When hitting the road over three years ago for their year on the road, the Allard family wanted to keep it simple so left most of their luxury appliances at home. But as one year turned into more than three, they started to miss some of the appliances they’d left behind. To bring these devices back into their camping setup, they quickly realised needed to upgrade their 12v power system. We caught up with them to find out how these little creature comforts make life on the road more enjoyable.
Missing the little luxuries
Travelling Australia full time isn’t a holiday, it’s a lifestyle. When you’re travelling as a family of five in a small space for a long period of time, creature comforts from home come to feel really important. It’s not a holiday, and you don’t like to feel like you’re roughing it or going without. When we first set off on our adventure around Australia it was only for 12 months. 12 months turned into 2 years which has now turned into 3 + years!
When we first set off, our caravan contents were very basic. No “luxury” items like a toaster, blender, coffee machine or air fryer. Our favourite style of camping is off-grid beach or bush camping because let’s face it, that’s where all the good spots are, but there was no chance our original battery system could have run any of those power-hungry appliances off-grid.
The longer we travelled, we started to crave some of those everyday items from home that we left behind. After realising that our life on the road was not ending any time soon, we decided it was time to upgrade the battery system in the caravan and get some of those creature comforts back. The idea of a barista coffee on the beach and a smoothie for breakfast was a dream come true.
Upgrading their caravan dual battery system
Our original dual battery system was 2 x 100AH AGM batteries (weighing 60kg) with a standard charger (weighing over 5kg). 65kg in total plus 2 x 200-watt solar panels that were originally on the caravan. Although it powered our caravan off-grid, it just ran the basic caravan set up – lights, charging points, TV etc. It was heavy and we were extremely limited on what accessories we could use.
Being full time travellers with three children, we have large power demands. We home school all three children which is all online, we use streaming services, and do a lot on social media. One of our needs was having enough off-grid power to charge the batteries in our cameras, laptops, iPads, drones and phones. On top of this, we wanted those creature comforts we missed so much. So, we needed the power to comfortably support all our needs.
We wanted quality Australian made gear so we couldn’t look past REDARC for the fit out of our new caravan dual battery system. The tech team at REDARC were all over it and after one phone call they emailed through a few options for a system that would allow us to be able to do what we wanted it to.
Our original battery set up weighed a whopping 65kg, and that was only the two batteries and charger. We wanted to upgrade to a REDARC lithium battery system for a few reasons:
- To save weight
- To have more usable power
- To be able to use an inverter freely
- To be able to run common household appliances like coffee machine, air fryer, toaster etc
- To be able to add more batteries so we can build even further upon the battery system as we need to
- To add a 12v fridge to the caravan
Choosing their REDARC system
After advice from the REDARC Tech Team, we decided on two 100AH lithium batteries, charged by the Manager30 battery management system. This system powers the REDARC 3000W pure sine wave inverter (so we can add additional batteries to run the air condition in the future) and to power the caravan no matter where we are.
So, what changed?
After upgrading to the new REDARC system, straight away we dropped 26.3 kg! This was just a bonus on top of the fact that we can now live comfortably off-grid in the caravan. We’ve now purchased and use those creature comforts we once loved at home and feel as though we could just live this life forever.
Since having the new REDARC battery system we are using ten times the amount of power we were using beforehand. To say it’s been a game changer to our full-time travel lifestyle is an understatement. Like any other system we must monitor our battery input and output and the amount of sun we are getting, but we do this easily with our REDARC Manager30.
It’s safe to say we are extremely happy with this upgrade to our travelling set up. I’ve said hello to the barista coffee on the beach and the kids never say no to hot chips in the air fryer to go with freshly caught fish.