What Size Power Inverter Do I Need For Camping?

Nowadays, when you go camping, bringing something that can produce electricity is a must. But have you ever asked, “what size power inverter do I need for camping?”. In this article, we will give you some reasons why you should have an inverter when traveling. Furthermore, answer the question on how to choose the right one depending on your needs.

Let’s take a look!

What Is Power Inverter For Camping?

Camping power inverters are machines that convert DC to AC, making them an ideal option when traveling.

When compared to an electric generator, an inverter allows you to use up to a thousand watts or more.

Moreover, they are more portable, easy to use, and less noisy.

With this kind of machine, you do not have to worry about not having enough power to use your daily devices.

Simply saying, this is the source that allows you to keep all of your electronic devices plugged in while going on any type of outdoor activity.

It does not matter where you are going; these portable electric sources will work in even the most remote areas that campers go.

This is now widely used by all types of tourists who want to avoid losing some necessary home comforts.

Set up a car electric station (Source: takethetruck)

Types Of Power Inverter For Campers

There are 3 main types of portable stations:

1. Regular type is the most popular one. You can charge most portable stations with any regular wall socket at your home.

It will produce enough power to run most of the electronic things and personal devices once fully charged.

You can even charge them by using an adapter or the lighter socket in your car.

2. Solar type is a green choice. Solar panels can provide enough energy to charge the battery in the power pack.

On the other hand, many sun powered models also have a normal mode, allowing you to charge in the normal way if necessary.

Moreover, these machines are the most convenient because you do not have to connect with any outside grid.

3. Gas type is a great option if you are going on long camping.

Even in the most remote areas, you can still charge the devices with them.

However, gas products have the disadvantage of being kind of loud while running.

Besides, it is not good for the environment as the other types as well.

What Size Power Inverter Do I Need For Camping?

Depending on your needs, power inverters for camping are available in a variety of sizes, from 150 to 6000 watts.

So, how do you know what size you have to buy? The size of the unit you choose will depend on the number of watts of the devices you want to charge.

The best advice is to get a product that can handle more than 20% of your needed load.

It would be better if you also know the start and continuing loads of the appliances.

The start load is the amount of power you need to start the appliances.

The other one is the amount needed to run that device, which is usually less.

The number of devices you can charge at one time depends on the type of that devices, the capacity of the station, and the number of output ports available.

Typically, you can charge two or three devices at one time.

However, if some devices are taking more power than the portable station can handle, thus it will not power all of the devices.

How many watts your appliances need? (Source: techiecamper)

Kinverch 2000W is a powerful option for the campers to use for long trips, camping, and other places without electricity.

In addition, it has a special feature with smart cooling fans.

Thus, this results in quiet running, while also ensuring that the unit is working at a safe temperature.

FF FLASHFISH 200W Portable Power Station is the best budget choice.

Despite the low price, you will be surprised by its high quality.

This little portable pack is the perfect supply for everything from phones to other devices.

Moreover, it also has 3 different charging modes (solar, wall socket, and car charger).

Benefits Of Having A Power Inverter While Camping

1. Living off the grid:

This portable unit will be great stuff on camping trips.

They allow you to store and use your own electricity, without having to connect to the public grid.

This means you will still have electricity to use even if you are in a remote location.

Therefore, it is perfect for people who want to get away from it all without leaving their daily needs.

 2. Working remotely:

Sometimes, you still have many works to do while going on camping.

You can now take your work anywhere, as long as you have your laptop, a power supply, and any other devices you need.

 3. Use for emergencies:

Finally, electric stations are useful not just for campers and travelers, but also for home use when there is an electric cut.

These backup stations can help you to make all the difference in places which has power cuts or heavy storms until the problem is solved.

 Size Power Inverter For Camping?: Tips For Using

When selecting a power inverter, pay attention to the wattage.

If you are powering a small device like an alarm clock with the inverter, 500 watts is ok.

However, if you are running something that requires a lot of electricity, such as a fridge or the air conditioner in your car on a hot day, you may need up to 1500 watts.

  • First of all, always read the manual and follow the instructions.

Some camping power machines need to be set up in a specific way the first time they are used.

  • You should run the cables outside of the car and close enough to access them.

If they are connected to an earth ground or have surge protection, that will be much better.

  • Please keep in mind that while using an inverter in your car, you have to choose the one with surge protection because inverters can be sensitive at times because of their wiring structure.
  • Due to overloading, plugging something into an open cigarette lighter socket will almost certainly result in burns or other problems. Therefore, please be careful.

