The Best RV Inverter: Comparisons And Reviews

First-time RVers don’t always know what they’re getting themselves into, and when the time comes to remodel your RV, it’s a daunting series of tasks.

One of the most important aspects of your RV is the inverter, which transfers 12 V DC power into 120 V AC power, so you can run your household appliances like the refrigerator and countertop small appliances.

Without that, you’re not going to get very far with your endeavors, are you?

So we’ve taken the guesswork out by finding the best RV inverter for your needs.

From our list and buying guide, you’ll have all the necessary information to make an informed purchase decision, and get your RV back to being the mobile fortress that it is.

If you’re not sure what size you need or how powerful you need your inverter to be, we’ve got all of that covered below—but first, let’s showcase the very best 5 RV inverters on the market.

Rank

Picture

Name

Rating

Shop

#1

Samlex America PST-2000-12 Inverter Review

TOP PICK

Samlex America PST-2000-12 

(4.8)

amazon logo

#2

BESTEK 2000W Power Inverter Review

BESTEK Aluminum Housing Power Inverter

(4.5)

amazon logo

#3

KRIËGER 4000 Watt 12V Power Inverter Review

BUDGET OPTION

KRIEGER Dual Outlet Inverter

(4.3)

amazon logo

#4

GoWISE Power PS1004 Review

PREMIUM CHOICE

GoWISE Power PS1004 Inverter

(4.5)

amazon logo

#5

ENERGIZER 2000 Watt 12V Power Inverter Review

ENERGIZER Power Inverter

(4)

amazon logo

Let's now review each RV inverter individually:

Samlex America PST-2000-12

The best RV power inverter on the market has to be Samlex America’s hardwired inverter.

This small piece of electrical engineering power weighs just over 17 lbs.

It optimizes the entire surface area of the external casing for peak performance.

 There are two fans on the back end that run continuously during use, allowing you to keep things cool and lets the inverter run for 24 hours with no chance of overheating.

Overheating would be pretty difficult anyway, since it operates on a high energy efficiency through a low power draw.

Your AC outlets are GFCI protected, meaning they shut off automatically if an overload were to occur, protecting whatever is connected from short circuiting or frying entirely.

It’s the same as that little red and black switch that you might have on your outlets at home. With all of that, this meets the safety standards of UL and FCC ratings.

SPECIFICATION 

  • Overload Protection: Yes
  • Operating Power: 10.7 to 16.5 DC / 110 AC
  • Power Rating: 2000 watts
  • Energy Efficiency: High w/ low power draw

BESTEK Aluminum Housing Power Inverter

If you’re concerned about the cost of the best inverter for RV use, you’re not the only one—electrical equipment is expensive by nature.

That’s why BESTEK did their best to create a budget-friendly inverter for the econo-RVer in you.

This features three separate 110 V outputs, running off of a 2000 watt motor, which does an excellent job at heavy startups, working up to 4600 peak at any given time. 

The only issue with this is that it’s going to drain a lot of power, but you’ll be darn sure that your devices will all power up.

The only major flaw with this is that it doesn’t have an overload protection, like an emergency shutoff switch that activates by itself.

Instead, there’s a visible light change and an audible warning that goes off when you approach the threshold for too much power, but it doesn’t give you much time to act.

It can blend into the background noises, to just be sure you aren’t overloading this.

SPECIFICATION 

  • Overload Protection: Audible alarm, no automatic shutoff
  • Operating Power: 12 DC / 110 AC
  • Power Rating: 2000 watts
  • Energy Efficiency: Median grade efficiency, high power draw on startup

KRIEGER Dual Outlet Inverter

The best power inverter for RV full-timers is here: 4000 watts of power in the palm of your hands.

Rather, in the hull of your RV. This offers two 110 V AC outlets, two USB ports, and a ton of included features that make this a viable selection for your RV.

You’ll get three-foot power battery cables included with your purchase, along with an ANL inline fuse kit, and built-in hardwiring kit so you can plug this into applications over 15 amps.

You’ll have the peace of mind offered from the MET and UL safety standard ratings, but there’s also solace in knowing you have a three-year warranty behind you to cover labor and parts.

