Power Inverters for the Road

Find the Lowest Prices on the Best Power Inverters

How Power Inverters Work

Many accessories truckers use in the truck, including appliances, laptops, and printers, run on AC power, and need an AC connection to plug into. Power inverters plug into the 12 volt receptacles within the truck and allow AC plug connections.

A 12 Volt or 24 Volt DC to AC power inverter converts the vehicle's DC current into conventional AC electricity which can run all kinds of household products such as: kitchen appliances, microwaves, TV's, radios, computers and more.

Connect the inverter to a battery or to a cigarette lighter and plug your AC devices into the power inverter. The higher wattage inverters need to be connected directly to the truck's batteries, so consider your accessory needs before you make your purchase.

Using the Power Inverter in Your Truck

When you power up through your inverter, it's recommended that you keep your truck idling, unless you use a generator to run everything. If you run on battery power alone, it won't take long to kill the truck's batteries, depending on how much power you use. Consult your vehicles manufacturer or a reliable mechanic to determine if your truck's alternator will be able to keep up with the amps being used. If you only have an appliance's amps, take the amps x 120 to get the watts. Note: If you're not using a generator in your truck, it's recommended that you only use up to a 2500 watts (continuous) power inverter.

Selecting the Right Power Inverter for Your Needs

You must make sure the power inverter you select has enough power for the appliances you plan to run. Learn the wattage requirements for each appliance, and add up the wattage total for all the appliances you plan to run at the same time. It's also a good idea to add 10-20% to the total to be on the safe side.

The next section has wattage estimates for some of the appliances and electronics truckers typically run in the truck.

Electronics and Small Appliance Wattage Estimates

Electronic DeviceWattage
Laptop 50-100
PC & Monitor 250-500
Printer 50-100
Laser Printer 500-800
Fax Machine 120
Television 100-300
VCR 40-60
DVD Player 50
Stereo 50-100
Clock Radio 50
Satellite Dish 50
Game Players 100-150
Small Appliance Wattage
Coffee Maker 500-1000
Toaster 750-1500
Blender 300-500
Microwave 1000-2000
Blow Dryer 1000-1500

Continuous Versus Peak Wattages

The peak wattage is the start-up wattage or start-up load. An appliance (or electronic device, tool, etc.) requires an initial surge of power to start up. When start-up is complete, the appliance requires less power for "continuous" operation.

Take the appliance's wattage and double it to get the start-up/peak load. For example, a coffe maker with a 500 wattage amount may require 1000 watts or more to start up. Note: Some appliances with motors, and tools may require 3-7 times start-up power.