By mounting an inverter in your truck, you get usable portable power for most of your electronic devices anywhere, anytime.
Next, we will see how to install an inverter in a van so that you can keep your appliances working while you are in nature or on a business trip.
- 1 How to install a power inverter in a van
- 2 Choosing the best location to install the inverter
- 3 Tackle the wiring
- 4 Put your connection to test
How to install a power inverter in a van
Our first task is to choose an ideal location:
Choosing the best location to install the inverter
The good news is that you can install your inverter practically anywhere in the van, as long as it’s within easy reach; you don’t want any trouble connecting your devices.
I’ve seen people fix an inverter under the dash, right behind the driver’s seat, under the passenger seat, and many other places.
One of my friends likes to ride in the back of the van so he can charge his scooter when he travels!
Despite the flexibility, several things are important to consider when selecting the inverter mounting location, as we will see below.
What to keep in mind when choosing a location
Here are some questions to consider as you think about the best location:
- How shall you wire the device to the power source? –You don’t want the wires tangling all over and it is advisable to place your location as close to the batteries as possible to reduce the size of the DC wiring.
- Is the site going to allow proper grounding? –Their position should provide the inverter ground wire or other recommended “grounding” procedure (most are grounded to the truck chassis).
- What about heat? -Inverters sometimes generate overwhelming heat when in use and the best location should have adequate airflow to prevent overheating.
- Can you easily turn off the inverter? –Choose a site where you can easily turn off your inverter if you don’t have a remote. This helps you save energy as the inverters consume some power even when they are idle.
- Will the inverter go unnoticed? –An inconspicuous location works well as it helps to hide the inverter’s location in your truck.
Now that you’ve found a good place to place your investor, let’s take the next step.
Disadvantages of true sine wave inverters
Tackle the wiring
Large inverters are for the most part connected directly to the battery system.
And you already know what you need here: a suitable cable (in terms of thickness and length) and a suitable fuse set.
The good news is that some inverters come with the battery cables, battery clamps, ground wire and a fuse, meaning it’s just a matter of unpacking and getting to work.
In fact, the included battery cables sometimes come with a fuse installed to make your job easier.
Be sure to choose the correct AWG wire if you need longer wires based on your application.
How to complete the inverter-battery wiring
Wiring is not a big problem, just run the cables as follows:
- Connect the black cable to the negative terminal of the battery. Tighten the connection securely.
- Route the black wire to the inverter location and attach it to the inverter’s black terminal.
- Connect the red wire to the red terminal of the inverter and lead it to the battery. Note that you do not connect the red wire to the positive terminal at this time, which runs to the end for safety reasons.
- The last step is grounding and you should be back doing clean work. Either way, there’s nothing to panic about as all you need to do is connect the extra ground wire (purchase a ground wire if not included) to an identified ground point, e.g. any point on the truck’s metal body.
- As with the other cables, route the other end to the inverter ground.
Tip: One size fits all and for precise grounding instructions, please refer to the instructions in the owner’s manual; otherwise this part can be a bit tricky.
High Quality Inverter For Cars
Helpful wiring tips
There are more things to know about the wiring process:
- Use the right crimper tool: For heavy wire, a hydraulic crimping tool can help you quickly crimp the terminals and screw everything in place.
- Protect the wires:Use washers to protect the wires from rough edges after drilling the holes to feed the black and red wires through. However, this is not necessary for the ground wire.
- Install the fuse before wiring:If the fuse set has not arrived already assembled, take it with you and install it securely on the positive battery terminal (or wherever.)
- Use zip ties:Since you want a neat connection, use cable ties (or similar) to secure the cables in some areas as you see fit.
Put your connection to test
Now you’re done, but before you congratulate yourself on a job well done, make sure your inverter is working.
A small test is sufficient for this.
Before performing the test:
Check all your connections once more; You especially don’t want the red wire (or any of the connectors) touching the metal parts of your truck or even the other (black) connectors.
Confirm that your power inverter is turned off; For safety reasons you want the inverter to be OFF.
Go ahead now to take the test….
Remember, we just want to check that our system is working.
- Connect the remaining end of the red wire (remember?) to the battery. Stay awake, as the connection usually creates a spark.
- Switch on your inverter.
If you followed the steps above for the latter, your inverter should come to life, ready for your laptop, fan, game console, fridge, Kindle, TV, breast pump, Christmas lights… you name it.
How to install a power inverter in a van: Precautions to take
In this section, I’ll highlight some safety precautions and tips that can help you stay safe during the installation process.
- The equipment should always be placed on a reasonably flat surface, regardless of whether you mount it horizontally or vertically.
- Do not expose the inverter to rain or moisture unless it is waterproof. Water is a good conductor and can cause serious electrical accidents.
- Never install an inverter in the engine or even in the battery compartments because of the risk of fire (eg gas vapors and sparks from the inverter) and possible contamination by water, oil or acid. It can also overheat while you are there!
- To avoid overheating, keep the inverter away from heat sources, fans, radiators or even direct sunlight.
- Consider building a box. It helps the stability of your investor and makes the layout clearer.
How long does a 1000 watt inverter last?
The key to a successful installation is doing your homework and understanding both your inverter and the truck.
And as mentioned above, inverters differ considerably and the safest way to get it right the first time is to follow the procedure in the user manual.