Renogy Inverter Review

Some time ago we did a major upgrade of our 12V electrics, in both our Isuzu Dmax and Reconn R2 Hybrid Caravan. Both received lithium batteries, new chargers and a Renogy Inverter each. In this post, we’re reviewing both the 3000W Renogy Inverter, and a 2000W Renogy Inverter. These are both the pure sine wave inverters with a UPS function, but not the inverter charger units.

2000W inverter
Our 2000W Renogy inverter being installed in the Dmax

The bigger one is mounted in our Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper, and the 2000W one is in the Ute Canopy of our Isuzu Dmax. Both have been used considerably over the last few months, with us living out of our Camper full time on a Big Lap of Australia.

Lithium battery install
3000W Renogy Inverter in our Hybrid Camper

The Dmax one is used for charging camera gear, Ryobi batteries, drone gear, and occasionally our induction cooktop, toasted sandwich machine, toaster or other random gear.

The 3000W Renogy Inverter in the camper is primarily used for the induction cooktop, and running our toaster and laptops.

How much are the Renogy Inverters?

The 2000W Renogy Inverter is $342, and the 3000W Renogy Inverter is $414. You can get them for cheaper on the regular sales that Renogy has too, which makes them seriously good value.

What’s good about the Renogy Inverter?

Cheap as chips

Dollar for dollar, you won’t find another inverter on the market that is as cheap as the Renogy units, with the reputation that they have. They are considered to be decent quality gear, and their pricing makes it incredible value. To put it into perspective, I paid more for my 400W Enerdrive Inverter than I did for the 3000W Renogy one!

Good quality

As mentioned above, Renogy gear is good quality, with plenty of people reviewing it favourably. We’ve been punishing ours for a number of months now, and I know plenty of people who’ve been using theirs for much longer with no issues at all.

Induction cooking
We’ve been using our induction extensively in the Reconn R2

Great instructions, information and kit

In terms of what you receive, with the instructions and bits and pieces, Renogy do pretty well. It’s well packaged, easy to understand and use, and easy to install and make power.

Renogy inverter
The inverter comes well packaged with good instructions

Remote switching

The Renogy Inverters come with a remote that allows you to turn the inverter on without having to be at the actual unit. On our Dmax I opted not to use it as the switch is right next to the fridge, but in our camper trailer the inverter is tucked away in a storage hatch (that I literally have to empty to get access to it), and I have a couple of leads running from the inverter with the remote switch. 

If I want 240V power, I simply head to the kitchen and turn the inverter on, and then turn it off when I’m done.

Remote switching
The remote switch is very handy and allows you to tuck the inverter away

What’s not so good about the Renogy Inverters?

The individual cables aren’t sized properly

In both instances, when I pulled the cables out of the Renogy Inverter boxes, I wondered whether they were the correct size. Our auto electrician specifically mentioned they were under sized, and ran two new cables for both inverter installation.

Interestingly, the positives come with two cables, and I’m wondering whether Renogy expect you to run two cables to the inverter. Either way, its not the right way of doing things and you are better off replacing the cables with something much heavier duty.

Remember, at 3000W, you are drawing nearly 250 amps. That’s a heap of power, and when your cables are too small you make heat, and ultimately create a fire risk if you aren’t careful.

New inverter
We had new cables made for both installations as the ones that they come with are questionable

It doesn’t come with a fuse

I’m surprised that the Renogy inverter kit doesn’t come with a fuse. You should always run one, and having to buy your own is a bit average when many other kits come with them. Again, its not the end of the world, but you need a fuse and will have to get one.

The fan runs regardless of temperature

Now, I never really noticed this as both of our inverters are in spots where I either can’t hear them at all, or you’d have to stand really close to hear it. However, the Renogy inverter is set on a timer to run the fan, and it comes on regardless of whether you are running a 1500W appliance, or a 30W battery charger.

In our scenario this is irrelevant and I couldn’t care less, but if you had one mounted under your bed, or near your head in a camper trailer it would probably be quite annoying. I’ve read of people wiring them up to a temperature sender (so it only comes on when its warm), but from the factory they come on and off a lot.

Renogy Inverter Review

EDIT: 6 months in, our 2000W inverter in the Dmax started to smell a bit like warm, smoky electronics, and despite not feeling warm externally at all and only drawing 1200W for our induction cooktop for about 10 minutes. Normally we’d only run it for a few minutes at a time, but on this occasion we were boiling potatoes, and it smelt pretty average. 

I checked the connections, and then followed a strange noise back that I’d heard for a few weeks prior, and noticed that the fan at the back nearest the positive terminal was struggling to start, and both fans seemed to change speed quite a bit. Thinking that these were the cause of the heat, and thus smell, I lodged a ticket with Renogy to see what they’d say. 

They came back and said that because its not mounted flat, its human error in the installation causing the problem, and that both sides need to be clear. I queried how that would stop a fan from working properly, and got a vague response about it squashing the internals, which is a complete and utter cop out. I pushed a bit harder, and was told “The technical department indicates that vertical mounting may cause the inverter to malfunction due to gravity affecting the internal components, not just the fan.”

Fair enough, its not installed as per their instructions, but what’s the chances that this would cause a fan not to operate properly, or other issues? There’s plenty of air flow around it, and its not getting warm, so I feel its a bit of a fob off, but it is what it is.

New inverter
Renogy are saying because its mounted like this, it can’t get rid of heat, and can squash the internals. Yeah, right.

I still use it, and sniff it often when its on, but I have a feeling it might not last. I did do another test, where I ran it at 1200W for 11 minutes, then 600W for another 10 minutes, and it smelt like warm electronics, but not too bad, so it might be OK; who knows.

Update #2 – Renogy are replacing the inverter, after many emails back and forth. Their responses were quite vague, and I kept pushing for more information. Interestingly the manual they give with the inverter makes no mention of mounting it in a particular way, just that it needs 2.5 inches of clearance all the way around. This would say that their tech support wasn’t correct, but I didn’t push that hard and they’re sending a replacement. It’s a win from our end, and the other unit still seems to be working OK, so lets see how it goes.

Other than that, I’m really happy with our Renogy Inverters. I bought the second one as I was happy with the first, and wanted the ability to run some larger appliances off our Dmax if we needed to. 

The 2000 and 3000W inverters are big units, and need a LOT of space to mount them suitably, but I’ve had zero issues with both, and don’t expect to have any going forward. In my opinion Renogy is very under-rated, and I expect they’ll do very well in Australia over the coming years. Time will tell.

We’ve been using our 3000W Renogy Inverter full time at least 3 times a day for more than 100 days now, and will update this if anything goes wrong, or changes.

Renogy shunt and display
Running a 2000W fan heater from our 2000W Renogy inverter in the Isuzu Dmax

Do you have a Renogy Inverter? How is it going for you?

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  1. Hey Daniel,

    You’re very welcome mate, and yep, I know the drill with all the sponsored stuff.

    All the best

  2. Daniel Call says:

    Thank you for your article. It’s pretty difficult to find what I feel are honest independent reviews on van life equipment. Seems like everyone taking time to review something is a sponsored affiliate. I am getting ready to purchase a Renogy inverter (3000 watt with charging capabilities) and I found your writing informative and useful. Thank you and God bless. Happy trails in the outback their mate!