Article from RV DAILY.
Spinifex Caravans are now building fully electric, gas-free, off-road caravans using the SAFIERY 48V battery system.
While caravan construction has started to evolve away from the traditional stick and tin vans, the power systems have remained virtually unchanged. Most vans still use 240 volts for high-power appliances, gas for cooking and hot water, and 12 volts for lighting and off-grid power needs. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these systems, they each have their own complexities and faults. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to meet all your caravan energy requirements with one system? Spinifex Caravans may have the answer with the introduction of their all-electric Nomadix model featuring the Safiery 48V battery management system using a combination of Safiery lithium batteries and Victron components.
Spinifex has been manufacturing since 2007, focusing on building luxury off-road caravans for customers who have worked hard all their lives and literally want the best money can buy. According to their website, “We strive for perfection, and we say yes to your ideas and requests. Here at Spinifex, we can customize most things to build you the caravan of your dreams.”
“Every van we manufacture makes us a little better at what we do as we are always looking for new ways to do things. We are continually developing and researching new products to add to our list of optional extras. A lot of these ideas come from our customers as we enjoy having a close relationship with our clients.” It was one of these client requests that sparked (pardon the pun) the concept for the all-electric caravan.
This idea was first proposed to Spinifex by customers Paul and Monique some twelve months ago when they suggested building a caravan that uses no gas. After quite a bit of research, they decided to partner up with pioneer Australian technology company Safiery, who already had all the testing of the 48V system with proven reliability. The key advantage of the 48V system is that it works far more efficiently than a 12V system. When you are charging your batteries at 48V, the inverter uses 48V to convert to 240V, and the 48V power is then stepped down to 12V to power everything within the van.
The system they decided on for their 22’6″ Nomadix family 2x bunk van was 800Ah at 12V, via 4x 48V Canbus batteries with the Victron 5000VA inverter charger, with 1600 watts of solar on the roof to replenish the system. This system will easily run the A/C, induction cooktop, air fryer, and more all at the same time. They have chosen an electric hot water system and a diesel heater with a Bushman 285L compressor fridge to complete the package.
If the weather turns bad and the sun is not running the solar to capacity, Safiery has the answer with their in-vehicle charger, Scotty. The Scotty unit wired into their tow vehicle will be able to charge the system alongside the solar component with some incredible figures.
Spinifex recently tested a Scotty unit installed on a Dodge Ram 2500 using the standard alternator with no modifications on another full electric van they are building that runs the same system. At idle, the vehicle charge from the Scotty was putting in 1,500 watts, and at fast idle or driving conditions, it was putting in almost 3,000 watts plus another 800 watts from the solar. This was on a cloudy day, so this last figure could be a lot higher. An hour or so down the road, the batteries will be back at full charge.
According to Spinifex, if you have this system, it is time to sell the generator as there’s no need for it. Just hook the vehicle up at idle, and the system will be back to full charge in no time. This is especially handy in places where you are not allowed to run a generator, such as some national parks.
Paul and Monique, along with Spinifex, believe that this type of system is the way of the future for caravanning in Australia—so much so that Paul and Monique plan on documenting their two-year adventure around Australia on YouTube, showing how well everything can work while leaving little to no carbon footprint. Their adventure is due to start later this year, so keep an eye out for it.
If you’re wondering what a full electric off-road caravan like this is worth, Spinifex says it will cost around $180,000 depending on the layout and extras fitted. For more information, contact Spinifex caravans on 07-3888-2221 or visit www.spinifexcaravans.com.au