There’s a heap of Electrical 4WD accessories that can be installed, and having a basic understanding of how they work, and whether you really need one is the best place to start. 12V electronics have come in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and electrical systems can be far more complicated today than they’ve ever been.
On this hub page, we cover a huge range of electrical topics, and try to explain things in a simple and easy to understand way.
Not sure what sort of electrical setup you need in your 4WD, or where to start? This guide covers everything from a basic, portable setup through to lithium batteries and induction cooking. Set it up to suit your budget, needs and wants correctly, the first time.
Believe it or not, but you can actually run a number of 240V appliances off a 12V system when you are camping. What you can run, and for how long depends on a huge number of factors, but if you are wanting to run some 240V gear off grid this post will explain everything you need to know, in detail.
If you’ve heard the term DCDC Charger and don’t know what it means, or aren’t sure if you really need one, in this post we cut through the marketing rubbish and explain it plainly and simply. They are a fantastic bit of kit, but you don’t always need one.
We’ve been running a Renogy DCDC for some time now, and its time to do a thorough, unbiased review. Keen to know how this relatively cheap product performs? Find out more here.
We’ve been running an Enerdrive DC2DC 40 amp charger in our Reconn R2 for a couple of years now, and have done a full review of the product, and what we think about it.
Our latest build included a Projecta IDC25 DCDC battery charger. We’ve had it for a couple of years now, and it hasn’t been a perfectly smooth run. Find out what we think of it here.
Heating and Cooling
There’s a lot of people hunting for a good 12V heater, and this post makes it really blunt. There literally is no decent option out there, and here’s why.
Want to run a caravan air conditioner from your battery system, off grid? You actually can, and lots of people are doing it today. If you want a camping air conditioner, see what your options are here.
Out of curiosity, we ran a caravan aircon off the lithium batteries in our camper trailer, to see what it would draw, and how long we could run it for. Here’s the results, and some information to show that it is possible in some setups.
Solar panels and controllers
We’ve got 3 of the Renogy Solar Panels on our hybrid camper, and have given them a fair old work out. Here’s our review of the Renogy Solar Panels, in terms of their performance, pricing and more.
There’s been a heap of Caravan Solar panels that have come off the roof’s of vans whilst driving along, and when we installed 600W of solar panels on our Hybrid, I made sure to do it in a way that was bulletproof. If you want to know how to secure Caravan Solar Panels properly, have a read of this.
One of the best things you can do to a 4WD set up for camping is to mount a permanent solar panel that keeps up with your demand without you having to lift a finger. Find out everything you need to know here.
If you are new to solar panels, and aren’t sure what a solar charge controller does, and what you need, this post dives into everything including PWM vs MPPT, DCDC chargers and plenty more.
We’ve now got 720W of solar on our Hybrid Camper, thanks to 600W of extra Renogy solar panels installed on the roof. This charges our lithium batteries and allows us to run the induction cooktop when the weather is good.
If you’re wondering whether you can put two, or more solar controllers feeding into the same battery bank, here’s the answer you’re looking for.
There’s some pretty premium gear on the market, and I always wonder whether the price justifies the quality. In this post, we take a look at the Allspark Solar Blanket, and I give my thoughts on how it performs, and is like to live with.
The age old question; are solar blankets better than solar panels? Well, it really depends! If you want to know what is most suitable for you, check this out.
Not much really upsets me, but seeing most of the solar panels being sold on eBay false advertised really makes the blood boil. Don’t buy a single solar panel off eBay unless you’ve read this, or you will get ripped off!
Victron make premium gear, and they are well known for it. We ran the 100 | 30 MPPT unit on our old camper trailer for several years, and had a brilliant run with it. See the full review here.
If you have two different solar panels, and you’re wondering whether you can run them both to charge the same battery, this post dives into what you need to look for, and how it can be done.
There are more 12V lithium batteries on the market than you can poke a stick at, and buying something that is reasonably priced, with good backup and specifications isn’t always easy. Here’s what you should be looking at before laying your hard earned down on a 12V lithium battery.
Not long after installing our Renogy Lithium Batteries, I noticed they were sitting at a high float voltage for hours at a time. After a lot of messing around I finally got them running the way I’d like, against the advice of Renogy. Here’s what you need to know
If you are in the market for a cranking battery, we’ve just purchased our second Amaron Battery in an N70 size. Our first one failed after about 4.5 years, and we’ve done a full review here.
