How to choose the right induction cooktop for a van

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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.

If you want an easier stove, you may want to consider a propane camping stove for a van like the one I currently use – the JetBoil Half Gen.

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

Best Overall
9.7
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop

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. 

Runner Up
9.6
iSiLER 1800W Induction Cooktop
iSiLER 1800W Induction Cooktop

This highly-rated induction cooktop has 18 power levels (100W-1800W) and 17 preset temperature levels (140-460°). Compact and lightweight.

Best Budget
9.5
SUNAVO Portable Induction Cooktop
SUNAVO Portable Induction Cooktop

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?

This is Divine on the Road’s first campervan conversion. You can see her induction cooktop in the right-hand corner.

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.

Pros:

  • Precise temperature control
  • No open flame
  • Portable
  • 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

Cons:

  • 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
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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:

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18 thoughts on “How to choose the right induction cooktop for a van”

  1. Is iSiLER suitable for RV? I am looking for one for my RV but I don’t know about it clearly. Can you help me?

    Reply
    • Yes, any of these should be suitable for an RV if you have the proper power, especially if you’re plugged in at a campground. Off grid you’ll need plenty of solar panels.

      Reply
  2. I bought Duxtop 1800W but it would be perfect if induction loops a little bigger. If the pan used on it is a bit on large sizes, the center will smoke hot, but the edges will not be so hot

    Reply
  3. I like iSiLER simple design. this portable induction cooktop has different temperature levels. oh! I like the child safety lock. I have done a test to boiling 500ml water only need less than 3 minutes. easy to use and cleaning. The best part that I like is it can easy to move then I can choose cooking outside sometime, and it is perfect choose for cooking hotpot.

    Reply
  4. We have used iSILER cooktop with medium to heavy-duty cast iron skillets for stew, steaks, and anything in between. We also use it to boil water, soup in a 4-gallon pot… Even at max power 1800 watts, the cord is not hot when in use, so it is a safety device to have in the house.

    Reply
  5. Do these cooktops cycle a high power on and off, or do they really draw 100W on the lowest setting? I have a Tatung that draws at least 1100 watts (not continuously on low temp, but off and on) That’s an important detail for sizing your batteries and inverter. They have to handle the peak load…

    Reply
    • That’s the million dollar question. Is there any induction cooktop drawing exactly the amount of W indicated, or all of them draw the max W in cycles? Would be great to have an answer
      Luis

      Reply
  6. We use Duxtop 1800W for everyday cooking needs. We have had cheaper brands and quite honestly we were happy with them. We are considering going Induction in the kitchen exclusively and decided to purchase a higher quality unit in comparison to the cheaper ones. This unit is very nice quality. Very sturdy and extremely nice to use. I will not hesitate to look at Duxtop again in the future. I feel this is well worth the money.

    Reply
  7. I bought True Induction to use while the kitchen is being remodeled. We are having an induction cooktop installed so I thought this would be a good way to see how they work. This exceeded my expectations. The 2 burners share the 1800 watts. The max for the 2 burners 10. You can have 1 at 3 and the other at 7 or any combination that adds to 10. If you are use to electric ranges you will find that this unit will bring pots and pans to cooking temperature much faster. You can easily cook on both burners at the same time. When the kitchen is done I am planning on using the unit in my RV. We spend several months a year in the RV and plan on using it instead of the gas cook top.

    Reply

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