Tips on charging up outside of CV parks - where do you go

Hi everyone,

This goes out to all those who try to mostly stay away from CV parks. How do you top up your power supplies and what sort of places can you get a quick plug in, bearing in mind it's a 15amp lead?

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Reply By: Johnny boy - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:20

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:20
Hi Zigdog,
what have you got as in setup ,how many batts ,I am guising you dont have a solar panel but do have bateries so in my thinking you need to,

A- buy a gennie ...but they make noise

B- Charge useing your car whilst traveling,but you need good size cable and you will want to drive a fair bit for a good charge.

C- put on solar and bite the bullet ,I did :)

If you hook up to power be it gennie or mains you will need a good charger like a C tek at about 15 or 25 amps there not cheap but very good.

Speak to mandrake on this site he will explain this all better than me and Im just learning so please dont take my advice as gospil LOL!

Good luck , Regards John.
AnswerID: 403724

Follow Up By: zigdog - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:31

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:31
Hi John,

I forgot to add water to my question too.

I have 12v supply from vehicle but it'll never fully recharge the banks. Have 210amp hours and a good deep cycle charger in the KK, just wondering about long stay options and top ups on the move.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:00

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:00
Remember you only have to replace what is used
If you have 8Oah or 8,OOOah is not relevant, if you recharge daily you will only have to replace what is taken from the battery system daily.

On the move daily it's not a hassle, but if you camp for weeks at a time you need to have a recharge system that works daily, so it only has to put back what is used that day and the battery system stays close enough to fully charged.
I believe there's only one system that works much more efficiently than all others.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:26

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:26
Most Information centres have a water tap available. If they don't they will direct you to a tap for travellers use. (Usually local council.) Some places you will have to pay eg Coober Pedy Their water is pumped a long way & desalinated. '07 thirty litres cost about 50c.
Mike
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Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:46

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:46
zigdog.

Have a look at the dc-dc multistage chargers available. Maybe what you are looking fooor.

regards
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:36

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:36
Wim has made a good suggestion. These dc-dc chargers take the voltage reaching them from the alternator and increase it to ensure good charging in spite of wiring and other losses. One of our business members has one listed at present here on ebay. This one delivers 30 amps so may be a bit big for some, but if you have 200+ Ah of storage it would be ideal. The same vendor has smaller units too. These cost far less than a smelly noisey generator and give the advantages of a multistage charger running straight off the generator that's already under the bonnet.

HTH

John
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Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:47

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:47
Hi Zigdog. I reckon you are a bit of an optimist! You added an mention of topping water as well as power: I've noticed in recent years it is harder and harder to find a tap to use for filling water tanks, let alone an 'unguarded' power point. Who is the kind person who is going to donate the power you need, when they are reluctant to let you have 50 litres of water? but also it will take at least a couple of hours to recharge you storage batteries, probably longer, so it's not just a matter of 'fill up and go'.
Generally, I rely on the vehicle's alternator, via heavy cables, to recharge on the move, but I have also bought a Yamaha generator and take my charger with me on trips. I confess that I'm not too sure this is the way to go, even tho my genny is about the quietest on the market.
As you know, many have opted for solar.
I sure don't fancy your chances of getting access to 240v other than by paying for a powered site: Imagine the queue of grey nomads waiting for their turn at free power: it'd be worse than a Broome caravan park!!
AnswerID: 403727

Follow Up By: zigdog - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:53

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:53
I think you're probably right there Chris
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Follow Up By: keviny6 - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:03

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:03
i'm bloody sure chris is right lmao
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Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:37

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:37
Zigdog, you need to tell us how you camp.....1 night and then move on ?......3 nights and then only move 2hrs away ?

I have a KK and nearly always its a weekend away ( or 4 nights max ) and I wait till I get home and recharge..

But the rare times its for a week or more, I'm usually moving either everyday or two....which means I recharge via the 4x4 while driving.....but have been known to stay overnight in a van park to fully recharge..

