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Can You Use A Hybrid Inverter in a Camper Van?


Hybrid Inverters are All-in-one solar power units that combine everything needed to create solar power except for solar panels and batteries.

Hybrid Inverters contain

  • DC to AC Power Inverter
  • MPPT Solar Charge Controller
  • AC to DC Battery Charger
  • Automatic Transfer Switch

Just add batteries and solar panels and you’re all set up.

Pros and Cons of using a Hybrid Inverter in a Camper Van

Pros of Hybrid Inverters

  • Very simple installation in comparison to building a system with all seperate components.
  • Add as large of a battery bank as you need. Not possible with Portable Solar Generators.
  • This is typically the best balance of System Power – Cost – Ease of Installation when compared to DIY systems or Portable Solar Generators.

Cons of Hybrid Inverters

  • The entire unit must be sent away for repairs or replacement, something to take into consideration especially if you are reliant on the energy it produces.
  • Although there are some 12 Volt options available, most Hybrid Inverters are 24 Volt and above. If you plan to use 12 Volt appliances, you’ll need a buck converter to step the voltage down to 12 Volt.

Popular Options for Camper Vans

Sungoldpower 3000W 24V

Solar Input:
MPPT:
Inverter:
AC Charge:

1400W
60A
3000W
40A

View on Amazon

Sigineer 3000W 24V

Solar Input:
MPPT:
Inverter:
AC Charge:

4500W
80A
3000W
60A

View on Amazon

Brief Overview of Installation

Installation of an All-in-One Solar System takes about an hour or two if you already have your solar array and batteries in place. The process can be broken down into 3 steps.

  • Connect your battery bank to the battery terminals
  • Connect Solar Array to PV terminals
  • Connect AC lines to the AC Terminals

Click here to view a more in-depth look at the installation process.

24 Volt Hybrid Inverters

Sungoldpower 24V 3000W

  • Max Solar Input: 1400-Watt at 100-Volt
  • Solar Charge Current: 60-Amp
  • Inverter Size: 3000-Watt (6000W Surge)
  • AC Battery Charge: 40-Amp

If you plan to install your system in a Campervan or RV, this is the unit I recommend. 1400 Watts of solar panels is more than what can fit in a typical mobile solar system, so this unit has plenty of power.

Sigineer Power 24V

  • Max Solar Input: 4500 Watt – 145 Volt
  • Solar Charge Current: 80A
  • Inverter size: 3000 Watt (6000W Surge)
  • AC Battery Charger: 60A

If your building this system in a house or cabin, I recommend going with the Sigineer. This unit can handle almost 3 times as much solar input as the Sungoldpower.

Installing the Battery Bank

The battery bank voltage must match the rated voltage of the Hybrid Inverter that you choose. Hybrid Inverters are available in 12, 24, and 48 Volt Models.

Your batteries should be kept close to the Inverter/Charger, ideally within a couple of feet. If you’re mounting these components inside of a cabinet, the batteries and Inverter/Charger should be kept in separate spaces due to heat and gas build-up.

We Recommend using LiFePo4 (Lithium) batteries for campervan installations. They’re lighter, last longer, and don’t produce gases like traditional batteries.

For off-grid cabins or home back-up systems, AGM batteries are a reliable choice that costs much less than lithium. They are however much heavier so we don’t recommend them for mobile setups.

Your battery bank requires proper sized cables and fuses, please refer to our wiring guide for help in this department.

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Installing the Solar Array

Your Inverter/Charger has a maximum input Voltage and Wattage, we’ll have to respect these numbers when designing our solar array.

Typically it’s best to wire multiple solar panels together to form a “string” of panels, this can be called a series string.

Then we’ll wire these series strings together, parallel to each other using a combiner box. Each series string will require an appropriately sized fuse, and the combiner box makes it easy to add these fuses.

Max Input Voltage – when wiring solar panels together in series, their voltages will add up together. Each string needs to be the same voltage, and this voltage should be below the Inverter/Charger’s Max Input Voltage.

Max PV Wattage – this probably goes without saying, but your solar array’s total wattage should not be greater than the Max PV Wattage of your Inverter/Charger.

Connecting AC in and AC out

Your Inverter/Charger will come with AC input and AC output receptacles. You will need to connect power cords here to use them.

The AC input line allows you to connect to the power grid. In a campervan installation, this will be your RV shore power receptacle. In a home installation, this can simply be plugged in a wall outlet.

The AC out is where you can connect you AC appliances.

Other Useful Resources

Guide to Wire Size Selection Learn to size your wires the uncomplicated way. Learn more…
Guide to Fuse Size Selection Fuses protect your investment. Learn how to size them quickly and easily. Learn more…
The Basics of Solar Energy The bare minimum knowledge, in less than 10 minutes. Coming Soon…

Browse our other 12-Volt Systems

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