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Staying In A Field For A Week - Any Tips For Home Comforts?


chashka
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Hello everyone

 

We have been invited to stay in a relative's field in Devon this summer for as long as we like - we are very excited!

 

Of course, there will be no electric hook up or other facilities (and we don't really want to impose ourselves too much on our hosts). Our van is pretty basic but does have hot water and a hob, grill and small gas oven. There is also a gas heater. We need the leisure battery to control the water heater, light the gas heater, power the taps and provide lighting.

 

I think we will need to buy a second leisure battery and take the smart charger so we can swap batteries and ask our hosts for a battery charge mid-week. We have a wind up lantern and 2 wind up torches plus several of those dot-it LED stick on lights ( AAA batteries here). I have also purchased two solar showers and I have devised a system to rig them up in the awning in a sort of shower tent with a rubber trug to catch the water.

 

What are the experiences of others who have camped in this way. Perhaps those of you who go to rallies have some tips on essential kit or how to organise things.

B)

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What are the experiences of others who have camped in this way. Perhaps those of you who go to rallies have some tips on essential kit or how to organise things.

B)

 

By the sound of it you will be using much more gas than usual compared to a hook up - might be a good idea to swap for a larger gas cylinder plus what ever regulator it needs. Also make up a means of charging a battery in your boot off the split charge relay, but make sure the battery is well secured. I tap off the main feed to the 12N taking it to a three pin in line mains socket (so it is not reversable), then fit the plug to suite with croc. clips to go to the battery. Connect clips to battery, then plug in to charge the battery as you tour in the car.

Bailey Pageant Monarch Series 5 2004

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Hello everyone

 

We have been invited to stay in a relative's field in Devon this summer for as long as we like - we are very excited!

 

Of course, there will be no electric hook up or other facilities (and we don't really want to impose ourselves too much on our hosts). Our van is pretty basic but does have hot water and a hob, grill and small gas oven. There is also a gas heater. We need the leisure battery to control the water heater, light the gas heater, power the taps and provide lighting.

 

I think we will need to buy a second leisure battery and take the smart charger so we can swap batteries and ask our hosts for a battery charge mid-week. We have a wind up lantern and 2 wind up torches plus several of those dot-it LED stick on lights ( AAA batteries here). I have also purchased two solar showers and I have devised a system to rig them up in the awning in a sort of shower tent with a rubber trug to catch the water.

 

What are the experiences of others who have camped in this way. Perhaps those of you who go to rallies have some tips on essential kit or how to organise things.

B)

 

We regularly go 5-7 days without EHU . . it is not difficult to be comfortable.

 

Firstly, if your van has a built in shower USE IT - there is no need for those damned shower bags (used them too often in hot and sandy places some years back, even in those temps (> 40C) they never got hot . .. never wish to see one again !!!) your water heater will give oodles of hot water on gas and the pump uses very little power, especially if you can top it up with a recharge midweek. Just make sure the waste tank is empty and the aquaroll full at the start :) - you'll have a hot and comfortable shower . . not a tepid drip that runs out half way through !! (hate those bags with a vengence :) )

 

The biggest drains will be 1) TV if you use one, 2) Radio/CD player - if left on all day ( its only a few amps . . but 6-7 hours it all adds up !! 2) Lights

 

First 2 are easy . .. lights folks don't think about . ... but do you need to light up the whole field ??? most folks are so used to lights at home they turn them on and leave them on . ... especially things like toilet lights . . if you don't need it . . turn it off !!

 

Heating . . if you have "blown air".. turn off the fan . .. this chews electricity and is not really needed . . the fire will still warm the van very well

 

Fridge on gas is no problem, it actually works better on gas then 'lecky

 

Think thats it . .. any other questions bang em up . .. :)

 

Above all . . enjoy it . . it really is good fun AND it gets the family communicating and doing things together

 

HTH

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Hello everyone

 

We have been invited to stay in a relative's field in Devon this summer for as long as we like - we are very excited!

 

Of course, there will be no electric hook up or other facilities (and we don't really want to impose ourselves too much on our hosts). Our van is pretty basic but does have hot water and a hob, grill and small gas oven. There is also a gas heater. We need the leisure battery to control the water heater, light the gas heater, power the taps and provide lighting.

 

I think we will need to buy a second leisure battery and take the smart charger so we can swap batteries and ask our hosts for a battery charge mid-week. We have a wind up lantern and 2 wind up torches plus several of those dot-it LED stick on lights ( AAA batteries here). I have also purchased two solar showers and I have devised a system to rig them up in the awning in a sort of shower tent with a rubber trug to catch the water.

 

What are the experiences of others who have camped in this way. Perhaps those of you who go to rallies have some tips on essential kit or how to organise things.

B)

 

Spent 13 years doing this up to 20 weekends a year plus holidays.

 

First thing, you can spend as much or as little as you like to keep power, but what i do is:

 

i have a portable power pack, 20 quid from maplins.

 

A 75 watt inverter, 10 quid from ebay.

 

a smart charger.

 

the inverter plugs into the power pack, and smart charger into that. That will run the charger for 5 hours no problem. Each day if i go out i either stick the power pack in the car and recharge it while im driving round via 12v ciggy socket, or stick it on charge somewhere for a few hours if i can.

 

Then as i go to bed i plug in the charger. ........and on it goes.

 

Costs nothing, sticks 5 hours plus charge in each day and i can run pretty much indefinitely like that.

 

You may think the second battery is a better bet.

 

I dont, done that one.

