What size generator do I need?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Help for the Beginner' started by Grace, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Grace

    Grace Deleted User

    Hi, I have a swift Kontiki 6 berth motorhome and am trying to find out what wattage portable generator do I need to charge the battiers, run the television and DVD player and lights. Can anyone help?
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Jul 25, 2007

    A 1kw would do the job quite adequately .. but it may be worth going up to a 2kw which would give a bit of spare capacity for any other things you might want to run in the future.

    I have a 2kw Honda EU20i it's quiet and very reliable with a 5 year warranty and although they are probable the most expensive are worth the premium if you intend to use it a lot.. highly recommend it.

    A good selection here ..
    Honda generators at Edge Technology: + pramac,sdmo,stephill

    If it's only for occasional or emergency use then go for a cheaper make..
  3. Terry

    Terry Funster Life Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    South yorks
    Hi Grace,ask yourself IF you need a genny ???
    how do you camp ?if you are on sites a lot ? or planning to wild camp ? a second or third battery may be an option ? Also while I cannot fault Jims advise try looking at kipour gennys less than half price of Honda :ROFLMAO::thumb:
  4. Squeezy

    Squeezy Funster

    Mar 21, 2009
    West Yorkshire
    Please forgive my extremely embarrassing ignorance in asking this question. How do you connect the generator to your motorhome if you want to use it to charge your battery. Does it work as if you were using a set of jump leads and, if so, would the leads come with the generator? How long would it normally take to charge up a run-down battery? Are there any safety issues I should be aware of in terms of carrying around a petrol-driven generator? What type of fuel do most generators use?

    I am going to a few festivals this summer, a couple of which involve 4 nights camping without hook-up, and I am rather concerned that the battery won't last the distance. I feel a complete prat showing my ignorance like this, so please treat me gently and use language that a technophobe would understand!
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    YO11 2BD
    squeezy and grace,

    grace.....my advise would be buy the biggest you can afford......a bigger genny (2kw)running at a lower speed will be quieter and more fuel efficient than a small one (1kw) revving its nuts off plus you never know what you might want to run off it in future.
    a low wattage (750/800w 230v kettle wont leave a lot spare with a 1kw genny.

    squeezy.....if you just want to keep the battery topped up while wild camping /on site without hookup then connect it as you would your hookup lead.
    this way you can use any 230v appliances, TV etc at the same time as charging your battery.
    your onboard charger will have a higher output (maybe 12/15amps)than the gennies battery charging facility (usually around 7amps) so will charge the battery quicker.

    if you want to charge your engine battery alone then use the supplied leads as you would a normal charger.

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  6. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Suffolk/Central Portugal
    hi, if you knew the answer you would not have asked the question!!!!!!!
    If you are only away from EHU for 4 days at a time in the summer you may be able to manage on your batteries, it depends what you "must" run, solar panels will keep you running when the weather is bright. If you intend to use the van in the winter, or use a lot of power then a genny is really the only option to remain working IMHO. We run a 2.7kw kipor but unless we "have" to run air-con this is too much weight to carry around, if we were to change it now we would get a 1kw, and when off EHU just use 12volt equipment.
    But we are all different and you must decide what suits your requirements:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
    Nigel & Pamala
    PS we have just removed a 6.5kw genny because we never used it!!!!!!!
  7. derekfaeberwick


    Dec 1, 2007
    If that's all you need to power up then a 1 kw. will suffice. Stick to a 4 stroke one and you wont go far wrong. As has been said, Hondas are probably the best but Kipor are good value and unless you intend using it a lot would do the job very well and should last many years.

  8. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee

    Sep 28, 2008
    To answer the last part of your question. If you have a 100Ah battery and you run it down say to 40% of its nominal capacity then you need to replace 60Ah. If you have a 15 amp three stage battery charger, then to go through the full cycle of bulk charge and absorption sequence might take 6 hours (and a deep desire to make enemies of your fellow campers) depending on the settings.

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