Spending a lot of time on the road doesn’t mean you have to leave all your home comforts behind.
As a semi-truck driver you probably already know this and have what you need for long trips and overnight stays, including electrical appliances and gadgets.
If you’re looking to generate AC power to run your heated blanket, TV, laptop, and other appliances in your vehicle, you’ll need a reliable power inverter.
With a power inverter, you can effortlessly hook up to your battery supply to power on your devices.
With that in mind, we’ve consulted drivers like yourself and had our team of experts do the research to find out the very best power inverter for semi trucks!
In This Article
In a hurry? Check the top picks…
8 Best Power Inverters for Semi Trucks
If you are looking to buy a power inverter, you will find countless products and brands listed online. Finding a suitable power inverter can be a cumbersome task, to say the least. You may also have some specific devices you want to power with certain requirements such as sensitive pure sine wave inverters to work or high power output.
The last thing you want is to buy something that doesn’t get the job done…
You may have different devices like LED TV, game console, DVD player, microwave oven, heaters to keep you happy. So we have made a list of the best power inverters available for semi-trucks that fulfill the essential requirements
We did some extensive research, talked to actual customers and industry experts to create the list of the best power inverters for semi trucks available in the market today.
1. GoWISE Power 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Be wise with GoWISE. I love the GoWISE power inverters for virtually all uses whether it’s for solar panels on a van or hooking up in your semi-truck. Let’s kick things off with this 3000W pure sine wave unit that won’t let you down.
GoWISE Power brings the PS1004, a high-power pure sine wave inverter for your vehicle. It is designed to produce 3000 watts of continuous power and 6000 watts of peak power, which should be suitable for most uses. You’ll comfortably be able to power all kinds of power-sensitive devices like high-end laptops, HD TVs, microwave ovens, mobile phones, kindles, and lighting. With 3 AC outlets and 1 USB port, you’ll be able to fire multiple appliances up while charging a phone or tablet.
Keeping you safe is a 5-protection system with complete guard from high/low voltage, overheating, thermal protection, low voltage alarm, and short circuits. These features keep your inverter and attached devices protected.
If you care about the nuts and bolts, you’ll be getting a unit with 3% total harmonic distortion for outstanding performance. It also reduces energy wastage and keeps the power-sensitive devices safe and secure.
A silent high-speed temperature-controlled cooling fan keeps the device cool when drawing a lot of power. Plus heavy-duty cables with ring terminals and a remote switch make for simple operation.
This pure sine wave 3000-watt inverter is a no-brainer for most people!
- Pure sine wave inverter
- 5-protection system
- Low harmonic distortion
- Remote control
- Awesome build quality
2. Samlex 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Dropping in high on the list is the Samlex 2000 Watt inverter. In my opinion, one of the finest choices for semi-truckers thanks to its reliable, trustworthy build. Simply put, she won’t let you down. Perhaps not the most powerful, but it will still happily run your portable and mid-sized appliances on the road.
Samlex America is known for its quality products and has a worldwide distribution network. They sell OEM products and have maintained an excellent reputation over the years.
This pure sine wave inverter delivers you 2000 watts of heavy-duty power output for ample smooth power. It comes with an industrial-grade design which makes it suitable for heavy power load requirements and tough trips.
You can use this inverter to power many devices simultaneously in the truck and without any complaints. Being a pure sine wave inverter, you can use this to power your sensitive devices like LED TVs, the latest laptops and even tools. You can keep your evening film running in HD without a glitch.
It comes with 2 GFCI Protected Outlets which means you are entirely safe from voltage fluctuations, over-temperature, power overloads, and short circuits.
We also love the features reducing power wastage. It comes with a temperature-controlled thermal fan that starts automatically when the inverter becomes hot. It also has a ‘low idle power draw’ function that helps you save on energy and money.
In terms of compatibility, it works seamlessly with most types of batteries including a DC input of 10.7-16.5V DC making it ideal for semi-trucks to power devices during long trips.
- Universal protection circuits
- Temperature-controlled cooling fan
- Silent fan operation
- Heavy duty
- Pure Sine Wave
- Screw slots for mounting a little fiddly
3. Voltworks 2000 Watt Power Inverter for Semi Trucks
To round off our list is another little gem that gives you a delightful balance of price, power, and build quality.
