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First Trip with No EHU

Oct 22, 2018
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Having only had a van since March and loving the lifestyle we stick our toes into waters new next weekend; a site without EHU.

We are heading to Chatsworth House Temporary site for the Country Fair.

Looking for any and all tips and advice to make life as comfortable as possible.

2 Adults, 1 dog in Quasar 764 which does have a solar panel built in although has only been used in the background without any intervention from me.

As ever, your time and patience is greatly appreciated
 
Jun 20, 2005
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grumpy2447 said:
Having only had a van since March and loving the lifestyle we stick our toes into waters new next weekend; a site without EHU.

We are heading to Chatsworth House Temporary site for the Country Fair.

Looking for any and all tips and advice to make life as comfortable as possible.

2 Adults, 1 dog in Quasar 764 which does have a solar panel built in although has only been used in the background without any intervention from me.

As ever, your time and patience is greatly appreciated
40 years ago we only had gas! Enjoy :)
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Having solar is a great asset, much less for you to think about.

Charge everything up before you go, phones, tablets etc.

A couple of cheap battery LED lamps also help to minimise main battery usage.

Charge devices from a 12v usb socket rather than use an inverter.

To be frank, you will probably be very comfortable without too much effort, water pump and heating being your likely main power draw, enjoy some TV and music and perhaps a DVD without worry.

Have great time, we would love to hear how it goes for you.
 
Mar 8, 2017
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wandering.me.uk
Assuming your battery is in reasonable condition and you except that you don't have the use of the power hungry appliances, microwave, electric kettle, toaster and the like and you will be fine. Your fridge and water heating will be ok operating on gas as will the heating, if you need it.

We have a 100 watt roof panel and that is sufficient for our needs.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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As Dusty pointed out , for many years caravans were gas only accomodation, and people survived two weeks or more without electricity 12dc or 240V AC (as it was in those days) but times have moved on, and I remember the first time we had 12V just for some rudimentary lighting. It didn't seem like caravanning without getting to site and finding the gas light mantles had broken because of the vibrations during the journey, Ah the smell of gas lights,....,. but I digress.
When we first had 12V in caravans, it was life lesson in frugality, only using power when you needed it, and crucially turning things off when you have finished. It was possible to last a week or more with a car battery. Perhaps it was the remnants of the attitude of wartime make and make do. We certainly enjoyed the holidays.

These days we rely on having some electrical power in caravans to run some of the basic appliances, but with propper and bigger caravan batteries, and the being careful, a weekend can be easily achieved, especially if you resist the temptation of televisions and computers by trying other forms of entertainment.

You don't tell us the size of you solar panel, but even if it's only 50 W then it will still put a significant amount of power into the battery and extend the time you can stay off grid.

I do suggest you check the panel is working and is actually connected to charge the battery, it will give you peace of mind. Even so an off grid weekend should be fun!
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Gas mantles Prof, :)
Beautiful. Reassuring hissing incandescent gas powered. Nostalgia :cheer:
And the water pump on our first Swift had a foot driven pump. Hot water was from an old style “ascot” type heater above the tiny kitchen sink. Gas of course.
Today off grid you can watch tv streaming on your I pad from WiFi or tethering from your mobile phone. Sky’s the limit. As the Proff says you will still need 12v for some basic functions. Water pump and more importantly toilet flush unless yours is manual :evil:
 
Mar 24, 2014
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We took our Vigo to Glastonbury this year. As you may recall it was HOT! Ran the fridge and water heater off the gas ( I had brought along an extra gas cylinder, but we didn't need it) and the Motor Mover and the lighting and radio ran off the battery. The roof mounted solar panel kept the battery topped up and we had no issues whatsoever over the 4 nights we were there.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Clifford_374377114 said:
We have a 120 w solar panel and have gone for 2 weeks several times without any problems. We use a TV as well.
Cliff
Hi Cliff,

Is your panel roof mounted and what type of controller do you use?

Good to hear it is working well, Mrs Anseo likes her TV and music etc. so I am hoping that I have enough solar power to keep her happy.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Niall_McIntosh said:
We took our Vigo to Glastonbury this year. As you may recall it was HOT! Ran the fridge and water heater off the gas ( I had brought along an extra gas cylinder, but we didn't need it) and the Motor Mover and the lighting and radio ran off the battery. The roof mounted solar panel kept the battery topped up and we had no issues whatsoever over the 4 nights we were there.
Glad to hear it is working well for you Niall, what size of panel do you use and is it roof mounted, what kind of controller do you use.

Thanks,
John
 
Mar 24, 2014
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Anseo said:
Niall_McIntosh said:
We took our Vigo to Glastonbury this year. As you may recall it was HOT! Ran the fridge and water heater off the gas ( I had brought along an extra gas cylinder, but we didn't need it) and the Motor Mover and the lighting and radio ran off the battery. The roof mounted solar panel kept the battery topped up and we had no issues whatsoever over the 4 nights we were there.
Glad to hear it is working well for you Niall, what sizeof panel do you use and is it roof mounted, what kind of controller do you use.

Thanks,
John
It's all bog standard original fit Truma as far as I can see John, I think the solar panel is rated at 100w.
 
May 27, 2014
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Grumpy you appear to have a modern caravan which I assume has energy efficient led lighting etc etc assuming that your leisure battery is fully charged I trust you’ll have a splendid time off grid opening up a whole new caravanning scene
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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We've just returned from a music festival where we were off grid for 6 days.
I have an 80 watt roof mounted solar panel but its effectiveness was reduced because the hot dry weekend allowed a film of dust to cover the panel which would normally keep my leisure battery fully charged in bright sunlight.
I run a 10 meter string of coloured led lights for my flagpole at this particular festival so when my leisure battery charge began to drop to 12.2 volts I fitted my spare battery so we had lights, water pump, toilet flush plus my flagpole lights which encouraged many fellow festival campers to come over, take photos and to say hi and have a chat.
If there had been windy conditions the solar panel would have worked better because the dust wouldn't have settled on it.
 
Oct 22, 2018
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Well thanks for all your advice and encouragement. We spent 4 days and 3 nights at Chatsworth and had a great time. The good lady wasn't keen on her new 12v hair dryer but apparently the straighteners did the job. We didnt use the TV at all whilst there but had everything we needed and certainly wouldn't shy away from being off grid again. Wasn't keen on full utilisation of the toilet but we got by. I am still using the same gas bottle that came with the van in March so the spare I took with me wasn't needed.

The site was very ordered and had lots of water points but just one Chemical disposal point. There was no recycling just a skip for everything.

The country Fair is great and we have been as day trippers many times in the past but will certainly look to return with the van again next year and would recommend it to all.

Had a van on one side of us which turned out to be from our home town and we had many friends in common. The van on the other side was very interesting being a Windrush 152 which is probably the oldest van I have seen in use since we got this bug.

I am noticing in all our travels that motorhomes appear to be more popular than caravans these days but been there and tried that and much prefer the van.
 

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