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Running On Battery Power


Cjboddy
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Hi All,

 

Just looking to book a few sites for this year. During last year (our first with a caravan) we only stayed on serviced sites but one small site we've just been in touch with has no serviced pitches.

 

Will all the items in the caravan run happily from the lesiure battery (fridge, water pump)? including the toilet flush as the site only has the one toilet :)

 

Thanks!

Craig

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Yes, just make sure your battery is in good nick and fully charged. Don't rely on the journey there to charge it because it probably won't. A decent battery and using a bit of sense with your lighting & TV especially you should be OK for three to four nights. You could extend it a bit by changing some of your lights for LEDs.

 

Stuff like your fridge, water heater and heating should run off the gas however both the heating & gas units do take some power from the battery and if your heating has a fan or pump(ALDE) then it will take a bit more (make sure they are set to gas operation) and your cylinder is reasonably full.

 

Your microwave & 13a sockets won't work when you aren't connected to the mains

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Hi Craig it is possible to run without a mains supply but not for long unless this is supplemented with solar panels or similar. The fridge will not run from 12v unless towing as it draws around 8 amps continuously so it is not able to switch to the van battery. The fridge will be run from gas and it works well like this. I have managed to last for 4 days but took a spare battery that was used purely for the TV. Sadly even a long tow will not put too much charge back in van battery so regular moves do not help much as well.

p. s. I did use led bulbs in most of the lights as these can save 70% of the power used for lighting.

Edited by Capricorn12

2004 Citroen C5 2. 0ltr diesel auto VTR and 2011 Bailey Orion 430/4

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Everything will run OK off 12v leisure battery, fridge does not run off 12v (only when towing and connected to car) you will use gas, however the light inside is 12v if fitted. I get about 4 nights in winter, longer in summer, off a 110amp battery and take another just in case. I just use the TV and sat system sparingly and try not to use the 12v blown air on the heater, the van still gets nice and warm with convected heat, just the toilet is cold!

Make sure you have plenty of gas; heating, hot water, oven, grill, hobs and fridge.

Škoda Octavia Estate 2. 0TDi 4x4 towing a Compass Omega 482.

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We often rally for 10/14 days totally without EHU, ut with 2 x 110ah batteries and a small solar panel. No problems if you limit things like TV to minimum ( we normally have our on for 60/90 minutes a day).......

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Thanks for all the pointers . ...although i think my question list is also now growing!

 

As i'm outnumbered by the fair female sex (3-1) . ... i'm guessing if the sockets won't work then no hair dryer?!

 

Good point re the hot water. ...... i'm assuming this is usually heated via elec, so running from the battery would be another sizeable drain.

 

I think we might have to revise plans for now and once the van is back in action for 2014 check what we can actualy get working without elec.

 

Cheers

Craig

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Don't you have a gas water heater in your 'van?.............most do,

 

Hair dryers are a no no. ..even when on hook-up. ......sorry.

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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No, hot water can be run from the gas supply although the gas valve does need a battery supply to it but it's not significant.

 

Stuff like TV's and the fan/pump in the heating system use more - what sort of heating have you got. Judging by the age of your van you've probably got a Truma 3002 (looks like a gas fire) which will run on gas alone if you don't use the fan. Likewise the fridge works on gas and doesn't need any electricity. The toilet pump wont use all that much unless it's in constant use :unsure:. So it's down to lighting & the TV.

A single light bulb can take 1-2amps whereas you can run four or five LEds for the same current consumption. It's the TV that bashes the battery, you'll need either a 12 volt one or an inverter if you want to use a 240v TV. A small 12v TV will take 2-3 amps and a small 240v one with inverter will be nearer 5. 3hours TV a night at 5 amps = 15a/h which would finish your battery in four nights without using anything else - so get a book, play scrabble or go down to the pub

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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We don't have LED's - just normal caravan lighting but we manage every summer for 4 nights with no problem. No TV, nor hair drier, nor chargers.

So we heat the water with gas, cook with gas, heat the air with heater on gas and charge phones from the car so we easily manage without 240V mains.

We take a spare 110 VA battery but never had to use yet.

 

Best of luck

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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If you rely on a motor mover to pitch up or park back at home this will add to the drain on your battery.

Land Rover is now back towing.

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Do not do it, you wil only survive for 30 seconds without a hook up, before the battery is flat.

 

 

Only kidding, I like many others rally quite often, never hook up and had a battery last 6 days easily without going flat. I hasten to add though we have no need for a TV but the raadio is mains.

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Don't you have a gas water heater in your 'van?.............most do,

 

Hair dryers are a no no. ..even when on hook-up. ......sorry.

 

geoff

Geoff,

 

Hairdryers are a no no. ..even on a hook up ? At 16amps ( most CC sites ) can handle this easily. You just have to be reasonable, when the boss want's to dry her hair I just turn other electric things off for a couple of minutes ( if we have a lot else running that is ).

Les.
2. 0ltr 150TDCi TITANIUM X KUGA + 2016 Elddis Crusader Mistral ( Misty )

" I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong "

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Geoff,

 

Hairdryers are a no no. ..even on a hook up ? At 16amps ( most CC sites ) can handle this easily. You just have to be reasonable, when the boss want's to dry her hair I just turn other electric things off for a couple of minutes ( if we have a lot else running that is ).

 

I rally on one site each February where the electrics trip constantly because hairdryers are being used when other electrics,such as heating, are not turned off. ...16amp isnt everywhere. ......CC site at Tewkesbury, same thing. ......My wife has waist length thick hair ( I have none) and she doesn't use one. .........

 

Anyway this isn't what OP asked!

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Use of hair dryers is no worse than an electric kettle, electric heating, electric water heater or microwave. All will need using sensibly no matter where you are but people should feel free to use them.

 

Ap

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Don't you have a gas water heater in your 'van?.............most do,

 

Hair dryers are a no no. ..even when on hook-up. ......sorry.

 

geoff

Sorry Geoff must disagree there, hair driers are fine on a hookup as not many exceed the usual amps available, most sites are 10-16 amp these days .

I am as bald as a coot so not something i need the wife wouldn't be without one :lol:

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I have longish hair and my partner has very long hair - we use one of my old low wattage Moulinex hair dryers (of 70's vintage) when we go to our caravan and the EHU is only 5 amps and it's never a problem. Over the years I bought the odd one from car boots etc which have all worked fine and will last a lifetime if looked after.

 

Getting back to the OP's post, I think most points have been covered.

However, there are some 12 volt hair dryers still around - they used to be sold as 'demisters' for the front screen of cars in winter to speed up drive-off times.

I still have one kicking around somewhere and if the connection was good to the car battery, it could be used to dry one's hair - I can remember using it whilst camping back in the 80's and it did the job as long as the car battery was good and the engine was run whilst using it as a dryer.

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We go away rallying for long weekends on battery with a 100w solar panel just fine. I carry 75A spare just in case but dont need it with a decent battery on the van. I know we can get two days easily without the solar panel and thats with lots of radio/tv, lighting as normal (LED), running the pump for showers.

The only thing we miss is the microwave

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for the ladies there are Gas curling tongs, Braun I think do them. Lights, use camping gaz lights. Get them from the car boot sale for a couple of £, get the Gaz cylinders too for peanuts or use a camping lantern. Old caravans used to have Gas lights and nothing was electric.

 

for cold water fill some 2L bottles up with water and use water from those so you don't need the pump. Toast, use the grill, kettle use on that goes on the gas ring.

 

macafee2

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