Do You Really Need A Genny?


One of the “must-have” items I had on my list when I first bought my van was a small generator. Not quite sure about my reasoning at the time, but I was convinced I needed to spend the $$$ to have a source of 240V power.

All this free camping stuff… solar etc… off-the-grid… blah blah blah!

The unknown issue at the time I suppose, was whether I would have enough power available to keep all my stuff running.

The “stuff” I was mainly concerned about was the laptop I use (on a daily basis) to run my business. I don’t have any real hungry power needs… for example, I don’t want to run an Air Conditioner while off-grid… nor do I need to run any CPAP machines, hairdryers, toasters, coffee machines, etc. If you want those sorts of things, this isn’t the time to discuss HOW to drive that – more on that later.

Most of the stuff I have can be run on 12V – directly, or from an adapter plugged into a cigarette lighter socket. Simply, it’s my LED lights, TV/DVD, and laptop. The old 3-way fridge is gas when off-grid (12V only when driving).

But you’ve got to have all bases covered. Don’t you?

So I have a Yamaha 1kVA Inverter/Generator… and another, separate 1000W inverter wired to my battery. Just in case… 🙂

Begs the question then… How many times has my Genny actually been USED in the last 2.5 years?


Only three times.

First to help a fellow camper recharge their house battery.

Second time to try to recharge mine – but failed cause the battery had dropped too far, and needed that jump start only a 240V charger can provide.

Third time… to top up daily after several days of rain and no traveling (which would have used the car to recharge my house battery).

So for the past two years, my faithful little Yammy has sat in the front boot of the caravan, patiently waiting to be used… But never mind about the petrol I have had to carry to run it going “off” in that time.

I suppose I really should dig it out and give it a run every now and then.

So WHY hasn’t it been used?

I’ll write a separate post about that, and describe my setup (and needs) in detail there… Stay tuned.

Anyone want to buy a cheap 1kVA Yamaha??? 😉