Camping Power and Lighting
When you go camping, you need power to run your camp lights, fridges and electronic gadgets. Here you'll find the answers to get the best combination for your needs.
HELLA'S HANDS-FREE HEADTORCH
Not cheap, but the best head torch we've ever used - March 2016
We've been evaluating Hella's I-View head torch for the past few months. It's by far the best unit we've tested for camp use and for illuminating vehicle repairs.
HELLA CAMP LIGHTING ON TEST
The 2017 LED lights are better than ever - updated July 2017
Hella’s camping and work light range continues to expand. The latest model lineup includes variable-output area lights and slim inspection lights.
PROJECTA PORTABLE POWER HUB
A safe and convenient way of carrying a deep cycle battery - May 2017
Projecta has released a ‘Portable Power-Hub’, designed to provide convenient power anywhere, anytime. The PH125 Power-Hub can power and charge appliances and electronic equipment via 10 power outlets. The Power-Hub is said to be a viable alternative to a dual-battery system, eliminating installation costs and providing portability.
REDARC SOLAR PANELS
The charging specialist has widened its solar product range - February 2017
Redarc has extended its solar charging product range with a pair of updated monocrystalline portable folding solar panels. These new products complement Redarc’s folding solar blankets and one-piece monocrystalline solar panels.
LIGHTFORCE STRIP LIGHTING
Easy to pack and dimmable tent lighting - September 2016
LightForce is best known for its hunting lights and driving lights, but the South Australian company now has strip lighting to brighten up a campsite.
DOMETIC'S NEW SINEPOWER 350W INVERTER
Inverters convert 12V DC to 240V AC output - March 2017
Dometic has released the SinePower MSI 412 pure sine wave inverter, with a power rating of 350 watts.
PROJECTA EMERGENCY JUMP STARTERS
One day, you might get caught with a flat starting battery - November 2016
‘Intelli-start’ 900A and 1200A 12V Lithium Emergency Jump starters are claimed suitable for use with most motorcycles, passenger cars and four wheel drives.
Knowing how different batteries work can make selection easier - February 2015
Back in the good old days you could have any battery you liked, so long as it was black, heavy and full of easily-spilled acid. Now, there’s a choice of several different types.
WAECO POWER PACK
A compact power source to run a camping fridge overnight - October 2016
Waeco has replaced the RAPS36 with the CoolPower RAPS44 power pack, with 44 amp-hour capacity
BRIGGS & STRATTON P3000 PORTABLE GENERATOR - December 2015
A generator with more grunt than most portables.
Our mates at iMotorhome.com.au have just done a test on the P3000 portable generator from Briggs & Stratton. Because it's a larger one than the other brands we've covered in our Portable Generators story we've given it a slot of its own.
KORR CAMP LIGHT KITS
A plug and play camp light kit takes the work out of installation
We used Korr's camp light kits during winter 2014 and found them a very easy way of brightening up our camper, campsite and even the engine bay.
LED LIGHT STRIPS
Efficient camp lighting
Flexible LED 12V lights known as LED Light Strips and featuring 60 LEDs per metre, with a 120-degree viewing angle, make excellent camp lights. These strips are only 10mm wide x 3mm thick and available in 50cm, 1m and 5m lengths.
CAMP LIGHTING EXAMINED
We tested gas, fluoro and LED lighting
All three forms of camp lighting - gas, fluoro and LED - have their place, but here you can find out which one or which combination is best for you.
BUILDING A CAMP FIRE includes video
Cooking, lighting and warmth
There’s no doubt that being able to produce fire at will was early man’s greatest discovery. Fire gave heat, light and energy – important building blocks of society.
CARRY THE RIGHT FUSES
When a circuit fails you need the correct fuse to restore power - August 2016
Your 4WD came with a few spare fuses, but they won't suit a lot of the after-market and camping gear you're carrying. Battery chargers, power supplies, caravans, camper trailers and generators have a variety of fuses, from glass-tube types to blades.
ENFORCER SPOTLIGHT FROM LIGHTFORCE
A cordless handheld multi-use spotlight on test - August 2016
We’ve been testing the LightForce Enforcer 140mm LED handheld spotlight for a few months and we reckon it’s one of the best portable spotlights/hunting lights on the market.
HONDA GENERATOR 10i
You get what you pay for
Why would you spend $1600 on a portable generator when you can get one for $200? There are a number of reasons, but the main ones are reputation, quietness, specification, packaging and after-sales support.
When the sun won't shine a genny comes into its own
Solar power can be a viable camping power source, but the portable generator/battery charger still has its place, particularly in situations where sunlight is unreliable.
PORTABLE POWER PACKS
When you can't fit an under-bonnet second battery.
Very few of today’s 4WDs have under-bonnet space for a full-sized deep cycle battery to power a fridge and other camping equipment. The solution is a power pack.
PORTABLE SOLAR POWER - June 2015
No need to be in the dark anymore.
Goal Zero claims to be the largest supplier of portable solar power and off-grid solar power products worldwide. The company specialises in portable solar kits, portable solar panels, solar batteries and chargers, solar lighting and solar accessories.
SOLAR BLANKETS FROM REDARC
Flexible, lightweight alternatives to fixed panels - August 2016
South Australian-based manufacturing company Redarc has released a range of solar blankets and accessories, to charge 12-volt batteries from solar power.
COLEMAN MINI SOLAR CHARGER
This compact charger is ideal for small digital devices, we found.
We tested the Coleman mini-charger on a couple of recent bush trips and found it very useful.
PROJECTA FOLDING SOLAR PANEL RANGE - November 2015
Battery charging from a briefcase-sized panel kit
Projecta now has four folding solar panel kits that come complete with canvas carry bags, five-metre cables with battery clamps, inbuilt charge regulators and set-up pegs.
SOLAR CAMPING POWER
'Free' power from the sun - updated March 2014
Before the availability of affordable solar panels you had to run your engine for a few hours each day, or power up a generator and risk the ire of other campers. Now, it’s possible to have ‘free’ fridge and lighting power from the sun, by way of solar panels, a regulator and an auxiliary battery.