Your Camper Trailer Battery Questions Answered
With all the fun and adventure that comes with a camper trailer holiday, there are also some nitty gritty details that might not be as exciting as picking out your daily route, which beach you’re going to swim in that day or the best happy hour of each town, but they are certainly vital in insuring everything goes smoothly.
While the excitement of preparing for a trip can get the best of us from time to time, it’s important to remember the details that will keep you going and sort them out before you leave so you can focus on those all-important beach trips.
Think of it like your home– you make sure the bills are payed, there’s fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge, the smoke alarm is serviced and there’s always enough toilet paper to make sure you don’t get stuck in an awkward situation. You take care of all the behind the scenes things that need to be done so that your day to day living is carefree.
When it comes to making sure you have enough power to keep your camper going, you’re going to need to think about your batteries and solar power. These days, almost everything that we use needs some sort of power. While there’s ways around it for some things like a gas stove and an open fire to keep warm, you’re using power in a lot of your day to day tasks.
Just off the top of our heads we can think of electric awnings, your phone (think about that road trip playlist), keeping your fridge powered, lights, DVD’S or iPads for some downtime for the kids or their studies, a laptop to catch up on some work if you’re traveling long term…. The list goes on.
Most campers come with batteries, and each style of camper has a different battery setup and requirements, depending on a range of different factors. Each camper on our site has a list of what’s included in your camper and specifies the type of battery, so you can decide which one is going to be best for you and take into account how much power you think you’ll be using.
Lots of camper have different questions about which batteries to use and how to get the best set up happening and create your own castle, so let’s go though and answer some of the most common questions that campers ask us about all things batteries, solar panels and all things power as well as hear some answers from some avid camper trailer travellers.
What size battery do you use in your camper to run a 45L fridge all night?
This is an important one, because almost everyone will be running a fridge. Battery performance is crucial, but we’re sure you know this. Nobody wants to come home from a day out to discover that the whole camper smells like warm milk, so making sure that your camper is equipped with a battery that is going to keep everything cool and ready to go is crucial.
Some campers recommend a 115 amp battery, saying they have plenty of power to not worry about the fridge running out of juice during a getaway with their family and friends. A few other campers suggested 2 100 amp batteries, which they run two fridges and lights with. Another interesting answer includes solar panels, with a camper telling us that they use a 70 amp battery and 120 watt solar panel which does the job perfectly.
How do you charge your battery? Can you just use an ordinary car battery charger?
Charging your battery is almost just as important as having the right one. Imagine getting stuck in the middle of the outback because you have drained your car battery charging your camper one? it’s an important thing to take note of! A lot of experienced campers recommend the use of an Anderson plug. If you aren’t familiar with an Anderson plug, basically speaking, its a specialised socket that allows charge from the car battery to flow through to your camper trailer without draining the battery.
They’re suited for when you’re on the move and the engine is running, working when the camper and the car are connected and making sure that when you stop to make a chicken, cheese and salad roll for lunch, everything is nice and cool.
Anderson plugs have a pretty details installation process, so make sure to do your research or have an expert for it for you.
A big selection of our campers come with an Anderson plug and lead, like our Vanguard, Extremo and Titan– just to name a few.
Other suggestions included using a solar panel while you’re stopped and set up in one spot. Simply pop it outside and let it do its thing. Be mindful that there is a lot of sun. overcast or cloudy days can mean that the panel doesn’t get the charge it needs.
If I put a bigger battery in my Extremo Camper Trailer, do I have to change any of the wiring?
This is a really common question, but luckily, our campers are seasoned pros. Their answers flooded in and let us know that as long as your charger stays the same, and the battery is the same voltage, no new wiring is needed. Great result! If you wanted to change up your charger or battery size, see an electrician to make sure you have it all done properly and safely.
I’m looking for some ideas to maintain the batteries while the camper is all parked up?
Campers were quick to bombard us with answers on this one, and with two common suggestions. The first one is using solar power, like we have already talked about. This form of charging and power is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. It’s basically hassle free and its costs almost nothing after the initial set up.
CTEK battery charges are also popular among our camping community. This product is a top of the line and modern battery charger that you can leave to charge your batteries while you enjoy a day of adventure.
How do you know when the battery is fully charged?
Depending on which battery and which trailer you have, you’ll find a battery level indicator that shows you a percentage. Naturally, 100% means its fully charged, and we recommend regularly checking and never letting the level get below 50%. Some campers don’t come with a switch box, however there are plenty of tools on the market to help.
When you are charging the battery with the solar panel, does the battery need to be turned on?
This one’s simple– yes! Make sure your battery pack is turned on to avoid being left without power.
We hope that our camper tailer advocates have been able to help out and answer some of your pressing questions. Choosing the right batteries and using solar panels is a really important part of making your trip great, and after some initial setup, are basically hassle free.
Choosing a camper trailer comes with all sorts of considerations and choices about what’s best for you and your upcoming adventures. The team at Mars Campers are always up for a chat to help you figure it out, and you can also take a look at our range.