Leisure battery usage

Discussion in 'Top Tips & Tricks' started by Aethelric, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    This may be of some interest.

    I have done a little investigation into the leisure battery and and the electrics on my Nuevo. As a results I think I can now go almost indefinitely without a hook up. No solar panels involved.
    I have put the details here.

    http://2045.co.uk/blog/leisure-battery/

    Dave
     
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  2. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Crikey - that blog just proves to me he doesn't have a telly.....!
     
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  3. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Why rough it? Its a motorhome not a tent!!:BigGrin:
     
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  4. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    No, I'm just a retired engineer, and most of the telly is rubbish anyway.
     
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  5. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    Yep its a hard life. It's mid December as I write this. We are warm and snug in the van as we have been for the last 7 days. We operate the van normally, but we just don't need hookups. Water is the biggest issue but we know a few garages . We don't pay site fees but eat out most nights. Roughing it? Yeah, right.
    :Rofl1:
     
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  6. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    80w Solar panel DIY i bet I can find for £120 all in..
    The price between a 70 and 110amp battery is small...

    Unless you want to move anyway then Your 350 miles is costing fuel..

    I love the webpage, the maths and principles involved BUT :Doh:
     
  7. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    That's a lot of work, obviously you enjoyed doing it too.
    We have 2 x105 ah batteries and a solar panel and led lights, so when it's sunny we are sorted and don't need an EHU
    For when it's dull, we use what we want and if the batteries go flat ( they haven't yet) we have a generator, but the van will start anyway because that battery, although used to supplement the leisure batteries, will be isolated if there is any risk of it draining too much.
    I see your point, but I really couldn't be bothered to keep tabs on everything we use.
    We like to live on the edge, sometimes we don't go to bed till after 10pm either! :Eek!:

    Allan
     
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  8. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    I did a very similar thing in my last van. Like yourself I don't really use sites so don't usually have EHU. Besides, I don't get buying a mobile solution that needs to be plugged in which I guess is what your getting at?

    My last van used so little 12v that I didn't bother with any sort of split charge or solar. In fact the only charging it had was a cheap 240v charger that I plugged in every month or so.

    My van was really basic. A few LED lights, drop-in water pump and a couple of charge points. I used a laptop with great battery life as a TV when I wanted it and like you charged it whilst driving.

    My new van I also wanted independent of EHU. This wasn't as simple as it has a PC running in it almost all the time I'm away, compressor fridge and quite a few other 12v bits and pieces.

    The new system took a while to design and cost a bit but gives me the same freedom as my last van - but with a few more home comforts :Smile:
     
  9. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    Dave – thanks for posting the Blog – plenty of helpful advice.

    But -

    That dog is standing too close to the edge - keep an eye on it before it disappears over the cliff!

    :france::france::france:
     
  10. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    An interesting post, you have clearly considered this! However, how do you keep warm? I have found that the biggest user of electricity in my van is the fan used on the gas heating. When we were in France 4 weeks back we had to have the heating on 24/7 and could only manage 3 days max if we were lucky before the batteries ran low (We have 2x90a).

    The lights, fridge and radio etc barely use anything

    :Eek!:
     
  11. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    Hi tonka. The battery came with the van, when it's clapped out I may get a bigger one but I don't think I'd need it. The battery compartment is obviously made for a bigger battery, but I have fitted an inverter in the spare space. I usually go to see the sights, or to the shops most days when I'm away so the top up is not costing anything. The only need for a solar panel would be to keep everything charged when the van is parked for a days or weeks, but the £6 isolator switch takes care of that and is very simple and reliable.
     
  12. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    Wow.. That's pretty cool. Not for us though. We like our electricity too much. Plenty of lights... Nice big tv with pvr.. Raspberry pi. Phones.. iPad.. Kindle hd.. Plenty of warmth and hot water.. Laptops too sometimes..
    Batteries are fine at the moment but our van is new to us and we haven't put solar on it yet.. We will be this spring before the summer hols. We tend to use hook ups because we like them.. Club sites and cls can be very nice..
     
  13. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    Hi.Keeping warm is no problem in our van. Over the past week two weeks outside temperatures have been as low as 2C and we have been very cosy. Our heater can be used with or without the fan ( I believe the fan was optional). It heats up the living space easily without the fan, although the fan warms the shower room quickly.
    In the evenings we draw the shutters and curtains and (important) the skylight shutters. On the coldest evening we still only had the heater on No 4 (it goes to 10). We don't really like a heated bedroom, but we have left it on at No 1 a couple of times. No fan though.:Smile:
     
  14. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    Yep, if you are regularly on sites just use the EHU.
    My lights are brighter than standard BTW. But we just use a PC (16" screen" with a USB TV adaptor I have downloaded lots of programs recorded at home on the PVR but we never seem to find the time yo watch them. We also have two phones, two tablets and a laptop. Heating and hot water are off the gas.:thumb:
     
  15. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    When I'm cycle touring I can keep everything charged with my 6W hub dynamo. This has allowed me to keep a tablet, GPS, phone and camera charged up for a couple of weeks at a time without recourse to disposable batteries.

    Downside is I have to cycle for about 8 hours every day to do it!
     
  16. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    An interesting article. There's a lot of information that could be useful to many. Thanks for posting it.:thumb:
     
  17. Aethelric

    Aethelric Read Only Funster

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    Great article.
    If I had to have the PC running all the time, I'd have to rethink. The split charge relay, as you point out is not ideal. Getting the battery up to 85% charge when you are only advised to take it to 40% (for a reasonably long life) is not too good. I have found that reducing the screen brightness reduces the consumption. Its usually set far too bright anyway. Its not great but it will run for about 4 hours from fully charged and it usually charges up with routine driving. I have a MiFi unit connected continually too.
    I did a rough experiment BTW and my van (2.5l Peugeot boxer) costs about 70p per hour to run on tickover. I only had to use that before I installed the PDU bypass circuit.
     
  18. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for that, we were well peeved that our last one ran out of juice (Battery power) quickly even with a solar panel, we didnt know then that there was a solution like yours.
    We changed the van for an older one with no PDU on it and it does last longer and more efficiently.
    (build quality problems also led to this)
     
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