Solutions To Allow 240VAC Devices To Be Run By 12VDC Without A Inverter.

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 16, 2019
Hi all,

I am not very clued up on power supply technical stuff, so I am here to seek professional advices.

I am getting a 3rd party to build a camper van for me, and we will have 200W Solar with 200AMP AGM Leisure Battery. I will have 2 computer monitors + Macbook Pros (240VAC devices) built inside the van that needs power, but I just want to stick to 12V DC as the power supply. I am reluctant to have inverters as there will be a good % of loss on power.

What are the possible solutions? The builder mentioned transformers. Are they any good?

Any sound advice?

I know that if we were to use lithium leisure batteries, there will most likely be lesser issues, but that is an expensive setup option.

Thanks in advance.


Joined Jun 4, 2014
Do the two monitors and MacBook have direct mains input or do they have an external power supply box which plugs into the mains?


Joined Jun 4, 2014
Then I don't see much alternative to the inverter(s).
If they had DC inputs then you could, more efficiently, use buck/boost to produce the correct DC voltages.


Joined Sep 7, 2010
I think all the devices mentioned run on low voltage ....

Follow the mains input ... does it go to a small black box?? and then into the laptop or monitor??

This black box turns the mains into 19volts or similar , so all you need to do is step up 12V to 19V and plug that into the laptops ....

First examine the items carefully to see what voltage they run on ... then decide if they will all need to run at the same time , if so add up the current consumption to get the total current you will need at 19V ,(or whatever it is) ... then you can select which voltage booster to buy.


Joined Aug 24, 2018
I would stick with an off-the-shelf inverter as it will be reasonably efficient and reliable. It is all very well saying that it is more efficient to use an entirely DC system but in my opinion the risk of damage to your expensive computer is too great to consider an alternative power supply to that which comes with it from the factory.


Joined Sep 24, 2015
You can not convert DC to AC without an inverter or a dynamo. A dynamo is a motor that spins an alternator. The motor can run on DC and the alternator can produce AC. Depending on how much power you need you will need to use a dynamo that is capable of producing the necessary current. The good thing about a dynamo is that the wave form is pure sinusoidal, whereas with inverters, they come very close (the more expensive ones), but like you said, the efficiency leaves something to be desired.

IMHO 240 VAC in a camper is a lot of voltage. I would assume (I don't know this to be true, but I would assume) 240 VAC would be more dangerous than 12 VDC (in regards a power source in a camper.

Running a computer (or multiple computers) will require a lot of power, as per your need for 240 VAC. Others here have asked about the monitor, whether it has AC input or a plug box (DC) input. I think you said it requires AC input. It's looking like you're going to need inverters for that. Or a dynamo.