1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter *Updated*

Soon after receiving our new Cougar fifth wheel I purchased a 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter to be able to run our 21″ iMac computer and 32″ LCD TV while off the grid. I wanted a pure sine wave inverter to give our sensitive electronic items clean, stable, and safe power.

The unit has performed well for 18 months now with almost continuous use from our iMac even when plugged into the shore power. I’ve actually come to trust it more than shore power. The way I have installed the inverter it is completely isolated from the regular AC electrical circuits in the RV.

1000W RV Inverter

Several key things were necessary for a good installation.

1. Proximity to the batteries.

By being close to the batteries, the inverter is able to get maximum current when needed without losing power in the cabling.  Also, there is less chance the cables will heat up under heavy loads. I have around 18 inches of 2 gauge battery cable and they never feel even warm.

2.Isolated from the batteries air space.

This one was a tough one for me. You want the inverter in a different area than your batteries for a couple of reasons. You don’t want battery gasses building up around the inverter because it can cause corrosion to the electronics or a spark from the inverter may cause an explosion.  My trade-off was to put the batteries in a vented box to have the inverter very close.

Also, my front storage bay has a lot of air circulation due to the front jack leg holes being open to the air.  So far it’s been a good setup with no signs of battery gasses in the compartment. This saves me from running wires 2-3 times longer and cutting holes in my fifth wheel basement storage area.

3.Enough battery capacity to run the inverter for a decent length of time between recharges and allow it to be run near max wattage.

I went with 2 – 6 Volt T-105 Trojan golf cart batteries which gave me 225 Amp Hours capacity.  An upgrade from the 85AH capacity of the OEM trailer battery.  A fair amount for a 1000 watt inverter.  Generally, we go 2 days dry camping before needing to recharge.

1000 WattPure Sine Wave Inverter Installation

4. Switchable Breaker for safety

I installed an 80 amp Breaker in the positive feed from the battery bank to the inverter’s DC input.  This way if a short develops in the inverter or wiring there won’t be a meltdown or worse a fire. Since the breaker is switchable I can easily remove the inverter circuit from the batteries for maintenance or testing.

5. Air Space around the inverter

The inverter has two built-in fans so that tells us it can run hot.  The best thing for long life is to make sure it can stay cool.  I installed mine on the front storage compartments back wall with good fresh air circulation and space around it.

Video showing my 1000W Inverter installation

In conclusion, this has been a great upgrade to the RV and allows us to use and charge many of our electronic gadgets and watch a bit of  TV without  hookups. One word of advice is you get what you pay for as far as inverters go.  I paid nearly $300 for mine if it is much cheaper it is probably not a Pure Sine Wave Inverter or is poor quality.  Also, look for one with a remote power button.  Running out to turn the inverter off before bed on a cold boondocking camp trip isn’t much fun.

*Update* after 5 years use

After having the inverter installed for 5 years, I can report the unit has performed flawlessly and met our off-grid power needs. Granted they are minimal, just computers, TV, and assorted electronics chargers, but the unit has never even had a hiccup. I’ve had many comments and questions over the years about how I installed it and why I don’t have a higher wattage unit and why I didn’t wire it directly into the RVs power panels, etc. So, I’ve decided to update this post with an additional video explaining my 1000w inverter RV installation in more depth.

NPower XRP Pure Sine Wave Inverter with Remote Control – 1,000 Watt, 2 AC Outlets

Price: $249.99

4.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer reviews)

1 used & new available from $249.99

The inverter I have was bought at Canadian Tire in Canada. In the USA, it appears to be available under the name NPower XRP. Here is the owners manual I found online with more info and specs on it.

Update Video Detailing 1000W Inverter Installation

Power Bright 0-AWG6 0 AWG Gauge 6-Foot Professional Series Inverter Cables 3000-4000 watt

Price: $52.51

3.3 out of 5 stars (42 customer reviews)

9 used & new available from $42.01

Blue Sea Systems 285-Series Surface Mount 80A Circuit Breaker

Price: $41.58

4.9 out of 5 stars (102 customer reviews)

54 used & new available from $39.01

See More Love Your RV! Mods and Upgrades

Simple way to install a 1000 watt inverter into your RV. RV inverter installation explained - Love Your RV! blog - http://www.loveyourrv.com/ #RVing #RVmod

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  • Saddle

    Where did you get your battery box? I want to upgrade to 4 batteries as well, but I’m having trouble finding a box that’s suitable. Thanks! Love your videos!

  • Kent

    Hi Ray,
    How did you determine the fuse size of 80A? I have the same inverter and will be installing it in my travel trailer this week.

    And thanks for the great blog and videos!! Cheers from Vancouver Island.

    • Ray

      Hi Kent. Volts x Amps = Watts so knowing that the max continuous rated watts are 1000 I divided by 12 to get 80 amps. Being that I mainly use the inverter for loads under 200 watts, I went with a 80 amp breaker. If I was using the inverter for loads closer to its max wattage capability I may have went with a little higher amperage to allow for initial surge currents that may happen when an appliance first turns on. Cheers Ray

  • Last year, I went to two 6 volts instead of 2 12 volt batteries for my 29′ Wildcat 5th wheel. Everytime I go to get it, the batteries are dead and have to be recharged. (latest one was about 4 weeks of setting). I am no getting a shut-off installed so I can eliminate any draw on the batteries. My question is-there were a lot of splatters on the tops of the batteries this time as though they were getting hot. Is it possible that the 2 year old inverter (replaced with the same OEM.) could be overcharging those batteries, or somehow creating a drain on the system? I didn’t have this problem with the 12 volt batteries in 7 years of useage.

