Here are the 16 best locations to put an inverter in your RV. It is essential to ensure its proper ventilation and secured installation with the body for efficient performance.
Where to Put Inverter in RV? You can place the inverter, either interior or exterior of the RV at the shortest distance from the house batteries. You can the RV inverter under its stairs, in the front storage area, under the bed, in the cabinet, and near the generator compartment.
Their location can vary among different models and sizes of the RV according to the owner’s requirements.
An inverter works as a device to convert DC power from battery to AC power to operate the AC appliances without running the generator or in the absence of shore power.
You can choose the one to match the power wattage of the appliances you want to run on the inverter. Therefore, its size varies according to the power rating.
Where to Put Inverter in RV?
The location of the inverter in the RV depends on where the batteries are present and the intended appliances that you want to operate.
Each RV model has a different battery location depending upon the size of the battery bank and available space.
Battery banks come sealed in a protective case with ventilation to avoid the accumulation of fumes.
You can install the inverter on top of the battery compartment with the help of a pair of angle irons, iron brackets, or fixing wooden rails to hold it.
You can also install it with the help of screws on the sidewall of the RV in the battery area with battery cables directly entering the equipment.
It is the arrangement most people use to ensure the shortest distance from the battery bank.
There are multiple storage areas in the basement of a large RV to cater luggage, batteries, gas cylinders, and generator.
This arrangement is safe in flooded batteries as hydrogen fumes can damage the inverter or be a fire risk. Put it on the opposite side in the basement bay to ensure the shortest distance with safety.
Near the Fridge
If you want to install a separate inverter for a residential refrigerator, install it under or side of the fridge. However, you should install it near the batteries area.
Use Sidewall above the battery compartment
The RV inverter is a small accessory needing an approximate space of 1′ X 1′. Therefore you can install it on the sidewall inside the cabin right above the batteries compartment.
This arrangement will help you to turn it ON and OFF without going outside. Use the screws or brackets and drill the holes through the floor to connect with batteries.
Near the breaker panel
If you want to utilize the AC wiring from the manufacturer for shore or generator power, you need to install an auto or manual transfer switch to switch between all three options.
Therefore put the inverter in the vicinity of the main breaker or fuse panel and connect its output via the switching board.
Near the Generator compartment
If the generator compartment is in the vicinity of batteries, you can place it with a charger option on top of it.
This arrangement will serve two purposes with minimum wiring requirements. In the absence of a generator or shore power supply, batteries will provide power via an inverter to run AC appliances.
Place RV Inverter under the dinette
Under the dinette, plenty of space is available to place the battery box and inverter.
However, you need to provide a vented outlet on the sidewall and floor for flooded batteries, while for AGM and Gel batteries, no ventilation is required.
This whole battery and inverter set up inside the camper will save expenditure due to the low gauge wire and reduced distance. Moreover, it is easy to troubleshoot any problem as all system components are inside the cabin.
Place it with the shore power receptacle
Inverter with charger options that provide both AC and DC power according to requirements.
This arrangement will help to use the already installed wires with AC outlets to microwave oven, fridge, etc., instead of running extension cord for each appliance.
Install it in the dashboard
Instead of fixing a large inverter with its batteries, you can use a smaller one installed on the dashboard and connected with engine batteries.
It will be suitable to charge mobile phones or other low-power devices. However, you can operate it while the engine is ON during driving. Otherwise, it will deplete the batteries making the vehicle unable to start.
Place it under the air conditioner
The air conditioner requires plenty of power to operate. Therefore, it requires the addition of a battery bank and high wattage inverter.
Provide the proper ventilation by drilling vents in the battery box outside the RV. Directly connect the output of the inverter to the air conditioner.
It requires a maximum gauge cable for connection with batteries due to high amperage and distance from the batteries.
In the Front Storage area
There are several storage areas underneath the cabin floor for placing various items. You can shift the batteries to the front of the camper by reinforcing these storage areas with angle irons.
You can provide 2 to 3 AC outlets in the sitting area, for HDTV, and under the dinette table for general purposes.
Inside the Bedroom
You can convert the storage under your bed to a battery compartment.
Batteries should be either dry-type AGM and gel ones or flooded with vents to avoid the accumulation of hydrogen and oxygen vapors.
Another precautionary measure is to secure the batteries in their place to prevent their movement.
With batteries inside the bedroom, you can place it under the bed over the battery compartment to directly connect and reduce the cable size.
Put the Inverter under the seats
Similarly, you can place the one under the seats in the lounge area in a battery tray with air vents.
You can do this installation without shifting batteries inside if present in a compartment right under the seats.
Whenever you locate the batteries to a custom location, make sure to reinforce the floor at that place with suitable arrangements.
Put it inside a cabinet
To install an inverter inside its cabin without messing up the interior look, place it inside any storage cabinet near the batteries area.
It will serve the purpose of hiding the inverter and also provide easy access to operate it.
In the Engine Compartment
Some models of motorhomes have their batteries on the right side of the engine bay and get their charging from the engine alternator while it is running.
Therefore you can place an inverter in that compartment to provide power to the AC outlets.
Near Retractable Door Steps
Few models of class C motorhomes have batteries under the electronically retractable front doorsteps. It is present very close to the sitting area.
Pro tips about selecting the location to place RV Inverter
Selection criteria for inverters’ feasible location in an RV are straightforward and essential from a safety perspective.
You should ensure these 5 points regarding the possible selected location before starting the installation procedure.
Shortest distance from Battery Bank
Battery bank in most RVs has 12VDC output, and voltage level significantly decreases with an increase in length and current.
Electronic switches in an inverter operating at high frequencies require efficient ventilation to dissipate the heat.
Therefore the inlet and outlet of the cooling fan should be free of any obstruction to allow the air passage.
Away from Flammable Objects
Flammable objects like Propane gas or hydrogen fumes in the battery compartment pose a risk of fire.
Away from passageways
Installing the inverter in the corridor with wires lying on the floor will cause malfunctioning as somebody can entangle in it or put a step on it.
Therefore install it on the side walls or underneath some objects to avoid unnecessary contact to prevent physical damage.
At Proper height
Use screws or brackets to secure it in its place during driving.
Avoid putting it on the floor as vibration during RV movement will result in malfunctioning and lose connections. Moreover, any spilled liquids or water can enter the inverter and result in short circuits.