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Review

REVIEW: Sink NTK Folding Sink

The Portable Sink for Camping. In the Tent and Also in the Trailer / Motor-Home

Family camping means the convenience of your home in the middle of nature and with all portability. It starts with the tent and some accessories that soon grow mainly with the composition of the kitchen. Now in addition to supporting all belongings on a practical bench, it is possible to have a sink right there in the gazebo or under the canvas. Nautika surprised us by sending this newest launch that fit us like a glove in the current situation. Called “Pia Dodrável Sink”, the portable sink makes life easier for those who like to practice gastronomy or even make the most of campers’ gororobas.

For those who see it, it looks like a traditional table with a built-in vat. It is more than that, as the height is the kitchen countertop. So it makes chores easier. The washing position does not punish the back, as does the handling of the stove that can be accommodated there. The Nautika kit already includes the metal faucet, the flexible braid, plastic valve (drain) with dirt retainer, cover, accordion siphon and one more piece that we will have to discover the function. Yes, she is heavy. It is a comfort item for camping with a car, but in this case it seems to be better to have resistance and durability with a certain weight as a consequence: 12.2 kg.

UNBOXING: The cardboard box packs the product and has practically the same dimensions as the top itself (1.16m X 60cm). 6.5cm is the thickness of it stored. The feet are folded and folded in the low relief at the bottom. There, the included accessories that accompany the product are also accommodated. The faucet is metallic and of excellent quality and therefore comes packed in a fabric bag. In plastics come the valve (drain) with a retainer and cover, the folding siphon, and the flexible braided metal. A curious little black piece still doubts its usefulness. A sizeable transparent plastic wraps around the top to protect your physical integrity. It arrived for us impeccably whole.

ASSEMBLY:  Extremely simple and fast. The two sets of unfolding feet are being locked in the “French hand” itself. The total height does not require fittings or other joints in the feet. A plastic part helps to fix the retracted feet and must be released at the time of assembly. The faucet has a plastic “nut” that is very easy to be threaded for fixing it on the bench. The same process makes mounting the valve (drain) very easy. Then it’s time to screw the flexible on the tap, through its 1/2 inch tip. The siphon is also threaded on the valve. Ready. Now just connect the hose to a tap using connections and extenders not included. It is worth remembering that the instruction manual is not the most didactic and complete, but comes in three languages.

IN USE: The sink / countertop fell like a glove for us. With the temporary use of the fixed trailer in a camping, external supports are essential. So we already used support for a stove and sideboard, but the external sink was still something extremely missing. Not anymore. In addition to the area for washing dishes and supporting the drying rack, we have extra space for a stove and other belongings. The 86cm height is great for this. No curving your back on conventional tables. The rigidity of the set was also surprising. It justifies the weight of the equipment when compared to aluminum tables.

TAP: The light tap with a “quarter turn” valve is practical and very robust. It does not swing on the bench, it has a high, swivel spout and an aerator tip that gives the impression of more water. It sits well in the corner, leaving space to accommodate sponge and detergent

CUBA: It has great dimensions, even within the physical limitations of its depth, which is 6 cm. The water settles there without splashing too much and its rounded corners prevent the accumulation of dirt. The valve is also very neat. It can be used open or with a dirt retainer that prevents food remains from passing into the outlet tube. Clogging it is difficult, but it prevents it from staining the floor (if the destination of the wastewater is this) or from going to the water catchment bucket. Large pots and jars are well served, since the bottom of the vat to the height of the spout is 23.5 cm.

PIPES: The plastic siphon is folded and easily extended and retracted, being able to make the necessary curves for its correct positioning. It has 30cm when fully retracted and reaches 73cm when stretched. The flexible one could be a little bigger. Its 30cm only serves to facilitate the connection of an external hose that can be made with quick coupling kits that are not included in the product. One end has a 1/2 inch thread to screw in the tap and the other end is 3/4 to facilitate the use of garden taps. A simple adapter (not included) is enough to turn it 1/2.

MYSTERIOUS PIECE: A very curious little black colored piece caught our attention. we spent a long time looking for its real function, since neither in the instruction manual, in the publicity photos or even on the internet we found it useful. It is a semicircular fitting that we easily understand that it serves to grab some tube. In the case of the portable sink it fits perfectly on the feet. However, the piece has a clearly shaped end that fits into a hole. The only use we found for her, even without a clear effect, was to use it as a hanger for our dishcloth.

BEYOND WE FIND! Yes … we found the solution. The piece fits perfectly into the tap hole. We understand that it is for when you do not want to use the faucet, but rather a duchinha or common hose tip. Note that the hand shower in the photo does not come with the product . Anyway, as we prefer the ease of the tap, the little piece will continue to be our dish towel hanger.🤩

GENERAL COMMENTS:The folding sink is a hand on the wheel for those who want to do family camping in comfort. It is just not worth it if there is a lack of space in the luggage or the camper is not arrived in very large or exaggerated equipment. The support it offers is immense with several possibilities. One of them for example is to use it as a bathroom top inside a gazebo, where the sink can be used to brush your teeth and wash your hands for example. For those who like to fish, support to clean fish can be essential, including using a 12V shower pumping water from the river or lake. Even at home, the sink can be useful for that barbecue in the garden, where in addition to the support for meats and spices, the washing area will be important. Rigid, resistant, stable and beautiful material. If you notice well, there is an embossed “ruler” on the front of the top. We don’t take much into account, but in the case of fisheries, the fish can be measured right there. However, the marking besides being in inches, has no numbering, having to count the dashes.

SOME OPTIONS: Those who camp know that the range of options makes equipment famous. The day-to-day facilities are always being sought in the camp whose location we have chosen by hand. The position of the faucet in the corner of the counter does not only facilitate its use in relation to the basin or even when washing larger or taller pieces. It also gives us the possibility to use the water spout to fill a bucket or wash our feet. Just turn it to the outside.

FEATURES: Material: Top in resistant polymer and legs in enameled steel; Measurements: 116cm x 60cm x 86cm; Supported weight: 68kg; Weight: 12.2kg; Folded height: 6.5cm; Internal bowl height: 6cm; Height from the bottom of the bowl to the spout: 23.5cm.

PRICE: On the date of this review the equipment cost R $ 598.40 + shipping on the official Nautika website . As it is a launch, it is not yet found in other distribution stores, but certainly the value will be much lower.

REVIEW – PRODUCT and Location: This equipment was sent by NAUTIKA, which relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. The tests were done at a camping site in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

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Review

REVIEW: Automatic Mosquito Net for Door – Apolo Trailer

We tested the launch of Apolo Trailer which promises practicality against mosquitoes at the RV’s door.

We tested the launch of APOLO TRAILER. The mosquito net with automatic magnet closure is the novelty that was already equipping the brand’s trailers and which is now launched on the market for trailers and motor homes of all ages and brands. Custom-made, we received an ideal example for our trailer. Tested for three weeks, it was enough for this review article.

Those who camp with a trailer or motor home know that screens and mosquito nets are essential for those looking for the convenience of taking their own home to natural environments. Especially in summer, mosquitoes do not forgive, and screens become practically mandatory equipment in trailers, motor homes, campers, and overland vehicles. In the tents, they are already part of the equipment itself. In windows and skylights, the screens are easily installed in several ways, with rails, slides, velcro, and even systems that incorporate mosquito nets and black-out practically. However, the door ends up being the weak point, since the passage and, consequently, its opening movements, are much more frequent and often with busy hands. A little hesitation and that mosquito came in to keep him company during the night. Faced with a few solutions on the market, Apolo Trailer decided to innovate by equipping its models with a straightforward and effective screen. It is a pair of screens joined by small magnets. When entering the trailer, there is no need to do anything. As advancing the body on the screen, the magnets come apart, releasing the passage. After that entrance, the screen returns to its place being connected again by the magnetic elements.

THE ORDER: In a simple and objective way the order was made via whatsapp. We informed the measures we needed and after the post office deadline, in the combined mode + 1 day of confection, the screen arrived at our headquarters.

UNBOXING: Well packed in plastic inside the cardboard box, the screen is folded and already joined by the magnets in the snap position. Some masking tapes hold the magnets so that they do not come loose before everything is installed.

INSTALLATION: The Apolo screen is prepared with double-sided tapes already attached to the top and side bars. Our old screen (single sheet) had a Velcro system and for that reason we prefer to continue with it not only because of the ease of installation but also to be able to remove and replace it during cleaning / washing. Therefore, we use double-sided tape to glue the velcro tapes that we buy in a haberdashery store. With the double sided, it was not necessary to sew the velcro and they were very well attached.

Provisionally, as our old screen had a right side opening, we keep the Velcro on this side in small segments. In the future it will become integral as in the upper and left side bar. In the bottom bar there is no fixation and the “seal” will be made by the screen bar that will rest against the floor.

USE: We tested the screen for three weeks before starting to write this review. Although we liked it from the beginning, we prefer to test its functioning and possible weaknesses. The screen proved to be immensely efficient. After “getting used” to the central and not lateral opening, I already felt its “automatic” advantages with each trailer’s entry or exit. It is only necessary to “pierce” the passage using both hands, moving the two screens apart and just advancing the body over it. The magnets “come off” immediately without any resistance, and soon afterward, they come back together when the force of gravity pulls the screens back to the “hanging” position. The few times the screen does not return is due to two factors: 1- As the sides of Karmann Ghia’s door are metallic, sometimes (few) the magnets end up sticking there. 2- When our kitchen rug slides towards the door, disrupting the screen to return to its place naturally. That is why it is recommended not only to avoid leaving any screen left on the floor but also to use rugs on the edge of the door.

WIND: We didn’t catch any extreme winds that we could say with certainty that the magnet system can beat it, but with moderate winds in our tests, we can say that the screen has remained very tightly closed.

Just Height – Neither Greater nor Less: When taking measurements to order your canvas, remember that it is necessary to leave the minimum margins for fixing the set both on the sides and on the top bar. When measuring the total height, take into account that the screen is not left over on the floor. As we already said, this makes it difficult for the screen to return to its original position on its own and then receive the reinforcement of the magnets to keep it stretched. if it gets smaller, the gap will be the preferred entry for mosquitoes that fly generally low.

Tips

Portable Toilet in Camping

For many years, the Portal MaCamp has published in its “ accessory tips ” a very interesting item present mainly in Trailers and Motor Homes of smaller size – The Portable Toilet .

What most people do not know is that this equipment is not only used for recreational vehicles, but for several other purposes, such as domestic use in the case of children or the elderly, where it can remain in the dormitory and even for camping. of TENT.

Contrary to what may appear, the equipment does not emit a smell, does not have any unhealthy characteristics, and does not depend on any other accessory to be used. Both at the time of use and the disposal of waste, there is no difference in being at home, in a trailer, or the tent.

Like much other camping equipment, the portable toilet is not a necessary item but a comfort device. With it, campers will be able to count on a toilet inside their tent or advance, always clean and for exclusive use at any time.

The highly sought after item for those with young children. With it, parents can rest assured about their children’s behavior when using public toilets where there is a high chance of contact contamination. After a while the person sees that any adult can make normal use of the equipment with something in the comfort of home. No queues, misuse or lack of cleanliness.

In practical terms, the use is simple. The toilet is equipped with two parts: The upper part is the seat + basin. The area around the vat is a clean water tank to be used for flushing, which is triggered by a manual device, much like an accordion inflator: Press and release. The bottom is the debris tank itself. In addition to serving to raise the toilet’s height, the tank can receive around 10L of waste + water from the flush. This tank uses a particular product similar to those blue liquids present in toilets for planes, trains, and buses. It has the task of transforming any solid into an inert and odorless liquid. What separates the two parts of the portable toilet is a gate that must be opened at the time of use so that the waste passes into the tank.

