Top 5 RV Modifications

Top 5 RV Modifications Caravan owners love to tinker and improve their home away from home, ensuring comfort is maximised. Each issue of Roaming RVs will feature four of the most popular and best-value-for-money modifications. Some of them are DIY, for others a professional will be needed to do the work. House Battery Everyone has done it: tripped over a rogue toy on the ground or bumped into that bench corner in the dark. Having light is important on your trip to avoid injury. There are of course several options for lighting up your caravan or campervan when it’s away from mains power, but a great way to produce sufficient light is by using a house battery. While the size of the battery needed will depend on how much power you use and how long you will need to use it before recharging, for most travellers a 100 Amp-hours (Ah) should be sufficient. There are many different types of house batteries ( Maintenance free, GEL and AGM or just a few); however, AGM deep cycle or dual purpose batteries are recommended as they are long-lasting and quick to recharge. Solar Panels MOST RV OWNERS who travel off the beaten track for long periods have a common problem: they need to keep an auxiliary battery (or batteries) charged to power a fridge, lighting, water pump and probably a 12V TV and a laptop. The tow vehicle already has its own charging system with the alternator. And many 4WDs are fitted with deep-cycle (DC) auxiliary batteries that are recharged when the vehicle is driven, and can continue to run a portable fridge for two to three days (depending on the ambient temperature and temperature setting) when the vehicle is idle. Similarly, many motorhomes, caravans and camper trailers are equipped with their own DC auxiliary batteries, which are recharged via the tow vehicle. But even if you run your built-in fridge off gas, which is the most efficient way, the power you need for lights, pumps, and even the spark to light your gas stove, will dwindle unless you can return some power to the RV’s battery. Solar R egulator Unless you want to destroy your battery, a solar regulator is a necessary accompaniment for solar panels. The solar regulator is inserted between the solar cells and the battery. It is best to purchase a solar regulator that uses Maximum Power Point Tracking and has built-in multi-stage battery charging. Of course, it is also important to ensure your regulator is sized appropriately to the house battery. Inverter For many people, spending even a couple of days away from technology can be difficult. For those worried about missing their favourite TV show or not being able to update their Facebook status, a DC/ AC inverter is the perfect solution. With a decent 12V battery, a pure sine wave inverter, which uses very clean power suitable for TVs and computers, can be installed. The technology addict will be tweeting about how much they love it! Water Pump Long […] Read more »

Benefits Of Campervan Conversions

By Peter Bloom As caravanning increases in popularity with the economic down-turn, so is the rate of campervan conversions, say experts Peter Bloom and Paul Taylor. The motor vehicle census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found the campervan vehicle fleet increased by 23% from 2006 to 2011. These are not just traditional vehicles bought from a dealer, however; many of the campervans taking to the road are conversions, with past lives ranging from 1970’s school buses to retired ambulance vehicles. Campervan Conversion Save You Money With new campervans costing up to $150,000 Mr. Bloom from Red Dog Campervans and RV’s says the trend to conversions is not surprising, as customers save up to 35%. “You can save a lot of money on purchasing a second hand vehicle,” she says, explaining that it’s not just the initial cost of the vehicle, but also the fit-out, which saves consumers money. Despite the large difference in price between a new campervan and a converted one, Mr. Bloom believes this is not the greatest advantage of undertaking a conversion. Get The Exact Campervan Conversion You Want “The biggest benefit is that you get exactly the layout and features you want, rather than pre-built.” “The new campervans sometimes come in very neutral colours. When you do a conversion you can choose how you want it decorated. You can add your own sense of personality and style.” The ability to select the type and range of appliances in the campervan is also another advantage. “A very popular request is external cooking facilities,” Mr. Bloom says. “A lot of people don’t like cooking inside because of the smells, so having an outdoor kitchen is a great solution.” Mr. Bloom lists extra storage space as another common application requested, along with solar panels and fresh water and grey water tanks, which give the ability to free-camp. What can be placed in the campervan depends on largely on the type and size of vehicle used. As such, for those considering getting a vehicle converted it is important to purchase the right one. “[The best suited vehicle] depends on the length of your trips, if you be travelling off road or sticking to caravan parks and if you are going to be living in it for long periods of time,” Mr. Bloom explains. Short Weekend Trips Or Longer Trips: Campervans Are Perfect For those looking to take short weekend trips, Mr. Bloom recommends Mercedes sprinters. “They are a lot easier to drive–you can drive them on a normal car licence–they are easy to get in and around town, easier to park and they are more fuel efficient than some of the bigger vehicles” For those looking to take longer trips or even live in their motorhome, however, seven metre long vehicles such as the Toyota Coaster, Hino Rainbow or Mazda T3500, or large coaches of 12 metres, would be more suitable. According to Mr Taylor from Motorhome Conversion Company, a recent trend is converting old school busses, from as early as the 1970’s, […] Read more »

