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Many RVers consider a crock pot a necessity as you can slow cook food for hours while driving or doing other tasks. To save on costs and maximize power, you must have the right inverter and battery system.
Slow cookers and crock pots consume 900 to 1200 watts over an 8 hour period, so a 1500 watt inverter will be sufficient. You also need a 200ah battery to cook for 8 hours.
How Many Watts Does a Crock Pot Use?
Compared to ovens and microwaves , crock pots are more efficient. How much power it consumes will determine what inverter size you need.
Crock pots typically use 70 to 90 watts on low and 200 watts on high settings. If you slow cook for 8 hours that is 1600 watts. A 1000 to 1500 watt inverter is more than enough.
If you just want to get an inverter for your crock pot, there is the YinLeader Power Inverter with 1500 watts running and 3000W peak. This is going to run any crock pot without issues.
Fro the batteries we recommend 200 ah. The Renogy 200ah AGM 12V battery is our choice because of its consistent performance.
Some slow cookers consume more than 200 watts an hour, but that is at the highest setting. It is unlikely you will slow cook at high for 8 or 12 hours straight. And even if you did a 1500W inverter is still enough.
It might seem that a 1000 watt inverter is too much. If the crock pot uses 150 watts maximum per hour, why not get a portable 200 watt inverter?
The reason is you will be running other appliances. A 1500W inverter is a lot for a crock pot, but not if you are using a 12V fridge, TV, laptop and other appliances.
When thinking of what inverter size to use with a crock pot, consider what other appliances you will load. At just 100 to 200 watts an hour, you can use a smaller inverter. But you have to factor in the other loads, which is why a 1500W is the ideal minimum.
As long as your inverter has enough capacity, it should have no problems loading the crock pot for 8 to 12 hours. The key is the inverter power source. As long as it is sufficient the crock pot will keep going.
The larger the crock pot and the higher the setting, the more watts it consumes. You might see it use 300 watts an hour or over 2400 watts over 8 hours.
But again that is not an issue if you have a large enough inverter. But the extra watts also affects the amps being drawn. In this case an energy intensive cooker will use more battery power.
How Many Amps Does a Crock Pot Use?
If your RV inverter runs on shore power , the system keeps going as long as the power is available. If you are using batteries, make sure they are large enough to supply the needed amps.
A 200 watt an hour crock pot usually draws 1.6 amps an hour off 120V. On a 12V battery this increases to 16.6 amps. To run a crock pot for 8 hours you need 132 amps and 200 amps for 12 hours.
120 / 200 = 1.6
1.6 amps on 120V AC. On a 12V battery:
200 / 12 = 16.6
16.6 x 8 = 132
16.6 x 12 = 199.2
An inverter allows you to use a 120V on 12V batteries. While this works the crock pot has to pull more amps. This applies not just to crock pots but all 120V appliances that you run off a 12V battery.
If you have a 24V battery, run the same calculations but replace 12 with 24. The amp draw is going to be less so the battery will last longer.
A 12V 200ah battery is enough to power a crock pot for 12 hours. But at the end of that the battery will be completely empty. Lead acid batteries should be recharged at 50%, so better get a 400ah battery bank.
With 400ah you can slow cook and the battery will only be half empty by the end. Some lithium batteries have a 90% DOD but most people recharge at 85%.
More about Crock Pot Amps and Watts
The numbers above assume you slow cook for 8 to 12 hours. Some recipes may require just 4 hours while others may need up to 24 hours.
It depends on the recipe and what settings you use. Cook on low settings and the crock pot will pull fewer amps. However it will take longer to cook so power consumption varies per recipe.
You can avoid complications by getting a large battery bank. Earlier we mentioned that doubling the capacity is ideal if you use lead acid batteries. Another reason is to ensure there is enough battery capacity to cook.
The battery and inverter size given here is only for the crock pot. If you are going to load other appliances on the inverter, get a larger system.
This guide can help you find out how much solar power you need on your RV. Once you have added all appliances, you can determine what inverter and battery sizes are needed.
Make sure there is at least some power reserve available. If your total watts usage is 1000 watts a day, get a 1200 or 1500 watt inverter. If you need 300ah battery, get 350ah, and remember to double the capacity for lead acid batteries.
Even if you have lithium batteries you should not discharge them completely. At most you can probably go 85% unless the instructions say it is safe to do a full discharge.
Do I Need Solar Panels to Run an Off Grid Crock Pot?
It depends on your set up, but for RVs a solar array or another power source is a necessity.
Solar powered RVs and mobile homes do not rely on solar power exclusively. They also depend on shore power or a generator to run the AC, refrigerator and other energy intensive appliances. This frees up the solar panels, inverter and batteries to power other appliances.
Solar panels are not practical for crock pots because sunlight intensity varies throughout the day. If you need to cook for 8 to 12 hours, there might not even be enough sun hours for the day.
However you can use solar panels to charge batteries after they are used up by the crock pot. How many you need depends on the battery size and how fast you want it charged.
Suppose you fully discharged a 12V 200ah battery after cooking for 8 hours. 200 amps is 2400 watts, so 2 x 300W solar panels can recharge the battery in 4 to 5 hours.
You probably have more than 600 watts of solar panel on your RV. However you might use it to charge or run other appliances and devices. Just like with inverters and batteries, you should have more solar panel power available than what you need.
Tips For Using Crock Pots with an Inverter
- Buy an energy efficient model. Crock pots are already power savers, but you can always go for something that uses even less watts.
- Calculate the amps and watts. Remember that a 120V crock pot can run on a 12V battery, but the inverter will draw more amps. If a crock pot pulls 2 amps running on 120V, that becomes 20 amps on a 12V battery.
- Do not run the inverter at maximum capacity. If your inverter is always at or very near full capacity, it is time to upgrade to a larger unit.
- Make allowances for the cooking time. Unless you cook the same recipe every day, cooking times will vary. Sometimes it is 4 hours, other times 8,12 or longer. It is better to err on the side of caution and have more battery power available.
- If you are going to use solar panels to recharge the batteries, ensure there is enough. Not just for charging but to run other devices if you power them with solar.
- Most RVs are for 12V electrical systems, so you will probably use 12V batteries. Your inverter, solar panels and batteries have to be compatible with your system.
- Look for an inverter that is at least 90% efficient. The greater the efficiency rating, the les energy is lost when the system runs.
Whether you call it a crock pot or slow cooker, it is ideal for RVs. They are are convenient and energy efficient too. New models use even less power than before so it really makes sense to get one.
I am an advocate of solar power. Through portablesolarexpert.com I want to share with all of you what I have learned and cotinue to learn about renewable energy.