With the warm weather being right around the bend, gradual deconfinement being under way and the opening of the SEPAQ territories, we’ve been preparing to be more self-sufficient in order to be able to make nature getaways happen right now, in our region.
While respecting public safety regulations, we will travel completely independently this summer. Our Roadloft kit is designed to adapt to many situations and the pandemic will not be spared!
Here are our suggestions to travel independently in a minivan equipped with the RoadLoft kit :
In previous years, we did not travel with a toilet and used public facilities. However, this year, we decided to add a toilet to our RoadLoft camper in order to always be independent. Since the gradual reopening has not included access to public washrooms yet, we will be more than ready to enjoy nature in comfort. Fortunately, the RoadLoft kit is designed to accommodate a toilet in a functional way!
Several toilet alternatives are compatible with the dimensions of the removable RoadLoft module, from makeshift toilets to so-called cassette toilets.
If you opt for this option, make sure you choose a model with compatible dimensions in order to install it at the end of the bed at night. For example, for the often larger cassette toilet, choose a narrow model such as the Porta Potti 235 or the Dometic 972 or 975. You can store your toilet under the table when you’re on the move and at the end of the bed at night by moving the front seats all the way forward. Our kit has everything you need!
If campsites do not open their public sanitary facilities, we can still opt for portable shower solutions. Until the warm weather arrives, we can opt for cleaning wipes for short trips.
On hot days, we can also use solar shower solutions. There are several models available on the market. We have personally tested the Helio pressure shower during our trip to Arizona in the fall of 2019. It’s an option that can be stored in a compact way, that accumulates heat during the day by leaving it on the roof and that offers a pressure comparable to real showers! We love it!
3- Energy autonomy
Covid or not, we are now completely energy self-sufficient thanks to our tandem battery and compact solar panel. Since we’ve opted for a refrigerator instead of a thermoelectric cooler, we can now be totally isolated from services for several days.
What is the difference between a refrigerator and a 12-volt cooler?
An electric cooler consumes much more energy than a refrigerator does and generally only offers a temperature difference of 20°C with the outside.
Thus, it is often necessary to keep them stocked with ice on summer days, while refrigerators are able to maintain their desired temperature precisely.
The cooler runs continuously, which quickly depletes your battery. A refrigerator, on the other hand, will run for a few minutes every hour, since it is much better insulated and has a compressor. If it is programmed at 5°C, it will only operate when it notices a temperature variation and will stop as soon as the desired temperature is reached. Thus, for an outside temperature of 25°C, the refrigerator will run for about 15 minutes per hour, whereas the cooler will run for the entire hour since it never stops.
For the same auxiliary battery, you will have much more autonomy with a refrigerator than you would with a cooler.
Regarding the battery, we use a lithium auxiliary battery, because they are much more compact and powerful. For more charging autonomy, we suggest you charge it before departure, then to charge it via the 12 volt power supply of your car when you’re on the road. The AIMTON SPS-500 battery will offer an autonomy of approximately 48 hours for the refrigerator without needing to recharge. If you are the type to stay in the same place for several days like us, you will be completely autonomous by adding a solar panel.
Portable and compact solar panel
We really like the Aimtom 60W panel since it is super compact and can be left on the dashboard of the car at all times. As soon as we are not on the road, we use our panel to recharge the battery that powers our refrigerator! The most convenient thing is that it can safely be left in the car when we go for a hike, for example, and continue to power our battery!
Finally, all of these solutions will allow us to enjoy time in nature, even close to home, in complete comfort!
Note : Do you want to buy a Roadloft module? Contact us quickly because people are planning ahead and have been ordering for several months already and the increased enthusiasm for our products has thus impacted our wait times.