Electrical Question or Questions

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Heyupluv, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Help required please.
    At the moment we have a 110amp solar panel and a 85ah battery fitted from new on our now 2 year old motorhome…and as we are now looking to buy another new motorhome would not wish to put these items below on the motorhome that I will be exchanging….

    We struggle with power when it is early and later in the yearly seasons, but manage through the summer…..and due to the wife requiring many hours of the TV and a few hours on the laptop I was thinking of making a small "power plant" to tow behind the Motorhome.



    Due to most 3500kg motorhomes being on there limit "BEFORE" you put anything inside including, yourselves, clothes, food, deckchairs, tables, fishing tackle, etc....maybe my only option would be to tow a small 750kg camping trailer behind the motorhome......

    In this trailer (boxed) I would put

    3 x 110ah cheap lead batteries

    separated by a panel would be my

    IG2000 KIPOR generator



    Also I would put most of the items above in the trailer



    So I would require a charging system inboard on the trailer.......a charger big enough to charge the three batteries either while on mains hook up or from the generator if this is possible.





    So what kind of a charger do I require..........which one.......what cables size is required..

    A charger that could be left on all the time and not damage the batteries, that could be left on over winter to keep them in tip top condition





    Were would be the cheapest place for the 110v batteries (bearing in mind as close to the channel tunnel as possible ( as battery in France is very expensive) and what price are they.



    I may even contemplate putting a solar panel on top of the trailer just to keep the batteries toped up??.....so I would require a regulator for the solar panel....what kind and type for 110amp

    Would it be possible to run the generator while travelling along in the trailer in a padded box (with pipes and vents in) or does this sound silly and dangerous ??



    If possible a wiring diagram for the required work…..or is this a none starter and just a silly idea!!:Doh::Rofl1::Rofl1:



    Mel
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes Mel.. I think it is , trailers are a pain in the ass at the best of times.. besides

    your a Yorkshire man, think of the extra toll charges and the number of freeloaders who will want to plug in,,, .. :Laughing:
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    with a 110 AMP solar panel you will not have power problems at all, just probewlm of where to put it:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    110 Watt panel is totally different and if made to turn towards the sun on all but rainy days will serve you well, you could consider a wind charger on the trailer as well, however both panel and wind charger would be very nickable.
    you could run a genny whilst travelling, or fit a bigger alternator to the van and run a split charge relay to the trailer.smaller TV, led lights, lower power lappy and 2 x solar panels should cope fine. Trailer really is a pain, thinjk about an older Hymer with lots of payload and maybe built in genny.
    Once you have decided what you need we will think about wiring.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I towed a small trailer for years, and a bigger one on many current trips. You get used to them, and as long as they are not too big, its rare to find that they don't fit on the pitch with you. However security is a problem, especially if you load it with panels and wheel clamps are a right pain.

    I sometimes have a genny in mine, the doors are very secure, it has 2 double doors, the inner set has bars as it was designed as a dog kennel, so you can leave the genny running security and still vent the exhaust whilst killing most of the sound.
     
  5. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Jim are you saying us Yorkshire men are tight.............that we have long pockets like the scots and we can not reach our money...heavens forbid
    Jim I will chop there bloody hands OFF!!!!!! and anything else hanging close!!!freeloaders....................wanting to plug in
    Jim I very rare travel on toll roads I can not see the point.....I don't have that many years left so I am not in a hurry...........but I take your point.....my UK license is the problem in France ...I am still on the large pink A4 size......at the moment I can drive 7.5 tons, so that is not a problem...but as the French give you twelve points and take them off you if you have committed any offence...so to do that they take your Uk license and give a French License for 3500kg WHOOOPs !!!!!! so if you have a large motorhome then that becomes a problem.....I changed my UK license for a French license hoping to have the 7.5tons which it did and the French officials said it was like for like......OH NO they are not...so quickly removed my old license back off them and returned the French one (with in 30 mins of reading the license)...in the uk If you passed your test before 1997 (could be 1995 not sure) you are allowed to drive up to 7.5 tons, up to the age of 70 and then you need a doctors cert I think every three years.....well here in France things are a little different you have to have passed you test before 1973 to drive 7.5 tons or to have taken a test ( I did pass my test before 1973)....whooops that is showing my age
    So I have to be very careful..speed limits. etc...not to commit any offence.:thumb:

    Mel :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  6. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Jim.....thank you for your input.....I have a 2 ton tag axle trailer, and I have always had builders trailers and also towed with large caravans all over the uk for about 30 years so towing is not a problem .........my problem is the power required to run the tv for the wife or the motorhomes goes :cry::cry::cry::cry:......my other idea was to fit a generator onto a fixed bicycle for the wife to pedal....the more you pedal the more TV you can watch:Doh::Angry:...I think the chosen words I had in reply, it was not going to be a starter.
    And the new motorhome we are looking at is 7.33 or 7.44 ..3500kg with large garage "BUT STILL THE WEIGHT PROBLEM" so towing a small trailer should not cause a problem size wise
    Mel
     
  7. johng

    johng Read Only Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1:generator onto a fixed bicycle for the wife to pedal....:Rofl1:
     
  8. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Roger .....Wind generator.....NO
    Solar panel were I have to keep pointing it to the sun NO
    Changing bits on a new Motorhome .....NO
    OLD HYMER.......NO
     
  9. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Just sold the thing you were looking for at Shepton Mallet.
    Box trailer wired for electric via a split Y cable with trip switch inside for when you were on campsites,you could do as I did and put your freezer,washer etc in there.
    It had a place for a battery bank which was fed through a heavy duty cable seperatly from the lights etc.This charged the battery whilst traveling.Spinning vent on roof like you see on police dog vans to keep it vented.2X bike racks on roof.
    I did think about putting an extra solar panel on the roof but as said before the security was a problem,so didnt bother.
    I used it with a big inverter to carry filleted fish back from Norway in a freezer that I kept in there.
    Regarding running gennys when on the road...no problem there, the Americans do it all the time.I have done it myself when very hot so that I can run the roof airco,and now have a freezer which fits into a locker.
     
