RV inverter wiring diagram (RV electricity explained)

In this article, we give you an RV inverter wiring diagram, we explain how to instal an RV inverter and help you choose the best one for your needs. 

RV inverter wiring diagram

Below you will find the most standard RV inverter wiring diagram. However, before getting to work, we recommend you the following essential tips for installing an RV inverter:

  • Always put a fuse between the battery and the power inverter, so that if a short circuit occurs, the fuse protects the installation.
  • Install the inverter so that it has a minimum of ventilation, especially if it is going to be used continuously (for example, if it supplies a 220V refrigerator)
  • An inverter does not need additional approval as long as you DO NOT add an extension cord or extend the 220V installation. (Or at least, they don’t see it on ITV …)
  • For any other questions, consult our electrical installation guide, or leave a comment.

RV inverter wiring diagram 1

RV inverter wiring diagram 2

RV inverter wiring diagram 3

What is an RV inverter?

The inverter is a device that we will have directly connected to our secondary battery (you can consult our electrical diagrams) and that will basically allow us to convert the electricity provided by our 12V battery to 220V, so we can connect our most common consumables, such as the laptop, through a normal plug, like those at home.

The inverter, when it transforms the current from 12V to 220V works with waves. In the market there are many types of converters but broadly speaking we can differentiate them into two groups:

Pure Sine Wave Inverter for RVs

  • It generates a wave equal to that of the houses;
  • It can be used for devices that have a motor;
  • However, it is much more expensive.

Rectified Wave Inverters for RVs

  • Produces a square wave that is intended to mimic the pure sine wave;
  • It is only used for simple devices without motor (TV, computer, …);
  • It is cheaper;
  • Main disadvantage: doesn’t work with appliances with motor or heat resistances such as a hairdryer.

Tips for selecting an inverter for an RV 

Before selecting our inverter we must know that this type of device has what is called nominal power and peak power.

  • The nominal power is the power that the inverter can provide you during normal and continuous use.
  • Peak power is the power it can provide you for a short period of time. 

It is Important to Take into account Both Values ​​and some to start, require that peak power. If an appliance demands more power than the converter can supply, the fuses and even the inverter can blow.

This means that if what I want is an inverter to connect a computer, surely the computer usually consumes 240w, but when starting it needs 500w (peak power), so our inverter must be able to provide us with these powers.

As we have already mentioned before, all elements connected to batteries will use the energy stored in them.

The electricity that the inverter converts will come out of them, so we must be aware that we are going to connect and if our batteries will be able to supply this electricity to us.

Otherwise, we risk that with 2 uses of any of the devices that we have connected to the inverter we will run out of battery in our secondary battery; Not because of the inverter, but because the electricity stored in our secondary battery is not enough for the electricity demand of the device we intend to use.

We remember that to choose our inverter, we must try that it is not always working at full capacity, since this may mean that we burn it and have problems with it. It is recommended that our investor is working at 70%.

That is, if we are going to have a computer connected whose charger tells us that it works at 240w, the perfect thing will be that we buy a 400W inverter. instead of one of 300W, this way we will have enough margin.

Bapdas 300W Power Inverter, DC 12V, 220V-240V AC Output, Dual USB Ports 5V/2.1A

  • It has 2 versatile ports (5V / 2.1A) to charge smartphones, tablets, and any other device powered by a USB
  • Built-in cooling fan, which reduces the temperature of the work and keeps it in good condition
  • intelligent protection against over-voltage, overload, overheating and short circuit
  • It can be connected to a 12V socket.
  • Inverter instantly converts 300 watts continuous DC to AC
  • built-in cooling fan,
  • intelligent protection against overheating and short circuit
  • economic
  • Good results in terms of durability.
  • Continuous power: 1000W and maximum power: 2000w.
  • LED indicating any anomaly in the inverter.
  • Power manager and smart fan that turns on when overheating.
  • Temperature protection, low voltage input, high voltage input, overload, short circuit and current protection.

EDECOA Pure Wave Inverter 12v 220v converter 1000w of Pure Wave 12v 220v with Remote Control

Possibility of connecting any type of device with motor or thermal resistance

  • Bring a remote control as accessories
  • It has automatic voltage regulation
  • good results
  • Less economical than modified wave
  • Possibility of connecting any type of device with motor or thermal resistance
  • It has automatic voltage regulation
  • good results
  • Less economical than modified wave models, but good value for money

How much inverter power do I need?

If you have already looked at inverters, you will see that each one offers a different power (Expressed in Watts, W). Well, the power they show is what it is capable of supplying for a specific moment. 

That is, to a 500W inverter, electronic devices that as a whole consume less than those 500W can be connected at the same time. And how much does each device consume? 

Consumption is listed on most products, but as a general guide, you can use the following table.

ProductConsumption (WATT)
Digital camera / mobile charger10
Electric mixer 400
Small refrigerator160
Game console250
Small electric fan350
Electric drill500
Food processor900
Small microwave750
Air conditioning1300
Electric kettle2000
Air Compressor3000

Final tips

If you are not going to connect a microwave or a refrigerator continuously, surely with a 500-600W inverter it will be more than enough. On the other hand, if you are going to use, for example, the microwave, we recommend a 1000-1200W inverter at least.

The inverters also have a peak power, which is usually twice the nominal. This represents the power that they are capable of supplying at a very specific moment (seconds), when, for example, for situations, in which, for example, an engine is started.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content.

FAQ about the RV inverter wiring diagram

How does the electrical system of an RV work?

The sockets that are used on a day-to-day basis are generally 220v and the RV only generates 12v. This means that during the trip, with a fully charged battery, you will probably have 2 hours with the lights on and 2 hours with the television. At the end of this time, the battery will run out

How do you recharge the battery of a motorhome? Is it necessary to plug it into 220v? 

The batteries are recharged automatically thanks to the energy generated by the motor. … Another way to charge the battery, although in this case it only affects the auxiliary, is by connecting the motorhome to 220V power.

How many solar panels are needed for a motorhome?

So with approximately 2 solar panels of 150W, it would be enough, but what about winter? In winter we have less sun, so we tend to calculate it, for security more or less in half and each plate would give us about 250W, so you would need 4 plates of 150W

How long does it take to charge a motorhome battery?

So the charging time for a 100Ah battery is 12 to 16 hours minimum and if we have two batteries, double it. If you want to recharge faster, you must install a special 20 A electronic charger.


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