Inverters….. They’re the future!

Inverters….. They’re the future!

So, you’ve bought a Motorhome. Great, congratulations, you’re on your way, the world is your lobster. All you have to do now is to kit it out with extras and the one I want to talk about here is ‘THE INVERTER’.  Do you install one or don’t you install one? If you’re desired travelling option is to use campsites and only campsites (and there’s nothing wrong with that), probably not but if like us you fancy a bit of ‘Let’s go off the beaten track and see what we can find’ type travelling then you’re going to need power. The next question, therefore, is can you live off just 12V from the Leisure battery (or batteries) or do you need to convert your 12V into 240V.

`Well, that depends on what equipment you take with you and whether there is a 12V option. Two items that were an absolute must (take along) for us were the Nutri-bullet and the Philips compact juicer. So irrespective of what else we would use it for we decided to have one installed. Here are some pictures of our installation.

Whilst we were given an option to have the inverter wired to all the sockets in the motorhome we decided to adopt the K.I.S.S ( keep it simple stupid) method and just have a single socket and a switch installed in the kitchen and a double socket in a cupboard to charge all our devices. The inverter itself is under a seat, out of the way and you can hardly hear it humming when it’s on.

We purchased the Bestek 1000w pure sine wave inverter from amazon and had it fitted and hard wired to the batteries by the dealer. I have to say that it has been brilliant and we have used it for 3-4 hours continuously charging laptops and for just a few minutes whilst juicing in the kitchen and it hasn’t missed a beat in two and a half years.

In terms of the technicalities should you decide to have one installed follow these basic rules and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Purchase a ‘pure sine wave’ inverter for motorhome use
  2. In terms of what size always buy more watts than you will use at any one time. For instance, if you need to power a 900W nutribullet only, a 1000w inverter will suffice. If you need to power a nutri-bullet ( 900w)  and a hairdryer (1000W) at the same time you will need a 2000W inverter. Bear in mind the more powerful the inverter the more drain on the batteries.
  3. We have a 120w solar panel on the roof to keep the batteries topped up and had an extra battery installed

Since leaving the UK in 2016 we have added two electric bikes, a drone copter and a Gopro action camera to our list of devices that need charging and together with in-car charging devices, the inverter keeps us ticking along nicely.

All in all, I would whole-heartedly recommend adding an inverter to your motorhome but we are heavy users of electronics so for us it was a no brainer. You, on the other hand,  might find that everything you want to use comes in 12v format and you don’t need one. It’s horses for courses but if you do decide to have one take a look at the Bestek. At £69.99 it’s a billy bargain. Ours has been great. Check out the links below for more info.





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Additional extras

Additional extras

So we finally took the plunge and bought our brand new motorhome- a Pilote 740c. We chose this particular one because we liked the build quality of the Pilote and the model offered an Island fixed bed. Having toured New Zealand in a Swift Bolero with a french bed we thought we could compromise but we are spending a lot longer in our new ‘home’ we decided at the 11th hour on the ‘upgrade’. We think we’ve made the right decision but only time will tell.
Having finally made the decision on make and model it was time for the extras and what a selection there is. From electric lift up beds to rear view cameras- you can have the lot but in the end we chose the following.

1. A 120W solar panel
2. 1 Extra 105ah leisure battery
3. a gaslow LPG filling system
4. an outside BBQ point
5. An external shower point.
6. An inverter to convert 12v to 240v on 1 extra socket in the kitchen
7. The additional sleeping bits for a second double bed
8. A bike rack
9 An engine upgrade to 150BHP
10. A catgeory 1 Alarm

In addition we will have a drive away awning instead of a fiamma pull down sun screen ( this may in time prove to be a mistake), a cadac safari external gas BBQ, a 12v towel rail, anti skid wheels (to stop the rear skirt catching the floor) and a Wifi/Broadband system to stay connected.

Our thought process took us down the following path.

1. Running out of electricity while wild camping is not an option.
2. The inverter is necessary to charge up devices when not a electric hook up and standard kitchen appliances (juicers, blenders etc) can be used
3. On his return from a recent trip to Europe a friend of mine recommended the gaslow system as he couldn’t fill up his bottles unless he was in Germany. He also advised to install the skid wheels (served him well on a number of occasions) and the towel rail. ‘Always nice to have dry towels in the morning’ he argued.
4. Many people in New Zealand complained that their hire motorhome was pants going up hill hence the engine upgrade (especially if we’re going to tow a smart car or Qpod- the jury is still out here)
5. I’m a side mirror kinda person and did’t use a camera when I had one.
6. For convenience an external shower and BBQ point seemed logical
7. I was all prepared for the investment of an Oyster satellite dish on the roof when the same friend lamented whether his was money well spent. ‘ You can always get a mobile or wifi signal most places’ he said. ‘ We’ve only used the thing once and it was pretty slow. So I’ve plumbed for the latest wifi/mobile boosting roof mounted aerials in the hopes this will suffice.
8. Having had a puncture recently and used the glue stuff you squirt in to good effect I am refraining from a spare tyre and the long lasting residue they pump into all tyres for the tie being.

And that’s about it. I’m positive we haven’t thought about everything and that this is only a starting point but I don’t think we’ll be too far off.

TTFN Smiley…. Next Blog…. The dreaded Payload.