Newbie needs advice and explanation

Submitted: Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 11:57
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Hi ,I am in the process of buying my first camper trailer for my wife,daughter and me. I am clueless as what to do about power,we will be away for various times and places some at caravan parks and some free camping times at these places will vary,my question is what will I need set up and to power a 55ltr fridge,water pump for sink,charge mobile phone,play station game console,hd tv,radio and some led lighting and maybe a little extra just in case.i hope I do not bore anyone with these questions ,but I know nothing and any help will be very gratefully appreciated. Thank you
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:20

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:20
Its an often asked and answered question Pat , searching through posts will help.

If you are buying a camper and no little about those things one thing
to do is to ask the seller if and how the prospective camper caters for those things.

Under the blogs section , the most popular blog is called electricity for camping and worth reading.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:01

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:01
+1 re doing a search and asking the seller what they are offering. People get sick and tired of answering the same questions.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:20

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:20
Krooznalong,
I don't get sick and tired of people asking the same question, I am happy to help out.

I do however get sick and tired of ill mannered people who have nothing to contribute but tell people to get lost.

As someone said, "if you are not a part of the solution then you are a part of the problem".

More sympathy and support needed please.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: baz&pud (tassie) - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 15:36

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 15:36
Hey Bruce,
Well said, couldn't have said it better myself.
Cheers.
baz
Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:24

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:24
Pat

I don't know what sort of camper trailer you a buying but mine came with the option of a power system which I took. It charges from the vehicle. Has an inverter (12 & 240v)

I do not have the long list you have. Just use it for lighting, water pump and laptop.

The fridge is in the vehicle and I charge the phone in the vehicle.

The manufacturer of your camper trailer should be able to give you options re power.



Tjilpi
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:09

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:09
Hi Pat, the best idea is to set everything up so that it runs off 12 volt. This simplifies the installation and is the best solution for those times when you are away from grid power. The only thing we need grid power for in our caravan is to power the microwave and airconditioner, both of which we use rarely.

To do this you will need 2 X 100 amp amp hour AGM batteries and a good multi stage smart charger to charge the batteries from grid power when in a caravan park or at home.

This setup then lends itself to the addition of a solar panel or two.

You can get 12 volt power supply devices for nearly anything in the way of modern technology such as laptops, mobile phone chargers, USB cig plugs etc. and the like.

Sink 12 volt pumps are easily purchased from ebay or your local caravan parts supplier.
Use of all LED lighting throughout will dramatically reduce 12 volt power consumption and make those batteries last a lot longer.

You do not state what type of fridge you have but I assume that it is a 12 volt compressor style such as a Waeco or similar. These work hapilly off 12 volts and also 240 so they are an each way bet, a good thing.

If you have a couple of kids then perhaps you could lift the battery capacity to 3 at 100 AH or slightly larger if needed.

For that occasional need for grid power you could have a couple of power points fitted, by a qualified electrician of course, and a dedicated power point for the smart battery charger which would be left plugged in and turned on all the time so that when and if you did get to a caravan park the batteries would be getting a good charge straight away when grid power was applied, just in case the batteries needed it it. If they do not need a charge then no harm done the charger will just drop into float mode and the batteries will be protected from overcharging therefore.

If you need any more info don't hesitate to ask.
Cheers Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:14

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 16:14
I should have added that the smart battery charger should be 20 amps or better,
Also avoid using an inverter if possible as they use more power than they give out.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Pat V - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:23

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:23
Than you Bruce you have explainrped to me in plain English and it is very much appreciated and your advice will be taken and now I know where to start and build up gradually once again thank you so very much
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 12:54

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 12:54
Always a pleasure Pat.
I enjoy helping Grey nomads and apprentice nomads or anyone else for that matter. I am one of the grey nomad variety. LOL

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Pat V - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 13:04

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 13:04
Bruce I hope one day we may meet in a camp site and I will shout a beer
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 20:40

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 20:40
Pat, I reckon I might hold you to that if we ever meet up.
Looking forward to it.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Tony F8 - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 18:24

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 18:24
Pat.
Firstly leave the play station, game console, hd tv and radio at home, and only turn your phone on when you need to. I figure thats half your power draining problems solved. Mate your going camping to enjoy the great outdoors, find something more positive to do when you go away and save yourself dollars in setting up a portable power station.
Cheers.
Tony F8
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Follow Up By: Pat V - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:26

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:26
Thanks mate but a happy wife is a happy life I am fine but the handbrakes needs to be happy
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Reply By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 18:52

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 18:52
Hi Pat,
I tend to agree that instead of all the bells and whistles, start off minimal and see what you really need as you go along.

For me that would be your fridge and led lights

Everyone has there own idea, from my experience I make sure each fridge is connected to a 110a/h battery which in turn is connected via a solar regulator to a 120/140w solarpanel. I have monitored mine over the last 2 years and it works well in WA where there's a fair bit of sun.

Some think its wasteful 2 have 2 seperate power sources, me I always think that in an emergency situation I'll be able to keep the beer cold

My monitoring system on the beer fridge is open lid grab beer, Cold beer = all good.
Warm beer = Don't know, its never happened.

The food fridge has a remote wireless thermometer

Hope this helps, relax and enjoy the lifestyle

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Follow Up By: Pat V - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:29

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:29
Thanks Ian the beer fridge is good I'd just like being in the shed happy times
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Reply By: Top End Az - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:04

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 10:04
There is a brilliant article on this site "Electricity For Camping". A very comprehensive guide and will answer your questions.
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