Leisure battery - 12V help please! (1 Viewer)

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Brian TE1300P

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Hello!
We have just bought our first Motorhome, been out twice in it and LOVE IT!
We hooked up once on a site and went wild camping second time.
Hook up was all fine, but I wanted to ask about using the leisure battery as I'm a complete novice and would like some help!
Is this correct - on hook up, you can use everyday appliances as normal as its essentially like being plugged into the mains, however when just on the leisure battery, you can only run appliances which are suitable to be run off 12 volts?
If so, does this mean I have to go and buy a load of new appliances or is there some way of converting the current ones so they will work. I'm thinking things like a kettle, oil filled radiator, TV, charging phones etc.
If we can run these off the leisure battery, how long would you expect the battery to last whilst running these appliances?
Many thanks in advance. We are hoping for many happy years of motorhoming!
Cheers

Brian
 

jumar

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Gas Kettle, gas heating, 12v phone charging, 12v TV.....this will enable you to camp off grid,.
check the size of the leisure battery, measured in amp/hours....divide your power requirements in to this to give you a rough guide how long your battery will last, a solar panel will replenish some of your drain, as will driving between stops.
 
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When not plugged onto the mains, you can only use 12v equipment. Or you could use an inverter, but they kill batteries, and aren’t power sensible.
Things like MoHo TVs are 12v, charging phones etc can all be off the 12v. Kettle use the gas. Heater in MoHo runs on gas and 12v.
 
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funflair

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Inverters don’t actually kill batteries it’s the people that use them without having enough battery capacity enough recharge capacity and enough knowledge to work out what you can and can’t use that kills the batteries,

I have been using an inverter for 240v stuff for the past 6+ years with the same batteries, I have to add though I know what I am doing.

Martin

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Brian TE1300P

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Thanks all.
We have been using the gas, but thought we might like to use the leisure battery as we have to pay for the gas and the electric is free! however sticking with gas seems like it might be easier...
On that point am I right in thinking there are different types of gas? which type do I need?! We think the bottle that came with the van is nearly out, but there is no gauge on it, is there a way to tell how many more trips we might get out of it? It works fine on the hob, but the flow to the oven seems limited (first t time we cooked in it this weekend it was fine, when we went to cook it in again it didn't really get hot and the flames were a lot lower, but we can still boil a pan of water fine).
Thanks! :)
 
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funflair

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Do you just have one gas bottle? Two would be great as then you can run one right out and then change over, you need a red bottles ie propane for the winter as the blue butane freezes up and stops gassing off.

Martin
 
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Stealaway

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Butane - the red bottle gas is favoured for use all year round. Carry two bottles so you can change over when one is empty.
 
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Lenny HB

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:welco:
If so, does this mean I have to go and buy a load of new appliances or is there some way of converting the current ones so they will work. I'm thinking things like a kettle, oil filled radiator, TV, charging phones etc.
If we can run these off the leisure battery, how long would you expect the battery to last whilst running these appliances?
A few minutes.:)
When camping off grid it is best to rely on 12v devices/chargers and gas.
You can fit an inverter which converts 12v to 240 but you need a decent battery bank and plenty of solar power if you use it regualy, we only use ours for charging the e-bike, we have 3 leisure batteries and 300 watts of solar.
 
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Lenny HB

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Butane - the red bottle gas is favoured for use all year round. Carry two bottles so you can change over when one is empty.
Are you having a senior moment Alex @Stealaway?
Blue is butane- not recommended outside of May to Sep. You need Red/Orange bottles- Propane for all year round use.

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funflair

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I’m with Lenny in this one butane is blue and summer only, propane is red/orange and all year round.

Martin
 
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funflair

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Thanks once again, the bottle that is in the van is blue so will get a red one, we can then swap it out once its finished...
Quite possibly why it got a weak flame on the oven if the liquid gas stopped gassing in the cold, the more you try to use the colder it gets and the less it gases.

Martin

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pappajohn

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Thanks once again, the bottle that is in the van is blue so will get a red one, we can then swap it out once its finished...
If the regulator is fixed to the van wall that will be OK but You will need to buy a new hose as the existing hose won't fit a red bottle.
At this time of year its best to fit the red bottle and then use the blue one in summer.
 
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Gary Molloy

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Seen this thread and I'm new myself.i have 3 batteries now,as I bought it with 1 fitted 80v and have since fitted 2 120v batteries.would someone suggest a inverter and price range.also I have used it once for 5 days and the 1st few days getting used to the controls and what works what.the fresh water and pump worked fine until the last day and then the pump wouldn't stop.i had to stop it on the controls.my question about that is if the fresh water tank is empty would the pump stay on trying to draw water?also I live in the northeast and the 1st week I had it damaged the rear drivers side,as didn't realise how long it was and caught the corner on a post.so anyone got any contacts in northeast who can fix this damage.thanks.
 
