Best Power Inverters For Semi Trucks – 2021 Top Picks

| Last Updated: June 28, 2021

There’s nothing like the open road. Watching pine trees and wheat fields roll past as you fly down the highway is a feeling like no other.

But, sometimes, the road gets weary. Driving is hard work, and you start to feel it. In those times, there’s nothing you’ll appreciate more than a good power inverter. 

Comparison of the Best Power Inverters For Semi Trucks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Cooling fans are temperature controlled to keep unit much cooler
  • Over voltage and overheating protection included
  • Will operate at quite a wide DC voltage output of 10.7 to 16.5 volts
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  • Very low running noise of only around 53 dB
  • Comes with quite a high rated output wattage of 1600 Watts
  • A lightweight and compact design for improved portability
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  • Best for the Money
  • Equipped with 2 USB charging ports and 2 standard AC outlets
  • Unit has quite a high rated output wattage of 2000 Watts
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  • Best 3000 Watt Inverter for Semi Truck
  • Very high output power of continuous 3000 watts AC
  • Very easy to use in the case of an emergency
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  • Best Pure Sine Wave Inverter for Semi Truck
  • Cooling fans are temperature controlled to keep unit much cooler
  • Over voltage and overheating protection included
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What is a Power Inverter? 

You already know that a power inverter is a necessary part of any trucker’s toolkit, but you might be asking yourself, what does it do?

What Does a Power Inverter Do?

In short, power inverters let you use your truck’s battery by making the electrical current usable for other purposes. Power inverters transform direct currents (DC) into alternating currents (AC). AC currents power everything from phones to microwaves and power tools.

How Does a Power Inverter Work?

A semi-truck inverter works by mimicking an alternating power source. It rapidly switches the polarity of the direct current. 

What Size Power Inverter Do I Need? 

As you’ve probably noticed, not all power inverters are the same. The range available on the market is massive. It can be a little overwhelming, initially. 

Power inverters are not built specifically for trucks, which makes it a little more difficult to choose the right option. To choose the right size, then, you must know what you need from the inverter and what your vehicle can handle. 

The size of the inverter generally corresponds to the unit’s wattage. Low wattage inverters can be very small, while high wattage inverters can be immense. When picking the size, tally up the wattage required for the items you’ll be running.

How to Choose a Power Inverter 

When choosing a power inverter, several factors come into play: size, wattage, price, and waveform. 

Size

As we mentioned earlier, the size of the unit generally (though not always) corresponds to the wattage. If the size is a significant factor, you should aim for a lower-wattage power inverter or expect to pay more for a compact model. In general, size is only a concern if you have little space in your cab.

Wattage

Wattage is the most significant variable to be aware of when it comes to power inverters. Wattage is the inverter’s power capacity, and the ideal wattage depends upon the types of appliances or items you’ll be powering with your inverter. 

Freezers or coolers likely consume 100-700 watts. Cooking units take 800-2000 watts, and laptops, phones, and other screens consume under 100 watts. We suspect that a 3000-watt power converter is enough to handle most general use appliances.

Price

Price is a huge factor to consider when it comes to choosing anything, including an inverter. The most powerful units can get quite expensive, so figure out what you need and make a budget!

Waveform

Waveform refers to the type of power wave produced. There are two types: pure sine waves and modified sine waves. Pure sine waves are the best option; however, they can get expensive.

WEN 56200i

Review of the Best Power Inverters For Semi Trucks 

Now that the basics are out of the way, we can jump into the fun part. We’ve done a lot of research and have come up with a list of the best power inverters for semi-trucks on the market.

Here’s our breakdown. 

Best Overall:
Samlex PST-2000-12

Samlex PST-2000-12 PST Series Pure Sine Wave Inverter - 2000 Watt

PROS

  • 2000 watts
  • Pure sine waves
  • Controlled cooling fan 
  • Universal protection circuit
  • DC input range: 10.7 - 16.5 VDC

CONS

  • Fairly large size
  • Weighs over 17lbs

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of the Samlex have been very impressed with its performance. They find it high quality and well made. Some even called this is the best power inverter of its class that they have ever come across.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Samlex PST-2000-12 immediately caught our attention. We lobe the pure sine waveform and 2000-watt capability. It also has a pre-installed controlled cooling fan and quality engineering.

At 2000 watts, the Samlex is unlikely to run into any issues. Sit back, crack a soda from the cooler, and catch up on your favorite series after a long day on the road. 

