Caravan Microwave Low Wattage Reviews 2021
The microwave is a versatile cooking tool, letting you defrost, warm or cook with a click of a button or turn of a knob. Whilst at home you are hooked up to the mains when your off camping you may only have access to a leisure battery. If that is the case you need a caravan microwave that is not power hungry. A 12Vmicrowave would be perfect, but 12volts is not enough to drive a microwave that needs lots of power Be warned microwaves can use a lot of power so keep an eye on your leisure charge level. It is possible to use a home microwave, but you need to convert from 12V to AC power. This article on pure sine wave inverters will talk you through your options if you are thinking of buying an inverter. Another solution is to invest in a silent caravan generator for your caravan or motorhome.
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One point has to be remembered when choosing a caravan microwave. The power consumption is directly related to how fast the food will cook and the drain on your electrical system. A lower power setting on the microwave will length your leisure battery charge, but will take longer to warm up the meal.
If you decide to use a microwave, consider the installation of solar panels to help recharge the leisure battery, especially for those who go out wild camping.
Small and portable 12V caravan microwaves
# 1 Daewoo QT1R Compact Manual Control Microwave Oven, 600 W, 14 Litre, White
This is a compact 600w unit that is ideal for use in a caravan. The controls are conventional so all the power consumption is used for cooking the food items. Can be used in a caravan with a 12v system that has a power inverter or hooked up to mains at a caravan park with amperage as low as 10.
The variable power settings make it possible to slow cook items and conserve battery power. With the turntable and dual wave emitters, the food will be thoroughly cooked independently of the power setting. With a depth of only 33.2 cm, it can easily fit on the counter top when being used or stored under the bench seat when not in use.
# 2 Hotpoint Xtraspace Curve 13L Digital Microwave Oven
This is taller than average but thinner than most other 700w microwaves that has digital controls for more precise cooking. Because of the cooking area dimensions, it is ideal for taller containers than most other small microwaves but can still handle the average dinner plate inside.
The cooking settings can be precisely set and stored for future use. It has a depth of 35.3 cm so that it can fit easily on the counter top and then stored under the bench seat when not in use. It is also thinner than most being only 39.2 cm wide but is 36 cm high. It is heavier than most compact microwaves at 13.3 kg. For those who want digital controls, this unit should be considered. It is nearly identical to a now-discontinued Whirlpool unit that had a good reputation.
# 3 Russell Hobbs RHM1401S 14 L 600 W Silver Small and Compact Manual Microwave with 6 Power Levels
The sleek modern looking Russell Hobbs microwave has space and power you need to warm up a hot meal without draining the leisure battery. The 5 manual power settings and defrost mode are designed to use minimal power while still performing as needed. The heat distribution is enhanced with diamond cavity walls to distribute the heat more evenly. With it only being 22.4 cm high, it is also a space saver when on your counter top or in storage.
With manual setting knobs and variable wattage settings, power can be conserved while still having a warm meal. The sleek design also means it will not take up too much space when being stored under the bench seat. With the diamond cooking cavity, less power can be used and still have an evenly heated meal ready when you want it.
Is using a 12v microwave the only option I have in my caravan?
No, the 12v microwave is not the only option and for many, not the preferred for the following reasons;
A 240v microwave can be installed and used when the caravan only has a 12v electrical system with the use of a voltage converter. While the cost of the converter is another addition that must be purchased, the savings by purchasing the common 240v microwave will balance it out.
What options should I look for in a microwave for my caravan?
When looking for a microwave for your home most go after a large and powerful one. The opposite is true when choosing one for your caravan. The smaller units are easier to place inside a caravan that has limited space. The lower power usage will also make it possible not to drain the leisure battery as fast or trip the breakers. Remember a 900w microwave has a surge of 1800w upon startup that can cause breakers to trip.
How many power settings do you need?
A microwave that has variable power settings is suggested. Many of the available units have between 5 and 7 power settings. These can help in reducing power consumption when they are used.
Digital or Manual?
Microwaves come with either digital or manual switches for settings. The manual switches are not as accurate as the digital ones, but they also do not consume any energy. A manual unit is suggested to help conserve power.
Size & Capacity
A compact microwave will have a capacity from 13 to 20 litres. The width varies in width from 39 to 44 cm, with a depth of 33 to 35 cm and 23 to 35 cm high. Knowing where you are going to locate the microwave in your caravan is important so that you will know if it will fit. For some owners, they just place the microwave on the counter when they use it which eliminate the size problem. Remember you must take hot food out so installing units overhead in a cabinet is not advised.
Can I install a microwave into the cabinetry of the caravan?
While it is possible to do so, most caravan owners do not undertake that project. If you want to make the microwave a permanent part of the kitchen area, there are several things you must do. The unit must be mounted on a shockproof base since vibrations can cause them not to function. They also generate large amounts of heat and a minimum of 100 cm space on top, the sides and in the back of the unit must be present so that the excess heat can escape. Those equipped with a glass plate should also have that removed when on the road in your caravan to prevent it from breaking. When the caravan is hooked up to the main power source, it can function. If you are wild camping, then the use of a converter is required and the drain on the leisure battery will be high with each use of the oven.
Final thoughts on buying a microwave for a caravan
For those going wild camping, the need to generate power might be necessary since all microwaves use a considerable amount of power to operate. The easiest solution to this is to have a solar array device to capture energy for free (after you have recouped the costs of the solar panel). The free energy can later be used to drive other caravan or motorhome appliances and accessories. It might also be advisable to have 2 leisure batteries so that you will have enough power in reserve without having to worry about it. As a fail safe solution, invest in a silent caravan generator to keep the lights on all times