Camping without hook up | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Camping without hook up

Mar 18, 2013
5
3
Glossop
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25,149
MH
Looking to buy
Exp
not yet
Hello all, we've been lurking on this site for too long and have found it very helpful, so I decided to pay our dues a few months ago and now find I need a bit of advice please. We bought a new Autotrail Tracker about 6 years ago and it has either been on the road or plugged in to 240v on campsites or the drive, so the leisure battery has never been tested for more than a few hours. Unfortunately said leisure battery expired a couple of weeks ago, probably because I never topped up the cells, and has been replaced with a brand new one (100Ah). I now find that I am booked onto a campsite with no EHU alongside my daughter and her family's tent (2 young grandsons) for 4 nights. Will my new battery last the distance with all the extra demands of TV etc. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

mikebeaches

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Feb 22, 2010
3,388
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:welcome3: as a paid-up subscriber to the FUN!

Yes, I reckon if you're not silly with the electric consumption you'll be OK.

You should have LED lights, which won't be on too long at this time of year in any case.

Probably won't need much blown air heating either - that can use a bit more juice over extended periods.

And the water pump.

Can't think what else, unless you're wanting to run TV for an extended period, and possibly satellite system.

Worse case scenario, go out for a drive to charge the battery up. ;)

Have a good trip! (y)
 
Last edited:

movan

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Dec 2, 2009
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You say you want tv.

Personally I would worry.. keep your eye on the readings and be ready to move off for a drive round to charge up.

My first to do was a good solar panel and some kind of battery master. That way you can be safer.

Next to do was to change gaz to refillable at a cost of 40p or something.. I filled up a tank for a few pounds instead of £25.

Try not to worry too much. Just be careful and ENJOY.

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Jan 23, 2016
913
74,500
Wales
Funster No
41,434
MH
Adria Coral
Exp
25 years
I enjoy a lot of time Freedom Camping.

My fully charged 100Ah battery will last three days, lighting, gas water heater, water pump, gas cooking hob, gas fridge, phone charging, TV antenna booster and a lot of TV/DVD time.

But three days max, after that a shopping trip drive or one night on a site with EHU.

I mentioned the gas items because on my van they don't all work without some power.
 

Mattyjwr

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Aug 18, 2013
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Hello all, we've been lurking on this site for too long and have found it very helpful, so I decided to pay our dues a few months ago and now find I need a bit of advice please. We bought a new Autotrail Tracker about 6 years ago and it has either been on the road or plugged in to 240v on campsites or the drive, so the leisure battery has never been tested for more than a few hours. Unfortunately said leisure battery expired a couple of weeks ago, probably because I never topped up the cells, and has been replaced with a brand new one (100Ah). I now find that I am booked onto a campsite with no EHU alongside my daughter and her family's tent (2 young grandsons) for 4 nights. Will my new battery last the distance with all the extra demands of TV etc. Any advice would be appreciated.
You might survive for 4 nights if you don't use your TV and peeps don't keep charging their phones etc. It would be close though and you wouldn't want to lose power for your loo flush, fridge and cooker ignition etc.

We get 4 nights on our 100amh battery - just.

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tonka

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Jul 2, 2008
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Its summer (sort of) :giggle: so use of lights will be minimal.
Biggest use of power will be that TV if you let them sit with it for hours on end.
As above think it may be close if the kids want TV and charging tablets / phones etc.

As an investment for the future, fitting a second battery will instantly double your capacity. You should find the Autotrail is already pre-wired for a second battery. All you need is the battery and a battery harness lead (try Direct Motorhome Services who is a Fun member or Sargent Electrical ).

Next. Solar panel to keep things topped up.. Then relax a little..
 
Apr 3, 2018
468
816
Funster No
53,151
Tv is the killer...therefore we rarely watch it.
I have an older 19in Avtex which I believe are amonst the less power hungry ones but without checking I think they use 4.5amps so 3 or 4 hrs a night is a min of 15amps, which is a fair chunk out of a 100AH battery (which if you intend to look after is only actually about 50AH)
 
Last edited:
Apr 13, 2012
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If you haven't the time to fit a 2nd battery before you go just buy another, take it with you and get it fitted when you can. I've got some solar but still take a charged up spare - fitting it properly - might get round to it (but probably not)

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Mar 30, 2019
492
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East Sussex
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Since 2017
If your wild camping make the most of the off grid experience and forgo the luxuries.
Too many parents plonk the kids in front of the telly box instead of engaging with them.
Assuming your camping soon you’ll have daylight till quite late.
We’ve got solar but can sustain 3 days on a 110A battery when it’s raining using the tv and diesel heating.
 

