Which Generator suits you?

One of the main reasons we go camping is for the peace and quiet, right?

Well, the humming of a generator in the background is a great way to spoil the serenity!

The good news is many generators these days have been specifically designed for camping purposes, with plenty of emphasis being placed on providing silent operation. Generator technology has really advanced over the last few years, with quiet, electronically controlled 4-stroke and diesel-powered units with low emissions becoming increasingly affordable.

The appliances which your generator will be providing power for should also be considered. Some older, lower quality, and more basic generators are notorious for producing output spikes or variable frequency and voltage output. This can be very harmful to sensitive like computers. If you are powering sensitive electronics, go for a quality made inverter-generator. It will provide well-regulated, clean power which is often better than you get from your own home.

What size do you need? Well, that depends on a number of factors but a 2kVA petrol model is a popular option among campers thanks to its great balance of affordability, power output, size, and weight.

Inverter Talk

Inverters are designed to convert 12V DC power to 240V AC power, which allows you to use 240V devices from your 12V battery at camp. There are two types of inverters, you’ve got Modified Sound Wave and Pure Sound Wave. Modified Sound Wave inverters are generally the cheaper option and are perfectly fine for powering up simple electrical devices such as kettles and hair dryers.

Pure Sign Wave inverters are more expensive, but produce an alternating current that is more accurate, which makes it a much better option for sensitive gadgets such as televisions and laptops.

Generators these days have some impressively low fuel-consumption figures
Inverters vs Generators

To power up your 240V devices, you’ll need to choose between an inverter or generator. However, there are a few variables to consider, so let’s look at the basics. An inverter is quieter, cleaner and cheaper to run than a generator.

The thing to remember is an inverter relies on the power available to operate. So, if you don’t have the battery capacity and charging system to ensure power is always available, the inverter can’t do its job. Remember that equation we read about earlier in this article;
Power = Current x Voltage
Given that an inverters job is to change the voltage from 12V to 240V, the trade-off is there are power conversion losses, meaning your inverter will use approximately 10% more power than your appliance draws, so it’s not as efficient as pulling power directly from a 240v source.