Watch this video on how to install a camping power system: (54) Camping Electrical & Off Grid 12v Power Explained – How to set up an off-grid camping power system! – YouTube

Maintenance Tips

Here are the steps to maintaining and caring for your power inverter for long-term use:

  • When not in use, unplug and turn off the inverter.
  • Know how to store it properly.

It is preferable to keep it at room temperature.

If you have to put your inverter back in a car, make sure you disconnect any connections from the outlet.

  • Make sure that no strange objects have been inserted into the unit’s engine.

Garbage or other waste, such as leaves or dirt, can get inside of it.

If this happens, clear out the object before using it again.

  • Keep track of how long you have been using your device and do not exceed the suggested load.

Doing so may cause your machine to fail and leave you with some problems.

  • Keep an eye on the gadget for any signs of wear.

For example cracks in plastic pieces or faded paint at the borders.

  • If you are going to use a device outside, make sure it is made for outside use and has weather protection.

You might also have to invest in a surge protector.

Size Power Inverter For Camping?: Buying Guideline

We have some important factors you should check before buying a camping inverter machine.

1. Easy to carry:

As a camping gadget, this is maybe the first thing to think about.

You must choose lightweight products so that you can easily take them with you on the go.

2. Quiet:

If you want to use it on an overnight trip, make sure that the product is not too loud when running.

3. Safe to use:

Safety is the most important factor for buying any electrical device.

Always read the reviews and comments of other buyers before buying.

Additionally, battery and solar-powered ones are the safest choices because they do not produce harmful gases.

4. Capacity:

If you are planning for a long, overnight camping trip, make sure your station can store enough power to charge all of your devices.

5. How to use:

Almost all of these stations are made for seasonal, light use and are not designed to handle large electronic stuff.

However, you still should know how to store and use it so that your machine can last for a long time.

6. Additional features:

Other features make a big difference.

Such as that device’s number of charging ports, whether regular power ports or USB ports.

If you are camping alone, a single portable station may be enough to use.

But if you are camping with a group, you may need a big unit with many more charging connections.

7. Warranty:

When making a buy, you have to think about a famous and trustworthy company.

If you are not totally happy with your purchase, some companies will offer full refunds or exchanges, while others may have no warranty or a limited plan at all.

Before you buy something, spend some time doing researches to know what kind of protection plan they provide.

At the end of the day, the portable power supply, like any other electrical thing, may have problems at some points.

If you do not buy a good one at the beginning, you may have to spend a lot of money to fix it later.

As a result, always go for products that come with a warranty and make sure you completely understand its plan.

Thus, you will know what to do when your machine has problems.

Size Power Inverter For Camping?: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I Use A Power Inverter When Camping?

It is very easy to use this machine.

You can plug your device into it, and then use a socket or extend cable if needed.

Depending on the type of device you use, it may already have a built-in surge protector or electric regulator to make sure they are not run into trouble by too much electricity.

2. Are Portable Power Stations Safe?

Generally, they are safe if you use them the right way.

However, you always need to read the instruction before starting using them, because some products have their own setup ways.

On the other side, almost all of these machines are not harmful to your health.

3. Power Inverter And Generator, Which One Should I Choose?

Although portable inverters are becoming popular with campers recently, there are some important things you should consider.

If you have devices that need more than 1000 watts, we suggest you should use a generator instead.

In this case, they are told to be more power-efficient and also budget-friendly.

Furthermore, it provides a more stable electricity source.

4. Can I Turn Off My Portable Electric Station When Not In Use?

Yes. But why would you want to when the inverter is saving you money on your energy bills?

If you turn off the system, the batteries may drain and be damaged.

If it is not fully charged, it may not work when your home grid system is down.

Thus, you will not be able to use it if there is a power cut. So, just leave it there.

5. How Far Should I Keep My Inverter From My Batteries?

Keep the cables between your inverter and batteries as far as possible.

This will improve the performance of your batteries and also keep the machine’s signal clean as well.

It is better for a maximum distance of six feet.

If you plan to go longer than six feet, use bigger cables.

Because your battery and inverter wires may become hot under heavy load, it is safer if you use thicker ones.


Having the right electric pack can help you a lot when going camping.

There are many available products on the market nowadays.

Therefore, you should make some comparisons so that you can choose the best ones that suit your needs.

Besides asking just one question “what size power inverter do I need for camping?”, we suggest you consider other factors such as if it is easy to carry, durable, easy to maintenance and high performance, etc. By doing that, you can find the best options at the best price.

Further Reading: 

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