Battery life and P'boro

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by ericonabike, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    We'll be at Peterborough this coming weekend, and am slightly concerned about battery life! One possibly dumb question - is there anything [technical or social] preventing me from running the engine for a bit to boost the battery life? Thinking particularly about doing so to get the van temp up to speed as we have an Eberspacher heater.
     
  2. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Might make you popular :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    You could always buy a second battery at the show. There are usually some good offers on. JJ is the king of bargaining, shame he won't be there this year. :Sad:
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    unless you have a battery to battery type charger/relay it will take a lifetime to charge the hab batteries from the engine.

    with the engine running, the alternator sees the engine battery is fully charged so reduces charge to a trickle.
    a batt to batt device fools the alternator into seeing both hab and engine batteries as one discharged battery so increases output until it sees a charged battery.
     
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  4. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi, if its a case of running the engine or sitting there with a flat batteries, I would run the engine.

    Although we have a solar panel. We sometimes I wonder why, and other times they are the best thing we ever fitted.:BigGrin:

    But deep down I'm a generator man, they do what they say on the box. :Wink: 24 / 7 rain or shine, and Honda are the best and worth every penny. :thumb: Bob.
     
  5. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    Fair Warning to others

    Fair warning to others around me.. being an RV, we do use our generator a fair bit.

    We charge our domestic 2 x 100 amps batteries

    We run the air condition if the weather is right (some hopes)

    We run the microwave .. 1700 watts start up...

    We watch the 230v tv or use a dvd

    We may run the genny to run some of the 110v lights we have around the awning area.

    We do use it to charge the two disabled scooters we have with us

    We do charge the trailers 12v winch battery

    BUT we only run it after about 8.30 and finish before 10 p.m..... we keep within the rules of use set by Warners.

    Do I like the sound? no... so I do not want it on longer than I need to...

    But like Bob & Jane... a genny for me is important... UK weather is poor of a solar panel, while a second or third battery may be OK.. the engine route to charge the domestic side is a waste of time unless you have a battery to battery charing system and you need a big alternator like 140 amps that are on the yanks as standard.

    If you are in trouble speak to Bob / Jane...

    who knows an RV may run a power cable to you so that you can recharge your battery while they have there genny on ...

    Do not panic.. just talk to people and a problem can be sorted.

    Bob, Sue and Ezzie the St Bernard:thumb:
     
  6. Brian and Jo

    Brian and Jo Funster Life Member

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    whatever show or rally you attend,whatever club you attend with,there will always be help at hand.dont worry just go and enjoy the show.:thumb:
    brian jo & josh
     
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  7. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    We have Webasto , which is desal heating like yours.
    Ralph got 2 Trojan batteries. Sealed them up in a box and vented them to the outside. We have a solar panel on the roof too . This keeps everything topped up nicely whist the MH is in storage , as its not hooked up their either.
    We can go 4 days and nights at -temps with the heating on 24 /7 without having to resort to using a genny. Or going for a drive , unless we want to that is.
    Thats with the TV and all the gadgets 3 teenagers like to have attached to their appendages or charging up .

    We found out the first weekend we had to use the heating , the standard caravan leisure batteries supplied with it , were as much use as a chocolate fire-guard. :Doh:

    We had no hook up as we were on a New Years rally , and it was below freezing at the time too:Sad:

    Now we very rarely ever use hook up.
    Trojan 's rule in our opinion . Nothing worse being parked next to a noisy genny rattling out for hours on end.

    Now a purring Honda is not as bad , but we normally get someone with a smelly smoky caged thing.
    Ive known us move , because of it .
     
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  8. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    Ta for reassurances - guess it's an ideal place to run out of battery if we're going to! Trojan batteries sound good, but seems like they're £300 a piece?? Ouch...
     
  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Nah!
    Trojans ain't that expensive!!!!:Eeek:

    I would say more like £160 a pop!

    For more budget-conscious traction batteries, look here-

    http://justcarbatteries.co.uk/index.php/specialist-batteries/dyno-specialist-batteries.html

    We have the 30HH ones, but the 30XHS has more capacity for the same case dimensions.

    We have posted on this subject before, but we did 4 days and nights at -10 to -20 without recharging during a recent MHF ski trip. We have 2 Dyno 30HH batteries, a Banner 100Ah battery and a Webasto Dualtop. All running constantly, maintaining 20 degrees inside the van constantly and keeping our water hot. Plus a couple of DVDs every night!:thumb:

    The batteries are kept in good condition by a Sterling battery to batttery charger. A 1 1/4 hour run put enough back in for a further day and a half with power to spare!:BigGrin:
     
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  10. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    thanks for that. My current batteries were really expensive 250AH deep cycle traction batteries. They weigh at least 50% more than other batteries of the same capacity. They still seem to be at 100% after 5 years. I bought 4 of the current ones and spent in excess of £1,200. I sold 2 of them on 2 years ago and the guy is really happy with them still.

