Your RV comes standard with a range of power supply options and accessories to supercharge your holiday. While you won't be requiring a masters degree to operate the power elements to your motorhome, it is essential all passengers are aware of what is in your RV, where to turn it on and off and how to safely operate. Please ensure you are taking the time prior to hitting the road for the first time to read the operation manuals carefully and test each element. This should be common practice each time you head out, or frequently whilst you are living in your RV.
How It Works
|The mains power is the power system when the RV is plugged into an external power source||For mains power to work, a 15 amp RV/ motorhome power lead will need to be plugged into the RVs power inlet (located on the outside of the RV) and the other side plugged into a 240V power source. To use residential power sources you will need a 15 to 10amp converter/ adapter.||
Entire RV: charge 12V battery, electric step, lights, all plug sockets, USB ports, 240 stove, oven/ electric grill, aircon, fridge, toilet flush, toilet vent, heat hot water, etc.
Powers all items that require 240v to work
12 V Battery System
|12V Battery provides your vehicle with power when no external power is available||The battery will generate charge while driving the vehicle, when the RV is plugged into an external power source or through the solar panels.||Electric step, lights, USB ports, tv, radio, fridge, toilet flush, toilet vent, ignition of the hot water system, ignition of the gas stove|
|Gas is able to provide an alternative power source to certain appliances when there is no other power source||Gas is stored in a gas compartment located outside of the vehicle. Keep gas bottles turned off when in transit and turn them on when needed. Gas is controlled using the rocker switch in the main power board.||
- Hot water
- Gas stove
- Fridge (3-way only)
- Gas BBQ (outside)
|Solar panels converts sunlight to energy (electricity) which is stored within the vehicles battery. Solar energy will recharge your battery bank when the RV is not connected to an external power source or generator.||
Will automatically be functional when exposed to direct sunlight.
Solar panels are mounted to the RVs roof.
Recharging the RV battery which powers the 12V system
Powering your RV:
All motorhomes are 15 amp rated (Residential households are 10 amp rated).
In order to connect the motorhome to an external power source, a 15 amp motorhome electrical lead will be needed.
You will notice the 15 amp lead will have a large earth pin and this is because it is 15amp rated.
You will not be able to connect the motorhome to a normal 10amp outlet.
🛒 You will need to purchase a 15 amp power lead separately. These typically cost around $35 - $45.
It is recommended to use an external power source (mains power) when possible. This will ensure your battery remains fully charged. Therefore providing adequate electricity to the entire RV and allowing all 12V and 240V items to run off it.
To connect the motorhome to an external power source, connect the 15 amp electrical lead into the power inlet socket, located on the side of the motorhome (see external accessories section).
- Make sure you have a really good connection with the earth pin.
- Insert the opposite end of the lead into a 15 amp power source.
- Make sure the circuit breaker is in the 'on' position (switched up).
- The circuit breaker can be found in the mains power board (usually located above the fridge).
- The motorhome will then be powered off the external power source.
- Disconnect and store the lead before moving the motorhome.
💡 Ensure you turn off all appliances prior to disconnecting from the mains power inlet.
🛒 If you would like to connect/ power your motorhome off a residential (10 amp) power source, a 15 to 10 amp adapter / converter will be needed. This would need to be purchased separately and typically costs around $140 - $150.
The motorhome will come with two gas bottles (Mercedes and some other models only come with one gas bottle) which are located in a gas storage compartment outside the vehicle.
- Gas is supplied to the stove, oven, three way fridge (used in selected models) and hot water system
- Turn the gas on when needed, do this by turning the valve all the way in the open direction.
Best practice is to only have the gas supply on when in use. If you are travelling or heading to bed, always ensure the gas valve is shut by turning the handle in the close direction, tightly on the gas bottle.
⚠️ All Caravans Away motorhomes are delivered with empty gas bottles due to transportation.
Your RV will come with a control panel. This will be located in one of the overhead cupboards in the living area or on one of the walls.
Across the Apollo built RV range, there are a number of control panel systems that are used throughout different models. The below guide is universal, covering the key things you will need to know on how to operate and monitor your RV's power supply. If you get stuck, or are chasing specific information on the system fitted in your RV, refer to the instruction manuals supplied on delivery located in your vehicle.
The central control panel allows you to power all of the RV's accessories on/off (excluding the driver's cabin features).
From this panel, you will be able to:
- Monitor your battery levels
- Control the vehicle's 12V system
- Turn accessories on and off
- View water tank levels
- Access the circuit breaker switch
💡 HOT TIP: When travelling with your 12V system powered on remember to switch off all lights and other appliances (other than the fridge) to save battery life. It is recommended to leave it powered on when travelling if you need to keep your fridge cool.
