The Shi!box Rally is not just a race, it's a challenge to achieve the unthinkable; to drive cars worth $1,000 across Australia on some of the country's most arduous roads, all in the name of charity. In this blog Scott Rankine from Team Bitzamissin reviews the products they used to take on the 2017 Sh!tbox Rally.
Choosing the right Sponsor
When looking for Sponsors in our very first Rally (2012) we searched local South Australian companies out there who not only had a passion for the great outdoors but those who were community orientated. REDARC was a no brainer. Being in the electrical industry I had some knowledge of what products REDARC manufactured and when we put our proposal together for them, they were more than happy to come onboard.
REDAC is widely known for its Australian designed and engineered products that stand the test of time in extreme environments. The quality of REDARC’s products really is second to none.
The Sh!tbox Box
Our Rally car is a 1986 Holden VL Commodore with over 250,000kms on the clock and the ever-reliable Nissan RB30 Engine. Team Bitzamissin has successfully competed in 6 Rallies and will do it all again in 2018.
We are currently running 2 x 100Ah Gel Batteries, a REDARC BCDC1225 12V 25A Battery Charger and a 2000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter. We started off with a basic REDARC SBI12 Dual Battery Isolator and have gradually upgraded as the years have gone on.
Another local SA company Lightforce has kept us in constant supply of driving lights and more recently LED light bars. Without the dual battery setup by REDARC we would have killed our alternator a long time ago.
All with ease
We found the installation process really easy and accommodating. The instructions were clear, easy to follow and the Fuse Kit supplied was great! Everything worked as expected straight out of the box. The REDARC 2000 watt inverter, in particular, is designed in such a way that it enables the correct size cables to be installed easily. It also enables access to the functionality of the inverter and the red colour, well there is no mistaking it’s a REDARC!
The REDARC dual battery charger's compact design enabled it to be installed quickly and effectively in an already crowded engine bay to give that factory look.
You get what you pay for
Quite frankly there are a lot of products in the Australia marketplace, however, none of them come close to REDARC. It’s like the old saying 'you get what you pay for'. Sure, there are cheap imported products out there but we wouldn’t trust them at all, not with the equipment we take on each Rally. REDARC’s products are proven for the tough Australian conditions and when it comes to safety, design, performance, and ease-of-use there is no comparison.
Having an electrical background and wanting to stand out in a crowd we decided on the first Rally to have an onboard smoke machine as a bit of a gimmick, so much so it got us coverage on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes then followed by Channel 7’s Sunrise.
The only way this was possible was to have a 12V to 240 inverter. We started off with a REDARC 1000 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter which did the trick, however each year after that we wanted more! The following year we added an old 60L Waeco Fridge (which was only working on 240V) and this year we hit our peak setting up our very own pop-up cinema in the Queenland outback!
The REDARC 2000W Inverter has been flawless which means next year who knows what we might do!
Reliable power just about everywhere you need it
Not only has having REDARC’s products helped us achieve the unthinkable, they have provided us with a reliable power source where there normally isn’t one available. It has helped keep our food and drinks cold, provided charging of our laptops, phones and has enabled us to run lights when getting back to camp late at night.
Fit for purpose is a widely used term and there is no doubt that REDARC products achieve what they set out to do and more. Without them, rally life would be that much tougher than it already is.
I really liked the simple no nonsense approach with the 2000W Inverter. There was no complicated digital screen to scroll through, just some basic switches and lights to keep you in the loop of what’s going on. The cooling fans came on when required to ensure the safe operation and it didn’t miss a beat. The same can be said with the 25A DC-DC battery charger, again a simple display and LED lights keep you in touch.
We are grateful for the ongoing support that REDARC has shown Team Bitzamissin each and every year and we cannot stress enough how good the products are. We are proof that under the harshest of conditions through dust, rain, heat and humidity travelling over 40,000kms on roads these cars shouldn’t be anywhere near, they just perform since the very minute they were installed!