inverter to the batteries, you’ll need battery cables and fuses. However, make sure that the cables are of the right size as they have to be thick enough to handle the current. You can usually find the recommended wire size in the instruction manual. Choose this recommended size or one that is larger.

The inverter will also require grounding to your recreational vehicle’s chassis. Make sure that the ground cable has a solid connection to the chassis.

If you have a unit that will need hardwiring, you’ll need to do some extra installation work.

How to use an inverter in a motorhome?

Once your RV inverter is set up, all you need to do is plug in your appliances and turn the unit on. Most inverters come with two or three outlets that you’ll find on the side of the unit. This means that you could plug several appliances simultaneously. On most units, you’ll also find one or two USB ports, which you could use for charging your portable devices.

When you’re not using the inverter, it’s best to turn it off. This would prevent the unit from draining your battery. That’s why a remote control can be very handy since it would allow you to easily turn the device on or off whenever you need to.

You can also turn your inverter off whenever you’re hooked up to shore power. In most cases, shore power is already in AC form, so it can be used by your appliances without being inverted.

Lastly, it’s best not to overuse your inverter. Putting more load than it can handle can result in the unit’s malfunctioning and reduced lifespan.

If your inverter comes with a digital display, it will show you the current power load. By monitoring it, you will be able to adjust your power consumption in order to keep your load under its maximum capacity.

What are the best RV inverter brands?

There are many good RV inverter brands but there are also a few that really stand out. They include Krieger, Potek, Xantrex, Ampeak, AIMS power, WindyNation, and Besek. We have included products from each of these brands in our reviews above. They are some of the most successful brands in the industry, delivering high quality inverters that offer reliable and efficient performance.

When should I turn my inverter on/off?

To prevent your RV inverter from draining the batteries, it’s best to turn it off when it’s not powering any devices. Moreover, you can turn the inverter off when you’re connected to shore power since it will already provide AC power.

Final Thoughts

By choosing the best RV inverter, you’ll have the most efficient and the most satisfactory performance. Our top picks are the Krieger KR3000-12 for the best modified sine wave inverter and the AIMS Power 3000-Watt unit for the highest value pure sine wave inverter. Both products offer top performance, delivering efficient power. On top of that, they are compact, lightweight, and durable. However, depending on your power needs, one of the other inverters listed above might be a more suitable option for you.

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