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Old 30-11-2018, 05:56 PM   #481
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

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It would be something like the older CF series from Waeco.
Just googled the Waeco CF60 and it bares an uncanny resemblance to the AK one, handles, lid to the internal layout and everything so you might be right on that one!
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Old 16-12-2018, 07:59 PM   #482
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Sounds good.

I've got the Companion 60l which i've had for a little over 12 months now, my original one was stolen and replaced under insurance.
I use it solely as a fridge and hasn't missed a beat and its done a few trips.
I've also got a Waeco 18l which i use as a freezer, same story.

From what i've been told, many of the lesser known branded fridges run superceeded Engel or Waeco hardware, so if thats whats in yours it would be fair to say its tried and proven albeit older technology.

It would be something like the older CF series from Waeco.
I was just looking at the Companion fridges. How's yours doing?

The current price difference between the 45L and 60L is $100, but I'm guessing the smaller one would cool faster? Is it a good first fridge? Looking to get one when going away and have a powered site.
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Old 17-12-2018, 03:55 PM   #483
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

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Sounds good.

From what i've been told, many of the lesser known branded fridges run superceeded Engel or Waeco hardware, so if thats whats in yours it would be fair to say its tried and proven albeit older technology.

It would be something like the older CF series from Waeco.
Maybe not so bad for part time camping but.....a word of warning about cheap (and even expensive) frigs is look for a CE approval stamp on them near the specs plate. I was stupid enough to buy not one but two upright Engel frigs (back when I was a motorhome greenhorn) which do NOT have that approval.
CE is an approval guaranty that said item will not cause electrical interference with other devices.

So what you may say, well I later found these and ones that are not CE approved can interfere with other 12V (and even some 240v appliances) some when you want to use radio, laptop or TV for example, when the frig kicks in you have a buzzing background sound and display which is near impossible to stop and can damage sensitive electronic components. Not to mention drive you nuts.
The second Engel I had was on board a yacht and caused no end of trouble using a depth sounder and marine radio. I even had complaints from boats either side on a marina where we lived and had to make significant modifications to the electrical sheathing on the back of the frig using faraday wire loops along its length.
I later found Engel and some other frigs were banned for marine use in Europe as the interference was dangerous to navigation and coms equipment
To this day a lot of Engel stuff does not have the CE mark, unlike Waeco (being EU made) or even Dometic.

On the good quality VS cheapo camping frigs it will depend on power usage... ie cheapo might use upto 7amp per hour (cycling 15hrs out of 24) where as a quality one might use 3amps ph (cycling say for 2 minutes every 20 mins) which is a big deal to your battery storage capabilities.
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Old 17-12-2018, 03:57 PM   #484
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

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I was just looking at the Companion fridges. How's yours doing?

The current price difference between the 45L and 60L is $100, but I'm guessing the smaller one would cool faster? Is it a good first fridge? Looking to get one when going away and have a powered site.
Does the job perfectly to be honest, my original did a few trips without fault and the replacement has been faultless too.
I run it on 240v @2*C overnight at home before i head off and it stays within 2* continuously.

It might not be as pretty as the Waeco's or Engel's, but it does the job at a fracton of the price for the capacity you get.
Mine came with the insulated cover and remote gauge which plugs into your cigarette lighter and allows you to monitor and adjust the unit from the drivers seat.
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Old 17-12-2018, 06:38 PM   #485
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On the good quality VS cheapo camping frigs it will depend on power usage... ie cheapo might use upto 7amp per hour (cycling 15hrs out of 24) where as a quality one might use 3amps ph (cycling say for 2 minutes every 20 mins) which is a big deal to your battery storage capabilities.
When on site i run the fridge from my Arkpak which contains a 130ah AGM battery.
Even when daytime temps nudge low 30's and barley drop below 20 at night it will use little more than 20% overnight from fully charged until the sun is high enough the following day for the 180w solar to return surplus charge with the compressor active.
This also includes running other accessories such as phone or tablet chargers and my 12v LED strip lighting setup.

So long as you have enough battery capacity to get you through the non productive hours whilst maintaining at least 50% in reserve, the key to maintaining ongoing performance is having enough solar generation to get whatever you're using back to peak in the shortest possible time the following day.
Even when running my 60l companion as a fridge on 2* and my Waeco 18l as a freezer i've not seen my setup drop below 65% and is always at 100% by lunchtime the following day unless its overcast or im in and out and not capturing max available due to shadow or direction.
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Old 22-12-2018, 11:53 AM   #486
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Currently in Barmera camping around the north shore of Lake Bonney, arrived Thursday evening and was supposed to be here all week but with forecast temps reaching early 40s from boxing day we're heading home earlier.
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Old 26-12-2018, 06:54 PM   #487
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I ended up picking up the 40L Companion Fridge/Freezer from Bunnings. Weirdly they don’t stock the Bluetooth version (not a deal breaker). The only downside so far is it doesn’t fit in the boot but does fit in the back so I lose 1 seat. Managed to get down to 4C after initial temp very quickly (nothing inside though).

