What Size Inverter Do I Need to Run 240V Appliances?

What Size Inverter Do I Need to Run 240V Appliances?

Don’t want to give up life’s little luxuries on your next caravan trip? If you are accustomed to the creature comforts of home and would to take them on the road with you when you travel, you should look at installing an inverter on your Caravan. But with so many options out there how do you know what size inverter you need to keep all your 240V appliances powered? 

We’re here to offer some suggestions. 

In this post, we are assuming you already have solar panels or battery system installed in your caravan or vehicle. If you haven’t, we suggest also checking out some of our other blog posts and videos here: 4WD & Caravan Electrics Posts

The size of the inverter you will need is dependent on a few factors:
  • The number of appliances you will be powering
  • The type of devices you will be powering
  • The size of your batteries

If you are wanting to run low-draw 240V devices like TVs, laptops and lights, a 300W – 600W size inverter should be enough.

However, if you are looking to run higher powered devices such as kettles, toasters, coffee machines or even Air Conditioning there are a few more things to consider. 

So what are you going to need if you are committed to being completely self-sufficient and avoiding mains power entirely? 

To power these high draw appliances, you will need to ensure you have a large inverter. You will also need a large bank of batteries that have enough capacity to power these devices. A decent set of solar panels is also recommended to keep the batteries charged.

As a minimum for running these high draw appliances, we would suggest a 250Ah 12V battery bank with a 2000W inverter. This would be enough to run most pod coffee machines and some microwaves for a short burst.

If you were wanting to power anything more than this (for example an AC system), you would need to look at a battery bank of at LEAST 300-600Ah and a 3000W inverter.

As you can probably understand the more you want to run on 240V power the bigger, and more expensive, the system gets.

Space and weight are often obstacles when it comes to installing these larger systems in caravans. However, new technologies are constantly being developed to combat this issue. Alternate battery options such as lithium becoming increasingly popular for this reason. There are more options than ever on the market for anyone wanting to be more self-sufficient when travelling. It is important to do plenty of research or consult a professional when considering what is the best solution for you. 

If you are looking at setting up your caravan to run 240V appliances, or if you just want to give yourself more options to free camp, give us a call on 1300 227 353, contact us online or comment below.

All About Anderson Plugs – Colours, Sizes & Uses Explained

If you’re looking to get a dual battery system in your vehicle or you’re towing a caravan or camper trailer, chances are you have probably heard all about Anderson plugs. Put simply, an Anderson plug is a specialised plug we use to connect devices that use high-current circuits.

Sizes & Colours

Anderson plugs come in a range of sizes and colours, the most common being the grey and the red 50-amp ones. You can get up to a 350-amp. The bigger the current, the bigger the Anderson plug we need.

A red Anderson plug will only fit into a red Anderson plug. We can’t connect, basically, a red and a grey. The only real reason you’ll have the different colours is so that you always remember to connect the right accessory into the right accessory on your caravan circuit or car.

When to Use an Anderson Plug

Charging Circuits

The Anderson plug is designed to handle a high, continuous load, so this makes it ideal to use in charging circuits. The most common use that we install Anderson plugs for is charging the auxiliary battery in your caravan or camper trailer when driving.

It’s fitted to the rear of the vehicle like this one here. This is the ideal alternative to running a charge feed through your 12-pin plug. Too much current charging through a 12-pin plug can cause the pins to melt as they’re not large enough to handle the current from most modern alternators. Having an Anderson plugs means you can safely pass more charge through to your caravan’s battery charge system, keeping the caravan batteries charged up while you travel to your next destination.

Solar Panel Connection

Another common use for Anderson plugs is to connect a solar panel via a regulator to top up your batteries. We often fit these to four-wheel drives and caravans with dual battery systems in an easy to access location so they could easily top up their auxiliary batteries via the solar panel without having to run your vehicle.

Powering ESC (Electronic Stability Control)

We’ll also regularly fit another Anderson plug to your tow bar if you’ve got a caravan that requires power to ESC, which is electronic stability control. Although your ESC can be run through a 12-pin if necessary, we recommend using an Anderson plug because it’s a more secure connection when driving, and ease of disconnection if you’re going off-road. It’s common practice to use a red Anderson plug for ESC and a grey one for your charge feed on the back of your car so you can easily identify them.

