The dream version of vanlife often consists of images of a large white van in the desert and mountain landscapes, a couple hiking with their dog, and friends around a campfire. While this is often true, what you might not see is all the tiny components in the van that make such a life possible and enjoyable. Including a remote job, computer, wifi, and electricity to make these things possible. In order to charge something like your laptop, you need to know and understand the best campervan power inverter.

The Best 2000 Watt Campervan Power Inverter: Renogy *Our Choice*

Renogy is ideal for anyone looking to add a campervan inverter to their solar system. Their 2000 watt pure sine inverter can produce cleaner, smoother, and more reliable electricity to power all your appliances and even has remote access through your cell phone. It is what we had in our Ford Transit van, and it always performed well for us. We highly recommend it as one of the best 2000W power inverters for RV or Campervans.

Pros

  •  Easy to install
  • 2000W continuous, 4000W peak surge during load start-up.
  • 12V to 120VAC pure sine wave 
  • Moderately Priced
  • Conversion efficiency of more than 90%
  • LED indicators for under-voltage and over-voltage protection
  • Over-temperature and overload protection
  • Short circuit indicator
  • Cooling fans and ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection
  • Offers a built-in 5V/2.1A USB port, 3 AC Outlets, and 1 AC Terminal Block
  • Great Customer Service

Cons

  • Could shut down quicker when batteries are running down
  • The lower battery indicator beeps for longer than is potentially necessary
  • It might not be enough wattage if you had an induction and a 110V refrigerator

or buy on Amazon

Enter Code “WILDGOOSECREATIVES” to receive 10% off your Renogy purchase!

GoWISE 2000 12V Watt Inverter: Budget Choice

The GoWISE 2000 Watt Inverter is another solid option to add to your solar system. It is available on Amazon and was the inverter had in our first van. We never had any issues with it other than slight overheating, and it was louder than our Renogy has been. If you are looking for a campervan inverter option at a lower price than the Renogy, we recommend the GoWISE 2000 Watt Inverter. 

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • 3 Power Outlets
  • One USB Outlet
  • Overload Protection
  • Two fans for cooling

Cons

  • Limited customer service 
  • Cable supplied with inverter not recommended (incorrect size for most systems)
  • No Remote monitoring

Victron 2000W 12V Inverter: Luxury Option

Victron is the cream of the crop when it comes to solar power. They are known for their high end-high quality products, and their 2000 Watt power inverter is no exception. If you want to ensure your solar system works at optimal efficiency and lasts, then the Victron 2000 Watt Campervan power inverter should be your go-to company. 

Pros 

  • Compact- takes up less space than its competitors
  • Quick activation if shore power is disconnected
  • Power Assist prevents overload of generator or shore power connection

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The company recommends professional installation

The Best 1000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter: Renogy 1000W

If you do not need to charge much inside your campervan, you could get away with a 1000- watt pure sine wave inverter. If you opt for a lower watt campervan inverter, we recommend a high-quality brand such as Renogy. 

Pros 

  • Customer Service 
  • 1000W continuous, 2000W peak surge
  • 2 AC Outlets 
  • Two High-Speed Ventilation Fans

Cons: 

  • Limited wattage 

or buy on Amazon

Enter Code “WILDGOOSECREATIVES” to receive 10% off your Renogy purchase!

The Best 1500 Watt Pure Since Wave Inverter: GoWISE

The Best 3000 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter: Renogy 3000 Watt 12V

https://www.renogy.com/3000w-12v-pure-sine-wave-inverter/

or buy on Amazon

Enter Code “WILDGOOSECREATIVES” to receive 10% off your Renogy purchase!

What Is a 12V Power Inverter and How Does it Work?

Simply put, a power inverter changes a direct current (DC) to an alternating current (AC). 

A power inverter makes charging and running items that charge on AC power possible. Solar systems run off of DC power, so you need an inverter to allow for the DC to AC conversion. The freedom of van life is only possible if you have a complete solar system and no need to plug in somewhere! Therefore, you can get off the beaten track, get lost on BLM land, and hideout. To do this, you also need to think about what power you will need.

Understanding AC vs. DC power

Electricity flows in two ways:

  • AC = Alternating current
  • DC = Direct current

The current flowing through AC and DC currents are the same – electrons flowing in a certain direction. Where it differs is the direction in which they flow. DC flows steadily in a single direction while AC keeps switching direction, making it a better transmitter over larger distances.

When comparing the difference between AC power and DC power sources, think about where the electricity comes from. Is it from a battery or an outlet?  Most outlets supply AC power, whereas batteries are the most common DC power source.

Your campervan battery currently uses a DC power supply to power your electrical goods; however, most household electronics run using an AC supply. Without an inverter, you will not be able to power AC-powered items in your van. 

