Batteries. They are that sought-after item for any great tourer. They’re like the elusive golden idol from Indiana Jones or the holy grail in Monty Python. The point is, you can’t get enough of them. An old idiom for many tourers is the more batteries the better. But with that also comes the responsibility of getting enough charge into your batteries to do what you want to do.
Get the most out of your batteries with these 8 ultimate 12-volt travel secrets. Yep, we’re spilling the beans.
Foldable water bottles
Fill dead space in the fridge/freezer with foldable water bottles. The less air in your fridge/freezer, the less power it uses. It also helps to prevent stuff in your fridge banging around whilst driving off road.
Use your batteries early in the day
Aim to place any demands on your 12-volt batteries early in the day, so you can drive in the hours where you will attain the most sunlight. Always aim to have your 12-volt batteries fully charged by sunset. Follow more of these tips here.
Buy a small oven to cook anything from sausage rolls and pies to small roasts for some tasty and fresh meals. And with a DC-DC charger you’ll have no dramas running that oven whilst driving. Stop for a break, load up the oven with your meal, and then 2 hours later it will be ready.
Breakky, lunch, dinner or snack, you can cook anything you would in a big oven at home, just on a smaller scale. And don’t forget a solar blanket as well. As one experienced traveller said, “even when someone forgot to turn on the oven (which happened a couple times on the trip) the solar blanket was great in keeping the battery charged whilst it ran the oven.”
Invest in an inverter
Using an inverter you can power an electric blanket in your swag for the colder nights. Pretty nifty item to have to ensure you get clean power for your sensitive electronic equipment and get a comfy night sleep under the stars.
Watch the full episode here
A Pure Sine Wave Inverter also becomes pretty handy when you’re camping long term in one spot. When you drive your vehicle around during the day, you can use an inverter from its auxiliary battery to the camper 240V charger to recharge it.
Green Power Priority
The great thing about being in Australia? Almost endless solar year round. Whilst we all know a thing or two about solar to power our batteries (and if you haven’t read up on solar series), it’s also important to invest in technology that puts this first. For example, our Battery Management System and BCDC In-Vehicle Charger range have something we call ‘Green Power Priority’ inbuilt. This means that when the system detects a solar input, like a blanket or solar panels, it will use solar power first before other inputs like DC and AC.
Gas heating of water
Using a gas heater or an open fire to boil water is one way to put less stress on your batteries. The great thing about this is you can fire it away (no pun intended), no need to have an electrical setup and they are small, lightweight and easy to work with. And really, what’s the point of camping, without lighting a camp fire?
Get a heat exchanger
If you use a heat exchanger in your caravan/car/boat and want a more temperature regulated shower, use a mixer tap.
Hopefully, if you have done your research and have followed these tips, you won’t run into the problem of getting a flat battery. But it’s always good to have a contingency plan just in case. You can start your car with the push of a button, using our Smart Battery Isolator's override feature. This works by joining the flat battery and the auxiliary battery to use the auxiliary battery's power to jump start your vehicle. Effectively its the same process found when using a jumper pack, but without the annoying long jumper leads. What's more, you can activate it from the driver's seat so you do it all on your own.
Thank you to Grant and Linda from My Aussie Travel Guide, Danny Bosch from Danny's 4WD adventures, Ned Cakovan, our area sales managers Scott Montgomery and Steve Moore, as well as Stuart Peddle our business development manger - OEM for their contribution.