We’ll see how it performs out in the field.
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Old 26-12-2018, 09:52 PM   #488
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

Thought that I'd give a bit of feedback with my Adventure Kings 60L Fridge/Freezer...

Have used it a few times now, once as a freezer when moving house and a few times as a fridge.
I've been quite impressed with it. It has worked well without any problems so far.
The time I used it as a freezer, set the temperature on -16 and it kept things at that temperature. Have also used it as a drinks fridge whilst away on a little holiday. Kept drinks cold (not ice cold) and it was quite good. Have mainly run it off of the 240V adapter most of the time with a few trips in the car. The time I did leave it in the car on 30+ degree day for an hour or so, it only got up to 6 degrees from 3 or 4 when turned off, so it keeps it's cool pretty good.

As it's a 60L fridge, you can fit a fair bit in there too, so quite happy with that. For the $600 price tag (which included a thermal cover), it'll work quite well for what we'll use it for.

As an aside, I reckon the temperature these fridges report is the temperature of the fridge walls and not the air temperature. Opening the lid for an extended period of times doesn't see the temperature change, so it's not reading the air temperature IMO.

Will have to experiment a bit more to get things like drinks and beers nice and cold (ice cold) from the fridge. Have basically had it set a 4 degrees but that doesn't chill the drinks just quite enough.


I've also gone and put a new tent on layby. It's my birthday next month so have asked the family to get me some BCF vouchers to pay for it.
Link to BCF page...

Looking forward to this one. Nice big one with two rooms, one for the wife and I and one for the kids.
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Old 13-03-2019, 12:20 AM   #489
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

Recently fitted a solar panel to the roof of my van. I only run lights and a water pump off the battery, but wanted to be able to run a couple of fans as well. We are heading back to Mambray Ck campsite in Mt Remarkable NP for easter, and even in April it can still be a bit warm in the day, hence the desire to invest in some fans.
I decided to take it out for a couple of nights over the LWE just gone to give it a test and make sure its all good. I took my 10yr old daughter to one of our favourite parks, about an hour from home. Its called Wirrina and I've no doubt already posted pictures of it earlier in the thread a couple of times, given this is our third visit.




I purposely parked under a tree, so that the panel would end up having shade for some of the time, to get an idea of a worst case scenario.

the main attraction. The park has 11 horses and some goats. we take a couple of large bags of apples and carrots to feed them. New Clydesdale foal this time.





This is a few pics of a Memorial/lookout heading toward second valley, from Normanville. We stopped off for a quick look and walk along the beach.

The fans I bought are Jayco ones that replace the lights that go in each bed end. they aren't the best fans out there, but it was just more efficient use of space getting ones that hung from the roof brace, rather than using benchspace, which is already at a premium. I ran them on high speed for most of the weekend and overnight on low speed, to really test out how much they would use of the battery, and how well the solar panel would work in topping it back up. Long story short, the battery rarely dropped below 13v. the morning after I ran them all night it dropped to about 12.8 but was back up on float by mid morning. it was overcast for a fair portion too. pretty happy with that outcome.

rather than drill a hole in the roof, I just run an extension cord that I made using 8b&s, from an Anderson on the panel, to an Anderson on the chassis. you can see it in the 2nd pic running down the side.

all in all, a successful weekend, and a great dad n daughter weekend.
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Old 13-03-2019, 12:42 AM   #490
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some pics of the solar panel and regulator/charge controller.



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Old 13-03-2019, 07:41 PM   #491
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Looks good Rob, what output does the panel provide and what AH is the battery?

I thought about mounting a fixed panel on a bracket on the draw bar of our camper, but at places like Mambray it can be hard getting full sun because of the big tree's and hills where the campground is in the gully.
I usually end up moving mine multiple times a day to keep them producing but if you're not running too much from the battery you should be ok.
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Old 13-03-2019, 07:57 PM   #492
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Battery is 100Ah. Panel is advertised as 200w, but probably closer to 160, according to people much smarter than me concerning those things.