    • Ray

      If they are dead something in the trailer is drawing juice, a shutoff should stop that.
      I would think the charge voltage is too high for too long and causing the batteries to bubble. Usually the smart charging circuits in the modern RV’s have three stages and as the battery comes to full charge they change modes too provide less and less charge voltage. I wonder if yours is stuck on high mode. You would need a multimeter to check what the charging voltages is at the battery. Generally the three charging modes should show voltages of 14.4V, 13.6 and the final mode of 13.2
      My two six volts are totally clean on top, no splatters after 3 threes constant use.

  • DALE HAMMOND

    i have an 02 fleetwood terra class a and have a rt4000t in motion sat. dish on top. i was told that a 1000 watt inverter will power that dish on top plus my tv and the vip211z receiver from dish. can i put this inverter next to passenger side seat and run cables to coach batteries in stair well and then just run power plug from top compartment to floor and plug all three in? also, do you know how to get a drop cord from top to that right side of rv by way of the same route that rv set up dish cables are run? how do i do this? please email me and give me all the info you can. i do want a pure sine inverter so what should i pay for this and do the cables about 4 feet long or so come with the inverter? thanks.

  • Gord

    Hi Ray,
    I was lucky this year and Santa brought me one of these inverters!! Got it all hooked up and seems to work just fine, haven’t used it on a trip yet.
    The only thing I’ve noticed is that the ‘watts output’ display seems to be way off. I plugged in a light with a 60 watt bulb and the display says 0 watts. If I try a 100 watt bulb it says 50 watts… a 150 watt bulb says about 75 watts!! I even returned the first inverter and got a replacement but it seems to be the same. Does yours read this way?
    Cheers.

    • Ray

      Hi Gord, mine seems to read pretty accurately, on my wifes IMAC computer it usually is around 50-75 watts and same for our LCD 32″ TV which is about what I would expect. I have never tried a light bulb though…maybe it tricks the measuring circuit somehow. If they are the newer type fluorescent bulbs sometimes the ratings are not real watts but the amount of light output compared to incandescent type bulbs light output. Just a guess. Cheers Ray

      • Gord

        Hi Ray,
        Thanks for the quick reply. I went out and did some more testing…

        with the TV on (I think it’s a 32″) LCD, the inverter reads 0, but the TV works fine. With the wife’s blow drier on low, it reads about 330 watts. On high the drier works but the inverter flashes some overload errors then OK and makes a bit of sound, so I guess it’s just at the verge of too much. I tried the toaster… works fine, reads about 770 watts. I tried the kettle… overload, and it shuts off the power, which trips the kettle then the inverter comes right back on. Kind of interesting sequence.

        So I think what I’ll do is just ignore the readout and use the inverter. Besides the display everything seems to work just fine. The inverter has a 2 year warranty so if it fails, I’ll take it back.

        Thanks again!
        Gord

  • Marcus James

    Again, I find myself coming back from a trip mad as heck about the lack of juice I get from the two 12v batteries. Going to the 6 volt system for sure now. Question for you though. Couldn’t you have tapped your inverter into the GFCI circuit so that all your GFCI circuits would be hot with your inverter? I read somewhere that if you’re going to put in an inverter, this should be done for convenience?

  • Ray

    I picked up my cable from a local electric supply place. A place where professional electricians buy their stuff. I think the box and cable were around 25 bucks altogether.

  • Wade

    Great site Ray, you do an awesome job of documenting your life I the RV! I have the exact RV and love it too. I have an inverter that I took out of my old camper but have yet to install it in my 276. I think I’ll follow your lead! How did you run your shielded AC wire from the front compartment to the area below the Jensen radio/DVD unit? Thanks

    • Ray

      Thanks Wade.
      I ran the shielded wire into the driver’s side propane compartment through the existing ventilation hole and then down to the bottom and into a channel running underneath. right below the water hookup bay I drilled a hole and ran it up an into an existing factory wiring hole to get it to my AC box under the TV area. The only tricky part was making sure when I drilled the hole I hit the right spot. If you take off that thin wood covering in the basement storage and peek you head around the back of the water inputs that’s where I fed the wire. The videos on these two pages may help you see things. http://www.loveyourrv.com/inside-the-belly-keystone-cougar-276rlswe-fifth-wheel/
      http://www.loveyourrv.com/installing-headphone-jack-in-my-keystone-cougar-fifth-wheel-trailer/

      If need be I can take a couple photos of exactly where I put the hole. Cheers Ray

      • Wade

        Thanks much Ray, the pictures and video worked great! Do you have a source for your cable. I was at Home Depot and they don’t carry a shielded cable per se. The hospital grade 15amp outlet is a little pricey i think I’ll just paint a standard RV outlet a different colour to represent the inverter power source, or label it. The next thing is to upgrade the damn tank indicators!!

  • William

    By the way! Very nice job. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ray

      Thanks William. I’d like to get some Solar power in the future, right now I use a little generator when dry camping.

  • William

    I have been thinking about this since last summer. I was trying to recharge my laptop while using it and I was blowing my fuse in the main panel, but $300.00 seemed like a lot of money to me.
    Here’s a hint for you, I put 5 solar panels on my roof a couple of summers ago and they allow me to dry camp several days and not have to recharge. 5 15 watt panels give me about 75 watts to keep me charged and allows me to leave my 5er parked on a friends property for the summer without the batteries draining totally out. Before I installed the panels the batteries only lasted about 3wks.