Which is the best route to take ?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by snooky, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. snooky

    snooky Funster

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    Im going to be going away next weekend for a few days and I'm wanting to know I'll have enough power to last the few days without using an electric hook up do what would my best option be ?
    Should I get a 2.2kw genie if big enough or should I look at solar panels? And what size would do for me if I did get solar ?
    Just don't want to be caught out and have no power left in the battery's and where would an inverter come into this ?
     
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  2. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    I wouldn't rush at it. Provided you don't turn all your 12v Gizmo's on for hour apon hour you should be able to cope for a few days. Before spending a fortune on Solar or the much maligned and noisy generator best to check what size habitation batteries, and how many you have. Check if your lighting has LED bulbs as this will greatly reduce your consumption. If you are moving about then ensure you are switched so the engine charges the habitation battery and keep the use of 12v TV's etc down to a minimum. Try it out, keep an eye on the battery gauge and make decisions based on your experiences. Hope this helps, Oh, and have a good time..:happy:
     
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  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    You can always just start the engine. It may not be ideal but it should prevent your batteries going completely flat. It isn't a long term solution unless you fit a B2B charger which maximises the charging but it will suffice and wont do any harm while you work out what you want for the long term.
     
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  4. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    As they wrote above. Try it out for a trip or two and be aware of how much you use. We've only got a 100AmH battery but very rarely run low on power, even when we've been static for a few days and spend hours watching the TV because it entertains the kids while it pour with rain or sleet during our trips to Scotland.
     
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  5. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    I forgot to mention. Don't use your taps for too long or too often. The pump uses quite a bit of power. Until you are familiar with your van best to take a couple of 4 pint milk bottles and use water from the site taps when you can, it will save energy.
     
  6. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Remind me to stand upwind of you should we ever meet! :)
     
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  7. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    I can use a tap, I only have a small one!! :think:
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  8. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    @snooky you don't say how much battery capacity you have and what you intend to run. This will give the experts here a better idea how to answer your question.
     
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  9. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    We have two 135ah batteries and have been fine for five days using them for lights LED's, telly and chargers etc. without moving or starting the engine. No solar.
     
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  10. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    No replies from @snooky as yet, do you think his battery is flat already?!! :giggler:
     
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  11. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Come on @snooky, reply and give us an idea of your outfit, we might be able to give you better advice, and we don't bite....well, not often anyway!! :happy:
     
  12. snooky

    snooky Funster

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    Some quick replays there lol, my kids were on my phone playing games and then I never went back on site till now.
    I've got a 100ah leisure battery for fridge and runs of gas too and my heating runs of the gas and I've got 2x11kg gas bottles but while I'm on site I've got a plug in 700w oil less heater that I keep on low to keep chill off but at mo have it on full during the day to keep the Mrs warm ☃☃ and the kids have iPads and I phones to charge up because life without gadgets is a nightmare apparently
    Think that's all apart from not got led lights or anything yet as only just bought the M/H
     
  13. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Hi Snooky.
    Not sure what you mean, battery for fridge?. Surly fridge only works on mains, gas or is topped up by vehicle alternator when engine is running.? Use gas for heating, no 12v consumption there and phones etc use a small amount when recharging. If you have room it might pay you to get another leisure battery and connect the two together. led lights can replace your ordinary 12v bulbs and make a big difference, not expensive or difficult to do either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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  14. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Each to their own but we very rarely use a heater in our van and can survive comfortably without when it is below freezing outside. Phones & iPads can be charged up without issue using 12V supply. We tend to find that electronic gadgets are used much less when we are away; we only use the TV when it is pouring with rain or we have long nights and not enough books. Mobile phone signals are not reliable where we go to so the internet is often limited :)
     
  15. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I would change the lights to LED as soon as you can and wouldn't use an electric heater. Our heating is gas only but doesn't use all that much (2 x 11Kg gas bottles last far longer than a long weekend even during winter). In cold weather we leave the heating on minimum overnight so as to stop the water dropping.
    As said above, your fridge should only run off 12v when the engine is running and that will be from the engine battery not the leisure battery.
    Apart from lights, water pump and charging gadgets we use very little electricity so find a 80Ah battery with 80W solar panel is fine.
    See my notes Here.

    I've just noticed you are from Tees-side as well. If you're anywhere near Acklam drop me a PM and I'm sure we can get together some time if you want some personal advice :)
     
  16. snooky

    snooky Funster

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    Yep, school boy error.
    It shows a battery but it's only for when travelling Can anyone recommend the best place for led light bulbs, I don't know what type they are without looking !
    I could fit an extra battery that would give me more battery power.
     
  17. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Our Burstner has a number of different types of bulb so requires different types of LEDs but it isn't difficult to establish which you need. The web sites of companies like Aten Lighting have pictures of the various types of bulb.
    You also need to decide whether you prefer warm white of cool white. One of the best ways to do both is to look at the stands run by companies at shows.
    You will pay more for products from established UK companies but the quality is better than the Chinese ones on eBay (I've bought several of each in the past).

    As regards the battery, I would definitely fit (or have fitted) a solar panel but then see how it goes before doing anything else. That's the advice we received from Dave Newell when he fitted our solar panel and because our power requirements are low we are on the same 80Ah battery as when we bought the van just over 4 years ago :)
     
  18. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Assuming your van is going to live outside I would say go for solar straight away and then it will keep the batteries topped up while parked, nothing worse for batteries than letting them go flat.

    How much you put on depends on how you are going to use the van and that's the bit you might not know at the moment.

    Martin
     
  19. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I would really wait until you see how much your van is used and what your power requirements are before spending time and effort buying extra batteries or solar panels. There are four of us in our van and we use our van for three week touring trips and overnight stays. We've yet to run out of power using one battery. I wouldn't mind solar panels at some stage but that would be that is only because in my dreams, we would be wildcamping for weeks at a time rather than the four days or so that our water and black waste capacities allow.
     
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  20. snooky

    snooky Funster

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    Were going away for 3 nights with no hook up so will see how we get on there
     
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