12v +

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12v +

Postby John G » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:19 pm

I am looking for ideas and/or links to work out the lowest $$ I can spend on this idea.

I am still tent camping, having 5 kids, and am setup to sleep and cook for those 5. But I was thinking about 'nightlighting' potential campsites. ( 3 of my kids are pretrified of the dark.. one being 14!)
I use a 7x4 everyday trailer to transport our camp gear about.
My idea is to attach to the draw bar of the trailer a metal (tho thinking plastic too) box with a deep cycle battery in it.(removable for other trailer jobs) I then want a solar panel attached to the lid of the box that trickle charges the battery. Then running of the battery itself power to some kind of 12v plugs (cig lighter weather-proofed I guess) so I can draw power for a strip or 2 of weatherproof leds that sit on top of a pole say 10-12 feet long that drops into a space on the trailer to provide light. Also can use the 12v cig plug to run the air matress pump so I don't have to get the car in to close/pump up on gravel.
Trailer would be wheeled in fairly close or even between tents, as we stow gear in timber boxes/tubs and these are lifted out or emptied then lifted out anyways.

So I guess I am looking for: * Ideas on weatherproofing cig lighter plugs.
*Confirmation that I wouldn't need a charge regulator if I use http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online ... escription or the like..
*Anyones idea or feedback on a better way.
( I know about solar flashlights, I have had 2 lost already.. strip lighting won't get put down in the bush.. )

I know didly all about solar, so feel free to tell me mistakes on this idea.. I just pondered it for a while and wondered how it would go.

8)
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Re: 12v +

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:45 am

If I want any info on 12 volt, I chat with Jamie or Shane at Dynamic Solar Solutions. www.dynamicsolarsolutions.com.au

They'll give you all the good advice you need and under no obligation.
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Re: 12v +

Postby Curado » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:17 pm

What about some solar garden light and then just place them around your camp?
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Re: 12v +

Postby John G » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:40 am

Curado wrote:What about some solar garden light and then just place them around your camp?


Did it with a strand of white lights with a solar charger. worked ok.. but I am thinking more area light. not a glow, and the abilty to run other 12v stuff for a short while. air bed pump and such.

I am still sticky beaking around looking for ideas. )
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Re: 12v +

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:07 pm

Battery world had some pretty good set-ups when I was there last, but I think you'll find a panel small enough to go where you want it will also be too small to do what you want it to. They have fold up ones though, so you could just un-pack it and set it up as soon as you arrive.

The one you linked to at SCA is only good to keep your battery from going flat when not in use, it won't actually "charge" the battery.

I looked into similar a few months ago, as my fridge dis-charges my 2nd battery over a day or two, and I don't always drive everyday when I'm camping. In the end, aldi had a 1000w 4 stroke generator come up at a good price and I just use that to charge the battery with a good 12v battery charger. Solar was just too expensive and physically big.

You might find if you just stick to running LED's at night that a decent deep cycle battery will still last a few days without a charge.
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Re: 12v +

Postby John G » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:00 pm

Clicking you link in your sig took me to a page with links around leeton. that your home town?
Curious cause my wife grew up, met and married me there )
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Re: 12v +

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:02 pm

Nah not my home town but I lived there for 3 years and know a few out there. Whats her family name?

Website belongs to a friend of mine in Leeton who was selling spare parts but is now onto something else, just forgot to change the link.
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Re: 12v +

Postby John G » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:55 pm

ohh Taylor is family name but they have all left town ;)
I picked fruit out there before taking up tractor driving :)
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Re: 12v +

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:02 pm

I picked fruit for a while.... worst 6 hours of my life :--?

Mind you i tried it on a day when I was felling pretty crook but just had to get outta the house and earn some dollars.

I knew a fairly old feller with the last name Taylor I think, lived out of town at Murrami and passed away not too long ago. Only met him a couple of times.
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Re: 12v +

Postby James C » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:45 am

Hey John,

You can buy waterproof 12v cig lighter plugs for motorbikes. If you jumped on ebay you'd be able to get one for $10 -$15. It'd then just be a matter of mounting it on your trailer.