Disposal / Cleaning: The biggest question about the portable toilet is in this regard. Something very simple whose practicality enhances the advantage of using a product of its own in detriment to the use of public toilets. It is exactly in these that the waste accumulated in the tank will be discarded. A small lid will be removed and the liquid can be poured as if it were any bombona. It is possible to do the whole process without even getting your hands dirty and after adding more deodorizing liquid the toilet will be ready for the next use. At the end of the trip, it can be washed with neutral detergent and stored.

In all these years of dissemination, we have received several doubts about portable toilets. The most common opinions of those who do not know are exactly the initial strangeness and distrust of being something dirty or smelly. Completely contrary to bad expectations, the toilet is very suitable for family camping profiles. Regardless of whether the camping bathroom is good or bad, this accessory can be of great value.

This is not a cheap accessory. With prices starting at around R $ 500.00 for many campers it becomes valid. Durable can last for many years if taken care of.

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Review

REVIEW: GASEG-Ditronic 12V Gas Leak Sensor

Gas sensor ideal for trailers, motor homes and overland vehicles, as they do not require the use of an inverter, being connected all the time directly to 12V.

We tested the sensor 12V cooking gas GASEG of Ditronic especially for vehicles or places with use of solar energy. Promises with minimum consumption and eliminating the inverter, protection against gas leakage at all times. They sent us two models, one internal and one external, both with all the functions available: 12V power, visual alert by LED, audible by siren and with relay output that allows the connection with other complementary equipment.

Safety in a recreational vehicle is paramount. First because they are built mostly with flammable and more fragile materials, such as wood, laminates, insulating foams, fabrics, upholstery and much more. Also because they are equipped with cooking gas that touches the stove, oven and water heating and very close to these facilities, they also use 12V and 110V / 220V electricity to run the entire house. In a very small environment, although safe taking all precautions, a trailer or motor home becomes more susceptible to fire than an ordinary home and for this reason safety items are essential.

KITCHEN GAS: Cooking gas is a product that poses a danger to occupants of a home not only because of its explosive capabilities. Also, because it is a gas that can kill by asphyxiation without us realizing it, often, even with open windows and other breaths, the gas can reach the breath of someone who is sitting or lying down, as it is heavier than air and therefore is always concentrated at the bottom. If the person is sleeping, for example, the gas can choke them without waking them. Another imminent danger may be in the gas leaking while no one is inside the vehicle or the residence. With the high concentration of gas in the closed environment, when activating any light switch, a spark will already be generated there that will result in an explosion. Cooking gas is entirely odorless, that is, mercaptan whose smell is the characteristic that we know. It only serves to become perceptible to human smell as a form of warning.

Well, but the dangers outlined above do not mean that a recreational vehicle poses a significant risk of fire or explosion. Far from it. Taking the necessary precautions such as the seasonal overhaul of the facilities, replacement and renewal of hoses with an expiration date, closing the general register when going away for a long time or during the trip, and installing safety devices. Nothing will happen, and you will enjoy the facilities of warm food, baked goods in the oven, and warm water for bathing.

VISUAL WARNING FUNCTION: Whenever the gas concentration increases and triggers the sensor alarm, the LED on the device’s front panel will be activated. It will light up to alert you that something is wrong with the installation. This can mean a gas leak in the plumbing, hoses, connections, or even a defect in the stove or oven. Not even that may be the cause, but forgetting or hitting the stove knob or even a flame extinguished by the wind or boiling water has spilled. Whatever the case, the sensor will warn of the problem

SOUND WARNING FUNCTION: As well as the alarm and LED trigger, a siren sound (buzzer) on the device panel is also sounded to call the attention that gas is leaking.

RELAY ACTIVATION FUNCTION: In addition to the two warnings that indicate an abnormal concentration of gas inside the trailer, another fascinating function in the GASEG sensor is the relay control. There are three wires, one of which remains familiar to the remaining pair. While the sensor is only in standby, one wire remains disconnected from the common, and the other remains connected. When triggering the alarm, this combination is reversed, allowing you to choose the connection of devices that will act according to this event. It can be a switch to cut the electricity in the trailer. It can be an external alarm siren, an emergency dialer, and many other possibilities.

BUILT-IN (INTERNAL): Already mounted on a “mirror” with a finish identical to sockets and switches models, it already has a hole for fixing it in the four × two boxes on the wall. Similarly, it can be applied inlaid in joinery, since its edge gives a finish to the hole made in the wood. It already comes with the two screws with fine thread. There is no problem to be built-in, as the air intake grid for the measurement of the gas concentration is at the front and central part of the panel.

SURFACE (EXTERNAL): In a smaller box, it is configured to be fixed on vertical surfaces using a screw with a dowel that is already included in the product. Although the sides have ventilation of the circuit, the air intake for the measurement of the gas concentration is also located in front of the panel. In fact, the panels of both formats are identical and have the same elements and positions.

WHAT TO DO WHEN THE ALARM ACTIVATES: First, do not despair, as a gas leak is not an unusual thing in your life. Do not operate any switch or device or run to turn off any. Open the windows and skylights, remembering that the gas is concentrated closer to the floor than to the ceiling. So opening the door is the most important. Run to turn off the cylinder’s general register or even its total disconnection. Get out of the vehicle (or residence) and wait for the gas to dissipate on its own. Then safely, investigate where the leak occurred.

UNBOXING: The sensors were sent by DITRONIC by post. They arrived in a box packed with postage, bubble wrap and the packages that already have all the visual communication. The devices also come packaged in plastic with a screw (s) and a small instruction manual.

LINK: We tested both sensors sent, knowing that nothing differs in operation, since they are only available to be embedded in-wall electrical boxes (or in the joinery) or externally. In both, the opening for the gas inlet is through the front panel. In our electrical system distributed by the trailer, we pulled two wires with positive and negative from 12V and connected. The moment it is energized, two LEDs are lit: “ON” and FL.” The ON button indicates that the device is switched on and the “FL” LED means “Fault / Stabilization.” EVERY time it is energized, the gas sensor will keep the “FL” LED on for 2 or 3 minutes until it stabilizes with the local atmosphere. If, after a few minutes, this LED remains on and does not go out, then the fault indicator will be displayed. From what we measure,

It is worth remembering that the sensors were not fixed during our tests since we intended to try them out in different positions. Also, only one of them will be permanently installed in our trailer.

OPERATION / TEST: Obviously, the first step after connecting and stabilizing the sensors, we started to cause a “leak” of gas over them. We did two things. The first was to support directly on the stove top and activate it without a spark, where at almost the same time the device already triggered the audible and visual alarm of the “AL” LED. The second was to activate the gas from a lighter right on the sensor grid, which after a few seconds has already fired again. At this time, we do not check relay outputs.

Not coincidentally, our cooktop already came from an old defect, which needs to be replaced, where there is a small leak inside it that leaves the cabinet under the sink with the smell of gas. We are used to always closing the register (right there in the closet) whenever the stove is not in use, until we change it definitively. So we tested exactly in this scenario, because sometimes we forget the open register and we always smell gas afterwards. We placed a sensor inside the closed cabinet and another one outside, leaving the register open. After about 10 minutes (the leak is minimal and takes too long to concentrate) the sensor inside the closed cabinet triggered. Not the outside, since even the smell of gas outside was very little.

RELAY TRIGGING: In separate tests with leaks caused, we then check the operation of the relays. There are 3 wires, one “C” (white) common and the other two with the following acronyms: “NA” (green) and “NF” (gray). They mean “Normally Open” and “Normally Closed”. Therefore, in the normal state of the sensor, that is, while the “C” terminal is not tripped, it is short-circuited with the “NF” terminal, and can function as a switch that keeps some device connected (For example, a contactor key that keeps on incoming electricity from the RV). At this point, the “NA” terminal has no contact with the “C”.

When the alarm is triggered, these positions are reversed. The common terminal “C” that was shorted with the “NC” is disconnected and connects to the “NO” terminal and can activate, for example, another external alarm system or siren or even an emergency dialer that will notify you by phone that your gas is leaking. The moment the alarm goes off, the initial situation returns. In time, it is advisable to inform that while the alarm sensor is de-energized or even in a “fault” state in the LED indicator, the situation described initially remains valid for the terminals. “NA” disconnected from the common “C” and “NC” connected to it. All situations were checked on both sensors and everything worked in the most perfect order according to the photos below. (Multimeter measuring “0, 00 ”means that the circuit is shorted and that the measured terminals are closed (connected). Result “1.” it means they are disconnected (open).

POLARITY INVERSION: As the version of our sensor is 12V DC, a possibility of wrong connection is not ruled out, but no malfunction occurs. We tested connecting with the positive and negative wires reversed, where the device showed no signs of functioning. However, when we reconnected correctly, the sensor returned to work without problems.

FEATURES: Made in plastic box and internal electronic devices applied in printed circuit. 12V power supply (there are 110V or 220V versions in alternating current or even in 24V dC); maximum consumption of 2W; Weight ± 180g; Response time: from 2s to 3s; Trigger point: 5% to 10% of the lower explosion limit; Gas type: LPG (there are GN models); Declared useful life of 5 years; Operating temperature range: -10ºC to + 40ºC; Humidity range: up to 85%; Detection method: by semiconductor; Format versions: Recessed (internal) or overlapped (external); Maximum power via relay: 10A; Audible alarm: 2,300 to 3000 Hz, 85 db (at 10 cm).

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Review

REVIEW: Blue Camping Portable Pressurized Shower

Among the different showers and showers for camping, there are those that do not need to be hung and overhead to function. For this it is necessary that it is pressurized for the water to rise. This is the differential of the model that Blue Camping is launching on the market. Even more different is that it is not necessary to use your hands to pressurize the system and bathe with all the water in the reservoir. Blue Camping made sure to send us a sample for testing.

UNBOXING: The product was sent directly from Blue Camping by post with invoice. Along the box, other products accompanied the shower, which will also be an issue for reviews.

CASE: The equipment comes all stored and is transported in its own bag with a satisfactory volume. 24cm in diameter (12cm in radius) with 10cm in height that reaches up to 15cm in the most “full” parts. Closed with a zipper that helps in the shrinking of the components inside the bag, it reveals the main 11 liter tank, the inflator pump (all composed of the same fabric as the tank) connected by a hose and the main shower with hand shower.

The bottom of the case is full of holes so that the equipment can be kept wet … without molding over time. It also has a transport line.

PREPARATION: The components are ready and connected, just open and close exits and entrances. Just take the set out of the case to start the water charge.

FILLING WITH WATER: With the top opening of the bag open, we fill it with a common tap. It is important to say that after full, it will pass 11 kg and this is the main advantage of having a pressurized shower, since we can use it supported on the floor. It is not so heavy to carry, but holding it under a high tap can be uncomfortable, because as it gradually fills it will weigh in your hand. Better to use a small hose. After filling the bag, don’t be surprised if it becomes “wilted” and unstable. It’s time to close the lid so that the pressure doesn’t leak and send pressure. A tip to close easily is to press the center of the lid shell with your thumb.

PRESSURIZING: To pressurize the bag, it is necessary that the upper opening is open and the lower one is closed. This is because the valve only allows air to escape through the hose so that the air will enter the inflator through the upper opening. This, in turn, only allows air to enter and does not come out. The bottom space is only there for the moment that we are going to store the equipment back in the case. Then the air will be “expelled” so that it is as compact as possible.

USE / TESTS: After the first pressurized, press the duchinha for the water to escape. The initial pressurization does not guarantee full use of the water in the bag … far from it. But the advantage of having the inflator on your feet is that it is not necessary to stop using it or occupy your hands to give more pressure in the shower. While using, the feet can pressurize the bag again. The duchinha can work by pressing the trigger or locked with the trigger back.