That’s a brand telling you that they’re completely confident in their inverter, and nothing is going to stand in your way of having dependable energy on your RV.

This kit can be a little difficult to install, but you get brackets to bolt down the inverter, as well as warning indicators and a slew of protective features to help you: overload, over voltage, under voltage and high temperature warnings will tell you exactly what’s going on if your inverter runs into problems.

SPECIFICATION 

  • Overload Protection: Yes, and other protective features
  • Operating Power: 12 DC / 110 AC
  • Power Rating: 4000 watts
  • Energy Efficiency: Median grade efficiency

GoWISE Power PS1004 Inverter

It’s the best pure sine wave inverter for RV use that money can buy, and that’s because it’s nowhere near as expensive as other units.

Pure sine waves are sophisticated, and they can run you a pretty penny—GoWISE wanted to keep the costs low, and throw in a few extras as well.

You get two cables along with your purchase, ring terminals, and a remote switch. 

OPerate this from wherever you’d like in your RV so you don’t have to lean down to flip the switch every single time. 

While you’re at it, utilize any of the three 110 V AC outputs from this 3000 watt beauty.

It’s a fair amount of power to help run your appliances in your RV, but usually, when you get over a certain number of amps, you run into problems with installation. This is easy to hardwire, all you have to do is follow the instructions.

One of the best things about this inverter is how many different alarm features it has.

You get a thermal protection alarm, overload protection, over voltage, under voltage, and low voltage—all with alarms to audibly warn you of when these issues arise. It’s a slim system that can be fastened down to become one with your RV.

SPECIFICATION 

  • Overload Protection: Yes, and other protective features
  • Operating Power: 12 DC / 110 AC
  • Power Rating: 4000 watts
  • Energy Efficiency: Median grade efficiency

ENERGIZER Power Inverter

You can’t get past the plethora of RV inverter reviews online without finding Energizer.

We all remember the bunny banging on the drums, but now you’ll know this popular battery brand for something else entirely. 

This RV inverter comes with a dual USB port and two 120 V AC power ports.

Giving you more than enough to power major appliances and your standard lithium-ion battery operated devices.

You’ll be equipped with a certified METLAB safety regulation, which also dictates just how safe this battery is.

Fitted with an overload relay, you’ll be warned if the temperature climbs, it short circuits, or just generally encounters an overload—it’s all displayed on your LCD screen.

This runs a peak 4000 watts of power and a base of 2000 watts, which is great for the price.

The only issue is that the energy efficiency is ironically low (or at least lower than the others on this list) because it’s supporting that LCD screen we talked about. 

That, and it’s designed to be a smaller load inverter to begin with. They include a set of three-foot cables with your order, and a two-year warranty.

While it might not pack as much power as the others, it’s built reliably, and determined to last for years to come.

SPECIFICATION 

  • Overload Protection: Yes
  • Operating Power: 12 DC / 110 AC
  • Power Rating: 4000 watts
  • Energy Efficiency: Fair to low

RV Inverter Buying Guide and FAQ

RV Inverter

Types of Power Inverters

Power inverters types:

Pure Sine Wave

The best inverter brands might offer a pure sine wave inverter, but don’t be surprised if you don’t see this all that often.

Pure sine wave inverters are not required to run your major appliances like your refrigerator, generator, or built-in microwave, but pure sine wave inverters do ensure that the big energy drainers run more efficiently.

For instance, if you had a lot of devices plugged into a modified inverter, they might run at a lesser capacity: fridge is a little warmer, microwave takes a little longer to heat food, etc.

Modified Sine Wave

Modified sine waves are used when you have electronics in your RV that require rectifiers to convert AC to DC, such as laptops, toasters, phones, etc., and will work find for most appliances.

The difference is that you can’t overload a modified sine wave inverter or you could run into problems.

Appliances and devices could be damaged, as there is usually no energy cutoff or failsafe switch. You have to keep an eye on it, and understand what you’re plugging in.

Types of Protective Features in RV Inverters

Types of protective features:

Thermal Protection

With a heat sink in your inverter, you’ll not only draw the generated heat away from the circuitry, but you’ll also be able to monitor it.

