Powering your appliances while camping is not as challenging as you may think. While some people may choose to stay at a caravan park to use mains power, other more adventurous types may prefer to enjoy a quiet and remote location. In these situations, you will be unable to run your power through the grid so will have to set up your own system.
Three main ways to power your appliances while free camping are: batteries, solar panels, and generators.
If you’re out exploring by vehicle then you’ll always have power in the form of your car battery. Most cars put out 12 volts of power and you will find that a large range of camping accessories will either run or charge from the car with most plugging into the car through the cigarette lighter plug.
Having an additional deep-cycle battery in the tow vehicle can often provide sufficient power for a few extra days, especially if you manage usage. It also means you can recharge your power every time you drive anywhere. Both batteries are charged by the car when it’s running but are isolated when the ignition is turned off.
This allows the 2nd battery to run your appliances and leaves the main battery fully charged to start your vehicle again.
Batteries are heavy and not cheap either, so keeping power consumption to a minimum is important.
Solar panels are becoming more popular amongst camping lovers and for good reason. Although there are initial set up costs involved, once you’re all set up to use solar panels, you’ll be enjoying free power almost anywhere. With solar panels you can travel to remote locations away from mains power and still use all your 240V appliances.
With the advancement of solar power technology, we have access to a great source of power that’s environmentally friendly. Free-to-run solar panels can also be used to recharge your main or 2nd battery rather than using the car.
If you don’t have solar panels, or the weather simply does not allow you to generate enough power from your panels, a generator offers another easy way to power your appliances.
Generators are handy for your big power-hungry appliances, offering mains power for many home appliances, cooking, lighting and even running your 12v refrigeration. You can run your appliances directly from the generator or charge your batteries.
- There are many advantages for investing in a generator for camping:
- Generators are also useful during power outages at powered sites.
- Having a generator can provide your main power or be utilised as a backup source.
- Generators are highly portable, quick to pack and easy to use at a camp site.
- Generators are invaluable when powering high voltage appliances such as a Caravan’s air-conditioning units.
The older generators used to be noisy and heavy, however the latest versions such as the Protrek SE2000i(E) Electric Start Smart Generator have become much quieter and lighter.
The energy efficient Protrek SE2000i(E) Electric Start Smart Generator is new to the market and especially great for Camping, Caravans and 4WD. It has been specially designed to lay flat and fit into the tunnel boot of a caravan, and even has a pull up carry handle at the top, making it easily portable. Offering a maximum output of 2.1kVA this generator will give you a good, strong supply of power almost anywhere you go.
Another bonus of this Smart Generator is that is has App Monitoring, enabling you to start and stop the generator from your phone, after all who wants to get out of bed in the middle of the night to start up the A/C!