If you’re planning a winter escape and venturing to sunnier states during the winter months, why not take advantage of those sunny days and free-camp with solar. Going off-grid has never been easier! Some vanners find the thought of going off-grid to be a little daunting, however if you have a tried and tested solar setup, going off grid will be a breeze. Forgo expensive sites and neighbours with noisy generators, enjoy your picturesque free-camp.
First, consider how long you’ll want to stay at the campsite. If it’s for more than a day or two at a time, you need more solar capacity. Then you need to think about what you want to run. Someone with low power requirements might simply want to run a couple of LED lights, a small 12v fridge and a small 12v fan, and may only need to replenish 20Ah of capacity a day. If you’re running bigger fridges, a TV with satellite dish, multiple fans and lights you may find yourself using three or four times that amount.
Where a lot of vanners go wrong is not accounting for cloudy weather. The BainTuff Solar Panels range in size from 80W to 200W, and the BainTuff Solar Blanket is rated at 180W. In almost all cases it’s always better to have more solar power on hand than you think you’ll need. When the sun’s shining, you want to pump as much power into your batteries as possible!
Your starter battery, service batteries and on-board equipment are your lifeline when you’re planning to free camp. We know that you won’t always get those perfect sunny days while away, that’s why having alternative power to charge your batteries is crucial. Installing a charging system such as the CTEK 140A Off Road Power System will allow you to utilize power from your alternator, solar and wind. The CTEK 140A system is designed specifically for service batteries larger than 100ah by combining the D250SA and Smartpass120 to create the ultimate power management system. Combined they can deliver up to 140A to your service batteries while you travel.
The SMARTPASS 120 will safely distribute power between your starter and service batteries as well as on-board devices without the need for traditional diodes or VSR relays. The D250SA produces the profile for your battery up to 20 amps, while the CTEK SMARTPASS120 passes up to 120 amps from your alternator output into your batteries. The SMARTPASS120 is designed to handle the heavy charging of larger capacity battery banks in caravans that need more than the 20 amps supplied from the D250SA.
The 120 manages and distributes energy transferred through the D250SA with a charging ability of up to 120A for batteries with larger capacities - from 300-800 amp hour. It’s important to note - for the SMARTPASS to handle this much current, your alternator must be able to supply such to its input.
140A System features:
- Direct solar input with in-built MPPT regulator
- System monitor to display crucial battery information
- Efficient charging up to 800AH
- Temperature sensor compensation for hot or cold conditions
- Charge, condition and maintain your batteries to extend battery life
PORTABLE POWER SOLUTION
If you are after a portable battery pack that does everything a hard-wired dual battery system can do, the PowerTopV3 is what you need. Being portable means there is no complex installation time. With charging inputs for AC, DC and solar, you are free to charge anywhere, anytime. You can store the PowerTop in your boot, ute tray, or even take it out of the 4WD at camp so you can power your fridge and camp lights inside your tent or camper trailer, or around your campfire.