12 Volt Accessory Power Alternative

Due to their secure locking design, Anderson plugs also make great alternatives for powering high-draw 12-volt accessories such as fridges and air compressors. Anderson plugs are much more robust and hold a more secure connection than the standard 12-volt cigarette socket. They’re particularly good for those of us who like to venture off the beaten track.

I hope this video has given you a bit more information about what Anderson plugs are and why we recommend installing them as part of a dual battery system in your four-wheel drive, caravan, or camper trailer.

If you have any further questions about Anderson plugs, give us a call on 1300 227 353, contact us online or comment below.

How to Stay Safe When Camping in a Storm

How to Stay Safe When Camping in a Storm

Summer is the perfect time to get out and about exploring this great state of ours. But as glorious as the long sunny days are, with the warmer weather comes those wild Summer storms.

Do Your Research

If there are storms predicted you may want to cancel or postpone your trip. Now, this isn’t always possible or necessary. Some extended camping holidays are planned months in advance and it may not be worth it to cancel just for a day or two of bad weather.

However, if you are planning a quick weekend away and the weather is predicted to be less than favourable, it would be a good idea to postpone your trip for another time. No one is going to enjoy a camping trip stuck in a tent or caravan the whole time. Wait for some better weather and try again.

A reliable weather app (or two) on your phone is a must-have when you are getting ready for your camping trip. The weather can change so quickly so it is important to stay up to date. There are a few that we highly recommend:

If there has been recent rain in the area you are travelling to it is also a good idea to check for any park or road closures. This information is updated regularly on the Queensland National Parks website.

Before You Leave

If a storm or rain is predicted for your trip (or if you’re camping in Summer storm season) it is essential you take extra precautions before you leave. This will ensure you are ready for whatever the weather throws at you.

Pack additional equipment like heavy duty tarps, ropes, strong tent pegs, towels, plastic bags and dry bags. A shovel will also come in handy if you have to dig any trenches for draining water away. Make sure you also pack your weatherproof gear, most importantly, a good jacket and shoes. A rain poncho and gumboots would suffice at the very least, but investing in some quality waterproof clothing/footwear is a great idea if you plan on doing quite a bit of camping. Also, always pack extra socks, cold wet feet are not fun!

Make sure you also have some food options that do not require a campfire for cooking. If you end up getting stuck in the rain for a few days, a campfire is not really going to be an option. A good camping stove is essential in this situation. But remember, NEVER cook in your tent. This is where the extra tarp comes in handy providing a sheltered area to cook with sufficient room and ventilation. Just make sure there is a decent amount of space between your stove and the overhead shelter.

Preparing Your Site

Before setting up your tent, camper or caravan, think about what will happen if it does rain/storm during your stay.

  • Where will the water run? Is there a slope to the site?
  • Can you direct the water away from your site (preferably not into someone else’s site either)?
  • Are you at risk of falling branches if there are severe winds?

If you are putting a tarp under your tent, make sure the edges are not sticking out from under the tarp. This will cause the water to pool on the tarp and run under your tent. Make sure the edges of your tent fully cover the tarp underneath.

If you are setting up in the rain, where possible, set up a large, high, tarp or gazebo first, this will give you a dry place to store your gear and set up underneath. If you don’t have room to set up under the gazebo or tarp, it looks you will be getting wet. In this case, pop on your weatherproof gear and move through setting up your gear quickly and purposefully. Familiarity and confidence with your camping gear will come in handy in this situation. If you can, set up part of your tent or camper under shelter to make your time in the rain as brief as possible.

Have plenty of towels and plastic bags on hand to keep your gear as dry as you can. Get all your outside tasks completed before moving to inside tasks, you don’t want to be taking your wet gear on and off repeatedly. Once inside its now just about waiting out the weather.

When the weather gets wild

As we know all too well, those Summer rainstorms usually come with spectacular lighting shows. As impressive as these are from the safety of your own home, they can be a little more intimidating when you are slightly more exposed to the elements.

If you do get caught in a lightning storm, the safest place is in a building or established structure (not in your tent or under a gazebo). The next best place is your vehicle. Remember to keep your hands off the car doors and turn off all equipment.

