A reliable power inverter is a must-have for any RV camping trip. It allows you to convert DC power from your vehicle’s battery into AC power that can be used to power household essentials (the opposite of a power converter). Even when you don’t have access to the grid, an inverter gives you the energy that you need to power everything from kitchen appliances to electronics.
As more and more people embrace the RV lifestyle, you can find a growing number of options when it comes to power inverters. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices, don’t worry. We’re here to show you our favorite power inverters available on the market today, and how to decide on the best option for your RV.
Convert to These RV Inverters
|Best RV Power Inverters||Category|
|GIANDEL 2000W Power Inverter||Best Overall|
|KRIËGER 1100 Watt 12V Power Inverter||Most Affordable|
|Ampeak 1000W Power Inverter||Most Durable|
|XYZ INVT Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter||Best for Heavy Loads|
|AIMS 5000 Watt 12 Volt DC Power Inverter||Best for Tools and Appliances|
|BESTEK 300W Power Inverter||Best Mini Inverter|
A Deeper Look at the Best RV Inverter Options
Let’s dive into each one of our top picks.
Best Overall Inverter
GIANDEL 2000W Power Inverter
This modified sine wave inverter can provide up to 2000 watts of continuous power for your RV needs, making it compatible with many everyday electronics and appliances. The GIANDEL 2000W also supplies up to twice that amount in peak power.
This inverter offers dual AC outlets and a USB port. I like that I can plug in up to three separate devices at once. However, this inverter can be prone to overloading, and can’t necessarily handle a heavy load for long.
The GIANDEL boasts a user-friendly interface, including an easy-to-read LED display. The casing is made of a robust aluminum alloy, helping to protect the unit against interior damage, while an integrated cooling fan prevents power shortages. The device also works to protect your electronics against over-voltage, overload, over-current, and under-voltage.
- Provides 2000 watts of continuous power and 4000 watts of surge power
- Includes both AC outlets and a USB port
- User-friendly interface
- Made to withstand wear and tear
- Offers multiple safety features to protect electronics
- Cannot handle a heavy load
KRIËGER 1100 Watt 12V Power Inverter
This low-cost modified sine wave inverter offers 1100 watts of continuous power for your everyday needs, or 2200 watts of peak power when you have to use just a little bit more energy. It converts a standard 12 volt DC vehicle battery to useable 120 volt AC power, allowing you to use most low-energy appliances and electronics.
The KRIËGER 1100W protects electronics from overloading and short-circuiting, while a high-speed fan keeps the device functioning at peak capacity. This information is clearly shown on the built-in LCD display alongside input voltage, output wattage, and current battery level.
While I love the low cost of the KRIËGER 1100W, it has a lower capacity than other modified sine wave inverters in its class. It isn’t equipped to handle high-powered devices, but rather, is best reserved for simple, energy-efficient appliances.
- Affordable compared to similar models
- Offers 1100 watts of continuous power or 2200 watts of surge power
- Protects electronics against an overload
- A high-speed fan helps to prevent overheating
- Shows diagnostic information on a convenient LCD display
- Shuts off easily
- Does not work well with new or high-power devices
Ampeak 1000W Power Inverter
The Ampeak 1000W is built to last, with a sturdy ABS plastic shell that’s ideal for even the most rugged of conditions. I love that it’s resistant to strong impacts, shocks, and scratches. The outer shell also helps to insulate the inverter and protect against overheating. Unfortunately, the unit can be difficult to install, because hardware is not included.
This inverter provides up to 1,000 watts of continuous power, with a 2,000 watt surge capacity. There are two AC outlets and a USB connection, allowing you to plug in up to three devices at once.
A configuration of six built-in 25A mini slip fuses helps to protect against issues such as over-voltage, low voltage, overloads, and short-circuiting. There’s also a cooling fan to prevent overheating, and an audible alarm for when the system needs attention.
