CAMPING – POWER AND LIGHTING
When you go camping, you need power to run your camp lights, fridges and electronic gadgets. Here you’ll find the answers to get the best combination for your needs.
Like most campers, we used to carry AA and AAA batteries with us to power lights, CB radios and entertainment kit, but the increasing number of USB-rechargeable devices has changed that situation for the better. We checked out some quality, rechargeable head torches.
The renowned German lighting product innovator, Ledlenser, has a range of rechargeable head torches. We chose two from the Zen Imports range to evaluate: the MH8 and the top-shelf H14R.2. Both can be recharged, or as back-up, can use AA batteries.
The new Compact Series of fast chargers and solar panels is designed to provide convenient power for smart phones, drones, laptops and other small, rechargeable devices.
Projecta’s Intelli-RV range of power management systems for caravans and recreational vehicles has received some significant changes.
Narva has launched a range of ALS – Advanced Lighting Systems – pen and utility lights that are multi-functional and 240V or USB rechargeable.
Narva has launched its ‘Advanced Lighting Systems’ (ALS) Head Torch range, featuring powerful COB LEDs and rechargeable lithium batteries.
The lithium-ion battery has changed our way of life. We’re mobile-connected virtually everywhere and the lithium deep-cycle battery allows remote-area camping with ample power for fridge, lights, entertainment and communications. Our Revolution lithium battery has been faithfully pumping out amps for the past five years and is still performing perfectly.
Nigel Williams is an American and he’s summarised the generator situation in the USA. Note the focus on LPG and natural gas units that are virtually unknown here.
Redarc has released RedVision, a vehicle management system that brings multi-function control to the user’s fingertips. RedVision comes with an In-vehicle display and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) iOS or android smartphone app to control and monitor many functions in a camper, caravan, or motorhome.
Dometic’s PS180A portable solar panel provides a source of power for charging batteries and other 12 volt items.
The Toughpower portable power box is said to offer more benefits than any comparable unit in the market.
Hella’s camping and work light range continues to expand. The latest model lineup includes variable-output area lights and slim inspection lights.
Projecta has released a ‘Portable Power-Hub’, designed to provide convenient power anywhere, anytime. The PH125 Power-Hub can power and charge appliances and electronic equipment via 10 power outlets. The Power-Hub is said to be a viable alternative to a dual-battery system, eliminating installation costs and providing portability.
Dometic has released the SinePower MSI 412 pure sine wave inverter, with a power rating of 350 watts.
Redarc has extended its solar charging product range with a pair of updated monocrystalline portable folding solar panels. These new products complement Redarc’s folding solar blankets and one-piece monocrystalline solar panels.
LightForce is best known for its hunting lights and driving lights, but the South Australian company has strip lighting to brighten up a campsite.
We’ve been testing the LightForce Enforcer 140mm LED handheld spotlight for a few months and we reckon it’s one of the best portable spotlights/hunting lights on the market.
Your 4WD came with a few spare fuses, but they won’t suit a lot of the after-market and camping gear you’re carrying. Battery chargers, power supplies, caravans, camper trailers and generators have a variety of fuses, from glass-tube types to blades.
South Australian-based manufacturing company Redarc has released a range of solar blankets and accessories, to charge 12-volt batteries from solar power.
We’ve been evaluating Hella’s I-View head torch for the past three years. It’s one of the best units we’ve tested for camp use and for illuminating vehicle repairs.
Our mates at iMotorhome.com.au have just done a test on the P3000 portable generator from Briggs & Stratton. Because it’s a larger one than the other brands we’ve covered in our Portable Generators story we’ve given it a slot of its own.
Goal Zero claims to be the largest supplier of portable solar power and off-grid solar power products worldwide. The company specialises in portable solar kits, portable solar panels, solar batteries and chargers, solar lighting and solar accessories.
All three forms of camp lighting – gas, fluoro and LED – have their place, but here you can find out which one or which combination is best for you.
Flexible LED 12V lights known as LED Light Strips and featuring 60 LEDs per metre, with a 120-degree viewing angle, make excellent camp lights. These strips are only 10mm wide x 3mm thick and available in 50cm, 1m and 5m lengths.
We used Korr’s camp light kits and found them a very easy way of brightening up our camper, campsite and even the engine bay.
We tested the Coleman mini-charger on a couple of bush trips and found it very useful.
Very few of today’s 4WDs have under-bonnet space for a full-sized deep cycle battery to power a fridge and other camping equipment. One solution is a power pack.
Projecta has four folding solar panel kits that come complete with canvas carry bags, five-metre cables with battery clamps, inbuilt charge regulators and set-up pegs.
Solar power can be a viable camping power source, but the portable generator/battery charger still has its place, particularly in situations where sunlight is unreliable.
There’s no doubt that being able to produce fire at will was early man’s greatest discovery. Fire gave heat, light and energy – important building blocks of society.
Back in the good old days you could have any battery you liked, so long as it was black, heavy and full of easily-spilled acid. Now, there’s a choice of several different types.
Before the availability of affordable solar panels you had to run your engine for a few hours each day, or power up a generator and risk the ire of other campers. Now, it’s possible to have ‘free’ fridge and lighting power from the sun, by way of solar panels, a regulator and an auxiliary battery.