A problem which travellers often have is the unsatisfactory operation of refrigeration without the availability of mains power, particularly in hot, dusty conditions. The most common complaints are of flat batteries and fridges not keeping cold in hot weather. Aussie Swag Campers has been successfully operating refrigeration in its campers since 1987 and since then has continually kept up with the latest advances in technology. Travellers can be assured that refrigerators will operate successfully without having to run a generator day and night.
(Refer to theprice listsfor the various fridge/freezer options.)
The special, two compartment box made by Aussie Swag Campers fits a large range of 12 volt compressor driven fridges fridgeOptions.pdf. The fridge box is lockable and vented with removable dust filters. A thermostatically controlled fan inside the fridge box improves refrigeration efficiency. The 80 litre Waeco fridge/freezer and slide is standard on the Ultra.
An 80 litre Waeco fridge/freezer with 3 compartments slides out inside the annex and operates in a dust free, vented, insulated storage box from the battery pack
Handy and easy access to the fridge is essential on long, hot trips
Ultra G. (Gas)
Aussie Swag Campers has a gas based model, the Ultra G. A Truma 14 litre gas powered water heater is used which takes 34 minutes to heat the water to 70 degrees and uses 120 g/h of gas, ensuring safe and fast water heating for the shower and kitchen. The external water source is also fitted to the gas heater for efficient and accurate water usage management. The gas bottles are upgraded to two 9 kg for extended range.
Ultra D. (Diesel)
The Ultra D uses the Webasto Thermo Top E to heat water. The system is based on heat transfer using a water boiler and the Webasto diesel furnace connected together by piping which circulates glycol that is constantly being reheated. The heat produced is absorbed by the water in the boiler.
An ON/OFF switch next to the shower controls starts the furnace. The system is thermostatically controlled so the furnace will cycle on and off to maintain water temperature.
The Thermo Top heater also incorpates an air heater. This heat produced by the furnace is pushed into the camper trailer when you turn the fan on. The air heater is controlled separately by a variable fan ON/OFF switch.
The Thermo Top E model has a fuel consumption of 0.29 – 0.47 L/hr (partial load – full load) with a power consumption of 22-26W (partial load – full load). A 12 litre fuel tank plumbed to the heater is installed on the drawer bar.
The heating unit is housed in an insulated steel box mounted on the drawer bar.
Using the Hot Water System
External Water Source To save the water in the 130L on board tank for drinking and kitchen use, an external connection pumps water from a jerry can or bucket directly into the heater. When operating on diesel power the water is heated continuously for luxuriously long showers. When you're out of water, simply take the jerry can to the nearest water source and refill. The on board water can be saved for drinking and cooking while the shower water can be from undrinkable sources such as creeks. This solution is far more practical than having a second tank as even with a 80L tank (only the equivalent of four jerry cans) once it is empty there are no more showers until it is refilled which is not always possible.
An added benefit of pumping water directly from an external source is that you can easily monitor water usage. This feature is especially useful with children as it is so easy to go through 20L in one shower without realizing it. Also, when adjusting the flick mixer to get the required water temperature, the unused water can be directed back into the jerry can, again saving water.
The Shower Room
A shower room made from quick drying but water proof, high quality nylon velcros onto the front side of the camper trailer and is used with a portable hot water shower or with the inbuilt hot water system and shower that is standard on the Ultra. A screen made from the same material as the shower room can be fitted around the offside awning up to the rear door for added privacy.
The Solar panelcan charge the battery when 240 volt power is unavailable. The panel is carried on top of the fridge box and comes with a long lead and supporting legs for use away from the trailer. A 135 watt solar panel with 15 metre extension cord and security cable is standard with the Ultra. In ideal conditions this panel can charge at up to 10 amps an hour. On a clear winter's day it can charge at about 6.5 amps an hour.