batteries and generators

I M confused

Free Member
Dec 22, 2020
3
0
Funster No
78,566
MH
Mileo 201
Hi we have a Mileo 201 (2019) and want to use it for extended periods of time (weeks) off grid. We would be grateful for any advice regarding the following, as can get no response from Benimar:

Would like to have2 leisure batteries and wonder what people think about lead crystal batteries - whether they would significantly increase capability and if they would be compatible with the vans electrical system.

We would like to have a generator which could be connected directly into the side of the van to top up batteries etc. Would like to know if the van's electrical system will be compatible and what type/size of generator would be required (we do not run a television) to allow us to stay off grid.

Many thanks in advance for any help you could give us.
 
Jun 8, 2012
1,428
1,392
Reading
Funster No
21,386
MH
Riot Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2012
Hi we have a Mileo 201 (2019) and want to use it for extended periods of time (weeks) off grid. We would be grateful for any advice regarding the following, as can get no response from Benimar:

Would like to have2 leisure batteries and wonder what people think about lead crystal batteries - whether they would significantly increase capability and if they would be compatible with the vans electrical system.

We would like to have a generator which could be connected directly into the side of the van to top up batteries etc. Would like to know if the van's electrical system will be compatible and what type/size of generator would be required (we do not run a television) to allow us to stay off grid.

Many thanks in advance for any help you could give us.
What sort of fridge do you have? What time of year do you intend to use it? Do you have solar panels, or space for them?
 
Apr 6, 2019
1,472
2,301
Peterborough
Funster No
59,702
MH
C Class?
Exp
1999 Autocruise Impala, bought 2019
I started a thread on Lead Crystal batteries and the general consensus on MHFun was its a bit new to tell if it is a more affordable step into Lithium batteries.

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
27,627
46,610
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Generators are only useful if camping miles from anyone else they are the most annoying things to other Campers.
Better to fit 1 or 2 extra batteries a few hundred watts of solar.
If your engine is Euro 6d it should have a B2B, if not probably worth fitting one, it gives you a higher charge rate when driving.

If you are going to be a high power user worth considering Litium batteries.
 
Jan 8, 2013
4,839
5,782
Dronfield - Derbyshire
Funster No
24,202
MH
Burstner Lyseo 690G
Exp
Happy FLT since 2011
Generates are mostly hated by the MoHo community. Plus you will need to find a safe place to carry a five gallon drum of petrol.

Fit as many solar panels as possible on your roof with a dual battery solar controller to suit.
Buy two large lead acid leisure batteries. Gel if you want to afford them.
 
Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
Funster No
69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
Exp
2 years
look to have some better behaviour than other lead but the weight is still high e.g 64kg for a 200ah battery

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Jan 19, 2014
5,152
12,890
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
If you've got a decent amount of solar, you only need enough battery capacity to last from dusk to dawn, after that solar takes over and also charges the battery. We've got 1 85ah Gel battery and it's plenty for our use.

I can recommend getting a good quality battery monitor too, like the NASA BM1, you know exactly what the battery state is at all times šŸ‘Œ
 
OP
I

I M confused

Free Member
Dec 22, 2020
3
0
Funster No
78,566
MH
Mileo 201
Thanks for the replies. Mileo comes with solar panels and the fridge is a 3-way. Aim to use it all seasons, but panels especially in winter and in the North where it is mainly used not enough and even with driving will at present only last a few days off grid Where we aim to be a generator is unlikely to bother anybody. Just need advice regarding type of batteries and generator and compatibility with van electrics.

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Jul 6, 2009
223
303
Funster No
7,383
I bought a Honda EU10i and converted it to run on LPG. saves carrying petrol and a bit quieter but you must consider others Re noise however quiet they are
 
Apr 28, 2010
2,422
7,031
St Albans
Funster No
11,285
MH
Winnebago Sightseer
Exp
11yrs, but many years a tugger.
Unless you have a specific need, stay away from a generator it's sound will drive you crazy over a long period. If you can afford and can't manage with just battery and solar then possibly consider and eFOY. :gum:
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
14,501
27,627
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
If you are insistent you need a generator, the most compatible to connect up is a pure sine wave inverter generator. The best being Honda with the eu10i or eu20i which can be converted to run on LPG from the bottles already in the van. This has the benefit of not carrying or having to top up petrol in the tank. On petrol you get about 3 hours run time to a tank but with LPG you are only limited by the amount of gas you carry. If off grid camping refillable LPG bottles or a tank are essential

Batteries are a major talking point here. Wet lead acid batteries have a very short life and can only safely be discharged to 50% of charge if you want them to last. Gel batteries last much longer and can be discharged lower. However they cost much more that wet lead acid. Lithium is the way many are going, but silly expensive still. The lead crystal technology is not well known yet

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Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
Funster No
69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
Exp
2 years
Unless you have a specific need, stay away from a generator it's sound will drive you crazy over a long period. If you can afford and can't manage with just battery and solar then possibly consider and eFOY. :gum:
Efoy although almost silent only deliver 8 amps (efoy 210) or so not great and costly at 4k or so
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,068
3,011
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
Batteries only hold a finite amount of power. A 100Ah battery bank probably equates to 1kWh of useable power at best, or 15p worth of electricity. Regard them as a modest temporary store between the times when you can top up again. B2B does this whenever you move on (but expensively by consuming more diesel). Solar is free but only practical in Summer.
You can get by without EHU so long as you are frugal with how much you consume and that modest supply (15p worth) can last a few days but not weeks.
If you are truly wild, generator noise should not be an issue. A gas-converted Honda eu10i should be your choice.

