We’ve put together five of our favourite caravan gadgets in five different price ranges – your high tech caravan won’t be complete without them.
It’s not quite a gadget, but it can simplify your search for a caravan park with only a few taps on your smartphone. The app’s stand-out feature is that it uses crowdsourcing to populate its database of camp sites, caravan parks and hostels. Users can add new locations and provide star ratings, photographs and prices, keeping the database far more current than other apps on the market, plus you’ll never pay for updates. It’ll work offline thanks to its caching feature and it even has a satellite-dish-pointing tool.
The waterproof Voltaic Amp solar phone charger charges itself via dual 4.4W solar panels or a USB cable. Holding enough power for 1.5 smartphone charges, the onboard batteries are detachable for improved portability, and they’ll charge at both 6V for typical smartphones or 12V for larger devices like tablets.
The PowerDome does it all: it’ll jumpstart your tow vehicle, inflate a tyre, run a laptop on 240V power for 4.5 hours or keep a smartphone charged for days. But that’s not all! It features an AM/FM radio and an audio jack so you can play music through its in-built speaker. A reverse polarity LED tells you if you’ve connected the jump cables to the wrong battery terminals. The unit can be either charged on mains power or via your tow vehicle’s 12V socket.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is a full-featured tablet with a 10.1-inch HD display, but the clincher is that it’s fully waterproof and dustproof. The Z2 packs an HD 1080p camera on the front and a rear-facing 8.1-megapixel camera that captures genuine 4K, Ultra HD resolution (3264 x 2448). The battery is good for 13 hours of video playback and 11 hours of surfing. The Z2 comes in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 4G cellular models.
You don’t need to be on a cellular or fixed network to talk, text, or access the internet on the road. IsatHub gives your smartphone and tablet 3G connectivity via satellite, when and wherever you need it. With this global smart device connectivity service, you can share your travel tales, surf the web and upload photos and videos for family and friends back home, as well other nomads anywhere from Kakadu to the Nullaboor. Access the IsatHub service from an iPhone, iPad and/or iPod touch or Android™ device through the control app, even if your device is for WiFi use only.
While we didn’t have room to cover more gadgets, here are five bits of kit worth mentioning:
JourneyBee: A lightweight, fold-up crib.
Australian Direct: A high-powered 12V LED lighting kit.
Heatgear Heatstick: Terrific outdoor water heating system.
Kindle Voyage: The best ereader on the market is now even better.
KiiTAG2: A digital ‘Swiss Army knife’ on Kickstarter: phone finder, key ring finder, phone charger, phone-to-USB adaptor, flashlight, fake phone caller, remote camera shutter and thumb drive all in a unit that fits on your key ring.
Speaking of high tech, here’s how state-of-the-art tracking can help combat rising caravan theft.