Caravan & Camper Battery Charging Feedback

Great article. We have a tent trailer. We have a Nissan Patrol with dual battery. We have the anderson plug to charge the battery in the camper whilst we are driving. Hubby wants to be able to camp and have the 60 litre engel fridge running for a few days. Do you think we would be able to do this on our set up at the moment or should we geta solar panel. If so what would be a good one to have.


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Reply By: Topcat (WA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:19

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:19
Hi Vivandoug, this subject has been discussed many times in this forum. If your search the archives under 'battery charging', 'solar panels' & 'fridge' I'm sure you will find the answers to your questions. Cheers.
AnswerID: 289096

Reply By: lynxxy - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:44

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:44
I have a 40 ltre engel and have been through all this.

Plugging the fridge into the campertrailer battrey you will need a different 12volt plug to be installed...apparently. Its a cheap thing to get done...couple of dollars I was told.

In the meantime...I brought a 2nd hand small generator.

runs the fridge perfectly. I keep the fridge in the back of the car and hook the power cord thru the window. Then run it off the car when we go touring.

I also have a battery pack - its used to charge car batterys and you can buy them at kmart - its a bit of a back up. These battery packs can be charged by the 12volt, or generator.

for a couple of days its easy... for a week it gets a bit harder.

Solar panels wld be good but can crack and break ive heard...and they are so expensive
AnswerID: 289099

Reply By: Tim Owen - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:15

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:15
I like solar because it is silent and free (once purchased!).

I have had a good experience with a Sunpower SPR-90 which I connect directly to the battery (no regulator).

I put an anderson plug on the panel itself, I have an 'extension cable' (6m of 6mm twin) with anderson plugs at either end, and an anderson plug connection permanantly attached to the bullbar which goes directly back to the auxillary battery. I simply stand the panel up facing the sun with a stick and plug it in. You could do the same with your existing anderson plug which connects to the battery in the camper.

I have sat the panel on the roof for 3 days (no sun chasing) while stationary with an older style engel (which apparently are far less efficient than the newer ones) running flat chat in a hot car - I checked the aux batter daily with multimeter - more juice was going in than coming out. No real science to all this, but it works for me.

Next I'm looking for a way to mount a panel on the roof, in such a way that it can be easily taken down (wingnuts or something) and plonked out in the sun if the camper is in a shady site, but if no/limited shade - it can simply stay put on the roof. Best of both worlds.
AnswerID: 289106

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:51

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:51
Hi Victoria and Douglas

You already have what you need. Just make up a heavy duty Anderson to Anderson extension lead so the fridge can run off both batteries. This will give you approximately 160 to 180 a/h depending on your batteries and allowing you to stay in one place without driving for 4 days.

A quick 2 hour drive will top up the battery for another days run time. Buying a solar panel of around 100W will make your camp self sufficient.


AnswerID: 289110

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