Recharging 12V devices

When you need a power generator

Having always been a lightweight camper trying to minimise what we take bush, I was originally a bit confronted when we decided to load up the truck and head out through Sheepyard Flat to Pikes Flat with kids and gadgets together. A Dad’s and kid weekend in the Victorian High Country with a group of mates that just can’t travel light, was the best way some of our new toys (such as drones and electric chainsaws) were going to get a real bush workout.

In late April, you can reasonably rely upon the sun to recharge your 12V batteries before the sun sets, but not in the best of Victoria’s High Country with its variable weather and tall gum trees blocking sunlight in a confined camping area. This is when you are seriously happy that you found a spot in the back of the Discovery for a generator to trial—at only 25kg it wasn’t too much of a burden! We grabbed the Briggs & Stratton Outdoor Inverter Generator. 

Testing Briggs & Stratton

Historically, generators have been frowned upon by true bush campers who value the peacefulness of the bush. This unit has a range of handles on top making it easy to position away from our campsite towards the river, minimising the expected sound.

Foggy mornings are not suitable for 12V panels, so whilst this fog slowly lifted as the day warmed, we quickly fired up the generator to recharge the technology.

We found it very simple to operate with instructions permanently on the side, suitable for the novice or someone who only uses it once a year. With a couple of sore heads still in their swags, we were surprised at how quiet the unit was. We had loaded up a power board to recharge everything and there was no stirring or complaints from the swags. In fact, it was barely heard over the noise of the fast flowing Howqua River in the background, and only when we really loaded up the output power required, did it need to kick up a gear.

Once the fog lifted, we were keen to trial a couple of the new lithium powered chainsaws to prepare wood for the night’s campfire and after several cuts we connected the chargers up to the generator and were back in business covering ourselves in man glitter (sawdust), in no time.

Recharging 12V battery chargers

The P2200 is called an Inverter Generator, but we’re not sure it’s designed to operate as what we would normally term an inverter, by converting power from 12V batteries to AC. This is the entry model level and is great for recharging all the power thirsty devices we carry with us today; including the 12V BMPRO battery charger we had for our lithium batteries. When space and weight aren’t an issue and the kids are onboard, it’s a great way to ensure you are powered up!

The article first appeared in Caravan World Magazine.

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