If you are only using the battery to run LED lights then a deep cycle battery (sized correctly for you current draw) would be all you'd need for anything but an extended trip of several weeks. Once you get home just charge it up with a charger that runs on mains power. Should be the simplest and most cost effective solution.
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Re: 12v +

Postby John G » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:29 am

Ozzycamperboy wrote:I picked fruit for a while.... worst 6 hours of my life :--?

Mind you i tried it on a day when I was felling pretty crook but just had to get outta the house and earn some dollars.

I knew a fairly old feller with the last name Taylor I think, lived out of town at Murrami and passed away not too long ago. Only met him a couple of times.


I picked peaches first try. 9 hours i lasted. peaches are terrible because the fuzz on them sticks to your arms when you sweat, and trying to rub it off makes it worse. stuck to oranges and pumpkins. the pumpkins were great cash because you fill a bin quick, and the guy i worked with was dumb as an ox, so would bend and pick while i drove the tractor/trailer bin beside him all day )

Merv? had long white beard. smoked like a stove? wifes uncle.
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Re: 12v +

Postby John G » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:33 am

James C wrote:Hey John,

You can buy waterproof 12v cig lighter plugs for motorbikes. If you jumped on ebay you'd be able to get one for $10 -$15. It'd then just be a matter of mounting it on your trailer.

If you are only using the battery to run LED lights then a deep cycle battery (sized correctly for you current draw) would be all you'd need for anything but an extended trip of several weeks. Once you get home just charge it up with a charger that runs on mains power. Should be the simplest and most cost effective solution.


Cool. Found something like what I want on a trailer camper someone was selling on the side of the road up here. They have a 240v charger in with the battery, and fully charge the battery before heading out, and use a 50w panel thats part of the canvas top somehow.
I will look into something like that for the trailer.. I wont be owning a trailertent anytime soon so I will look at the waterproof version. Tnx )
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Re: 12v +

Postby Komodo » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:18 pm

I have this type of setup.
I run a 6x4 trailer as with the dog and a big fridge (waeco CF-80) theres not enough room in the car and a trailer was cheaper than roof racks (and imo better suited to our type camping)

Basically I have a "large battery box" these are a generic item at any auto parts store. In this I have an N70Z sized battery this is 110Ah from memory.
On top of the box I have a dual merit plug socket (incidentally bought from DSS via ebay) these are better than cigar sockets as they are positive locking they are also known as "hella" sockets. You'll need to use merit plugs on your 12V devices though rather than cigar sockets. Perhaps a combination of the two would be suited.
I also have a 50amp anderson plug on this box and one on the back of the 4wd (also one on the front but thats just for my setup). A redarc battery isolator and a small "extension" cable with 50amp anderson plugs at either end which means my trailer battery charges whilst I drive.

Battery is simply mounted on 2 / 50x50x3 angles welded to the draw bar with some short 50x50x3 angles running the other way to tie it all in then I strap the battery box down using a cambuckle strap.

I actually have two of these "setups" and I run one at a time which means I know when im down to 50% of my charge capacity (which pretty much never happens since I invested in 160W of solar)

Personally I think this is the way to go it'll open up possibilities for adding a fridge in future etc.

Thought about LED stips along the edge of the trailer like you used to see cars with "neons" (like in "fast and the furious") I'm about to do this to my trailer because after a few beers I've been known to knock the trailer fumbling around in the dark which leads to the use of some colourful language...

A simple "spigot" or male-femal arange ment with a pole that drops into a sleeve with a light on top would also work well like a "street light" / camp light. Ebay is your friend - you can get some very good LED options out there for cheap ;)
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Re: 12v +

Postby Komodo » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:30 pm

Thinking some more about this as I've just come upstairs from checking the SG of my batteries. Remember to keep the water levels up (use only de-ionised / demineralised or distilled water in batteries). and adding a maintenance charger from ctek or projector etc to the system is recommended for those times the batteries arent being used. The biggest killer of batteries is not being properly maintained. My batteries are 3 years old and holding up well. You read a lot of reports from people replacing batteries after 6-12 months in campers. Thats a lot of money to be pouring down the sink simply because you didnt spend 5 minutes once a week or fortnight checking water levels and making sure the charger is ticking away. These days with smart chargers there is NO excuses for not maintaining batteries.
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