Genny or B to B-charger a question from Colin

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Armytwowheels, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    Camping in the winter off hook up? Would you fit a B to B charger ( can't remember the one Haggers is always banging on about) or a get a genny?

    By winter camping. I mean skiing in Scotland so = heater on nearly all the time and only one leisure battery and one 80w solar panel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    solar in winter...useless with heater running full time.

    generator....constant 12v and 230v power but noisey and needs reserve fuel if away from civilisation.

    B to B needs engine running to charge but much quicker charge than generator.

    B to B probably the best option.
     
  3. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Pappajohn. Colin is researching the B to B now. Can you remember the one Haggers recommends? I did look into it sometime ago but never did anything about it.
     
  4. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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  5. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi, I would try and fit another leisure battery if possible, in the past we have always had two batteries and a solar panel along with our trusty Honda generator. :BigGrin:

    When we got our latest van, being our only vehicle we went the stirling battery to battery route, but took out the 100 ah and put in 3 x 85 ah in it place. :thumb:

    That seems to be working for us, once you get use to looking at the battery monitor and seeing it drop, rather than with solar and its fully charged on a good day by 10.00. :Wink::Rofl1:

    If you go down the generator route, we have had a kipor, after a couple of years it had to go, :Doh: fuel filling the sump.
    We then got a secondhand Honda EU 2.0i had it a couple of years and sold it for what we paid. :Smile:
    And now have a Honda EU 1.0i great bit of kit, only use it for charging batteries or running the spin dryer, nice and light and does everything we want. :thumb: Bob.
     
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  6. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Hi Sandra, me and quite a few others have a sterling b2b charger.

    In your case my recommendations would be as follows ....

    First of all increase your battery bank. A couple of good traction batteries for starters. As there is only the two of you, with decent batteries you would find. World of difference.

    Then if that is not sufficient, go for a b2b...this coupled with a b2b will see your batteries in a higher state of useabilty and its very rare unless I'm running the microwave to cook something I would need to run my engine as the batteries are in tip top condition on arrival.

    I would also change all lights to led and use a direct 12v tv
     
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  7. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi Sandra,

    As Bob and Paul above recommended. :thumb:

    We have a large battery bank, 2 x solar panels, a Sterling B2B, and a built in generator, however, I can't remember the last time the genny was used in ernest. :Eek!:

    HTH,

    Jock.
     
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  8. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    It really depends on how long you will be campeed without moving the motorhome as the B2B only works when your engine is running. If you're going to be in one place for several days then the genny is the better, if less friendly option. If however you will only be stationary for one or two nights then a bigger battery bank and the B2B would probably serve you better. Anotheer point to consider is that with just the one leisure battery the B2B charge rate could prove to be too much, leisure batteries do not like high charging rates and charging current should be kept to 20% of battery capacity i.e. 100AH of battery capacity should not be charged at more than 20Amps.

    D.
     
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  9. lee52

    lee52 Funster

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    I know one of the issues with gennys is the noise levels my bus came with a 5kv honda genny on board and yes it was noisy and vibrated the bus i have now rubber mounted the genny frame to the bus (genny is rubber mounted to its frame as standard ) and grafted a second exhaust from a 4 stroke scooter to the output of the standard exhaust and to be honest you can hardly hear the thing run i would even dare say you could have it running in the bus and watch the tv lol
     
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  10. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    Thanks guys, lots to think about there. Colin is favouring the B to B option, but as we are planning on selling the van next year I favour the genny option.

    Was there any drilling and making extra holes involved with fitting the b to B? Would it be easy to uninstall when selling the van? I guess if we got the 2nd battery we could take that with us when we sell.
     