  10. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    ("It had a place for a battery bank which was fed through a heavy duty cable seperatly from the lights etc.This charged the battery whilst traveling").

    Hi Snowbird were was you taking the feed from, and what size cables was you using.

    Mel:thumb:
     
  11. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    The feed was from the leasure battery in the camper.
    They were thick leads from Maplin,and I fed them through a length of garden hose to double protect them.There was a big red 3 pin female socket fitted to the RV and the male fitted to the trailer,these were a bit OTT but didnt want any voltage loss.
    The battery bank in the trailer was charged by the same methods as the RV,ie alternater whist traveling,solars whilst no hookup,battery charger when on hookup.
    Becouse the trailer battery bank was conected to the RV batterys I could charge or run from them,electric will travel to or from,if you can understand what am saying.
    I had a bank of 4 ex UPS 140amp batteries in the trailer which were adequate for running anything in the trailer if it wasnt hooked up to the RV for some time,and when it was hooked up the RV could feed from it.
    The RV has 3X 110amp ex UPS batterys on board which gave almost 1000amps total....plenty for the wifes TV:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Good luck with the project.:thumb:
     
  12. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover

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    NO harm in running a genny in a trailer A butcher friend of mine did it for years to run the frindges in the van when going mobile shop

    you will need a regulater 10 amp for a solar panle of up to 130W
    if you go larger than 130W pannel then fit a 20amp

    see if you can get a ZIG unit from an old caravan this wil wire in the trailer and do all you are wanting to do

    yours ian F
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Mel

    I've had a think about this idea, correctly, you have identified the cable size required to hook this to the van system is critical ..

    When transmitting the power from the trailer batteries to the van, the cable must be large enough not only to carry the current (Amps) but to keep the volt drop to a minimum ..

    In order to calculate you need to know two things.

    a) maximum current
    b) cable length

    For example.

    Assuming a load 20A with a cable length of 8 mt will require 25sq mm cable , this is roughly the size of welding cable and would also need a similar type of plug and socket to facilitate connection between trailer and van. you would also need to run a same sized earth cable to bond van chassis to trailer.

    The supply from the trailer would be connected to the existing van leisure battery and fused at both ends.

    For charging, I would buy a good quality 20A multi stage charger from either Sterling or CTek ..
     
  14. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    This was the trailer,sorry its the only photos I have of it now.
    When I said big red connecters,I meant mains 3 pin round ones,great big heavy duty things with brass plugs.
    Dont know the size of the cable,but it was big,just fit nicely inside a garden hose.
     

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  15. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Jim you are a national treasure..........................Mel:thumb:
     
  16. alan

    alan Funster

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    towing

    Hi
    the other alternative would be to have the weight upgraded on the motorhome and carry everything in the garage
    Alan
     
  17. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I think that just having your weight upgraded and having an extra leisure on board and run a generator would be a far better idea.

    You would never be allowed a generator and batteries in one trailer due to transport regs as the gases would be near to a source of ignition, even if not running you would be scorned. The trailer would also need to be sealed and the various haz-chem signs put on to state what is in there. You won't need any licences as you are a few batteries away from needing that in weight, but mixing battries in a non sealed, non leak proof container and throwing a gennie in will please the vosa man.

    Keep it simple, run a generator - to not be on hook up for more than a week or so, you will be wilding someplace, so you won't disturb anyone - and worst comes to the worst just run your gennie when stopped at services, for lunch etc. Lorry drivers run theirs in fridges all night, so shouldn't be a problem - so pick a spot in a truck stop, lay-by etc and no-one will mind. Lorry drivers are used to engines/gennies running all night....although I do remember a fridge lorry in stafford services that must have had an 8 litre v12 with no exhaust running his fridge...not much sleep that night!:thumb:
     
  18. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Genny would not be running whilst he was in motion as the camper alternator would charge his batteries.
    He would never need a genny anyway with the system I described earlier,but if he did,it would normaly sit in a purpose made soundproof box on the A frame of the trailer,which is well out of harms way of the batteries.:thumb:
     
  19. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    only mentioned as the op stated he would seperate them with a board. Your idea does seem more thought out, and you do have a much larger vehicle so probably require longer of site periods.

    Our vans batteries last 3 days minimum with the tv on, so I can't imagine how long they would be off mains for, and if every 3 days then just take a gennie!

    Each know their own circumstances, and have their own reasons - I just like to keep things simple!
     
  20. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Hi Motorhomelover you sent me Private Message! wanting us to meet up, I replied and said I would, and agreed to meet you at Calais port aire were you was landing on the day of your arrival Sunday 5th....???...I waited two days, you did not arrive or or send a message saying you had any problems or had changed your mind ????......Your private message was out of the blue as I did not know you, or had we even chatted to each other on motorhome fun, ..

    (quote your message) "hello I am Ian
    I will be headding off to France in a few days time
    in my RV with my partner Carole
    i saw your details on here and wondered if you would mind if we are in your area maybe meeting up for a few hours niether of us speak french very well
    maybe you could help point us in the right direction so to speak
    booked on sunday 5th ferry with a 2 day stop near Amienswith 2 weeks in total to do some sight seeing

    so may i ask what part of France your in "


    myself and the wife agreed to meet up with you,........I have sent you many Private messages asking why you never turned up and why you did not reply ??

    Mel

    I just thought while you was replying on my thread I would ask you ?????
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
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