Electricity addiction.. a solution ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by scotjimland, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Modern motorhomes are addicted to electricity .. they cannot survive off EHU , especially in winter, for more than a few days ...
    Where has it all gone wrong, why are they so dependant on the 3 core 16A umbilical cord or an array of solar panels and a shed load of heavy batteries .. They have become addicted to electricity.

    This is far removed from the original concept of a self contained, independent home on wheels where all energy needs were met with a bottle of LPG. I would argue that this is a retrograde step and one which can be reversed ..

    The addicts ..

    * Blown air heating fan
    * Water Pump..
    * Lighting
    * TV + lappy + toys
    * Toilet flush

    Solutions

    * Truma S series gas space heater, with optional fan
    * Truma Ultrastore water heater .. Gas with mains option
    * LED lights and gas mantel light
    * Manual foot pump for wash basins, 12v pump for shower only.
    * Leave the TV and toys at home .. if you MUST have a lappy, use frugally and charge on the move.
    * Manual toilet flush

    Forget all the other 230v appliances, they only use up valuable space and PAYLOAD .. eg, microwave, kettle , griller, toaster et cetera ..

    With this set up an 85ah battery would last weeks rather than hours .. you could wild or free camp until your hearts content and use cheap CLs. with no EHU

    Another bonus, many sites are installing leccy meters and with the relentless rise in leccy costs these will become more common.

    Well, that's my view and one I hope to put into practice in our future van ..

    Could you live without the 21" TV and all the toys ?
     
  2. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    I agree where has the joy gone out of motorhoming/camping. When I started work in 1975 for Goodalls Caravans in Huddersfield, caravans to me then were a luxury and thats without all the electrics and tv points, microwaves etc that are in most units today. When we went on the meet to Waldegraves in the summer it was an eye opener. Campers bringing trailers stacked with fridges, big gas bar b ques. What happened to camping stoves and a cool box? Caravanners,that must stay there all season ,with trampolines and slides!! We took kites and bikes to keep our Funster kids amused.

    Guilty of some of what you listed, the one main one being the blown air heating. We dont have a tv or any other electrical gadgets because we prefer to sit and read, talk or play card or board games.

    Dale
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jim, I go along with everything you state except for the gas mantels, they will not last 5 minutes in a mobile vehical.

    Doug...
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Says the man who had a couple of grands worth of Victron:BigGrin:
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Doug, they are stronger than you think, we had them in a caravan that my dad towed hundreds of miles. Also I carry a tilley with a pair of mantles in a locker right over the twin axle, they have done a few thousand miles without breaking,

    I loved the smell and glow from a gas mantle, thats a really strong memory for me.
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    Having sold the RV and undecided about our next van we dug out the tent had a three week holiday in Scotland this year, Aran and Isle of Skye, .. tent, air beds, sleeping bags .. two burner gas stove and a small Weber charcoal BBQ we had a great time.. so much so we went away again for a long week in Norfolk before Chaz went back to school ..

    Back to the van,.. yes, the blown air heaters are a real killer, especially in winter.. hence my idea of having the Truma gas convector with optional fan assist and a separate gas water heater .. as fitted to many caravans..

    I love all kinds of outdoor living .. be it, van, caravan or tent .. of course you can't beat a van for winter and early season .. not much fun under canvass when it's freezing ...so perhaps a combination.. a small PVC and a tent when you want to stay a bit longer .. we shall see .. :Smile:
     
  7. Loddy

    Loddy Read Only Funster

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    As a old gypsy lady (real one) told me years ago, you spray the mantles with hair spray before you move, they will stay intact whilst travelling, I have tried it and it works

    Loddy :thumb:
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    ahhh yes.. but that was full time Jim.. besides, I've learned the error of my ways :Laughing:
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Doug

    yes they are a bit fragile, had one in a caravan which required replacing fairly regularly .. but no big issue.. they are not expensive.. bonus is the heat and you can't beat the ambience from the light .. just sooo cosy .. LEDs are practical but cold and clinical .. so a bit of both :thumb:
     
  10. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    In that case the family caravan we had when I was a kid must have been using sub standard mantels as for us, replacement was a regular thing, or maybe it was us kids poking a hole when lighting them?

    Taking of smells, I miss the smell of pine cones on a fire we had in the caravans of them days.

    Doug...
     
  11. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Not so in our van.

    I have ours set up for minimal power useage for wilding and using Aires or cheap CL's with no hookup

    Carver (nuclear powered) gas fire. so hot we dont need the blow air even though we have it.

