Energy Saving

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Barclaybasher, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Does anyone have any tips on how to save/conserve energy rather than add solar panels and extra batteries?
    Having lived on a sailing boat for a couple of years with no running water, EHU or fridge I have never lost the habit of using as little of the resources as possible.
    I run the fridge in the MH with the minimum of contents, shop every day or so, carry some dry and tinned food.
    Use the freezer compartment only for freezing the 'cool blocks' which I transfer (frozen) to the fridge whilst travelling.
    Thinking of buying a 'solar shower bag' - 20L black plastic bag - about £5 for heating water, when the sun shines! Has anyone used one?
    Any ideas?
     
  2. wiljoy

    wiljoy Funster

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    I really admire your efforts to stay very,very green. Most people buy a motorhome to enjoy the touring and outside life with freedom. To cut down as you have is more of a punishment, which in many ways I appload.
    In the past we have looked at various ways to cut back on useage and help the planet but as long as China and the likes pump out as they do what chance have we.
    I gather the use of your fridge will not be much different when full as it has to get to the desired temperature anyway. The amount of power to drive the motorhome interior is not much and a solar panel will save a lot, if it is strong enough. We only require electricity when madam needs a hair job so are really very self sufficient.
    Choices are for the individual but good luck with whatever you decide.
     
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  3. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Tight git :BigGrin:The van will have a 3 way fridge so turn it onto 12v while travelling -so no need for freeze blocks :Wink: It will also charge up your L/Battery while travelling :thumb:We carry both gas and leccy kettle and have gas heating and a leccy fan heater covering for hook up and non hook up.Water is heated by gas or leccy (fill kettle and boil if no leccy option )a extra L/B is the cheaper option to double your 12v power :thumb:You may well find you do not need any solar :Smile:We only have one 110 amp hr battery (no solar or anything)and if we needed more power the extra L/B is defo the way I would go :thumb:but the way we use the van we have no need for one :BigGrin:
    terry
     
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  4. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    We have used a solar shower to heat water to wash dishes, it works ok when there is enough sun..
     
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  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    keep bottles of water in by the windscreen saves buying a solar shower .
    cook with a pressure cooker .uses far less gas and locks in the flavours .
    you could use candle lights in proper safe lights if you wanted to .i use gas lights .
    another one for boiling water is a volcano /kelly kettle great bits of kit.
     
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  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    On the same theme as Alan we use a Steamer on gas or leccy ring (cooker has one leccy and 3 gas) everything fits in it :thumb:
    terry
     
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  7. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    Solar showers are a bit old hat nowadays, the thing to use is one of those pressurised garden sprayers that you pump up before spraying......top banana with the requisite amount of hot water in (no wastee).
    Your fridge (and freezer) work better full up not empty, some people put black backs full of shredded paper in a home freezer if not full, saves money.:BigGrin:
     
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  8. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    I am a tight git:thumb: and have the same set up for kettles and heating.
    The fridge is 3 way but sometimes does not maintain temperature when travelling, going to buy a fridge thermometer to check.
    Loading the fridge takes more energy - more content to keep cool
    Shopping for fresh food is not a problem - buy a baguette most days anyway.

    The shower bag - free hot water......why not?:Smile: Vic
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    both your fridge and freezer are being used inefficiently.

    a fridge or freezer should be as full as possible but allowing space for air movement.

    if you don't want to fill with food then place small cardboard boxes (empty food packets etc), stuffed with old newspaper, in the fridge/freezer,
    the less free space there is, the easier it is to keep cool.

    only open the door to take stuff out or put stuff in, and for the shortest time possible... don't spend five minutes with the door open thinking about what you want out.
    sticking to these suggestions, the fridge will use very little gas or mains electric.


    I've used the solar shower bags to great effect on a 26ft yacht in Greece, throw them on deck in the morning and by lunch time they were very hot.....but Greece, in summer, has proper reliable sunshine....we dont !
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
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  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    best for hot water used to be the black tizer bottles .then get the next size up lemonade bottle and cut the lemonade bottle to make a green house for the tizer bottle . put that in the window soon gets warm.
    whats mains leccy . only have that at home .even then i cheat and use solar alot.
    i also have a garden sprayer for use as a shower . dont actually use it now but bought it in about 1979. just change the nozzle bit for a shower head and on /off switch.
    killa spray is the way.
    but kelly kettle heats water just using small sticks or dry grass . very quickly .use one regularly.
     
  11. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    I have a 80w solar panel and one 85amp battery, all lights LED, never ran out of power yet:thumb: a Solar Hot Water Panel for the roof, now there's a thought:sin:
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    solar water get a large but very shallow tank made 2 inch deep thats all. filler at top. have a threaded exit on the end that as a bal;l valve to fit shower attachment .paint the tank black. lots of expedition trucks have them .water can get very hot though . very often have to let some out then top with cold to have a shower.
     
  13. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    we used the solar heated shower bags years ago when we had a vintage van conversion. excellent pieces of kit :thumb:

    what I havent seen for a few years is water heaters that heat water from the engine when running and store in a tank for use later.

    these days, led technology has made lighting super efficient, using a tenth of the power incandecent bulbs use. If youve lived on a boat, you know already that when not in use electrical items should be off or disconnected and not on standby.its surprising how many people dont realise the amount of power that saves. even when off. some items drain power. likewise only run the water pump for minimum time possible. to shower..... get wet, turn off tap.... soap up...... rinse off. the same as on boats. so many times over the years weve been on rallies where somebody ran out of water mid shower and sent their partner for a refill

    basically though we find a fully charged (healthy) 110ah battery is good for 14 nights without charging, including a few hours tv each day, so not bad
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hot tank or something they were called . most of the sewage trucks i drove had them .lots of maintenance vans used to have them . just an extention of the heater system running through a water tank. . used to see them advertised in old m.home mags .showing your age now i suppose. :thumb:
     
  15. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Thanks for all the tips. :thumb:
    I'm not an 'eco warrior' at all but I do believe that reducing waste and consumption whether it's food,water or energy is better than increasing production.:Smile:
     
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  16. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    I had a set up like that in my first ambulance conversion:thumb:Simply extended the pipe work from engine bay into the back and made a coil (copper pipe) stuck it into a five gallon container stood on it,s side and a filling funel so that it was easy to fill :thumb: Steaming hot water after about 20mins drive :thumb::thumb: I had 3 x 5 gallon containers side by side :thumb: under one side of the bed :Smile: 2x cold and one hot all insulated and 5 galls of free hot water that lasted all day :thumb:
    Terry
     
  17. aba

    aba

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    the alde combi boiler i have in my motorhome heats from the engine.
    works in reverse too for when its really cold outside by heating the engine from the boiler if i switch a pump on.
     
  18. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi terry ,not difficult really .bit harder on mine ok if you use long rubber hose ,ha ha .

    aba ,yes those alde heaters are good .i helped a mate fittone in his truck . neat little radiators as well. never really caught on here . quite alot of the germans use that system . but its abit expensive . but i like it .
     
  19. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    As already said but worth reiterating, an empty fridge is the absolute worst thing you can have.

    In fact if you do not want to keep a lot of foodstuff in it, if you are stationary for any length of time fill the spare capacity with plastic containers full of water
     
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