With all the electronic gadgets that people take with them in their vehicles, a power inverter is a must. Power inverters allow you to use the 12 V from the battery and convert it to usable hundred 220 volts AC. Depending on the current needed, you can use a wide variety of electronic devices from DVD players to your laptops. They do have certain limitations because if you try writing something like a hair dryer, you’re either going to drain the battery for both use a more. I’m camping trips, I always carry two of them and plug them into my cigarette lighter outlets.
Car power inverters are available in multiple power ranges from 100 W to 3000 W. They are very handy devices and plug right into the cigarette lighter outlet. Some will have as many as four outlets as well as a USB outlet to charge devices such as your iPhone and iPod. Even though there are multiple outlets, you need to know the limitations of how much power is being consumed or you may end up damaging your vehicle before a fuse is blown. I remember trying to run a small coffee grinder in a power inverter and worked horribly. I had enough power, but somehow it wasn’t enough to make the small blades run fast enough.
Uses For Power Inverters
I am not even sure how to go on a camping trip without a power inverter. I no longer have to purchase a separate cell phone charger as we plug our cell phones into the power inverter. Plug your battery charger into the inverter and you can run even more devices such as a small portable air pump to fill up your air mattresses. We travel with two laptops as well as a portable DVD player and they are charged on the power inverter to.
How Much Power Do You Need?
If you are going to plug the power inverter into a cigarette lighter, you’ll never build a draw more than 180 W of combined power. Say for example that you want to run a small coffee grinder is rated at 200 W. When you first turn it on it’s going to need about 2000 W of peak power. Have you ever noticed that when you run something like a vacuum cleaner at home and the lights temporarily go dim? The same thing will happen in your vehicle. About the most you can expect to run on your power inverter is a small laptop, small portable printer, or a small television.
Never Do These Things With A Power Converter
Never got a toaster, a hot air corn popper, blender, power saw, etc. with your power inverter. You may end up blowing out more than just a fuse in your vehicle. Even though the power inverter has a fuse, I would play it on the safe side and just stick with small electronic devices. If you want to run a device that uses high current, you will need to wire the power inverter directly to your battery. When you get to that point, you may want to start looking at power generators.