Power inverters for caravans and campers are a good convenient option that enable you to power 240v household appliances from your 12v batteries.
What do they do and why would you get one?
Phones, laptops, power tools and even the coffee machine can be powered from your batteries with the help of an inverter when you are staying away from mains power. Inverters for caravans take the 12 volt power supply available in your caravan batteries as a DC charge and convert that into 240 volt AC power ready to run your household appliances. Inverters come in a couple of varieties – pure or true sine wave and modified sine wave. While the modified sine wave inverters are less expensive they are not suitable for sensitive electronics like your television, microwave and phone chargers and their “rough” power delivery can cause damage to household appliances by causing them to overheat. A pure or true sine wave inverter will deliver smooth power which is suitable for all your appliances that you wish to take away with you.
What are the options?
The two options for a caravan or camper trailer inverter are a complete built-in system and stand-alone (portable) units. A professionally installed built-in system has the advantage that you can plug into sockets throughout the van which is very convenient. The Enerdrive ePower built-in inverters feature a safety switch and are available in a 2000 watt and 2600 watt capacity. With a portable unit you need to plug your appliance directly into the inverter which will need to be located close to the batteries. A portable unit is a DIY option and ideal to carry in a trailer.
The portable inverters are available from a 400W right up to a 2000w capacity with the built-in inverters having a 2000w or 2600w capacity. When considering the size of an inverter you may want to check your specific appliances as the power requirements can vary significantly – ie hairdryers can range from 1200w to 2400w.
As a basic guide a 400W inverter will power phone, laptop and camera chargers, computers, bi-pap machines. Stepping up to a 1000w inverter will additionally run power tools. A 2000w unit will power all of the previous appliances as well as coffee machines, microwaves, irons. The larger 2600w inverter is recommended if you are wanting to run an air-conditioniner.
Some appliances like kettles and toasters draw a large amount of power. If you have a gas version of the same appliance then use it as it is much more efficient than converting 12 volt to 240 volts.
What about lithium batteries?
Not all inverters are compatible with lithium batteries. If you are considering lithium batteries then talk to us for the best complete power solution.
If you are regularly staying away from mains power then an inverter will allow you to “power on” from the caravan batteries. For more information about inverters and a power solution for your caravan or camper trailer talk to us at the RV Service Centre. We stock and professionally install inverters for caravans and camper trailers.