New camper power supply's

We have finally got our new Goldstream camper, so we are very excited right now! I'm slowly getting my head around all the in's and out's of it which is quite fun :)

The van comes with a 105ah battery, and a ctek charger, and have the anderson plug to charge as we drive. So here follows the questions.

While driving, what sort or recharge goes on to the van battery? better or worse than charging with the ctek?

Also we'll get an inverter to run some gear off the battery, so will probabaly hard wire a switch in the camper. Is there any merit to an idea of mine, to run all the 240v plugs through an inverter of the battery? So if we were to plug into mains or generator, that would charge the battery as the inverter draws of it to run the gear.
Probably a good reason why it's not like this, but I'm very interested.

Thanks again
Troy
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:21

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:21
Congrats on your Goldie. I am sure you will be happy with it. I have had mine 2 years now and it has been great.

If yours is set up like mine, there is a battery switch in the boot. Batt1 Batt 2 Both or off.

When driving set it to both and it should charge from the Anderson plugs when you drive.

AnswerID: 419622

Follow Up By: Spana - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:24

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:24
Here's a crazy little thought,
If it's set to both, connected to the car but the mains power is connected, would the ctek also charge the car battery?
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FollowupID: 689811

Follow Up By: Spana - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:26

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:26
How rude of me, sorry.
Thanks Boobook, very happy with the goldstream so far, cheers for your imput!
We hope to head of around oz in 8 weeks, so hence all the little questions :)
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FollowupID: 689812

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 15:26

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 15:26
Spana the answer to the charging both batteries question is "definitely maybe" and will depend on your in vehicle set up.


Most won't do that in the standard set up. Some just use an "accessories" connection, in which case the battery is disconnected when the vehicle is not going or some use an Isolator, these look to the main battery side of the isolator for a voltage of over 13.1V, then connect the 2 batteries. Most won't do this is if the charging voltage is on the caravan side of the iisolator.

You can usually over ride this however. Is it possible to describe how the charging connection to the van works?
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FollowupID: 689844

Follow Up By: Spana - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 15:38

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 15:38
Well I'm not too clued into this whole thing, but the anderson plug is earthed right onto the chasis and then power goes all the way to the battery, with what looks like an inline fuse just before the battery. This cable does only look around the 6mm mark though
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FollowupID: 689845

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:45

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 10:45
Troy,

"While driving, what sort or recharge goes on to the van battery? better or worse than charging with the ctek?"

Depends on which ctek, but the general answer is that charging from the vehicle will be pretty slow unless the wiring from engine bay to battery is very heavy and/or a suitable dc-to-dc (battery to battery) charger is used and connected close to the van battery. Because of voltage drop in the cable, unless you do include a 12v-12v charger, there will probably be no charging at all if you are also running a 3way fridge on 12V through that same cable while travelling.

Inverters - I think you're proposing to run all the 240V gear in the van from an inverter, even when 240V mains power is available, and simply run the charger into the battery when you have mains power. This will work, BUT...

It is more efficient to avoid using 240V if you can. The main objection to your plan though is that much 240V gear is pretty hungry. With a big enough inverter you could, in principle, run an electric jug, but the battery would not survive long enough to boil the water! Any electric heating device is very hungry. Suggest have a look at the rating plates on every bit of 240V gear you'd like to use and see just what is feasible.

Most of the small jobs - recharging batteries for camera, torches, phone, laptop... can best be achieved using 12V adapters which will be far more efficient than using an inverter.

These considerations, and many more, are discussed in some detail in our blog Electricity for Camping.

Hope that helps

John

J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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AnswerID: 419623

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 11:54

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 11:54
Troy,
Your first question is:
" WHILE DRIVING, what sort or recharge goes on to the van battery? better or worse than charging with the ctek? "

The caravan battery will receive what is can handle from the alternator, only if you use thick cable between the vehicle and the van battery.

The grey 50 Amp Anderson plug will take 13mm² cable which will give < O.O1 Volt drop in a 7 meter distance between batteries, which is less than next to nothing at all.

When your in a caravan park run your 240v gear from the 240v supply your paying for, also charge your Aux battery system with the ctek while your there too.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 419630

Follow Up By: Spana - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 13:23

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 13:23
It looks to me that the cable installed into our vehicle is only about 6mm. If that's the case, will this do anything? Kinda pointless having paid them to fit the anderson plug if it's not up to the job.
I guess it was cheaper
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FollowupID: 689829

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 16:10

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 16:10
Do you mean 6mm automotive or 6mm sq cable Big difference.

6mm automotive is too light I have 6 B&S which is a lot heavier and is what you really need. It is however about $8 a meter.



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FollowupID: 689846

Reply By: paulnsw - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 07:27

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 07:27
"While driving, what sort or recharge goes on to the van battery? better or worse than charging with the ctek?"
The battery will basically get no charge. Powering a fridge and attempting to charge a battery at the same time is technically impossible. Cable charging from the vehicle alternator does not work regardless of the size cable you use.

To correctly charge the battery in the Goldstream you will need a DC to DC charger like the Ctek D250S

Wire your vehicle with Redarc SBI12 battery isolator, 6B&S cable to Anderson plug and on the Goldstream 6B&S to the Ctek D250S and then 6mm auto cable to direct to the fridge element.
The Ctek D250S will give you a fully charged battery at the end of the days travelling. Keep in mind the amount of power you will use the previous night and the amount of travelling you will do the next day.
AnswerID: 419725

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 07:33

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 07:33
The Goldstream "should" be wired such that the charging wire and the fridge wire are totally separate. Mine is this way and you don't need a DC to DC charger. Wires for the fridge did benefit from bigger capacity though.

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FollowupID: 689918

Follow Up By: Spana - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 08:28

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 08:28
Yes this is right, if the pin diagram is right, the fridge is run through the caravan plug
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FollowupID: 689922

Reply By: paulnsw - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 07:35

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 07:35
"Also we'll get an inverter to run some gear off the battery"
What gear do you intend to power from the inverter?

Generally the inverter required would be a maximum 180W inverter

"Is there any merit to an idea of mine, to run all the 240v plugs through an inverter of the battery?" To do that would require an approved 240V change over switch fitted and certified by a licienced electrician. Cost would be in the region of $300 to $400.

Majority of campers would want to charge laptop, phones, power small fan, DVD player. For every 10W power use on 240V is 1A on 12V.

Whatever inverter you buy ensure you buy an electrically isolated inverter. All Jaycar Powertech inverters are electrically isolated.
AnswerID: 419726

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:51

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:51
"Is there any merit to an idea of mine, to run all the 240v plugs through an inverter of the battery? So if we were to plug into mains or generator, that would charge the battery as the inverter draws of it to run the gear. "

HI Troy
Apart from the lost efficiency & possible size of the inverter & battery needed, you should be aware that ANY changes to the 240v wiring MUST be done by a qualified electrician & in accordance with AS/NZS3001:2008
Very strict & specific as to requirements for good reasons .
240v from an inverter or genny can be just as deadly as from the mains supply

Peter
AnswerID: 419750

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