A couple of new gadgets, and solar power experiment

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by DanielFord, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    OK, so a few months ago @eddievanbitz fitted our van with a new battery bank (2 x 100ah Banners), 150w solar and a 2kw inverter. Even before this was done, I always suffered from battery anxiety when we were away from an EHU.
    This week I have been conducting a little experiment, since I have purchased a couple of goodies for then van. The first is a Nasa Marine BM-2 battery monitor (I raised a query about this a little while ago). After many suggestions (thanks everyone) I decided that the only one readable for someone who is horrendously long sighted without glasses is the BM-2. I got a cracking deal off of ebay, and the unit was delivered last weekend. I took me about 5 hours to fit, largely because of the awkward position that we selected to fit it:
    IMG_0595.JPG
    The big problem was feeding the wires up to this point! In this photo the power is not running to the unit, hence the blank screen.
    Anyway, I have had the van off hookup all week, so that the unit could 'learn' the power characteristics of our van. This weekend I have been living in the van, and using the inverter rather than hooking up, and recharging only from solar.
    My battery anxiety has now all but disappeared. Since I have the backup that I could always hookup, I haven't been particularly frugal with the power. Cappuccino in the morning, watching telly until late at night, hot blowers going all the time I am in the van, and of course, an Americano before bed. So far the battery charge has not dropped below 80%, and it hasn't been particularly sunny! The only thing that shocked me was how much power the coffee machine drew from the batteries. it peaks at 137 amps whilst making a cuppa! The battery bank seems more than capable of dealing with this though, since it only runs at this peak for about 20 seconds, and then drops back to about 50 amps, a full cup is delivered shortly after, and the current draw returns to about 5 amps.
    The second gadget (which has also been used on the inverter) is a Vax dual power upright carpet cleaner. Argos have a special offer on them, and we picked one up for £129. We had previously cleaned our carpets in the van using a Rug Doctor that we rented about 3 months ago. I just did them again, and all I can say is - "Oh My God!" the carpets were so dirty! And up until about 30 minutes ago they looked really clean, that was before the hound went out and walked mud back into the van - got to love dogs!
    Heartily recommend this unit since it is lightweight, and I think it cleans better than the rug doctor!
     
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  2. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    What inverter are you using?
     
  3. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    It was the one Eddie recommended, a Waeco MS1812T pure sine wave, and I can confirm it is bloody brilliant!
     
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  4. andrewjw

    andrewjw Funster

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    When we had a dog we used washable mats in the van... and made some attempt at cleaning his feet before he got in.

    We always take our shoes off before we get in the living area of the van...it is a socks/bare feet area only!

    Same at home ...outdoor shoes get left by the door.
     
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  5. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    When we are in a muddy area we put a towel down by the door, and clean her feet when she comes in.
    I have literally no idea how she got her feet muddy last night, I just let her out into the garden, which is reasonably dry. She jumped back in about 10 minutes later and left muddy footprints everywhere! :mad:
     
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