Air bed question

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Air bed question

Postby shell68 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:31 am

Hello,

I am a camping virgin, so please be gentle with me!!!!!

I have purchased some inflatable airbeds with built in pumps. If staying at a resort, do I need to get a powered site to inflate the airbeds, or are there power points available in the bathroom / laundry / kitchen areas? The only reason we would need power is for the airbeds to be inflated - or do we need a powered site to hook up lighting?

When I purchased the airbeds, I thought they were self inflatable (stupid - I know!) so what happens when we stay somewhere that does not have powered sites - how will I inflate them? Can I get something to plug into the cig lighter of the car? My Husband camped as a child, I could ask him, but don't want to tell him I have bought the airbeds, if they are no good!

One more question - sorry - Lighting, what do you suggest?

Thanks for your help.

Michelle.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby mr_grumble » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:55 am

Michelle,

Welcome to the forum :armsup

You can purchase a 12v electric pump which has a cigarette lighter plug on it.
It will not only pump the air matress up for you, but you can also use it to the suck out the air when your packing up. Makes folding it up tight really easy.
Most camping stores will have various types. The one I purchased from BCF came with 3m long power cord, six different nozzel attachments to suit a wide range of inlets and the pump is reversable, ie you connect your nozzel to the 'pump' side to inflate and the 'suction' side to deflate. That simple.
From memory it set me back $15-$20 and is nice and compact.

As for lighting, the five main sources of light I carry with me when camping are;

1) Headlamp - most these days will have a combination of incandecent lamp and LED. I mostly use the LED, the're bright and last ages. Most headlamps will run on 2-3 AAA batteries and last days. Hands free operation, most useful.
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2) Handheld LED stick - Again, lighting provided by a bar of 25 high intensity LED's. Internal rechargable battery that is charged from cigarette lighter socket again. VERY bright and economical.
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3) Flouro Lantern - Runs off (4) C-type batteries, last ages and mine even has a remote control :--? Saves me breaking my neck trying to get intio bed at night !
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4) AA Maglight with LED insert - Virtually indestructable and with the LED insert, very economical. Ususlly gets carried around in my pocket just in case.
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5) Cyalume Stick (chemical lighting device) - Only really for emergencies (or when my daughter wants to play with one). The're a smallish plastic cylinder with a liqid mixture of dye and cyalume. Also in the cylinder is a smaller, sealed glass tube that contains hydrogen peroxide. If you bend the larger plastic cylinder, it snaps the inner glass tube releasing the hydrogen peroxide. Shake the plastic cylinder like mad to mix the chemicals and after a bit of chemical trickery, a compound of peroxyacid ester is formed that then decomposes to form carbon dioxide. This decomposition releases energy that excites the dye and light is created.
They are considerably bright and good quality ones last in excess of 8 hours.
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Hope it helps,

Steve
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Re: Air bed question

Postby shell68 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:27 am

Thank you Steve for your detailed post!

Will the pump that plugs into the cig lighter in car pump up the bed, even thought the airbed already has a built in pump?

Sorry if it is a really obvious answer!
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Komodo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:51 pm

Does the airbed have any other way of getting air into it?

Other wise if they are 240V then you may have to look at getting an inverter (12V to 240V) I would suggest taking the airbed (funny as this might sound) down to jaycar to work out what sized inverter you'll need. Im sure the small "coke can" sized 150watt inverter would be big enough but just in case.

Remember air ISNT a good insulator from the cold so make sure you use plenty of "bedding" (blankets etc) when camping becuase the rising cold can make for a misserable night sleep and some damn aweful back aches the next day.

Lighting - I suggest the Arlec portable fluro lanterns they are $40 and can be charged from 240V at home or 12V when on the road they have 3 settings - 1 tube, both tubes or nightlight LED. We have 2 though we normally only need one and we find that two tubes when cooking works well and then 1 tube only when just sitting around camp at night - its enough light and makes the battery last a long time. I like the arlec because its portable, the tubes are a generic type and are easily replacable and the battery costs about $13 from jaycar/DSE if you ever need to replace it.

Head torches are good - but its a personal preferance - I personally dont like wearing them and I find the lantern does a good job. Also they arent cheap for a decent one you'll be looking at $30 at least and you'll need one for each person - makes the $40 lantern pretty attractive even if you get two! I carry the lantern and a "dolphin" type torch. They are cheap, take a hard knock, simple and reliable. Batteries are reasonably priced (and rechargable ones are available now too!) and the globes are every where should you need a spare.