Why You Need A 12V Campervan Inverter

If you want to charge your devices, such as your laptop, cell phone, or ⅔ pronged items such as electric campervan lights, kitchen appliances, power tools, radios, TVs, and hair straighteners, you will need a way to turn your DC power into AC power. 

Inverters allow these appliances to receive power from your campervan battery. Your solar system sends power to your battery, which then sends power to the power inverter, which converts the 12V DC supply to 230V AC output, thus powering your devices. 

Why You Need A 12V 2000 Watt Inverter in Your Campervan Solar System

The answer to why you need an inverter is simple. If you want to power a laptop or watch TV while on the road, you are going to need a power inverter and one that is slightly larger than the most power-hungry device you own. For most household items, a 2000 watt inverter is what we recommend.

Types of 12V Power Inverters

There are two types of inverters; pure sine and modified sine. Both will work fine in your campervan, but we recommend Pure Sine Power Inverters over Modified. When looking around the van community, you will most like find pure sine inverters to drive my point home. 

Overall pure sine wave power inverters work with most devices, whereas modified sine doesn’t do quite as good when converting DC to AC, making it risky to use on certain devices.

Pure Sine Power Inverter

Pure sine inverters are compatible with almost everything – all electronics, gadgets, and appliances that can produce a powerful current. For this reason alone, they are the most common choice because they are more agreeable with almost everything you would ever need to plugin.

Pure sine power inverters are also said to reduce audible noise from your electrical goods, whether that’s the noise generated by fluorescent lights or fans. Plus, they are more like to prevent electrical crashes, which is handy to know if you spend your days working online. It is not worth the risk to any laptops or our power system. 

Modified Sine Inverter

Modified sine power inverters have one big benefit; they tend to be much cheaper than pure sine power inverters. However, as I mentioned before, they do not do as well converting the DC power to AC power; pure sine waves come in smooth, whereas modified waves come in chunks to your device – a bunch at once. 

Again we simply don’t recommend a modified sine wave power inverter if you will power devices such as your laptop. Entirely not worth the risk. 

What Features to Look For in a 12V Power Inverter

Now that you better understand what a power inverter does and why you need one in your campervan, it’s time to pick one out. When searching for the best campervan inverter, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

From the number of watts, it can charge, its efficiency rating, to its outlets available, it’s all-important when looking at your individual solar system and what you need. Let’s dive in. 

Wattage

When looking at the best 2000W inverters, the first thing you should look at is available wattage. It’s important to do this because you need to make sure that your power source will be able to charge all your devices. For this reason, you will want to look to purchase something that is twice the power of your largest device. You do this because whenever an electrical device powers up, there is a current surge, which means that pick something too low, and it will blow all of your electricity and risk damaging your belongings or, worse still, lead to a fire breaking out.

Pure Sine Inverter

The pure sine power inverter is similar to your domestic electricity supply; therefore,  we recommend getting a campervan power inverter that offers Pine Sine Wave power; they are more compatible with applications and less likely to damage them.

Efficiency Rating

The efficiency of an inverter refers to the amount of AC output power it provides for a given DC input. A lower quality inverter can have as low as 75-85% efficiency. High-quality inverters usually fall between 85 and 95 percent, with 90 percent being the average. The higher the rating, the less conversion loss. Our inverter from Renogy is around 90%. 

Outlets Available

Next, let’s consider how many outlets you will also need. When building out your solar system, think about everything you will want to charge full-time. Some units will provide only two, while some offer many more; some don’t have a USB port, and others do.  For us, we had a surge protector connected to our power inverter, which allowed us to have several items charging at once.

Warranty

The best 2000w power inverters will come with a good, solid warranty. Of course, you really need to read up on this before buying any product. It’s a bit like anything; for example, one insurance company offers $5000 cover for personal possessions, another may only offer $500. However, you may never find out unless you read the small print until it is too late.

What we do advise is to look to make sure the warranty covers: 

  • All electronic failures
  • Same day technical support
  • Minimal downtime for your system
  • Replacement inverter if needed
  • The length of the warranty. Remember, the best inverters will come with a more extended coverage time.

P.S. Don’t forget to register your warranty!

Automatic Safety Shut Off

For safety reasons, always choose a campervan power inverter with an automatic shut-off, which means the inverter will shut down when the voltage is too high. If you happen to plug in a device and the allowable voltage in the connection cable exceeds, it can cause serious damage to both the inverter and device. An automatic shut-off can prevent this from happening. 

Ventilation Fans

A high-quality campervan power inverter will have fans inside the unit, which will ensure the inverter does not get overheated or have excess noise. I do not recommend any inverter without quality fans in them. 

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