  11. lee52

    lee52 Funster

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    Personally i would leave the second batt and B2B when you sell the van makes it more saleable for the price of a bat etc... you will be able to sell it easier and for the money you want if you know what i mean
    It like when i used to sell cars if I put 20quid wheel trims on I didnt get 20 quid more but the car sold easier and for the money i wanted
     
  12. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Dave Newell quite rightly pointed out that the B2B can exceed the recommend charging rates for leisure batteries.
    It is my opinion that the Sterling chargers are best suited to good quality traction monoblocs. Traction monoblocs are typically warranted for 2 years for up to 250 cycles a year. Peak discharge currents frequently equal the total Ah rating of these batteries whilst in work. Regenerative braking of the machine can frequently cause charging currents of up to 50% of the battery's Ah rating.
    Given these figures, I am more than happy to charge my batteries at a current of around 40% of the total capacity of the bank. For us, I don't think we cycle our batteries any more than 20 times a year, given that they last for several days when pitched up!
    Our traction batteries will be with us for many years to come, despite the fact we charge our 345Ah bank at up to 120 amps!:Eeek:
     
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  13. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    I agree with haggers. We use the van all year round. We have Webasto which is a drain on the batteries ( but brilliant ) with the Trojan batteries and solar and B2B we can go for days off hook up. Using all the electric gadgets we require. Traction batteries are the way to go.:thumb:

    Personally I think there's nothing worse than someone turning up and sticking their generator on for hours on end. Just to watch the tv etc. usually putting it away from their van , so they don't hear it as much. :Angry:
    Though the honda ones are a lot quieter :BigGrin:
     
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  14. jb0371

    jb0371 Read Only Funster

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    we have the b2b charger with 2 traction batteries and a battery monitor bnb1 i think. we never use hook up, the main consideration is the use of traction batteries best to dump the so called leuisre batteries
     
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  15. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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  16. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    I have also been trying to think of an affordable solution to the battery issue - Efoy is wonderful but not within affordability of many motorhome owners, unfortunately, with a fully installed, decent system costing thousands.

    Would the Sterling battery to battery maintainer or the B2B charger be preferable if the motorhome is stored, as ours is, on a site with no hook up? It isn't always possible to drive it around to keep the charge up, so I tend to visit and plug it in to the genny (Honda e20i) for an hour or so. We only have a single habitation battery - a 110aH lead acid, which I have just installed in place of the uber expensive 85aH original gel. The Schaudt electroblok is ok with it (thanks Eddie vanbitz for the info) and is set for the battery now. The genny seems to charge it up nicely,and run things well as well, but we always need to leave before its fully charged. By the time I manage to return a week later, even though I switch off the 12v system before we leave, the battery has drained down so much thatthe panel actually turns off completely. It charges up easily once I attach the genny, though.

    Perhaps adding the second 110aH battery would help, and a B2B would charge them up quickly, leaving them fully charged when we leave?
    Can one install a B2b alongside a Schaudt electroblok? Or even perhaps, a Sterling maintainer?

    Oh for an unlimited budget.........:Eeek:
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Funster Life Member

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    The only thing I would add to this is more battery capacity.
    Steve
     
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  18. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    As far as I am aware there is no problem using a B2B with a schaudt electroblok although I would always recommend professional fitting of the B2B by someone like Eddie VB or Dave Newall. I have a clever relay in mine to make sure that it doesn't give a problem elsewhere in the van, although for some reason some people don't bother with this.

    I susspect you would need to increase your habitation battery bank by at least adding another battery.
    Do you have solar panels? or is your van in storage inside? This is another way of keeping topped up..

    The advantage of the B2B over your genny, is that it would charge the batteries up so much quicker. I am no expert, but believe the onboard charging system is rated between 16 and 20 amps where as a properly installed B2B 50 amp charger will do exactly that, charging up quicker, therefore you only need to be travelling a short distance after picking the van up to top up the batteries nicely.

    I have a genny too. It has not been out the van since I fitted the b2b charger other than to help fellow funsters out. :thumb:
     
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  19. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    I agree with Paul..............The advantage of the B2B over your genny, is that it would charge the batteries up so much quicker. :thumb:

    But........................On the other side of it is with a generator, when its running 240v, :Smile: your not only charging batteries, you could have your tv / sat box and couple of laptops being used and on charge and all the other gadgetry that Jane has charging too. :Doh: :Rofl1:

    You have to weigh up what's best for you, as said the reason we had a B 2 B in this van is its our only vehicle, so goes off to the shops more, so short trips putting loads of power in. :BigGrin:

    And the other thing is a B 2 B is very light and small, a generator plus a can of petrol weighs let say 15kg, extra batteries 10kg each, all these things have to be taken into account. :Eek!: Bob.
     
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  20. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    If I was selling/exchanging the MH next year, I wouldn't be fitting a B2B or solar panels, until the new MH was "on the run".

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
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