The Mass Debate - Gas or Electric? A Few Thoughts!
Years gone by this was simple, there was only one option for campers and indeed caravans, Gas. In the form of a small cylinder, in your favourite shade of blue or orange this was the reliable go to for many years.
Development in this later yielded under chassis refillable LPG tanks, which allowed for a larger quantity of gas to be stored under the vehicle, and then refilled at the cost of about a fiver from most petrol stations, a brilliant idea, the 15L tank was big enough for most users to go a whole season without refilling, or often longer.
In recent times, a significant reduction in LPG facilities at fuel stations (MFG group have said they will be removing the pumps to replace with EV charging facilities by 2024) has made us reconsider this option, moving back to the small onboard cylinder, ultimately the LPG will always be available but we would suggest probably at specialist retailers only – a consideration before a big trip!
Since the onset of EV growth, battery technology has moved on hugely, with the development of lithium batteries, (which offer significantly higher charge and discharge rates) and advancements in inverter and charging technology this has opened up an electric avenue for those seeking a weekend getaway.
Here at Trek RV we have been fitting lithium based ‘off grid’ setups since 2018, this was in the form of a Clayton Power LPS unit, which with its compact dimensions and high power output of 2500w was perfect for use in our conversions, and powered a single induction hob perfectly!
This has been subsequently replaced by the updated Clayton Power LPS 2, with some further refinement and the inclusion of an integrated solar regulator making it even more suited for use in a compact camper – this is an option we use currently.
For our larger conversions (typically fitted in Volkswagen Crafter/ MAN TGE but also can be fitted into VW Transporter conversions also we also offer a Victron setup.
This isn’t as compact as the LPS setup, however does allow for larger capacity batteries to be fitted (we fit a 300AH Lithium unit in the Trek conversion for example)
This will give you the biggest power reserve, and time off grid, and will comfortably power a double induction hob.
Ultimately the choice of what solution if best for your camper depends on how it is going to be used, and also the duration of your trips away, and also what you prefer cooking on! Off-grid Lithium technology also allows microwaves to be fitted into the Trek RV conversions, so useful for warming up something quickly, these are quickly replacing the more traditional gas oven we often previously fitted.
To elaborate slightly on this, if you are planning on touring Europe for several weeks, not necessary staying on camp sites, then we would suggest an off grid setup, whereas if its just weekend stays in the UK, then gas will be more than suffice.