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 touring uk

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ridgeback
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PostSubject: touring uk   Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:37 am

I am planning a trip round the UK and will be staying on campsites but need electric overnight. I like remote dog friendly sites but electric is essential.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Will consider pretty much anywhere across the UK but generally will stick close to the coast.
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sundowners
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:24 am

Hi
If you are not already a member of 'caravan and camping' club I would suggest you join and use their CL's (or maybe they are CS's ??)-----------------these offer very good basic sites, often in really isolated positions, most have electric 'EHU', but is often just 6 or 10 amp-----not enough to run heavy draw items.------they are often £10-£15 per pitch per night-----sometimes cheaper !!!
Nigel
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gemini
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:55 pm

Have a look at this one.

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/

We use this in place of the very expensive Camping and Caravan Club membership.

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wideformat4x4
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:34 pm

Get the 52 weekends by the sea book, well worth it shows places a little away from the normal seaside towns.

I'm on number 37 now and hope to finish them all later in the year, there is a campsite list in the book along with cafe's restaurants etc but the camping guide is not very comprehensive get the book and the caravan & camping club guide and you'll be sorted.
Or alternatively use the link previously on the post or try the coolcamping website or some sat navs have a leisure feature which shows campsites near your location I've used mine loads of times

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ridgeback
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:17 am

Thank you guys. I've looked at cool camping but I'm a great believer in recommendations so wanted to ask. Will be checking out amazon shortly!
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wideformat4x4
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:21 am

ridgeback wrote:
Thank you guys. I've looked at cool camping but I'm a great believer in recommendations so wanted to ask. Will be checking out amazon shortly!

The 52 Weekends by the sea book is worth buying if only for the pictures.
Check out their website

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Assassin
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:43 am

Question, what sort of electric do you need? is it mains voltage and why? or can you manage with 12 volts.

For mains voltage you would need a generator, but with the noise and smells issues many sites don't allow them or restrict their use to specific hours; other then this you would need a site with electric hook up facilities which cost more.

If you can manage with 12 volts then you can install a split charging system to your vehicle and have a second leisure battery if its only for lighting and basic electrical systems. To do a system for appliances such as fridges, fridge/freezers, or even 12 volt kettles you need more than one battery as in testing we found manufacturers figures cannot be relied upon as they draw much more power then manufacturers claim.

For such a system I would recommend uprating the alternator if it is below 100 amps and fit something bigger, fit a digital split charging system, fit at least 2 batteries with a minimum capacity of 100 amps each in parallel )+ to + and - to -) to maintain your 12 volts supply and double your current output from 100 to 200 amp hour. I would forget fitting an invertor as they hammer batteries and most are inefficient and fail to live up to their ratings.
You will need to install a battery cut off switch of an appropriate rating, a fuse box, and rewire each appliance into your new fuse box, this will isolate your vehicle battery from your leisure batteries.
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ridgeback
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:00 am

Most of my 4x4 friends run split charge systems for their winches. Have been looking and the machine makers do sella q12v adapter. It would be nice if I could run a fridge (for the dogs raw food) but got to be realistic!
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gemini
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:16 pm

I run a split charge system. Unless you go crazy on one of these so called "intelligent" chargers, that still use a relay, you don't have to spend a lot of money.

I use a Lucas SRB630 split charge relay. About 20 quid or such now. mine cost 14 quid when I fitted it in 2003 !

Have a look at the Towsure site. They have the caravan ones which are more than adequate, despite what others will say, to allow a second battery to run a fridge and other things.

I would recommend a NUMAX battery about 100 AMP. That will be more than adequate for the job

HTH
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:03 pm

To a large extent we need to know more details, and while I agree to a point Gemini, I also know you're well versed in this area.

Basic split charging may suffice, but for someone staying for a weekend and running a fridge and lighting it could deplete the battery with a running fridge, hence why I suggested a digital system.
If the OP is fairly new I would suggest a digital system as these are not expensive now and can be had for £50-80 for decent systems and include battery monitoring with alarm which will trigger if a battery becomes discharged and they can be programmed to bias batteries with a default setting to bias to the vehicle battery first, then still work flat out to charge the leisure batteries in the fastest time, and if a low battery alarm goes off they know to start the engine and run the vehicle to charge them.

Basically, you can have too little capacity, but you can't have too much.

Modern digital systems do not use a relay as they use modern electronics to switch charging and these power modules have proven reliable and very tough.

Assuming the OP arrives on site at 11 am on Saturday and stays until 6pm on Sunday this is 31 hours, and with an average fridge drawing an average 3 A/h this alone is 91 amps before anything else is used such as lighting, so at best a basic system is marginal.
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gemini
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:32 pm

I'm still trying to find out how these so called intelligent chargers charge when the engine isn't running.  lol! 

With the system I have I can arrive at a site on a Friday morning and it will run right through until the Monday morning.

I agree you can't have to much capacity. I've found the 100amp battery sufficient. Although for our trailer we use two 85 Amp batteries that last a week

What isn't sufficient is anything less than a 100 Amp alternator. Well it is but as you've said it's marginal.

