12V supply in the motorhome

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Bart, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    So ive been looking at our motorhome a "Bessacarr E560" and realized that the only 12v points to plug a phone etc into charge are actually in the cab in the form of the 2 x Cigarette lighters, and im pretty sure that they only operate with the ignition turned on.
    Well i plan at some stage to install solar panels with an Inverter , what will be the best way for me to Recharge the likes of tablets / phones / etc.
    1. From a 12V supply ran from the battery into something like a cigarette >> USB charger in the rear of the Motorhome which ran of the leisure battery.
    2. From a 240v plug >> USB charger plugged into the mains power socket and powered by the Inverter.

    What way do people here have their motorhomes geared up for doing such stuff.
     
  2. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    weve got usb sockets both in the cab and in the hab near the bed they dont draw much curren so easy enough to find a power source in the hab area
     
  3. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    We have 12v in cab and at lounge area. @andy63 kindly put a 12v and use in at overcab bed. No more batteries going flat during the night when I can't sleep.
     
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  4. vectian

    vectian Funster

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    Don't use the inverter for just charging phones etc. You will waste so much energy converting it from 12v up to 240v then transforming it back down to the phones voltage
     
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  5. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    Installing a solar panel is a good idea anyway but you don't need an inverter to charge tablets & mobile phones. Instead just get some 12v USB sockets installed - perhaps like this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-24V-U...375825?hash=item1a0b569ed1:g:FbwAAOSwr7ZW6YZK
    Make sure that you get sockets that can deliver the current needed to charge your devices. Your tablet will probably need 2.1amp and your phone may only need 1amp - but check. I also seem to recall that these dual sockets will only deliver the 2.1amp if the other socket is not being used - so perhaps get 2 pairs of sockets installed at the same time.
     
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  6. Kevc

    Kevc Funster

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    Hi

    I also have an E560, we have a 12V cigarette socket in the back of the MH as part of the tv sockets, not switched by the ignition, is off the hab battery

    Regards

    Kev
     
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  7. Cavs

    Cavs Funster

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    I have rewired the cab sockets back to the leisure battery, and installed USB charging sockets on the same circuit. Eliminates ignition control, and completely prevents any risk of discharging the starter battery.
     
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  8. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Our previous motorhome had a couple of 12V cigarette sockets in the back and I added another 2 myself, which was pretty easy. When we bought our new motorhome it only had one 12V socket in the rear, so we got the dealer to fit another 4 in various places. Both motorhomes have solar panels

    We use 12V for almost everything. The TV is 12V and I have USB adaptors that fit in the ciggy socket for things like phones and wife's ipad that use USB. And for the rest, like my laptop, tablet, shaver and camera, we use dedicated 12V chargers. We do have a 2000W inverter, but that is only used for my wife's hairdryer.
     
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  9. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    I pretty much thought that ,, hence the thread to see what to do , as i thought i had heard that in a video before , but my mind does play tricks on me :D
     
  10. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    If your base vehicle is Mercedes it is possible that both the front cigar lighter type connectors are fed from the cab battery, that is how it is on mine, one switched by the ignition the other live all the time

    Beware, I assumed the live one was on my leisure battery and flattened my cab battery a few times o_O

    I know once was bad, twice was daft, third time :whistle:

    Cab battery now changed anyway I blame the poor battery really in my case, but that could give you a short term solution, for lightweight charging (y)
     
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  11. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Thanks for the link , i think ill get a few of them at stick them in the hab area of the MH , can anyone tell me what size of inline fuse should i use when installing these ?
     
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  12. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Yip that's pretty much what we would be using an inverter for plus the microwave.
     
  13. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    After reading this thread I realised that our new van doesn't have a 12volt plug near where we plan to use the tv and 12 volt freeview box. So I'm watching and learning from this thread.
     
  14. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    @Bart - to guide you, the standard 12v sockets in the cab - one uses a 10amp fuse and the other uses a 15 amp fuse. Whatever you use, make sure the cables you use can take the load - better that the fuse blows than the cables melt!
     
  15. Bart

    Bart Funster

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  16. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    I use plug in USB chargers myself

    One thing to be cautious of in drawing heavy duty current from the 12v supply (e.g. a 12v kettle) is the cigar lighter type plug. First use saw the male side of the plug starting to literally melt because of the heavy load (8A) and poor contacts. I can't remember the make of the kettle now, as I chucked the while lot in the bin rather than risk damaging ourselves/van.

    As for invertors, I can't stand the damn things, but sometimes a necessary evil when it comes to the dreaded hairdryer (the 12v rubbish we tried followed the kettle into the bin) . If we can't get EHU and are wild camping, we have a cheap low power gennie (800 watts) to run a 400 watt almost antique Moulinex hairdryer we got on Ebay for £1, which the missus declares to be better than her 1200W travel one and brilliant. We also have a 400 watt immersion boiler to make a cuppa if we are out of gas (although a small camping gas stove would be faster and better as a standby)

    Thanks to clear advice here, our next step is a second hab battery and a solar panel. We will probably end up with an invertor just for the hairdryer, and ditch the gennie to offset the weight gain.
     
  17. Cavs

    Cavs Funster

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    One thing to watch out for with these things is that if they are permanently live they will draw current and get warm. The first one I bought failed after a couple of weeks and seemed to have burnt itself out. (No actual burning!) The supplier was good and replaced it immediately. My subsequent fittings all have a switch in the line to turn the sockets off when not in use.
     
  18. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    That is why I go for the ciggy sockets, which have no electronic parts, and then I just plug in the USB adaptor when I need it,
     
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  19. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Yar for the kettle we are sorted , got a good old fashioned kettle to use on the gas ring.
    Thanks for the heads up on the lighter overloading.
     
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  20. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Both very good points , for me i think where i am going to be putting these right above my bed , i think i would prefer the usb version
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-24V-U...e&clk_rvr_id=1058125819377&afsrc=1&rmvSB=true

    BUT ill have to see if i can find a better quality one possibly with an on/off switch, if not then mount a small on/off switch beside it.
     
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