Leisure battery electrics.

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Velgreeno

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Hey all. Just a matter of interest. What's your electrical set up in your buses ? What did you buy battery wise, split charger wise etc etc and are you happy with it all and giving you what you need happily.? Also where did you put your power points, sockets ? Im looking to power in time a couple of lights, a tv, fridge maybe and also power a phone charger and ipad. Im looking into it all now and im thinking ok im lost ha. I'm saving up to buy at the mo. Any help would be great. Cheers 🤙.
 

ozziedog

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There’s a great thread over on the Latebay.com that gets you to add up all the things that you’re wanting to power. The list of wants there is quite a lot Velgreeno I’m afraid. If you start off with getting the Dometic CRX 50 fridge, it would appear to have the least power consumption to performance ratio of any of the fridges and it’s usually the fridge that uses most juice / battery. Then factor in some L.E.D. Type of lights as they use massively less juice as well. Squeeze in the largest leisure battery that’ll fit under the wheel well (110 amp) and you’re good to go. Your leisure battery will only let you use about a half of the juice that it has, so if you made it go completely flat it would self destruct very quickly :eek: . So this set up will probably work to last about thirty six hours if you’re very lucky but it wouldn’t stretch to forty eight hours. So add a hundred watt solar charging panel and that will then stretch out to three to possibly four days, add two panels and it goes further. There are new types of batteries out there that will let you discharge them up to ninety five per cent I think but they are at least twenty camels and fourteen virgins in cost and also expennnnnsivvve:unsure:. Electric hook up helps enormously as you’re not reliant on your own power, and three way fridges are great on mains, but mediocre at best on gas, and great on battery so long as your running your engine but a bit on the juicy side. There’s lots of twelve volt battery cool boxes about but they’re not that economical with the juice in the main part, there’s a couple of forty litre ones around that supposedly use the same mechanics as the Dometic CRX50 and that’s a thing to investigate. Don’t confuse the CRX50 with the older model CR50 as they’re light years apart in terms of consumptio. Lots of other ingredients like pointing the panels at the sun, is it sunny? and where to mount them or use the suitcase type and keep moving it, or use two panels that are fixed so less likely to get nicked, the portable ones have been known to wander if you know what I mean.

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,,lots to think on there bud :unsure::):unsure:
 

Coda

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I built a ~3.4Kwh lithium battery (12v nomimal, 280Ah) that sits under my very small C15 Alpicool fridge. The fridge is large enough to get 6 bottles of wine in it (at least 12 cans of Stella in Ozziedog's units), and a couple packs of cheese, and will run for about 5 weeks off that battery without it being hooked up to a charger.
 

ozziedog

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I built a ~3.4Kwh lithium battery (12v nomimal, 280Ah) that sits under my very small C15 Alpicool fridge. The fridge is large enough to get 6 bottles of wine in it (at least 12 cans of Stella in Ozziedog's units), and a couple packs of cheese, and will run for about 5 weeks off that battery without it being hooked up to a charger.
So what would a three and a half k lithium battery cost to us mere mortals? I’ve saved up a few camels but Im struggling to find these allusive virgins for some reason or another :)
im struggling myself with the whole fridge and new interior units in my own van , this concept I’ve taken on board to sort this winter but I’m not convinced I’m gonna get like for like. My current set up is a bit basic as in bed complete with underseat storage area , a pair of draws, and the cool box. The rest of it is the rest of it and I’m not toooo perturbed about the final layout. Now the coolbox at present will hold sausages, burgers, steaks, chops, bacon, eggs and milk and Stella. Now here in lies the issue, six dozen bottles of Stella can be kept cold for up to and including four days for most of the summer, even that extremely hot weekend when we was at Dubs At The Castle, the last three bottles were still cold on the Sunday lunch time as I toddled off home, mates, that was scorch scorch scorchio that weekend. So, I understand the concept of keeping things cool / cold is easier if they’re already cold, but a fridge might have to work very hard to cool down boxes of Stella that have been allowed to be warm, and that’s gonna cost energy!:rolleyes:

