Best RV Inverter Reviews 2020 – Expert Buying Guide
Now you can go on a road trip or boondocking out in the wild without giving up the luxuries of your home, thanks to an RV inverter!
The best RV inverter will play a great buddy by helping you convert the power stored in your RV batteries into a form that runs your microwave oven, television, espresso maker, hairdryer, laptop, and other electronics—ensuring you feel right at home away from home.
However, RV inverters is usually a difficult subject and going through the process of choosing the right one for you feels like rocket science.
In this post, we’ll simply the subject for you. We’ll teach you a handful of things you need to know before you get an inverter and show you some of the top-rated units you can find on the market today.
Our Best RV Inverter Reviews:
1. Krieger 2000 Watt 12V Power Inverter
Krieger 2000 Watt opens our list of top-rated inverters you can get for your RV. With up to 2000 Watts worth of power, this inverter is ideal for campers who don’t want to run all their RV electronic devices. Its fair cost makes it ideal for folks who don’t have a lot of money to spend on an inverter.
The inverter lets you directly convert 12 V direct current (DC) battery power into 110V alternating current (AC) power needed for running your electronic devices.
One of the top reasons RV owners love this inverter is that it has a pretty compact design. Ask expressed RVers and they’ll tell you that power inverts can comes sometimes get soo bulky and take too much space in your car, which makes this compactness a great selling point.
Despite the compact design, this Krieger packs everything you need to run your RV appliances. It features 2 USB ports,2 110V AC outlets, a remote switch, and an LED screen that displays useful info such as voltage, wattage, temperature and various warnings. The package also comes with battery cables and ANL fuse to make the setup hassle-free and fast.
2. ENERGIZER 2000 Watt 12V Power Inverter
Next up on our list of the best RV inverters, we have this Energizer power inverter, which also offers you up to 2000 Watts of continuous power and 4000 Watts of peak power. Being a modified sine wave inverter, this unit is also cost-effective.
This heavy-duty inverter will also help you power all your RV appliances when you go on a road trip or camping in areas without shore power and you don’t have a generator. It connects directly to your 12 VDC battery to help you power your microwave, television, small tools, home electronics, gaming consoles, and other home appliances in your vehicle.
Since its fan runs quietly than in other inverters, it won’t be a nuisance in your RV. It also comes with a remote switch for easier operation. With up to 2 USB outlets and 4 AC outlets, you can power several devices simultaneously with this unit.
And don’t forget, it also comes with an LED display that helps you monitor the input voltage, output wattage, and emergency notifications such as battery level and temperature shutdown.
Overall, this device has a great, modern quality, and it's built with pretty durable materials to enable it to hold up to various forms of abuse.
3. BESTEK 2000W Power Inverter
BESTEK is America’s leading power inverter brand, so our list of the best RV inverter reviews won’t be complete with one of their products. This power inverter converts 12 VDC to 110 VAC and yields a total of 2000 Watts worth of power to run your AC household appliances or large electrical devices when on a road trip or camping.
The pocket-friendly device incorporates up to 3 standard US 110V outlets to help provide AC power to multiple devices at a go. Unlike the other units, it has a premium, high-speed cooling fan that works quietly to dissipate excess heat and prevent overheating.
Note that this inverter comes with built-in protection to ensure safe and reliable operation. This protection comes in form input over-voltage and under-voltage protection, over current, overload, output short-circuit, and over-temperature protection.
What’s more, it features up to 6 built-in replaceable fuses that helps safeguard your battery and devices plus it comes with 6 spare fuses in the box for easy replacement.
Since the unit’s out shell is made of aluminum alloy, it feels extremely solid and durable and can hold up to severe environments, protecting the inverter’s internal components.
4. PEAK 3000 Watt Mobile Power Outlet
If you want a good power inverter for camping with higher wattage output, this power outlet might be a good option. It’s compact and portable, yet a powerful unit that produces up to 3000 Watts of heavy-duty energy for powering up your RV appliances like refrigerators and power tools.
