Leisure Batteries Advice

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by oldflemo, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. oldflemo

    oldflemo Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2,165
    Likes Received:
    634
    Location:
    Redcar- N.Yorkshire
    Having found & read a very common sense post by Eddievanbitz which questions the requirement for solar panels for a number of motorhome use life styles I have decided in the meantime that we shall continue in all likelyhood motorhoming in much the same way as we presently use the caravan i.e. on sites with EHU and if not only wild camp for a very limited stop over periods.

    While now not intending to fit solar panels I do intend to fit a pure sine wave inverter (2/3KW)

    Inverter to run TV,Charge laptops/phones and no doubt short term "ping" cooking

    Can I please ask what the experienced motorhomers would fit by way of total leisure batteries
    amp/hrs to last say 2 days without EHU or driving charging?:Eek!::Eek!:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    1 x 110ah battery will easily see two days 'off grid' use.....as long as you dont use the inverter.

    A 3kw inverter will draw around 250 amps per hour if used to its maximum output.

    That obviously will flatten a 110ah battery in less than 15 minutes. (Recommended max 50% discharge)

    To run a tv and charge phones, ipad etc will only need a 150watt inverter.

    Cooking....use the gas cooker/hob.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  3. oldflemo

    oldflemo Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2,165
    Likes Received:
    634
    Location:
    Redcar- N.Yorkshire
    Given the above very useful information and the fact that we presently never use the gas cooker -If it can't be "pinged" then we must eat out is our general mantra.

    We would use an 800W microwave for say a maximum of 15 minutes per 24 hours.
    I would plan then to fit a 1K inverter and 330 amp hours of leisure batteries am I correct to think that this set up would last two days and further more would the charging set up built into the motorhome cope with these 3 leisure batteries or would that need up rating?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  4. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    2,878
    Likes Received:
    2,701
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    It's hard to be definitive without knowing your pattern of usage. What you suggest sounds adequate. As far as charging is concerned the vehicle chargers output in Amps only affects how long it takes to charge the batteries. Connecting more capacity simply means they'll take longer to charge. Provided you follow your off grid 2-3 days with a similar period on EHU your batteries will have time to recharge. One day/night on EHU would not be enough. A worthwhile investment (if you don't have one already) is a battery-to-battery charger (take a look at http://www.sterling-power.com/products-battbatt-info.htm). This boosts the charge available from the vehicle when travelling amongst other things.

    Incidentally an 800W output microwave will consume 1000 - 1200 watts when running at maximum output. A 2kW (constant) inverter will easily cope. The inverter consumes 12v power at the same rate as the mains appliance connected to it + 10 - 15% due to internal losses.

    Consider charging phones & other small devices from 12v - the chargers are dirt cheap & don't involve the extra overhead losses caused by running through an inverter.
     
  5. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    If you don't do any cooking (as opposed to reheating in a microwave), usually stay on sites with EHU and don't plan to do much wild camping, and are happy to eat out quite often, why on earth bother with the additional weight, installation and expense of three leisure batteries and a big, costly pure sine wave inverter?
    An extra 2 batteries and a 2 kw inverter will add about 60 kg to the weight of the van (and reduce your payload by the same amount). It will also cost somewhere in the region of £500 - £1,000 (or more) to purchase, depending on the type of battery and quality of inverter - that's a lot of hook-ups! (Remember that unless you are buying a new van which already has one new battery, all three batteries should ideally be the same type, size and age, so budget for buying three, not two.)
    The question of whether the onboard charger is capable of charging say 3 x 110 Ah batteries depends on the charger. Ultimately, they will all do it but 'weaker' chargers will just take longer. The installation will vary by motorhome. For example the Schaudt system in my van charges at up to 18 amps and will comfortably charge 2 x 110 Ah batteries although the manufacturer's recommended range for the battery bank is 55-180Ah. Above that, Schaudt recommend fitting an additional charging module.

    Sorry if some of my comments seem a bit direct, but your plan appears to be designed more for extensive 'off-piste' camping, rather than on sites. Ultimately, of course, it's your choice - I hope these observations are some help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  6. oldflemo

    oldflemo Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2,165
    Likes Received:
    634
    Location:
    Redcar- N.Yorkshire
    Your comments are not offensively direct at all so no need to apologise. I intend shortly to buy a used motorhome and have every intention, unless it is obviously not required by testing ,of renewing the batteries. I accept your point about "Your plan......" and you are correct whenever I can get SWMBO to inform me it's her brilliant idea!
    My cunning plan is to slowly but consistently lure her away from camping sites with EHU to more wild camping
    Thanks
    Ian:thumb::thumb:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,723
    Likes Received:
    939
    Location:
    cheshire
    dont forget that your water systempump will be 12v plus toilet flush and lights, heating also if its blown heating type that also need to run from your batteries. Change lights to LEDs to save some power usage.
    Most of us fit solar not only to help when not on ehu but also to keep the batteries maintained and charged when the vehicle is not in use as all batteries drain after time standing.
    I would forget mico cooking if not on hookup its not worth the power drainage especially when you have a gas cooker, if you want to cook quickly use a presure cooker you can do the whole meal in a few mins once up to presure and it tastes a lot better than any microwave stuff
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ali n Tim

    Ali n Tim Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,052
    Likes Received:
    4,039
    Location:
    Maidstone Kent
    I also have a question re inverters.