There is no noticeable fan usage until this behemoth creeps towards its watt-limit. Even then, the cooling fans power on and keep things running smoothly and effectively. After looking at the other options out there, we had no difficulty selecting the PST-2000-12 as number one.

Bottom Line

The long and short is that this product is a must-have. With 2000 watts, this inverter can handle just about anything you throw at it. As far as we’re concerned, this is the best overall power inverter on the market.

Runner-up:
WEN 56200i

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

PROS

  • 2000 watts
  • Looks great
  • Built-in fuel tank
  • Built-in carry on handle
  • Includes two three-pronged 120V receptacles, a 12V DC receptacle, and a 5V USB port

CONS

  • Weighs 50lbs
  • Can get noisy

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of the WEN 562ooi have had a lot of positive feedback for this product. In general, it gets the job done without issue. Consumers report that it does everything as advertised. But, you cannot push it beyond the recommended limits. It is easy to operate and has a great light system included.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The WEN 56200i stood out to us right away due to its versatility, its 2000 watt capability, its built-in carry handle, and its fuel capabilities.

The WEN can handle a lot of usages. If you start to run out of power, this inverter comes with a handy eco mode, which switches fuel consumption automatically to extend its lifespan. 

We love the look of this inverter. It is sleek, clean, and practical. We also really appreciate the built-in carry handle. It is especially handy since the unit weighs in at approximately 50 pounds. When we started compiling our list of inverters, we knew instantly that this would find a place close to the top.

Bottom Line

The WEN 56200i is a clear runner-up. With a 2000 watt cap, this power inverter won’t run out of steam unless you need to power some serious hardware. As far as we’re concerned, you can’t go wrong with this unit.

Best for the Money:
ENERGIZER EN2000

Energizer 2000 watts power inverter, modified sine wave car inverter, 12v to 110v, two AC outlets, two USB ports 2.4A ea, DC to AC converter, battery cables included – UL Certified under 458 by METLab

PROS

  • Built-in LCD
  • Ultra-quiet fan
  • Great size and shape
  • 3000-watt peak power
  • 1500 watt continuous power 

CONS

  • Cables not included
  • Only includes two outlets

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers like the Energizer EN2000. In its price range, you can’t do much better than this. People loved the lightweight design and its sleek appearance. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Energizer EN2000 caught our eye. With a lightweight design (under 5lbs!) and a slim build, this is perfect for the front of the cab. Tuck it on the floor or the seat beside you, and let this unit run.

We loved this inverter. It’s affordable, it’s sleek, and it works. The Energizer gets the job done. It connects directly to the battery and features an LCD to keep you informed. When we surveyed the competition, it became clear pretty quickly that this contender earned the title.

Bottom Line

The Energizer E2000 is the best low-cost power inverter on the market. For such a small unit, this inverter packs a serious punch. In this case, quality and affordability go hand in hand. 

Best 3000 Watt Inverter for Semi Truck:
Soyond DPI3000-112

PROS

  • 3000 watts
  • Light at ~10lbs
  • Three AC outlets
  • 18-month warranty 
  • Includes battery cords and connectors 

CONS

  • Modified sine waves
  • Not designed for high power appliances

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the Soyond 3000. Many people were shocked by how well this unit works. With 3000-watt capabilities, it compensates for the drawbacks of modified sine waveforms adequately. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This 3000-watt inverter stood out to us right away because of its great appearance. We also love its lightweight build and size, power capabilities, and great price.

The Soyond is a powerful unit. It easily runs for hours and can handle pretty much any piece of equipment you need when you’re in for a long haul. If you’re catching some rest after a long night, don’t worry about plugging in a little heater - the Soyond will power through.

Bottom Line

As far as 3000-watt power inverters go, the Soyond 3000 is our favorite. This little inverter weighs in at just under 10lbs, making it lightweight and portable. If you don’t need pure sine waves, this is the unit for you.

Best Pure Sine Wave Inverter for Semi Truck:
GoWISE Power PS1004

GoWISE Power PS1004 3000W Continuous 6000W Surge Peak Power Pure Sine Wave Inverter with Starter Cables and 4 Output Sockets, Updated Model, Grey, Standard

PROS

  • 3000 watts
  • Pure sine waves
  • Very lightweight
  • 4 output sockets
  • Incredible 5 protection system

CONS

  • Poor warranty policy
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of the GoWISE Power PS1004 have great things to say about their purchase. With a 3000 watt capability and pure sine waves, this is top of the line. Consumer feedback supports this. 