Caravanning On The Sunshine Coast

By Peter Bloom If the idea of an affordable holiday spent amidst the beauty of nature and close to stunning beachfront locations sounds appealing, you may want to discover the delights of caravanning on the Sunshine Coast. Every year, more and more Australians seem to be finding out for themselves just how ideal this area is, for the seasoned caravan enthusiast or the first-time caravaner alike. Whatever you are looking for in a holiday, you are likely to find it here in abundance. The Sunshine Coast is just over an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, but this drive takes you into a world you may not have imagined. It’s a world of unbroken stretches of golden sandy beaches, lapped by the blue Pacific waves, of sub-tropical rain forests, and of spectacular ancient mountain landscapes. Not only this, but it benefits from Australia’s most benign climate — it has one of the world’s highest year-round sunshine ratings, and enjoys consistent sub-tropical temperatures with no extremes of heat or cold. Sunshine Coast Caravan Park Locations If the idea of caravanning on the Sunshine Coast sounds attractive, you have an incredible variety of locations to choose from. There is free camping in some areas, though you always need to check with visitor information centres to make sure camping is allowed. Alternatively, there is an amazing selection of caravan parks, both on the coast and inland, most of them with power, and many providing laundry, toilet and shower facilities, and kitchens. So whether you prefer to enjoy your creature comforts, or get right away from it all, the choice is yours. Caravanning on the Sunshine Coast is for everyone, singles, families, or retirees and grey nomads. Certainly, if you are looking for a family holiday, many of the holiday parks provide not just a stunning location, but a fantastic selection of activities which your kids will find irresistible. A special favourite with many families is the Cotton Tree Holiday Park, with nearly 400 powered caravan sites, right on the water’s edge where the Maroochy River runs into the sea. The Forest Glen Rainforest Resort has a marvellous range of activities for kids, and in addition this is the closest holiday park to big attractions like Aussie World, the Australia Zoo, and the famous Eumundi Markets. Alternatively, if you fancy a wilderness experience, the Noosa North Shore Retreat is accessed across the Noosa River via a gorgeous cable ferry, and has powered and non-powered sites, but no plumbed water. There are plenty of wallabies to see, and this is one of the few parks that welcome your dog as well. Hinterland Attractions It’s not just the beautiful beach-side locations that make holidays here so delightful. The Sunshine Coast hinterland incorporates many unique attractions, including natural wonders like the Blackall Ranges and the Glasshouse Mountains. The Blackall Range Drive is one of the most dramatic of the scenic drives, and at its highest point you can see the whole Sunshine Coast spread out before you. Whether […] Read more »

How Caravan Solar Panels Can Help You To Enjoy Your Leisure Time More, And Save Money

By Peter Bloom Imagine that you are going on a camping trip, or going on a road trip. If you are planning on staying in the great outdoors for a significant amount of time, you should think about what you will do for power. It can be quite expensive to use only a generator or hook up to electricity at caravan parks which offer such hook-ups.    Although it is a relatively new concept, solar panels for caravans can provide you with a better option than to make use of camping ground hook-ups or generators. Enjoy traveling around Australia, when you have caravan solar panels fitted out on your campervan, motorhome or caravan. You will be glad that you chose to take this route, when you see the savings that are possible with this option. Expensive camping and road trips will be a thing of the past, and you truly will be able to relax, knowing that your travel costs will be cut drastically.   Read more »