Now in an ideal world....wouldn't it be nice to be able to "borrow" a solar panel just once a year !!!!
AnswerID: 403736

Reply By: Johnny boy - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:48

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:48
Zigdog,
I fill up at sevice stations and usually ask when Im handing over $150 for the diesle I just bought, they are ok about it most of the time but be prepared for a no once in a while,I have also filled up at bunnings and I have filled up at a cemetary ( not all that creapy LOL! )

Cheers.
AnswerID: 403738

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 10:31

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 10:31
Agreed re the above - when in small towns put the bite for water onto anyone you are trading $ with - service stations are often happy - we filled up at a new Foodland supermarket a few months back - just have to keep an eye out for a stray tap or two - best places for us are usually at the town oval / sportsground.
As for bludging power - have never asked - can't imagine why anyone would say yes ! We use solar and then a gennie as last resort.
AnswerID: 403746

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 12:48

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 12:48
Depending on the bits that you already have, a 240V charger driven by an inverter powered from your crank battery with the engine running will give a proper charge.
Sooner or later you will want to do the job 'properly', so spend your dollars on gear that gets you closer to that goal.


Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 403763

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 14:53

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 14:53
Hi zigdog

Like Johny Boy, refuelling is a good opportunity for taking on water. We use far more fuel than water so it doesn't happen very often. We always ask BEFORE filling, as some servos have not had suitable water connections, or the only tap may be in a spot where it is going to block the traffic through a busy servo.

For power - go solar. You'll find heaps of advice in recent threads. We also carry a genny and could use it to run the battery charger, but if it looks like a few days wet wintry weather, sometimes heading for a caravan park where you can plug in a heater as well as ensure there is plenty of power is a good idea. We have taken the 'wet day' option to stay at a CP and do the washing. The small fan heater worked well as a clothes dryer. We didn't need power for our batteries as our solar was adequate. Cold wet and windy weather is no fun out walking and touring anyway.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 403774

Reply By: Member - Kingsley N (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 15:30

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 15:30
Whilst camped at Culyamurra waterhole one time I managed to discharge my camper van battery (Waeco Outback 24ah) so that it was dead flat. I knew that it would need a good 240v source to kick it along with the charger I had, so I went into Innamincka and asked the garage to let me plug it in on their 240v overnight. Luckily the battery came up OK the following day. Cost $25.00!

Since then I have upgraded to a 80ah AGM and rewired the van so that it charges quickly from the car 12v. I also monitor the situation more carefully now!

Kingo
AnswerID: 403778

Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 22:12

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 22:12
G`day zigdog,

I have/had ,
solar.......250w fitted to c/van roof
240v a/c multi stage charger 20amp
vehicle alternator
This is more than sufficient to keep the c/van batteries (450 a/h) charged.

However when away from the c/van with the vehicle I need sufficient a/h capacity to run an 80 ltr fridge/deep freeze that is in the rear of the vehicle drawing 6 amps when running as a deep freeze with extra fans for air circulation.
More solar is an option but not when leaving the vehicle unattended.

SO ...... after about a year of research I have now fitted a Sterling DC-DC 12v-12v 50 amp charger under the drivers seat of the vehicle to charge 2 x 6v 200 a/h fully sealed (no gas in the vehicle) gel batteries.
This charger will charge these batteries while the engine is running at 14.8 v
( battery specs say 2.45 v / cell ) at up to 50amps depending on SOC of batteries, at the same time fully protecting the starter battery keeping it fully charged.
This is the fastest and most efficient way I could find to keep the fridge running as a deep freeze 24/7 for whatever weeks required.

For any further information contact Ian at .info@powerstream.com.au

Cheers.

Scrubby










I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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AnswerID: 403823

Reply By: Fab72 - Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 09:58

Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 09:58
Try a new housing estate. The water taps are usually available and not metered and most houses these days have at least one outside power point.

Hardly a scenic holiday destination though.
AnswerID: 403882

Follow Up By: ozjohn0 - Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 14:56

Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 14:56
Whooa?
That's called 'theft'.
ozjohn
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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 16:53

Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 16:53
Never said it was legal.
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