Special Guests: Gone with the Wynns – Inverters 101

TheRVgeeks Electrical 7 Comments

An inverter is one of the greatest devices to have on an RV, allowing you to power your appliances when you’re camping “off the cord” (without hook-ups). A power inverter converts the 12-volt DC power in your RV’s batteries into standard 110-volt AC household current. But how many watts do you need and what’s the difference between modified sine wave and pure sine wave?

Rather than tell you about it ourselves, we’re going to let Nikki & Jason do it. They’ve put together a great blog post and a video all about inverters… and they’re giving one away too!

We wanted all of our YouTube subscribers to know about it, so you can get in on the chance to win an awesome Go Power 1,500 watt pure sine wave inverter worth over $500!

Click the links below to read Jason & Nikki’s blog post, watch their excellent video all about inverters, and enter to win one for free! Be sure to enter by Thursday, November 21st, 2013, but even if you’re watching this after the drawing is over, the Wynn’s post and video is an excellent way to learn all about power inverters.


UPDATE: The contest for the free inverters ended on 11/21/3013 and the Wynns have awarded two inverters to two lucky winners. Congratulations to Entry #146: Sally C.and Entry #551: Karyn N!

But all of Nikki & Jason’s great information is still super useful, so check them out at the links below for more details.

http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-inverter-pure-sine

Go Power and our good friends Jason & Nikki of GoneWithTheWynns are giving away this awesome unit! Be sure to enter for your chance to win! Plus, their video and blog post all about inverters will help you get the most out of your wild camping experience.

Follow Nikki & Jason’s Adventures at:  http://www.gonewiththewynns.com

Or check out their truly AWESOME travel videos at:  http://www.youtube.com/user/gonewiththewynns

Don’t worry if you don’t win this time around. Amazon has great prices on this and other great Go Power inverters:

For more information about Go Power:  http://gpelectric.com



We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.


Comments 7

  1. Hello. Maybe you or people on here can help me. I bought a bunk house travel trailer. I bought it for family camping trips. Well my marriage ended and I now live in the camper. Not a big deal for me. I just need to make some changes. To make it feel more like home. One project I have is turning bunk area into a bed room. I have pulled out top bunk and very happy with it. It has no outlets in the room. I thought I could put an inverter in the cargo hold under his bed. then run power from the battery. Then I would run a surge protector from the inverter to his room. That way i can hookup a tv, xbox, and phone charger. What size inverter will I need and is that safe?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi William. That all sounds totally do-able… and should be safe as long as you wire everything carefully, etc. The only trouble we could envision would be if the bunk house area is in a slide, which would make running wiring more complicated. Barring that, we have only a couple of thoughts…

      • If you go the inverter route, you likely wouldn’t need a very large one. You’d just need to add up the power usage of all the devices you’d want it to run. So if the TV was 300W (no idea if that’s reasonable, just throwing a number out), the XBOX was 100W, and the phone charger is 10W, you’d need something capable of supporting a 410W load. You’d need to account for any “surge” the devices have on start-up… so likely a 1,000W inverter would be PLENTY!
      • For those devices, the extra money for a pure-sine inverter would be good. Electronics generally work OK on modified sine power from less-expensive inverters, but it causes their power supplies to run hotter, which can shorten their life.
      • You could consider getting an RV-specific, 12V TV… and installing a 12V outlet that could power a USB-charger for the phone. But that would still leave the XBox needing power. With the 12V outlet, you could consider a small, portable inverter to power just the XBox, with the rest running off 12V directly… which would be more power efficient than inverting the power from 12V to 120V and then having the devices’ inboard power adapters ramping it back down.
      • Consider what your battery capacity is. Travel trailers usually have smaller battery banks, so the usable power available isn’t that great. Even a small inverter could drain your battery bank pretty quickly if it’s not large enough.

      Hope this all helps!

  2. Hello, I watched a video on the GoneWithTheWynns website on the subject of running an RV air conditioner off of solar and an inverter. The Wynns got you guys to wire their RV air conditioner to their inverter (no detail on the video as to how you did that). I want to install a Soft Start in the air conditioner on my Class A rv so I can run an air conditioner off of solar. Can you send me information on how to wire the roof air conditioners in my Class A motorhome into my inverter? I have a Magnum 3000 watt Hybrid pure sine inverter in my coach (same inverter that the Wynns used).
    Thank you,
    David

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi David! We did indeed help the Wynns with getting their AC temporarily wired to their inverter so they could do their test of running it from their lithium batteries. But the reason we didn’t include details on how we did it was threefold: (1) we aren’t electricians and don’t want to risk giving bad information on a topic that could have dire results if improperly done, (2) the way we did it for Nikki and Jason was totally temporary, and not likely something that someone would want to do as a permanent solution, and (3) every RV is wired differently, and Nikki & Jason’s just happened to have a configuration that made it easy to rig something up temporarily… but it’s not likely that many other RVs would be similar. We’d suggest that if you’re on Facebook, you may want to check out the Solar Powered RVs & Boondocking group, as there is likely someone there who has attempted to do what you’re looking to do and could give more direct input on how to proceed safely. Sorry we can’t be of more help… but let us know if you find a solution that works!

  3. You actually make it appear really easy with your presentation however I find
    this topic to be really something that I think I would by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complicated and extremely vast for
    me. I’m looking ahead in your subsequent publish, I will try
    to get the hold of it!

    1. This topic can be hard to understand for a lot of people. but getting into the RV life you will find you learn these things quickly. But to simplify the whole thing.

      Each AC Appliance (which are things that plug into a normal home style electrical socket) Require a certain amount of power. Makes sense right? Once you find out what each device requires its just a matter of math to find out what kind of inverter you require. I myself have done a blog post on this topic, trying to type it out as simply as possible. It can still get confusing.

      When it comes to Mod Sine wave vs Pure Sine Wave options. What I tell people that have problems understanding that Mod is Dirty Power, while Pure is Clean power. Pure is what you will see from a standard home power outlet from the grid. Some things just won’t work on Mod Sine, or work allot harder. Like a house fan for example. On a Mod Sine, it might make a buzzing sound while running, and work allot harder and its life span would be cut in half. A Microwave in another example might take twice as long to warm up a cup of water then it would plugged into grid power or a pure sine wave inverter.

      I know even put as simply as possible can still be confusing. So I find it just easy to say Mod Sine is dirty, and would just not use in long term use applications. If you plan to use long term. Go Pure Sine even if its allot money, and ignore anyone that tells you otherwise that Mod Sines are just as good, ok for long term use and cheaper. Hell, my heating blanket wont even turn on with a Mod Sine Inverter, but will on my pure sine inverter. Its just a basic heating blanket with no advance parts and it will not accept Mod Sine wave power. Some might, but mine sure as hell wont. lol

      But i wont rant anymore and confuse you anymore. I am sorry. :-)

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