HOLDING: It is necessary to open the lower cover of the inflator, as well as the upper surface of the bag already duly empty. This will ensure that no volume of air will remain trapped in the pockets taking up space in the case. The zipper should be used to your advantage. Open it whole to leave the “round” of the base of the case in a good mood. The water bag has a more rigid material circumference that serves not only to keep the bag full and inflated upright but also to facilitate storage. Collect the pack inside this circumference and turn it upside down in the case. On the top side, the rim also helps to accommodate the inflator, the connection hoses and finally, wrap the shower hose outside between the circumference and the wall of the case. Finally, place the shower over the inflator and use a zipper to close everything well accommodated.

WARM UP?Well, nowhere does it say that the product is a solar shower. Also, it is not entirely black (the best color to transform heat stroke into heat). However we verified (but we did not make a measurement) that its dark blue color captures sunlight well. But the 11L of water seems too much for the water to heat up fast. Anyway, there are much more practical resources for heating bath water than the so-called “solar showers”. It is much quicker to boil a certain amount of water in the stove and mix it with the rest of cold water or use boilers (heaters / hot tails) if there is electricity in place. There are also 12V boilers and another idea is to place the bag over the car’s engine after arrival. It is time to set up the tent and the entire camp so that the bath water is warm.

DIFFERENTIALS: In addition to the pump differential on the feet, we like the quality and flexibility of the hose very much. It gives an impression of “silicone”, being very flexible without that bending effect. The considerable length is also essential to be able to bathe standing with the bag on the floor. The thin hoses of connections end up bending easily in handling but will be subjected to pressure that will release the flow. It is a light and compact equipment to compose camping gear, even if it is not used continuously.

FEATURES: Hose extension: 2 meters; Material: PVC + ABS; Weight: 980g (measured: 844g)

PRICE: At the time of this review, the product was sold for R $ 246.45 in cash + shipping on Blue Camping’s official store.

WHERE TO BUY: At OFFICIAL Blue Camping store with delivery via post, carrier or pickup in Blumenau.

REVIEW – PRODUCT: This equipment was sent by BLUE CAMPING,  which relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. Tests were carried out in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

IDENTIFYING AND HANDLING MENTAL HARDSHIPS ON THE ROAD

We’ve all seen the photos on social media of happy-looking nomads doing yoga on mountain tops or cooking by a river or cuddling under the stars. We’re all aware of the highlights of van life and nomadic living in general.
You can live in the middle of nowhere. You can sleep under the stars. You can go anywhere you want whenever you want. It’s the DREAM.
For the most part, well, yes. We may be biased, but after almost three years of nonstop nomadic living, we’ve got to admit – it is pretty fantastic.
We have become our best selves since committing to life on the road. We have the freedom and flexibility to shape our lives into exactly how they are. It’s a reality of this lifestyle to camp out with a mountain range right outside our door and waking up early every morning to watch the sunrise over those majestic peaks.

Jayme cuddles with her dog Nymeria out the van's side doors.

That doesn’t make every month, every week, every day, or every hour easy. Frankly, if you aren’t careful, life on the road can become very exhausting, stressful and overwhelming in an instant. Even surrounded by all of this beauty and freedom, it’s very easy to get burned out if you’re not careful.

There have been many times over the past few years when it felt like the hardships outweighed the glory. These speed bumps have helped us appreciate the good that much more, but mental and physical hardships are a fact of nomadic living.

So what are some of the mental hardships that full time nomads face on the road?

1. General Discomfort

For starters, there’s the biggest mental hurdle that almost everyone faces when they hit the road, and that’s just dealing with general discomfort. It’s inevitable.

There is not one single nomadic soul in the world who has not had to continuously deal with feelings of discomfort. Whether you are stuck sleeping in freezing temps with no heat, or you are uncomfortable pooping in a self-dug hole, or you suddenly have hundreds of mosquitoes swarming the inside of your van (this actually happened to us), you will have to deal with the mental hurdles of discomfort. And you’ll also need to learn to push through them if you want this lifestyle to work out for you. 

John sits on the bed with his arms wrapped around Jayme who is sitting on the couch. She reaches up towards his face with her eyes closed as he kisses her forehead.

We would have u-turned in the middle of the highway years ago if we allowed discomfort to overtake us. When we first hit the road, I (Jayme) was swimming in unaddressed insecurities. So anytime something became uncomfortable (temperatures inside or outside the van, can’t find a decent campsite, not having cell service, etc), I was close to throwing in the towel. 

Luckily, I had a patient companion who was there to remind me why we chose this lifestyle in the first place. And over time I’ve worked through these discomforts and have even grown to enjoy them. Now I am better at handling temperature control inside of the van, I hate having cell service, and we’ve both become pros at finding the best places to camp.

2. Fear of Others

Another mental hurdle to work through is addressing fear, in regards to things other than you. The who’s and what’s of this may vary from person to person. 

Maybe you are afraid of bugs. Well – spoiler alert – the outside is infested with them! But if you choose living a nomadic lifestyle in the wild, you will be diving head first into the “exposure” aspect of addressing your fear. If you’d like additional help in getting over said fear, read about the bugs in the area you are traveling! You are likely to learn that very few bugs are trying to murder you in your sleep.

Jayme meditates on the couch. Delilah and Nymeria are both on the bed behind her, looking at the camera.

We have had some instances where it was the humans, not the wild, that made us uncomfortable. We pulled up to a campsite in the middle of the woods and there was broken glass, empty alcohol containers thrown about and bullet casings everywhere. We chose to camp there only one night, because even though it was a beautiful spot, the last thing we wanted to deal with was a bunch of drunk people orchestrating their own target practice. 

There was another time near a city that a ragtag group of people stopped us in a parking lot and began asking us a lot of deeply personal questions about the equipment in and on our van. We answered their questions as politely and directly as we could, but their strong curiosity made our guts tell us something wasn’t right. We followed that feeling and skipped to the next town immediately.

Most people and things are not out to murder you. But occasional fears of wildlife and humans can come up from time to time and it’s important to listen to the situation holistically. We have intuition for a reason – to tell us to get out of dodge when things are not quite right. 

3. Where the HELL are we sleeping tonight?!

Finding a place to crash for the night can be stressful, whether you are boondocking in the wild or stealth camping in a city. 

In the wild, most times you have to drive all over the place to find the “right” spot. And lots of factors can play into what makes this spot “right” for you. Do you need cell service? Would you prefer to have a pit toilet vs digging a hole? Is it dreadfully hot and you’re looking to camp near water?

Jayme lies in the bed with Delilah and Nymeria on either side.

Sounds stressful, right? Now imagine your errands took a bit longer than expected and you now have to find your wilderness camp in the DARK! That adds a whole other level of stress to the situation.

City camping is another bag of worms to wear down your mentality. Where am I allowed to park? Am I going to have a cop knock on the door at 3AM telling me to move? Not to mention you then have to deal with street lights coming in through your windows and street noise of the late night traffic buzzing around town. And add to it that you now have to pee in a yogurt container because you’re definitely not going to step outside of the van to pee in the middle of the street.

4. Lack of Groundedness

The ability to travel wherever you want whenever you want can be a hell of a lot of fun, and brings with it another level of freedom. But it can also be similar to when we all finally became adults and were excited to make our own rules and not abide by the ones set down by our parents. 

“I’m going to have cereal for dinner and beer for breakfast! I’m going to sleep in until 3PM everyday!” Sure that all sounds fun and dandy, but three months later and suddenly you’re an overweight alcoholic who’s been fired from every job they’ve ever gotten.

We have found that our lives see the most success holistically when we have a routine. When we wake up at sunrise and knock out A, B, and C and then we do D until lunch and E until dinner and then after dinner we do F, G and H. When we are able to structure routine into our daily lives – we are unstoppable with our accomplishments!

But when you live nomadically it is very challenging to solidify a routine. There’s just far too many things that interfere with your flow. Your vehicle may break down and then suddenly that takes up your whole day (or week)! There may not be a grocery store in this town, so you have to drive an additional two hours to stock up on food. And if you are traveling to new locations every 2-3 days, it is severely challenging to lock in a solid routine. 

Jayme sits on the cajon cross-legged as John holds her from behind.

Lack of groundedness is a serious problem when living nomadically. Not being able to get stable in your flow can throw off many aspects of your life. It may be harder to focus on work. You may become irritable. You may be tired all the time. Finding that balance and establishing a routine as best as you can will help you avoid our final mental hardship.

5. Burning Out

It can be very easy to get burnt out on the road if you’re not careful. There are many hardships that can become overwhelming for too long and may have you sitting there going “I just can not do this any longer”.

Jayme sits in John's lap in the van and they hold a smoking sage bundle.

If you love cookies, then indulging in a cookie from time to time is wonderful. But it’s not the greatest idea to go out and buy three cookie cakes and eat them all in one sitting. Balance is key to avoiding burning out on the road. Constant go, go, go, go, go with no breaks whatsoever will burn you out – most definitely.

By “breaks” we don’t mean crashing at a family member’s place for a month or staying at an Airbnb every other week. We mean just staying still. Find a spot you can camp out for awhile. Set up camp. Put your awning out. Kick your legs up. Re-establish a routine. Get in a flow. Then in a few days (or a week) when you’re feeling rejuvenated, pick up and go again. 

Jayme John and Nymeria cuddle outside of the van's side doors, under their awning, looking at a mountain range.

This balance is crucial to staying on the road long-term. It’s fun to go, but you need to balance it out with some groundedness. Examples 4 and 5 go hand in hand. If you don’t chill every once in awhile, you’re going to float away. And vehicles are not made to float yet, so that’s a dangerous concoction if you’re wishing to stay on the road.

Balance and Honesty will Keep You on the Road Long Term

Living nomadically can be a very trying and exhausting experience. It’s important to check in with yourself holistically to see how you are doing and what you are needing. Sometimes you have the travel bug and it’s time to move. But sometimes you need some roots, and it’s okay to set up camp for a couple days – or a couple weeks – and then hit the road again feeling refreshed.

Life on the road is going to be uncomfortable. Understand this. And when it does get uncomfortable, understand that over time you will learn to adapt and evolve. This also will change. But keep in mind that when one discomfort goes away, one or two new ones tend to arise. Be patient. Learn to embrace the discomfort. It will help you appreciate the rest of the experience that much deeper.

Categories
Review

Review: Hard Top Blue Camping Tent V2.0

Anyone who accompanies MaCamp knows that Blue Camping was the pioneer in bringing to Brazil the rigid “ Maggiolina ” tent called “HardTop”. You also know that MaCamp reviewed the first version in 2017/2018 . However, as is usual at Blue Camping, where the owners themselves are regular campers and users of their products, they always seek improvements with each batch of versions. Anyone who thinks that Blue Camping tents are mere “imports” is wrong. They are developed and improved according to technical analysis including users. It happened with Hard Top. A year after we tested the first edition, the 2.0 model arrived with several improvements, including many of them pointed out in our analysis. Shall we go to them?

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE HARDTOP: The Hard Top is a roof tent that is housed in a rigid fibre module, very similar to those box racks on the market. The first advantage is that there is no canvas cover and no need to remove it. The second characteristic is that the tent is entirely over the projection of the car when open, without using an attached area. The third is the speed and convenience of assembly and disassembly, which is even faster than traditional models.

The LIFTING SYSTEM is simple. There are four metallic joints covered by fabrics, and served by hydraulic pistons (same as those used in the trunk). They make the tent “set up” alone in just 2 seconds after releasing the external clips from the “luggage rack”. Ideally, open one side and then the other so that they rise smoothly. There is no need to fasten or fix anything after opening. As for the first question that arises, about its rigidity, we can say that it does not swing or move with the wind.

