Is your 12V system tough enough to handle the rigours of off-road travel? Here are a few tips to ensure it will go the distance    


If there is a weak link in a modern camper trailer, more often than not it will have something to do with the electrical side of things. The funny thing is, the electrical components themselves are usually pretty reliable, but the way they’ve been installed is usually the weak link. The good news is, with a few simple tips, tricks and pointers there’s no reason you cant toughen up your 12V system and get it ready for that big trip of a lifetime. Here’s how it’s done… 


A typical 100AH AGM can weigh up to around 30-40kg, so you really need to make sure it’s mounted securely and in a safe location. Using tech-screws to hold battery mounts is just asking for trouble, make sure they are bolted instead. Also make sure the battery is mounted so that the positive terminal is the furthest away from the wall; it can go a long way in the event of a collision. 

Most camper batteries are mounted in a steel box, which is just asking for trouble if it were able to work itself loose and short out. Lining the battery box with rubber is a good preventative measure and throw a layer of rubber under the battery too; it’ll help dampen all those harsh corrugations which take a nasty toll on your batteries’ overall lifespan. 


Electrical Cabling: If the fridge is on a slide, make sure there is no way in the world the cable can get pinched . Hanging it from above is usually a god option.

Auxiliary Plug: Mount the socket upside down, so that any water and dirt that gets inside will drain back out. Also, replace standard 12V cigarette plug with either an Anderson style plug or a screw on vibration proof version for a sturdier connection on bumpy roads.  

Fridge Slides: Some campers use nothing more than a few pop-rivets to mount the fridge slide in place. Given that they literally take the brunt of load it’s no surprise that they will inevitably fail. Upgrading to a stronger fastener will no doubt save you trouble in the tracks. 

Air to Breathe: Leave room for ventilation around the fridges air vents so it can keep itself running cool. 


Make sure you mount your solar regulator as close to the battery as possible, which will reduce the amount of voltage drop in the cable between the battery and the regulator. Too much voltage drop can cause problems with the communication between the two and account for inaccurate readings. 

Also, screwing a few self-tapping screws into plywood to mount the solar regulator unit isn’t going to cut the mustard if there are corrugations in the midst, especially if the unit is mounted vertically on an upright where they will be taking all the weight.  


The little beauties are used to protect any wiring that is run through a wall and panels. Not only do they reduce the chance of the wire being damaged or coming into contact with a conductive material, but they actually help seal the hole as well. 


Adding a few electrical gadgets to your set-up? A good idea is mount a fuse distribution block somewhere close to your new accessories. This eliminates the need run all that extra wiring back to your main battery at the other end of the camper and keeps the fuses neat and tidy. 


The last thing you want is dirt and muck getting into your electrical connections. So, when you’re making electrical connections, cut the cable/insulation so there’s bugger-all copper left exposed to the elements, then solder the connection and use heat shrink to seal the deal before wrapping the whole cable in plastic conduit. 


Harsh corrugations and vibrations, mud, water and rust will find any weak links in your electrical wiring quicker than an Olympic sprinter could blink. But a bit of extra protection and a little bit of know-how can really go a long way in the grand scheme of things. So before you hit the tracks, cast your eye over your electrical set-up, and see what you can do to bush proof it just that little bit more.