Ozziedog,,,,,,,, it’s a bit of a conundrum innit :):unsure::)
 

Coda

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So what would a three and a half k lithium battery cost to us mere mortals? I’ve saved up a few camels but Im struggling to find these allusive virgins for some reason or another :)
When I bought them late last year, from china, they were about £100 a cell (you need 4), plus a BMS which was about 60 quid. Add to that cabling, switches, and fusebox, and you're looking at about another £100. So, not cheap, but I bought the cells as a backup for a house battery I was building (16 cells - ~14Kwh) so once all the house batteries checked out, I had 4 spares to build a leisure battery.

I wouldn't have done something so mental otherwise, but rather maybe ordered some 100Ah cells for a ~1200Wh battery, which would have been about half the cost.

Hopefully the battery prices will come down in the next few months, but I don't think it's likely as the demand for solar (and therefore batteries) is going through the roof, and the China/Taiwan situation is not helping.

BTW - For anyone thinking about this - If you order batteries from China, don't fall for the trap of ordering the cheapest off Alibaba. There are few well-known, trusted sellers, and it costs more to do business with them.
 

la_bigmac

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I have a Waeco Combicool 60, 12v, 240v, and Gas. Its big and I can make ice..

The fridge is getting on a bit, (2006) the 12v is a battery killer so I don't use it much. If I do, I will first fill the fridge with beer and get it properly chilled on 240V, then keep it cold on 12V while driving, then use gas or hookup while camping. Mine works well on Gas.

I have a the basic split charge from JK, its not intelligent just a simple relay actioned by the ignition, it keeps the battery topped up. From the leisure battery I have run cables to under the bed and have a fuse and distribution to an Amp, I also have a capacitor before the amp to smooth out peak bass power drain...

I run the Stereo from the leisure battery too, I recently added a timer relay (from 12v world) powered by the leisure battery triggered by the ignition. The timer stays on for two hours after the ignition is turned off so I can run the Stereo. I had an issue with the Stereo where it kept on draining the leisure battery when stood for a long time and I did not want a separate switch.

In the glovebox I added a USB charger with a digital volt meter, then added a double pole switch so I can see the voltage of the main and leisure battery, gives me confidence everything is charging while the engine is running.

For hookup I run a cable and post it through the side window :) Crude but works! I would like to hardwire the 240v, perhaps introduce a battery charger / maintainer for leisure and main. The caravan folks have some options but they are not cheap or small.. I played with Solar for a bit, but at the time panels did not produce much and unless you are off grid for more than two weeks its not really worth the hassle, but as a geek I had fun!
 

KateLovesPurple

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If it is of any help, this is my setup I put in some years ago now, and apart from changing the PS2 to a Pi games console and adding a couple of 12v and USB sockets, nothing has changed. All the 12v lights are LED, the fridge is an old electrolux 3 way which will kill the leisure battery in short time but I only use it on 12v whilst driving, 240v to cool it before leaving home and if on hookup, gas if no hookup. There are 2 mains sockets, one on hookup and one through a small inverter if needed off hookup, but to be honest they rarely ever get used. The TV is on a 3 way rotary switch that either switches the mains through from hookup or turns on an inverter to run it. Again, rarely used, and I'm thinking of taking it out. The consumer unit, sockets and all the electrical gubbins is in a box behind the front bulkhead, with the TV and the 12v fusebox is between the front seats with the stereo amps. The hookup socket is directly under the consumer unit, under the floor, protected by the chassis rails. The leisure battery is a halfords deep cycle 110A one, under the spare wheel well.
VanWiring.jpg
 

ozziedog

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I have a Waeco Combicool 60, 12v, 240v, and Gas. Its big and I can make ice..