The ACCESS LADDER is independent and straightforward. Very resistant it is made of aluminium and in two pieces that slide together to regulate the total height and to collect with half the length. It is kept inside the tent, accommodated in a fabric envelope bag to protect the interior and the mattress and also not to carry any dirt that is stuck to the base. The height adjustment is made by sliding its two parts, and two pegs do the locking with springs. To create new positions, drill new holes in the ribbon. THE DIFFERENTIALThis type of ladder, even about the retractable tubular aluminium model, is the real and carefree possibility of resistance to torsion. It can be super tilted without danger of bending or even bursting with the weight in the middle of it.

The MATTRESS is already accommodated inside the tent and ready for use. It takes up virtually no space and this second edition of the hard top came in thicker. Besides having a waterproof and hygienic cover, it has a zipper for easy washing. It is already cut out to fit and stay on the tent floor.

UNBOXING: The packaging is neither small nor light. Arrived by carrier at our headquarters in São Paulo-SP. This is undoubtedly a very nice difference from Blue Camping, where it delivers throughout Brazil and does not doubt the user’s ability to install his tent in his car. There is obviously the option of installing at the company’s headquarters in Blumenau with the specialized service, but there is nothing like being able to enjoy this moment in peace at your home.

The cardboard box comes securely fastened with plastic tapes, where the tent is wrapped in an ultra thick bubble wrap. In addition to it, there is another thin plastic to protect the Hard Top fiberglass housing. Removing the accessories that come inside it, it comes ready with the fixing rails and closed with the cleats.

Inside it, in addition to a large piece of styrofoam for protection, comes accommodated: The mattress, the ladder, the rods, the side and front closings, the net and the stretchers in position. Fixing items and internal lighting accessories are also accommodated in a sachet.

FIXATION: Very simple and direct. The Hard Top tent already comes with the “pre-rails” arranged longitudinally. Therefore, for this type of roof tent, it will always be necessary for the luggage rack to have crossbars. These agreed, position the tent on them and adjust its position about the car. Remember to test the trunk opening if it opens upwards. Then it’s time to insert the socket set + 2 screws into the rails of the hard-top. The hex head of the screw fits and locks in the socket, and it runs freely along the fence to be able to be fixed in any position on the crossbar. After everything is in place, it is time to use the two-hole planks with the torque nuts. This is the moment that demands the most patience. The working position is not the best. We use a piece of carpet to “cover” and protect the roof of the car, and so we can freely use the spanner. If you have those ratchet star wrenches it will be the best option. The number of the nut is 13. The greater the distance from the crossbars of the car roof, the easier it will be to fix the nuts.

NEWS IN VERSION 2.0: For those who followed the review of Hard Top 1.0, we can point out some improvements that Blue Camping brought in this second version. First the ladder now it can be placed on either side (in the previous version, only the driver’s side as possible). The second improvement was the application of metal rods already known from the brand’s traditional tents to stretch the closing of the doors like an awning. Also, these entries now have two side flaps with Velcro fastening to protect this awning from the side rain and one more in the front. In this way, it is possible to keep the tent well open and ventilated, even under heavy rain. It even happened on our debut trip. (It is worth remembering that both the rods, as well as the side and front flaps, are optional.) Another improvement is due to the other four side plastic clips. Although it didn’t happen to us in the first version, there were reports that the metal clips at the ends came loose. Now, the other four side plastic tabs increase this security. In our use, they proved to be very useful when closing the tent, since we can use them to give a slight lift on each side to collect the leftover canvas that is left out at the closing. Metal clips also gained the possibility of applying a padlock. In addition to these changes, we felt that the mattress was higher and firmer and the tent canvas completely “black-out”. since we can use them to give a slight lift on each side to collect the leftover canvas that is left at the closing. Metal clips also gained the possibility of applying a padlock. In addition to these changes, we felt that the mattress was higher and firmer and the tent canvas completely “black-out”. since we can use them to give a slight lift on each side in order to collect the leftover canvas that is left at the closing. Metal clips also gained the possibility of applying a padlock. In addition to these changes, we felt that the mattress was higher and firmer and the tent canvas completely “black-out”.

THE TENT: Super comfortable, great internal ventilation ratio and totally “black-out” when everything is closed. This item makes it very dark inside even closed only on mosquito nets, but being its own overnight tent, it didn’t make much difference to us. The fabric lining on the ceiling gives a feeling of isolation from sound and heat, maintaining a comfortable environment.

OPENINGS: There are two windows (front and rear) that have permanent mosquito nets and closed with internal access zipper. Although they do not have overhang protection from rain, it can be partially opened and has a tent hat as a protection factor. Ideal for porthole, ventilation and lighting. The side doors / windows have a zipper closure also to mosquito nets and have sun and rain protections that help a lot in internal comfort. In case of heavy rains, the side and front porch protections permanently eliminate any chance of water entering. There are three elements

IN USE: We did both types of camping. More established with five days straight without leaving the place and other camps of daily commuting, just staying overnight in the tent that was open and closed every day. Finally, we made one last camp before the publication of this review in an exhibition of mountaineering festival. During the day we set up the hardtop tent at the show and night we went to a camping area for the night. As proposed by the product, the practicality was enormous. Except for the exhibition, we kept all the accessories inside the tent while closed (by the way, we leave the stove, utensils, sleeping bags, solar shower and other equipment “living in the tent.” So any need or change of plans, we will be well prepared to sleep anywhere.)

IN THE RAIN: We spent almost 4 days of rain without stopping at the carnival camp. The tent behaved very well in terms of tightness, but the space is reduced to stay “stuck” for days. What saved us was Blue Camping’s side awning that offered us coverage in the outdoor area, but its side closings were sorely missed. A good experience was to dismantle it wet, where little area of ​​damp canvas was left to be collected in the hard top fiber box. The day after arrival we opened the tent for its total drying and we were happy to confirm that the inside was neither damp nor wet.

ACCESSORIES: Next to the tent are the two elastic straps that assist in closing the tent by pulling the side sheets inwards. Just connect them to the small handles made for this purpose right next to the entrance doors. It also comes with the upper hammock that can be permanently attached to the ceiling and helps guard various things: flashlight, clothes, junk and even the wet bath towel to dry. Finally, a beautiful case takes an LED strip accommodated in protective support with fasteners at the ends that can be fixed inside the tent and outside it. The kit comes with 12V extension, cigarette lighter plug, digital dimmer module and even a 12V socket adapter that can be plugged directly into the car battery, eliminating the ignition connection to release the car cigarette lighter.

ON THE ROAD: On the road, the tent behaved very well. It is not possible to say that it makes a difference in weight in the car, but it should. The aerodynamics are excellent and do not make any noise, noise or wind resistance. An irritating noise in the first days after installation came from the original Mitsubishi rack, which was soon resolved with a few rubber pads on site. A question that everyone asks us on the road is about tightness. This is because looking closely at the junction of fibre “shells”, it is possible to see some fabric from the tent. It is the small rip-stop “skirt” that is lowered after mounting the hardtop and which protects the “waist” against water. Only there is it possible to see a little dust (the rain does not even pass), but it is precisely the portion that is hidden and lowered at the time of assembly. The tent is entirely protected by the fibre shells when collected. In months of use travelling on asphalt and dirt roads, no clips were released with the aid of new and additional plastic clips.

CLOSING / DISASSEMBLY: Although the closing proposal is straightforward, we need to get the hang of it. If you have two people, each pulling the handles on one side, the process is more explicit. But it is possible to collect the Hard Top by yourself, having an extra job that will not take more than about 4 minutes. This is because, in a single person, it will have to be lowered one end at a time and pulling only one person tries to position itself farther back from the correct resting position. Then we must remove the handle and push the cover forward until it aligns with the lower shell. Then fix the clip to be able to pass to the opposite end. It is possible that when lowering the other side, the opposite fixation is released, which is resolved with the help of an elastic spider. After falling completely, a little fabric should undoubtedly be left on both sides.

FIXING THE SIDE SHEET: To illustrate and also make it clear what is or is not part of this equipment, we installed our Blue Camping side awning next to the Hard Top tent. Although it does not accompany the product, we made a point of adapting it to our luggage compartment. Since the Hard Top when open does not design any shelter for the side, the awning guarantees us a further advance in more structured camps. We fix the canopy directly on the car rack with the aid of metallic “L’s”. We didn’t fix anything in the tent. In this way, in addition to being able to increase the sheltered area in the camps, we can also make use of the awning regardless of whether or not to open the tent.

CONCLUSION: We were delighted with the result of the second version of Hard Top. We were able to test it under a great rain, which was not pleasant for those who took the carnival to rest by the sea, but it was possible to take the leak test. The improvement of the sides turning into awnings was simply categorical and positive. The side flaps worked optimally, as well as the front flap so that rainwater would not enter. The ventilation was satisfactory and even the front and rear windows could remain semi-open, since the fiber “hat” ends up protecting it from drops.

COMPARISON: Even though it is not necessary for this review, we are asked a lot about “which is the best roof tent: Traditional or Hard Top. Our answer is always short: It depends on the profile of the camper. The traditional tent, takes a few more minutes to assemble and disassemble and has more “wettable” canvas area, in addition to having to make use of the canvas cover that usually gets dirty and generates some discomfort in handling. However, it provides an environment more provided with shelters, protection and ambience. In addition to the covered area outside the car that it already forms at its opening, you can still receive the attachment creating a room or dormitory fully protected from mosquitoes and rain. Already Hard Topic is advisable for those who want to stop, sleep and continue their journey. The opening and closing process is faster, eliminates the use and handling of canvas cover and even has a smaller area of ​​wet fabric. Therefore, the best type of roof tent will depend on the style of camping that the person will have and also on the time that they will be camping. In our case (MaCamp team), we also use a floor stand and trailer. So the roof tent is for quick overnight stays and less structured camps, although we too do it. That’s why we prefer Hard Top, even though we miss our Expedition model a lot.

FEATURES: – Support up to 300Kg; – They have a system of easy fitting and removal of the tent with the shell, facilitating its removal and cleaning; – They have a waterproof body, anti-mould and anti-mould, with treatment against UV rays; – Highly ventilated. 1.2M Tent External Dimension: Width 1.25m x Length 2.07m x Height 0.29m Internal Dimension: Width: 1.21m x Length 2.03m x Height 0.98m Weight: 72kg 1.4M Tent External Dimension : Width 1.41m x Length 2.07m x Height 0.29m

Internal Dimension: Width: 1.37m x Length 2.03m x Height 0.98m Weight: 82kg For rustic, economical adventures or in secluded places. It can be set up at campgrounds and in any terrain where the ladder can be firmly supported. Any car is suitable for proper installation of the Expedition model. Hull: Fiberglass reinforced, white colour;

External fabric: Rip-Stop Canvas in Poly-cotton 280g / m², brown colour; Inner fabric: Sponge and flannel; Ladder: anti-slip aluminium – maximum height of 2.0m; For Accommodation: 1 Collection with removable and washable cover 2 Double side pockets 1 Overhead net

2 Hooks for hanging 2 Windows

PRICE: At the time of this review, the product was sold for R $ 7,616.70 in cash at the official Blue Camping store.

WHERE TO BUY: At the OFFICIAL store of Blue Camping with delivery via carrier or pickup in Blumenau.