Just like the other models we have discussed above, this inverter converts your recreational vehicle’s 12V battery power into standard household power to ensure you can enjoy all the luxuries of your home, whether it’s the gaming console, watching the TV, using your laptop or smartphone and more.
Installing this unit is pretty easy. It comes with mounting brackets for hassle-free installation. It also features a coupler of the standard 100V plugs plus a USB plug which will come in handy when you want to charge small devices on the go.
Like our previously discussed units, this one too comes with a remote on/off switch with an extended 10ft. long cable that promotes convenient operation.
For the ultimate safety, this power outlet has an automatic shutdown that protection against instances of overload and overheating. Not to forget it comes with an alarm to inform you of the battery status.
5. GoWISE Power PS1004 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter
If you’re looking for the best pure sine wave inverter for RV, you can’t go wrong with this unit from GoWISE. This is an advanced power conversion tool that can supply you with AC power converted from DC power. You can use it in cars, vessels, power failure emergencies, and RVs.
Because this is a pure sine wave inverter, it outputs a cleaner and stable power for effectively running all your electricity sensitive RV devices. It outputs a continuous power of 3000 Watts and a surge/peak power of up to 6000 Watts.
The compact and portable inverter doesn’t occupy significant space in your camper. It comes armed with multiple protection capabilities that include overload protection, thermal protection, over-voltage protection, under-voltage protection, and low voltage protection alarm. It integrates an LED light indicator system that offers you visual alert in case of any problems with your unit.
You don’t have to struggle when installing this inverter. This is because it comes with everything you need for easy, fast installation, including red and black connection cables with ring terminals. With up to 3 AC outputs plus a 5V USB port, you can power multiple devices simultaneously with this unit.
6. Samlex America PST-2000-12 PST Series Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Here’s another cool option for those looking for best pure sine wave inverter for RV. This particular model comes with a commercial-grade design and is suitable for heavy-duty loads, emergency power backups, and long periods of continuous operation.
The premium level pure sine wave inverter output clean and reliable AC power, just like your household electricity. This makes it ideal for powering sensitive devices like your TVs, stereo, laptop, gaming consoles, and more. With an output as high as 2000 Watts, you can rely on this unit to run a handful of your appliances.
Just like most of the other units featured on this list, this inverter also features built-in protection abilities such as low voltage, over-temperature, over-voltage, overload, and short-circuit. It also presents you with dual GFCI protected AC outlets to keep you safe from possible electric shocks.
The temperature-controlled fan works tirelessly to ensure this device doesn’t overheat as this can affect its efficiency. The fan also works quietly to ensure it doesn’t disturb your peace inside your RV. Thanks to its remote switching abilities, operating this inverter is pretty easy.
7. Ampeak 2000W Power Inverter
Another best inverter for RV you’d want to include in your list of top options is this Ampeak 2000W power inverter. With a rated continuous power output of 2000 Watts and a surge output of up to 4000 Watts, you can rely on this unit to provide power to your RV electronics when boondocking.
The modified sine wave inverter comes with 3 AC outputs plus 1 USB charging port, enabling you to power a couple of devices at the same time. It features a smart digital display that allows you to accurately monitor the input and output of your power system.
It also comes integrated with a handful of safety features to give you safe user experience. It automatically shuts down in case of over-voltage, overload, low voltage, short circuit, and overheating.
Other safety features include up to 2 cooling fans that promote excellent heat dissipation and 10 x 3A fuses.
For the build quality, this inverter has a solid ABS housing that takes all the abuse and provides perfect all-round protection to the internal components of your RV inverter, ensuring maximum durability.
8. Xantrex PROWatt 2000 Inverter
Xantrex defines an excellent pure sine wave inverter for RV that can run all the electricity sensitive appliances in your RV, from small devices such as the heater to large appliances such as the refrigerator.
The sleek-looking inverter continuously outputs 2000 Watts worth of power. Plus, it delivers high surge capabilities to help meet the high power stating needs of your appliances.