In terms of complaints, people have voiced unhappiness with the warranty policy offered by the company.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This power inverter jumped out to us instantly. Its power, small size, lightweight build, and protection system are impressive.

The GoWISE is ideal for use in the semi. Due to its lightweight design, it is easy to move around, takes up little cab space, and can be quickly stored if necessary. It handles just about anything you’re likely to carry in the semi, from a grill to a TV. 

We loved how strong this piece was for its size. It is neat, sturdy, and very safe.  With a five-step protection system, you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong while you’re on the road. 

Bottom Line

The GoWISE Power PS1004 is the best pure sine wave power inverter we came across. It is a powerhouse of a unit and should be able to handle everything from your microwave oven to your freezer and more. As far as we’re concerned, this product is a winner.

Power Inverter Troubleshooting 

Like anything else, power inverters can run into trouble. If you know what to expect, the issues that are likely to arise are much easier to handle. 

If your inverter isn’t turning on, there are several possible causes. The most common are: disconnected battery, battery cables are reversed, the battery is weak or dead, or a tripped inverter. Fixing disconnected or reversed cables is easy. Likewise, if the battery is weak or died, then charge or replace it. You can usually reset a stripped inverter with the fail switch.

Power Inverter vs Converter - Comparison Overview 

Both inverters and converters are power transformers and pulse width modulation (PWM) technology. Essentially, this reduces power by chopping it up to vary the pulse width. 

Power inverters and power converters have one significant difference. Whereas power inverters transform direct currents into AC power, power converters do the opposite. Power converters transform alternating currents into DC power. 

People use converters and inverters for different things. Often, people use converters to adapt a power supply for use in another country.

How to Install a Power Inverter in Semi Truck

Installing a power inverter is a straightforward task and shouldn’t be particularly challenging. That said, there are a few complicated steps along the way. Make sure to follow the steps correctly, as you’re working with electricity. For safety and convenience, we’ve broken down the process of installing a truck power converter to ensure that nothing goes awry. 

1. Strip the end of your positive and negative battery cables. 

2. Crimp the ends and install your heat shrink.

3. Access the battery on your semi. Remove the fuse.

4. If necessary, drill a hole in the floor for the cables to pass from the battery to the cab. 

5. Mount your power inverter in the cab.

6. Pass the cables through the floor from the inverter to the battery. Be sure to leave some slack to account for suspension.

7. Attach the negative and positive ends to the battery and inverter. 

8. Install the fuse in the battery.

9. Turn on your inverter!

Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of the installation procedure. 

Conclusion 

Power inverters help make life on the road much more enjoyable. They transform the electrical current from your truck into a usable format. 

After extensive research, we’ve concluded that the Samlex PST-2000-12 is the best overall power inverter out there. If you’re in the market for an inverter, we recommend that you start there!

People Also Ask

To help you out, we’ve taken the time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that come up regarding power inverters. 

What Size Inverter Do I Need to Run a TV And DVD Player?

The size itself does not matter too much here; however, to comfortably watch a movie, you will likely need an inverter that has a watt capacity of 500. As you are unlikely to be powering only a DVD player or TV device, we highly recommend buying an inverter that has an output of at least 800-1000 watts. 

Do Power Inverters Drain a Car Battery?

The short answer is yes. Power inverters can drain your battery. On a semi, though, it is highly unlikely that this will happen. The size of the battery versus the power used by your phone or cooler is not comparable.

How Fast Will Power Inverter Drain Battery?

As mentioned, it is unlikely that your inverter will drain your semi’s battery as long as your semi is running. The alternator will recharge the battery. If you are using the inverter a lot when the engine is off, you may run into some issues. 

What Will a 1000 Watt Power Inverter Run?

A 1000-watt inverter will run an impressive range of equipment, including a small microwave, DVD player, coffee maker, or laptop. At 1000 watts, you should be able to run several things at the same time without much issue. 

Soyond DPI3000-112

What Will a 300 Watt Power Inverter Run?

A 300-watt power inverter can handle things such as TVs, a fan, a gaming console, a phone, small tools, or small appliances.

What Will a 750 Watt Power Inverter Run?

A 750-watt converter is a pretty good size. It can handle powering everything the 300-watt inverter could, and more. This size is an ideal choice for powering a small appliance. This includes blenders, floodlights, stereos, and small refrigerators.

What Will a 2000 Watt Power Inverter Run?

A 2000-watt power inverter is probably enough power for most of the things you’re likely to need in a semi. These inverters can handle toaster ovens, microwaves, freezers, power tools, and electric grills.



After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.