It kept up with demand on the weekend. The only means of battery monitoring I have is a volt meter that plugs in to a 12v socket. These are only really accurate if your battery has been at rest for a few hours apparently, but whilst the panel is charging, that will read 14v. The regulator (I only have cheap pwm, not mppt) switches to float at 13.7, so most of the time the battery was full.
Panel doesn't need sun. They just need light, so even on a cloudy day they will still produce some power. Fixed panels have that downside (being fixed) but it's much less hassle for me and one less thing to carry and set up...
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Old 13-03-2019, 08:01 PM   #493
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

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Recently fitted a solar panel to the roof of my van. I only run lights and a water pump off the battery, but wanted to be able to run a couple of fans as well. We are heading back to Mambray Ck campsite in Mt Remarkable NP for easter, and even in April it can still be a bit warm in the day, hence the desire to invest in some fans.
I decided to take it out for a couple of nights over the LWE just gone to give it a test and make sure its all good. I took my 10yr old daughter to one of our favourite parks, about an hour from home. Its called Wirrina and I've no doubt already posted pictures of it earlier in the thread a couple of times, given this is our third visit.


image
image
I purposely parked under a tree, so that the panel would end up having shade for some of the time, to get an idea of a worst case scenario.
image
the main attraction. The park has 11 horses and some goats. we take a couple of large bags of apples and carrots to feed them. New Clydesdale foal this time.
image
image
image
image

This is a few pics of a Memorial/lookout heading toward second valley, from Normanville. We stopped off for a quick look and walk along the beach.

The fans I bought are Jayco ones that replace the lights that go in each bed end. they aren't the best fans out there, but it was just more efficient use of space getting ones that hung from the roof brace, rather than using benchspace, which is already at a premium. I ran them on high speed for most of the weekend and overnight on low speed, to really test out how much they would use of the battery, and how well the solar panel would work in topping it back up. Long story short, the battery rarely dropped below 13v. the morning after I ran them all night it dropped to about 12.8 but was back up on float by mid morning. it was overcast for a fair portion too. pretty happy with that outcome.

rather than drill a hole in the roof, I just run an extension cord that I made using 8b&s, from an Anderson on the panel, to an Anderson on the chassis. you can see it in the 2nd pic running down the side.

all in all, a successful weekend, and a great dad n daughter weekend.
Good idea testing in the worse case scenario, but youd be surprised how well the panels perform these days.
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Old 13-03-2019, 08:32 PM   #494
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Good idea testing in the worse case scenario, but youd be surprised how well the panels perform these days.
I bought my panel off eBay. Not the cheapest. Chose a seller that had a lot of sales of that particular item. Had over 1000 sales. Bought it on a Sunday mid morning. Came from Altona. Delivered to my door (Adelaide) tues morning. I ordered cable and Anderson plugs at the same time from a local Adelaide seller, and they arrived Friday. Crazy.

A reputable seller (I found out afterward) for these things is lowenergydevelopments in eBay. Bit dearer than most but the claimed ratings are pretty much true to what you get.
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Old 13-03-2019, 08:36 PM   #495
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I bought my panel off eBay. Not the cheapest. Chose a seller that had a lot of sales of that particular item. Had over 1000 sales. Bought it on a Sunday mid morning. Came from Altona. Delivered to my door (Adelaide) tues morning. I ordered cable and Anderson plugs at the same time from a local Adelaide seller, and they arrived Friday. Crazy.

A reputable seller (I found out afterward) for these things is lowenergydevelopments in eBay. Bit dearer than most but the claimed ratings are pretty much true to what you get.
I have 2 x fixed panels on my roof feeding 2 x 110ah batteries. It still charges (well maintains) with a cheap Aldi cover over the panels...
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Old 13-03-2019, 08:43 PM   #496
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Haven't got around to getting a cover yet. Probably should at some stage.
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Old 13-03-2019, 10:47 PM   #497
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Battery is 100Ah. Panel is advertised as 200w, but probably closer to 160, according to people much smarter than me concerning those things.

It kept up with demand on the weekend. The only means of battery monitoring I have is a volt meter that plugs in to a 12v socket. These are only really accurate if your battery has been at rest for a few hours apparently, but whilst the panel is charging, that will read 14v. The regulator (I only have cheap pwm, not mppt) switches to float at 13.7, so most of the time the battery was full.
Panel doesn't need sun. They just need light, so even on a cloudy day they will still produce some power. Fixed panels have that downside (being fixed) but it's much less hassle for me and one less thing to carry and set up...
Fair enough, I've got 160w panels and the most I've seen from them on a good day was about 110w so 160w from your 200's is probably on the money, should do the job no problems at all.
Last year we had a wet day up there and on my 130ah with two fridges and lights/chargers going over night I got down a bit and was only getting around 40w back in at best, still got back to near full but took most of the day.

