12 Volt Power & Stealth Camping
13 January 2022 | Paul
Stealth Camping is the act of staying overnight without being seen as anything other than a plain old van.
Stealth campervans have become increasingly popular, thanks in large part to them being less attractive to thieves than a conspicuous camper. The difficulty with stealth camping, however, is ensuring that there's nothing that visibly gives the van away, which often means no mains hook-up, and solar panels become something requiring extra thought. Today we will discuss options for 12-volt power for those looking to create a stealth campervan.
Mains power is one of the hardest things for a stealth campervan, but odds are it wouldn't be required. Most stealth campers will stay in places where hook-up simply isn't available and therefore the only time this option might be used would be when the van is on your driveway and you want to keep the batteries topped-up during a lay-up period. If you do need the facility, then using something like a white-coloured, flush inlet plugs can be discrete and not easily visible. Alternatively, to avoid needing a hook-up facility entirely, you could opt to make the batteries easy to remove so you can take them indoors to charge. In this case, we suggest looking at lithium batteries as the reduced weight will make this option a lot more practical.
This is the main way most stealth campers will recharge their batteries. Hidden within the van, this option is not visible to the outside and uses the alternator to recharge the leisure battery. With a DC-DC charger installed, any time the engine is running (whether it be on the move or whilst stationary) the leisure battery will be receiving a charge which should be enough to make sure you are never without power, as long as you have fuel.
Often dismissed as not being an option on stealth campers due to them being highly visible, certain solar panels can still be used whilst maintaining the 'white-van' appearance. Semi-flexible panels are the best option as they can be attached to the roof permanently and are not easily visible from the ground. Sticking flat to the roof, they are very low profile and they are fairly inconspicuous, especially if you opt for the type that has a rear junction box that feeds the cable into the van directly under the panel. The panel will feed power to your leisure battery via a solar controller to keep it topped up throughout the day.
Folding solar panels are another option. When stationary, you can take these panels out and place them on the ground, facing the sun to provide power. A quick-connection terminal inside the van which is attached directly to the battery can make this a quick and easy option for your stealth van. These panels can often produce more power than semi-flexible panels as they can be angled towards the sun, but storage room would be required for the panel & we would not advise leaving them out without anybody present due to the risk of theft.
These options should help you power your stealth camping trips and we hope you have found this article helpful, To see more on some of the products mentioned please see the links below. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.
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