Everything You Need to Know About Campervan Microwaves

August 19, 2022 in Tips for Owners and Maintenance & appliances

At first glance, microwaves might seem like a luxury for campervan holidaymakers. But if you want to tuck into heated-up food or enjoy a hot drink in a matter of seconds when you’re on the road, they can be a very welcome addition to your travel setup. In fact, you might be surprised at some of the (relatively) common kitchen tasks that microwaves can be useful for

This handy guide will talk you through everything you need to know about campervan microwaves. We’ll offer guidance on important things to consider before making your purchase. We’ll then look at the different types of campervan microwaves available, answer some FAQs and offer some options to suit a variety of budgets. Let’s get started. 

Goboony Campervan Microwave Motorhome h2 Camping 12V

Things to consider before buying a campervan microwave

Whether you are fitting a microwave for the first time or upgrading to a new model, there are a few important considerations to make. Answering these questions will help you make the right choice for you, your vehicle and your fellow travellers. 

  1. Will you be fitting the microwave permanently in your motorhome? If so, you will need to install a shock mount or find a place in the vehicle where any vibration can be absorbed. This is easier said than done. The fittings required will vary depending on the type of oven you choose but here is a handy guide on fitting a microwave oven from Thomson caravans to put you on the right track. 
  2. If you don’t want to permanently fit the microwave, do you have a safe space to store it when you move it around, including the glass plate and turntable? 
  3. How much space will you have to devote to your caravan? Keep in mind that you will need at least 100mm of space clearance around the top, sides and back to ensure there is ample air circulation. 

Top tip: If you are worried about room inside the vehicle and you don’t want to permanently fit the microwave why not set it up under your awning once you are parked up? If you are in the market for a canopy check out our complete guide to choosing the perfect campervan awning.

  1. Where will your power source be coming from for the majority of the time? Will you need to take into account a variety of power sources? 
  2. How will you charge your batteries in remote locations? If you are using your microwave regularly you’ll probably need to recharge your batteries through solar power or EHY or you’ll risk draining your batteries. You could also damage them irrevocably.
  3. Will you be using the device off-grid? If so, your best option is to choose a 700W model with a hard-wired inverter and a power rating of at least 1400w. You’ll also need at least 200ah of leisure battery power. 
  4. What other devices will you need to power at the same time? Fridges and televisions take up quite a bit of electrical supply so you’ll need to schedule your culinary activities.  
  5. What kind of power settings do you want? A microwave with multiple settings is a good idea as you can adapt your cooking requirements to offset the risk of tripping the electric supply. 
  6. Are there any weight considerations you need to take into account? Microwaves generally weigh around 10kg which can add to your payload if you are already carrying equipment, clothes, food and drink and so forth. 

What are the best types of campervan microwaves? 

Campervan microwaves should ideally be low wattage, preferably between 500W and 700W. They should also be small and compact. Choosing a campervan microwave that requires low power means you’ll be able to use it at campsites with an electric supply of 10W or more without tripping the residual current device (RCD). When using low-power ovens make sure you stir the food regularly so it cooks evenly. 

How much power will a microwave consume? 

The labels and documentation that your campervan microwave is supplied with will tell you the wattage of your device. You can then use one of these formulas to calculate the power the microwave will consume.

Watts = Volts multiplied by Amps

Volts = Watts divided by Amps

Amps = Watts divided by Volts

The power rating of your campervan microwave is the output it generates. So, if your device has a rate of 700W it will need about 1400W to work properly. Keep in mind that microwaves are not a ‘soft-start’ device and require a power boost to charge up.

Goboony Campervan Microwave Motorhome h2 Camping 12V

Can I use a 12V microwave for my campervan?

12V microwaves are an option for motorhome holiday makers but they have a few drawbacks. They tend to be quite expensive and are a bit more complex to fit. A 12V microwave will need to draw a significant amount of current from your 12V system which requires a suitably robust cable. If you use your microwave regularly you may find your 12V supply is sapped by this one appliance. 

If you decide on a 12V system it’s best to buy a low wattage 230V microwave and use an inverter installed close to the leisure battery.  

Recommended campervan microwaves

We’ve carefully selected a few of the best campervan microwaves below, focusing on devices that are compact and have lower wattage. 

Igenix 500W Low Power Caravan Microwave

The Igenix IG2071 is specifically designed for campervans, caravans and motorhomes. It has five power levels so you can save energy and avoid tripping the electric supply at campsites. It is compatible with a 6 amp supply and at 44cm wide x 33.5 deep x 25.8 cm high it can be stored away relatively easily. 

Weighing just over 10kg and with a capacity of 20 litres and a 255mm turntable, this campervan microwave is an excellent choice for both the occasional and regular traveller. 

Find out more about the Igenix 500W caravan microwave

Russell Hobbs RHM1401B 

This super compact campervan microwave is an excellent choice for holidaymakers who want to conserve space but not compromise the holiday cooking experience. At just 12.3cm deep x 16.7cm wide x 8.8cm high and weighing just 9kg, this device will fit well with your other motorhome furniture and overall payload. This model has a standard 25cm hotplate and six power levels including defrost and a capacity of 14 litres. It uses a relatively modest 230V and an energy output of 600W. Maximum power consumption is 4.17 amps. 

The designers have incorporated a diamond cavity which they say should provide more even and effective cooking results. If you want to run this model off your 12V system use a pure sine wave power convertor

Find out more about the Russell Hobbs RHM1401B 

Goboony Campervan Microwave Motorhome h2 Camping 12V

We hope this guide to choosing a campervan microwave has given you some good ideas on which device would suit you and your vehicle. Whatever solution you decide on, make sure you check the warranty before fitting or travelling with the device. The manufacturer may stipulate that the device is only suitable for specific uses or can only be used with certain accessories. 

Once you have your ducks in a row, you can start planning all the amazing motorhome holidays you will go on this year and into the future. And all the delicious meals you’ll cook (in record time) for your fellow travellers! 

If you would like to offset some of the cost of your holidays and the investments you make in your vehicle, why not hire your campervan to members of Goboony’s trusted customer base? You can find out more on our list your vehicle page.