power supply

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 01:10
ThreadID: 4236 Views:1702 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi all, im going on a trip around oz soon driving a 2.7 turbo deisel Terrano and towing a 13 foot poptop.I,ve been looking in caravan park guides and most decent parks charge $20 or more for a powered site per night. I'll be touring for approx 6 months, so a week will cost $140+ just in acomodation. So i plan to stay at a park every second night and elsewhere like free camping sites in the bush and along the coast.
As i will have no power supply for the poptop (my main concern is the fridge) i was wondering what cheap and effective power supply i should use
I'll be running duel battery's under the bonnet

All suggestions greatly appreciated
Cheers.....Dan
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Reply By: Martin Brown - Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 03:51

Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 03:51
Dan I fitted solar panels to our caravan 3 yrs ago and solved all my power problems. In the last 2 yrs we have only been to a caravan park 4 times because of going to a big city. My solar setup cost $2000 but saved that in 16 weeks of not staying caravan parks

I take it you have an all electric fridge not a three way fridge that can run on gas.

What type of electric fridge do you have?

Is your fridge in your poptop or in the vehicle?
AnswerID: 16950

Follow Up By: Dan - Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 23:00

Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 23:00
Thanks Martin
Where did you position your panels?
I havn't bought a van yet but i know what im lookin for, not sure if the fridge will be on gas or electric but i'd say it will be electric as most i've seen have been.And i wont be running a fridge in the car just the standard one in the van.
Cheers...Dan
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FollowupID: 10605

Reply By: Slug - Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 08:52

Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 08:52
I agree the solar pannels etc are the go. They seem to be heaps cheaper nowdays too ???
AnswerID: 16954

Reply By: OzyTravelingAussie - Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 14:09

Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 14:09
Hi Dan, I use a 80 watt solar pannel powering 2 x Delcor DC27 calcium deep cycle batteries wired in parellel sepperated from the start battery by an electronic battery isolator, this powers my fridge and lights without hassles. You will get many replies on the subject, trick is to know the power requirements of your van lights, fridge etc, and power up to suite.

With dual batteries under the bonnet you are restricted to 2 x identical batteries, eg, both starters, or they don't recieve the right charge, maybe concider putting two Deep Cycle batteries in the van or back of the Terrano, connected with battery cable, you have to do it right now or regret it later on... secret is to get the batteries as close to the fridge as possible to reduce power loss in cable.
When you get to West Aussie you will be on the beach's often, tis a long way between parks and the beach's are terrific.
Enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 16966

Follow Up By: Dan - Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 23:15

Sunday, Apr 06, 2003 at 23:15
Cheers for the info
Say i run 2 Deep Cycle batteries in the van, will they run directly off the 2 under the bonnet??, and will they get charged the same way?
Oh, and i live in Albany on the south coast of W.A and i agree with you, the beaches around here are awsome, i love the coast!!, thats why im hugging the south and east coast on my trip.

Regards...... Dan (downsouth)
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FollowupID: 10606

Reply By: David N. - Monday, Apr 07, 2003 at 13:41

Monday, Apr 07, 2003 at 13:41
Try to get yourself a fridge which uses the Danfoss compressor- they are the BEST. (eg Waeco, Vitrifrigo etc.)
12v compressor fridges have one disadvantage over 3 way- they won't run on gas, BUT in EVERY other respect they are way superior!
1. work off level
2. work when it's 40degrees- 3 ways don't.
3. you can make ice 30 mins after turning on -3way try 24 hours
4. running on 12 v they use about 3 amps for less than 40% duty cycle vs 12amps 100% of the time : ie:about a tenth as much elecctricity consumed- you also don't need to run ginormous cables from your alternator.
5. You permanently damage a 3way running it off level- there is no cure!

I personally will never own another 3way fridge (I have owned 4 of them) I recently sold a new Electrolux 3 way (which came with my van) in the trading post and bought a Vitrifrigo 130litre- it's about 4000% better.
AnswerID: 17045

Reply By: OzyTravelingAussie - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 11:09

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 11:09
Dan, I believe that there is a SPECIALIST 12 volt shop down there in Albany, visit them for specialist advice, talk with DIFFERENT salespeople in the store, often you will get conflicting advice due to people's own personal preferences and oppinions.
My thought is that you can use dual Deep cycle batteries in the van or back of the Terrano, with just ONE start battery, you won't need two unless you are putting the Deep cycle batteries in the van and then you can take the fridge with you in the Terrano for day trips etc. Seperate the deep cycle batteries from the starter with a Quality spike proof Electronic Battery Isolater.
When you are traveling for long periods of time you do need a good Quality, large fridge with a seperate freezer, as you will be putting food into it that is not frozen, this makes the fridge work a bit harder, even more so way up north.... It is better to have a Quality fridge than something that only just keeps food cool and not cold because you wanted to spend less $$$, you only get what you pay for.
enjoy the trip.
AnswerID: 17107

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