Caravan gadgets for summer getaways
In our first few years of caravanning, Mr Tin Box had been accumulating a bundle of caravan gadgets to make us self-sufficient. Then there’s other gizmos that I’m sure are just for fun! Here’s our favourite pieces of caravanning tech:
1. Solar panel
This is one of the first gadgets Mr TB bought for the caravan. It’s a 90 watt roof mounted panel that helps us top up the caravan battery when we are away.
The idea is that we can go for a couple of weeks without electric hook up. Unfortunately Mr TB can’t remember where he got ours from but prices vary widely so shop around.
Have a look at how much power you need and consider how much ‘off grid’ camping you are likely to do.
If in doubt get the biggest you can afford! There are different schools of thought on the best way to carry panels – roof mounted or stand mounted – but we like the ‘fit and forget’ benefits of permanent roof mounting.
It also won’t get run over, broken when badly packed, or stolen easily. Most companies will fit them to the roof for you but it is well within the capabilities of competent DIYer or even Mr TB.
Mr TB loves his torches. We have a few mag-lites of various sizes in the caravan and at home. This one’s powerful beam (LED, 2-D Cell)* is handy for late night dog walks when we are in the middle of the countryside. And Mr TB loves pretending it’s a light sabre.
3. Portable charger
This is a new addition to our haul of caravan gadgets. My phone is my link to the blogging world while we are away, so it’s unsurprising that its battery gets a battering.
I was genuinely excited when Mr TB explained this little box could charge my iPhone four times over. We got the EasyAcc Powerbank PB10000C* from Amazon. We still use it years on!
4. 20 Ah Portable battery
We’ve had this beast for about two years. It’s been great for times when we’ve wanted to watch a bit of TV with the peace of mind of knowing we are not running down the caravan battery.
We can usually get about four or five hours of viewing from it, which is plenty for a weekend as we’re not the types to glue ourselves to the telly box when there’s outdoor adventures to be had.
On longer trips it can be plugged in to charge from the solar panel or in to the car when we are out and about. It also doubles as a jump-starter for the car and an emergency light.
We’ve even used it to power Tin Box Tot’s baby monitor for when she’s in bed and we’re enjoying the lighter evenings outside.
Various versions with built in air compressor or inverters are also available. We got ours from Tayna batteries who we also got our leisure battery from. Their customer service and delivery are fab. Both Old Man TB and Mr TB extol their virtues to all that will listen.
This is another new addition to our tech haul. Mr TB bought his Kindle* recently after TBT stood on his original Kindle.
He loves to read while we’re away in the caravan and eats through books super quick. So the Kindle is a great space saver for us.
It can also be charged using our portable charger – not that the battery runs out as fast as our phones. Mr TB can get at least three weeks of constant use before his Kindle needs more juice.
Amazon is usually the best place to buy but keep your eye out on Amazon Warehouse (returned and refurbish products) as they sometimes have limited stocks.
6. Jockey wheel
Mr TB has just pimped Tin Box’s tow hitch with a nose weight jockey wheel. It comes with a solid wide tyre, so we don’t have to worry about getting a flat, and a handy gauge to tell us if we’ve piled too much stuff at the front of the van.
The posh jockey wheel RRPs at £109.99 but we got ours from TrailerTek for a much more reasonable £68.95 delivered.
7. Cadac barbecue
We cook almost everything on our Cadac while we’re away: breakfasts, stirfries and regular barbecue fare. It comes with a range of cooking surfaces including BBQ, Griddle, flat plate, skottel and even a pot stand making it much more flexible than other BBQs.
It all comes in a handy carry bag to keep everything together. Its not the best BBQ out there and can be susceptible to wind but its the versatility we love. We’ve had this one for just under two years and its another Go Outdoors purchase, albeit in the end of season sale.
You might also like to check out the Campingaz Party Grill.
*Disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I may earn some advertising fees if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. You will not be charged extra for this.