Many of us own microwaves in our homes. These incredibly handy devices make life so much easier by heating up food in no time and cooking ready meals if you’re not in the mood to cook from scratch.
Microwaves have become an essential part of our kitchens. Chances are, you use yours nearly every day. Whether it’s steaming vegetables or warming up a forlorn, forgotten cold cup of tea, we probably take these appliances for granted.
As microwaves are so convenient, many more caravaners and motorhome owners are finding them ever more appealing. Not only can you make a variety of meals such as packed or scrambled eggs, soups, baked beans, or jacket potatoes, but these reliable helpers save you from washing up. That is something everyone can get behind! So should you get a small microwave oven for camping?
If you are sold on the idea of a microwave for your caravan or motorhome, you should consider how much you will use it and what wattage level is best for you. This can be a laborious task as you can’t just use any old microwave in caravans or motorhomes.
Unlike home microwaves, the majority being run when on the road are powered by generators so your output power may be quite weak.
If you are on a camp site then the power supply on the electric hook up will also be quite low so you have to consider your maximum power consumption.
This means that you will need a small microwave for camping or at least a low watt microwave.
Luckily, we have discovered the 4 best low wattage microwaves for you to buy. We have in-depth reviews of each product as well as a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQS section to help you decide once and for all.
Need a microwave for an upcoming road trip? Here is our top pick:
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Although it hasn’t got the least wattage of all on our list, our number one choice is the Hotpoint Curve Microwave Oven.
When you look at it, you may start looking for the remote to watch something with an uncanny resemblance to a traditional tube TV. Instead, this is a highly impressive microwave that would sit perfectly in the corner of your caravan or motorhome.
If your corners have curved edges, the Hotpoint Curve microwave will fit seamlessly and look great with most interiors. Its output power is 700W which you may think is quite high but anything up to 900W is considered relatively low.
It requires an input power of about 1200W so you need to ensure your generator or electrical source can provide this amount.
Its 13L capacity is ideal for smaller-sized groups but enough to cook a good amount of food. Its touch controls are very easy to use so can get automatic cooking results straight away.
You will also have peace of mind with a 2-year warranty in case anything goes wrong with the appliance. It is a little heavy at 13.26kg but if this isn’t an issue for you, the power and convenience of this curved microwave are hard to beat.
- Curved design to help it fit seamlessly into most corners of caravans and motorhomes
- Easy to use with simple touch controls for quick meals
- Highly convenient appliance with a good amount of power to heat food up very quickly
- Perfect for smaller sized groups or families with 13L
- Very easy to clean with a cloth giving easy access inside to keep the interior spick and span
- A little heavy at 13.26kg
- Unique curve shape - designed to fit in a corner and save worktop space
- 13L capacity - ideal for small households
- Choose from 5 different power levels
- Multi-Wave Technology produces great results even when in a hurry
- Easy to use dial controls
Next up is the very impressive Rusell Hobbs RHM1401s 14 Litre Silver Microwave. There are an array of reasons why this is a bestseller amongst caravan and motorhome owners.
Its compact size and lower wattage power make it ideal for use on the road, especially if your caravan or motorhome is lacking space for larger microwaves.
With an output power of 600W, the Russell Hobbs Compact Manual microwave offers low wattage but more than enough to cook your food sufficiently.
It will use very little energy on your leisure battery, saving you money in the long run. This will let you cook several courses without any hassle.
This Russell Hobbs microwave features an internal diamond cavity design which cooks your food evenly throughout so you don’t have to worry about the insides being cold or unhealthy to eat. 6-level power settings allow you to cook many types of food to the exact way you like them.
It also includes a reheat function for food to be warmed up to the perfect amount. You can keep an eye on your food as it cooks thanks to a mirrored door and its silver housing will protect the microwave from wear and tear over time leaving you with a highly durable, long-lasting appliance.
Yes, it is compact but this doesn’t mean you can only cook small meals. You are able to use a large 10.5-inch plate to cook full dinners with no trouble. Forgotten to defrost something?
This microwave features a defrost function so you can cook food safely from frozen. We can’t forget to mention its 35-minute timer which allows you to cook your meals without any delay so you can save time overall.
