Caravan Battery

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:30
ThreadID: 55212 Views:2660 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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I am setting up a little Jayco Dove 88' for a 6month road trip around the west coast of Aus and I am trying to work out how many deep cycle or gel dry cell type battery/s I may need to just power a small tv/dvd, Van light/s a few hours a day? Also I am looking at getting a small cheap 850w generator from Aldi for $120, will that be ok to charge one of these batteries as not sure how long they take to charge up? Last thing I want is to have to run the genny for hours just to charge 1 or 2 batteries!
Suggestions most welcome.
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Reply By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:36

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:36
No fridge in the equation?
AnswerID: 290941

Follow Up By: Redbac - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:45

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:45
Ahh well I was planning on running the fridge on gas but if the fridge dosent drain the battery/s to fast then I would definatly use DC to power it.
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Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:58

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 17:58
Hello there, I can't help you with advise on your electrial questions, but if you are planning to run your fridge on gas, I think it is illegal to do so while travelling. That would be OK if it was not running for a few hours, but if you had a big day of travelling ahead of you without the fridge ticking over your beer might not be cold at the end of the day. Cheers.
AnswerID: 290948

Follow Up By: Redbac - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:03

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:03
Thanks Barry, I assumed the pilot light would blowout while traveling anyway I but didn't know it was illegal, thanks for the tipoff!
Warm beers is a serious problem that I must avoid :)

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:05

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:05
And make sure the generator is a very quiet model or you will make more enemies than friends.
Also remember that generators ar banned in National parks country wide.
AnswerID: 290949

Follow Up By: Redbac - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:08

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:08
Ohh yess indeed, I gather nobody tolerates the noise over the chirpin birds.
Do you know how long an 850W genny would take to charge 1 deep cycle or dry 'gel' cell battery?
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:25

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:25
Too long, it certainly wouldn't be and hour or so, more like a 8 - 10 hours.

You need to consider an alternate charging source. Two choices come to mind, the vehicles alternator and solar.

Is the TV/DVD direct 12v or are you going to be using an inverter?
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:28

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 18:28
Forgot to add, will you have access to 240v power (caravan park?)?
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Follow Up By: Redbac - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 19:42

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 19:42
We don't plan on spending too much time in powered site areas, hence all the questions regarding batteries etc !!
I will have to look at 12v tv's now, do they drain less than a 240V through a converter ?
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 19:50

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 19:50
Yes, they drain less power.

O/K, so 240v is out so that brings us back to the vehicles alternator or solar.

You will need at least 1 largish deepcycle battery to run the TV & a few lights etc. Any good quality lead acid will do, no need to spend the dollars on a gell.

While driving, you can run your fridge on the vehicles 12v supply (as already suggested in your other thread) through appropriate cabling & isolation. This supply will also help to maintain your caravan battery (get the popcorn ready) but to fully charge it you will need solar. How deep are your pockets?
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 19:54

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 19:54
Woops, forgot to add,

I think the cheap generator is a bad idea, you will be sick of it in no time. If you want to go down the road of a genny then look at a honda, very quiet and reliable (and it will run/charge a dell laptop) Now that would go a long way to solving your problem butr they are very pricey. You need to do some sums in regard to a honda or solar.

IMHO
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FollowupID: 556393

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 20:51

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 20:51
Hi Red

Read both my articles before you do anything. Have a look at the wiring and see what you already have fitted to the Jayco. You may need to do some rewiring for 12V free camping.

Here are the links...

Derek's_article_1

Derek's_article_2

Note: For your basic requirements you have listed a 120 a/h AGM, 15A Smart charger and a 80 or 100 watt solar system will work well. Make sure to change the lights in the Jayco to LED type to save power and use the fridge on gas. Make sure the car to fridge wiring is working and also fit a relay to this wire to switch off the fridge when you stop as these 3 way fridges pull around 10 amps and will kill a battery fast.

Regards

Derek.
AnswerID: 290992

Reply By: Member - Thomo - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 21:21

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 at 21:21
I have a cheap generator and I will never part with it, as it serves as a reminder to me every time I see it just how stupid I was to buy the thing in the first place...they are all a waste of money. They are noisy and as others have said you won't be welcome in parks etc, they are mostly 2 stroke and they are mostly throw away thats why they are cheap and when the Bas...ds won't start and that will be not long after you buy it thats when you throw it away and spend the money on a Honda or similar. Good luck
AnswerID: 291000

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