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Using a Power Inverter to run Electrical Appliances in Your RV When not connected to Electric

by Mark V
(Paso Robles Ca)

Using a Power Inverter to run Electrical Appliances in Your RV When not connected to Electric

Using a Power Inverter to run Electrical Appliances in Your RV When not connected to Electric

When I plugged into my house electric everything worked in my 5th wheel including the brand new GFI installed. but as soon as I unplug the house current and run off the battery, I can only get the interior lights and the pump to work none of the electrical outlets work.

Hi Mark, the good news is that there is no problem with the electrical system on your RV. Your RV's interior lights and water pump are 12 Volt DC and are powered by your RV's house batteries. You will not have 110-volt AC power available at the receptacles when unplugged unless your RV has a generator and it is running.

The only other way that you would have power at the 110-volt receptacles was if your RV was equipped with a large power inverter that was providing power to all of the electrical receptacles in your RV.

RV Power Inverter

A power inverter (pictured above) is normally attached to the house batteries of an RV and converts 12 volt DC to 110 volt AC power. After-market inverters normally have the electrical receptacles directly on them (pictured above).

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Adding a 12 Volt Inverter to your RV could be as easy as plugging one into a cigarette lighter of the RV. It all depends on what type of electric devices you are planning on using. For larger demand electric items you will have to hard-wire the inverter to your House Batteries.

Take a look at the video below for more information on inverters and how to use them

Again as stated in the video a Pure Sine Wave Inverter is the best choice for most RVers.

Here are some steps you need to take when choosing an RV Inverter

1. Determine your power needs: The first step in selecting an inverter is determining the wattage of the appliances and electronics you want to use. This will help you determine the size of the inverter you need. To calculate the wattage, you can use the following formula: watts = amps x volts.
For example, if you have a device that uses 5 amps at 120 volts, the wattage would be 600 watts (5 x 120 = 600). It's important to choose an inverter that can handle the wattage of all the devices you want
to use simultaneously and any potential surge wattage during start-up.

2. Consider the type of inverter: There are two main types of inverters: modified sine wave and pure sine wave. Modified sine wave inverters are less expensive, but they may not power certain sensitive electronics as well as pure sine wave inverters. Pure sine wave inverters produce a cleaner, more stable power output, making them suitable for powering sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones. However, they are more expensive than modified sine wave inverters.

3. Pay attention to the inverter's surge rating: It's important to choose an inverter with a high enough surge rating to handle the start-up power needs of your appliances and electronics. The surge rating is the maximum wattage the inverter can handle for a short period of time, typically a few seconds. Make sure the inverter you choose has a surge rating that is at least double the wattage of the appliances and electronics you want to use.

4. Check the inverter's efficiency: Inverters can be quite inefficient, with some models losing as much as 50% of the power they convert. It's important to choose an inverter with a high efficiency rating to minimize power loss. Look for an inverter with an efficiency rating of at least 90%.

5. Look for additional features: Some inverters include additional features like USB ports, LCD displays, and remote-control options. These can be convenient, but they can also add to the cost. Decide which features are important to you and choose an inverter accordingly.

6. Check the warranty: Make sure the inverter you choose has a good warranty, in case of any issues. Most inverters come with a warranty of at least one year, but some offer longer warranties of up to three years.

looking for even more information? Please read the answers that I gave to the questions below, and you will get all the information you need to choose the right inverter.

I Need A Power Inverter For My RV How Many Watts Should It Be?

Can I Connect A Power Inverter Directly To My RV's House Batteries?

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here to Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

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