RV Books

Powerful, Proven & Unbiased Information

♦ travel trailers ♦ motorhomes ♦ camper trailers ♦

Search our catalog of exclusive RV articles

Search our catalog of exclusive RV articles

RV Books provides the most extensive and most reliable information available for anyone wanting to explore their world via travel trailer, motorhome, camper trailer - any sort of RV.

If you find this site useful you will find our books even more so.  They are all available in a number of formats designed to make them as useful as possible as reference guides for all your travels.  As well as a paperback version there are versions for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and for all Apple devices.

The information on this site is provided without charge, without sponsorship and without advertising.  All our activities are funded by the sales of our books.

The Camper Trailer Book.  Free!

Not currently available as an eBook or paperback, RV Books is publishing The Camper Trailer Book on this site.  Every week new sections will be released until the complete, fully revised, version is available.

Read It Here

Visit Solar Books

At solarbooks.com.au you'll find exclusive articles dealing with the intricacies of setting up and using solar power to run your home, cabin, travel trailer or motorhome.  Solar Books is about how to use solar to shrink your power bill to where your energy provider is paying you - and to do it all economically.

Featured article

Microwave oven power draw – it’s more than many users think

Updated 2020

Microwave oven power draw

Microwave oven power draw is far greater than many users think. In this article, RV Books' Collyn Rivers explains why - and how. This is a particular problem in travel trailers and motorhomes. Their deep-cycle lead-acid batteries cannot sustain the energy draw they require. AGM and lithium batteries are thus better suited.

A typical travel trailer or motorhome's microwave oven is rated at 800 watts, but in terms of heat produced, not power draw). As most are only 50% efficient, that 800-watt microwave oven's power draw is about 1200 watts.

Microwave oven power draw - inverter loss

Microwave oven power draw is also increased by losses within the inverter used to drive it. Inverters vary in efficiency. Some old ones are only 75% efficient, and thus best taken to the tip. The better current ones are 85%-90% efficient. Because of inverter losses, total microwave oven draw may thus be 1330 to 1600 watts. If run from 12 volts that's 110-133 amps.

 

microwave oven - dometic web

This 850 watt Dometic microwave oven draws about 1350 watts. Pic: Dometic

The amount of energy a microwave oven uses is proportional to its heat setting, and also to time. If run for 15 minutes at full heat, a 12 volt (800 watts) such oven will, via an inverter, draw 25 to 33 amp-hours. This may not seem much if you have a 150 amp-hour lead-acid battery, but it cannot do so for long. When high current is drawn, battery voltage consequently falls. It may fall too low to sustain that load. That may happen even with a battery still that's still well charged. It may recover after resting but will not accept such high draw for long. The battery's remaining capacity, however, is still there. It can readily be accessed used - but at a lower current draw.

Microwave oven power draw - battery type and size

To power an RV microwave oven, you really need at least a 250 amp-hour (12 volts) preferably AGM battery. Or about 100 amp hour of lithium (LiFePO4) batteries. It can be done from 150 - 200 amp hour deep cycle lead-acid batteries, but not for long at a time. Such high draw also shortens lead-acid battery life.

Ideally, confine extensive travel trailer and motorhome microwave use to the grid or generator power.

Every aspect of electrics in RVs is covered in Caravan & Motorhome Electrics. That on solar in RVs is in Solar That Really Works. Solar Success is for home and property systems. Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every aspect of RV usage. The Camper Trailer Book provides in-depth coverage of that area.

Recently updated articles

Wheels falling off trailers – and how to stop it happening

Wheels falling off trailers, wheel studs breaking and wheel nuts loosening still happens. Here is why it happens, and how to prevent it. Wrecked wheel bearings and fractured stub axles are also common. That fastenings such as wheel nuts may be caused, not just permitted, to loosen is rarely covered in engineering training. The causes and prevention are however well known. This referenced article by Collyn Rivers explains how and why in rigour and detail.

Lithium battery rival

Lithium-ion and lithium-iron-phosphate (a lithium battery rival) are two types of rechargeable batteries. They share some similarities but differ in high-energy-density, long life-cycles, and safety. Lithium-ion is used in smartphones and laptop PCs. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFEPO4) is that used in RVs etc.
Site title
Title
Primary category

Should I grease my tow-ball?