If you don’t have access to your car, find a low place and get into a crouch position, head low and balance on your heels. Avoid too much contact with the ground. Do not seek shelter under trees or small caves, the risk of a lightning strike is greater in these areas.

For more tips on what to do when caught outside in a lightning storm check out this blog post from Go Camping Australia. 

Relax and Wait It Out

In most cases, Summer storms do not last long. Most are over and done with after a couple of hours. Once you have a safe place established, stay there until the storm is over. Remember to wait at least 30 mins after the last lightning strike before going out in the open.

Rain doesn’t have to ruin your trip if you are well prepared. It all just becomes part of the Summer camping experience.

What’s your go-to tip for being prepared and staying safe when camping in a storm? Let us know in the comments below.

Ford Everest Towing Upgrade

Ford Everest Towing Upgrade

Ford Everest Towing Upgrade

Good afternoon everyone, Briohny here from Accelerate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

Today we’re gonna take you through a job that we’ve done on this Ford Everest. We’ve installed a Redarc TowPro Elite and an Anderson plug.

The reason we love the Redarc TowPro Elite is that rather than having a big box that sits under the steering column and you usually knock your knees on it, instead you’ve got a little dial that we’ve mounted really nicely into the dash here next to the gearstick and that way when you need to reach it in an emergency it’s right close and handy.

For all the other reasons that we love the Redarc TowPro Elite, check out one of our other videos that we’ll link in the descriptions below.

So under the bonnet, we’ve got a 50 Amp midi fuse and a 30 Amp circuit breaker. We’re also running 8 B&S cable that goes directly from the battery through to the rear of the car that hooks up to the Anderson plug.

We’ve then got 5 mm cable that goes from the battery into here where it then shoots off to the dial for the Redarc controller and then goes straight to the back again into the trailer plug.

So at the rear of the vehicle here, we’ve got the Anderson plug that we’ve installed.

If you need any help with towing your caravan or trailers, you can give us a call on 1300-227-353, email us at ‘[email protected]’, or comment below.

Caravan Lighting Solutions: 12V and Solar

Do you need better lighting inside and outside of your caravan? We’ll show you the options available to upgrade all the lighting in your caravan. Hi, I’m Briohny from Accelerate Auto Electrics and Air Conditioning on the Sunshine Coast. So let’s run through some caravan lighting options.

Upgrade Your Skylight

Firstly, inside, if you want to save on energy through the day, we suggest upgrading your skylight to make better use of natural light. Most caravans and camper trailers come with a skylight as standard, but over time, these can deteriorate from exposure to the weather. Or your skylight might just be too small for your caravan. In either case, a new or larger skylight will reduce your reliance on artificial lighting throughout the day.

Switch to LEDs

Another upgrade is to switch to tungsten or energy-saving bulbs over to LED bulbs. LED light will far outlast your original bulbs, as they use far less energy. You can get LEDs in both warm and cool colour temperatures, and some even have a dimmable option. To change over to LEDs, it’s as simple as changing a globe at home.

Indoor Lighting

When it comes to indoor caravan lighting, there are heaps of options available on the market. From dome lights to square, to reading lights, and slimline surface lights, there’s a shape to suit your caravan’s needs. You can also customise lights to suit whatever or wherever you need to fit them. For hard to reach or shadowed areas such as cupboards or under cabinets, mounted LED strip lighting is a great option. The length can be cut to suit the space, and there are even waterproof options available.

External Lighting

For external caravan lighting, you can get options that are motion-activated, have an anti-bug setting, they’re dimmable, even multicoloured disco lights. We love the flexible LED lights just like this one here. They’re a great option for lighting up your annex, as they can be moved around as needed. They come with a full kit, which include mounting clips or Velcro fasteners, and are powered by a cigarette socket. They’re super bright and dimmable.

Solar or Battery Operated

Solar or battery operated lights are also a great option for lighting up around your caravan. They’re not usually as bright as your 12 volt lights, but they can still be quite handy, and you can place them around your site to light a path to your caravan, or identify the location of poles and ropes at nights.

If you need more light in your caravan for your next trip, give us a call on 1300 227 353, and for more tips and tricks on four-wheel driving or caravaning, follow our YouTube channel.