So we leave alone one popular system that does use a relay.  getting nowhere fast

Not just a low battery alarm but a low battery cut out that will switch off everything until the battery is charged again.
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ridgeback
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:55 am

Thanks guys, I will see if I can find out what the machine draws. The fridge could be replaced with a cool box for a long weekend but our plans are based around touring so there shouldn't be periods of no charging!
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gemini
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:49 am

Which fridge do you have ?
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wideformat4x4
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:05 am

On the electric front I've been thinking most campsites will let you freeze blocks for cold boxes if your wild camping then a fridge is another story but even then as Chris Scott or Sam Watson once said (can't remember which) milk comes in powder and meat comes in tins. Another great quote again I am not sure which one said it was before you start vehicle preparation is get a dictionary and look up the words "want" and "need" !
Food for thought !

I did 6 months last year in France, Andorra, Spain and Morocco without a fridge just a 12v cool box driving all day or at least several hours a day with it plugged into the cigar lighter and unplugged at night.
Lighting was taken care of by low consumption LEDs on board and 2 LED magnetic inspection lamps which take 2AA batteries total of batteries used 8

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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:23 am

Gemini:

I think you're getting confused between an intelligent charger which is a battery charger plugged into the mains which has a feedback circuit to keep the battery at full charge when the vehicle is stood for long periods, and a digital split charging system which is a split charging system using solid state electronics instead of an on/off relay.

Intelligent charging works by measuring the resistance of the negative cable and switches between several modes to charge your battery, or to keep your battery fully charged; or to de-sulphate your battery if necessary.

Digital charging systems use the alternator power and have the capability to shunt power between two or more batteries, and unlike the older on/off relays they have the ability to choke power to keep the alternator running at maximum capacity irrespective of the engine battery charge state. Most alternators are called "machine sensed" and the alternator senses a batteries state of charge to regulate its output to prevent overcharging, and they have a feedback wire to the alternator to allow choking to occur, having digital control over your alternator means it is battery sensed, or in this case sensed by the split charging system which senses the batteries state of charge.

Battery sensed alternators require a tag soldering inside them and a feedback wire which must me one continuous wire without joints or connections directly from the battery + terminal to the alternator tab, this then senses the batteries state of charge directly and it overcomes the issues of bad joints or corrosion on terminals which reduce battery charge.

Digital systems exploit this by acting as the battery and manipulate the alternator output to keep it much higher for quicker recharging times for both the engine and auxiliary batteries. Many digital systems can also be programmed to bias one or more batteries in a sequence.

In default mode the system always biases the vehicle battery as this is needed for starting and engine running as modern engines need power to run, petrol vehicles need power for the ignition systems on basic engines, and for fuel injection and other management systems on more modern engines. Diesel engines need little power on basic engines, only enough to start it and hold the fuel shut off valve open; while more modern engines require power for the management systems.

All vehicles need power for lighting, wipers, and everything else fitted and this is run from the vehicle battery, a digital system will choke the alternator to give its maximum output to fully charge the vehicle battery first as quickly as possible and with a quicker recharge time you can divert a proportion of the remaining surplus power to the next biased battery, thus charging them much sooner than a basic relay based split charger.

By being programmable you can alter this bias between multiple batteries, so if you have a dedicated fridge battery you can bias this as second bias and once the vehicle battery is charged it diverts all the surplus power to this battery to charge this quickly, if you have a third battery and this is only for lighting it will only begin to charge this when the vehicle and fridge battery are charged. You may even set it so it charges your main vehicle battery first as default, then splits the remaining charge equally or with a bias such as 2:1 between your remaining batteries, or have twice as much charge going to your fridge battery than your lighting battery as your fridge battery consumes more power.

Once all your batteries are charged a digital system goes into maintenance mode and keeps all batteries at full charge.
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gemini
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:15 am

NO I'm not getting confused.
As far as I'm concerned an intelligent charger is sold to CHARGE ALL THE TIME. To me that means engine switched off, something that's impossible.
After loosing two days in Botswana because of somebody's super intelligent split charger I stay with a simple system. One that if necessary is bush repairable.

That Lucas unit I use believe it or not charges the main battery first.  If It goes wrong, which it hasn't in over 20 years of use, I can swap it for an ordinary relay. Too simple for most people.

£50 pound to me is OTT.

However should you do the job right and also use a solar panel, like I do, then there's only one split charger to use. C-Tek 250,  Just a simple charger that does everything I need for the trailer.

If I was to be preparing an overland vehicle now, instead of ten years ago, then I'd go C-Tek

Is ridgeback thinking of that route ?

In the UK it isn't necessary to run the fridge overnight. We actually found it wasn't necessary in southern Africa to run it all night.

You use that all singing dancing fancy light model. I'll stay and recommend the simple one.  clinking teacups

Why do I need to keep programing a split charge ? That I do not understand. Once set leave things alone, you must have spent too mutch time tinkering with a Land Rover  Twisted Evil   Twisted Evil   Twisted Evil 
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PostSubject: Re: touring uk   Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:02 pm

How can an intelligent charger charge all the time unless it is plugged into the mains? it can't because its a battery charger and not a split charger. You cannot get an intelligent split charger only an intelligent charger to keep your battery topped up by keeping it plugged into a mains supply.

All split chargers charge the vehicle battery first, even digital systems unless you programme them differently and have good reason for doing so, they offer flexibility and the ability to programme a system to your individual requirements, and once programmed you leave them, you don't continually re-programme them.
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