Skip to content

What Size Generator for Caravan / Motorhome?

What Size Generator for Caravan / Motorhome?

When planning an off-grid adventure with your caravan, choosing the right generator size is crucial. Even with a robust off-grid system, there are times when you might not get enough sunshine to power your solar panels. This blog will guide you through the process of selecting the best generator for your caravan, ensuring you have power whenever you need it.

Understanding Your Power Needs

First, it's important to assess your power needs. Your generator should be able to handle the load of all the appliances and devices you plan to use. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you determine the right size:

  1. List Your Appliances: Write down all the appliances you will use and their power ratings in watts.

  2. Calculate Total Wattage: Sum the wattages of all appliances that will run simultaneously.

  3. Consider Starting Watts: Some appliances, like air conditioners and refrigerators, require additional power to start up. Make sure your generator can handle these surges.

Off-Grid Systems and Generator Integration

The way your system is wired will influence the generator size. In systems designed with a Victron Multiplus, you can adjust the power draw from the generator using a variable input amperage feature. Here’s how you can use this to your advantage:

  • Adjustable Input Amperage: You can set the generator to draw less power when off-grid and more when plugged into a power source like a caravan park.

  • Example Settings: If parked at a caravan park with low batteries, set the charge input to 15A, the maximum draw from a heavy-duty extension lead. Off-grid, set it to a lower amount to suit the size of the generator.

Setting Input Amps on a Victron System for a Generator

For continuous load, it's recommended to pull only 80% of the generator's rated capacity. This helps to ensure longevity and reliability. Here’s a simple calculation to determine the appropriate amp input:

  1. Calculate Amps from Watts: Divide the generator's rated watts by 240V.

    • Example: For a 3000W generator: 3000W / 240V = 12.5A.

  2. Adjust for 80% Load: Multiply by 0.8.

    • 12.5A x 0.8 = 10A.

  3. Set Input Amps: Set your input amps to 10A for this 3000W generator.

Direct Connection Systems

If your system directly connects to all 240V loads, the generator should be sized to handle 1.2 times the largest load to ensure it can manage the power spikes. For instance, if your largest load is an 1800W air fryer, you need:

  • 1800W x 1.2 = 2160W generator.

Converting VA to Watts

Generators often rate their power in VA (volt-amperes) rather than watts. To convert VA to watts, you need to consider the power factor, typically between 0.8 and 1 for most household appliances. To be on the side of precaution I like to 0.8 power factor

  • Formula: Watts = VA * Power Factor.

    • Example: For a generator rated at 2500VA with a power factor of 0.8:

      • 2500VA x 0.8 = 2000W.

Choosing the Right Brand

The choice of generator brand depends on how frequently you plan to use it:

  • Frequent Use: For daily or frequent use, invest in a high-quality, reliable generator.

  • Occasional Use: For emergency or occasional use, a mid-range generator like the Hyundai models can provide reliable performance without breaking the bank.

Final Tips

  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance extends your generator’s life.

  • Noise Level: Choose a silent generator for your caravan to ensure a peaceful camping experience.

Best Generators for Caravans

  • Best Generator for Caravan: A versatile and reliable generator that meets all your power needs.

  • Best Silent Generator for Caravan: Ideal for quiet operation during camping.

  • Portable Generator for Camping: Compact and easy to transport, perfect for outdoor adventures.

  • Petrol Generator: A common choice for its availability and ease of use.

  • Best Portable Generator Australia: High-quality options specifically suited for the Australian climate and usage patterns.

By understanding your power needs and how to integrate a generator with your existing system, you can ensure your caravan remains powered even in the most remote locations. Make sure to choose a generator that matches your usage patterns and provides reliable performance whenever you need it. Happy travels!

Prev Post
Next Post

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items