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funflair

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Seen this thread and I'm new myself.i have 3 batteries now,as I bought it with 1 fitted 80v and have since fitted 2 120v batteries.would someone suggest a inverter and price range.also I have used it once for 5 days and the 1st few days getting used to the controls and what works what.the fresh water and pump worked fine until the last day and then the pump wouldn't stop.i had to stop it on the controls.my question about that is if the fresh water tank is empty would the pump stay on trying to draw water?also I live in the northeast and the 1st week I had it damaged the rear drivers side,as didn't realise how long it was and caught the corner on a post.so anyone got any contacts in northeast who can fix this damage.thanks.
Well you batteries will all be 12v but the 80 and 120 bit refers to the ah amp/hour capacity rating, so you now have 320 ah which if lead acid you can use 50% so you have 160 ah useable, the answer to the inverter question is what do you want/need to run what power requirements then how long do you want to run it them will tell you how much battery capacity you will use.

In answer to the water pump question YES.

Martin
 
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pappajohn

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Having loads of battery power means you need loads of charge power.
As said, you have 160amps of power to play with which is an impressive amount but running an inverter will soon flatten it.

Appliances are rated in watts so inverters are also rated in watts.
A 500 watt heater will need, ideally, a 500watt inverter (it needs a bigger one but forget that for now)
That 500watt inverter will take 41amps every hour the heater is running (a little more but forget that too) so the heater will run around 3.75hours.....then the batteries need recharging which may take 2 or 3 days with a solar panel or several hundred miles driving.
Far better to have as many 12v appliances as possible...television, phone charger etc.
Anything which produces heat, kettle etc, should be gas....12v is extremely inefficient at producing heat.

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two

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Welcome. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying your new toy.

You have much to learn, so take it easy and don’t rush. Buy what you need after you have found a real need for it, and watch your weight as you add items.

Anything requiring heat should be achieved using gas when you’re not on EHU (connected to a mains supply). Your battery has a very small capacity but should be fine for lighting and running electronic devices. When on EHU you can use normal household devices in moderation but you cannot exceed the supply’s power. When you venture abroad you will find the power available even more limited so, in time, you’ll acquire low wattage versions of what you use at home (like kettle or hair drier). EHU will help save some gas if you have electric heating and (three-way) fridge.

Enjoy your new adventure.
 
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Gary Molloy

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Thank you Martin and papajohn for your replies.i think on hook up it won't be a problem and I'll get 12v appliances,but not need that many as I have the gas for most things.i have a tv and not yet got a Ariel cable yet.so just really getting into this and got a few things to do in preparation for that.
 
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Thats wot I sed -- propane- Only an idiot would think butane came in red bottles:Eeek::Eeek::Eeek::doh:
I am using Butane at the moment feeding into my system from a red bottle here in Morocco and it works fine. Bottle colours can be misleading so not the best method of identifying the type of gas they hold. Also, Butane boils off at - 2 Deg C. So can in fact be used during the winter providing it does not drop below freezing. However, I agree the best gas to use in the winter month's is Propane or LPG, both easily obtainable in Europe whilst Morocc is almost exclusively Butane that somehow Morroco srems to get by with during their winter. Perhaps the law's of physics change after you cross into their country.
 
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The robbers in France have no problems on what gas to use in your van when they want your Rolex, iPad and money..:D2

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OldAgeTravellers

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i have 3 batteries now,as I bought it with 1 fitted 80v and have since fitted 2 120v batteries.
Hi Garry, welcome. Depending on the age of the original battery, that is not necessarily a good move. It is usually best to fit identical batteries all at the same time. Add a good battery to a bad battery and you will tend to get the performance of the bad one as it will drag the others down. The other thing is how were the original and new batteries wired especially if you are going to use an inverter which even for short periods will draw significant Amps if the cabling is too thin which is often the case you cannot draw the current and you have a potentially dangerous situation. Without getting into specific sizes, if the cables connecting the batteries together is not at least as thick as your little finger preferably thicker then it is too thin. Your inverter should also be connected directly to the batteries not via a cig lighter. Which will probably be connected to the engine battery.
Even though we have quite a lot of battery power and 300watts of solar we tend to only use the inverter when driving usually for the slow cooker for a hot meal when we stop and to charge the Dyson & screen squeegee.
Steve
 
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Lenny HB

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Butane boils off at - 2 Deg C. So can in fact be used during the winter providing it does not drop below freezing.
You are far too optimistic Phil. Although in theory butane will work down to zero in practice it's pretty useless much below 10° and even at much higher temps Truma Combi heaters will fall over. It's not just the gas pressure but also the flow rate which butane has trouble delivering to keep a Combi going.
 
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