In Consilio Sapienta

 

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Hi brassneck

how big is the smart charger does it fit in the battery compartment or do you take the battery out

we go in summer for about 3 weeks on battery do you think that this is better than solar power?

mardon

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I was on a CL near Wales a while back and the site owner provided a regular visitor with mains via two extension cables put together. (charged them £2 a night) might be worth it if not too far from a point.

Jeff

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Hi brassneck

how big is the smart charger does it fit in the battery compartment or do you take the battery out

we go in summer for about 3 weeks on battery do you think that this is better than solar power?

mardon

 

Charger fits in the palm of my hand. I have it in the van and wired through the back of the battery box onto the battery.

 

Solar power is good, but you have to get a decent size panel and a decent regulator (lots of rubbish ones about) for it to do its job.

 

Pretty much minimum would be 40 watts to not worry, with something like a morningstar regulator.

 

But a decent panel and reg comes in at around £250-300 all for 3 weeks. I think not.

 

My set up cost me 30 quid and works even if it rains. It doesnt lose any input if the sun goes in, and i can charge every day if needed.

In Consilio Sapienta

 

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Excellent Brassneck. Why do you need the powerpack, will it not run off of the car battery ? or does it over a complete night mean that in the morning the car won't start ? :o If it will run off of the car, then even more excellent. :lol:

Regards

SuperMike

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I was on a CL near Wales a while back and the site owner provided a regular visitor with mains via two extension cables put together. (charged them £2 a night) might be worth it if not too far from a point.

Jeff

yeah, thats what I'd be looking to do. Mains lead into a 3 pin - stick it into the house/garage saves faffing about? Give em the 2 quid a day. .

<p><span style="font-family:'Arial Black';">1995 Mk2 Pajero LWB 2. 8td - <strike>'04 Dart 556/6 - '</strike></span><span style="font-family:'Arial Black';"><strike>02 Sterling Elite Searcher</strike> - '07 Senator Wyoming S5 TA & 1997 ABI Award Northstar</span>

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One thing I'd add is don't leave your 12 volt TV / freeview on stand by they still use quite a bit of the battery power.

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other tip is to switch off all lights when watching tv :)

2001 Lunar Ariva GTS, Propane, 180amp Marine Battery and a 20w Solar Panel with Charge Controller. 1000W mains invertor

Towed by 1. 8 VVT Vectra Hatch

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Spent 13 years doing this up to 20 weekends a year plus holidays.

 

First thing, you can spend as much or as little as you like to keep power, but what i do is:

 

i have a portable power pack, 20 quid from maplins.

 

A 75 watt inverter, 10 quid from ebay.

 

a smart charger.

 

the inverter plugs into the power pack, and smart charger into that. That will run the charger for 5 hours no problem. Each day if i go out i either stick the power pack in the car and recharge it while im driving round via 12v ciggy socket, or stick it on charge somewhere for a few hours if i can.

 

Then as i go to bed i plug in the charger. ........and on it goes.

 

Costs nothing, sticks 5 hours plus charge in each day and i can run pretty much indefinitely like that.

 

You may think the second battery is a better bet.

 

I dont, done that one.

 

Can i run this by you please, could I plug THIS power pack straight into the caravan mains for using the vans onboard charger?

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Lots of really useful information here - thank you all.

 

The smart charger/power pack/inverter system is a great idea. I suppose that the success of this depends on how much you are prepared to drive about to charge the power pack. The specs for the Maplins power pack say that when charging from battery-to-battery, all that happens is that the charge is evened out between the two batteries. So you would have to drive to somewhere at least 30 min drive away to ensure that the car battery always starts fully charged. I'm guessing that the same thing happens when using the power pack battery to charge the van leisure battery. Depends on how much energy is actually expended but I wonder whether it could all end up in a downwards spiral????

 

Our van is a mid-1980s Compass Rallye and does not have a shower. I'm prepared to give the solar shower a try but do expect to fill it with some of my own gas heated water first.

 

So, if you are driving around Devon this summer and see a lonely old caravan in a field with the awning curtains closed. .. then kindly look the other way!!! :blush:

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Can i run this by you please, could I plug THIS power pack straight into the caravan mains for using the vans onboard charger?

 

Rus yes that will work.

 

But as the inverter is 200 watts and your only going to use a small amount of watts for a charger its a bit of overkill. Plus because of the nature of inverters they arent very efficient, good, but not efficient.

 

Ive been down this route and found i only got about an hour or so worth of useable power from the power pack/inverter. In fairness the one i had was old so not sure of condition.

Thats why i chose to use as small an inverter as possible, mine is 75 watts and does the job.

 

Also just noticed the battery in THAT is 5ah. Thats low.

 

The power pack i use from Maplins has a 17ah battery, and its replaceable when knackered. So 5 hrs or 17 hrs worth of amperage for the same money?

 

http://www. maplin. co. uk/Module. aspx?ModuleNo=49038

 

And this is the inverter i use:

 

http://cgi. ebay. co. uk/75-Watt-Micro-Power-...93%3A1|294%3A50

 

This is a bargain at the moment, i paid 9. 99 for mine :lol:

Edited by Brassneck

In Consilio Sapienta

 

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Hi brassneck

where did you get the smart charger from not very good at this sort of thing can you

leave the battery attached when charging with the smart charger.

thanks

mardon

 

Yes battery stays attached as long as your using a decent smart/stage charger which monitors it too.

 

Chargers are easily available.

 

ALdi and Lidl do them from time to time which do the job, which are a cheaper copy of the Ctek, but not in the same league, but if you want to invest in a decent one that will last and look after your battery then you want a Ctek 3600, around 45 quid.

 

http://www. tayna. co. uk/CTEK-MULTI-XS-3600-...oner-P4111. html

Edited by Brassneck

In Consilio Sapienta

 

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