The Best Way To Brew A Camping Coffee In Your Caravan or 4×4 Canopy4WD Products , Best Product Recommendations , Caravan & Camping Products , Helpful Information
Coffee tastes great before work and amazing when you’re camping. There’s nothing quite like crawling out of the tent, breathing some life on glowing embers and boiling up the billy for a camping coffee. You crack the surface crust on an old blend 43 and mix up a bitter brew. The most hard-core camper will tell you there is nothing better. Well, we say there’s a better way and this blog will show you how.
Through the advancement in 12V technology and lithium batteries, high current devices like coffee machines can be powered on the road. Pod coffee machines have also contributed to the off-grid camping coffee boom. These portable espresso machines draw less power, take up less space and will rival your favourite barista’s brew.
Most pod machines will pull around 1300 – 1600W. Have a look at the base of the unit to see the wattage input. From here you can calculate the current draw. 1300 / 12V = 108 Amps. So, the pod machine uses between 100 – 130A.
Although you’re only using the machine for a couple of minutes per cup, this is still a very high current draw to apply to your batteries. Traditional AGM batteries are not going to like this kind of current. They will have an instant voltage drop. If you are going to use AGM, then you probably need 2 x 125AH. Ensure they are a reputable brand like these Victron 125Ah Super Cycle.
These can be connected in parallel, which will divide the high current over the two batteries. If you see significant voltage drop, you may have to start the car to get some alternator charge going in to protect against it. Also, if it is day 3 of camping, and batteries are a little lower, this may not work at all. We always recommend lithium batteries for running high powered inverters. They are just so much better and more efficient. You want that rich espresso to pour first time and every time.
The Ultimate Off-Grid Set Up By My Generator:
With the coffee lover in mind, My Generator created a battery, charger and inverter bundle that will get the job done. This 200Ah battery can produce a high discharge current of 200A for 30 mins! Remember the equation above? You need 100 – 130A for about 2 mins per cup.
The Lithium Option Has 2 Advantages:
- It will produce a high discharge current without dropping voltage.
- It will still provide plenty of battery storage. One cup will use about 2 – 4 Amp Hours.
This Kit Includes:
- Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC 200Ah Lithium Battery (EPL-200BT-12V-G2).
- Enerdrive ePOWER 12V 40A DC to DC Battery Charger (EN3DC40+)
– 40A of charge input per hour while driving from spot A to Spot B. With inbuilt MPPT Solar input.
- Enerdrive ePOWER 40A Battery Charger (EN31240) – 40A of charge input from mains.
- Enerdrive ePRO PLUS Battery Monitor (EN55050) – A handy display mounted in a convenient location for super accurate battery monitoring. A quick check will tell you the % remaining as well as other important data.
- Choice between a 2000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter (EN1120S) or 2000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter with RCD & AC Transfer Switch (EN1120S-X) – There’s not many other lithium batteries that will power such a large inverter.
This kit is ideal for the 4×4 canopy but also fantastic for a caravan or camper trailer installation too.
If you are looking for a full caravan kit that includes solar panels, we have options in 200Ah and 400Ah with various charging and inverter options.
Victron Power Products:
Victron is the other big brand for lithium batteries in the off-grid touring space. Another way to power your pod camping coffee machine is with a Victron lithium battery and inverter combination. Like Enerdrive, Victron has the full suite of charging and monitoring products to round out your system.
Victron lithium batteries produce a very high maximum discharge current and are perfectly suited to run inverters at high current. A 2000W inverter at full tilt will draw approximately 180A of Current at 12V.
- Victron 100Ah – Max discharge Current 200A.
- Victron 160Ah – Max Discharge Current 320A.
- Victron 200Ah – Max discharge Current 400A.
A great coffee machine 4×4 bundle would be the Victron LiFePO4 Lithium Battery 12.8V/160Ah – Smart with a 2000 – 3000W inverter.
Victron batteries do not have a built-in Battery Management System. This is both beneficial and disadvantageous. Without a built in BMS, there are fewer limitations on maximum current draw, so you can really tap into the full potential of the battery.
Conversely, you will need to purchase an external battery management system and battery monitor to ensure the safe operation of the battery. This is more expensive than other brands and requires further wiring for installation. Do your own cost benefit analysis, but if you want to truly harness the potential of lithium batteries, we think it is worth it.
We recommend the BMV-712 Bluetooth Enabled Battery Monitor. It is simply the best on the market.
Victron Battery Management Systems:
If you are running a Victron Inverter/Charger – choose Victron VE.Bus BMS.
If you are just running a standard inverter – the mini BMS is fine.
We also have some great charge bundles to support your Victron Lithium Battery installation.
There are other more traditional non-electric ways to make camping coffee or a cuppa in the caravan or outside the 4×4.
A traditional stove top italian style espresso “Moka Pot” can make a mean cup of coffee. If you are already planning on cooking on some type of gas stove, then this is a no nonsense approach to good coffee. Moka Pots make use of ground coffee by heating water and bubbling it through the ground coffee in the filter basket. This is a quick, cheap portable coffee making option. The result is a strong, sweet brew ideal for long-black lovers. The downfall is you just don’t get the signature “Crema” of a pressure driven espresso or pod machine.
The top of the line options are one of two Dometic Slide Out Kitchens. These are a super practical approach to cooking outside the van. With a quick slide, you can be up and cooking in no time. Water is plumbed into the tap for extra convenience and practicality.
Dometic also has a range of stove top burners that fit flush on your kitchen bench inside the van. Our most popular model is the Combi that includes 3 burners, glass lid, sink with hot & cold tap. You can cook up a storm with this little Combi unit and knock out a morning coffee quicksmart.
There are of course simpler ways to make a brew, such as instant coffee, but where’s the fun in that?
Whether you’ve pulled up on the side of the road for a cuppa or awoken in your favourite remote campground, hopefully you now have a plan of how you intend to make a rich satisfying barista level camping coffee. Again, we recommend heading down the 12V battery and solar path so you can power your equipment in a convenient, quiet, compact and environmentally sustainable way.
Have further questions? Give us a call on 1300 400 122 and talk to one of our experts!
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.