General

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

Electric Vehicle History

Updated 2020 Electric vehicle history Electric vehicles have existed for longer than most people think. They long pre-date petrol and diesel. This electric vehicle history by Collyn Rivers is an overview. The first dc electric motor (1866). Pic: Siemens UK. The...

read more

Baghdad battery myth

In the 1930s, German archaeologist Wilhelm Koenig claimed that whilst excavating an archaeological dig near Baghdad (Iraq), he uncovered a small clay jar. It had a plug that sealed the opening. That plug had a copper tube with an iron rod inserted into it. If filled with an acidic liquid, the device functioned as a basic battery. Koenig and others made similar versions that generated up to two volts per unit.

read more

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

Why the Move to Electric Vehicles

Why the move to electric vehicles? It is largely because in the past few years there has become an increasing realisation that it is impossible to totally remove emissions from petrol engines. This applies even more so to diesel engines (although to their shame, major European car makers used fraudulent methods to cover this up). It is now all but certain that diesel cars and diesel 4WDs will cease being made after 2030. Many makers are planning an earlier date for diesel as it is becoming clear that it virtually impossible to remove the major polluting components.

read more

The Camper Trailer Book – Chapter 14: Fridges

The cooling ability of most fridges of similar price and size is usually related to how well (or badly) they are installed, not to major differences between the products. For them to cool as hoped, and use only the energy claimed, they must be installed correctly. Their makers show in detail how to do this, but most buyers and many ‘professional’ installers, appear to ignore the manuals. Because of this few RV fridges work as well as they should.

read more

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.

read more

Solar usage in the USA

ISolar usage in the USA is rapidly becoming cheaper and growing increasingly faster.

In 2004, the average price of an installed 10 kilowatt rooftop solar module was about US$3.50 per watt. As of early 2021 an installed 10 kilowatt system is likely to ranges from $17,750 to $24,000 ($1.77 -$2.40 per watt).

read more

Should I grease my tow ball?

Should I grease my tow ball is asked by caravan owners worldwide. A recent poll in Australia’s Caravanners 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 caravan sway. Those who grease them unwittingly prejudice safety for the possible need to renew the towball every ten or so years. 

read more

Convert to your own all solar home

This vital easy to read guide shows you how to convert to your own all solar home at minimal cost. You can readily do this in much of the world between 50-degree latitudes north/south. This easy to read article shows that doing so can save you thousands of dollars. 

read more

Have portable solar in your rented home

It is often feasible to have portable solar in your rented home. Here’s how to do it simply, safely, legally and cheaply using readily bought parts. It requires space that faces the sun for some daylight hours year-round. It must also be within 50 degrees latitude north or south. You use high efficiency maximum-size solar modules to maximise input

read more

How to stop paying for electricity

We always wanted to stop paying for electricity, and now we have.  It getting easier to free yourself from dependence on the grid. We decided against going off grid. Why waste excess electricity when someone is willing to pay for it!

read more

Inverters for Homes and Properties

Inverters for homes and properties convert the typical 24 or 48 volt battery bank’s output into grid-like 110 or 230 volt alternating current. Consider only those marketed as sine-wave (not modified sine wave etc). High quality sine wave inverters produce electricity that is ‘cleaner’ than the average grid supply. Other types do not. Their output  is likely to wreck sensitive electronics.

read more

Solar Shadowing – reducing the losses

Solar shadowing is like blocking a water pipe. If one cell is fully shadowed, it does not just block current through that cell, it blocks the entire string. Because of this, only a few shadowed cells can block your total solar output. If partially shadowed, (e.g. by light cloud) the loss is proportional to the amount of sunlight being blocked. The higher quality solar modules produce some output unless clouding is severe. It is, however, rare to have zero during ‘daylight hours’.

read more

Caravan design need for change

Australia has two main and seemingly interdependent caravan industries. One makes caravans of varying stability. The other makes devices (of varying effectiveness) intended to increase that stability. Both are curious. Not all makers appear to understand the more basic laws of physics involved. Or perhaps assume immunity from them. So presumably do owners of ultra-long caravans. With a few rare exceptions, there is a caravan design need for change. And for caravan owners to realise a caravan’s inherent stability issues.

read more

How much solar capacity do I need?

Updated 2020 How much solar capacity do I need This article answers how much solar capacity do I need. It's valid anywhere in the world that has enough sun. It can save you a lot of money. The map below shows the amount you typically have available in Australia....

read more

How to Choose and Buy an RV

How to Choose and Buy an RV is the ultimate guide for those times when you want to, well, choose and buy an RV.

eBook versions

Paperback version

Prices for the paperback version including delivery can vary dramatically.  RVBooks recommends you shop around.  We've included a number of reputable booksellers you may wish to consider. Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of How to Choose and Buy an RV. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6487945-5-4.

The Caravan & Motorhome Book

The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of campervan and motorhome usage. If you own a camper van or motor home, you'll want this book.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of The Caravan & Motorhome Book. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-5-4.

Solar That Really Works!

Solar that Really Works! covers the design, installation and use of solar in cabins, camper trailers, caravans, fifth wheelers, campervans and motor homes.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Solar That Really Works!  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-3-0

How to Choose and Buy an RV

How to Choose and Buy an RV is the ultimate guide for those times when you want to, well, choose and buy an RV.

eBook versions

Paperback version

Prices for the paperback version including delivery can vary dramatically.  RVBooks recommends you shop around.  We've included a number of reputable booksellers you may wish to consider. Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of How to Choose and Buy an RV. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6487945-5-4.