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.

A YANK'S VIEW OF THE PORTABLE GENERATOR MARKET
A YANK'S VIEW OF THE PORTABLE GENERATOR MARKET
Everything is bigger in Texas...

Nigel Williams is an American and he’s summarised the generator situation in the USA. Note the focus on LPG and natural gas units that are virtually unknown here.

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UNDERSTANDING BATTERIES
UNDERSTANDING BATTERIES
Knowing how different batteries work can make selection easier.

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.

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BRIGGS & STRATTON P3000 PORTABLE GENERATOR
BRIGGS & STRATTON P3000 PORTABLE GENERATOR
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.

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KORR CAMP LIGHT KITS
KORR CAMP LIGHT KITS
A plug and play camp light kit takes the work out of installation

We used Korr's camp light kits and found them a very easy way of brightening up our camper, campsite and even the engine bay.

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LED LIGHT STRIPS
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.

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CAMP LIGHTING EXAMINED
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.

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BUILDING A CAMP FIRE
BUILDING A CAMP FIRE
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.

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CARRY THE RIGHT FUSES
CARRY THE RIGHT FUSES
When a circuit fails you need the correct fuse to restore power

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.

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DOMETIC FOLDING SOLAR PANEL
DOMETIC FOLDING SOLAR PANEL
A 180-watt panel with inbuilt charger in a carry bag

Dometic’s PS180A portable solar panel provides a source of power for charging batteries and other 12 volt items.

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DOMETIC'S SINEPOWER 350W INVERTER
DOMETIC'S SINEPOWER 350W INVERTER
Inverters convert 12V DC to 240V AC output

Dometic has released the SinePower MSI 412 pure sine wave inverter, with a power rating of 350 watts.

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ENFORCER SPOTLIGHT FROM LIGHTFORCE
ENFORCER SPOTLIGHT FROM LIGHTFORCE
A cordless handheld multi-use spotlight on test

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.

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FOUR YEARS OF REVOLUTION LITHIUM BATTERY LIFE ... AND STILL GOING
FOUR YEARS OF REVOLUTION LITHIUM BATTERY LIFE ... AND STILL GOING
Our test Revolution lithium battery has performed perfectly in all bush conditions.

The lithium-ion battery has changed our way of life. We're mobile-connected virtually everywhere and the lithium deep-cycle battery allows remote-area camping with ample power for fridge, lights, entertainment and communications. Our Revolution lithium battery has been faithfully pumping out amps for the past four years and is still performing perfectly.

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PORTABLE GENERATORS
PORTABLE GENERATORS
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.

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HELLA'S HANDS-FREE HEADTORCH
HELLA'S HANDS-FREE HEADTORCH
Not cheap, but the best head torch we've ever used

We've been evaluating Hella's I-View head torch for the past two years. It's by far the best unit we've tested for camp use and for illuminating vehicle repairs.

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HELLA'S UPDATED CAMPING LIGHTS
HELLA'S UPDATED CAMPING LIGHTS
The lighting experts cover all the bases

Hella’s camping and work light range continues to expand. The latest model lineup includes variable-output area lights and slim inspection lights.

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LIGHTFORCE STRIP LIGHTING
LIGHTFORCE STRIP LIGHTING
Easy to pack and dimmable tent lighting

LightForce is best known for its hunting lights and driving lights, but the South Australian company has strip lighting to brighten up a campsite.

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PORTABLE POWER PACKS
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. One solution is a power pack.

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PORTABLE SOLAR POWER
PORTABLE SOLAR POWER
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.

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PROJECTA PORTABLE POWER HUB
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.

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REDARC REDVISION APP CONTROL
REDARC REDVISION APP CONTROL
An app-based system for controlling and monitoring many functions.

Redarc has released RedVision, a vehicle management system that brings multi-function control to the user’s fingertips. RedVision comes with an In-vehicle display and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) iOS or android smartphone app to control and monitor many functions in a camper, caravan, or motorhome.

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SOLAR BLANKETS FROM REDARC
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.

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REDARC SOLAR PANELS
REDARC SOLAR PANELS
The charging specialist has widened its solar product range

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.

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COLEMAN MINI SOLAR CHARGER
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 bush trips and found it very useful.

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PROJECTA FOLDING SOLAR PANEL RANGE
PROJECTA FOLDING SOLAR PANEL RANGE
Battery charging from a briefcase-sized panel kit

Projecta 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.

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SOLAR CAMPING POWER
SOLAR CAMPING POWER
'Free' power from the sun

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.

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TOUGHPOWER POWER BOX
TOUGHPOWER POWER BOX
This unit is a capable alternative to a dual battery system

The Toughpower portable power box is said to offer more benefits than any comparable unit in the market.

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