The ultimate benefit of having a suitable generator and/or a well designed solar power system, is having the freedom to choose where and for how long you wish to stay. There are many free camps around Australia that are 'location, location', so to be self-sufficient means you get to enjoy such beautiful campsites. Plus not all caravan parks provide power 24/7. Such parks run on generators themselves and usually turn their power off just as you are about to settle into a good movie on TV. Some travellers will get over missing a good movie (especially now DVD's are so available), however those with special needs, such as a sleep apnea machine, are best to be prepared with back up power. There is always the possibility of blackouts wherever you camp.
A 1000 watt generator will be ample for camping. 1000 watts will run lights, refrigeration and televisions. Approximately 2.5 litres will run for 10 hours on Eco-throttle.
A 2000 watt generator is more suitable for caravans and motor homes that wish to run all the above plus air conditioning, electric frying pan or microwave (but not all at once). Approximately 5 litres will run for 15 hours on Eco-throttle.
Depending on your requirements, quality generators feature a microcomputer-controlled sinewave inverter that guarantees commercial quality electricity - making it ideal for use with frequency sensitive electrical equipment such as computers.
Quality generators also feature an Eco-throttle, which adjusts the engine speed to meet the load demand. This increases fuel economy whilst also reducing noise as the engine is not required to run at full capacity unnecessarily.
A solar panel is basically a battery charger. P.V. cells are composed of silicon wafers. Under certain conditions, the suns rays cause electrons from silicon atoms to be released and become available to move as an electric current.
If solar panels are considered as a battery charger, then the larger capacity (size) of the battery bank, the larger the solar panel array will be required. The capacity of the battery bank is determined by the loads (lights + appliances) required, and usually calculated in Amp hours. Determine what it is you need power, for then contact your local solar distributor to help you with what suits your individual needs.
Amorphous solar panels on vehicles are more shade tolerant, flexible, and cost effective than mono crystalline or poly crystalline panels.