Introducing the Griswolds
My name is Michael and my wife is Tania, both in our mid-40s. We are parents of 3 adult kids (19, 20 and 24) and have fostered around 40 or so children over the last 13 years.
We were both content in our lives, still enjoying our jobs, mine in the Air Cargo industry and my wife doing family day-care at home. Life was pretty good to be honest and although satisfied I always craved to see our beautiful country. I’d flown to every state in Australia with work, but I work at an airport so it was basically one airport to another and let’s face it, they are all the same.
Sometimes you just need to get out the big smoke and go somewhere a little quieter
Time for a change of scenery
Our lives were busy as anyone’s with 3 kids, but even more so when involved in foster care. At the start of 2016, I approached the wife with the idea to travel around Australia and with her blessing we put the wheels in motion to make it happen. Despite what many may think, it was not an easy decision. I had many sleepless nights thinking about leaving my family and friends for such a long period. I questioned myself repeatedly, “is it the right thing to do?”. The nerves finally subsided when I realised we only have one life to live and we are not on this earth for long, so make the most of it.
With that in mind and before any of our children decided to make us Grandparents, it was the right time to hit the road for an adventure of a lifetime.
Empowering our World
We already had a capable vehicle (FJ Cruiser) and Camper (Tvan) it was simply getting it to a standard we’d be happy to live in for next 12 months. For us it was imperative to have reliable power. My understanding of electrical systems in vehicles is limited; therefore I identified the need for a reliable product which could help me manage and monitor our system. We run a 40lt fridge in the car and a 40lt freezer full of meat in the camper. We also use a 300W Pure Sine Wave Inverter to run a twin tub washing machine. Yes, a washing machine. If you add up the amount of money you spend in a laundromat over 12 months it makes sense.
Besides the washing machine we also have a heap of lights, fans, TV and power outlets charging phones, laptops and camera batteries. Everything runs off two deep cycle batteries, topped up with a portable solar panel when stationary via an Anderson plug. I cannot afford for either fridge or freezer to fail due to an electrical fault especially when camped up in the middle of nowhere.
Glamping in its purest form
Introducing The Manager30
I needed something that could manage the power coming from the vehicle, the solar panels and also when plugged into 240v. It had to be simple to use, reliable and present the information in a manner that I could easily understand. This is the reason why I chose to install REDARC’s The Manager30 Battery Management System.
Prior to installing The Manager30, I had to guess how much power I was using and secondly how much was left. I was always worried about running out of power when located remotely and my worst fears were that the fridge and freezer would stop running. Installing The Manager30 has been the best investment we’ve made because our power consumption is so high, particularly running all the gadgets, we own on a continuous cycle.
The Manager30, puts you in control of your vehicle's system with the push of a button
I’m much more relaxed now knowing The Manager30 not only boosts any available power into the batteries but displays everything I need to know. It shows me precisely the amount of power being used, how much is left and where it’s going. I’m often using the control panel to help position my portable solar panels to collect as much solar energy as possible and I can see in real-time the exact amount of sunlight the solar panels are collecting and feeding back into the batteries. I cannot recommend it enough.
After using it daily for the last 6 months on the road, I can’t imagine our trip without it. The Manager30 has been the best addition to my camper yet. It has been a dream to use and provides that extra peace of mind knowing our power and batteries are being managed properly. I’m constantly looking at the display to see how my batteries are faring, how much solar is coming in and how much is being drawn by the appliances. I warn you, it gets addictive.
Looking to start your 4x4, camper trailer or caravan upgrade but not sure what products will allow you to travel the way you want? Take the REDARC Hilux product tour to find out what products are best for your power management and towing needs.