What Size Inverter Do I Need for My RV?

An RV inverter is a must-have for anyone hitting the road in their recreational vehicle. These devices take the 12V DC power from your RV battery and convert it into 120V AC, the standard household electricity output. This means that you can power all of your RV's appliances while you're on the road. Whether you're using your RV to travel across the country or just to camp in your backyard, an RV inverter is a great way to make sure you're always able to keep your appliances running.

When it comes to choosing the right size RV inverter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The most important thing is to make sure that the inverter you choose can safely and reliably power all of the appliances in your RV.

But how do you know what size inverter you need? This can be a difficult question to answer, especially for new RVers. That's why we're here to help. In this blog post, we'll provide some tips on how to choose the right size inverter for your RV. We'll also discuss some of the factors you need to consider when making your decision.

So, without further ado, let's get started.


How to Choose the Right Size Inverter for Your RV?

This is a question that doesn't have a definitive answer, as the best size inverter for your RV will depend on your specific needs. However, there are a few factors you should consider before making your purchase.


What Are You Trying to Power?

First, you need to determine what types of appliances you'll be powering with your inverter. This will help you choose the right size inverter for your RV. For example, if you're only going to be powering small devices like laptops and cell phones, then you won't need a large, powerful inverter. However, if you're planning on powering larger appliances like a TV or fridge, then you'll need a bigger, more powerful inverter.

Once you know what types of devices you want to power, you need to calculate the wattage of these devices. This will help you determine how much power your inverter needs to be able to generate. You need to make sure your inverter can handle the running watts and surge watts of all your appliances, as some appliances (like microwaves and refrigerators) have high surges when they first start up. So you need to make sure your inverter can handle the surge watts of all your appliances.

However, an inverter with a power output that matches the total power of your appliances may not be the best choice. We recommend you pick an inverter with a higher wattage, say about 20-30%.

The main reason is that appliances usually don't operate at their full wattage all the time. If you have an inverter with a wattage output that matches the total wattage of your appliances, there is a good chance that the inverter will be overloaded when your appliances are running at full power.

With an inverter with higher wattage, you have a buffer zone and can be sure that your appliances will never overload the inverter. So, even though it might cost a bit more upfront, it is definitely worth it in the long run.


What Is Your Battery Bank Capacity and Type?

It's important to make sure you have the right battery bank capacity for your inverter. If your inverter is too small for your battery bank, it can drain the battery quickly and the batteries may not be able to power it effectively. We recommend having a minimum of 100Ah battery for each 1000 watts inverter capacity. This way, you can be sure your inverter will be able to properly power your devices.


What Is Your Biggest Power Draw?

There's no need to get an inverter large enough to power all your RV appliances at once if you're not planning on using them all at the same time. By understanding your largest loads and how often you'll be running them, you can get a smaller inverter that will still meet your needs. This can save you both money and space in your RV.

For example, If you have a 2000W inverter, you might have to turn off some of your other appliances before running a microwave. This is because the microwave will draw more power than the other appliances, and the inverter can't handle it. So, if you want to use your microwave, make sure you turn off any other appliances that might be running.

If you have a lot of appliances that you need to power with an inverter, you may want to consider getting a larger inverter. This way, you won't have to worry about whether or not the inverter can handle all of your appliances at once. Not only will this save you time and hassle in the long run, but it will also ensure that your appliances are running at their full potential.


How To Estimate Your RV Power Needs?

If you're like most RVers, you probably want to be able to power all of your appliances while on the road. But how do you know what size inverter you need to make that happen?

When estimating your RV power needs, the first thing you need to do is check your appliances’ power consumption. Most appliances list their power consumption in watts. If the power isn’t mentioned, you can calculate it using the following formula: Power (W) = Voltage (V) x Current (A). And then, think about what appliances you'll be running at the same time. A good rule of thumb is that your inverter should be able to provide at least 50% more power than the appliance will use. So, if you have an appliance that uses 1,000 watts, you'll need an inverter that can provide 1,500 watts of power.

Another thing to consider is the start-up power of your appliances. Many appliances, like air conditioners, have a higher start-up power demand than their running power demand. That means you'll need an inverter that can provide even more power than the appliance will use while running.

For example, if you think that at some point you will be running a TV (100 W), microwave (800 W), fridge (700 W), and laptop charger (50W) at the same time. That’s a total of 1,600 W:

Total power consumption (W) = 100 W + 800 W + 700 + 50 W = 1650W

According to our best rule of thumb:

Inverter Size (W) = Total power consumed by appliances (W) x 1.5

Inverter Size (W) = 1600 W x 1.5 =2400 W

Therefore, you’d need an inverter of at least 2400 W, considering that refrigerators and microwave ovens may experience high power surges when they are first turned on, we recommend that you use a 3000w pure sine wave inverter.


Things to keep in mind when buying an RV inverter:

Now that you know how to determine the right size of inverter for your RV, you'll need to keep in mind a few things to ensure you get the best RV inverter for your needs.


modified vs pure sine wave inverter

As you shop for an inverter, you'll come across two different types of inverters: pure sine wave inverters and modified sine wave inverters. So, which one should you choose?

Here's a quick rundown of the difference between the two types of inverters:

Pure sine wave inverters produce an AC current that is identical to the AC current produced by the utility company. This means that when you plug appliances into a pure sine wave inverter, they will run exactly the same as they would if they were plugged into a standard outlet.

Modified sine wave inverters produce an AC current that is similar to the AC current produced by the utility company. However, the current is not identical, and as a result, some appliances may not run as efficiently when they are plugged into a modified sine wave inverter.

So, which type of inverter should you choose? If you'll be using your inverter to power sensitive electronics, such as computers or medical equipment, then you'll need a pure sine wave inverter. However, if you'll be using your inverter to power less sensitive electronics, such as running power tools, motors, non-digital microwave ovens, lights, pumps, and other appliances with a DC brick power supply, then a modified sine wave inverter will suffice.

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