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Message posted by Fiona W via mobile 30/3/2022 at 12:01pm
Outfit: Autosleepers: Clubman > Nuevo. Location: Ayrshire
Forum Posts: 3662
Tent Reviews: 1
|Site Reviews Total:|| 201|
|Site Reviews 2022:|| 5 |
|Site Reviews 2021:|| 10 |
|Site Reviews 2020:|| 4 |
|Site Reviews 2019:|| 9 |
|Site Reviews 2018:|| 18 |
|Site Nights 2022:|| 11|
|Site Nights 2021:|| 25|
|Site Nights 2020:|| 20|
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You enjoy being off grid. I assume that usually means basic sites out in the countryside, in the peace & quiet. You might find the constant noise of a diesel generator is at odds with that philosophy, and they smell too. (I’ve not stayed more than one night at the sites where they’re allowed.)
A pre-charged “portable power station” with a battery is quiet (just an audible hum) but it’s big & very heavy, needs two to lift it. Expensive too.
The folding solar panel is something I often see in the front window of campervans, or propped up outside facing in the best direction. I agree with others, that’s a sensible option.
2022 - 6 sites, 15 nights / 2021 - 11 sites, 29 nights / 2020 - 4 sites, 20 nights / 2019 - 13 sites, 35 nights / 2018 - 20 sites, 33 nights / 2017 - 10 sites, 22 nights / 2016 - 19 sites, 33 nights / 2015 - 15 sites, 27 nights.
Message posted by Monty1530/3/2022 at 12:54pm
Outfit: Lunar Cosmos 524 Location: London
Forum Posts: 1157
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|Site Reviews 2021:|| 0 |
|Site Reviews 2020:|| 0 |
|Site Reviews 2019:|| 1 |
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|Site Nights 2021:|| 0|
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If you have any doubts left!
As already said, you won't be popular using, if indeed you are allowed to use at all, a generator on a regular campsite! Even the proclaimed 'silent' ones are anything but if you are close enough, which can be annoying as far away as 40 or 50 yards with the worst of them. 'Silent' is a VERY relative word and is used in context of very noisy ordinary gennys. An ordinary (non-'silent') type will be intrusive from hundreds of yards away in the usual quiet environment of the countryside. A 4 stroke engine will give off exhaust fumes that can drift onto other's pitches, 2 stroke and diesels are even worse for smell!
I've used quite a few on camping trips over the years, BUT we've been at motor races with pop-up campsites with no EHU and the background noise from the racing makes their noise far more acceptable, and just about everybody else has one too! We needed the power output to run domestic fridges and freezers, solar setup just wasn't going to hack it without getting very elaborate and expensive.
Few other factors to consider with generators, they gobble fuel (my 1kW ones do about 1l/hour if heavily loaded - the manufacturers quoted fuel consumption is usually at only 1/2 or 2/3 load!), so you either have to take substantial quantities with you (most forecourt rules limit you to 10 litres in jerry cans per transaction!), or keep going off to refill jerry cans every day or so if you run it a lot.
The Voltage (including voltage spikes) and/or Frequency output stability from generators can be awful, something like a power drill won't much care, but electronics can be damaged and often don't behave themselves on a fluctuating supply. 'Electronics' includes the inbuilt power supply (240v-12v converter) and battery charger in your caravan. You generally have to buy a very high end (read EXPENSIVE! Honda, Kipor etc.) one to get assured output. Inverter generators are undoubtedly significantly better than regular ones, but the cheapish ones are not perfect.
Over and above fuel usage, gennys have additional running costs like an oil change (for 4 stroke ones) after so many hours use and the occasional spark plug replacement, you'll rue not changing the plug when necessary as it'll likely be a pig to start and your pull starter arm will protest after multiple attempts!
Very few Gennys are water resistant, so you'll need to rig some kind of shelter to keep the rain out, and of course the exhaust fumes are toxic (Carbon monoxide), so you can't use any kind of habitable space like an awning.
The portable solar panel sounds like your best option with your described usage. It has the advantage over a fixed (on roof) one in that you can orientate it to face the Sun and get the most efficient use from it, fixed ones suffer in that the angle of the sun to the panel is rarely optimal, and only at it's best for a few short hours a day anyway, a portable one can be optimised from sunrise to sunset if you can be asked to move it a few times a day to face the sun. In a practical sense, that means a smaller rated portable can produce more power than a fixed one if used optimally. Generators have their place, but Solar panels seem to win out for your needs IMHO.