What caravan technology is going to be big in 2016? We explore the new tech trends you need to know about.
- Lighter Construction
High on the list of tech trends for 2016 would have to be caravans made of increasingly lighter components. Lightweight caravans make a lot of sense: they’re safer to tow, the lower tare mass means less fuel consumption, and they can be towed by a wider range of vehicles.
Look for fibreglass body panels and aluminium frames on hot-dipped galvanised or Duragal chassis in the newer models on the market in 2016.
- Solar Power Systems
Super-thin solar panels are also part of the trend towards lightening your load. The new, thinner panels are about 3mm thick and flexible, and can be mounted directly onto the roof of your caravan or vehicle, reducing wind drag and thus improving fuel economy.
Alternatively, you could pick up a 50W portable solar power station with 150W Inverter and 32 AH Battery. It looks like a suitcase, but generates enough power to run a computer for four hours, or a 20-inch TV for six hours.
- Lithium Batteries
Making your investment in solar technology pay dividends are parallel advances in batteries for storing the captured power. Thankfully, the heavy, easily drained traditional lead-acid batteries are fast giving way to lighter, more efficient lithium or lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.
A major advantage of LFP batteries over traditional batteries is that they don’t need to be fully charged – in fact they do better with only a partial recharge and will still achieve 90 per cent efficiency under shallow discharge conditions. This is of particular benefit if your solar power system doesn’t generate sufficient power to fully charge the battery.
Initially more expensive than lead-acid batteries, LFP batteries quickly make up ground through their efficiency, lifespan and lighter weight.
- Water Filtration
Clean water is something we take for granted until those first few days spent free-camping! Fortunately, caravan and camping water filtration systems are becoming increasingly more adept at delivering clean water for drinking, cooking and washing, no matter what the source.
Ask your supplier about reverse-osmosis systems, BluBags™, disposable filtration cups or watermakers that purify salt, fresh or even brackish water on the fly.
If mealtimes are a chore, wander through any RV or camping goods showroom and check out the latest in cooking appliances. You’ll find induction heaters that use electro-magnetic technology instead of electricity or gas, or thermal cookers such as the Ecopot or the Thermos® Shuttle Chef that will cook your meal while you’re out enjoying your holiday.
The best way to find out about tech trends for making your holidays easier is to go along to a Caravan and Camping Expo. These are specifically tailored to showcase the latest innovations, and you’ll always find someone who’s happy to talk about the products.
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