We love that this inverter comes packed with a lot of cool feature to make it convenient for you to use. Case in point, it features dual GFCI AC receptacles which minimize the possibility of electrocution when using your appliances. it also features a built-in USB port for use with any USB chargeable device. Like most of the other units featured on this inverter reviews list, this unit also comes with a built-in digital display for easy monitoring of power usage.
Keep in mind that this inverter also has over-voltage protection and low voltage alarm and shutdown capabilities. With the included remote on/off switch, with ability to provide automatic ignition lockout, you can easily shut down your unit when your RV ignition isn’t engaged.
9. VertaMax Pure SINE Wave 1500 Watt 12V Power Inverter
The second last spot in our inverter reviews goes to this Vertamax unit. This is the perfect option for RVers looking for a pure sine wave inverter for RV with fewer electrical appliances.
It delivers a smaller power output of 1500 Watts of electricity. This is ideal for powering a few appliances in your items such as the microwave oven, coffee maker, video games, laptop, CD and DVD player, smartphones, etc.
You’ll appreciate that the manufacturer sends you this unit with all the necessary installation accessories to make the setup easy and fast. You’ll get 3ft. 2-gauge connection cables with rug terminals, 150 amp ANL fuse plus fuse holder, remote on/off switch—all of which come at the same original price tag!
The inverter has up to 3 grounded AC outlets to enable you to power serval devices on the go. Note that each of these outlets features a circuit breaker for your own safety.
And yes, this inverter also has reliable protection abilities against overheating, reverse polity (via internal fuses), low/high voltage, short circuit, and overvoltage protection. Its LED display shows the battery power level and output Watts, helping you conveniently monitor the power usage in your RV.
10. AIMS Power PWRINV300012120W Sine Power Inverter
Last, but not least, we have this AIMS modified sine wave inverter that outputs a cool 3000 Watts of continuous power. Like all the other units featured on this list, this unit is also capable of running all your RV appliances, including your refrigerator and sump pump for as long as hours to days.
The fairly priced power inverter is incredibly easy to work with. It also features a direct connect terminal on the front side that can deliver full 3000 Watts of power to a single source. Quite impressive, right?
Unlike most of the models out there which operate with a lot of noise, this model has a quiet cooling fan that lets you enjoy your camping days in peace. And for your own SAFETY, the inverter comes with built-in overload, over-temperature, High/Low voltage protection. Moreover, it presents you with dual GFCI outlet for your own safety.
In case of any problems, it alerts you via the digital display as well as the LED monitoring lights.
Keep in mind that this device is lightweight and compact and occupies minimal space in your vehicle. It has an overall great build quality for maximum longevity. And it can run a wide range of appliances in your RV when you’re far away from civilization.
What Makes The Right RV Inverter?
Choosing the best RV inverter when you don’t know much about these devices feels like an uphill task. The task feels even more complicated if you’re doing it for the first time.
In this section, we’ll show you a handful of things you need to know beforehand to help you confidently pick the right inverter for your RV.
Type of inverter
One of the most important things to consider when shopping for RV inverter is what type of inverter to buy.
These devices are divided into pure sine wave inverters and modified sine wave inverters.
Pure sine wave inverter
In this type of inverter, transformers are used to create smooth, clean, and stable alternating current similar to that in your home. They usually come at a higher cost but offer you better power quality than the modified sine wave type.
Modified sine wave inverter
These inverters make use of thyristors and diodes to produce a squared-off waveform of alternating current. This type of inverter can be used to power large electronics in your RV such as microwave oven, toaster, etc.
So, which of the two inverters should you get?
If you want to power electricity sensitive electronics such as smartphones, laptops, and generally any smart device (with a microchip in it), then you should consider getting a pure sine wave inverter. Otherwise, using modified sine wave to power these items can shorten their lifespan.
A modified sine wave inverter will be more suitable for powering appliances that are capable of handling poor power quality such as the vacuum, blender, etc.
Size of inverter (power output)
Another important factor that will help you choose the right inverter for your recreational vehicle is the power output value.