The fridge is getting on a bit, (2006) the 12v is a battery killer so I don't use it much. If I do, I will first fill the fridge with beer and get it properly chilled on 240V, then keep it cold on 12V while driving, then use gas or hookup while camping. Mine works well on Gas.

I have a the basic split charge from JK, its not intelligent just a simple relay actioned by the ignition, it keeps the battery topped up. From the leisure battery I have run cables to under the bed and have a fuse and distribution to an Amp, I also have a capacitor before the amp to smooth out peak bass power drain...

I run the Stereo from the leisure battery too, I recently added a timer relay (from 12v world) powered by the leisure battery triggered by the ignition. The timer stays on for two hours after the ignition is turned off so I can run the Stereo. I had an issue with the Stereo where it kept on draining the leisure battery when stood for a long time and I did not want a separate switch.

In the glovebox I added a USB charger with a digital volt meter, then added a double pole switch so I can see the voltage of the main and leisure battery, gives me confidence everything is charging while the engine is running.

For hookup I run a cable and post it through the side window :) Crude but works! I would like to hardwire the 240v, perhaps introduce a battery charger / maintainer for leisure and main. The caravan folks have some options but they are not cheap or small.. I played with Solar for a bit, but at the time panels did not produce much and unless you are off grid for more than two weeks its not really worth the hassle, but as a geek I had fun!
Sounds like a brill set up plus it does sound like you know what you’re on about as opposed to myself who just makes it up as I go along or sometimes I’ll read up then dither dither dither like I am right now with my interior :unsure: . <<< That new thinking smiley was purpose made for me, I’m gonna call it the dithering smiley from now on :) You’ve reinforced what I was saying about three ways mostly and you’ve proved its all doable but may have to rely on hook up. I’ve also seen a new style three way that takes a disposable gas cannister the same as fits those little cookers and I’ve got two of them and they are great. I’ll still be dithering when it comes to winter and I start work on the van again. I try as much as I can to be self sufficient but is it such a biggy to use hook up for a long weekend ? Bit more dithering required me thinks.:rolleyes::unsure::rolleyes:

Ozziedog,,,,I’ll be looking at different setups this weekend at Techenders :)
 

ozziedog

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If it is of any help, this is my setup I put in some years ago now, and apart from changing the PS2 to a Pi games console and adding a couple of 12v and USB sockets, nothing has changed. All the 12v lights are LED, the fridge is an old electrolux 3 way which will kill the leisure battery in short time but I only use it on 12v whilst driving, 240v to cool it before leaving home and if on hookup, gas if no hookup. There are 2 mains sockets, one on hookup and one through a small inverter if needed off hookup, but to be honest they rarely ever get used. The TV is on a 3 way rotary switch that either switches the mains through from hookup or turns on an inverter to run it. Again, rarely used, and I'm thinking of taking it out. The consumer unit, sockets and all the electrical gubbins is in a box behind the front bulkhead, with the TV and the 12v fusebox is between the front seats with the stereo amps. The hookup socket is directly under the consumer unit, under the floor, protected by the chassis rails. The leisure battery is a halfords deep cycle 110A one, under the spare wheel well.
Blimey, a drawing that even I might understand (y) but before I get tooo carried away, I’m guessing the two boxes in the bottom corners are the batteries, regular on the right and leisure on the left ? And the wiggly gubbins in the middle at the bottom is the split charge set up ?
Assuming I haven’t just made a complete dickhead of myself, I’m liking that set up and the display of it is crystal. I’m guessing that not a whole lot has changed with electrics since you did this. If for instance you’ve drained your leisure battery over a long weekend either with or without solar assistance but down to all it will give, would the split charge be banging it in to your leisure battery all the way home? And do you find you need to top it up once home? I know if you was only five miles from home for instance there’d be no hope, but do you bother topping it up or just rely on the van to gradually top up until you’re off galavanting around the woodlands again ?


