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Search our catalog of exclusive RV articles

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 1.3 million times!

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

Africa 

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 by Collyn Rivers dealing with the intricacies of setting up and using solar power to run your home, cabin, caravan 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.

Solar Books

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

Featured article

Solar regulators with current shunts – how to fix misleading readings

by Collyn Rivers - Updated 2020

Solar Regulators with Current Shunts

If connected incorrectly, solar regulators with current shunts can register twice your true solar input. This article explains why. Moreover, how you can fix it.

Some years ago a magazine article outlined a solution to a non-existent problem. The article claimed that Australia's sun may produce excess output. Furthermore that it can overheat solar regulators. It quoted a Plasmatronics 20 amps regulator as indicating 36 amps. The solar array, however, was only 18 amps.

The article misrepresented that happening. It wrongly assumed 36 amps output was feasible. It also advised adding a fan to cool the regulator. In reality, that system's actual 16-18 amps were registered twice. Once as it flowed through the solar regulator. Then again. It flowed through a current shunt. That shunt's output also, was to that regulator.

Solar in areas close to a large expanse of water or sand may produce freak high voltages. This happens if direct irradiation is reflected back to light scattered clouds. Then down again. Solar voltage may thus briefly escalate. Their output current, however, is limited automatically.

Solar regulators likewise block excess current. That is necessary for small capacity lead-acid batteries. AGM and lithium batteries, however, accept high currents without harm.

RB Books advises you to use a cooling fan for a solar regulator in tropical areas where airflow is also limited. You do not need one otherwise.

Battery return connection

For solar regulators with inbuilt monitoring, battery positive and negative returns must be direct to that battery. If you include a current shunt, your battery return must bypass that shunt. Unless you do, the solar current is recorded twice. Details vary between regulators.

It is not feasible to show how to do this in article form. Full details, however, are in Solar That Really Works! (for cabins and RVs). Also in Solar Success (for home and property systems). Furthermore, in Caravan & Motorhome Electrics.

Our other books are the Caravan & Motorhome Book, the Camper Trailer Book. All are updated at least every second year. For information about the engineer/technical author please Click on Bio. 

Recently updated articles

Warning for Potential Caravan Buyers – how to buy a caravan

Potential buyers of caravans need to be extremely careful to ensure that their proposed caravan is, in fact, fully compliant with Australia’s vehicle safety regulations, as stated in the national Australian Design Rules. The Federal government’s Vehicle Safety Standards branch has recognised the problems in the caravan industry. It is introducing a new Road Vehicle Standards Act in July 2021. This Act replaces the Motor Vehicle Standards Act, which has been in force since 1989.

read more

Caravan Length and Stability

For decades both caravan owners and vendors have emphasised the need for a laden tow vehicle to at least weigh as much as the laden caravan. Length and caravan stability, and where weight is distributed over that length, is now being seen as more significant.

read more

Making caravans more stable – here’s how and why to do it

Making caravans more stable is readily possible by design, loading, and tow vehicle use and choice. This article by Collyn Rivers explains how. It also provides practical guidelines for buying a caravan and tow vehicle, their loading and on-road usage. For a full technical explanation of why rigs can be unstable please see my Caravan and Tow Vehicle Dynamics/. See also Why Caravans Roll Over/

read more

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

Electrical (general)
General
Travel
The Camper Trailer Book

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.

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

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

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Caravan & 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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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.

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Caravans 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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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 caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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The 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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Solar 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)