Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby stevo. » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:11 pm

far out, you people are gettin all fancy with showers and stuff!! ::()
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby mummeee74 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:20 pm

stevo wrote:far out, you people are gettin all fancy with showers and stuff!! ::()


Single Stevo???

:grin:
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby Titch » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:25 pm

mummeee74 wrote:
stevo wrote:far out, you people are gettin all fancy with showers and stuff!! ::()


Single Stevo???

:grin:



:*** :*** :*** :*** :*** :***
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby stevo. » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:35 pm

mummeee74 wrote:
stevo wrote:far out, you people are gettin all fancy with showers and stuff!! ::()


Single Stevo???

:grin:



ouch! !!! :lol:
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby mummeee74 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:44 pm

Dea do you run your Gene all the time? Aren't they noisy? I think our kids will end up the same, enjoying bush camping. What sort of gas fridge do you have? I seem to be having little luck googling them.

Komodo I have been looking into your suggestions, I think the 100AH battery is what we need, but WOW didn't expect them to be soooo heavy. If we had one of those and the solar panels to charge do we also need an inverter or a Waeco battery pack thingy? I am just not sure how it all connects together? And if you go out for the day to the beach do you pack up your solar panels or do you just risk them being gone when you return?? (mmm or perhaps I need to review my camping locations!)
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby mummeee74 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:45 pm

stevo wrote:
mummeee74 wrote:
stevo wrote:far out, you people are gettin all fancy with showers and stuff!! ::()


Single Stevo???

:grin:



ouch! !!! :lol:



ooooh sorry stevo I am sure you are a very nice bloke..... from a distance....






And I think (well hope) you have a great sense of humour :)
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby stevo. » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:54 pm

mummeee74 wrote:from a distance....


hahh and you sink another boot in !!!

I'm getting caned here... it's ok, it's all attention :cheers
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby Lin » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:04 pm

:*** Touchee mummeee!

They sometimes sell cheap 3-way fridges at places like Repco. If you do a search on 'Gasmate' you'll find some info here. Aldi had one about 6 months or so ago too, Lumina brand.
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby dea » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:09 pm

mummeee74 wrote:Dea do you run your Gene all the time? Aren't they noisy? I think our kids will end up the same, enjoying bush camping. What sort of gas fridge do you have? I seem to be having little luck googling them.

Komodo I have been looking into your suggestions, I think the 100AH battery is what we need, but WOW didn't expect them to be soooo heavy. If we had one of those and the solar panels to charge do we also need an inverter or a Waeco battery pack thingy? I am just not sure how it all connects together? And if you go out for the day to the beach do you pack up your solar panels or do you just risk them being gone when you return?? (mmm or perhaps I need to review my camping locations!)



no we only run it for 2 hrs in morning & maybe 3 of afternoon .. where we go you can use them up untill 8pm .. some are noisy ours is pretty quiet.. but i dont see the need to have it on all day ..gas frisge is a jackeroo just a cheapie from kmart, inlaws bought it for thier trip then we bought it off them .. we just put drinks in it .. & use our 80l for all the food.. we freeze all meat before going.. but our longest in the bush so far has been 5 days ...but we are only 30kms out of town so i will only take enough meat for 3 days then go in & get more i think ..
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby xmasbaby67 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:45 am

We take 3 rechargable lights which will usually last us for 3-4 days.

The ones we use are in this thread:
http://forum.camping.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=107&t=5525&p=41127&hilit=lights#p41127

Enjoy Wellington!!! Look forward to your report & pics :armsup
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby Komodo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:20 pm

mummeee74 wrote:Komodo I have been looking into your suggestions, I think the 100AH battery is what we need, but WOW didn't expect them to be soooo heavy. If we had one of those and the solar panels to charge do we also need an inverter or a Waeco battery pack thingy? I am just not sure how it all connects together? And if you go out for the day to the beach do you pack up your solar panels or do you just risk them being gone when you return?? (mmm or perhaps I need to review my camping locations!)


100aH battery has a LOT of lead in it and lead is heavy. I would expect a 100aH battery to be pushing close to 30kg+

You only need an inverter IF you want to power 240V accessories. BUT note that 240V accessories will drain you battery fast.

