Top 12V Accessories for a Camping Trip
The advantage of having a good power set up in your 4WD is the amount of 12-volt accessories available to make the camping experience better, here are our top fifteen.
A 12V compressor fridge is perfect for keeping the food fresh and beverages cold. Some even come with a freezer compartment that allows you to keep premade meals frozen and treats such as ice creams and frozen chocolate bars.
Fridges can be connected to your battery by a cigarette plug, Engel plug or Anderson-style plug.
Having something that can reheat leftovers, cook a roast or produce crispy hot pies is next level and the Travel Buddy Oven is worth its weight in gold. There are Chinese copies out there that look the same, but the Aussie-made version is the pick of the bunch.
Forget sandalwood sticks, the Aerogard or mosquito coils Thermacell has brought out an E-Series 12V rechargeable mosquito repellent that is compact, lightweight, and simple to use. They are a little pricey, especially the repellent refills but testing along the Murray River after the floods showed that the E55 does what it promises, keeping the mozzies away.
Don’t think of this as an electric blanket you have on the bed at home, these electric blankets are best described as a heated throw rug. The important things to know are:
1. How much power does each setting draw
2. Does it have a timer/cut out
3. Can it be washed
If you don’t have an inverter, don’t know how to start a fire but love a toasted sanga, a 12V jaffle maker is perfect for you. The KickAss branded option uses an Anderson-style connector as it draws up to 30A, so make sure it uses a fuse big enough to handle this amount of draw.
If you don’t have an inverter a couple of 12V options are the Handpresso Auto Set 12V for lovers of espresso coffee (Made in France but they ship to Oz) or the Makita Coffee Machine for long blacks.
If you do have an inverter, the range of coffee makers grows all it depends on is the size of the inverter and whether there is space to carry a 240V coffee machine.
An inverter converts DC power into AC power and the size needed will depend on the battery size and the intended use of the inverter. If merely to recharge your laptop and camera batteries, a 600W pure sine inverter is sufficient. But to run a device that uses a lot of power, you’ll need at least a 2000W pure sine inverter.
LED lights draw minimal power while providing excellent light. They come in a range of colours and styles, and some are also dimmable. The best light setup provides two colours and is dimmable.
This can be as simple as a $20 camp shower from BCF, to a 12V Propane water heater, to a 12V/240V electric water heater with 10L of storage. Two of these options heat the water for you and can pump it to wherever you want while the cheap and simple unit pumps the water wherever you want but the water needs to be heated somehow first.
Coming in a range of sizes and brands, Bluetooth speakers are excellent because they are portable and often waterproof. When you’ve driven 150 dunes, camp is set up before the sun goes down and you hear nothing but silence, that’s awesome for a while but having your favourite band playing softly in the background as you raise a toast, is the perfect way to end another great day.
This is one bit of kit where you get what you pay for and paying more to get better features is well worth it. Rechargeable is excellent, and so too is having adjustable white lights and a red light that prevents night blindness. Some of the good ones even dim when you raise your head quickly, so you don’t blind the person you’re talking to.
Don’t expect the water to boil as quickly as it does at home when using a 12V kettle. The Rovin 1L 12V Kettle only has a power rating of 150W (12.5A) so expect at least 20 minutes to boil half a litre of water. Your kettle at home will draw between 1800-2200 watts of power and that is why they are so quick.
A 12V water purifier such as the Guzzle H2O isn’t a cheap accessory, but it is very good at turning water from any watercourse into safe drinking water. It uses a two-stage process to filter and purify drinking water including a carbon block filter and an LED UV-C purification chamber.
On a hot night, the gentle breeze from a 12V fan can be the difference between waking up refreshed or feeling like you’ve wrestled a crocodile. Sirocco fans are the pick of the bunch but must be mounted to be usable. Tent fans aren’t very good from experience but having used a Coleman Rechargeable Table Fan in a swag, tent and rooftop tent, they are a good option albeit a bit bulky.
While you can get 12V hairdryers and hair straighteners if you want to keep your partner happy, buying one that can be used with the inverter is a better choice. Like the kettle, it is all about power to get the job done properly.
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