We prefer to camp unpowered, either free camping or low cost. We choose not to carry a generator. In our first few months on the road we found we were needing a powered site about every ten days just to use the washing machine, and we couldn’t enjoy our time there because we spent most of the day washing, drying or folding many loads from the great (but little) washing machine in our caravan. I wanted a way to wash a small amount more often so that we didn’t continue to be a slave to washing all day every ten days or so while enjoying the free camping lifestyle we prefer. So, Glenn started his investigation with numbers and figures that I don’t understand, but he was keen to keep me happy. “Happy Wife, Happy Life” Below is a run down on all the technical stuff.
We chose a 1000W pure sinewave inverter from Repco to power our Sphere 3kg washer
There are many brands of inverters out there with a huge price variation. We decided on a lower priced unit as it will not be used for anything except the washer, and Repco offer 20% discount to NRMA members. So far, we are more than happy with the budget brand.
Glenn installed the inverter in a cupboard under the fridge. The inverter is wired to the caravan batteries through the floor below the fridge. It is also connected to our Redarc Battery Management system so we can see exactly how much current is drawn. The Sphere washer uses a lot of water! The advantage of this model is that you can select a “wash only” cycle, then “spin” There is no need to rinse if you use wool wash in the wash cycle. Water can also be added to the drum manually, meaning water can be reused from a shower or collected from a fresh water creek to preserve tank water for extended free camping stays. We experimented with lots of different scenarios and found we need 15 litres of water per load, but that 15 litres can be used for a second load if needed. As you can see from the photos above the 1000W inverter comfortably powers the machine. Glenn has a very happy wife!