The Voltworks inverter delivers 2000 watts of continuous power and 4000 watts peak power. This should give you enough juice to run multiple small to mid appliances at the same time.
3 AC plugs make it simple to plug in your essentials while still charging your smartphone from the USB port. A remote control lets you fire things up to start converting your 12V DC into 120V AC to keep you happy during your pitstops.
What I like about this particular unit is the Aluminum shell. This is because most other products in its price range only have a plastic exterior which can get damaged more easily over time. You’ll love the durability of this thing, especially if you use it daily.
Keep an eye on the vital stats like input and output voltage via a nifty LCD screen. Plus a smart cooling fan kicks in once you exceed 600W.
Adding to this, you get all the important safety features to guard against over-voltage, overload, under-voltage, overheating, short circuit protection.
To be honest, if you want a durable modified sine wave workhorse this is the go-to choice.
- Aluminum housing
- Wide applications
- Full safety protection features
- Remote switch
- Modified sine wave
- A little noisy
4. Energizer 1500 Watt 12V Power Inverter
Of course, we all know Energizer from the humble AA battery but the global brand also makes the best power inverters. Their offering Energizer ENK1500 is a modified sine wave inverter providing a nice balance of power output and portability.
This inverter is perfectly suitable for running your appliances and gadgets like heated blankets, phones, tablets, and laptops in the cab. It is another well-built inverter that can work continuously without any break.
For versatility, it comes with two standard North American AC outlets and 2 USB ports of 2.4A each to run multiple devices effortlessly.
The inverter is designed to give you 1500 watts of continuous power and up to 3000 watts of surge power, so you can use it to power multiple devices simultaneously. It is a modified sine wave inverter but still offers awesome performance.
If you do not have any current sensitive devices then save yourself a few bucks with this model. Rest safe in the knowledge of MET-approval for both performance and safety standards. Safety features include automatic shutdown and an LCD screen showing the operational status like input voltage, output wattage, and battery level of the inverter. The device is protected from power overload, high temperature, and short circuits.
A lower-priced lightweight option for smaller regional truckers.
- LCD screen
- Multiple safety features
- Automatic shutdown feature
- Great price
- Buzzing sound from inverter
- Modified sine wave
5. Energizer 4000 Watt Power Inverter
If you want a step-up in power while keeping the Energizer name then look at the ENK4000. This inverter will pumps out a whopping 4000 watts of continuous power and 8000 watts of peak power. She’s a high-performance modified sine wave beast that can power many devices simultaneously.
Happily connect your 12V battery to produce 120V AC power. You get two standard North American AC outlets and 2 USB ports of 2.4A each.
Multi-protection features give complete safety from power overloads, overheating, and short circuits. You can use the Energizer ENK-4000 inverter to power your devices like gaming consoles, microwaves, home appliances, and TVs in your semi-truck.
With superior build quality and performance, it won’t let you down even if you’re drawing power for hours on end. Plus its performance and safety have been tested and approved by METLAB.
Like the smaller model, it also comes with an LCD screen displaying the temperature, input voltage, and output wattage along with warning signs of voltage overload and overheating. The device automatically shuts down in case of overheating. It even has a high-speed temperature-controlled cooling fan working silently to keep the device cool.
- LCD screen for notifications
- High-Speed cooling fan
- Multiple uses
- 8000 watts peak power
- Modified sine wave
- Buzz while working
- Big size
6. Krieger 2000 Watts Power Inverter
If you are looking for an affordable and high-quality power inverter for your semi-truck, Krieger KR2000-12 can be an ideal choice. Krieger is a known brand that manufactures and distributes its high-class yet well-priced products. The company is ISO9001 and ROHS certified, and also UL, CS, and MET approved so you know you’re getting safe, reliable, tech.
To be honest, it has a number of high-power inverters in its range. We have chosen Krieger KR2000-12 to provide a decent balance of power and value suitable for your vehicle. You’ll enjoy the ample 2000 watts of continuous power and 4000 watts of peak power – suitable for most small to mid sized appliances.
The inverter comes with 2 AC outlets and 2 USB ports to power devices like TVs, game consoles, lights, microwave ovens while the USB ports are suitable for smartphones, Kindles, and tablets. The AC outlets are standard North American and MET and CSA approved for safety and performance.
A wired remote control makes operation a cinch no matter where you are in the truck. For best performance and to avoid overheating, keep the inverter away from direct sunlight and in a good place in your semi-truck.