Also, for any SA people watching, just thought I'd mention, there's a Carp fishing comp in Barmera on the last weekend in March with good prizes for different categories if anyone's interested.
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Old 13-03-2019, 11:12 PM   #498
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My fridge is 3 way so runs on gas while camping without power, so I have very little draw on my battery.
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Old 14-03-2019, 07:50 AM   #499
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My fridge is 3 way so runs on gas while camping without power, so I have very little draw on my battery.
I looked into getting a portable 3 way but they're just too bulky for the usable space you get, i guess there's always a trade off.
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Old 15-03-2019, 12:05 AM   #500
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We just got back from a week in Halls Gap. Looks like this is going to become an annual trip by the talks we've had with the people we went with!

Stayed at the Lakeside Tourist Park this time which is a great facility. We had a powered site which backed on to a dry creek bed on the side of the park so gave us lots of room to spread out.
Just looking back through the thread to see your pics of the site you had. We are going to this park in July school holidays. Kept talking about it so finally decided to do it. They have a 'stay 7 pay 5' deal, so not too bad for 4 of us.

can you remember what site you were on? We are thinking of booking site 128 which overlooks are large vacant grassed area adjacent to the park. It looks like you may have been at the opposite side looking toward lake belfield?

do you have any more pics to share of the park?
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Old 15-03-2019, 06:58 AM   #501
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Hi Rob.
Yep, we were on the other side of the park overlooking the lake wall.
https://hallsgaplakeside.com/explore-lakeside/parkmap/
If you look at the park map, I think we had sites 82,83 & 84. We're going back again in September school holidays and have got the same sites again. It's good for us as you've got a little dry creek bed out the back of the sites so it's a good place for the young kids to roam around and explore. Also means that you have heaps of room too!

From memory, the other side of the park looks over some farm land, so it's some nice flat land with the mountain range to your right. It's pretty spectacular!

As for photos, don't know. I'll go back through the thread and see what I posted and see if I have any others.

The facilities have changed since we were there last year. They've done up the bottom amenities block and they've also added in the second pool so it's a little different from last year.

Don't forget to pack your bathers! The heated pool is really good!
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Old 15-03-2019, 08:40 AM   #502
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Here's a couple more. One photo is looking from our campsite down to the back of the park and the other one is looking up to the front.
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Old 15-03-2019, 08:51 AM   #503
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Cool, thanks.

We had site 84 booked the year we had to pull the pin. We had a walk through the following Easter while we were staying in the national park but can't really remember much of it. There are pics and virtual tour of the new amenities on their website. Very premium looking now.

I think we'll probably still stick with the site over the other side. From memory they were a bit flatter and easier to set up a van.

Thanks again. Looking forward to going back to halls gap.
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Old 18-03-2019, 01:16 PM   #504
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Thought I might ask here as to where might be a good place to stay along the Great Ocean Road?
We're heading over to Melbourne this weekend to catch the Port vs Melbourne game at the G. We're leaving on Sunday to come home but as I've got Monday off of work as well, we thought that we'd drive home along the GOR.

We'll chuck the tent in the car for the one night on the way home, so are looking for somewhere to pitch the tent on the way back.
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Old 18-03-2019, 01:43 PM   #505
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Thought I might ask here as to where might be a good place to stay along the Great Ocean Road?
We're heading over to Melbourne this weekend to catch the Port vs Melbourne game at the G. We're leaving on Sunday to come home but as I've got Monday off of work as well, we thought that we'd drive home along the GOR.

We'll chuck the tent in the car for the one night on the way home, so are looking for somewhere to pitch the tent on the way back.
I like Peterborough and Port Campbell as they are both towards the western end of the GOR. Gellibrand (slightly inland) if you like the forests and are into mountain biking.
One of my fav. small towns beyond the GOR is Port Fairy.
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Old 18-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #506
sgt_doofey
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Thanks roKWiz.
I should mention that we'll have our 6 and 4 yo sons in the car with us so there won't be any mountain biking this trip! ;)
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Old 18-03-2019, 01:51 PM   #507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgt_doofey View Post
Thanks roKWiz.
I should mention that we'll have our 6 and 4 yo sons in the car with us so there won't be any mountain biking this trip! ;)
Walking in the forest is a nice thing to do with the family as long as you are not like the two up here recently getting lost at Mt Buffalo.
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In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come...... D. Diderot 1752

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Old 21-03-2019, 04:54 PM   #508
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

I booked a camping spot on the Wye River. Anyone been there before? Tips? Things to see?

We plan on getting there around lunch to check in and set up. Then seeing the 12 Apostles.
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Old 21-03-2019, 07:06 PM   #509
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The 12 apostles are now 11 since one fell down a few years ago.
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Old 21-03-2019, 08:14 PM   #510
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Default Re: The Camping Thread

Change of plans again. Driving straight home on Sunday.
Car troubles with one of the cars, so I'll be looking into that on Monday now.
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