Off the Grid - Camping Without 120-Volt AC Electricity

Here are some 12-volt-powered camping accessories can make outdoor life a lot easier From the pages of Woodall's Camping Life Magazine The lack of 120-volt AC electricity doesn’t mean you have to be up a creek without power. You can heat, cool, pump, curl, and light almost anything you could ask for with today’s 12-volt-powered camping accessories. Whether you tap into your camper’s 12-volt house battery, your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, or one of the many power points in modern cars and trucks, there’s a vast array of camping accessories to make your life easier. Mom can still fix her hair in the morning with a 12-volt hair dryer and curling iron. Here are some products we found that will help everybody in the family stay connected even when you’re not "on the grid." Brunton Camping Accessories The revolutionary SOLO 7.5 ($253) from Brunton brings power to the weekend camper or long expedition adventurer far away from electrical outlets. The new Solo can operate a variety of electronics such as laptops, TVs, air pumps and cell phones. The unit is easily recharged when plugged into a vehicle DC outlet, household outlet or Brunton’s solar panels. Weighing in at just four pounds, the lightweight, waterproof unit can provide power for hours. Brunton’s Solaris 6 ($139) gives you a unique way to juice your on-the-go electronics: solar power. The unit masters a 12-volt output and weighs only 6.4 ounces. It utilizes Brunton’s new CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) technology, making it an extremely efficient conductor in a thin film format. Cabela’s Camping Accessories Compact, bright and always ready, the Rechargeable 12V LED Light ($20) spotlight from Cabela’s will come in handy whenever you need light in or around your vehicle, camper or campsite. The handheld spotlight plugs into most 12-volt automotive, ATV and UTV power outlets for convenient charging and quick access. At less than 2 inches long, the green anodized aluminum body weighs just 1.6 ounces and is impact-, saltwater-spray- and fatigue-tested to ensure reliable performance in extreme conditions. Its NiMH battery operates for up to 120 minutes per seven-hour charge. Coleman Camping Accessories The 12-volt Inflate-All Pump System ($40) from Coleman is ideal for camping. Featuring both high-pressure (165 psi) and high-volume air systems and multiple adapters for virtually any air valve makes it a pump for nearly all occasions. Automatic digital pressure gauge allows you to set the desired pressure, turn on the pump and walk away, shutting off when the desired pressure is reached. Inflates and deflates high-volume inflatable products such as airbeds or marine towables. The 12-volt Halogen Spotlight ($30) from Coleman is based on the company’s simple, effective LED Rechargeable spotlight. The combination of the state-of-the-art halogen bulb, reflective mirror technology and 12-volt power supply produces 2900 lumens of light, comparable to 3 million candlepower spotlights, for seeing halfway across the night. A trigger style On/Off switch provides illumination for nighttime navigation. Coleman’s Portable Camping Blender ($50) is powerful enough to chop, blend or mix anywhere. Powered by two 6-volt rechargeable batteries, it can be charged using the 12-volt or 120-volt chargers stored in its base. Blends 20-30 48-ounce pitchers on one full battery charge. Stainless steel blender blades and polycarbonate pitcher lock into the base for easy and compact transport. Dometic Camping Accessories Dometic’s RC4000 portable refrigerator offers quiet and versatile transportation just like standard kitchen models. Weighing in at only 35 pounds, this fridge ($390) has carrying handles and a retractable handle integrated into the frame, so transportation is easy. The fridge can hold up to eight 2-liter bottles and there’s an ice box as well. The RC4000 runs on three different power sources: 12-volt DC, 120 Volt AC and LP Gas. Hella Camping Accessories The Hella Turbo Fan ($80) provides powerful, versatile air circulation or window defogging using a 12-volt power supply. Its black or white impact-resistant plastic housing can be turned and pivoted in all directions, then locked in place. The 5-foot connection lead makes it versatile, and the unit uses low power consumption while still providing high air capacity. A two-stage switch in front of the fan guard provides adjustable airflow. RoadPro Camping Accessories RoadPro’s 10 Cup Deluxe Coffee Maker ($40) is powered by your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or power point socket and features an innovative design that keeps the carafe secure while driving. A drip stop feature allows you to interrupt the brewing cycle to pour the first fresh cup of coffee (ready in 15 minutes). Uses standard coffee filters and makes a full pot in 45 minutes. The RoadPro Portable Saucepan ($40) doubles as a popcorn popper. Using your vehicle’s cigarette or power point socket (150 watts/13 amps) it can heat canned or packaged soups and stews, steam hot dogs and pop popcorn. Its compact size allows it to go anywhere. A portable solution to baking on the go: RoadPro’s Portable Stove ($80) gives you a convenient way to cook and warm food to 300 degrees. Features a 5.5-foot power cord with a 15-amp fuse built in. The stove is CE certified and when used with RoadPro aluminum pans, provides fast and easy cleanup. Portable 12-volt powered items aren’t just about lighting, heating and cooking, there are also personal care items such as RoadPro’s Curling Iron ($20). Ideal for camping and travels its three-position switch provides maximum styling control. The 6-foot power cord connects to its insulated handle for comfort and safety holds it’s 5/8-inch polished chrome barrel. RoadPro’s Hair Dryer/Defroster ($20) features a unique folding handle for easy storage. The extra long 8-foot power cord makes for easier accessibility when plugged into a 12-volt cigarette lighter or power point. The unit can also be used to defrost car windows. Zodi Camping Accessories The Water Pump ($45, Pump; $150, Hot Tap) from Zodi Outdoor Gear expands the company’s 6-volt unit that comes with its Hot Tap on-demand hot shower system. It makes the Hot Tap system provide longer showers -- perfect for outfitters or large groups. The pump comes with a 10-foot power cable with a standard 12-volt plug power point plug as well as alligator clips for use straight off a 12-volt auto battery. RESOURCES Brunton: 800/443-4871; /
Cabela’s: 800/237-4444; /
Coleman: 800/835-3278; /
Dometic: 800/544-4881; /
Hella Inc. - USA: 877/224-3552; /
RoadPro: 866/622-7979; /
Zodi Outback Gear: 00/589-2849; / Read Woodall's RV Towing and RV and Camping Accessories Buyers Guide.