- Very compact design that is ideal for smaller caravans and motorhomes
- Features a defrost and reheat function to cut your cooking time hugely
- Ultra-durable thanks to a solid silver lining that offers supreme protection
- A 35-speed timer cooks food quickly and efficiently without a delay
- Built with a mirrored door so you can follow the progress of your meal as it cooks
- Very small and compact which may not be well suited to larger families
- Ultra compact: With an ultra compact 14L design (H22.4 x W42.7 x D31.3 cms) this product is ideal for home cooks with big ambitions but a small kitchen. This XS microwave saves on vital space yet offers plenty of functionality
- Easy to use: With two simple control dials, simply set one's desired power level and time, and the microwave will cook one's food to perfection. This product is also easy to clean, simply wipe with a damp cloth to maintain ideal performance
- Power levels: With 6 microwave power levels plus defrost setting, the COMPACT XS microwave can be tailored to one's cooking needs. From defrosting one's frozen meat to helping steam one's vegetables, this microwave doesn’t let one down on functionality
- Diamond cavity: The diamond cavity structure provides improved microwave distribution by enhancing the reflection of the microwaves inside the cavity result in improved cooking performance. This helps to cook one's food more effectively, saving time and energy.
Our third pick is the freestanding and surprisingly pleasing Beko MOC20100W microwave. It’s simplistic, almost retro, white design helps it stand out right away.
If you like to be reminded of your home comforts when you’re on the road, Beko’s solo microwave will do just that and be your reliable companion for many meals to come.
One of the most pleasing aspects of this microwave is how easy it is to use. You will soon get to grips with its simple manual controls so you can cook your favourite meals quickly.
Its power output of 700W is also very small meaning it will consume little energy over time. The best low wattage microwaves use very little energy even when all their functions are running and this is why we have included the Beko MOC20100W.
When you use its 5 power levels, which include a defrost option, this microwave will still consume very little power compared to higher wattage microwaves.
There is ample space inside this microwave to cook large amounts of food for big groups of people. Compared to many of its rivals, this has more space inside while taking up little space on the outside. This is also very easy to install and start using so you don’t have to worry about this process before use.
A digital programmer lets you set your cooking time up to 30 minutes to get precise results with no trouble. If you want more convenience when cooking your meals on the road, it’s hard to think of much better than the Beko MOC20100W microwave.
It is compact enough to fit inside most recreational vehicles and powerful enough to get you the best cooking results every time.
- Very simple to use with easy to understand controls
- Simple yet attractive design that looks stylish in any kitchen
- Made by a trusted and well-renowned brand that has a very reputable history
- Superbly quiet microwave with a sound level staying a minimum within 1db
- Extremely dynamic appliance with an array of fantastic features such as a digital timer which allows you to set the cooking time up to 30 minutes
- There is a lack of lighting inside the microwave meaning it is harder to keep an eye on your food as it cooks
- 5 microwave power level
- Defrost function
- 30 minute mechanical timer
- DIMENSIONS: Height: 32.5cm / Width: 45.2cm / Depth: 26.2cm
Our final choice delivers quick and efficient cooking results with a 700W power output. The Daewoo Manual Control Microwave should last you many years and be a reliable heating source for hundreds of meals to come.
Whether you want to prepare soup for those cold winter days or popcorn for Friday night movies, this Daewoo microwave could be the one for you.
Its 20-litre capacity is ideal for small families but can prepare a variety of meals. You have a choice between seven different power settings to get the right results for various meals and its defrost function will ensure all food is sufficiently thawed.
Many people forget how helpful a defrost option is. Think about items that you may have forgotten to thaw overnight or food that needs to be defrosted straight from the freezer. Without this feature, you would have to wait all day or night for the food item to be ready but not any more! It will be ready in a matter of minutes.
Its manual control dial is especially easy to use without any instructions needed. Its 35-minute dual speed timer will let you select an exact cooking time for your food for added convenience.
What we love about this microwave is its concave reflex technology. This system eliminates any cold or uncooked areas of your food so it is evenly cooked each time.
If you’re looking for all your cooking needs in one compact device, the Daewoo Manual Control microwave may be just the one for you.
- Multifunctional with 7 different power settings for all the cooking options you require
- Built with concave reflex technology to ensure your food is cooked evenly throughout every time
- Defrost option so you can quickly thaw food to make it safe and edible
- Has a 20-litre capacity to cook a range of foods which is suitable for single owners or families
- Can schedule your cooking specifically with a 35-minute timer
- Burn marks can appear on the interior walls after some time
- 700 W power output: Delivers quick and efficient cooking results
- 20 Litre capacity: Ideal for small households
- 35 Minute dual speed timer: To schedule cooking period
- Concave reflex system: Ensures food is evenly cooked
- Integrated alarm: Indicates end of cooking cycle
- Simple control dial: Choose your desired program with the simple manual control dial
We hope one of the microwaves in our list above has caught your eye. If you still can’t choose between them, there are a few aspects to consider which may help you make a final decision.
There are a number of features and factors to look out for when buying a microwave for your caravan or motorhome.
As you know, these require various specifications, unlike their home’s counterparts.