Just remember first time camping - keep it simple! you'll have a blast and you'll think of new ways and better ideas for next time! I think many of us on here will agree that part of the attraction to camping is the "innovations" you come up with to deal with different problems you encounter and your quest for the greatest campsite ever to be seen!!!

Have fun!
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Komodo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:56 pm

Oh also what are you using for cooking?

If using a gas stove then a gas lantern on an "extention pole" with a side outlet is a good option too - you'll only need a small lantern and I suggest the "mesh" type rather than the glass type if you can get it (k-mart is the best place they are cheap and they have all the spares) and grab a pack of the mantles the have the wire clips - way way easier then tieing knots in the dash things!
If you cant get the mesh type dont worry you can replace the glass with mesh when the glass breaks - I say when because it will happen eventually. I went through about 5 glass lenses before I found out (through this forum!) about the mesh type. Much better! and I find the light given off a bit nicer too.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby shell68 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:59 pm

Thanks for the reply Komodo. The lanterns do sound good. The air beds are quite high off the ground, more than double a normal one and we have sleeping bags which are -5 - I have a feeling these will be too hot in Summer - I guess trial and error.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby AussieSunset » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:25 am

Kmart and Big W have the 12v air pumps too. Big W usually are cheaper but keep a look out in the catalogs for them as well as they can go half price in either shop (sometimes even if they aren't in the catalog but other camping stuff is). I think i picked up mine for $7 on sale this year.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby HGMonaro » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:33 am

Have a read of the packet/instructions for the airbeds... are you sure they are 240V? I've seen them advertised but never looked to see how they were powered. If they are 240V then as Komodo says, you'd need a 12V->240V invertor. This plugs into your cars ciggy lighter (or you clip the clamps onto your battery depending on the type) and you can them plug the 240V appliance into it. They come in different wattages (starting at about 150W) so you need to ensure the one you buy is big enough for the appliance you want to power. A std car battery will not power a big wattage invertor for long, so don't get ideas you'll run a heater allnight, the microwave or a tele! Can be handy for recharging a laptop or camera batteries though.

If they are 240V and don't have extra inflation valves (which I think they would have to have), can you take them back and exchange for 'normal' style ones and then buy a cheapo 12V pump like those mentioned above. We have the BigW one and works great.

Nige.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby shell68 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:18 pm

Thanks again for the replies. They are 240V.

Here is a link:

http://www.dealsdirect.com.au/p/single- ... tric-pump/
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Komodo » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:23 pm

[url="http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MI5102&CATID=8&keywords=&SPECIAL=&form=CAT&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=680"]Image[/url]
[url="http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MI5125&CATID=8&keywords=&SPECIAL=&form=CAT&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=680"]Image[/url]
[url="http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MI5121&CATID=8&keywords=&SPECIAL=&form=CAT&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=680"]Image[/url]

These are all 150 watt invertors and they are all under $60 from memory at your local Jaycar and plug in your lighter socket

But you will need to find out the power requirement either in amps or watts for the pump to determine what size invertor you will need.

Going by the look of those airbeds it doesnt look like there is another way of getting the air in other than using the inbuilt pump.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby shell68 » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:13 am

Thanks again Komodo.

I tried them out last night and it seems to be that you may be able to inflate them with a manual pump as well.

Husband was impressed with them, even though they are pretty tall and the 3 kids might roll off!
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Komodo » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:00 am

Well in that case - HAPPY CAMPING!!!

Enjoy it.
Remember photos of the destination and camp site are a requirement when you get back :P
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Beagle » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:04 pm

My rule with air beds as far as keeping warm.

Have as much insulation under you as you have on top
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Vic Explorer » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:08 pm

I agree with having insulation or warm bedding on the bottom of the air beds as well as warm covers.We've already gone through a couple of air beds. As and alternative (if thick enough) or addition I was thinking of going somewhere like Clark rubber and getting some foam or padding material cut to the size of the bed chamber section of the tent. Has anyone done anything similar?

I'm also considering those fold out metal frame camp beds but I'm not sure how comfortable they are and if they'll fit well in the bed section.
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Re: Air bed question

Postby Poodle Jewel » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:30 pm

Foam is a great insulater.I have a king single air bed and wrap it in one of those queen size foam egg shell underlays then put a blanket on top of that as well as put a piece of carpet on the floor. Anyway it will be a few months before we have to worry about that again.I`m starting to think for next winter i`ll get myself a decent swag,by the time i pack carpet,foam,blankets and mattresses,(for me AND THE DOGS) a swag is going to be heaps less hassle.
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