With the growing trend of giving kids less screen-time and more nature-time, there’s never been a better time to make family adventures easier. Rob & Tracy Morris from The Blonde Nomads share why they love their 12 volt set-up and how it benefits the whole family.
When hitting the road for a family trip, whether it’s just a weekend at the beach or to travel around the country, there’s no doubt that having your vehicle fitted with a few extra features will make your adventures way easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
Want a fridge to keep food and drinks cold? No worries!
Want a hot water shower to wash the kids off after a swim? Too easy!
Want to make coffee anytime you like? Piece of cake! (oh, and you can even cook that cake too, not even joking!)
We have been chasing adventures with our kids in tow for over eight years now and if there’s one thing we know, it’s that kids are hard work! Sorry team, we’re not going to sugar coat it. They get hungry, dirty, wet, cold, and tired, and with all that we often get stressed.
But just because we’ve got kids doesn’t mean we have to stop adventuring right? There’s no denying that getting out in nature has huge benefits for the whole family, and it’s not always doom and gloom, there’s plenty of good times and fun. The smart thing to do is to make the adventures as comfortable and easy as possible, right? Enter the 12 volt power system.
What is a 12 volt system?
A 12v system in its very simplest form, involves having a second or auxiliary battery installed, coupled with a charger connected to the car that charges this battery as you drive.
This simple and effective setup is perfect for running things like a 12-volt fridge, charging your phone, and running led camp lights etc. You can also add on a solar panel (fixed or portable) to charge the battery when not driving. This is how we started out, having these little luxuries meant that we could road trip, travel, and camp for much longer.
We then stepped it up a notch by adding in an inverter. This converts your 12v battery power into mains power, letting you use appliances like a coffee machine, induction cooktop, sandwich press, toaster, and power tools etc. This awesome set-up allows us to effectively live ‘off the grid’, powering all our day to day needs.
If we are doing a grocery shop, we simply pop the cold goods in the car fridge, on the worksite Rob can use his power tools or charge up any batteries as well as heat up lunch and make a coffee! And best of all, if we are away camping in a remote location, we can all enjoy a hot water shower right out of the truck - yep, to say we are stoked with our set-up is an understatement.
So what’s in OUR truck?
EVERYTHING! Well almost everything. After having a simpler setup for six years in our last vehicle, we decided it was time to step up our game and go all out with this one.
We need a lot of battery power for all our goodies, so we decided on REDARC’s RedVision vehicle management system to best care for and charge our batteries. The RedVision comes with a funky display screen with integrated switching and gauges, plus it connects to the REDARC app on your phone via Bluetooth. This is an awesome feature that we use often, especially as a joke, turning off all the lights when out camping to freak out the kids - or when they are stealing treats from the fridge!
To power this RedVision system we installed 2 x 100Ah lithium batteries for longevity and to minimize weight (as opposed to AGM batteries). We also have a 120w solar panel fixed to our roof rack and as well as a pure sine wave inverter to run any household appliances.
All up, our adventure rig currently has:
• Upright fridge/freezer
• Water pump with water tank
• Hot water system with pullout shower hose
• Induction cooktop
• Coffee machine
• On-Board air compressor
• Internal led strip lights and flashing party lights
• External rear flood lights
• 2 x mains power points
• 2 x 12v and USB charging outlets
All the above runs off our 12v REDARC system and solar and allows us to get the most out of our adventures, keeping everyone happy, fed and warm! There’s no doubt that setting up your own rig with everything you will use and love, allows you to live the good life, utilise each feature daily and get the most out of your investment long term.
For more information on the Blondies’ setup check out their video tour, or follow along on their adventures via their website or Instagram.