Ozziedog ,,,,,,,,, this is a wicked thread :):cool::)
 

la_bigmac

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Nothing to do with the Electrics, but Calor has done a recall on 4.5Kg gas bottles. No one has any stock.. So at the moment I am dependent on a hook up for cold beer and ice for the sundowners. I am not sure what to do about the gas. I could switch to another provider, but they have a different shape and size gas bottle which will mess up my limited storage.
 

la_bigmac

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If it is of any help, this is my setup I put in some years ago now, and apart from changing the PS2 to a Pi games console and adding a couple of 12v and USB sockets, nothing has changed. All the 12v lights are LED, the fridge is an old electrolux 3 way which will kill the leisure battery in short time but I only use it on 12v whilst driving, 240v to cool it before leaving home and if on hookup, gas if no hookup. There are 2 mains sockets, one on hookup and one through a small inverter if needed off hookup, but to be honest they rarely ever get used. The TV is on a 3 way rotary switch that either switches the mains through from hookup or turns on an inverter to run it. Again, rarely used, and I'm thinking of taking it out. The consumer unit, sockets and all the electrical gubbins is in a box behind the front bulkhead, with the TV and the 12v fusebox is between the front seats with the stereo amps. The hookup socket is directly under the consumer unit, under the floor, protected by the chassis rails. The leisure battery is a halfords deep cycle 110A one, under the spare wheel well.
View attachment 3186
A TV Lift motor! :) Please attach a pic of your interior.
 

KateLovesPurple

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Blimey, a drawing that even I might understand (y) but before I get tooo carried away, I’m guessing the two boxes in the bottom corners are the batteries, regular on the right and leisure on the left ? And the wiggly gubbins in the middle at the bottom is the split charge set up ?
Assuming I haven’t just made a complete dickhead of myself, I’m liking that set up and the display of it is crystal. I’m guessing that not a whole lot has changed with electrics since you did this. If for instance you’ve drained your leisure battery over a long weekend either with or without solar assistance but down to all it will give, would the split charge be banging it in to your leisure battery all the way home? And do you find you need to top it up once home? I know if you was only five miles from home for instance there’d be no hope, but do you bother topping it up or just rely on the van to gradually top up until you’re off galavanting around the woodlands again ?


Ozziedog ,,,,,,,,, this is a wicked thread :):cool::)
Yes, bottom right is the starter battery left is the leisure battery. The wiggly gubbins is as you said, the split charge relay, no fancy voltage sensing stuff. The split charge relay will charge the leisure battery whilst driving but it would take a very long time to charge it from flat. At home she is plugged in to a hookup point and the charger in the van is a smart charger so is fit and forget, permanently on and will never overcharge the battery.
 

Velgreeno

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Wow cheers for the replies folks. I got alot to digest here and alot to look into. Once i have absorbed everything il start looking into buying it all when i can. Im not the fastest learner but il get there in time ha. Cneers again 🤙.
 

blackcountrybob

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Sounds like a brill set up plus it does sound like you know what you’re on about as opposed to myself who just makes it up as I go along or sometimes I’ll read up then dither dither dither like I am right now with my interior :unsure: . <<< That new thinking smiley was purpose made for me, I’m gonna call it the dithering smiley from now on :) You’ve reinforced what I was saying about three ways mostly and you’ve proved its all doable but may have to rely on hook up. I’ve also seen a new style three way that takes a disposable gas cannister the same as fits those little cookers and I’ve got two of them and they are great. I’ll still be dithering when it comes to winter and I start work on the van again. I try as much as I can to be self sufficient but is it such a biggy to use hook up for a long weekend ? Bit more dithering required me thinks.:rolleyes::unsure::rolleyes:

Ozziedog,,,,I’ll be looking at different setups this weekend at Techenders :)
Just be aware for safety's sake that those 3 way fridges that use the disposable gas canisters aren't really intended to be used in enclosed spaces such as a van with the doors closed but rather in things that are well ventilated like an awning. I got very close to buying one before I realised!
 

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