Guidelines for Installing Inverters in RVs

  With the improvement of people's living standards and different tourism concepts, RV travel has gradually become a popular leisure activity.As a mobile shelter, RV provides us with a free and comfortable travel experience.However, when traveling in the wilderness or on long journeys away from cities, power supply becomes an important issue.At this time, RV inverters come into play.

Choosing the size of an RV inverter requires considering the total wattage of the electrical equipment you plan to use. Here are some suggestions:
1. Calculate the total power:
Start by making a list of all the electrical devices you want to use in your RV, then find out their wattage in watts. If the device's power is not in Watts, but in Amps (A) and Voltage (V), you can convert it to Watts using the following formula: Power (W) = Voltage (V) x Current (A)
2. Add some redundancy:
To ensure that the inverter has enough capacity to handle peak loads and sudden starting currents, it is recommended to choose an inverter that is slightly larger than the calculated total power.
3.Safety margin:
It is recommended that the capacity of the inverter is 20%-30% greater than the total power of the electrical equipment you plan to use. This can ensure stable and safe operation without exceeding the rated capacity of the inverter.
4.Inverter type:
Considering that your RV's power supply may be powered by a car battery or solar cells, you may need an inverter suitable for direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). If your RV has a dedicated solar panel system, you'll also want to make sure the inverter can handle the voltage and current output from the solar cells.
5.Extra features:
Some inverters are also equipped with USB charging interfaces, protection functions (such as overload protection, over-temperature protection, etc.) and pure sine wave output, which may be helpful to you.

Let's first understand the different types of power sources and their respective sources. The RV electrical system uses two types of power sources.

1. Independent power supply system

The independent power system mainly consists of RV batteries, generators, solar panels, etc. They are usually installed together during vehicle manufacturing and can provide the necessary electricity for RVs.

The RV battery is one of the most important components of an independent power system. RV batteries are a type of deep cycle battery that can provide long-term electricity for RVs. The generator is used to generate electricity by starting the car engine when the RV battery is low, in order to ensure the normal use of the RV.

Solar panels are an efficient independent power system that can convert light energy into electricity through solar energy. Solar panels are generally installed on the roof of RVs and can provide a stable source of electricity, especially suitable for RVs parked outdoors for a long time.

2. Connect the external power supply system

Connecting an external power system is usually done by connecting the RV to an external power source through cables, such as residential electricity, camping site electricity, etc. Connecting to an external power source can provide a more stable and reliable source of electricity for RVs.

What is the role of an inverter?How is it different from a converter?

Most of the recreational vehicle manufacturers install a "converter" in the electrical system of the recreational vehicle. When you plug in the "shore power", the auxiliary battery will be charged, which converts AC to DC.However, the function of the inverter is just the opposite of the converter;it converts DC to AC. When you do not plug in the "shore power", you can run the AC appliances. However, most of the recreational vehicle manufacturers do not include the inverter in the electrical system during factory production. If you want your recreational vehicle to be away from the power grid and can run all the AC appliances at the same time, then you need an inverter.

Why do we need a pure sine wave inverter?The sine wave AC power output by a pure sine wave inverter is the same as or better than the power grid we use daily.The power grid has no electromagnetic pollution.In short, it has a wide range of applications, strong load capacity, and excellent stability.It is similar to the AC power used in ordinary homes.Under the condition of meeting the power requirements, it can drive almost any kind of electrical appliance.

Giandel offers a variety of pure sine wave inverters with a wide range of power:

Giandel's pure sine wave inverter has good output waveform and low distortion, and its output waveform is basically the same as the AC waveform of the commercial power grid.Pure sine wave inverters have low interference to radio, communication equipment and precision equipment, low noise, strong load adaptability, and can meet all AC load applications, with high overall efficiency.Giandel's battery inverter series can handle loads up to 1000W, 2000W, 3000W, 4000W, and 5000W respectively.As the capacity increases, the price and the amount of power required for the inverter's own operation also increase.

To achieve the same use of AC appliances as at home, we need to use inverters. Let's take a look at the AC appliances commonly used in RVs?

It can be seen that the commonly used AC appliances for RVs mostly belong to the category of medium to high power, among which the inevitable high-power AC appliances belong to air conditioning. However, due to the inductive characteristics and large compressor start-up surges, at least an inverter with a power of 3000W or above should be selected. Surplus can also drive some small devices with power below 1000W

See which ones belong to inductive loads

It can be seen that the choice of 3000W inverter is due to load considerations.

But isn't it the only factor to consider?

12V represents that the voltage platform on the RV is 12V, from the engine to the inverter, and then to the battery, all are 12V. When the voltage platform is 12V, a 3000W inverter is already a larger power choice under the 12V voltage platform. If you choose inverters below 3000W, you may not have a good power experience with more inductive loads; If you choose an inverter with a power output of over 3000W, the current is too high, the wire diameter requirement is too large, and wiring is difficult.

Estimated power of common electric appliances used in RVs: Air conditioning heating is generally around 2500W (electric auxiliary heating); Air conditioning cooling is generally around 800W; The induction cooker is generally around 2500W; An electric kettle typically costs around 1500W. Attention: It is not recommended to use high-power appliances for RVs. It is best to use a single electrical appliance with a power of less than 3000W, and high-power appliances should not be used simultaneously. This is determined by the maximum power that can be provided by the generator or inverter we can carry. We can calculate the electricity consumption of individual appliances based on individual needs and add them up to obtain the total demand. Usually, we can choose 5000W, or even 6000W (two 3000W) inverters, and the voltage platform needs to be increased to 24V or 48V to ensure electrical safety.

Select batteries based on electricity demand

From the above explanation, we know that our electricity demand is approximately 9.8 kWh. According to the requirements, we see that lithium batteries with at least 1000Ah or more can meet our daily usage needs. Of course, this is just a theoretical calculation, and we have overlooked many low-power appliances such as lighting, refrigerators, mobile phone charging, laptops, etc; Moreover, the power loss during the inverter process of the transmission motor has not been considered. When actually choosing a battery, everyone also needs to consider practical factors such as safety, price, lifespan, operating environment temperature, weight (which affects the weight of the RV).


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