(getting a little technical - skip this if your not interested)

The maths is :
I = current (amps)
V = Volts
P = power (watts)

I * V = P
therefore
P / V = I

So lets say we have a fridge that uses 60watts running off a battery :
60 (watts) / 12(volts - battery power) = 5 amps (how many "ampere hours" or AH it will use per hour)

how ever if that was on mains power the equasion would be more like
60 (watts) / 240 (volts - mains) = 0.25amps (how many "ampere hours" or AH it will use per hour)

As you can see what ever current an appliance draws @ 240V (mains) it will draw 20 times the current running off 12V (battery power)

If you using an inverter to setup from 12V to 240V then there will be additional losses as no inverter is 100% effecient. Even some of the best square wave inverters are only about 85% efficient and most true sine wave (the best type) inverters are only about 60% efficient.
So 240V accessories off an inverter are typically REALLY inefficient. Avoid where possible.

Where the maths becomes more tricky is that the 60watt 12V fridge above might use 60watts or 5amps per hour if it runs flat out 24/7 but the fact is most fridges only run about 30-40% duty cycle so 5amps x 0.4 (40% cycle) = 2amp AVERAGE draw per hour.

(read this!)

My suggestion in all honesty if looking to go a 12V compressor fridge is definately think about how you are going to use it. A smaller fridge will use less energy. The higher you set the temp the less energy (power) you will use. Most food that needs to go in a fridge is fine at about 4degress C. So a small (~40L) fridge which just has perishables stored in it and only opened 2-3 times daily plus an esky filled with ice (or dry ice) for storing drinks is often a better way.

As for solar and how best to use it - really it needs to be in the sun 100% of the time. Now if your going off doing trips away from site during the day perhaps you need to concider how you set them up. Is it possible to have the permanently fixed to the camper or fitted securely to the roof racks of the car rather than completely portable and thus easily pinched?

Remember they arent small either the average 80watt panel would be (from memory) about 900mm x 475mm and they dont just roll up ready to stuff in the car either. They are a large bulky item.
IMO an esky with ice / dry ice is a better option for most travellers in your situation. A fridge is a bit outlay and when you factor in batteries, insulation bags, fridge slides, solar &/or generator charging systems you could be up for close on $3k for a 40L fridge.
I have an 80L fridge freezer and these days because I have a dog to concider now (lab x retriver) he takes up the space I used to store the fridge & batteries so most trips I end up taking an esky and doing a run to town every day and a half - 2 days and grabbing a bag or two of ice - which on most trips means just one trip into town over the weekend.
I only take the fridge these days on bigger trips where I either have the trailer or I'm not taking the dog. That said the trailer seems to be coming on more and more trips away with us - but I have a big 4x4 to tow a little 6x4 trailer. Where as you have a small vehicle and your already towing a camper.

Remember 1000's of people go away for weekends buy with no power and no fridge. Perhaps a few short trips without a fridge is in order before you take the plunge into buying a fridge.
Don't get me wrong I think compressor fridges are fantastic - but dont think you cant go camping without one. An esky is generally colder than a fridge, far cheaper and you have to buy a shed load of ice before you come close to the cost of a fridge - and thats before you take into account servicing (I've had mine serviced twice in 3 or 4 years - but I give it a flogging), replacing batteries (they dont last for ever - most people are doing well to get 2 years out of a 100ah battery with an average cost of $350 thats not a cheap excersize!).
On top of that I've had to replace my lid latches (due to poor design on waecos behalf) twice @ $16 ea and my fridge has two thats a futher $60odd I've has to spend on keeping the fridge maintained in 4 years.

Lets do the sums
waeco CF-40 (cheaper than an engel) which is a good size fridge. Not too big but should be big enough for your needs - $800 street price
protective insulating cover - $100
fridge slide so you dont do your back in trying to heave the fridge $250ish street price
100ah battery - $350
solar panel for topping battery up (80watt kit with reg) - say $400ish

Thats $1900 and thats without doing a 2nd battery setup on the car (ie your fridge battery has to be charged off 240V @ home or solar)
Even if you ignore the solar, insulating cover and fridge slide your still talking close on $1200

Now lets look at a good 60L techniice ice box - $130

hmmm $1200 - $130 = $1070
lets assume a bag of ice is $4 a bag
Now lets spend what you saved on a fridge on ice
1070/4 = 267 bags of ice. Thats a lot of ice.

Even if you buy a good $130 esky/ice box even if you decide that you want to upgrade to a fridge you will ALWAYS find a use for a good ice box. I bought a fridge before I bought a good icebox and ended up having to buy an icebox anyway.

