power advice??

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by smelly&co, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. smelly&co

    smelly&co Read Only Funster

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    Hi all, We are interested in doing some wild camping and travelling around France. Have been given some advice on being more self sufficient i.e. solar panels, bigger gas bottles, double leisure battery size. Been back to see the guys where we bought our m/home from. they can help us out with the solar panel, the gas they can't (not corgi reg), and it seems there is nowhere for an additional battery on the van :cry:, so the question is in your opinion would a 110ah battery on solar power save me from to many early nights :Eeek:(please) .
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    When, is the key question - summer you'd be hard pressed to use on gas bottle in a month. Gaslow is you friend here.

    Power wise, I reckon 3 days is easy out of 85Ah with no solar. Throw an 80W solar on and from comments on here you could last indefinitely unless you get carried away using electricity.

    Depths of winter, all bets off.
     
  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Depends how heavy your usage is, and how often you move. Also, what charge the alternator puts into the battery when you do move. If using aires in France, you cannot normally stay more than two nights anyway, so presume you will be pretty mobile.

    As an example, we have 2 x 110 Ah batteries and 2 x 11 kg Gaslow bottles. We do not have a Satellite / TV system, but do watch DVDs on a laptop and powered speakers, run from a 150W inverter. We are quite 'outdoor' types, so don't spend a lot of time in the van using electricity. No solar panel or generator, and we rarely hook up to the mains. When we move, the alternator puts >30A into the batteries at the start of charging - that's the max reading on the meter, so I don't know exactly how high the current is.

    In the depths of winter, below zero (say 0 to -5˚C) we can last 3 nights, sometimes 4 without re-charging. We have used a bottle of gas over the same period with the heating on 24/7.

    In summer, we have never got close to exhausting the batteries before moving on. I guess we could last 7 days - perhaps more. During two and a half weeks around France and Italy, we used less than a bottle of gas - probably between 1/2 and 3/4.

    Hope this helps you to extrapolate some sustainability estimates for your own setup.

    Philip
     
  4. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    Have you worked out what pattern of wildcamping you intend to do because that is probably one of the most important considerations.
    The other is what your power usage is likely to be. List each appliance with its power consumption and how many h ours each day you will use them, Be conservative in your estimates, especially with computer use.
    The last is what sort of charging facilities you have now.

    Without this information no-one can give you any really useful advice.
     
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    You must be very frugle Brian, when we used gas bottles we used one bottle (13Kg) in three weeks, thats with a little heater use and a couple of showers each a week.

    On the battery, I would be struggling to get one day out of 85 amps with TV, computer, and late night reading and still not have a battery under the 11.8 voltage level. don't forget if you dont have a hookup or a solar panel your battery is only 80% charged at best by the alternator.


    Doug...
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Frugal, that's us.

    I'm just reporting what happens Doug. We did Morocco this year, left UK with a full 11kg gaslow with a 6kg Calor in reserve/BBQ. I did panic in Malaga when the much reported LPG station did not materialise. But that 11kg lasted all though Morocco and back home. We even had the heating on in the mountains.

    Electricity. Less than 1 amp has us flooded with light. We have a 10" DVD/TV which does not take much then just a bit of water pumping and air pumping as needed. I don't use my computer a lot usually because of lack of internet. When we have internet we usually have hookup.

    Other folk on here have no sense of frugal. Like the guy who wants to run a 2kw inverter for his microwave. That is a job for gas.

    Also in Moroccan panic mode I bought a 1kw generator, it's never been used in anger yet.
     
  7. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    I get the impression of you working a weak wave, like milking a mouse Hi Hi

    Doug...
     
  8. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    Hi Smelly & Co
    I fitted a second battery under the side seating/ bed is there no room under there for one on yours ?. Plus solar panel sounds ok to me, have a good trip. Pete:thumb::thumb:
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    :BigGrin: Yes, that's about it.

    I've only every had one good wave. Aboyne, with an instructor, we were still going up like a rocket at 10,000 feet and he couldn't get the oxygen to work so we had to hold it down :cry:. Absolutely glorious experience. That one flight kept me gliding at a point when, at Camphill, I had decided it was a waste of time. Last month I called into Portmoak, I thought "shall I have one last fling ?, book a week's course", then I saw the delightful face if the manageress and decided "I'm not going to suffer more abuse from her, time to call it a day".

    So I came home and ordered another RC helicopter. I've not cracked flying one of these yet but I'm not giving up.
     
  10. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Corgi ceased to exist some time ago and have been replaced by another organisation..
     
  11. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    We obviously have quite different tolerance to the cold. Our gas usage was way higher than that - although we were there for nearly three months.

    Those going to Morocco - no need to worry about gas supplies. Just buy a local 13kg bottle and swap it just about anywhere. Even swapping for different colour bottles was rarely a problem. Do need an adaptor though as the Moroccan ones have a flat face on the mating surface.

    And mostly butane rather than propane. Save your propane for the cold areas where you need heating, especially if using a fixed tank slung undert the MH
     
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