Over the years of travelling the outback my camp mainly consisted of a swag, lean to or tarp to keep the rain off  &  the simple luxury of a fridge to keep the beer cold & a couple of solar panels to charge the battery while the fridge was running.
Later I modified my Troopy with a pop-top roof & use to sleep in there when only camped for short periods & while on the road.

      Well seeing all my prospecting mates living in luxury after a hard days swinging & hitting the sack in a comfortable bed after a few ales & a chat around the camp fire while my body was telling me the aches & pains needed a few more coldies!!!!LOL, my mind said enough is enough so I've joined the clan of silly old farts & caravan*#!!>??.....& awhile back I bought a little 10 footer Cabana Van & spent the period up to now renovated it to my liking by fitting a new gas cook-top, repositioning the fridge, new ceiling panels plus a few odds & ends.

       For auxilliary power threw in a couple of 130 amp hour deep cycle AGM batteries coupled in parallel to give me  sufficient 12 volt DC power for long periods of camping.
I have also setup a 600 watt pure sine wave inverter which will run off the vehicle battery while travelling to supply 240 volt AC power to the 3-way fridge & a 5 amp battery charger connected to the van batteries to top them up if necessary & this inverter will be used while camping to supply all my 240 volt AC needs.
Some will say why are you running your 3 way fridge off 240 volts AC & not the 12volt DC supply when travelling!!!?

      If you do your sums you will find that a 3 way convection fridge will run more efficiently on 240volt AC power then direct 12 volt supply from the battery because the 240 volt heating element is bigger, more efficient, & as a plus... the inverter can also be used to run the battery charger to charge your van batteries as well when on the road .
Your vehicle alternator will need to be rated to a minimum of 90 amps continuous running to supply the load to the inverter while it is running to handle the extra current load.

       I used heavy duty 8mm wiring plus 50 amp Anderson plugs to connect from the vehicle start battery to the van 12 volt power supply to eliminate voltage drop.   I picked up the inverter on e-Bay for $135.00.

       I also have wired the van with low power LED lighting to reduce battery power consumption.
The suspension was raised 4 inches, A-Frame lengthened  & Chassis strengthened as well fitting 14" rims & tyres to help getting across those tricky creek beds when travelling off-road!!!!!
For those not familiar with the Cabana van set-up...both the front & rear single bunks swing into a vertical position when travelling & swing out when in use. This action also raises the roof to stand up height & lowers for travelling,  so when extended the van is 15 foot long & when folded in for travelling....10 foot long.
The Table folds down & the seat cushions lay flat across it to make a double bed if required.

      To assist in keeping the van batteries fully charged while camping I have 2 x 120watt solar panels connected to a  20 amp solar regulator.
Had to get a gas compliance certificate as the rules have now changed significantly recently with regard to caravan gas appliances so make sure your van is legal!!!! ^o) ^o) for insurance purposes.
It is now fully insured, & ready the go.....so no more setting up tarps & swags in the pouring rain & cooking over a portable gas stove while trying to keep dry!!!!!!LOL

       The efficiency of the 3-Way Fridge was improved by fitting a small 12 volt fan inside the cabinet to circulate air over the cooling fins.  I also fitted 2 larger fans adjacent the evaporator to help extract the heat developed while the fridge is running.  I found that this does drop the cabinet temperature by a couple of degrees during hot weather.  The van is very light (less then 1 tonne loaded), has a 70 litre water tank, a 9kg LP gas bottle & you hardly know it's behind when towing. I have since upgraded the AGM to 1.5 tonne & fitted 9 leaf hanger springs.




Side View [Roof Raised]

Side View [Roof Raised]

Side View [Roof Lowered]

Spare Wheel Setup

Rear & Double Bed

Table & Seating 

Rear Bunk Lowered In

Gas Cook-Top

Sink & Cupboards

Fridge & Cupboard

Ceiling Panels & Lighting

12 Volt Power & Inverter

12 Volt Switchboard

Fridge Circulating Fan

Fridge Exhaust Fans


Annex Setup

Annex With Flyscreen

Annex With Flyscreen

Solar Power Setup

Annex Roof Setup