The Best Power Inverter for Camping

When on camping trips, it is important to invest in a backup power source in the event you have a hard time accessing a source of power. With an inverter with you, it is possible to run any device that is capable of changing direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

A reliable power inverter allows you to consume up to about a thousand watts or more, it is portable, user-friendly, and less noisy when compared to a generator. A power inverter can convert 12 volts DC from a battery to 120 volts AC just like the electricity you get at home.

In this guide, we will explain exactly what a power inverter is capable of, what its limitations are as well as recommending the very best power inverters for camping trips.

Our Favorite Power Inverters for Camping:

Product

Rating

Peak

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Price

AIMS

"best in class"

3000W

VertaMax

"quality affordable option"


3000W

Power TechOn


"amazon top choice"

3000W

Ampeak

"lower powered option"

2000W

What Size Power Inverter do I need for Camping?

Power inverters are rated by their power input and they come in many sizes from 100w to 10,000w.

In order to determine which size you should get, there is the need to know the total power that is required by all the appliances you will be using. To do this, you need to find out how much power is used by each appliance. The wattage rating of each appliance is usually on their sticker, this is usually in Amps or Watts.

If the wattage rating is given in watts, you can simply add up the numbers so as to get the total power. If the wattage rating is given in Amps, you need to convert this to watts so as to get the total power. To do this, multiply the number of Amps by 120 volts. For instance, a heater with a 5 amps wattage rating will consume 600 watts of power.

It is important to note that there are some appliances that require high start-up energy such as refrigerators so there is the need to put this into consideration when calculating the total power needed.

How Long will my Battery Last?

Once you have worked out the size of inverter you need, it is important to know how long your battery is going to last so that you will have power when it is needed. There is no point in taking all your appliances and devices to your camping trip only to discover your battery goes flat in no time.

In order to determine how long your battery will last, there is the need to work out how many Amps will be drawn from your battery using the total power you got earlier. To do this, simply divide your total power by 10, this would give you the Amps drawn when running on a 12 volts supply. For instance, if your total power is 400 watts the Amps drawn from the battery will be 40A.

The capacity of a battery is usually given in Amp hours (Ahr) and the most common battery sizes are 85 Ahr and 115 Ahr. In order to calculate how many hours your battery will last from a full charge simply divide the battery size by the Amps taken from the battery. So for an 85 Ahr battery with 40 Amps being drawn the battery will last for 2.1 hours.

Pure Sine Wave vs. Modified Sine Wave for Camping?

When choosing a power inverter, pure sine or modified sine is one of the biggest points of confusion and conflict. Here are some of the main differences between these two terms without going deep into the science behind these technologies.

Pure sine wave inverters offer the cleanest source of power; this can be likened to the power from your home. Modified sine wave inverters offer a stepped or square power output; this is less clean and can cause problems for some devices such as laptops, LED lights, audio equipment, microwaves, and other sensitive devices.

For your camping trips, it is advisable to get a pure sine wave inverter.

Reviews of our Favorite Power Inverters for Camping

AIMS Power 3000 Watt 12V DC Power Inverter


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Quality

With this inverter, it is definitely possible to enjoy a reliable and clean supply of power to run your essential appliances. This is particularly helpful when you are on a camping site with no electrical hookups. This is a reliable pure sine wave inverter from AIMS and it is equipped with a 100 Amps smart battery charger. This inverter has 7 different battery type settings, this makes picking the right one for your needs a breeze. It has the capability to produce an efficient and high quality 3000w pure sine wave power while also having the ability to retain normal output even when the battery hit a low voltage.

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Our Rating

The VertaMax 3000w pure sine wave inverter boasts of a reliable design as it is equipped with a thermal shutdown feature that helps to promote a smooth running and operation of the inverter. With this inverter, you will feel secure knowing that it also has a high/low voltage alarm. This unit is a great solution to power up a number of appliances including coffee makers, laptops, microwave ovens, CD and DVD players. The only drawback of this inverter is that it doesn't have a USB charging port and remote switch although the remote switch can be purchased separately. This unit is a great source of power for the majority of your electronic devices and equipment on your camping trip.

PROS

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    Nicely built and sturdy
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    Digital display
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    Several safety features

CONS

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    Lacks USB ports
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    No remote switch

Power TechOn 3000w Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter


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Quality

This is another pure sine wave inverter that is ideal for camping trips. It has the ability to provide 3000w of continuous power and 6000w of surge power. It is very versatile and it can be used for a wide variety of applications and purposes. This inverter promotes a high level of efficiency with sensitive equipment and appliances. It is very safe to use as it comes with 5 protection systems such as overload protection, thermal protection, low voltage protection, and over voltage protection. Also, the LED light makes detection of any problem with this unit very easy.

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Our Rating

The compact size and portability of the Power TechOn inverter make it ideal for use during your camping trips. Apart from this, it comes with most of the essential things that are needed to make it work right away such as a remote switch, red and black cables, and 3 AC outlets. However, this unit is not equipped with a USB charging port.

PROS

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    Versatile and highly efficient
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    Compact and portable
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    Durable construction

CONS

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    Some note that the remote switch is 'bulky'

Ampeak 2000w Power Inverter


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Quality

This is another inverter that is ideal for camping trips. This unit is capable of delivering up to 2000 watts of continuous power and a surge watt capacity of 4000w. This is enough to power up all your essential appliances on your camping trip. It is equipped with 3 AC outlets and 1 USB port so you can charge up to 4 devices at the same time. One of the most impressive features of this inverter is its smart digital LCD display. This display is very clear to see and it shows all the important details such as DC input voltage, fault codes, and AC output watt.

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Our Rating

The Ampeak power inverter is very safe to use as it comes with various protection systems including an audible alarm. There is also an auto shutdown protection feature; this can be of help when there is overheating, short circuit, low voltage, or overvoltage. Additionally, the Ampeak power inverter makes use of an ABS shell that helps to improve the stability of this unit. This is slightly more expensive but the array of features on this unit will surely compensate for it.

PROS

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    Smart digital display
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    It comes with an auto shutdown protection
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    3 AC outlets and 1 USB port

CONS

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    None to report of as yet!

POTEK 2000 Watt Power Inverter


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Quality

This is another 2000 watt power inverter with a surge capability of 4000 watts. It has 3 AC outlets and 1 USB port that are suitable for powering your TV, microwave, refrigerator, floodlights, and any other appliances you may have with you on your camping trip. This inverter also offers protection against over voltage, under voltage, short circuit, overload, and overheating.

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Our Rating

The POTEK power inverter is also ideal for use on camping sites as it has many features to keep you safe while also providing enough power to run your essential devices. It has a cooling fan that kicks on once the temperature within the inverter exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The POTEK 2000w inverter is a great performer as it delivers a flawless performance each time a good supply of power is required for your appliances and electronics.

PROS

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    It features 3 AC outlets and 1 USB port
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    Lightweight
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    Easy to install and use

CONS

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    Some reports it can be noisy under operation