Choosing the Best Power Inverter for Camping
Before buying an inverter, it’s important to know what size appliances you’ll be running off it. Inverters come in a range of sizes from 150 watts through to 6000 watts and yours should be roughly double the size of the draw you’ll be placing on it. This allows the inverter to work within its capacity and lowers the chance of blowing fuses in the event of a power surge.
Inverters have two ratings: a continuous and a peak rating. The continuous rating denotes what draw can be placed on the inverter for a long period of time while the peak rating is the maximum load an inverter can handle for a short period of time. The peak rating is usually around double the continuous rating and allows appliances that require an initial burst of energy, such as fridges to start up before settling into their continuous rating.
Using Batteries with your Power Inverter
As well as using the right appliances with your inverter, you also need to make sure that your battery is the correct size. Different batteries have different maximum draw currents that they can sustain without damaging the battery. For AGM batteries, the maximum current draw is 30% of their total capacity, while gel batteries use 25% and for wet or flooded cell batteries, it’s 10%.
It’s also worth remembering that inverters draw from batteries if they are left turned on, even if there is no appliance plugged in, which can leave you with a flat battery. You can find out what this draw will be by checking the specifications of your inverter.
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave inverters are the best power inverter for laptops and other sensitive 240 volt devices. In fact, the output waveform of a Pure Sine Wave inverter can be better than the electricity that comes out of your wall sockets at home! While they may be slightly more expensive than Modified Sine Wave technology, investing in a Pure Sine Wave inverter gives you the ease of being able to run a range of appliances when away from mains power.