What kitchen appliances can you use in a campervan?

Hitting the open road in your campervan is all about freedom and adventure. But when hunger strikes, you still want to whip up delicious meals. Unlike your home kitchen, campervans have different power limitations, so you need to think carefully about what appliances to use.

We get a lot of questions from our customers about what appliances are suitable for use in our campervan conversions. With air fryers taking the UK by storm in the last few years, many wonder if their versatility stretches as far as being used in campervans. We’re happy to say, they can be used in campervans – with some big caveats!

A coffee machine is just one of the appliances you can use in a campervan

This guide explores the best appliances for your campervan adventures. We’ll focus on popular choices like air fryers, microwaves, and some off-grid cooking solutions. But first, we need to go into some technical detail about electrics…

Understanding your campervan’s electrical system

Most campervans run on a 12-volt DC system, while appliances often need 110-volt AC power. An inverter bridges the gap, converting DC to AC. The crucial factor here is your inverter’s wattage capacity. Trying to use a high-powered appliance with an underpowered inverter can damage both.

For example, a 1000-watt inverter can convert your 12v DC battery to 110v AC. This would allow you to run a 750-watt air fryer for approximately 20 minutes (depending on battery health).

An electrical setup in a campervan

Tips for using electrical appliances in your campervan:

  • Check your inverter: Before plugging in any appliance, ensure its wattage doesn’t exceed your inverter’s capacity
  • Solar power: Solar panels can help offset appliance use, but their output may vary depending on sunlight
  • Keep usage to a minimum: Avoid using multiple power-draining devices (like a laptop charger) simultaneously while using an appliance off-grid
  • Shore power: When available, plugging into a campsite’s electrical outlet (shore power) is the best option for high-wattage appliances

Can you use an air fryer in a campervan?

Air fryers have become a UK kitchen staple. But can they join you on your travels? It depends! Air fryers typically range from 1,000 to 1,800 watts, with an average of 1,500 watts. A powerful home air fryer might be too much for your campervan’s electrical system. Consider a smaller, lower-wattage model (ideally under 1,000 watts) for more manageable power draw. A small air fryer is perfect for whipping up healthy meals for 1-2 people on the road.

Can you use a microwave in a campervan?

Microwaves offer another convenient cooking option. They vary in power consumption, ranging from 600 to 1,500 watts. Similar to air fryers, you should choose a smaller microwave (around 700 watts). This will have better compatibility with your campervan’s electrical system, especially if you have limited solar or hookup options.

Can you use a coffee machine in a campervan?

Regular coffee machines’ wattage can range from 600 to 1,200 watts, potentially straining your battery. While a small machine might be an option with a good inverter setup, a more realistic solution is a trusty moka pot or Aeropress. Both options brew strong coffee without needing electricity, the perfect companion for off-grid getaways.

Can you use a Thermomix in a campervan? 

For the uninitiated, thermomixes are all your kitchen appliances combined in one. It makes cooking nutritious meals like soups and stews as easy as pressing a button. This appliance is great for those with dietary restrictions who might find eating a struggle while on the road.

Thermomixes are powerhouse appliances, typically consuming around 1,500 watts. Their high power usage makes them impractical for most campervans unless you have a substantial solar setup or frequent access to hook-ups. However, if you have access to a power hook-up, this appliance is a sure-fire way to cook healthy meals with minimal effort. 

An example of a gas hob installed in a campervan

Campervan cooking while off-grid

For off-grid adventures, explore these alternative cooking solutions which require little to no electrical power:

  • Gas Stove: A reliable and efficient option for off-grid cooking
  • Fridges/coolers: Choose a 12-volt fridge or a good electric cooler for on-the-go food storage. If electricity is a concern, consider a traditional cooler box
  • For foodie inspiration, we like to go to vanlifeeats.com

In need of expert advice?

At Love Campers we’re experts in fitting electrics in our campervan conversions. We can walk you through the available options and ensure your campervan is suited to your electrical needs.

If you’re interested in a conversion, contact us so we can chat about your requirements. We’d love to hear from you! Fill out this short enquiry form to get started.

With the right planning and appliance choices, you can create a convenient campervan kitchen perfect for cooking up delicious meals. Remember, safety is key – always check your inverter capacity before plugging in any appliance. Now, get out there and explore the world, one delicious meal at a time!