Instantly convert 12V DC power of your battery to 120V AC power, just like you never left home.
This high-performance unit is complete with all the important safety features and protection against power overload, high-voltage, low-voltage, high temperature, and short circuits.
A smart LCD screen displays battery output, input voltage, temperature overloads, and warnings. A 3 feet battery cable makes it easy to install for your journey. The inverter also has an automatic shutdown feature where the device turns off when there is any overheating issue.
- Smart LCD screen
- Lightweight and portable
- Wired remote control
- 2000 Watts
- Modified sine wave
7. Ampeak 2000W Power Inverter
Ampeak has been in the business of automotive products for more than 23 years now. I always like to take a look at its products as they provide great quality for low prices.
This is a multi-functional inverter outputting 2000 watts of continuous power to run most portable appliances you could think of. Of course, it converts the 12V DC power of your battery to 110V AC power an to give optimum performance with complete satisfaction.
It comes with 3 AC outlets and one 2.1A USB port, and a remote controller.
Relax with comprehensive protection and safety features including a smart LCD screen showing the voltage, output wattage, and warnings for low voltage, high voltage, and overheating. The device is programmed to auto shut down itself in overheating, voltage fluctuations, and power overloads. Additional safety features include a silent cooling fan and an audible low-battery alarm.
She’s a durable unit that will run for hours without skipping a beat. The casing is made of ABS material protecting from accidental bumps and falls. This shouldn’t be a problem anyway if you mount it in a safe place to improve durability.
It is a modified sine wave inverter suitable for resistive devices.
An ideal budget-friendly device to carry on trucking trips, to power lights, TV, mini-fridge, DVD player, portable games console, digital camera, tablets, and what even new gadgets you can buy nowadays!
- Smart digital display
- Automatic shutdown
- ETL certified
- Ideal for trucks and RVs
- Modified sine wave
8. Giandel 5000W Heavy Duty Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
Ok, let’s take a look at some serious power, shall we?
Giandel brings one of the most high-powered heavy-duty inverters that is featured in our list.
This monster is a pure sine wave inverter delivering 5000 watts of continuous power and 10,000 watts of peak power. It is an ideal device for long-haul semi-trucks on mammoth journeys.
You’ll easily be able to power virtually any appliances you could fit in the cab including current sensitive devices, like LED TVs and gaming laptops. Plus all the other bits including aircon, heaters, fans, tools, mobile phones, refrigerators, and microwaves at once.
The device comes with 4 AC outlets and one USB port. You can thus run multiple electronics with this inverter that require high power at the same time while charging your smartphone or tablet.
With great power comes great responsibility… (name that film quote)
You’ll be completely safe thanks to protection features that include guards against overheating, under-voltage, reverse polarity, and auto shutdown in case of any fault. It also has an auto-restart function to get back power quickly, a handy bonus.
For easy control, a wired remote control is included so you can mount the unit in the best location.
If you’re taking on longer national routes and want some serious power then look no further!
- High Power inverter
- Wide applications
- Full safety protection features
- Pure sine wave
- Big heavy unit
Buying Guide: Finding the Best Power Inverter for Semi Truck
When looking for a power inverter for your semi truck there’s a number of important factors to consider.
The amount of output power you require is crucial to ensure you are able to run all the electronics you require at once. If you don’t have enough power you won’t be able to run an appliance or you’ll have to keep powering up different devices at different times. Put simply, it will be incredibly frustrating to get wrong.
Power output is measured in watts. We recommended having at least between 1500 and 5000 watts for a semi truck. To work out the best option find the wattage rating of all the devices you want to run at the same time. Then add them together to get the total power you require.
For example, if you have a TV at 70 watts, a refrigerator at 100 watts, games console at 150 watts, and heater at 2000 watts. You then add together 70 + 100 + 150 + 2000 = 2320 watts. So you’d need a power inverter with a higher watt output such as 2500+ watts.
Outlets & Connectivity
Take the time to decide the number of electronics you want to connect at the same time and the type of outlet they require.
You’re likely to have a wide selection of appliances and gadgets you’re looking to run, all of which have different requirements.
You’ll find various different options from standard AC sockets, to USB, to fast charging ports. If you plan to run multiple home appliances then 3 or 4 AC outlets would be handy.
Whereas if you want to charge a phone, tablet, and USB light simultaneously then added USB and fast charging is a must. Plus, you might even find wireless charging capabilities on the newest models!