REVIEW – PRODUCT: This equipment was sent by BLUE CAMPING,  which relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. Tests were performed in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Categories
Review

REVIEW: Portable Refrigerator Resfri AR 18L DIGITAL – 12V / 24V

After the success of the Review of the Resfri Ar 31L refrigerator at MaCamp, the manufacturer made a point of sending us its 18L model. The smaller sister can cause a shallow comparison with the larger model by the proportion between external volume and weight about the internal capacity, which does not let you be accurate, but the real dimensions that occupy the trunk and its well-designed interior space in the doubly surprised, first when you see it live and then when you put it to use daily and when travelling. In this 2020 the model comes with a novelty: Now the RESFRI AR 18L model comes with DIGITAL control panel. Let’s go to the tests?

As we know, the movements of camping and off-road grow too much, and the refrigerator that works both in the car and in the socket is very sought after for these practitioners and families that seek more comfort in the displacements. Although it works basically on 12V batteries (cars and trucks) and 24V (trucks and buses), the refrigerator can be served by the 110V / 220V source sold separately by RESFRI AR itself and operate on four voltages. This gives you the option to connect it to the vehicle and have the facility to connect both at home and the camping served by electric light.

COMPRESSOR: Short and Thick! Refrigerator for the tropical country has to be the compressor. “Peltier” technologies, whose products are commonly called “thermoelectric coolers” do not do the job. They cool the interior, do not make ice and take a long time to lower the internal temperature. Drinks like beers and soft drinks are impossible to refrigerate. The compressor system is efficient even in the most critical situations. It makes ice. The RESFRI AR is equipped with quiet compressor and can be set in the freezer or refrigerator function through the digital adjustment panel ranging from + 10ºC to -17ºC with the voltage control in two schedules to protect the battery charge for car starting.

compressor versus peltier

“FRIDGE” CAMPING: There is nothing better than camping with a 12V electric refrigerator. In the car, 12V battery power is used, which does not discharge while the engine is running and without the use of an inverter, offers significant autonomy when the car is off. In the camping, you can make use of the local electric energy (using a specific adapter), without worrying about the voltage or voltage drop. At home, you can leave the refrigerator on during the week before departure with the supplies and also leave everything on and cooling in the trunk overnight.

REVIEW: It is always a great pleasure when companies that understand and recognize the importance of camp in the scenario of promoting Camping in Brazil send their products to be tested and disseminated in the most extensive channel and reference. Especially in the case of refrigerators, we have a complete range to try it, since we make continuous use of them at home and in the car, in addition to taking on tours and in the camps that we carry out in a tent, roof tent and also a trailer.

DELIVERY / POSTING: This time, the product was not “shipped” to our headquarters. It was delivered “by hand” directly from the owner of Resfri Ar at the motorhome fair. Closed and sealed from the box, it was only opened “at home” at the end of the trip to enjoy the “unboxing” moment.

UNBOXING: Packed in a cardboard box and wrapped in a plastic bag and punctual Styrofoam protections, it has the printed refrigerator wrapper with photo and functions. In addition to the device itself, it comes with the instruction manual, 12VdC cable with lighter plug and specific connector and a gift kit with a glass and cutlery from the brand.

POWER CABLE: The cable is 1.8m long and has a 12V “cigarette lighter” Plug to be connected to the car. There is a fuse in the Plug as commonly happens, in addition to the fuse in the refrigerator panel to increase the level of protection. The Plug is manufactured in BAKELITE that does not catch fire and does not melt at high temperatures; it offers excellent electrical insulation. At the other end is the brand-specific 12V connector that has a threaded system (not to be loosened) and protection against polarity inversion. (Although the refrigerator has protection to avoid burning in case of polarity inversion, it would not work if there was this confusion).

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: When we first reviewed the Resfri Ar brand, we were given the power to choose between the two models. We chose the larger model, as we imagined that the 18L would have, even if smaller, a massive dimension for an internal capacity of almost half. None of this is wrong, since due to the compressor, the external volume of the equipment does not follow the same proportion as the lithium. However, even so, the outer dimensions of the 18L end up being very advantageous when placing it both in the trunk and inside the car (in the seat, on the passenger floor or even on the floor of the rear cabin when there is adequate space) in the vehicle. On the other hand, the interior is also very pleasing due to the internal architecture merging the two internal technical areas (chilled and cooled) with the hollow partition that allows for various positions and interior arrangements. The weight was not so pleasant, as the compressor makes the equipment heavy even when empty, but this is a fact of life in “engine” refrigerators. As we do not use it to carry in our hands all the time, the advantage of efficient cooling outweighs the product’s weight factor.

INTERNAL COMPARTMENT: The internal configuration of the 18L model is what pleases the most. the internal divisions of the cold/frozen and cooled environment merge into a very harmonic and physically intelligent solution. The frozen or frozen sector is all over the top at the edges. There, you must sometimes be careful when touching fruits and vegetables, as they can “burn” with the ice. In the lowest part, in the pit that is next to the compressor compartment is the “cooled” part of the refrigerator. This by the law of physics, despite not freezing, receives all the cold air that descends naturally. This compartment also allows larger bottles and long objects to be frozen.

Another extremely useful and pleasant accessory is the hollow internal partition. It allows to be placed in 3 different positions for an internal configuration suitable for each type of use. It is worth mentioning that it also comes out for cleaning or user option.

Position 1: It can serve as a separator of the freezing / refrigerator environments and the cooled area. In this way, you can put vegetables, fruits and vegetables there without being crushed by the objects in the upper area and on top, you can fill, for example, cans of drinks.

Position 2: In the vertical position, being fixed on the side locks, it separates the internal environment at two heights. In this way it is possible to separate the smaller objects from the bottles, observing a much safer internal organization. We cannot forget that the refrigerator was made to be in motion and if everything is loose inside, it will certainly be a mess.

Position 3: If neither of the two internal divisions are of your taste at the moment, just leave the divider collected on the “floor” of the highest area and make use of the entire inner container of Resfri Ar 18L.

COVER: The cover is another very facilitating factor for use mainly in the car. With its opening in the longitudinal direction, it does not need as much headroom for the complete space. This facilitates your “end of course” in which you keep the lid open without having to hold it while accommodating things inside. If necessary, especially when cleaning, the cover is easily detachable at an intermediate point in the opening stroke. Its locking system is straightforward and functional. Just pull in the same direction as the lid opening to unlock. When closing, press the lid in the order of closing so that the lid locks again avoiding opening on the way.

Using Open: In an atypical situation, we took advantage of the format and characteristic of the model to keep a 5 Liter can of Beer cold. Even when open, the freezing walls of the refrigerator were able to keep the container ultra-cold as required by the Brazilian taste in this regard. So you could have a cold beer for hours.

HANDLE: Retractable and easy to handle, just pull up and load the refrigerator. When you release it, it settles in its resting place without disturbing anything. Whether at the time of cleaning or in any other situation that its removal is necessary, without problems. Just hit the correct position in the middle of the turning stroke and pull it out. In our tests, we even suspected their resistance when we filled the refrigerator with beers and it became heavy. Fully approved, the handle has grooves in its plastic designed and injected by RESFRI AR itself.

THE DIGITAL CONTROL PANEL: The RESFRI AR 18L panel concentrates all visual and adjustment functions on display. The four buttons are sufficient for several positions. To turn ON or OFF keep the “on / off” button pressed for a few seconds. To ADJUST the desired TEMPERATURE, just quickly press the “+” and “-“buttons. The display will flash and show the desired temperature. To ADJUST THE LIGHT INTENSITY of the display, just quickly press the “on / off” button, alternating the three settings (weak, medium and healthy). To adjust the BATTERY PROTECTION LEVEL, just quickly press the “high / low” button alternating between low protection (new stationery or vehicle batteries) and high protection (vehicle batteries). This level of protection causes the refrigerator to be turned off when the battery reaches low voltage levels to prevent it from spoiling due to excess discharge or preserving enough charge to start the engine. HIDDEN FUNCTIONS: To SHOW REAL TEMPERATURE INSIDE THE REFRIGERATOR, just press and hold the “minus” key and then the “plus” key (without releasing the other). To SHOW the SUPPLY VOLTAGE that arrives in the refrigerator, just press and hold the “plus” and “minus” keys for a few seconds.

DIFFERENT FUSE: Unlike the older model and the vast majority of 12V vehicle devices on the market, the Refrigerator Air 18L Resfri has a fuse equal to those used in the car. This makes life easier, as it can be found for purchase more easily, in addition to the fact that most vehicles have some spare parts in the fuse box that can be used in the refrigerator. In addition, the vehicle fuse is easier to remove and replace, and it is possible to check its condition without having to remove it.

USE in Function of Portable Refrigerator: There is nothing more practical than using the portable 18L. It is small, versatile and fits in many corners. Even to “live” in the trunk, it is applicable. We made use of camps where we prepared days before and already working with the food we would take, having your last night already in the car. When we arrive at the camp, it is also great, because we don’t have to rush to pass everything to the refrigerator at home. We just got out of the car and plugged in to calmly make the transfer and clean up after doing everything else. At the camping, it is plugged into the outlet through the source, and when the light ends, we still have good hours of the car battery to keep it cool. The fact that she lives in our car also gives us comfort when we want to take something to eat or else when we decide to buy something cold without being in a hurry to get home. Since there is the constant use of cold medicine, we don’t even need to say when the refrigerator helps us. At barbecues, we take our contribution of ultra-cold beers already in the fridge that continues to cool the cans during the “party” and also those that reach other people’s hands. On these occasions, the refrigerator is a huge success.

USE in FREEZER function: We used the appliance for a few weeks in the “freezer” function. We regulate the minimum temperature of -17º and pack the food to be kept frozen. They were meats, butters and some frozen vegetables. The 18L performs this function with mastery and the frequency of shutdown of the compressor shows that it is in a very cool relation of dimensioning of the motor in front of the internal space and the thermal insulation.

IN THE CAR: The 18L is just perfect for use in the car. Its small dimensions make it fit in corners accommodated both in the trunk, on a bench or floors. The opening in the longitudinal direction makes the arch small, allowing easy access to the interior even when the lid cannot be opened fully. Internally the 18L are very well used. It fits a lot. Suitable for picnics, longer trips, camping and even for a market day or when you buy something that needs refrigeration on the way. There were many occasions when we felt the advantage of having a refrigerator even when it was switched off “living” there in the car. Meats, cold cuts or sausages in the middle of that rural walk were bought without guilt or fear that they would be spoiled by the fact that they had to stay in the car until night. When shopping, don’t rush. We put the “ice creams” at Resfri Ar.

NOISE: The refrigerator was very quiet. Evidently you hear the engine noise, but even more from the fan air than from the compressor itself. Whether inside the car or even at home the noise doesn’t really bother you. The question passed the test when we camped with her inside the tent. Sleep was neither interrupted nor disturbed.

VENTILATION GRATES: It is worth mentioning that the air intake and outlet grilles must never be blocked, since besides being able to cause the system to burn, it will cause the refrigerator to consume much more energy to work.

AC 220V / 110V SOURCE: The fact that the 18L is not “quadrivolt” does not exclude the possibility of being used in the 110V / 220V network. Any suitable source or even the source of Resfri Ar that can be purchased separately allows you to use the refrigerator indoors, in the garage, on the barbecue and even plugged into the camping outlet inside or outside the tent. The Original of the brand has the identical design and operation of a notebook font and already comes with the standard and threadable plug. Do not forget and do not need ventilation being completely closed.

CONCLUSION: The younger sister of the RESFRI AR family surprised her. The size, the internal compartments and the practicality and versatility of mobile use. She serves us at home, on trips, on camping trips, on walks, on barbecues and now lives in our trunk. There were very few times that we passed it over to the 31L that we also own (and we make continuous use at home as a freezer). The proportionality of weight and price should never be confused at the expense of the same proportionality in its size. It makes the difference, allied to the sense of opening the door and other features already mentioned.

