European gas refill and solar panel questions

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by RebeccaKristy, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    Hi,
    We are due to go to Europe for 9 weeks in this summer. As we have solar panels we want to avoid the cost of hooking up.

    Question 1- If you don't have gas low(we don't) how do you get gas on the continent? Do you need adapters? How does it work?

    Question 2- As the solar panels don't power very high I have never been able to plug anything in. If I got a 12 voltage appliance, would it work off the sockets or do they only work when hooked up?

    Thank you!
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    3 pin sockets are 230v and only work on hookup....unless you use an inverter but batteries will suffer.
    12v appliances will work off cigarette lighter sockets but again, your batteries will suffer as you are relying on sloar panels alone to recharge them.

    Gas...buy a bottle and regulator in the country you are visiting, usually available from large supermarkets....calor gas is UK only.
    not safe trying to refill UK bottles via an adaptor...you can overfill the bottle.
     
  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Can't really answer Q1, but I'm confused by Q2. You should have a 12 volt socket, probably a cigar lighter type. Any 3 pin sockets you have will be 240 volts but only if you are on a hookup.
    To get 240 volts off hookup you need an inverter. Or a genny.
     
  4. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    There is one cigar type plug but it is in the cupboard! Running the tv. No other sockets. Really wanted to plug in a slow cooker.
    Any ideas about how long a gas bottle might last? What do you do with the empties if you aren't in the country any more?
    Any ideas how much gas a fridge uses per day? Maybe hooking up is not too expensixe?
     
  5. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    I think you should bite the bullet and fit Gaslow bottles. You can do it yourself quite easily and I find it so easy to refill the bottles at most service stations in France.

    The slow cooker question is more of a problem as you would need an inverter and the draw from the battery would be quite high and it is very unlikely that the solar panel would be able to replenish the power taken out.
     
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  6. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    We are thinkingQUOTE="Xabia, post: 1345835, member: 15031"]I think you should bite the bullet and fit Gaslow bottles. You can do it yourself quite easily and I find it so easy to refill the bottles at most service stations in France.

    The slow cooker question is more of a problem as you would need an inverter and the draw from the battery would be quite high and it is very unlikely that the solar panel would be able to replenish the power taken out.[/QUOTE]
    We are thinking of this. How much does it cost if you diy ? Seems mad, as it is gas! But we really have to save money. We will be spending 2 weeks in italy so would have to fill up before, then 1 week in Croatia ?
     
  7. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Gas usage for fridge depends on the size & type of fridge need to know make & model. our 160Lt fridge freezer I think is rated at 320 grams per 24 hours but will vary depending on outside temperature.
    For a slow cooker you would need an inverter a 300 watt one would do it. Most slow cookers are 150/160w, running from an inverter allowing for efficiency of the inverter it would draw around 15 amps. If you only have one 90 A/H battery it would give you 3 hours use, as you shouldn't discharge a battery below 50% unless it is a Gel or Traction battery which you can take down to 80%. If you have a 100 watt solar panel on a bright clear sky sunny day that would give you 5 amps for a couple of hours either side of mid day the rest of the day a lot less also the slightest shadow will considerably reduce the output.
    To sum up don't bother with a slow cooker, if you want to cook one pot meals get a small pressure cooker, much more efficient.
     
  8. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    Thank you lenny, will leave it at home!
     
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  9. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    For any serious Eurotravels you should fit Gaslow/Gasit bottles. You can always keep them when you sell the van.
    Gas it are the cheapest ( same as gaslow) easy to fit as well.
    Phil
     
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  10. maxine and jo

    maxine and jo Read Only Funster

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    Living remote in spain I can assure you ,you will need a genny if you intend to wildcamp you will not be able to use this on any camp site a gas fridge will last about 4 week off one bottle,and without at least 500w of solar on 24v system an inverter to power a slow cooker would be impractical
     
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