    LED bulbs

    10" flip top tv bought from Japan that runs on its own battery or on the vans battery uses hardly any power at all

    Camos Dome (no power once tuned in)

    one 110ah battery, no solar (yet) and we can last a week without moving or hookup. couple of hours driving and back in business.
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Jim :thumb: You have got the wrong idea :BigGrin: All of the things you mention are indeed not necessary :RollEyes: but they are to make your van comfy :thumb:
    Would you go tenting without your air beds ?and sleep on the grass like the old days ?No of course not :Wink: So why do you think you need to not have a 12v pump for the loo ? it only runs for seconds :thumb: You would soon tire of the old foot pump :Rofl1: TV and dvd players again not necessary but nice to have when it is raining etc :thumb:
    I will give you the blow air heating :thumb: but then again that kicks in and out so it is easy to go 3 days and nights with just the one L/B ( btw When topping up the batt I noticed I only have a 110 amp hr not the 135 amp hr I thought I had :Rofl1:)Indeed the whole idea behind the van should be options :thumb: ie there if you want them :thumb: not just do without :Eeek:
    cooker both gas and 1 electric
    fridge 3 way
    water again both gas and electric or just gas
    the rest are luxuries but it does not mean you have to do without :thumb: after all you decide if you want to turn the tv on :Rofl1:
    Just how long do you want or need to go without the umbilical cord ? A week would be no problem with just the cost of a extra L/B for longer periods and that could be extended by a drive to the shops etc :thumb:The biggest problem is going to be water supply and finding a hedge bottom to empty the loo under :Rofl1::Wink:
    terry
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I'm not suggesting being uncomfortable Terry .. or doing without the TV fix .. just pointing out that there are alternatives to power hungry appliances like hot air blowers etc ..

    Instead of being more and more dependant on an EHU we should explore alternatives.. rather than loading up with heavy lead acid batteries, generators and glass on the roof ..

    There is no need.. that is the point and I've not even mentioned your carbon footprint :Laughing:
     
  14. 1_man_and_his_dob(lo)

    1_man_and_his_dob(lo) Funster

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    Spare a thought for those of us with compressor fridges as well. I made the mistake of leaving mine on quite high recently, and combined with running the Webasto diesel heater several times I managed to flatten the battery in less than a day :cry:
     
  15. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    not much fun under canvass when it's freezing ...so perhaps a combination.. a small PVC and a tent when you want to stay a bit longer .. we shall see .. :Smile:
    __________________


    On our recent Norfolk Meet we had a camper and he said he was lovely and snug :thumb:
     
  16. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    That's not too far from our norm.
    We have the two Truma heaters (no fan), LED lights and manual flush.
    We don't have a gas mantle light but do have a couple of LED battery lights which could be used if necessary.
    No manual pump for water but it doesn't run for all that long.
    Netbook is a must have but we have batteries that last 8 hours and can charge on the move.
    TV, which we don't use much anyway, is a 10 inch LCD so takes very little power.

    One 110 Ah battery plus we have an Aldi Power Station which can be used to charge the netbook.

    Main reason we use EHU in winter is heating as the Truma isn't all that frugal with gas when it's icy.

    Graham
     
  17. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    It is all about choices Jim :thumb: If you do not have them to use / make and you want them, your stuffed :Rofl1:
    After coming out of the RV you will have to think long and hard as to what you want and need :Rofl1::Wink:
    As to my carbon footprint I don't care :Rofl1: besides I will have a few yrs credit against your travels in the RV :Wink:
    Careful planing at this stage may go out of the window once you make your mind up about which van you are going to do :Doh: and when you come to buy the bits to do it with :Eek!:They change when you go and see what is on offer at the time :Rofl1:
    terry
     
  18. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    Whoever wrote 'horses for courses " is right.*

    We camped for years around Europe, with 4 man tent for the 2 of us, Cadac+ gas, portaloo, double bed (foot inflated, tho senior partner reckoned I could do it from another part of my anatomy -I've always assumed she meant my mouth till I joined you bunch), two folding bikes and an inflateable canoe. No probs, but that was in late spring/summer/early autumn.

    Now we're older, it's great just to roll up, whatever the weather and climate, and not have to put up tent or feeze. And in general, it's only we oldies who are nominally retired and free of jobs and kids who can swan off at any time of year...

    Also, when we were released from cancer probs, and the ferry couldn't fit us in on short notice, it was no problem to get the camping kit out again.

    * Haggis, more or less, as you might guess,
     
  19. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    We only have 1 battery in our van no solar panels and dont really use much ehu in easter 2009 we did 10days wild camping in the outer hebrides with no mains at all. Ok didnt have to use heater much or lights and have a 12v tv the rset was on gas such as fridge and cooking.
    In the winter we will use ehu more due to colder weather but id still go away in van if i couldnt get ehu just make sure my gas bottle is full.

    Gerry
     
  20. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    First time I have had hookup in 4 years was this weekend with RR.
    The RV is totaly self contained for no hookups.I only had it at the weekend becouse it was available and wanted to see if the onboard charger still worked,and it did.I have all the toys,TV,sat,laptop charger,and all the rest of the luxuries of life but am geared up for zero electric,it is possible,but not cheap to set up in the first place.
     
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