How to Hook Up an Inverter to a Truck Battery


An inverter (or power inverter) converts the 12-volt current from a battery to 110 volts of alternating current like the electric current you have in you home. This allows you to run appliances, such as coffee makers and microwave ovens, or electronic devices, such as laptop computers or cellular phone chargers. A power inverter can be installed in less than one hour with regular tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Electric drill
  • 4 sheet metal screws
  • Open the hood or the battery compartment cover of your truck. Disconnect the negative battery terminal clamp with an adjustable wrench in a counterclockwise direction. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery terminal and position it away from the terminal.

  • Turn off the power switch on the inverter.

  • Connect the red and black terminals on the cable that came with the inverter to the correct terminals on the inverter. Connect the red cable to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal. Tighten the terminal connections with a Philips-head screwdriver.

  • Find a dry location inside the truck cab to mount the inverter so that it will be out of the way but convenient enough to easily plug in your appliances. Hold the inverter to the desired location and drill through the mounting holes in the inverter to the mounting surface on the truck with an electric drill. Secure the inverter by threading sheet metal screws into the holes and tightening them with a Philips-head screwdriver in a clockwise direction.

  • Reattach the battery terminal cable under the hood or battery compartment and tighten it with an adjustable wrench in a clockwise direction. Close the hood or battery compartment.

  • Plug the cigarette lighter adapter on the inverter cable into the cigarette lighter in the truck. Turn the inverter power switch on. Plug your desired electrical device into the inverter electrical receptacle and use as normal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using your inverter will place a drain on your truck’s battery and electrical system. If the truck is not running while you are using appliances plugged into the inverter, the battery may discharge enough that it will not have enough power to start the engine. Leaving the engine running while using your inverter will solve this problem because the truck’s charging system should keep the battery fully charged while using appliances.
  • Do not overload the inverter. Check the maximum wattage allowed by consulting the owner's manual for the inverter. Overloading the inverter can cause damage to the inverter and to your truck's electrical system.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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