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Author Topic: How much power do I need?  (Read 3862 times)

hays298

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How much power do I need?
« on: April 04, 2017, 04:07:10 PM »
I was thinking of keeping the van pretty basic and not installing gas or mains hook up. I will often be at places like festival sites where there is no hook up and they can have funny regulations about gas.

So my plan was to just use leisure batteries. But as I'm beginning to look at cooking options it is becoming apparent that maybe I can't get the power for say an induction hob from a leisure battery. What I'm reading is that leisure batteries tend to be 12V and some one ring induction hobs I'm looking at are 220V.

I have zero electrical knowledge, I plan to get the actual install done by an electrician, but I need to be able to tell them what I want.

What I'm hoping to power:
induction/electric hob
small water pump for kitchen sink only
ceiling lights, lamp/bedside light/fairy lights/softer lighting
plugs for - phone chargers, my laptop, printer, lightbox for design work, small kettle, toaster and food processor
Obviously not all at once...

Any help very gratefully received!

Camper_Dan

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Re: How much power do I need?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 05:01:15 AM »
Anything related to heating or cooking is best accomplished with fuel, not electricity.

Here are the components I use for my house battery setup:



I also no longer buy new batteries, but buy cheap ones from auto wreckers instead.

Put your deep cycle battery in the battery box, and connect the adapter to the terminals.  Attach the 4 port adapter to the side of the box and plug that into the adapter you just connected to the battery, and put the lid on the battery box.  Secure the battery box to a convenient location.

When driving, connect the jumper cable between your ciggy outlet, and one of the four ports on the battery box to keep your house battery charged.

Get the car adapters for all your goodies so everything runs off 12 volts, eliminating the need for an inverter. If you absolutely can't live without shore power, then a generator is your best bet.

Use a kerosene/alcohol/propane camp stove for your cooking needs.  A portable stove top oven can be added if desired.




I really like using  simple dishpans for sinks, and spray bottles for the water delivery.  No power required, and I painted my hot water bottle black, and sit  it in a window for free solar hot water.  No plumbing necessary, and works both inside or outside.  It's nice  to be able to set up your kitchen outside if the weather's nice.

Always remember that you are camping.  Leave the house mentality behind.  You can still have your own toilet and shower, but when it comes to electrical, if it won't run on 12 volts, you probably don't really need it anyway.  I didn't see it on your list, but a 12 volt or battery powered fan can be really nice in hot weather.

Good luck, and let me know if you have more questions.   :)




« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 05:03:15 AM by Camper_Dan »
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hays298

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Re: How much power do I need?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 10:05:25 PM »
Thank you so much for such a detailed response!

I think most of that makes sense, there's a few things to think about there but I will come back to you if I have any questions.

hays298

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Re: How much power do I need?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 07:50:51 PM »
Okay, gone through it all properly now.

Switched my plans for cooking to a gas camping stove, thinking this:
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/outwell-appetizer-2-burner-stove-p403681
it's two rings, cheap and will run off small disposable canisters and save me having a big refillable bottle.

Quote
Get the car adapters for all your goodies so everything runs off 12 volts, eliminating the need for an inverter. If you absolutely can't live without shore power, then a generator is your best bet.

Is "goodies" phone chargers etc? Googling "12v car adapters" gives me things that go in your cigarette lighter and charge via USB. If so I'm going to need more juice than that. I need fridge, laptop and a few other bits. Definitely need plug sockets. I'm thinking a full system like a caravan would have.

So I guess my question is, "what is different about caravan power compared to the power in my house? Are there going to be things I just can't power?"

Camper_Dan

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Re: How much power do I need?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 08:21:33 AM »
You might want to include the wind shield along with that stove:
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/outwell-windshield-camping-stove-p106401

Fridges can be very expensive, and huge energy hogs as the weather warms up.  I've switched back to simple ice chest style.  Cheap, no power required, and nothing to break down either.

Hopefully your laptop will have a car cord available.  Not sure about the printer or the light box.  They may require an inverter.  Everything else should be doable without one.

If an inverter is necessary, you will need to determine the total wattage needed to run all the items needed, add 25% for efficiency losses, and get an appropriate sized inverter to handle the load.  Since we are talking about electronics, a pure sine wave inverter would be advisable.

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