RV Books

Proven & Unbiased Information from Collyn Rivers

♦ caravans ♦ motorhomes ♦ camper trailers ♦ solar ♦

Important News

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating the Caravan Industry

A media release was issued on 12 November seeking information about the industry in relation to Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC has received over 1300 complaints about the industry over the last 5 year, and they've finally decided to act.  RV Books has been active in pointing out the shortcomings of the industry, particularly in the area of caravan safety, and we applaud their efforts.

The ACCC have set up two surveys - one for purchasers and the other for retailers.  We encourage everyone caravan owner to respond.  The survey is easy to complete and will only take a few minutes.

Click here to read the media release: https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/views-sought-on-caravan-industry

Click here to go straight to the survey: https://consultation.accc.gov.au/accc/new-caravan-survey-consumers/

As information becomes available regarding this investigation we will report it here.  Discussion of the issues raised by this investigation can be found in our forum: https://rvbooks.com.au/forum/

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Search our catalog of exclusive RV articles

Between 1959 and 1961 Collyn Rivers and Antony Fleming drove a Bedford QLR off-road truck twice the length and breadth of Africa studying road surface conditions.

A 43 minute film about their adventure, produced and narrated by Antony Fleming, has been viewed on YouTube more than 1.6 million  times!

Picture from africa journey. Caravan and motorhome electrics by collyn rivers

To view the film, and also read Collyn's telling of the tale, just click the button below.

Africa 

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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

Solar Success

Cover of solar success by collyn rivers

Collyn Rivers is the author of Solar Success. Previously only available on a different website (solarbooks.com.au),  you'll now find this book and a large selection of exclusive articles by Collyn Rivers dealing with the intricacies of setting up and using solar power to run your home, cabin, caravan or motorhome.  Over the next few weeks all of the content from Collyn's second site will be brought over to RV Books to provide a more comprehensive coverage of a wider range of topics. 

Solar Success

Featured article

Quietening caravan water pumps – easy and cheap to do

by Collyn Rivers - Updated 2021

Caravan Water Pumps

Quietening caravan water pumps is simple to do at no or trivial cost. This article from RV Books' Collyn Rivers shows how.

Most caravans and motorhomes use 12-volt pumps that have a rotating cam. This cam drives a flexible diaphragm up and down, typically feeding three separate chambers. These chambers draw water as the diaphragm moves downward and close as it moves upward. This action forces water outwards through further valves. Each chamber operates at about 60 times a second. Noise is created by various parts of the action.

Quietening caravan water pumps - how and where to start

The first step in quietening caravan water pumps is to ensure the pump has a truly rigid mounting. Knock on the existing or proposed base. If it sounds like a drum it’s going to worsen pump noise. Ideally have a truly rigid base, but if not place a small piece of carpet between the pump and its base.

The pump is normally attached via screws and small rubber mountings. Use the thinnest possible hold-down bolts that will adequately hold the pump (Shurflo recommend high-tensile 2.0 mm bolts) and tighten only just sufficiently to marginally compress the rubber mountings. Do not overtighten.

Flexible piping essential

Noise is also transmitted through the flexible hose connecting the pump to the various outlets. A surprisingly effective way of quietening caravan water pumps is to reduce this transmitted noise. This is readily done by having a full loop of truly flexible hose (never use rigid copper) between the pump outlet and the rest of the system. This loop should be allowed to hang as loosely as feasible - ideally in free space. Unless able to move freely a lot of noise will still be transmitted.

Avoid right angle elbow fittings. They cause turbulent water flow and back-pressure. Both generate noise. Use smooth curves instead. Another cause of the noise is the vibration of the piping and any fitting where the hose passes through a wall. Use soft plastic foam as an insulator. Plumbing can also vibrate against walls and drawers etc

Once installed, bleed all air from the system as any trapped air causes the hose to rattle.

Start off with one already quiet

A good solution is to start with a pump that is already very quiet - such as the Shurflo WhisperKing shown below - mounted as described above.
Caravan water pump. Shurflo whisperking pump.

The Shurflo WhisperKing works as described above, but is a lot quieter than most such pumps. Pic: Shurflo

Another approach is to use one of the quiet (post-2010) constant flow pumps. These circulate unused water around an internal loop in the pump body. They are much quieter but draw up to twice the current of previous models. This not a major problem in an RV, but can be in (for example) an irrigation system that supplies low pressure to drip feeds over for long periods of time. Another more recent innovation is the variable speed pump. This seems likely to become increasingly popular.

Further information

This issue, and also a solution that provides totally silent operation nearly all the time, is described, in Caravan & Motorhome ElectricsSolar that Really Works!, and Solar Success. If you liked this article you will like my books. My other books are the Caravan & Motorhome Book and the Camper Trailer Book. All are written in the same plain English down to earth manner. They provide solutions that work.

Recently updated articles

Electric Vehicle Batteries

The market for quickly-rechargeable, light and compact batteries is huge. One or another battery will eventually evolve. When it does, electric-only vehicles are likely to have a range unthinkable using fossil-fuels. Moreover, in the meantime, hybrids are an excellent compromise. Furthermore, see also Electric Vehicles – Hybrids.

read more

Electric Vehicle Home Charging

Many existing home grid-connect solar systems have excess capacity outside peak periods. Solar energy fed in during the day can be re-drawn during off-peak periods, for much the same price, to charge an electric car. This is because many grid networks have excess capacity outside peak periods. Furthermore, such charging extends battery life: all dislike ongoing deep discharges.

read more

Electric Vehicle Motors

Updated 2020 Electric vehicle motors AC/DC Electric vehicle motors use one or other of the two main kinds of electricity: alternating current and direct current. Both are effective as electric vehicle motors. Alternating Current (AC) is where electric current...

read more

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Globally, there is move to electric vehicles. Apart from minor rubber tyre particles they are virtually emission free.They are also about 80% efficient. If, however, their electricity is from fossil-fuelled power stations, their emissions are similar to year 2020 petrol-fuelled (or hybrid) vehicles.

read more

Articles by Category

Electrical (general)
Batteries & Battery Charging
General
Travel
The Camper Trailer Book

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

Cover of how to choose and buy an rv by collyn rivers

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.

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Cover of solar that really works by collyn riversSolar That Really Works! explains every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes.

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Cover of caravan and motorhome electrics by collyn riversCaravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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Cover of the caravan and motorhome book by collyn riversThe Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, caravan and fifth wheel caravan, campervan and motorhome usage.

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Cover of why caravans roll over by collyn riversCaravans 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.
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Cover of solar success by collyn riversSolar Success explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

 

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Cover of how to choose and buy an rv by collyn riversWhether 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.

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Cover of why caravans roll over by collyn riversCaravans 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.

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Cover of caravan and motorhome electrics by collyn riversCaravan & 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 caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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Cover of solar success by collyn riversSolar Success explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

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Cover of the caravan and motorhome book by collyn riversThe Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, caravan and fifth wheel caravan, campervan and motorhome usage. Like all of Collyn Rivers' books it is technically sound yet written in plain English.

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Cover of solar that really works by collyn riversSolar That Really Works! explains, in clear English, every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes. It is up-to-date, valid globally and technically accurate. It is clear, concise and easy to follow without sacrificing important detail.

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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 caravan 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 Caravans: Design / Engineering, Marketing, Journalism (print & electronic), Regulations, Inspections, Driver-Training, Caravan 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)