CAPACITY WITH DRINK CANS: There could be no mention of this. In the photo below, we unload two boxes totaling 24 cans of 350ml of beer. They all fit and there was still room for two more and one more gap for some complement.

CAUTION / WARNING: It is important to highlight here some precautions that must be taken when cleaning and turning the refrigerator upside down. In order not to go into minute details, we quote here the link of a report we made about it. In short, it should be avoided completely turning it over and, if it occurs, respect the “rest” time before restarting the device. On the road and off road don’t worry. It was made to withstand the bumps.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Storage Volume 18 litres; Voltage (V) 12/24 V DC

Temperature Range From + 10 ° C to -17 ° C; Power (W) Approx. 41w; Current (A) 12V = 3.4 ± 0.5 A / h; 24V = 1.7 ± 0.5 A / h; Dimensions (H x W x D) 405 x 452 x 297 mm; Special Functions Adjustable battery protection system (High or Low); UL Certifications – Inmetro; IPX4 protection – Electrical system with insulation against water ingress; Weight (approx.) 13 Kg; Refrigerant and Quantity R134a; 38g; Polyurethane Foam (PU) insulation; System Automatic protection against polarity reversal; Analog thermostat with temperature regulation; Battery discharge protection system; Hermetic compressor with attached electronic unit; Color Light gray / Dark gray; More info Digital controller with 3 brightness options; Transport handle attached to the refrigerator itself; Room separator grid, which can be vertical,

PRICE: At the time of this review, the 18L refrigerators varied on the INTERNET from R $ 1,839.99 and 2,222.10 + shipping, many of which are still in the analogue version. The source varied from R $ 288.00 to R $ 388.50, with some options of purchase with better value. NOTE: This model does not exist in the “quadrivolt” version of 18L, so when it is so defined, it will accompany the external Ac source.

WHERE TO BUY: There are thousands of physical retail outlets in Brazil, and on the RESFRI AR SITE it is possible to search according to the location. It is also possible to buy over the INTERNET.

REVIEW – PRODUCT: This equipment was sent by RESFRI AR, which relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. Tests were carried out in camps in the cities of Ubatuba-SP, Socorro-SP and Paraty-RJ and also in trips between RJ, SP, PR, SC and RS.

Categories
Review

REVIEW: 4 × 4 King Trailer Strap

Camping and Off-Road. These are the allied passions that we have in the soul. Nature and distance from civilization require equipment that can get us out of trouble or strife. These will never be an impediment, but part of the adventures. For those who love to get on dirt roads, cross rivers and do not want any puddle to be the end of the route, there is nothing more prudent than having a tow belt (or tape). KING 4 × 4 made sure to send us your model so that we could test it.

Even if you always travel alone, the tow strap is mandatory equipment in the trunk. This is because if you get stuck, you will certainly depend on another vehicle to help. But imagine having a massive help with the provider without having to pull your car? We have already been through this situation. In 2016 on the Figueira trail in the Lagoa do Peixe National Park, we fell into a flooded mire. With the differential stuck to the ground and without having to support any “monkey”, we just had to wait for another vehicle that would save us. Luckily for us, he showed up and had his tow strap, because we were there totally off guard… alone on the trail.

4 × 4 really? It is common to think that having a 4 × 4 is everything. However, for most SUVs and 4 × 4 trucks on the market, it is enough that two wheels are detached from the floor so that the car does not move anymore. This is because each axis has its differential. This means that if (for example) if the left front wheel and the right rear wheel are “in the air”, they will receive all the axle traction just like the passenger car when one of the front wheels is in the air. For this not to happen, the 4 × 4 vehicle must have a device called “axle differential lock”, which most models sold do not count. Other times, even with this device, the car may not break out if the differential or the floor is stuck to the bottom.

REVIEW: We did two types of tests with the KING 4 × 4 strap. One of them was the most common use, unleashing a home engine that fell into a hole inside the camping with its differential stuck to the ground and unable to go out alone. In another scenario, we used the belt to drag some tree trunks down a street. Shall we go to them?

The King 4 × 4 tow strap sent was 6m long for 10 tons. It has two ends with reinforced lace and comes with a Velcro fastening to keep it rolled up. To the touch, the confidence of being sturdy and resistant is passed.

TOWING A JAMMED VEHICLE: It took a while for an opportunity to test the brace. Not that we even expected a real jam, especially since in recent times we have not had time for very severe rides in the “offroad” category. However, on a particular day before the carnival, a motorhome arrived at the campsite and was stranded. In the chosen spot, little did he know that there was a sinkhole cover under the ground. The rear wheel was buried in the hole, leaving the differential stuck to the ground. Even one of the front wheels was lifted with no chance of him getting out of there without help. It was time to test the King 4 × 4 strap. The Van had two tow points at the front where we had no problem hooking up the ribbon loop. As there were two points, we passed the middle of the strap on the Pajero hitch without great care, since the terrain was flat.

Strap stretched it was time to see the traction. With the gear reduced and in the 4 × 4, we ask the motorhome driver not to accelerate. This way we would test the strap with the greatest effort and also avoid any setbacks. Easy enough, the motor home left the hole, leaving it free to find a safer spot in the Paraty Camping. We do not have devices to measure the force exerted on the belt, which is not really the goal of this inspirational review, but we could feel that the tow tape meets what is proposed.

DRAGGING TREES FROM TREES: In a real need to free the front of a property from the remains of a freshly cut tree, we saw the opportunity to use a tow strap to remove some stumps of logs that would be impossible to be removed with the strength of a few people. Using the car’s strong reduced traction, the belt could be put to the test in a slightly different way than usual. This method can even be a test for a real obstacle on an asphalt road or dirt road. It is not entirely uncommon to have after storms, fallen trees blocking the path. With a tow belt and a heavy vehicle, you can try to remove it or move it away, opening the way to the final destination. In this test scenario, it was not an entire tree, but until the pieces of the trunk were quite generous.

CONCLUSION: We are satisfied with the result of the two small tests and are more relieved to know that we have kept an excellent towing strap in the trunk. This can undoubtedly be considered a must-have for adventurers. You never know when we will have a bug or even when we will be able to help a colleague out of trouble.

While going camping with 4 × 4 King Trailer Strap, here also a helpful Megalite Intelligent Lamp

Dark and messy night in the tent. Suddenly you need to find that thing that was in the bottom of the backpack, but you are not sure if it was under the mat. He takes the flashlight and can’t see anything right. It gets worse when you try to hang it, and the focus can’t illuminate the exact corner where you’re looking. Who never… Guepardo sent us its Megalite diffused light for camping, trusting our know-how and we evaluated.

With the essential purpose of being a luminaire for the tent or avancê, the cheetah has this model called by them “Lampião”. It has good versatility with some functions, at first interesting. To begin with it already solves that problem that we talked about above. Is it a couple? No fights … There is for both of you. One can read and the other cook.

It has two parts (halves) that configure a 360º lighting and that can be divided into a 180º beam, both side by side as well as having two different positions or locations. You can choose to hang one on the tent and one on the balcony, even though they are not lying completely alone when hung. For the 360º function, they have a pressure fitting system. In horizontal luminaire mode, they are attached to magnets.

The rods retracted when together, ensure that the set is hung on any crosspiece or hook and also when horizontally arranged together by the magnetic feet.

A disadvantage felt by our team is due to the high amount of batteries to be used in the set. Eight AA-size batteries (small) seemed too expensive, in addition to weighing well in the accessory. On the other hand, we understand that nowadays rechargeable batteries end up being poorly sized and have little durability in view of the economy in manufacturing and its useful life. 4 batteries are used in each of the luminaires and Guepardo guarantees 26 hours of autonomy.

The magnets served, in addition to joining both lamps, also to fix them in more rigid metal parts, as in the car body for example. As only one is magnetized and the other just a metal to fit the magnet of the other, it does not have much strength for totally vertical surfaces.

The illumination is white with two different levels each time you press the button. Pressing for a few seconds it goes out. Interesting that plastics are quite resistant, including the “lens” giving the impression that it will have great durability.

+ Descriptions: Quick-fit magnetic system; Polycarbonate lens with high resistance to drop and impact; Rain resistant – IPX4; Abs + Stainless steel; Luminous silicone button + magnet; Led: 4 Philips 3535 white; Lighting power: 120 Lumens; Battery: 8 AA batteries (not included); Uninterrupted lighting time: 26 hours; Size: 8.0cm x 14.5cm x 8.5cm; White color; Weight: 0.352kg

Price: The lamp cost R $ 109.25 on the date of this article in the online store of the cheetah. In virtual stores it reached R $ 120.69.

Categories
Review

Tent de Teto Expedition – Blue Camping

The Blue Camping roof tent comes with a purpose to serve not only the off road market, but also family camping. That’s why they sent their Expedition model with a closing attachment for our evaluation.

The roof tent has all the structure and very traditional design and characteristic already known worldwide. The main objective is for the rectangular volume fixed to the car’s luggage compartment to be easily unfolded, revealing the assembled tent. The bedroom has twice the area of ​​the “box” closed over the car and already accommodates the mattress that can even remain with the bedding, pillows and some belongings when on the move.

Our test was done just like a traditional buyer. The model was chosen via the manufacturer’s website and delivered a few days later via carrier, agreed by Blue Camping, which offers free shipping throughout Brazil. In addition to the chosen model – Expedition – the closing attachment was chosen, which transforms the tent projection area into a protected room. This one came inside the tent that also accompanied 2 pillows and covers. Our goal was to fulfill what was promised by the manufacturer: The camper himself installed the tent in his car without great difficulties.


Two volumes delivered: Large box with complete tent, installation kit, bars and attachment. Small Box with Pillows + covers. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

The tent is heavier than we would have thought, but once installed in the car there is no need to worry. Once the cardboard is opened, the tent is already in the same condition as when the luggage rack is installed without the protective cover (which came folded in). Once the tapes are released, you can now access the accompanying items. Our goal was the installation kit and the intermediate bars in order to prepare it for installation in the luggage compartment. This initial service is more time consuming, but practically unique even if you want to remove the tent from the car after the trips. This is because there are a pair of intermediate bars to be installed in the tent. The reason they are no longer installed is because it will depend on the type of your rack. If it is of the longitudinal type, the intermediate bars must be arranged transversely. If the rack is transversal, the bars should be installed longitudinally in the tent. In addition to the type of car rack, it also depends on the position you want the tent to be arranged in the car – opening to the side of the vehicle or to the rear. In any case, the side bars must always be placed in the tent perpendicularly to the car rack.


Tent in open packaging and installation kit and accessories. Accompanied the wrenches for nuts and bolts. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

To choose the position of the tent in relation to the car it is necessary to reflect a little. It can be opened (unfolded) both to the sides of the car and to the rear. When opened to the rear, there is that nice possibility of using the trunk as an attachment to the set serving as a support for luggage and even the kitchen. There are two questions to be evaluated for this choice: Most of the time this is only possible in cars with trunk with side opening, since the overhead doors will almost always hit the open tent, not allowing the full opening of the luggage rack . Another issue is that the roof tent has a larger dimension than the other. In the Expedition model the tent width is 1.40m, which remains when closed. The length of 2.40m is reduced to 1.20m when folded, making the width of the “box” on the car to be 1.20m at the side opening and 1.40m at the rear opening. This ends up leaving this option of the rear choice for bigger and wider cars or pickup trucks. Anyway it is a matter of proportion, since any car can receive these 1.40m in width.


Rear or side opening options – Requires reflection. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

Having chosen the position of the tent in relation to the car, it is time to fix the intermediate bars in the tent. The base already comes with 4 holes at the bottom for this purpose. They are already arranged quadratically to receive the bars in both vector directions. There are 4 sets of screws and nuts. The screw will be passed through the inside of the tent, crossing the floor through the existing holes, being screwed in the torque nuts that will be fitted in the aluminum profile of the bar. The widest part of the bar touches the bottom of the tent. Make sure the bar is exactly centered in relation to the tent. At the end place the rubber terminals for closing and finishing.