BM Pro System:
If your RV is fitted with the BM Pro system it will come with a master control panel and some models also come fitted with a quick access panel at the front door of your RV.
This system allows you to control and monitor your 12 volt system and tanks.
The first thing you are going to need to do when you enter the RV is to power on the system by pressing the top button on the right hand side, this can be used to power on/ off.
We recommend leaving this system on. The only time you will turn it off is when you are no longer using your RV and it is stored away.
See how to work your BMPRO battery monitoring system here.
Other Control Panel Systems:
Universal guide to your control panel:
This system works just like a house power board.
The largest switch is the 'trip switch' and allows for the 240V. It is recommended to always leave the switch up (on). No power will feed to the RV if the switch is flipped down (off).
If the switch flips down, it usually means there is a fault with an appliance or electrical component in the van.
There will be constant supply of 12V to your 12V accessories. So it is imperative you only turn these accessories on whilst in use, and off when you are done. This is so you can avoid draining the batteries. You will be getting charge from the solar, but its good practice to get into, you'll never know when you are going to run into some cloudy rainy days whilst out on your adventure.
Water heater control:
Most motorhomes use two basic systems to heat hot water, mains or gas.
The Truma UltraRapid device is the 'rocker switch'. This allows gas to heat water in the event that there is no other power source.
The plugs to the right of the board are for turning on and off the microwave and air-conditioning.
Apollo supply and install two different types of batteries to motorhomes and campervans; the trusty 100Ah deep cycle and the future defining lithium battery. 2021-22 RV models come standard with a deep cycle battery and the optional upgrade to lithium.
A classic 100Ah deep cycle battery is the most common setup around, and will keep you covered for power whilst out on the road. The lithium however, is known for its smoother power performance, faster recharge ability and is on average 10-14kg's lighter than its predecessor.
Each battery will be supplied with respective chargers. Operational manuals can be located inside your RV.
Please note - the brands used in your specific RV may vary from what is noted in this handover guide. If you would like information relating directly to your setup, refer to your manual or contact Apollo After Sales for product information.
💡 You can leave your RV plugged into an external power source for as long as you like. Once the battery is fully charged it will stop taking in more charge.
Control Panel Access
Your main control panel will display your house battery levels. The battery icon will show the strength of your battery. If it says "discharging", this will mean the batteries are currently in use. You will also be able to see a quantity of how many estimated hours of power supply via your batteries is available.
As a rule of thumb, always be mindful of what appliances and electricals you are using. Checking in on this control panel reporting should be secondary action.
Constantly running your batteries too low will decrease their lifestyle. Think about how you treat your car, you wouldn't pull up home and leave your parking lights on for the night.
Monitoring battery supply While you are on the road, it is a good habitat to conduct a daily check-in of your control panel system and your battery performance. The voltage output of the battery is shown on the clock, this gives an amp rating and voltage rating. For newbies to battery management, you will want to pay attention to the volt rating on a daily basis. A quick check in to ensure your battery is not slipping below 10 is advised. A full battery will read 13.6. So you will want to make sure you are comfortably sitting between 10 - 13.6 for healthy battery/solar performance.
Depending on how you chose your setup, your power supply and maintenance will differ. Weather conditions, such as cloudy days and days of rain will impact the charge of your batteries through solar and thus impacting how your power supply performs. If you plan on heading off grid for a week or longer on a standard factory fitted setup, we recommend paying attention to your main control panel.
If you pull mains power out, your batteries will automatically switch to solar for a power supply. When it does this, your reading will reappear on the control panel screen. Whilst you are plugged into mains power however, the reading of your solar will say 0. This is normal.
100 AH deep cycle battery
We recommend consulting power supply professional if you plan on understanding your setup down to the finite detail and if you're planning on upgrading for some more juice. It's important to note, you cannot mix and match these batteries. You should always engage in a qualified battery professional when considering your options down the track.
For general battery maintenance, refer to your battery operation manual for model specific recommendations.
Power points allow you to use your 240V appliances. These will only work when connected to a mains power source.
Additional power (12V and 240V) sockets, USB plug in port and a TV aerial port can be found on the exterior of the motorhome, for your outdoor leisure.
If you would like to add a generator to your motorhome, ensure the generator has a minimum rating of 2kw and fits within the external rear storage compartment of the motorhome.
👌 A 2.5kw generator is preferable.
Got a question on power?
Or can't find what you are looking for? You can reach our team by submitting an After Sales support request, alternatively, connect with the Apollo Aftersales for Australia wide assistance on your RV.