    Our 'style' of camping tends towards small sites or aires with or without EHU and we can last several days without. We have 2 110 amp batteries and a 140W solar panel. All our lights are LED and other than the pump and a couple of hours TV we only need to charge up phones and iPads for which we have 12v adaptors. The problem is OH's rechargeable razor which has a 2 pin plug which fits into 3 pin adaptor. Is an inverter what we need to recharge this? If so what type and wattage would we need?

    This may seem a very simple question but for a numpty like me it's not! :Doh:
     
  9. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    2,290
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Again we have a suggestion that people are going to use inverters for TVs and laptop and phone charging. Why?? All you are doing is taking low voltage and "inverting" it to high voltage and then plugging in something that takes that high voltage and is "converting" it back to the low voltage that the appliance needs to work. And in both of those processes energy is lost in the form of heat.

    Using the 12v input on the TV and 12v adaptors for laptop and phone chargers is much more efficient.

    I can understand it for hair dryers, but that is about all. Or am I missing something?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. oldflemo

    oldflemo Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2,165
    Likes Received:
    634
    Location:
    Redcar- N.Yorkshire
    Hi
    No I don't think you're missing anything at all.
    In my case it's simply in terms of the TV that we have a new TV 240V in the caravan which we planned to move to the MH. However I see your point and it looks better to buy another one this time 12V.
    Further more I've been bald as a snooker ball for some time now so hair dryers don't mean that much to me lol
    Thanks for your advice
    Ian
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Excellent plan :thumb:
    Once you get 'into' wild camping and using Camperstops abroad (Aires / Stellplatz / Aree di Sosta etc.) you will realise the huge freedom a motorhome gives you.
    As an indication of requirements, we have 2 x 110Ah leisure batteries, a 135W solar panel which charges both leisure and starter batteries and in the depths of winter, we occasionally carry a small generator for battery charging. Our TV and satellite dome run directly from 12V; we cook daily on a 3-ring gas hob (no oven and don't miss it); the fridge is on gas more than mains - we rarely hook-up apart from winter; when it's really cold, the blown air heating fan punishes the batteries more than anything else (it can be on 24/7). Typically, we can last three nights without charging when it's very cold but I prefer not to run the batteries down too much. In the summer, and particularly further south, we never think about charging - the panel (and alternator when driving) do it all and we don't hook-up.
    We also have a 150W pure sine wave inverter which is used occasionally for charging small items and running a desk fan when it's very hot.

    Any more questions - please ask - others will have a lot more advice to offer.
     
  12. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Ideally, try and charge everything directly from a 12V supply. Having said that, I don't!
    I fitted a 150W pure sine wave inverter because I used to run a laptop and sound system from it to watch DVDs (that was before we had a satellite dome and TV fitted). Now, I still use it to charge phones, laptop, electric shaver etc. Many would say why? but it's there so I use it and I don't have 12V adapters for all appliances. I'm not sure one is made for a Philips shaver. The reason I went for a pure sine wave inverter was because it was not a hugely expensive item (being small at 150W) - a bit less than £100 when I bought it. Also, I was not sure whether the power adapter for my MacBook Pro would like a modified wave inverter and as replacement adapters are about £100 a time, I did not want to risk it.
    If you decide to go the inverter route, a 150W is ample for charging small items.
     
  13. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    2,290
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Most of the TVs recommended for motorhomes are dual voltage. Lot of discussion as to which is best on this forum!

    I am bald as a coot too, but my wife isn't, hence my point about hair drying. But she only washes her hair about once every 3 of 4 days so we just need to find an EHU for those times.

    Get a little 12v to USB converter that plugs in your 12v socket for charging your phones, which are now nearly all on 5v. It may also do your tablet too. However many tablets use higher voltage (mine is 15v) and laptops are higher still at about 18v to 21v. So you will need to get a 12v plug in inverter dedicated to the voltage you need. They are not expensive. They can be picked up on Ebay but I would rather use Amazon (direct not marketplace) and pay a bit more, because of their cast iron money back guarantee if it doesn't work.
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    I would say a 75watt inverter would be more than adequate and with a battery drain of 6.25amp at max output it shouldnt tax your batteries.

    Something like THIS at just £10 and has a couple of USB ports for slow charging ipods etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  15. maz

    maz Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,516
    Likes Received:
    2,157
    Location:
    Out there somewhere
    Re using inverters for charging shavers. If the charger is of the inductance type (where the shaver sits on/in the charger with no apparent electrical connection) then you will need a pure sine wave inverter for it to charge. Same for electric toothbrushes. A lot of equipment isn't too fussy but the above are. :Smile:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Good point made by Maz and, as a full-timer, she knows a thing or two about keeping things charged up and running. I went for a pure sine wave model because I wanted to be sure it would drive anything I threw at it. If you need a small p-s inverter, here are links to a couple good quality units. Certainly not the cheapest inverters you will find, but Victron and Sterling are highly regarded.

    http://www.chandlerydirect.com/chandlery-store-uk/victron-phoenix-inverter-12-180-2538.html

    https://www.roadpro.co.uk/retail/12...erters/sterling-ps-24v-200w-inverter-1507.htm
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...

Share This Page