- Durable ABS plastic shell casing
- Supplies up to 1000 watts of continuous power or 2000 watts of peak power
- Protects your devices against electrical failures and surges
- Not prone to overheating
- An audible alarm helps to prevent potentially dangerous issues
- Does not come with installation material
Best for Heavy Loads
XYZ INVT Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
As a pure sine wave inverter, the XYZ INVT is less prone to the issues that pop up in modified sine wave converters. I love that it can handle a heavy load, allowing me to use devices such as my laptop and TV without worrying about overwhelming the inverter. However, we did notice that it tends to draw large amounts of power when not in use.
This inverter offers a 3500-watt continuous capacity and supplies 7000 watts of surge power when needed. It connects to any standard 12 volt DC battery, making it suitable for most RV makes and models. However, it only allows you to plug in two devices at a time with dual AC outlets.
Two cooling fans, along with high-temperature protection, help to prevent overheating. The XYZ is also equipped with short circuit protection, high and low voltage protection, surge and overload protection, and more.
- Multiple avenues of protection
- Sine wave design can handle heavy power loads
- Offers impressive 3500 watts continuous power and 7000 watts surge power
- Two cooling fans prevent overheating
- High power usage when idle
- Only two AC outlets
Best for Tools and Appliances
AIMS 5000 Watt 12 Volt DC Power Inverter
This hefty inverter is both durable and versatile. While the size may be an issue for those with smaller RV’s, the four separate AC outlets make it easy to charge multiple tools and appliances at once.
While the AIMS 5000 Watt is a modified sine wave converter, it can handle a significantly larger capacity than the others that I’ve reviewed. With a 5000-watt maximum continuous power output, this inverter can handle tools and appliances that those with a lower power rating can’t handle. However, it does give out easily with heavy use.
Two LED indicator terminals on this inverter to make sure it’s working as intended and prevent any damage to the device or your electronics. You can check for both overheating and overloading to help prevent short-circuiting.
- Can plug in four devices at once
- Can handle up to 5000 watts maximum continuous power
- Better than other modified inverters for new or complex appliances
- Easy-to-read LED indicator terminals
- Bulky and heavyweight
- Does not withstand heavy use and abuse
Best Mini Inverter
BESTEK 300W Power Inverter
For those working within small space constraints, the BESTEK 300W inverter is an ideal choice. It’s compact, and yet still offer two AC outlets and two USB ports to allow for the charging of up to four devices.
While I like this inverter’s size and versatility, unfortunately, the tradeoff is that it has relatively low power output. The 300-watt continuous capacity is ideal for small electronics and appliances such as lights but may overheat or burn out with high-energy devices.
Built-in safety features help to protect against failure and keep the inverter working at peak capacity. A safe charging design prevents overheating, under and over-voltage, and short-circuiting.
- Compact size is ideal for smaller RV’s
- Can charge four devices at once
- Plugs into just about any vehicle
- Ideal for small everyday devices
- Built-in safety features
- Heats up easily
- Low power output
Recap: The Best RV Power Inverters
- GIANDEL 2000W Power Inverter – Best Overall
- KRIËGER 1100 Watt 12V Power Inverter – Most Affordable
- Ampeak 1000W Power Inverter – Most Durable
- XYZ INVT Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter – Best for Heavy Loads
- AIMS 5000 Watt 12 Volt DC Power Inverter – Best for Tools and Appliances
- BESTEK 300W Power Inverter – Best Mini Inverter
What to Look for in an RV Inverter
Choosing the right inverter for your particular vehicle is never easy. There are a few factors that every RV owner should consider before buying a new power inverter for their next trip.
The Type of Inverter
There are three main types of inverters from which you can choose, but not all three are created equal. They differ in cost and complexity as well as efficiency. Which inverter that will work best for you depends not only on budget constraints but also what equipment you want to plug into your RV.
Modified Sine Wave Inverter
A modified sine wave inverter, also known as a “stepped sine” inverter, is a popular style due to its affordability. They can be up to five times cheaper than comparable pure sine wave inverters, which I’ll go over in the next section. However, it’s important to remember that the price difference is because modified inverters use older technology.
