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.
Before reliable solar/battery power became available, having a 240V inverter was a luxury few campers could imagine. Now, an inverter is pretty much compulsory camping gear. We’re indebted to Enerdrive for help in compiling this guide.
BMPRO has announced that its ProSmart monitoring system is available in a Premium version that greatly expands the number of functions it can perform.
Few tools are available in a much wider price range than electrical terminal-to-wire crimpers. You can spend as little as five bucks and more than four hundred.
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.
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 seven years and is still performing perfectly.
Redarc Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries are said to be the ultimate in deep-cycle battery technology, capable of delivering unrivalled performance and battery life.
The most common cooking and water-heating fuel used by Australian campers is liquified petroleum gas (LPG). It’s relatively cheap and readily available Australia-wide. However, there are fire and explosion risks with LPG and precautions must be taken.
ARB’s Power Pack attaches to a fridge and provides power while the fridge is being used away from the vehicle.
Stedi’s best selling work/reverse light is the 10W Mini model. Compact dimensions and bracket or flush-mount options give this light great versatility.
We’re all familiar with solar camping power, but wind power is also a viable way of generating electricity. Why don’t we see many mini-windmills around campsites?
There’s no doubt that lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) batteries are taking over deep-cycle-battery tasks for Australian bush travellers. The combination of fast-charge ability, deep-discharge resilience, constant voltage discharge, light weight and potentially long cycle life is unbeatable, despite the considerable cost penalty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.