Food for thought.

Oh BTW you can always hire a fridge tp try it out first too. You might be able to hire different sized ones (try caravan/campertrailer rentals as well as rays / annaconda for hiring) to help you choose the best size fridge. Might be a better way to go rather than buying a fridge straight up thats way too big or too small.
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby Lin » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:36 pm

But what about running the fridge on gas, mummeee?

I do have a techni-ice icebox. Went camping in July and it did indeed keep the ice frozen for over 5 days. But in summer I do have to do an ice-run at least every 3 days.
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby mummeee74 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:09 pm

I haven't finished reading all your post Komodo, thank you so much for your time.

Just wanted to pop in and say we already have a Waeco CF40, sorry if I missed pointing that out in the beginning. And it sits on a kitchen slide in the camper. Don't have the insulating cover though...
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby mummeee74 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:20 pm

Thanks Komodo, your post is great and makes lots of sense. If we didn't have the fridge I would go with the esky. We have had the waeco for 4yrs and haven't had a problem with the latches (fingers crossed).

I think you are right about the solar panels, don't think that option will suit us really. We like to go out for the day, spend it at the beach or whatever so they would need to be left somewhere and as we only have a sedan, kind of easy to remove from that as well. PLUS the space they would take up. If we did a big 6mth travelling trip I would reconsider though.

Also I have thought about the gas fridges but hubby thinks buying another fridge is nuts when we already have one. And I am concerned about leaving it outside the tent, we usually pack everything up inside and lock the camper when we go out. We found it easier to keep the fridge inside anyway as it's always shaded. I also read it needs to be completely level and lighting some of them is a problem, plus problem with breezes blowing out the pilot light.

Soooooo I need to check the weight problem, our camper is lightweight but all the stuff we take it must be getting close to the maximum we can tow.

Off to do some more thinking.
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Re: Going without the powerpoint... what do we need???

Postby Komodo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:31 pm

Ahh fair enough. I didnt realise that.

If thats the case then what you need is a big battery (100ah) - you can always add another at a later date if you need more capacity.
You dont need an inverter if you are just running the fridge (and a few lights). You only need an inverter to run 240V accessories.

The waeco RAPS kit is bascially just a battery (36AH) in a waeco case with a voltage read out. its nothing "special" its just convenient. But because you have the camper I'd be putting a big battery in the camper and forget about the RAPS altogether.

I would get a "dual battery system" system fitted to your car and a 50amp anderson plug setup for connecting the trailer to the car. This way your fridge will run off the car battery as you drive and the car will also charge the trailer battery at the same time.
The simplest way of doing this is just to run wires from the car battery to an anderson plug - but you have to remember to disconnect the anderson plug when you get to camp or you'll have a flat car battery. Also if you stop shortly after you leave camp the trailer battery might drain the battery too low if you dont disconnect.
Pros - definately the cheapest and simplest option
Cons - you'll forget one day and you'll be stuck with a flat battery.

If you have a proper isolator setup/dual battery controller you can leave the trailer connected to the car it doesnt matter the trailer cannot drain the main battery. A lot of the better units also allow the battery to charge to 100% (same as charging it on a battery charger at home) via clever electronics - something that a cars alternator cannot do.
If you tow the trailer with more than one vehicle you can just do anderson plug from the battery to the rear of the car and mount the isolator / dual battery system on the trailer that way its a cheaper outlay.
Pros - fail safe
Cons - more expencive, harder to install - might be best left to the auto electrician or competent mechanic/home mechanic.

Using an anderson plug is also good in the fact that once you get to camp you disconnect the car and you can plug the solar panels into the anderson plug on the trailer. Simplified wiring is always a bonus. Plus if you change vehicles you dont have to remove the isolator etc and re-install on the next one - all you do is buy a little bit more wire and a new anderson plug and your set - nice and simple. The only issue with this is if you do put the isolator on the trailer rather than the tow vehicle you will have to be cautious of the battery isolator selection if your plugging the solar in through the anderson plug - but you can always use two anderson plugs etc. Talk to a competent auto sparky would be my suggestion or even your camper trailer manufacturer.

If your not keen on the solar you can always do a second battery in the car then when you go for a drive the battery charges then when you get back to camp plug the trailer into the anderson plug and you have two batteries in parrallel for more capacity. Theres heaps of options - once again a good competent auto elec should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck!
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