If you buy a unit that doesn’t meet the power needs of the electrical items in your RV that run of AC power, then you’ll have spent your money on a useless investment.
To know the right inverter power output (usually expressed in Watts) to get for your RV, then you should first determine how much power you’ll be using. And you can get this by calculating the total power consumption of all the appliances in your RV.
Then, you should then look for a unit that has a higher Wattage than the total consumption of appliances in your RV.
If you intend to run appliances like microwave oven, hairdryer, washers, a 2000Watts unit will be sufficient.
If you have a higher number of appliances to run, consider purchasing a 3000 Watts unit.
The more appliances you have, the higher the size of inverter you should get.
Ease of installation
The essence of getting an inverter for your RV is to help you power your electrical appliances when not using a generator or far from shore power…not to give you headaches as you try to figure out how to install it.
Judging from the experience of previous users of various units, some models can be a pain to install while others are straightforward to set up.
The easiest to install models are those that plug/connect directly to your RV’s 12V port.
Some units, especially the true sine wave inverters, might be a bit complex to install as they require you to hardwire them directly into your RV’s electrical system.
Units that come with all installation accessories such as connecting cables, mounting clamps, and even a detailed user manual make the installation even easier.
A good power inverter for camping should also come with some built-in protection.
This is because the device is capable of running into various problems that can not only affect its performance but also compromises your safety inside the RV.
In our inverter reviews section, we have all the top-rated units come with some protective measures that range from overload protection to high/low voltage protection, under-voltage protection, reverse polarity protection, short-circuiting prevention, and overheat protection.
For the overheat protection, look for unit that comes with a cooling fan to help prevent your device from getting too hot. the more the fans, the better.
Inverters that come with digital display and LED indicators to alert you in case of any problems also make these devices safer and more convenient to use.
The RV inverters feature different pricings based on the power they output, features they come with, and their overall bold quality.
Units with lower power outputs and fewer list of features usually cost you around $150 bucks.
If you want the best RV inverter, with a power output of 2000 to 3000 Watts coupled with multiple convenient features, then you should set your budget anywhere from $150 to $300.
In general, the best way to go about setting a budget for inverter is determining your intended power usage and what features are important to you.
Differences Between RV Inverter and Converter
When shopping for inverter, it’s crucial to know the difference between these two devices to avoid making a wrong purchase…and then realize later on that you have the wrong device for the job when it fails to meet your needs.
Before we wrap up our buying guide for RV inverter, allow us to explain to you in simple language how these two devices differ from each other.
The INVERTER converts your battery (DC) power into AC power that resembles your household power. The CONVERTER does the opposite of what an inverter does; it changes the AC power into DC form.
As you can easily see, the biggest difference between these two devices is what they do to voltage.
An inverter is used when you want to use power similar to what you get from the main power line when it’s not available. This explains why it’s the perfect device for running your RV appliances when you’re far away from the civilization.
A converter is usually used to convert the available voltage to appropriate levels.
Here’s an excellent example of what the converter does:
When you connect your RV to electrical source or when using a generator, you’ll need a converter to reduce the 120 VAC to 12VDC which is needed for powering all the 12 V electronic devices in your RV.
As you can see, a converter can help prevent your RV battery from draining when connected to campsite pedestal power.
The fact that transforming DC to AC is more difficult than changing AC to DC explains why inverters are usually more complex devices than the converters.
How To Use An RV Inverter?
As you wait for your new RV inverter to shipped, you might want to learn how to use the device correctly so that you won’t struggle to set it up when it finally arrives.
In this section, we’ll outline some key things you need to know about using your new RV power inverter.
Part One: Setting up your inverter
Obviously, the first thing you’ll need to do with your new invert is installing it in your RV. How you set it up can differ from model to model depending on the type and make of product you buy.
That said, here’s our general guide on how to set up the invert in your motorhome:
You should start by deciding on the perfect place to install the unit in your RV. The most suitable location for placing your inverter ought to be as close to the battery as possible (helps reduce voltage drop) and with excellent ventilation to facilitate heat dissipation.