Should I grease my tow-ball is asked by travel trailer owners worldwide. A recent poll in Australia’s Caravaners Forum.com showed that slightly over half do so, but primarily to reduce wear. That seemingly overlooked by almost all respondents is that tow-ball friction plays a vital role in reducing travel trailer sway. Those who grease them unwittingly prejudice safety for the possible need to renew the towball every ten or so years. 

How travel trailer and tow vehicles interact

In the early 1900s, trailers with central axles, towed by trucks with overhung hitches, were unstable. This escalated as towing speeds increased. Fruehauf (USA) realised hitch overhang imposed lateral forces on tow vehicles. As trailers yawed clockwise, that overhang caused tow vehicles to yaw anti-clockwise. And vice versa. The longer that hitch overhangs, the greater the effect.

Our sister site, solarbooks.com.au, is about making sense of solar.  For anyone wanting to save serious money on their power bills, Solar Books has the information you're looking for.  Click here to visit.

Articles by Category

Batteries & Battery Charging

Travel Trailer/Tow Vehicle Behaviour & Suspension

Cooling and Heating

Electrical (general)

General

Health & Safety

Legal & Compliance

Solar

Travel

Want to find out more? Our books cover all these topics and a lot more. 

Whether you’re buying your first RV or updating to a bigger, more comfortable rig, there are a great many things you need to know and consider.  How to Choose and Buy an RV breaks things down so that you can decide what you want and whether or not what you’ve found is right for you.

learn more

Solar That Really Works! explains every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, travel trailers and motorhomes. 

learn more

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

learn more

The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, travel trailer and fifth wheel travel trailer, campervan and motorhome usage.

learn more


Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

learn more

Just Released! How to Choose and Buy an RV Here's how to get it right first and every time.

Whether you're buying your first RV or updating to a bigger, more comfortable rig, there are a great many things you need to know and consider.  This book breaks things down so that you can decide what you want and whether or not what you've found is right for you. It's technically sound and comprehensive so that you can proceed with complete confidence.  How to Choose and Buy an RV is the ultimate guide for those times when you want to, well, choose and buy an RV.

learn more

Travel Trailers and their tow vehicles rarely jack-knife and roll over - but when they do the results are catastrophic. The cause, and how to prevent it, is explained here.  Why Caravans Roll Over offers solid advice for keeping yourself safe on the road.

learn more

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics is the totally rewritten successor to the original globally selling Motorhome Electrics. The book's content now also covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

learn more

The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, travel trailer and fifth wheel travel trailer, campervan and motorhome usage. Like all of Collyn Rivers' books it is technically sound yet written in plain English.

learn more

Solar That Really Works! explains, in clear English, every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, travel trailers and motorhomes. It is up-to-date, valid globally and technically accurate. It is clear, concise and easy to follow without sacrificing important detail.

learn more

How to Choose and Buy an RV

This is Collyn Rivers' newest book.  Building on his years of experience and extensive knowledge of engineering and all things travel trailer and RV, this is the book you need with you when shopping for an RV.

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics

Collyn Rivers has done it again! – if you need to know anything about motorhome electrics, then this book is for you... Collyn must be, without doubt, the foremost authority in Australia on this subject.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)

Why Caravans Roll Over....and How to Prevent It​

Should be compulsory reading for everyone involved with Travel Trailers: Design / Engineering, Marketing, Journalism (print & electronic), Regulations, Inspections, Driver-Training, Travel Trailer Clubs, Towing and Modifications.

Colin Young

Founder and CEO, Caravan Council of Australia

Solar that Really Works!

Collyn is an accomplished engineer who knows how to design and build successful systems. It is refreshing to see practical advice written in plain language when there is so little solar information around. . . this is an essential text . . . you won’t find a better guide.

Alan T. Gray

Earth Garden Magazine

The Caravan & Motorhome Book

Without doubt, this is the best book we have ever read . . . it will be treasured, and read on a regular basis.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)