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About JTQ

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    Senior Member with over 5000 posts
  • Birthday 17/02/1943

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    Engineering, computing, outdoor life. cycling and walking
  • Towcar
  • Caravan

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  1. JTQ

    Free WiFi at C&CC sites

    Not particularly relevant anymore to us as we have our phones, both with big monthly data packages. IMO, technology has moved on plus the high prices both clubs had been asking for wifi, of often inadequate "quality", simply meant we found alternatives. Might be okay if into streaming, as long as you're one of the few on site doing so at that time. We will still only use a site because we want to be there, not so we can use the internet for "free".
  2. For the Alresford end of the Watercress Line, again close to rather than next to is the Spinney Caravan Park. Best Google for it, reviews etc but these are very positive. For the Swanage railway there are Norden Farm, and the C&CCs Corfe Castle sites, Norden in walking distance, the C&CCs a bit further away.
  3. Close to rather than "next to". The Watercress Line. https://www.twohootscampsite.co.uk/
  4. JTQ

    Should I leave electric on?

    Interesting, do the Schaudt caravan/motorhome units offer the same? Probably technically easily achieved. Are these for wet LA not set at 13.4 Volts as opposed to our caravans at 13.8 V.? That 0.4 volts being critical to the extended life float charging.
  5. JTQ

    Should I leave electric on?

    If not connected it can't do any harm, the harm risk then is that should the battery's SOC drop, then progressively you eat into its potential life. You need again to keep an eye on things. With our Schaudt units, I just leave them on and have been rewarded with some exceptional battery lives, so far, despite tracker drains etc.
  6. JTQ

    Should I leave electric on?

    If this document** is applicable to your van it very specifically states : "Do not continuously charge the battery when the caravan is not in use." ** https://www.baileyofbristol.co.uk/images/pdfs/Bailey_caravan_handbook_Sept2018.pdf I refer to documents page 50 towards end of left hand column re 12 Volt system. IMO, if they had put in a unit that automatically stops charging the battery, they would not have needed to give that instruction.
  7. JTQ

    Should I leave electric on?

    And in itself the solar charge controller must be one featuring "smart charging" again to avoid over charging the battery. Plus, it has to feature "smart charging" inside not just words on the label or sales blurb! If you are able to top up the van's battery before it ever drops as much as 20%, so never going below 80% SOC, then probably the best of both worlds, the battery ought to remain healthy, and the consequences of cell failure fault risks , largely removed should one fail,
  8. JTQ

    Should I leave electric on?

    Check the spec I would think? If not that technically up with understanding, ask on here stating the "controller" unit actually fitted. There must be many able to identify it and even more able to find out via Google, and willing to help.
  9. I am not so sure, I believe there are those who genuinely think that if the fundamentals of having a stable unit, driving carefully and a lifetime so far without incident, is all that is required to continue being safe. Unfortunately, it is not that simple, despite these fundamental requirements being vital. A towed unit operates close to instability relying on nothing provoking it to go wrong. That through not fault of the user can occur, and ATC can greatly reduce the consequences if it ever does. Like you, I believe as we now have the technology its adoption should be mandated, if not just for the buyers sake, for those others on the road. There are evidently those buying into this hobby that don't genuinely understand the issues, and how things can be safer, even those with years of towing under their belts.
  10. JTQ

    Should I leave electric on?

    The specific answer for the OP lies in what type of battery charger technology is fitted in their van. If it is a rudimentary 13.8 volt power supply then it has the potential to do long term battery damage, if one of the better variants of "smart chargers" then it's an excellent way of maintaining the battery.
  11. Yes, but unless I could see evidence that they have become very much more reliable recently, I would not consider them. I would suggest you slightly lower your Wattage aspirations to get back to more practical sized units, as a better weight saving. With solar you could find on good days they yield plenty, and on poor days it is very low. It somewhat follows from that two times very low from panels twice the size, is still too low! Having a freestanding panel , is a good step in getting the best yield from what you have, but comes with the handling hassle.
  12. That a snake can't occur if the unit is well matched, well loaded, driven well and at a sensible speed, is a false assertion. Unless, you rule out taking emergency accident avoidance action, that involves even a quite modest swerve. If to avoid a serious incident you swerve, things will go really wrong, and the ATC will be a significant help in taming what follows it. ATC does not "mask an issue". If the unit is at all normally unstable for any of your quoted reasons, or others, the ATC will notice it and let you know, more probably earlier than you could sense it. After all it directly senses what the van starts to do, not as you, have to wait till the towing vehicle reacts to it. Therefore, it does just the opposite, you fear it would.
  13. JTQ

    Carver cascade GE no lights on control panel

    Seems, an email to Gary of "Arc Systems" time, font of knowledge spares and repairs all things Carver. http://www.arcsystems.biz/
  14. Further to what I contributed earlier; If you want to go the MPPT route, and make me envious, then from my studies I would be buying a Victron 75 Blue unit, and specifically the version with "Blue tooth". It certainly offers the potential of a great UK weather use system, but at a bit more an expense. Obviously I have no direct experience, but it is something I might do if I ever needed another system. Here is a link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075NTT8GH/ref=asc_df_B075NTT8GH58580977/?tag=googshopuk-21&creative=22146&creativeASIN=B075NTT8GH&linkCode=df0&hvadid=255660170781&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16536475958948232042&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045773&hvtargid=pla-392302194930 I suggest the "blue tooth" variant because this allows you access to monitor its performance via either Android or Apple smartphones, and the makings to become an "anorak" things solar. https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Datasheet-SmartSolar-charge-controller-MPPT-75-10,-75-15,-100-15,-100-20,-100-20_48V-EN.pdf If going this route it pays out heavily to wire the two twin panels in series so it could be seeing upwards of 36 odd Volts input. It can take 75 volts, so even three typical sibling panels could be used in series, but you would need a pantechnicon to carry them all. Its 15 Amps rating covers all sensible caravanning Wattages. The higher input voltages reduces the wiring losses so better suits applications where to hunt the sunshine you would need a longer length of wire. Useful in winter with the much longer shadows trees etc throw.
  15. Assuming you are a caravan user with just a single battery to charge? Look for a Morningstar SunSaver SS-10-12V at £43.62 ex vat. You don't need the 10L as in our app we don't use the "load" feature that "L" signifies. This is a 10 Amp unit, and will typically work with a solar input around a minimum of 17 volts, so 10 x 17 = 170 Watts. This 10 unit will suit panel combinations up to 170 Watts, 150 Watt very safely. There is a cheaper 6 Amp unit, that would just cope with a 100Watts of panels. This is not the most effective type of solar controller you can buy because it uses PWM [pulse width modulation technology]. MPPT units are more effective in low light good ones are expensive and cheap ones so often fakes. However the Morningstar units are very good quality. You might find it cheaper elsewhere, but certainly you could find it dearer! http://www.windandsun.co.uk/products/Solar-Charge-Controllers-/Morningstar-Charge-Controllers#6252 The two panels, if going the folding route and a PWM controller would ideally need to be twins and wired together in parallel to the controller. If you are flush and going for the "better" MTTP, then they should be wired in series as they thrive on the higher resulting controller input voltage that achieves. Generally it is more cost effective to buy extra Watts of panels that seek optimum efficiency from smaller panels and using MPPT controller. Edit: here is Morningstar's link to download the manual and better understand these things: https://www.morningstarcorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/SS3.IOM_.Operators_Manual.01.EN_.pdf Though I am a caravanner I sometimes carry a second battery for our TV, I these days ues the DUO version as it automatically sorts out and charges both batteries if it finds the second one.