Generally speaking, the higher the power the bigger the inverter. While it can be tempting to pick the most powerful high spec product, this is contingent on space. Work out where you will be mounting the unit in your truck so you know the maximum size of inverter you can fit.
Modified vs Pure Sine Wave
Modified and pure sine wave can be a little hard to understand.
Simply put, pure sine wave is a smother current flowing to your devices. This means it is better for sensitive devices that need a steady flow of power such as LED TVs, computers, tools, and medical equipment.
Modified sine wave is usually cheaper, drains less battery, and can still run many devices including old TVs, phone charging, laptop charging, mini-fridges, and lighting. Some people are quite happy with this style of inverter but the lower price does come with its drawbacks including more noise/buzzing, less efficiency, and hotter running temperature.
As with any product, there’s a whole host of different features you can find on power inverters these days from Bluetooth control to wireless charging. Added features help to add a better user experience so decide what is important to you. Features you might find include:
- Fast charging
- Remote control
- Digital display
- LCD screen
- Wireless charging
- Carry handle
- Smart fans
One thing you can’t overlook is safety for both yourself and your electronics. Firstly there is always a fire risk with electricity. Plus you want to ensure your devices are kept safe from damage in case of a fault. All of the products in the list above include essential safety features such as guards against over-voltage, overload, under-voltage, overheating, short circuit protection.
It is also crucial to correctly match the inverter with the battery type. Generally, you will either have a 12 volt or 24 volt battery and you should use the corresponding inverter type. If you try to use a 12V inverter with a 24V battery you will overload your system instantly!
Price & Warranty
So how much should you be paying? Well, decent quality products like the ones reviewed above will cost anywhere between $150 and $600+. This price point very much depends on what you buy. A higher wattage pure sine wave inverter is going to cost you more than $400 while a 1000 watt modified sine wave option could be as little as $150.
You should also take note of the warranty period to ensure you are covered in case of any technical faults. You want at least a 1 year warranty to replace the unit if it fails. The top manufacturers often offer a warranty period of between 2-5 years for your complete peace of mind. A long warranty is also a great sign of quality as it means the company stands by its work and trusts the durability of its products.
Power Inverter vs Portable Generator
During your research, you may have come across other options such as portable generators. In reality, using a portable generator is not going to be very feasible compared to a power inverter.
They are noisy and produce exhaust fumes which are not suitable for use in enclosed spaces like your truck cab! Here’s the difference for you to compare:
- Inverter: Draws electicity from the vehilce or leisure battery which is ideal for the silent and fume free running of your devices. Plus the batteries recharge from the vehilce engine when driving.
- Portable Generator: This uses a small combustion engine to create its own electricity from gas or deisel. They are heavy and unpractible for vehicles. You wouldn’t be able to use it inside the truck due to the exhaust fumes and noise.
This depends on the size of your truck and the space you have available. In our experience, the best size is between 1500 to 5000 watts. Anything more powerful than this will take up to much power and space to fit in the cab. Plus if you are drawing power from the vehicle battery you need to make sure your alternator can cope with drawing large amps. If you want to run 2500+ watt inverters you should consider getting a deep cycle battery to power your appliances via the inverter.
Power inverter setups for trucks can cost anywhere between $150 to $850 depending on the inverter you buy. The higher the power and spec of the inverter the more expensive it will be. When installing the inverter you can do it yourself or hire a vehicle electrician which should take more than an hour to install.
Yes, a power inverter will use a small trickle of power even when nothing is plugged in. This is because it will be using power for its own features like safety, LED lights, fans, and screen. When turned on, an inverter will use 8-10% of power even when nothing else is plugged in.
Yes, a power inverter will drain the battery of a semi truck. If you use your vehicle battery to power your inverter it is important to keep your engine running otherwise you will exhaust the battery very quickly. With no battery power, you will not be able to start your engine!
A power inverter in a semi truck enables you to convert 12V DC power from a battery into 120V AC electricity just like you use at home from the main grid. It allows you to run home appliances in your truck such as refrigerators, heaters, TVs, and much more.
Power Inverter for Semi Truck Summary
So there you have it, everything you could ever want to know in finding the best power inverter for semi trucks. There’s nothing more to say on the subject. Take the time to find the right product for you from the information above and keep on truckin’.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.