Hi me and the wife sally have been tenting for 20 years and have just took up caravanning .We bought a old abbey 212 gts vogue 1996- 98 model. So far all we have done is gone for the full hook up site , but would like to go wild caravanning , could you please make a program on how and what you need ,to do this battery life is one of the biggest things if we want to go away for a week or 2 run one light and Tv heating what do we run on gas and what on the battery . Could we get a sola panel which allows us to run all on electric we have not got a clue thank tom and sally
Hi Tomo welcome to caravanning if you have survived for 20 years in a tent you should be in luxury in a van We do most of our caravanning off mains run water heater and fridge on gas when on site, we only put water heater on as needed We have a 110 amp battery and a small 12"x6" approximately solar panel if you go for a larger one you need a controller so it does not over charge the battery Have changed all lights to led's and have had no problems Our van is an Abbey Aventura 314 2003 Hope this helps if not just ask away I will do my best to help as will other members Yours Scout (Brian)
He who does not know and asks is a fool for five minutes He who does not ask is a fool for life
Apart from in the long dark days of winter, when there are not that many hours of daylight available for solar charging, we also spend all our away days, and weeks, "off grid". Not I suppose specifically "wild caravanning" but primarily on Caravan Club "CLs", (Certificated Locations) which are limited to a maximum of five 'vans at any one time. Occasionally we also stay in farmer's fields, where known, with extremely limited facilities, very low cost, and if we're lucky, unlimited fresh milk and eggs ! ! I have installed two Banner 115 Amp Hour batteries in parallel , solely charged via an eighty watt solar panel, and we do not connect up for mains charging at all during the summer months. We are usually away for several days at a time, plus longer several week summer breaks as and when retirement budgets allow. Like Scout, our fridge, water heater, and when needed room heater are all powered by bottled gas, although the mains vacuum cleaner required to de-hair behind a rather hairy family dog, and of course Mrs Neil's hair dryer are separately powered as required by a 3 KW mains inverter. We watch very little TV, mostly use a small battery radio, and also like Scout, have converted our lighting to LED "bulbs". LEDs are expensive, but the saving in lighting power usage is well worth the changeover.
One thing to be very aware of is that not all Leisure batteries are the same, and you very definitely only get what you pay for, if you're lucky. I have listed below two threads I started a couple of years ago when we were having severe battery problems. It is worth reading these posts, and particularly the Caravan Club magazine articles which I quoted, the results of the tests which were carried out were disturbing to say the least. I was fortunate in being able to bring enough pressure to bear on the supplier of the batteries obtained when I bought our 'van, as a result of which we replaced these original batteries with Banner batteries as mentioned above. We are now well into our third season with this set-up, and I cannot recommend Banner highly enough.
thanks guys all great advice and all taken on board . could you also say how log a average 9kg btl of gas may last doing this my wife is very particular in her working out so we can get the most days away as when we was in tent we did not have a fridge or heating to run thank you for the help but its better to ask rather than learn the hard way
How about, instead of worrying about how long a cylinder will last, carrying two cylinders?
A rough guide to gas consumption is as follows:
Fridge approx 300-330 gm/24 hrs. Water heater 120 gm/hr. It usually takes about 20-35 mins. to bring 10 litres of water up to temperature on gas only. Space heater 30-280g/h depending on the temperature it is set at. Gas hob Rapid ring approx. 179g/hr Intermediate ring approx. 107g/hr Low ring approx. 71g/hr Oven Approx. 129 g/hr Grill Approx. 143 g/hr
All the above figures are for Propane gas at 30 mbar and for fairly recent units as fitted to an 8 year old caravan. I cannot quote figures for earlier models or for Butane gas. Generally, the consumption figures for Butane are slightly higher than for Propane.
If it helps, if using the gas only for cooking in the summer and not using it for heating, the fridge or for heating water, a 6kg cylinder of Propane lasted us for well over 6 weeks in France. All the other equipment was on mains electricity.
The above guide is given in good faith. The figures will vary according to which fridge, cooker space heater and water heater is installed in your caravan.
As already stated, the best solution is to use two cylinders and change over when one is empty. Start off with them both full. Decide which of the two you are going to use then only use that cylinder. When it is empty, change over to the other cylinder and remember to refill the empty one. That way, you should not run out of gas. It also helps if you fit a capacity gauge in the hose from the cylinder. It will give a "traffic light" indication of how much gas is remaining in the cylinder. By the way, the cylinder in use must be in the upright position and the spare cylinder should be carried in an upright position, This stops liquid gas getting into the cylinder outlet which could cause an explosion when connected and lit.