While a modified sine inverter may work fine with most low-power appliances, however, newer and more complex devices such as computers and LED TVs can overload the system. This style of inverter is more prone to overheating and damaging electronics. Some models can also be loud enough to be heard from the cabin of your RV.
Sine Wave Inverter
Sometimes referred to as “true sine” inverters, this type of device is much more efficient than similar modified sine wave products. It’s also safer for electronics that draw a lot of power, especially newer devices. Not only are they less likely to fry appliances, but many true sine inverters are also protected by a GFCI.
While sine wave inverters may be more versatile and efficient than other options, they can also be significantly more expensive. However, for those with the budget for it, a true sine inverter will work with just about any onboard devices.
Square Wave Inverter
The least common style of inverter is the square wave inverter. This is a simple device that’s able to run basic appliances and electronics with no problem but struggles with high-power electronics. Though it has a fairly limited capacity, square wave inverters are generally the cheapest option available.
The Size of the Inverter
The size of an inverter doesn’t refer to how much space it takes up, but rather, the power rating. Each inverter is rated in watts to show which appliances it’s compatible with, and which require too much power for the system to handle. You can find models ranging in size from just 50 watts to as much as 50,000 watts.
You should always consider your average power output when looking at inverters and choose one that can comfortably handle your needs. This includes your typical power, which is the amount that you need to run your electronics continuously, as well as your peak power requirements.
An inverter’s surge power allows you to run additional appliances for a limited period of time, eventually hitting a maximum power output. Usually, surge power allows you to increase your energy consumption for around 15 minutes.
Input and Output Voltage
Your electronic devices aren’t the only things at risk if you choose the wrong inverter for your RV. You also need to make sure that the device is compatible with the voltage of your vehicle’s battery. Otherwise, it may end up causing damage that can lead to costly repairs.
It’s important to remember that electronics from different parts of the world require different power sources. For instance, those of us living in the U.S. along with people in Canada, Mexico, and some parts of Central and Latin America use electronics that need 120V AC power. In other parts of the world, however, most electronics use 220V to 250V AC power.
Power Rating & Watts
Power ratings can vary widely between different RV inverter models, all the way from 50 to 50,000 watts or more. The amount of power you need in your motorhome will determine what power rating you need. Make sure to check the maximum surge as well, which will tell you how long the inverter can sustain that maximum power level.
Wattage is another important consideration here. While the max power is nice to know, the watt rating should also tell you how many watts of power the inverter should sustain when it is running normally.
When using limited power from your RV’s battery or from solar panels, you want to be conservative. The more energy-efficient your inverter is, the lower your energy consumption will be. You can also feel good knowing that you’re taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint as you camp.
Pure sine inverters tend to be the most energy-efficient style. However, many RV enthusiasts are hesitant when they see the price tag that goes along with top brands. It’s important to shop around and do your research before buying an inverter to find one that balances both cost and efficiency. With a little bit of research, you can find the best RV inverter to make your next outing a success.
As long as your working on your RV electrical setup, check out these guides too:
- Best RV Wi-Fi Extenders
- Best RV surge protectors
- Best travel trailer battery
- Troubleshooting your electrical system
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Inverter Do I Need For My RV?
The inverter you need for your RV all depends on your wattage requirements for all the appliances inside your motorhome. First, you need to calculate the total wattage consumption in your RV, which will tell you how “big” of an inverter you need. Typically, you’ll want to choose an inverter that has a 15-20% higher wattage than your total consumption. You can read Brian’s full article on how to figure out what size inverter you need for your RV for more details.
Where Is the Inverter In My RV?
The easiest way to find the location of your inverter is to check the owner’s manual for your RV. If you don’t have one or can’t find it, you should know where your house batteries are. Your inverter should be right next to them.
How Do I Install an Inverter In My RV?
The best way to install your inverter is to connect it directly to your AC distribution box via a transfer switch. There are a few other methods you can use to install an inverter which Brian will cover in a future article.