    I don't expect them to last forever so the 4H look like a really good deal.
    At 315AH. 4 of these would give me 630Ah for only £800. I would have to check the weight out though.

    thanks for the link I hadn't heard of this company before... :thumb:
     
  11. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I was first introduced to the Dynos by our local forklift traction battery bloke.
    Ours are 3 years old now and showing no signs of degradation yet. I imagine the Sterling has contributed as much as the quality of the batteries!
    The Dynos are made in the USA. Dyno has a website with data sheets published.
    A welcome advantage over the equivalent Trojans is that the 2 Dynos that I mentioned have better sealed lids which are less prone to splashing acid.:thumb:
     
  12. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Here is my suggestion Ericonabike...

    Take a hookup lead and an adaptor...

    When you hear a Funster running his genny, wander over and ask if you can hook up to his electric... he will say "yes" as it eases his guilty conscience... sorted... :Wink:

    A variation of this cunning plan works if you are a bit peckish but can't be bothered to cook... sniff out the bbq's currently fired up and pop over to say "Hello"... you always get some sausages or bits of prime steak offered... Funsters are like that... Time it right and you won't have to cook or buy food all weekend...

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  13. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    As jonandshell said you could get 2 for that.
    We have 2 and a good inverter like him also .
    I dont know which it is as Ralph did it all. I just know it works and we are warm when we need to be and can use all the electronic gadgetry as and when we need to .
    Hes also got a favourite toy that tells him what power is being used , and how many hours are left in the batteries at that usage :RollEyes:
    All totally over my head but gives him hours of fun :Laughing:
     
  14. paulmold

    paulmold Read Only Funster

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    I notice no-one has said to the OP 'I'm sure you'll be fine'. We go to 3 shows a year, have no genny, no solar panel and only 1 85amp battery. We've never had a problem with battery life. Afterall, you are going to a show - so presumably you will be out and about during the day looking at the show, that uses no battery power. At night, go and enjoy the entertainment, that uses no power if you don't leave the heating on and only then if you have a fan blower. So that leaves the battery to power your lights for maybe an hour, your water pump for literally a few minutes total (even less if you use the public showers) and perhaps your heater blower for a short while when you return to the van at night. Use the public loos when out and about so that leaves the toilet flush for a few seconds per visit.
    If you leave the site to maybe see the surrounding area you will charge the battery while you drive around. Just go and enjoy and as has been said there will always be help nearby if I'm wrong.
     
  15. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    There's a phenomonm [scooz spellinge] amongst electric car users called 'range anxiety' - the angst caused by being unsure if you might run out of juice on the road! At the moment I feel a similar 'battery anxiety' due to not knowing what I can expect from 'em! The new Bentleys, I see, have a display on the control panel showing 'battery time' which shows the likely hours of battery life remaining at current rate of consumption. All 'vans should have one I'm thinking! Mine shows me if my battery is 'good' or 'very good' but I'm not after awarding it a gold star, just want to know how long it's got to live...

    Many thanks for all the advice and offers of assistance, as ever - if you see someone wandering round with a mains lead and an expectant/pathetic expression, please say hello...
     
  16. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    You need the gadget that Ralph has fixed above the hab door i mentioned. It shows what power is going in and what is being used . How long it will last at that usage. Its a digital display and he fixed it in himself. Haven't a clue how he fixed it in , how much it was or where he got it from , but if you want to get one I'm sure i can get the details off him for you. :thumb:
     
  17. castalla

    castalla Read Only Funster

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    Dont forget if your battery becomes fully discharged chances are you will
    never be able to charge it fully again, i found out the hard way, to make it worse i bought a bargain battery at the show, the only person who got a bargain was the man who took my money, the person who mentioned Trojan Knows his stuff.
     
  18. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    I have been looking at the Dyno as a replacement for my current batteries when they expire. Due to the location of the batteries in my hab area they have a venting tube to the outside should they gas. Do the Dyno's have something similar? Since I am also looking to have a Sterling B2B charger installed there is more likely to be a need to vent. The Dyno battery would be taller in the current location and whilst I could protect the battery it would not be easy to seal them in, so any info would be appreciated. :BigGrin:
     
  19. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    JJ if you read the post

    JJ if you read the posts you will see I did tell him to find an RV (like mine) and a hook up can be provided.. no guilt... just helping out someone that has to lean the ropes.


    Bob
     
  20. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    and for everyone that can, a dozen cannot

    For everyone that can last on an 85amp battery there are a dozen that cannot. Not all have tiny van conversions. Given it is not wise to run down the battery below 50% .. your 85 amps (when new) is only giving you a safe 40 amps or less.

    I wish I could get by on such a small consumption rate. I have had to move my unman 86 amps to Ecsol 100 amps ... giving me 200 amps and I still need to runny the 4 kw genny ... but it is horses for courses and what fits one does not fit another. I would suggest as much power as you can carry or afford.


    Bob
     
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