An induction cooktop for a van is a popular option amongst people living in campervans. Induction cooktops are sleek and modern and look really good as a van life stove.
An induction cooktop for a camper van offers precise temperature control for simmering. You also don’t have to worry about stopping to grab another bottle of propane when you’re out in the boonies.
These amazing little campervan stoves also heat up much faster than other burners.
The main downside of an induction cooktop for a van is that it uses a lot of power. You’ll need solar panels, a powerful inverter and a couple deep-cycle batteries to run your stove. This also means you’ll have to think hard about your electrical setup.
That being said, many van lifers swear by using an induction cooker. First, we’ll show you our top picks for the best induction stoves for vans.
Then, we’ll go more in-depth into each stove.
The top 3 induction stoves for van life
The Duxtop offers a large range of cooking temps (140-460°) and watts (200-1800), and heats up to 350 in less than a minute.
This highly-rated induction cooktop has 18 power levels (100W-1800W) and 17 preset temperature levels (140-460°). Compact and lightweight.
This affordable induction cooktop offers 15 temperature settings (100-450°) and watts (100-1800). Can boil 33oz of water in less than a minute.
You might also like: The best 5 coolers for van life reviewed.
Is an induction cooktop right for your van?
The campervan stove you choose has a lot to do with your electrical setup and what type of cooking you plan on doing.
An induction cooktop for a van works by using a set of induction coils within the stove. The coils create a magnetic field that warms steel and iron-based pans.
Induction cooktops use hundreds of watts to operate, yet heat up much faster than other stoves. You’ll just have to calculate how much power you need, and what type of electrical system you plan on installing in your van.
The best induction cooktops for a campervan are great for people who like good control over a burner. With induction, you can inch up the temperature by degrees depending on what you’re making.
This offers great flexibility for chefs who love precise temperature control for omelets, pan-fried chicken and sauces.
To learn more about the pros and cons of induction stoves, check out this article by Consumer Reports.
Not sure how much solar power you need to run an induction cooktop? Check out this Solar Calculator by Parked in Paradise.
- Precise temperature control
- No open flame
- Faster to heat up than other stoves
- Heating elements cool off immediately upon removing the pot
- Can visually see wattage use
- Doesn’t add a lot of heat to your van
- Only works on cast iron or steel pans
- Uses a lot of power
- You’ll need an advanced electrical setup to use this stove in your van
- If it’s embedded in the counter, you won’t be able to take it outside
- Internal fan can be noisy
The Best Induction Stoves for Van Life
Here are the top four induction cooktops that make the best campervan stove. We chose these products based on excellent reviews on Amazon and reading van life forums and blogs.
Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop – $70-$75
- Wattage: 200-1800
- Temp Settings: 15 ranging from 140°F to 460°F.
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Safety: auto-pan detection, over-heat protection w/diagnostic error message system, low and high voltage warning system.
The Duxtop portable induction stove for a van is portable and efficient, with a wide variety of watt and temperature settings. The angled control panel makes it easy to see the temperature, even from a distance.
This induction cooktop for van life is also super easy to clean – just wipe it down and you’re good to go.
We love all the safety features included with the Duxtop portable van life induction stove, including auto-pan detection, over-heat protection w/diagnostic error message system, low and high voltage warning system.
Reviewers are very happy with this particular induction stove, saying it heats up to 350°F in under a minute. Way faster than a propane stove!
This cooktop comes with a 170-minute countdown timer. It’s one of the highest-reviewed induction cooktops on Amazon.
iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop – $65-$75
- Wattage: 100-1800
- Temp Settings: 17 presets ranging from 140°F to 460°F.
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Safety: overheating protection, child safety lock
We love the large digital touch buttons on this portable induction cooktop perfect for van life. This is a versatile campervan stove, going all the way down to just 100 watts at the lowest temperature setting.
The iSiLER induction cooktop can fit pans between 3.9 and 8.6″ and is only 2.3 inches thick. It also features a premium glass surface with excellent wear resistance.
Plus, the cooktop includes overheating protection. If the stove goes above your selected temperature, it automatically shuts off.
You can set a timer on this portable induction cooktop for up to three hours, and is adjustable with one minute increments.
A 6-blade whirlwind fan helps dissipate heat from the cooktop, although some reviewers say listening to that fan is annoying.
We were hard-pressed to find a bad review on Amazon for this little induction cooktop for a campervan.
Sunavo Induction Cooktop for a Van – $50-$60
- Wattage: 100-1800
- Temp Settings: 15 ranging from 100°F to 460°F.
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Safety: Child safety lock, automatic shut-off
The Sunavo portable induction cooktop is another great choice for van life and is the most budget-friendly option on our list.
With an LED interface that’s simple to use, this highly-rated campervan induction cooktop will boil 1000ml of water in just 3 minutes – 4 times faster than a traditional hot plate.
This stove comes with a child lock and a timer that can be set for up to 300 minutes. If the cooktop doesn’t detect a pot, it shuts off within 30 seconds, which is a handy feature.
You may also like the induction cookware tester that comes with this stove. If the included magnet sticks to the bottom of a pot, its suitable to use with the induction cooktop.
The Sunavo claims to use the most advanced thermal cycling cooling system to rapidly cool down the stove.
Rosewill Induction Cooktop – $70-$80
- Wattage: 300-1800
- Temp Settings: 8 ranging from 150°F to 450°F.
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
The Rosewill Induction Cooktop is different from others mentioned here is that it comes with a stainless steel pot (which some reviewers say isn’t up to snuff). Like the Sunavo induction cooktop, it includes a magnet where you can test to see if you can use your cookware on the induction stove.
Amazon reviews are mixed, but some van lifers say they are very pleased with the Rosewill.
It doesn’t have error codes like some other induction cooktops, and the timer only goes to 30 minutes.
Some reviewers say this particular cooktop is hard to clean; food gets caught in the cracks.
Conclusion on the Best Induction Cooktop for a Van
An induction cooktop for van life is great for a campervan with an electrical setup. You’ll most likely need two deep cycle batteries, a 2000-watt inverter and 400-watts of solar panels to run an induction cooktop.
You can also be connected to shore power in a campground, but I’m not sure how many van lifers want to be on-grid.
Even though a lot of these cooktops go as low as using just 100 watts, you won’t be cooking much with just 100-150 degrees.
Most of the time, you’ll be using between 600-900 watts to cook meals on your induction cooktop for a van.
Some van lifers claim this only drains their batteries by a few percentage points, which are quickly replenished on a sunny day.
If you don’t feel like installing a complicated solar system in your van, a propane camping stove like the JetBoil HalfGen (what I use) may be a better bet.
Other van life stories to check out:
- The Ultimate Guide to a Sprinter Van Camper
- ARB Fridge Review: The best 12-volt fridge for van life
- The best camping stoves for RVing and van life
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Kristin Hanes is a journalist who founded The Wayward Home as a place to learn about alternative living. She currently lives on a sailboat and in a Chevy Astro van, and has written articles about alternative living published in Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire and SF Gate. Read more about Kristin here.