Profile of the intermediate bar + rubber terminal. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp


Install the intermediate bar. Inverted tent (bottom up). Bar always perpendicular to the car rack. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

Along with the installation kit comes a “male” profile that fits perfectly in the middle bar. There are 8 of them, two for each attachment point in the car rack. At each of these points there will be 2 threads that will receive the hole rule that will press the vehicle’s rack through 2 nuts (also of torque) included. It’s time to position the tent in the desired location on the roof of the car. In this stage, the help of another person was needed where we suffered a little due to the weight. Although the 50 kg of the tent is not absurd for two people to carry, the position and the need to raise the piece a lot made the work hard. If you have 4 people it would be ideal right now. In addition to the desired position and the centering of the tent in relation to the width of the car, it is good to check that the trunk (if tilting) opens perfectly. Then just place the screws and press the set with the ruler drilled in 2 different distances to suit the models of the racks. Tighten one nut and then another until you have full pressure on both. Finally, just put the protective cover on the tent, secure it well and leave for the camp.


Tent fixed on the rack. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp


Install the cover securely. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

NO CAMPING

The operation of the roof tent is very simple. First, the car must be positioned in the desired location and orientation, keeping the vehicle well level. Now it’s time to release and remove the protective cover. Loosen all bonds and open the child. For this, the ladder must be opened to serve as a lever in the opening. Open, the ladder is supported on the floor until it finds the ideal leveling. The rest is adjustment: window awnings, openings and other perfumeries.

Upon opening the tent, a large, well-ventilated bedroom is revealed. The 1.40m wide and 2.40m long bed leaves space either on the foot or at the head for some belongings or luggage. The entrance door has a closing element and a mosquito net, both with double zipper. In the same configuration, there is another opening on the back side that allows a lot of lighting and ventilation. On the sides more openings. Also in two elements, you can open everything with zippers. Outside the openings have “awnings” that protect from the sun and rain. For this task, it is necessary to place the 6 included rods by inserting them in existing holes in the base and attaching the eyelets on the hook tip, leaving them slightly bent.


Tent accompanied 2 pillows + covers + mattress cover | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp


Great ventilation openings | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp


Rear “outlet” with panoramic view | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp


House assembled our way | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

In the specific model of our Review – The Expedition – there is a cover in front of the entrance door that serves to protect the access, in addition to being prepared for the closing annex of the lower room. Even without the attachment, which is optional, this “balcony” makes life easier for the camper on rainy days. For this differential there is one more step in the assembly, which is the fitting of another arch of the structure. It is collected in the tent box and is fitted at specific points.


Setting the balcony. | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp


Placement of extra rod for models with balcony and preparation for attachment. | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

Some indoor treats complement the Blue Camping tent. There are screen pockets to accommodate belongings, upper vents independent of the windows that seek to avoid condensation.


Total interior. | Photo: Sergio Friso


Articulated system for opening and closing together with the cover. | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp

When closing, there are no secrets. The awning rods are removed and the “box” is folded with the ladder itself. Accompanying the product are 4 rubber bands with hooks and specific anchoring to assist the collection of cloths to the center of the tent. Attached all the straps that fix the “box”, just replace the protective cover and continue traveling.


Rubber bands help to keep the cloths inside the tent at the time of closing. | Photo: Sergio Friso

MaCamp ANALYSIS:

The tent behaved very well in our initial tests, but since we didn’t get rain, we still haven’t considered the test completely. We will still complement this review. On the road, the tent proved to be very quiet in terms of aerodynamics. We feared noises or some change in handling, which did not happen. We even got rain on the way, but the cover proved to be efficient in watertightness. It is necessary to pay attention when fixing the cover, pulling and tightening the elastic well. For greater security we tie it to the rack.

In the camping the assembly took place in a very practical way. The “lever” system for opening with the ladder is very light. At the premiere, the tent heated up very quickly under the midday sun and was very cool as soon as we opened the windows. As it is extensive, in addition to the sleeping area, there is still a beautiful space left for some junk in our “foot”. We slept in three people (couple + 2 year old child) very well. With children it is very important not to leave them alone without supervision, as mosquito nets also open through a zipper leaving the fall at risk. On a mild night, no condensation occurred. On a cooler night it condensed, but we cannot be a reference, as we sleep with the tent absolutely closed.

A striking difference of this tent in relation to the traditional ones of the market is the ladder, which even generates many positive comments from other experienced campers in Barraca de Teto. However, this difference results in a higher height of the closed tent, which even has a “top hat” in high relief on the cover.

For the analysis and steps of installing and using the tent attachment and the side awning, see a new review soon.

Marcos Pivari

NOTE: This tent was sent by BLUE CAMPING for our analysis. Meet this and other products.

UPDATE !!!: The review of the 2nd generation of the Expedition Blue Camping Tent was published on 11/2017 with improvements to the model of this review. At this moment the company is already selling the 3rd generation.

Categories
Review

Acumulador SHURFLO – Loja BLUHOME

Also called a “pre-pressurizer”, the Shurflo pressure accumulator has the power to optimize the hydraulic system of the trailer or home engine without the need for an ultra-modern pump or full of increments. The Pressure Accumulator regulates the pressure, controls the “pulsating” effect of the pump, and also serves as a kind of “damping” of the system. In view of its importance, the staff at BLU-HOME, the RV parts, and equipment store made a point of sending us two copies for Review.

FUNCTIONING: A hydraulic system for a recreational vehicle, in addition to the direct water inlets, is summarized in a small set of segments of pipes or hoses that are found after the water pump to the taps and showers. The water coming out of the box is pressurized by the pump which, with the taps closed, exerts a maximum pressure (particularly for each model) until its automatic valve turns it off. At this time, the entire pipeline is exposed to that pressure to a limited extent.

SYSTEM PRESSURE: With each pump “on” and “off”, the great pressure variation ends up remaining even for the pipes or hoses that are generally flexible and with several connectors and splices that can suffer from this oscillation. In addition, pumps that do not have a “by-pass” system or even count, but with low capacity, can present the famous “pulse”.

PULSATION EFFECT: When we close the tap a little, the flow of the pump being greater than the flow of the tap, causes the piping to fill and pressurize first by locking the pump. While the tap remains open with little flow, the pressure drops in a few moments, causing the pump automatic to restart again, restarting the endless cycle. This “on-off” followed can cause problems or even burn the pump, in addition to compromising the piping mainly in the connections.

BANG EFFECT: In addition to the above events, whenever the pump locks and the tap opens, it will be subjected to the plumbing system, “dry” pressure blows or relief from them and will certainly be felt in the use of taps and showers.

ACCUMULATOR SOLUTIONS: It is on the above effects that the pressure accumulator acts by making it softer or canceling some of them. The device takes on the role of pressure in the system. Prepared for this function is where the pressure peaks will be concentrated. In addition, the pulsation effect will be reduced substantially by increasing the intervals and, in cases of greater flow, canceling such effect. For surges and blows in the system, the accumulator tank will play a role in smoothing these forces, resulting in a smoother system operation.

BENEFITS FOR THE PUMP: For the water pump, it means longer service life, especially in the “automatic” system, which usually causes problems first. The item “consumption” is also benefited. With fewer cycles and peaks in the engine, the pump’s energy consumption will be lower and even the pump’s noise will be lower, meaning more comfort for the occupant. Saving water is also a reality, because with less flow without discomfort, less water will be used.

It is not just a chamber: Many people think that the Shurflo accumulator is just a simple air chamber made of plastic with a different design, prescribing the option of “manufacturing” homemade accumulators using PVC tubes with lids and flanges. They are mistaken. The shurflo accumulators have an internal air bag that can be “inflated” so that the necessary and desired pressure for the closed hydraulic system of the trailer can be regulated. For this reason, the device body also has a much higher pressure resistance capacity than the normal water inlet. In homemade accumulators, levels of improvement of the pump pulsation are achieved, but are regulated by the actual pressure of the water pump.

FEATURES: The equipment is quite simple. Lightweight, it is all made of injected plastic with the 1/2 inch thread connections incorporated. Both the chamber screws and the pressure nozzle are made of stainless steel. It has a hole for fixing in the RV and comes with two protective covers at the outlets.

THE REVIEW: We apply the accumulators to our trailer, which has two separate pumps, one for cold water and the other for hot water. Although they have a bypass system that can dispense with the device for the “pulse” item, it can help with the service in addition to solving other issues. In our case, eliminating the effects of “blows” in the system, in addition to regulating the system when using the “direct water” system. In this case, the camping tap water supplies the trailer without the need for a pump and the accumulators regulate the external pressure in order to equalize it. In normal use of pumps, even with the bypass , the accumulators help to improve the anti-pulsation effects even more.

 Pump “ BYPASS ” system

UNBOXING: The accumulators arrived at our headquarters packed in an illustrated box and very well protected in bubble wrap. The pressure air nozzle comes with a metal cap and the 1/2 inch male threaded connections have a blue plastic cap.

INSTALLATION: The accumulator, despite having two connections (input and output), can be installed in different and free ways, even if using only one of the connections. Always after the pump, it must also be placed before the action of filters or check valves. The positioning of the device is also free, however the factory recommends leaving the pressure loading valve facing upwards. “ Threaded fittings (plastic / nylon only) should be tightened about 1/2 to 1 turn after tightening by hand. Never exceed 6 ft / lbs [88 Nm] of torque on turns.”To make these instructions feasible without the use of technical tools, it pays to use the plastic“ butterfly ”type connections (optional) and tighten them only with the strength that your hands are capable of. In case of leaks, tighten further with the aid of a tool.

PRE-LOAD:The accumulator charge must be carried out with hand pumps. avoiding gas station pumps that can exert pressure above the limit to re-read from there. Bicycle or even electric pumps to inflate a car tire will give pressure slowly. If the pump does not have a pressure gauge, specific external gauges can be used. The correct pressure for the accumulator preload is the same as the reclosure rating of the pressure pump automatic. One example, 45PSI pumps, switch off at this pressure and restart the automatic from 30PSI on the system. It is exactly these 30PSI that should be the pressure in the preload of the device. There are still more technical applications for regulating the preload and composition of systems with readings and suppression of water hammer, but these only with professional devices and tools.

USE / REVIEW:Our test took place with two different scenarios. The first was the application of the accumulator in the old system of our trailer that was served by a single old water pump of 1.1GPM Shurflo that fed both the hot and cold water systems. The second scenario was in the testing environment of 2 Sea-Flo pumps that were the result of a review at MaCamp. In that case, despite being installed in the trailer system, they were not permanently placed and both tested in the same unique hot water system as our trailer. The difference between the two scenarios is that the old 1.1GPM pump does not have any by-pass system, although it already has an automatic (essential function in the pump for the application of an accumulator device). SEA-Flo pumps, in addition to the automatic system, with promised by-pass systems that are nothing more than internal shortcuts that seek exactly to reduce the pump’s pulsating effect. SEA-Flo pumps are different (one with 3 and the other with 5 diaphragms).

 External and fully provisional test links.

