How to: Get the most from your 12V House Batteries

Last year Dave Berry (Trakka’s Director) embarked on a journey from Sydney to Darwin in his Volkswagen Jabiru motorhome. We found out how he got the most from his 12V house batteries, especially when he wanted to stay put in one spot for a few days. We estimate you will get approximately 1.5 – 2 days without solar and without needing to charge. Adding solar approximately doubles the time you can spend camping (3-4 days). We’ve got a few life hacks up our sleeve.


Using your LED lighting sensibly is important. This is the main reason we fitted many lights, so you can select to have on only what you need whether it’s for cooking a meal or reading a book in bed. Our mood lighting (under benches or near steps, depending on the Trakka model) comes with a dimming function. At maximum dim it uses only about 50% energy of a light on full brightness.

Trakkadu AT Camping

Another key point is to lower ambient temperature.  Dave does this by putting blinds up on sun side & roof vents (another reason why we fit blinds to all our models) and as the sun moves away, lower the blinds. Lowering the awning will also help to keep the side panel of the vehicle cool. Have your 12V fan on for circulating air & leave doors open if in shade. Keeping the temperature low means your fridge is going to cycle less often as will shutting the fridge door as quickly as possible. You can also keep refrigerated food in labelled plastic containers because you will be more likely to know where things are and need to keep fridge door open for a shorter amount of time.

If you going to lock up your car up in middle of day inside could easily exceed 50 degrees. If you’re comfortable where you’re staying you could lock your van based or coach built motorhome windows on the second locking point so it allows fresh air in. On your return turn, start the engine as this will not only boost your house batteries but also your front cab air con can assist with cooling the interior down.

12v house batteries tips

Finally be diligent in checking your voltage everyday on your electronic control panel (we’d check twice a day without solar). The best time to do this is in the morning when it’s always going to be at its lowest. If the 12V house batteries are sitting around the low 12’s, idle engine for 30 minutes… don’t worry it uses minimal fuel. If you have solar, do this before the solar starts charging (around 9 AM) because when your solar does kick in, the batteries will already have a decent boost.

Follow #trakka

Share your experiences and be part of our journey

Trakka Talk, be the first to know

Privacy Policy

When you complete this form, Trakka (Trakka Pty Limited) collects your personal information from you, directly to establish and maintain contact with you for the purposes of this transaction and related purposes. If you do not provide or Trakka cannot otherwise collect all the information we request or need, we may not be able to proceed with the contemplated transaction.

Trakka may share your personal information with third parties associated with us, such as our service providers.

With your consent, we may use your contact details to send you (by telephone, post, email, social media messenger, social newsfeeds or SMS) marketing communications about products, services, offers, promotions and events. You can opt out of marketing communications at any time, by particular means or at all, by following the unsubscribe function in the message we send, calling Trakka on 1800 872 552 or emailing us at

Our privacy policy, which is available at or by calling 1800 872 552, includes our contact details, explains more about the types of personal information we usually collect and how we handle your personal information as well as how you can seek access to and correction of your personal information, how to make a privacy complaint and how we deal with these complaints.