Mattyjwr

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Aug 18, 2013
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I would also propose keeping the TV off - we rarely use ours unless it is grim outside. Kids have more than enough fun without it based on our experiences.
 
Aug 31, 2014
280
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Surrey
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33,119
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Coach built
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4th year
we have 2x 100 ah batteries with solar, we made 18 days in the lakes one summer without moving.

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Apr 3, 2018
468
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I thought for a moment this was a 10 year old post.
Where do you buy gas at 40p ltr?
Nearer 60p to 70p.
Still a LOT cheaper than a bottle though.
Ah pappajohn you must pay more attention...he said 40p.... not 40p/litre. Ok sorry just me being facetious again... just can't help myself...😆😆😆😆

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Apr 6, 2019
1,202
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1999 Autocruise Impala, bought 2019
I wouldn't rely on a drive around to charge your leisure battery. Older systems pump power very slowly back to leisure battery. Short term you could take a spare leisure battery.

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OP
I
Mar 18, 2013
5
3
Glossop
Funster No
25,149
MH
Looking to buy
Exp
not yet
Thanks for your replies, and so quick! The youngsters get plenty of inspiration from their parents, both are artists, but the little loves also wake up at about 5:30am and their parents say go and visit granny! That's when TV is a godsend.

Overall though it sounds like it will be a push without some driving around to recharge.

Many thanks.
I enjoy a lot of time Freedom Camping.

My fully charged 100Ah battery will last three days, lighting, gas water heater, water pump, gas cooking hob, gas fridge, phone charging, TV antenna booster and a lot of TV/DVD time.

But three days max, after that a shopping trip drive or one night on a site with EHU.

I mentioned the gas items because on my van they don't all work without some power.
You might survive for 4 nights if you don't use your TV and peeps don't keep charging their phones etc. It would be close though and you wouldn't want to lose power for your loo flush, fridge and cooker ignition etc.

We get 4 nights on our 100amh battery - just.
Tv is the killer...therefore we rarely watch it.
I have an older 19in Avtex which I believe are amonst the less power hungry ones but without checking I think they use 4.5amps so 3 or 4 hrs a night is a min of 15amps, which is a fair chunk out of a 100AH battery (which if you intend to look after is only actually about 50AH)
I would also propose keeping the TV off - we rarely use ours unless it is grim outside. Kids have more than enough fun without it based on our experiences.

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suavecarve

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Aug 18, 2009
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Rollerteam 690
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If you have any already, take fully charged power packs with you; they’ll provide a charge, or two, for your phones/tablets. It all helps.

Ian
And if you get the solar ones they can recharge under the present conditions.
Tell the kids they can only recharge their phones off the battery banks. No sun no charging. Might make them think how much they use them.

I am a sort of grumpy grandfather though

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OP
I
Mar 18, 2013
5
3
Glossop
Funster No
25,149
MH
Looking to buy
Exp
not yet
And if you get the solar ones they can recharge under the present conditions.
Tell the kids they can only recharge their phones off the battery banks. No sun no charging. Might make them think how much they use them.

I am a sort of grumpy grandfather though
I like to think that I'm a grump too! Fortunately they're too young for phones yet.
 
Oct 12, 2009
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SW London, Poland and all Europe
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I would recommend a second battery and solar for long-term.

How often do you move between parking places? If it is every 1-3 days then consider fitting a Battery-to-battery charging system(read it up on Sterling's website) I basically pumps the alternator's full charging capacity straight into the leisure batteries ass oon as engine battery is recharged(5 mins?). A 30-45min trip will top-up both batteries.

Geoff

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Reactions: f6c
Jan 23, 2016
913
74,500
Wales
Funster No
41,434
MH
Adria Coral
Exp
25 years
An overnight question that occurred to me.

I have no idea if this is safe or may damage equipment in the van.

At home I have one of those booster battery packs for starting cars with a flat battery, I have no idea what power the battery has.

So I ask.

With the pack fully charged, if I was to connect it in parallel to a flat/depleted Habitation battery, would I get a short term power reserve?

Without damaging the electrics in the Habitation?

Sorry if it's a stupid question.
 
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