Travelling with 240V?

Submitted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:09
ThreadID: 102229 Views:1738 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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We are planning to go travelling for at least 6 months and would love to stay in at least some of the free camp sites. The problem is we need 240V to charge an electric wheelchair and computer every couple of days. Is it possible to set up a system for this or are we dreaming & should resign ourselves to being limited to powered caravan parks? I saw the new Arkpak system and wondered if that, or something similar, might be suitable with solar panels and a backup car charger
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Reply By: Bega Photographer - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:22

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:22
Well, the computer is easy, Mate! Charge it from the vehicle cigarette lighter plug as you go along.

I leave my ute at a homestead and go off on the quadbike for a week at a time.

I get about two and a half hours with an external aerial, updating websites. Next day, I put the laptop in my backpack when I go riding and charge it from the bike.

Suggest you look into whether you can charge the wheelchair from an auxiliary battery or else run an inverter.
AnswerID: 511121

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:37

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:37
If your wheelchair has a 12 volt battery then I would suggest that you fit an Anderson plug on a small lead to the wheelchair so that it can be accessed easily, and then fit a lead from the car battery to where you store the wheel chair with another Anderson plug on it.
While travelling you can connect the 2 batteries together and the wheelchair battery will charge as an auxiliary battery does.

Depending on the size of the 240volt battery charger that you have for the wheel chair you could run that via an Inverter while the cars engine is running. It doesn't have to be a pure sinewave Inverter to run the battery chargers.
Most laptops also charge OK with small wattage cheap Inverters also.

Your other option is to have a solar panel that could be fitted to the roof of your vehicle and wired to the wheelchair and that would charge the battery whenever the sun is shining. Again Anderson Plugs are an easy way to connect the 2.

Brian
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AnswerID: 511122

Reply By: Nigel Migraine - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:38

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:38
Good on yer for undertaking such a journey with the wheelchair handicap.

I suggest you purchase a small inverter type generator and a basic battery charger and use those to recharge the wheelchair - then you can go anywhere you choose.

Do not be mislead by the eternal "Explore Oz Purists" on this forum who insist that "only the best will do" and you must have a Honda and a Ctek battery charger - that's rubbish.

Check e-bay and take note of other replies to this thread but, I suggest, $400 for the gen and $100 for the charger should see you right :)
AnswerID: 511123

Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:42

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 20:42
Leah,

do you know what the battery storage capacity is on the wheel chair? If it's a series of smaller (or even a single large one) Deep-Cycle batteries, then they will probably be twelve or 24 volt system and you may be able to charge them directly from the vehicle whilst it is running. This would only involve the purchase of a suitable dc-dc charger and some decent gauge wire and a method of connecting.

I'd do the easy stuff first (research that is) before going out and spending your hard earned on something that will only add a further degree of difficulty (like a gennie).

Have you approached the wheel chair manufacturer to see if they have any 12 V DC charging options for you.

Cheers Mick

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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Leah H - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 21:28

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 21:28
Thank you very much for the helpful answers, we are all for keeping it as simple & easy to use as possible. The chairs battery is a 24v system. Contacting the chair manufacturer is a great idea, will try that tomorrow.

Regarding a generator, I was under the impression they were too noisy for free camp grounds?
AnswerID: 511133

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 08:03

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 08:03
Leah,

The 24V rather than 12V is unfortunate, as there are lots of 12V options suggested above but not 24V. I expect that your 24V actually comes from 2 series connected 12V batteries. Suggest talk to the chair manufacturer - if I'm right, it may be a simple matter to switch them into parallel when charging, making them effectively a double size 12V battery which will solve many problems. If this can be done, then I'd go for a 12 dc-dc charger such as this 30A one , and connect it all together when the engine is running.

Cheers

John
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Reply By: olcoolone - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 08:27

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 08:27
Other than what was said above you might want to give Jol Flemming at at Direct 4wd a call....... Jol is confined to a wheelchair and he does a lot of remote camping and travelling.

http://www.direct4wd.com.au/
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