The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Equipment => Topic started by: SteveB on May 27, 2019, 02:14:40 pm

Title: Recommended generators for a caravan / office
Post by: SteveB on May 27, 2019, 02:14:40 pm
I'm buying some land shortly & plan to move on with my caravan to start.

Over time I'll get into building a solar panel set up but in the meantime I'd appreciate any advice or links as to what would be the best type / style of generator.

I would need something that could power a 32" TV and a 22" monitor, boil a kettle (one cups worth) around 10 times per day, run a shower once per day, charge power tools, laptop, lights etc and possibly run the vans heating & fridge, although gas may well be a better / cheaper option for these two?

The generator would have to sit outside the caravan and I'd like something that can auto start or start by remote, don't want to have to keep going out to switch it on & off.

I'm not brill with wattage, voltage so thus this question, appreciate any help. Thanks.
Title: Re: Recommended generators for a caravan / office
Post by: pgkevet on May 27, 2019, 05:30:26 pm
Simple rules
watts/volts=amps.KVA = kilovolts times amps = WattsUK voltage is supposedly 230v but simplify sums and call if 250. So 1000W (or 1 Kilowatt) appliance pulls 4 amps.Power tool batteries, laptops, TVs all draw relatively small power ( a few hundred watts each at most) lamps you know 60watt and 100watt etc - a tiny draw. A kettle on the other hand can be as bi an element as 3000w but usually around 1800 (1800 = 7.5 amps)Pumps can be a nuisance with a genny as can some motors that draw a lot more at start-up than when running but in caravam terms unlikely to hit those sizes.
Heaters can be quite high usage. The old electric fires were 1KW per bar. An average fan heater is 2KW.Obviously you have to add up power usage if more than one item plugged in at a time.

I have no experience with remote start gennys. If it has an automatic choke and an electric start then it can always be wired to a remote switch
Title: Re: Recommended generators for a caravan / office
Post by: chrismahon on May 28, 2019, 06:51:26 am
Honda EU20i will provide up to 1.8Kw of electricity suitable for electronic equipment and it is quiet. Make sure your kettle is small- we have a one cup camping unit at 600w.

You will have to start it manually though and no electric shower. You would need a monster sized generator for a shower.

May be simpler to charge a battery and use an inverter for the low powered stuff.
Title: Re: Recommended generators for a caravan / office
Post by: pgkevet on May 28, 2019, 09:41:34 am
Nothing is impossible.I have no experience of caravan showers but a domestic hot water tank electric element typically pulls 3KW. I have a cheapish wolf generator that runs at 7.5KVA with assorted outputs. It's not one of the fancy inverter/power stabilised type of genny's (I had one of those but it's feedback systems kept tripping on the water pump start-up). It works fien with home PC's and kettels and fridges etc. One output from it dedicated to hot water heating should work fine.
It does have electric start which could be rigged remotely BUT usually needs manual choke.

Having stated the above it'd take some time to heat up a  big tank of water so petrol usage would be high.

It all comes down to budget and practicaility. Once getting into high regular genny usage then a diesel run off agri red would be more sensible.
Title: Re: Recommended generators for a caravan / office
Post by: cloddopper on May 28, 2019, 10:08:59 am
What caravan do you have ? Does it have it's own  water heater when

it was built   to run a shower & hot water taps . If so nine amps is usually the trip switch rating so a x v =w
 There should be a label on the heater  indicating the current consumption . Fibd that and we can all think about a suitable genny .

 I have a Honda 2000 i pure sine wave genny that can push out 2.2 kw continuously  ( it can run a computer & printer set up off it.  I  paid a fair bit for it  but it has 240 & 110 volt , 12 volt and is startable with a key,  on a pull cord or by a remote fob  runs on full load for  3.5 hrs using .75 litre of petrol per hour  IIRC.

 It's quiet too known as a "  suitcase genny "  which means it can be put away inside a car or the caravan  when not in use ..weighs about 30 kg