SCENE 1:With the Pump in a somewhat “original” form of the trailer, an old 1.1 GPM Shurflo made the connection of the accumulator as simple as possible (one inlet) through a hose that meets the closed water system. Her normal situation without the device is a flow well suited to the trailer, but with the need to always use the tap all open. Any dosage in the handle already starts to pulse quickly. When the tap is turned on, the pump immediately turns on with normal water flow and when it closes, it immediately turns off by locking the water. With the presence of the accumulator and it is properly loaded with internal pressure in the preload, things change. When opening the tap, the pressure coming out of the water is very high, decreasing to the normal flow after a few seconds. When we close the tap, the pump continues to run for a few seconds and “locks” very smoothly where its noise clearly demonstrates that the rotation is decreasing due to the increase in pressure. The pulse rate decreases extremely when we open the tap in a minimum flow of water, turning off and on at much more sparse intervals, and there is not much difference in flow when turned on or off. When the flow of the faucet is higher (but at an intensity that without the accumulator already made the pump pulse), the pump does not even turn off and, consequently, pulsates. being that there is not much difference in flow when turned on or off. When the flow of the faucet is higher (but at an intensity that without the accumulator already made the pump pulse), the pump does not even turn off and, consequently, pulsates. being that there is not much difference in flow when turned on or off. When the flow of the faucet is higher (but at an intensity that without the accumulator already made the pump pulse), the pump does not even turn off and, consequently, pulsates.

SCENARIO 2: In the review we carried out of the SEA-Flo pumps, we also inserted the presence of the accumulator, but in this case without testing the different preloads. We use the preload that comes from the factory that already matches the nominal characteristics of the red pump.

CONCLUSION: In the first scenario where the pump does not have a “bypass” the accumulator proved to be 100% effective and enormously necessary, since it allows the use of less water through the terminals, in addition to preserving the hydraulic set of the trailer. In the second scenario, the internal “bypass” system proved to be dispensable in the “pulsation” category. However, the trailer piping still has this damping system that can come from both the pump and the direct water system, leaving the application of the accumulator to the customer’s preference. In our case, even applying pumps with a “ bypass ”, we still insisted on preserving the use and application of the accumulators in both lines (hot and cold).

CHARACTERISTICS: Maximum Pressure: 125 PSI (8.6 BAR); Volume: 0.620L; Length: 22cm; Diameter: 9.5cm; External material: nylon; Inner bladder material: Butyl; Connection: 1/2 ″ male thread X2.

PRICE: At the time of this review the product was sold for R $ 349.00 at BLUHOME + Shipping.

WHERE TO BUY: At BLUHOME itself , via phone or whatsapp (47) 9.9182-0033 , e-mail ( contato@bluhome.com.br ) or at the PHYSICAL SHOP , Rua das Missões, 1445 – Ponta Aguda – Blumenau – Santa Catarina.

REVIEW – PRODUCT: This equipment was sent by BLUHOME who relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. Tests were done in our KG-330 trailer in the State of Rio de Janeiro and on trips through the States of SP, SC, PR, RS and RJ.

Categories
Review

SHURFLO Accumulator – BLUHOME Store

Also called a “pre-pressurizer”, the Shurflo pressure accumulator has the power to optimize the hydraulic system of the trailer or home engine without the need for an ultra-modern pump or full of increments. The Pressure Accumulator regulates the pressure, controls the “pulsating” effect of the pump, and also serves as a kind of “damping” of the system. In view of its importance, the staff at BLU-HOME, the RV parts and equipment store made a point of sending us two copies for Review.

FUNCTIONING: A hydraulic system for a recreational vehicle, in addition to the direct water inlets, is summarized in a small set of segments of pipes or hoses that are found after the water pump to the taps and showers. The water coming out of the box is pressurized by the pump which, with the taps closed, exerts a maximum pressure (particularly for each model) until its automatic valve turns it off. At this time, the entire pipeline is exposed to that pressure to a limited extent.

SYSTEM PRESSURE: With each pump “on” and “off”, the great pressure variation ends up remaining even for the pipes or hoses that are generally flexible and with several connectors and splices that can suffer from this oscillation. In addition, pumps that do not have a “by-pass” system or even count, but with low capacity, can present the famous “pulse”.

PULSATION EFFECT: When we close the tap a little, the flow of the pump being greater than the flow of the tap, causes the piping to fill and pressurize first by locking the pump. While the tap remains open with little flow, the pressure drops in a few moments, causing the pump automatic to restart again, restarting the endless cycle. This “on-off” followed can cause problems or even burn the pump, in addition to compromising the piping mainly in the connections.

BANG EFFECT: In addition to the above events, whenever the pump locks and the tap opens, it will be subjected to the plumbing system, “dry” pressure blows or relief from them and will certainly be felt in the use of taps and showers.

ACCUMULATOR SOLUTIONS: It is on the above effects that the pressure accumulator acts by making it softer or canceling some of them. The device takes on the role of pressure in the system. Prepared for this function is where the pressure peaks will be concentrated. In addition, the pulsation effect will be reduced substantially by increasing the intervals and, in cases of greater flow, canceling such effect. For surges and blows in the system, the accumulator tank will play a role in smoothing these forces, resulting in a smoother system operation.

BENEFITS FOR THE PUMP: For the water pump, it means longer service life, especially in the “automatic” system, which usually causes problems first. The item “consumption” is also benefited. With fewer cycles and peaks in the engine, the pump’s energy consumption will be lower and even the pump’s noise will be lower, meaning more comfort for the occupant. Saving water is also a reality, because with less flow without discomfort, less water will be used.

It is not just a chamber: Many people think that the Shurflo accumulator is just a simple air chamber made of plastic with a different design, prescribing the option of “manufacturing” homemade accumulators using PVC tubes with lids and flanges. They are mistaken. The shurflo accumulators have an internal air bag that can be “inflated” so that the necessary and desired pressure for the closed hydraulic system of the trailer can be regulated. For this reason, the device body also has a much higher pressure resistance capacity than the normal water inlet. In homemade accumulators, levels of improvement of the pump pulsation are achieved, but are regulated by the actual pressure of the water pump.

FEATURES: The equipment is quite simple. Lightweight, it is all made of injected plastic with the 1/2 inch thread connections incorporated. Both the chamber screws and the pressure nozzle are made of stainless steel. It has a hole for fixing in the RV and comes with two protective covers at the outlets.

THE REVIEW: We apply the accumulators to our trailer, which has two separate pumps, one for cold water and the other for hot water. Although they have a bypass system that can dispense with the device for the “pulse” item, it can help with the service in addition to solving other issues. In our case, eliminating the effects of “blows” in the system, in addition to regulating the system when using the “direct water” system. In this case, the camping tap water supplies the trailer without the need for a pump and the accumulators regulate the external pressure in order to equalize it. In normal use of pumps, even with the bypass , the accumulators help to improve the anti-pulsation effects even more.

UNBOXING: The accumulators arrived at our headquarters packed in an illustrated box and very well protected in bubble wrap. The pressure air nozzle comes with a metal cap and the 1/2 inch male threaded connections have a blue plastic cap.

INSTALLATION: The accumulator, despite having two connections (input and output), can be installed in different and free ways, even if using only one of the connections. Always after the pump, it must also be placed before the action of filters or check valves. The positioning of the device is also free, however the factory recommends leaving the pressure loading valve facing upwards. “ Threaded fittings (plastic / nylon only) should be tightened about 1/2 to 1 turn after tightening by hand. Never exceed 6 ft / lbs [88 Nm] of torque on turns.”To make these instructions feasible without the use of technical tools, it pays to use the plastic“ butterfly ”type connections (optional) and tighten them only with the strength that your hands are capable of. In case of leaks, tighten further with the aid of a tool.

PRE-LOAD:The accumulator charge must be carried out with hand pumps. avoiding gas station pumps that can exert pressure above the limit to re-read from there. Bicycle or even electric pumps to inflate a car tire will give pressure slowly. If the pump does not have a pressure gauge, specific external gauges can be used. The correct pressure for the accumulator preload is the same as the reclosure rating of the pressure pump automatic. One example, 45PSI pumps, switch off at this pressure and restart the automatic from 30PSI on the system. It is exactly these 30PSI that should be the pressure in the preload of the device. There are still more technical applications for regulating the preload and composition of systems with readings and suppression of water hammer, but these only with professional devices and tools.

USE / REVIEW:Our test took place with two different scenarios. The first was the application of the accumulator in the old system of our trailer that was served by a single old water pump of 1.1GPM Shurflo that fed both the hot and cold water systems. The second scenario was in the testing environment of 2 Sea-Flo pumps that were the result of a review at MaCamp. In that case, despite being installed in the trailer system, they were not permanently placed and both tested in the same unique hot water system as our trailer. The difference between the two scenarios is that the old 1.1GPM pump does not have any by-pass system, although it already has an automatic (essential function in the pump for the application of an accumulator device). SEA-Flo pumps, in addition to the automatic system, with promised by-pass systems that are nothing more than internal shortcuts that seek exactly to reduce the pump’s pulsating effect. SEA-Flo pumps are different (one with 3 and the other with 5 diaphragms).

SCENE 1:With the Pump in a somewhat “original” form of the trailer, an old 1.1 GPM Shurflo made the connection of the accumulator as simple as possible (one inlet) through a hose that meets the closed water system. Her normal situation without the device is a flow well suited to the trailer, but with the need to always use the tap all open. Any dosage in the handle already starts to pulse quickly. When the tap is turned on, the pump immediately turns on with normal water flow and when it closes, it immediately turns off by locking the water. With the presence of the accumulator and it is properly loaded with internal pressure in the preload, things change. When opening the tap, the pressure coming out of the water is very high, decreasing to the normal flow after a few seconds. When we close the tap, the pump continues to run for a few seconds and “locks” very smoothly where its noise clearly demonstrates that the rotation is decreasing due to the increase in pressure. The pulse rate decreases extremely when we open the tap in a minimum flow of water, turning off and on at much more sparse intervals, and there is not much difference in flow when turned on or off. When the flow of the faucet is higher (but at an intensity that without the accumulator already made the pump pulse), the pump does not even turn off and, consequently, pulsates. being that there is not much difference in flow when turned on or off. When the flow of the faucet is higher (but at an intensity that without the accumulator already made the pump pulse), the pump does not even turn off and, consequently, pulsates. being that there is not much difference in flow when turned on or off. When the flow of the faucet is higher (but at an intensity that without the accumulator already made the pump pulse), the pump does not even turn off and, consequently, pulsates.

SCENARIO 2: In the review we carried out of the SEA-Flo pumps, we also inserted the presence of the accumulator, but in this case without testing the different preloads. We use the preload that comes from the factory that already matches the nominal characteristics of the red pump.

CONCLUSION: In the first scenario where the pump does not have a “bypass” the accumulator proved to be 100% effective and enormously necessary, since it allows the use of less water through the terminals, in addition to preserving the hydraulic set of the trailer. In the second scenario, the internal “bypass” system proved to be dispensable in the “pulsation” category. However, the trailer piping still has this damping system that can come from both the pump and the direct water system, leaving the application of the accumulator to the customer’s preference. In our case, even applying pumps with a “ bypass ”, we still insisted on preserving the use and application of the accumulators in both lines (hot and cold).

CHARACTERISTICS: Maximum Pressure: 125 PSI (8.6 BAR); Volume: 0.620L; Length: 22cm; Diameter: 9.5cm; External material: nylon; Inner bladder material: Butyl; Connection: 1/2 ″ male thread X2.

PRICE: At the time of this review the product was sold for R $ 349.00 at BLUHOME + Shipping.

WHERE TO BUY: At BLUHOME itself , via phone or whatsapp (47) 9.9182-0033 , e-mail ( contato@bluhome.com.br ) or at the PHYSICAL SHOP , Rua das Missões, 1445 – Ponta Aguda – Blumenau – Santa Catarina.

REVIEW – PRODUCT: This equipment was sent by BLUHOME who relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. Tests were done in our KG-330 trailer in the State of Rio de Janeiro and on trips through the States of SP, SC, PR, RS and RJ.