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Sep 1, 2018
1,356
4,450
Strathaven
Funster No
55,963
MH
Pilote G741
Exp
Since 2018
here In the south of Scotland in winter our 200w of solar produce little to nil
I have a wolf generator producing about 700w , very light , small & quite , it cost me Ā£158 new (also badged as other brands) , great for wilding , IMO gas conversions tie the genny to the MH , I use an extension lead & put the genny well away from the MH so little noise or fumes , works for me

522CECC6-EC7C-4B3C-B7C4-8D219FA3A03B.png
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,068
3,011
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
You can use a separate gas bottle for the genny (or BBQ) and place it anywhere you like (just chain it up if you're "not that wild").
 

Lucky

Free Member
Nov 9, 2019
218
388
Limousin France & Yorkshire UK
Funster No
66,709
MH
Sunlight Cliff 600XV
Exp
Since 2016
To add my experience, I bought a lightly used Honda generator from a lovely Funster and have used it on several occasions when off grid.

With regards to the noise, the Honda just purrs and is barely noticeable inside the motorhome. That's my experience anyway but obviously I can't say others are wrong if they have problems with noise.

Also, before dismissing the purchase of cheaper generators because they typically don't deliver pure sine wave electricity, I have read that if you buy a good (e.g. Voltronic) Battery to Battery charger, it will 'filter' dirty electricity and so protect your motorhome electronics. At least that is understanding after reading the B2B spec.

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Sep 1, 2018
1,356
4,450
Strathaven
Funster No
55,963
MH
Pilote G741
Exp
Since 2018
You can use a separate gas bottle for the genny (or BBQ) and place it anywhere you like (just chain it up if you're "not that wild").
You could do šŸ˜ , for me the extra Ā£100 for the gas conversion then the cost & storage of a additional gas bottle ( unless removing from MH ) just wouldnā€™t work for me but each to their own
 
OP
I

I M confused

Free Member
Dec 22, 2020
3
0
Funster No
78,566
MH
Mileo 201
Thanks again for the comments. As new to this can anybody advise/explain how we would know if a particular battery type or generator would be compatible with the motorhome electrics (not cause damage)?
 
May 7, 2016
3,463
4,564
Poole, Dorset
Funster No
42,951
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2003
Efoy although almost silent only deliver 8 amps (efoy 210) or so not great and costly at 4k or so
I have an Efoy 140 the medium sized one and it is fine for my purposes, which include running a CPAP all night. The 140 stands for the number of Amp hours it can produce in a 24 hour period, it is therefore easily capable of keeping up with most peoples daily needs. Being near silent it can run day and night without causing any inconvenience to either occupants or neighbours. I use about 50Ah per day and reckon it costs me in the region of Ā£5 in Efoy fuel, which is probably less than the cost a hook up adds to site fees. The initial cost of the unit is high and for those who camp in sunny places and lay up for half the year solar is probably a better option.

I stopped using my suitcase petrol generator many years ago because even I found it annoying.
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
14,501
27,627
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
Thanks again for the comments. As new to this can anybody advise/explain how we would know if a particular battery type or generator would be compatible with the motorhome electrics (not cause damage)?
pretty much any suitable 12v leisure battery would be compatible, but not all vans come pre fitted with the option to select the different charging regime of Gel or Lithium batteries. Generators are a much trickier subject as the cheapest type can damage sensitive electronics due to spikes and a very unstable voltage. Those with inverter technology are better, but only the pure sine wave type. Which is basically the most expensive

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ctc

Oct 12, 2015
730
1,218
Crowle
Funster No
39,408
MH
Hymer b680
Exp
New
We stayed next to a very elderly van, the couple came round one morning and asked if their generator had disturbed us. It hadn't but he then told me he used it every night to charge up and watch his 2 tvs. When I had a look it was mounted in a well insulated locker, polystyrene, with a powered air supply and the exhaust through the floor to what looked like a motorbike muffler. It was all homemade by the previous owner.
 
Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
Funster No
69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
Exp
2 years
Whatever, you win I give up. :xdoh:
Mr Mike dont get me wrong please I think they are great, I would have one myself but I am told they are no good for lithium, here in France they are very popular and I see some second hand ones at 1400Ā£ (140 model) approx with reasonable hours so it would be tempting if they were a good fit. As for usage for myself and family I need more capacity regardless so unless we drive and use b2b a generator in winter is the only source of power if off grid
 
May 7, 2016
3,463
4,564
Poole, Dorset
Funster No
42,951
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2003
Mr Mike dont get me wrong please I think they are great, I would have one myself but I am told they are no good for lithium, here in France they are very popular and I see some second hand ones at 1400Ā£ (140 model) approx with reasonable hours so it would be tempting if they were a good fit. As for usage for myself and family I need more capacity regardless so unless we drive and use b2b a generator in winter is the only source of power if off grid
Efoys are fine with Lithium, that is what I have. They now have a LiFePO4 profile and there are a whole range of adjustments available. The earlier models that preceded the Li profile are easily updated, it is just a software update which should be carried out from time to time anyway.

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Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
Funster No
69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
Exp
2 years
Efoys are fine with Lithium, that is what I have. They now have a LiFePO4 profile and there are a whole range of adjustments available. The earlier models that preceded the Li profile are easily updated, it is just a software update which should be carried out from time to time anyway.
That is really good to know, I will get one as a supplement, it wont meet all my needs but goes a way.
 

Realist

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 4, 2018
666
973
Wales last time I checked.
Funster No
57,061
MH
Fiat Starblazer XL
Exp
Caravan before 2000 / Motorhome From 2018
I run the Briggs & Stratton P2200 Generator.

Quiet and plenty of grunt.

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