Avoid putting the device in the battery compartment, unless you’re using a sealed or AGM battery. This is because the acid inside a flooded lead acid battery can create hydrogen gas that your inverter can easily spark and create an explosion!
Once you decide on the perfect location, connect your inverter to your RV. Assuming you’re installing a plug and play model, you just need to plug the connecting cable to into a 12V outlet in your RV and you’re ready to go.
Next, you’ll need to connect your unit to directly to the battery using the provided cables. Cables with battery clips, whether clamp or O-ring style, will make the connection between the inverter and RV batteries quite easier.
For the units designed to be hardwired to your RV electrical system, however, you’ll need to do some extra installation work. For instance, you’ll need need to install the transfer relay (for units that lack a built-in transfer switch) and do the CFCI wiring.
If you doubt your ability to set up such models, we highly suggest that you consider hiring a professional.
Part Two: Running your inverter
Once you have set up your unit and it’s ready for use, all you have to do is turn it ON and plug in any appliance you want to power.
As you might have noted in our reviews section above, nearly all these units come with a basic socket where you can easily plug in your TV, DVD player, Video player, etc. They also come with a USB port to help you conveniently charge your smartphone and other handheld devices.
Here are some tips to help you use you get the most out of your new inverter:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do I need an inverter for my RV?
If you plan to go boondocking (or dry camping) or on a road trip and have electronic devices that run on AC power, then it’s a no-brainer that you won’t be able to access any power supply out there.
This means you can only power them with the help of a generator or an inverter.
The inverter will help you convert the DC voltage stores in your RV batteries into AC current that’s similar to the power in your home power outlets.
2. What size of inverter do I need?
The ideal size of the inverter to use for your RV depends on the number of devices in your RV that uses the AC current.
If you just want to power devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc., then you can do with a 2000Watts unit.
If you also want to run kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, microwave devices and other electronics like a TV set, stereo, DVD player, etc., then you should consider getting a more powerful inverter.
The more appliances you have in your RV, the bigger the size of an inverter you’ll need.
3. What happens when my RV inverter goes bad?
Like any other device, an RV inverter can go bad. And when it does, it stops functioning properly.
Signs of an improperly functioning unit include power interruptions, breakdown or complete failure of the unit itself, and even drawing abnormally huge amounts of power from your battery.
When your device goes bad, the best option is to replace it with a new one.
However, there are measures you can take to prevent your unit from going bad. One such measure involves installing your unit properly. Check all the installation requirements and recommendations in your user manual. Be sure to use the right cables, gauges, and inline fuses during the installation.
Using your unit for the recommended power rating can also help prevent it from going bad. Otherwise, overusing your unit can also cause it to malfunction and even cut short its lifespan.
4. What does continuous and peak power outputs in an inverter mean?
The RV inverters usually come with continuous as well as peak/surge power ratings, with the latter being up to 2 times higher than the former.
The peak power is helpful when you have devices that require higher amounts of power when you start them (this is referred to as peak power). This applies to appliances that come with a motor or compressor, e.g. a microwave oven. If you have such devices in your RV, then you should get a unit with a relatively higher surge capacity or peak rating.
The continuous or sustained power, on the other hand, is what your appliances require when running normally. Make sure you get a unit whose total sustained power output matches the power load of your appliances.
You no longer need to connect to shore power or generator for you to enjoy the luxuries of your home when you go RVing out in the wild. The RV inverter enables you to turn the DC power in your RV batteries into an AC power that your electronics need to operate.
Deciding on the right inverter for your recreational vehicle for the first time should become easy after reading this guide. We have outlined everything you need to know about these devices, things to look for, and some of the most popular inverters you can find on the market today.
But chiefly, the right inverter for your RV will depend on how many appliances you have in your RV and their power requirements.
Get the best RV inverter for your RV for your upcoming boondocking trip if you want to feel at home when away from home!