Let’s take a look at the most important things to consider:
Lower wattage caravan/motorhome microwaves vs home used microwaves
Home microwaves are perfect for cooking and heating your food but only in certain environments. These are not always a practical choice for caravans or motorhomes for several reasons.
These can sometimes be far too heavy for a caravan to withstand and overall weight could tip over the legal limit.
Typical caravans with a single axle usually have a load capacity, with personal possessions, of about 150kg. If you were to use a regular home microwave weighing around 13kg, this would take up 9% of the overall weight allowed in the caravan.
Microwaves built for caravans and motorhomes weigh less as manufacturers take the weight limits into full consideration.
Thankfully, many modern motorhomes and caravan manufacturers now include microwave ovens as standard to save you the time and money of finding one.
The fact you are reading this article means you are thinking about the output power of microwaves.
As many caravan and motorhome owners will be using their microwaves off the power of a generator, knowing the output power of both is essential. Most caravan sites will supply 16A (3,600W). You wont be able to use your microwave when powered by your leisure battery even if your battery is connected to a leisure battery charger that charges whilst in use.
Some may not provide as much power with many parts of Europe only offering 3A. Before setting up your caravan, you need to ensure the site can provide enough power for all of your appliances, let alone the microwave.
The most common pitches are 16A which has 3600W of available power, 10A which has 2400W of available power, 6A which has 1440W of available power, and 3A which has 720W of available power.
The typical output power of a caravan/motorhome microwave will be 450W to 900W so you need to focus on the amount of power beforehand.
The power consumption
This is a little different to the power requirements as microwaves are not as simple as they seem in terms of power used.
Its power rating is the output it generates such as 700W. What many people don’t know is that if a microwave has a power rating of 700W, it will actually need around 1400W to function properly.
This is the case with all power ratings (i.e. 500W would need around 1000W, 800W would need approximately 1600W, and so on). Most of this power is needed in the initial startup boost.
This is why it is very important to know the amp supply when you’re on the road. Smaller amp supplies such as 5A wouldn’t be enough and could overload your whole electrical circuit.
The size requirements
You must consider the size of a microwave as well as the size of the space in which you wish to install it, so you may need a small microwave in a touring caravan. A compact microwave can also be a good idea for campers in tents who have to consider space in their vehicle.
You should measure the space where it will be located to make sure it will fit. However, all makes and models have different ventilation requirements with a fan on the rear of the microwave.
Usually, a gap of around 25mm should be left around the whole appliance for adequate ventilation. It is recommended you check the manufacturer’s specific requirements beforehand.
Manual or digital microwave
You will come across manual and digital microwaves. Both versions have their pros and cons and it is typically down to the user’s preference.
A manual microwave has controls that are manually operated. These come in the forms of rotary dials that will need to be turned to get a required time or function. These tend to use less power and are easier to operate.
Digital microwaves usually have a control panel for various heating and defrosting options. These come in the form of buttons with many modern designs using touch screen technology. These models tend to use a lot more power but heat your food up in half the time.
When you’re on the road, you will come across bumps and potholes (especially in the UK) and these will cause your motorhome or caravan to continuously move.
You need to ensure your microwave can withstand such movements while in transport. Home microwaves are designed to stay still on your kitchen work surface. Any sudden jerking movement can damage the electrical components inside.
This is why it is important you buy a portable microwave that has circuits and parts that can stand up to life on bumpy roads. It is advised you double-check with the manufacturer to see if the appliance is safe to use in these circumstances.
When you’re buying a microwave or any new electrical appliance, most have warranties. These will cover you if anything goes wrong with the appliance within a certain amount of time.
Many of these warranties specify that the microwave can be used for touring purposes. If this is not the case, you will not be covered for any accidental damage.
It is recommended you check with the manufacturer beforehand to avoid any nasty surprises down the line.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to place my microwave?
Most microwaves in caravans and motorhomes are located at a higher level. However, this isn’t the best place possible as it can cause safety concerns.
Heavier appliances should be kept lower down as they can be difficult to install at head height and are easier to access afterwards. There is also the risk of spillage which is especially dangerous at higher heights with hot foods and drinks.
You should look for a stable and safe location such as a cupboard quite low down against the chassis when in tow. This makes it easy to set up when you arrive at your destination.
What is the highest wattage a microwave can be for caravans/motorhomes?
Most British campsites offer about 16A of power which should be more than enough to power your microwave and other devices.
Most caravan/motorhome microwaves average around 500W to 900W but remember they need double this amount of power to function properly.
Some can offer 1000-1200W but you shouldn’t need this amount of power.
Do small or low watt microwave save energy?
Not necessarily. Remember that a low watt microwave will need to cook for longer.