power inverter

Old 08-04-02, 09:52 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
power inverter

hi. need some help with choosing the right power inderter. i have a 89 chevy van full size with the 5.7 L motor (customize) i need to add a tv with dvd and also a small refridgerator.whats the best power inverter can i use to supply power to these units.
Thanks for any info.
Old 08-09-02, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 438
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Need to know what the power draw is for each of the items you want to power up.
Old 08-16-02, 09:25 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
It is true that the main thing you need to know when selecting an inverter is how much power you plan to draw. Check the wattage ratings on each of the items you plan to install (though you should probably double the value for the TV, as it pulls a large surge when you turn it on). Inverters are sold based on the wattage they provide.

However, that being said, the inverter isn't really your critical component, it's your battery. A regular car/van battery isn't nearly powerful enough to run a fridge for very long without completely draining it flat. You would probably have to run your engine the whole time it was on to keep it going. An alternative that I have seen is a 12V heater/cooler unit that is made to run off of a car battery for quite some time, and so is much more efficient.

Even if you just want to run your TV/DVD, a car battery really isn't up to the task; it could probably do it, but it would most likely drain your battery further than is good for it (it should never go below 50% charge, or you will shorten it's life). What you need is a Marine/RV 'Deep Cycle' battery, with a 200-300 Amp-Hour capacity. The subject of batteries and how to select/charge/maintain them is very complex, and is covered fairly well at:


Hope this helps.
Old 08-16-02, 01:23 PM
Pendragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,851
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Even better than that...

Buy a 12v tv with a built in vcr and a 12v fridge.
power inverters are very inefficient, and you are basically taking DC, converting it to AC, and then BACK to DC inside the appliance.
I forget the exact formula, but it's something close to this:
A device that takes 1 amp on AC will take 5 amps on DC through an inverter.

2cd, your car battery will not last long running a tv and/or a fridge without the engine running (check your alternator too, as it may need to be upsized).

The best solution is to install a dual battery system, using a pair of 6v golf cart batteries and an isolator that charges all the batteries when the engine is running. You're going to spend about $200 to do this (if you do the work yourself), but you won't worry about killing the main battery to the point you can't start the vehicle, and the golf cart batteries (which have a much higher amp/hr rate than car or deep cycle batteries) will run your tv and fridge for many many hours (a LOT longer than a marine battery).

Been there, done that, the invertor and golf cart batteries are the only way to go.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: