Best 12volt Appliances & Accessories

The Best 12volt Sine Wave Inverters For RV’s And Campervans

  • Date: August 23, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Here we have below all the information you need to select the best 12volt sine wave inverter for your RV. A power inverter converts DC (Direct Current) power from your 12volt battery system into 120/240v AC (Alternating Current). Giving you access to AC devices such as TVs, Mobile Phone Charging, Mini Vacuums, and kitchen appliances in your RV.

What Types Of Sine Wave Inverters Are There?

There are different types of power inverter units available, each has different specifications and capabilities. 12volt Sine Wave Inverters are connected to your 12volt battery system and make 120/240v power available to appliances to ensure your electronic equipment gets the power it needs while on the road. This means there is no need to wait until you have shore power available. This makes a mobile lifestyle easier and gives you power on the move.

The two types of power inverters that should be considered are Modified Sine Wave Inverters and Pure Sine Wave Inverters. There are various brand name inverters including Victron, Outback, Magnum, Xantrex, and Go Power to name a few. Choosing and installing a correctly sized inverter is a job for a professional installer as you do not want to get this wrong. A quality-made power inverter should have quality components, efficient, and robust enough to stand up to the ever-changing RV mobile lifestyle.

Which sine wave inverter should I buy?

Modified Sine Wave inverters work well for most standard uses, and are the most cost-effective type of inverter on the market. Pure Sine Wave inverters are more suited for sensitive electrical or electronic items such as laptop computers, stereos, laser printers, and specialized medical equipment because they deliver a smoother current. If you mostly want to use led lights, portable TV, digital clocks, bread makers, rechargeable tools, microwave oven, general power tools, then a Modified Sine Wave inverter will suit your needs.

It has been our experience that most portable medical equipment will work on Modified Sine Wave Inverters however, we would suggest a Pure Sine Wave Inverter where possible. Please seek further advice from your medical professional if you wish to run medical equipment such as CPAP machines, and we recommend that you check with its manufacturer to be sure. Renogy supply some of the best inverters available.

Advantages of Pure Sine Wave Inverters over Modified Sine Wave Inverters:

  • Cleaner power from less voltage distortion
  • Quieter running of high output appliances like microwaves
  • Cooler running of high output appliances like ovens
  • Noise reduction of high output heaters
  • Prevents power surge to laptops and computers

You should remember that although Pure Sine Wave Inverters produce a smoother and cleaner current, they are also considerably more expensive to purchase.

What size Sine Wave Inverter should I buy?

The size of the 12volt Sine Wave Inverter you choose depends on the total power of the equipment you want to run. This can be found on your equipment label in watts (or amps) We recommend you buy a larger output inverter model than you calculated for safety and there will be less chance of inverter overload.

When deciding on how large your inverter needs to be, select the total number of AMPS of the appliances you wish to use, we have included a helpful formula to convert AMPS to WATTS, [Multiply: AMPS X 120 or 240 (AC voltage) = WATTS]. This gives you the approximate continuous load value of the appliances you selected and thus the size of the inverter that will run that appliance safely, (continuous load).

You also need to calculate the Continuous Load and Starting (Peak) Load. You need to determine how much power your appliance (or a combination of the ones selected) would need at the same time at startup (starting load). For this, we calculate by [Multiplying: WATTS X 2 = The starting load] of the appliance. Please check on the load requirements of each appliance you wish to use as some require greater start loads than others.

To clarify what is meant by ‘continuous-2000 watts’ and ‘peak surge-4000 watts’ is that some appliances or tools, such as ones with a motor, require an initial surge of power to start up (“starting load” or “peak load”). Once started, the tool or appliance requires less power to continue to operate (“continuous load”)

Here is an example of a 12v heater with a continuous load of 4 Amps and with a start-up load requirement of 12 Amps. The calculation would be 4 Amps x 120 volts = 480 watts continuous load and 12 Amps x 120 volts = 1440 watts starting load.

Although most inverters come with a 12volt cigarette lighter plug it is much safer to connect the inverter directly to the 12volt system via a FUSED-circuit breaker connection using the correct fuse size. The cable should be included in your inverter purchase, however, if no cable included then the size depends on the power rating of the inverter and the distance between battery and inverter and should be specified in the Owner’s Manual. Cable size recommendations may differ among inverter brands, please check the Owner’s Manual for the wiring specifications required by that model before you purchase and install it.

When using your 12volt Sine Wave Inverter with a deep cycle battery system it is best you keep running your engine using a DC-to-DC charger for approximately 20 minutes every hour or charge from shore power/generator to keep your leisure battery charged. It should be noted that you should only use your Sine Wave Inverter continuously off your leisure battery system as vehicle starter batteries are not recommended for this use.

User Safety Guide And Installation Tips:

Safety Warning: 240/110 Volts of current can be lethal. Please correctly install and use your 12volt Sine Wave Inverter safely according to your Owner’s Manual.

  • Your inverter should not be installed in the engine bay due to possible oil/water/acid or heat damage
  • Keep your inverter in a well ventilated dry area
  • Install your inverter securely and in the correct orientation
  • Do not install your inverter in direct sunlight or near any heat sources
  • Keep your inverter away from flammable liquids or heating fuel.

Here are some considerations when looking to purchase an Sine Wave Inverter online:

  • Efficiency rating; You need to consider how much more power it will consume over the appliance it is powering.
  • Power consumption when on standby. The lower the Amps used at idle the better.
  • Continuous Watt/Power rating. Inverter continuous output limit.
  • Peak-Surge Power rating. Inverter initial surge startup power rating.
  • Safety features. Thermal temp shut down and auto surge protection as the minimum requirement.
  • Tested. Make sure you buy a product that has been independently safety-checked.
  • User safety. Make sure it conforms to all legal compliance required by your country.
12v fridge freezer

Previous Post

Which 12v Fridge Freezer Should I Buy?

Next Post

Ten Tips When Buying Rechargeable Portable Power Banks 2021

Portable Power Bank In White