Thermal protection lets you know when the temperature begins to climb to unsafe levels that the electrical components should not be housed at.

These can come in both audible and visual warning signals.

Overload Protection

Overload Protection Inverters

Overload protection works similar to thermal protection. It targets the wiring and finds out when it’s getting too hot in one specific area.

It works differently from thermal protection, because it targets wiring rather than the entire unit or the heat sink area.

Overload protection determines that if wiring gets too hot, that the root cause must be an over amount of usage and shuts down the outgoing electricity to counteract a short circuit.

Under Voltage

If your motor, or in this inverter, is attempting to draw power and accelerates in order to achieve that power, then it’s stressing out the electrical components.

That’s not good for the rest of the system, because it’s not getting anything for all that movement and energy that’s being consumed.

Under voltage protection finds the lowest threshold of incoming power/outgoing power, and if that isn’t met, then it shuts down the system to help preserve the wiring and any mechanicals parts.

Over Voltage

Think of a big plug jamming up a sewer pipe.

The pipe is allowing water to rush out rapidly and flood an area, and the plug is the only way to stop it. 

That’s sort of how over voltage protection works. You’ll have a clamp that shuts down on the power when the voltage gets too high.

This helps to avoid the circuits literally frying and causing an electrical fire.

Why do You Need an RV Inverter?

RV Generator

Without one, you are at the mercy of plug-ins at RV stops and parks. Inverters are turning the energy that your battery produces into usable, viable energy for interior use on appliances.

You can run an RV generator if you wish, but most of them are not onboard, and require gasoline, long runtimes to charge your battery bank, and they’re noisy as can be.

You won’t be able to use one often, or without upsetting neighbors at RV parks/stops. Inverters are a lifesaver for full-time RVers.

How Many Watts do I Need in an Inverter?

Your personal best RV inverter will support a buffer over the needs of your appliances.

Combine all the wattage requirements (including peak or startup) for your appliances, and use that number to determine how many watts you will need. 

Plan ahead: if you bring friends and family on trips, each of which will want to charge their phones and laptops, you need to have enough wattage and outlets to support that.

What Does an Inverter do in an RV?

Appliance using AC

Inverters connect directly to the DC output of an RV battery, and invert it to AC, which is usable by appliances both big and small.

Without an inverter, you would have an unusable power source for most of the appliances found in any RV, and all that energy generated by the battery or generator would just go to waste.

What Size RV Inverter do I Need?

The physical size of inverters usually follow a fairly universal series of dimensions, but the power is what you should be looking at.

In order to determine how many watts you need, look at the requirements of all your appliances.

Keep in mind a buffer for plugging in phones and small appliances in the future, so you won’t have to disconnect major appliances and switch things around in the future.

If you need 3000 watts, a 3500 watt inverter should do the trick.

How do I Install a Power Inverter in an RV?

Take your best RV inverter, and ensure that the generator is not plugged in to the converter.

The converter should also be shut down before beginning this process.

You can directly wire the inverter to the AC distribution box of your RV, or you can simply run extension cords from your inverter to the necessary appliances or add receptacles to the outside of your RV with a direct connection.

Does an Inverter Draw Power When Not in Use?

Yes, your inverter will draw power even when nothing is plugged in, so long as you leave it on. If you manually shut it down, it will draw zero power.

On average, 8-10% of the normal power that is used to run appliances, or the full load of the inverter, will be drawn to keep it on and ready.

For your energy consumption, it is imperative to shut your inverter down when not in use.

While some systems come with automatic idle detection (shutting off when nothing is used for a preset amount of time), it is a rarity.

Invert Like It’s Nobody’s Business

Your RV can be a mobile fortress of fun and excellent adventures, so why not take the first step towards fortifying your home on wheels right now?

Whether you full-time or take extended vacations, it’s important to have the comfort of a fully functioning home onboard, and the peace of mind that can only come from having top-notch electrical equipment to deliver those conveniences to you.

You already know the best RV inverters; now it’s just time to pick one that’s going to fit your budget and your lifestyle.

Last Updated On:

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *