Generator

Mar 14, 2005
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I am considering buying a generator for occasional use for my 'van and was hoping somebody could steer me in the right direction (power output, noise levels etc.) Any help welcome, Thanks.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello,

Before you buy a generator carefully consider what you actually need it for. Most sites these days offer mains hook ups, which will usually provide up to 3kW of power. By comparison the typical caravan generator will only provide 750W (0.75kW) of power so it is not a complete alternative to the mains hook up.

Modern caravans offer many items of equipment that are duel fuelled. Fridges tend to have 3 way power (12V dc 230V ac & gas), Water heaters and space heaters, 2 way (230V ac & Gas). There are many 12V dc/230V ac televisions & VCRs' available.

So if mains power is not available there is usually a sensible alternative to resorting to a generator. Gas is usually used for cooking, and makes a very economic alternative for water heaters and space heating. Fridges are also much more efficient on gas than on generator power.

For other appliance where gas is not an alternative, there are other low cost solutions. For example a 120W inverter (converts 12V dc to 230 Vac) will provide power for computers, radios VCR etc. So a generator is not really essential.

From a social point of view, generators are noisy. Even the "silent" ones produce some noise. They are very inefficient at converting fuel to electrical power (about 6%) the fuel is very expensive.

Gas appliances on the other hand are very efficient. They must be at least 70% efficient before they are approved for sale, and virtually silent.

The gas will already be on board for cooking, so there is no additional weight to be accounted.

Consider using a second battery that can be charged in the back of your car whilst you are travelling, and swapping when necessary. Or use the accessory circuit in the 12S (grey) socket on the rear of your car.

Do you really need a generator?
 

BJ

Mar 14, 2005
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Please park well away from me.

Why do you need a Generator, why so many sites have electric hookups? You could pay for many nights with hookup for the cost of a generator.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Darren, I don't know about generator capacities, but one piece of advice I have been given following the failure of my built in battery charger is that the unpredictable and spikey output can damage elctronics such as the charger. This advice came from the Plugin Systems technician who did the repair.

So, I think you need to look for one with regulated output for safety.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi I had been considering a generator for use with my caravan when on-site electricity is unavalible. Although after receiving replys warning of fried battery chargers, noise, smell etc. I have purchased a 600 watt inverter for a fraction of the price of the recommended Honda generator. I am now looking at what type of solar panel would be best to keep the battery topped up (much to the delight of my eco-friendly daughter!!) Any help most welcome.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Just sold my geni aftre 7 years and got a solar panel instead you just don't need a geni and we don,t bother with hook ups but if you buy a geni don,t buy a 2 stroke
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Darren,

When choosing a solar panel bear in mind that a solar panel used in the uk will provide 3 hours of useful power/charging output per day. i.e. a 60 watt solar panel can produce 180 watt/hours per day, or power a 30 watt tv for 6 hours. To find what panel you need, calculate the watts hours you need per day and then divide by 3. This will be the panel size you need. In order to reccommend a good source of solar panels without being accused of advertisement, I will mention two good sites for solar panels:

www.selectsolar.co.uk or:

www.solarwatts.co.uk
 

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