How to Choose the RIGHT Inverters for RV, Van and Boat

Posted by Armin Nalavi on

Do I Need an Inverters for RV, Van and Boats

RV Parking Ground Camp

Do I Need an Inverter for my New Motor Home?

Whether or not you need an inverter is one of those starting questions that every new Van or RV lifer asks themself. In short, the answer is YES.

Like your refrigerator, heaters, coffee makers, and air conditioners, most appliances run on AC power. When connected to a shore power source such as outlets in camping grounds, that power is directly transferred to your devices.

However, in some cases, shore power is unavailable, or more often, it is an unreliable source in that specific area. To overcome this obstacle, many campers use their portable generators, which is a fantastic solution if you have limited need of power.

RV electrical system with generator and inverter/charger

On the other hand, some of us don’t appreciate the constant humming or prefer to use a greener solution such as solar panels. Inevitably, getting a battery bank would be the next step and here is the part when Inverters are essential. 

As we mentioned before, appliances require AC electricity, whereas Battery banks operate with Direct current (DC). An inverter, will convert the DC power stored in the batteries to usable AC power for your needs. 

Most Inverters recommended by Volts Energies are pure sine wave inverters that keep a steady AC sine wave format. Pure sine inverters are often the safer options for day to day appliances.

Overall, Inverter are essential component of electrical systems that use battery banks. And can be an excellent solution for campers who are getting a bit tired of their generators maintenance and constant running noise.


How to Choose the BEST Van and RV Inverter

First you need to calculate the maximum wattage needed by your system. To do so, make a list of all devices that you have in your vehicle. Next on the back of each device, you can find a label with wattage consumption of that device. Write the names and numbers on your list.

Once you have the list ready, multiply wattage of each device to the number of usage hours per day. If some devices are constantly running, their power is often lower than their starting power and it is usually referred to as continuous power. At last, add all the numbers together, and then you can decide which size inverter to get. 

Calculation Example

This total is your numerical Inverter size which is always recommended to consider getting  an inverter with 20% higher capacity to factor in the efficiency of standard inverters.

Do I Also Need a Converter for my Motor Home?

Converter or in simpler words. Battery Chargers, are an essential factor in charging your batteries while connected to shore or generator power. A converter, receives the 120V AC power and converts it into DC 12 Volt that charges your battery.

Electrical System in RV

Most RVs come with an standard converter which is often sufficient if you are only using the standard batteries of your RV. However, if you are using any extra battery power from you external battery bank the converter is most likely going to fail at its job of charging your battery bank.

The most efficient solution to overcome this problem is getting an Inverter / Charger combo that handles both ends of charging your batteries and powering your devices.

Which Inverter/Charger should I get?

Here at Volts Energies, we have installed hundreds of system on Off-grid Homes, Motorized homes and Boats. Through our time, encountered many brands and equipment with advantages and disadvantages of their own. 

The Best recommendation based on the feedback from our Engineers and Clients have been the Victron Energy Multiplus Pure Sine Wave Inverter/Charger.

Electric system in Van

Victron Energy MultiPlus  is a powerful true sine wave inverter. This intelligent battery charger, featuring adaptive charge technology alongside with a high-speed AC transfer switch in a single compact enclosure will prevent overload of limited AC sources, such as a generator or shore power connection.

In the event of a grid failure or when shore or generator power is disconnected the inverter within the MultiPlus is automatically activated and takes over the supply to the connected loads in less than 20 milliseconds so that computers and other electronic equipment will continue to operate without disruption.

You can order this amazing charger today! or Talk to one of our project managers for further information.

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