Before our Lap of Australia, I decided I wanted to get some more (and newer) battery storage in our Isuzu Dmax, so a good mate organised and helped build a DIY lithium battery. It was a lot of fun, and its been running full time now for a while, and doing great.
Just because your fridge is still running in the morning doesn’t mean you are doing the right thing by your batteries. Regular, deep discharging significantly reduces the lifespan of your batteries, and you have to find a balance that suits your requirements.
On our soft floor camper trailer we ran two 135aH Power AGM batteries, and I have to say they were pretty good. If you are in the market for a budget AGM battery, these have a great reputation, and we’ve got some more comments here.
After much deliberation, we purchased two Renogy Lithium batteries for our Hybrid Camper Trailer. We looked at every single brand out there, and came back to Renogy for a number of reasons, which you can check out here.
After installing two Renogy Lithium Batteries some time ago, its time to do a thorough, unbiased review on how they’ve been, and whether we are happy with them.
A huge number of people are moving from AGM, or lead acid batteries across to Lithium batteries, and when you compare the two together it makes for a convincing argument. If you are still weighing up AGM vs Lithium batteries, this post will help you make an educated decision.
Wondering how many days you’ll get out of your secondary battery? Working out battery capacity against different appliances isn’t always easy, and in this post we look at a 100aH battery and see how long it will go for when running various appliances.
12V inverters are pretty amazing bits of technology, and you can run some serious electrical appliances with a big inverter. The thing is though, what size inverter do you need, and do you need anything else to back it up? This post dives into everything you need to know.
We’ve run an Enerdrive Inverter now for quite some time, and its time to do a review of how its gone, why we purchased it, and whether we’d get another one.
We’ve got two Renogy Inverters in use, and have given them a flogging full time for many months. In this post, we review both of them, and see how they perform, what they cost and if we’d get them again.
Being able to run 240V appliances when you are camping and miles from the nearest power point is fantastic. We’ve been using our Projecta Inverter for a number of years now to charge camera batteries, laptops and a heap of other gear.
After buying a lot of different Renogy products, we’ve had our first failure; a 2000W inverter that apparently was mounted incorrectly. Here’s what happened, and how Renogy responded.
If you run auto reset circuit breakers in your 4WD, you should be paying close attention to them, as we’ve had a few issues now and also had the potential for a nasty car fire. Want to know more? Check this out.
Ever wanted more Anderson plugs available? Did you know that you can purchase Anderson Plug double adapters, which work really well, providing you are careful with how you use them. We’ve had two for a long time now, and regularly use them.
Induction cooktops are absolutely amazing, and there’s a lot of people moving over to them with 12V systems. This can be a good, or bad decision depending on what you are trying to achieve, but if you are looking into it this post covers everything you need to know.
On our most recent build, we fitted an Ultra Gauge. At the time they weren’t very popular, but they are now, and for good reason. If you don’t have a way of clearing codes, and monitoring your 4WD, you should seriously consider it.
We’ve been running a Renogy Shunt and Battery Monitor for some time now, and its been a fantastic addition to the Dmax. I was never too worried about running a shunt, but after having this I’ll never go back.
Voltage drop through loose connections
After finding out Dmax lithium battery not charging properly, and seeing a huge voltage drop over a short distance we got to work, and found a very loose connection.
Shunt Battery Monitor; are they worth it?
If you’re wondering whether to run a shunt or not, this post covers the Victron and Renogy units that we have, what we like, and don’t like and ultimately, whether they are worth getting or not.
After running a Bushranger Compressor for more than 10 years, its time to do a thorough review. We also compare it against 3 other compressors that have been in use in the family or with friends and family for a similar time frame
If you buy an electrical appliance and it comes with a cigarette lighter plug, seriously consider cutting it off. They are garbage, and here’s why.
4WD Light technology has come in leaps and bounds, and there are now some products on the market that are not only great quality, but cheap enough for everyone to be able to afford. On our newest build, we fitted a 40 inch Stedi ST4K LED light bar. Find out our thoughts here.
If you are considering getting yourself a 12V kettle, just don’t. They are complete garbage (unless you go for a 240V powered one that runs through an inverter), and here’s why.
With lithium batteries there’s a lot of power thirsty appliances being run in the back of 4WD’s, and in camper trailers and Caravans. If you want to run a microwave on 12V, this post covers everything you need to know.
One of the issues we had in the first year of owning a Bushman Upright Fridge was the fan on the condenser jammed up and broke. On a 40 degree day, jammed in my canopy at Horrocks I wasn’t overly happy about it, but here’s the full story and fix.