Archive for the ‘Electrics’ Category

The Shouse Tech (Part One – what does it do?)

Monday, November 9th, 2015

The Shouse Tech (Part 1) This is the first in a series of articles that explain the technology that is used to automate and manage our shed-house (the Shouse). In this article I will provide an overview of what they systems do and how we interact with them. So what do the systems do for […]

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My Motorhome/Caravan Refrigerator is using Too Much Power

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

This is a very common comment I see in both emails and forum questions. Depending on the size of the solar/battery system, refrigeration can account for up to 70% or more of the total power requirements. In our motorhome we have a 220ltr low voltage, two-door fridge/freezer and a small (40ltr) chest fridge that becomes […]

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What appliances can I run from my motorhome or caravan solar power system?

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

In the last few months I have had a number of emails from people wanting to know if they can run this appliance or that appliance in their motorhome or caravan. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the answer is not just a simple “yes” or “no” – but a resounding “it depends”. You see […]

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Buying Solar Panels (without getting ripped off)

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

How to buy cheap solar panels without getting ripped off. For many years solar panels were very expensive to manufacture and were equally expensive to purchase. The price of panels was very stable at around the $10 per watt mark for a number of years. Manufacture of panels was limited to just a few well-known […]

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Diagnosing Motorhome and Caravan Electric Fridge Issues

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

  If you have read any of my other articles relating to caravan and motorhome refrigeration, you will know that I am a big fan of electric compressor fridges (as opposed to gas or so called 3-way fridges). While these compressor based fridges are extremely robust and reliable, of course things do sometimes go wrong. […]

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Fridges for Motorhomes and Caravans

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

It is probably a reasonable assumption that nearly 100% of caravans and motorhomes have at least one refrigerator. Let’s face it, warm beer is only slightly more palatable than sour milk in your coffee. Refrigerators for motorhomes and caravans are available in two very different types – gas  fridges (often called 3-way),  and compressor fridges. […]

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Connecting Motorhome and Caravan Batteries

Friday, January 13th, 2012

As is often the case, the inspiration for this article came from talking with a fellow motorhomer. He was under the impression that connecting batteries in parallel would shorten their life. He even had a very good explanation for this … “As one battery discharges, it will drag the other battery down, then that second […]

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Why Battery Voltage Does NOT Indicate Battery Charge State

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

The most common phrase I repeat when talking to motorhome and caravan owners about their electrical system is “Battery voltage is NOT a good indicator of the battery charge state”.  The idea that there is a direct correlation between the voltage across the terminals of the battery and the amount of energy stored inside is […]

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Motorhome and Caravan Battery Life

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Motorhome and Caravan Battery Life – how to select and manage motorhome and caravan batteries How to get the most out of your expensive deep cycle batteries. No question, good quality deep cycle batteries are very expensive – and I’m guessing that they are not going to get any cheaper any time soon. So how […]

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The ten unbreakable rules for motorhome and caravan electrics

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Here is a list of what I consider the 10 most important rules when designing, building and using a motorhome or caravan electrical system 1.SYSTEM VOLTAGE – Keep the vehicle system voltage and the house system voltage the same. If your vehicle is 12 volt – then make sure the house system is also 12 […]

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Calculating the cable size for wiring solar panels

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Solar panels are expensive – not as expensive as they used to be, but you are still going to need to budget a few thousand dollars if you plan to power motorhome or caravan from the sun. Given the cost of purchasing the panels, I am always amazed by the number of people that then […]

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Wiring a motorhome – 12 volts or 24 volts?

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

If you are building a motorhome or even buying one, have you considered what voltage the house system will run? Most people automatically assume that 12 volts is best – because … well cars use 12 volts and it never causes issues for them. If you are building or buying a motorhome, I urge you […]

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What is a Shunt and why do I need one?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

A shunt is often listed as an optional extra when you buy your solar regulator. Plasmatronics sell theirs in two parts – the shunt and something called the shunt adapter.  In my experience very few people understand the function of this device and more importantly why it is an important part of your motorhome or […]

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Getting Started – Long Term Travelling

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Taking to the road and seeing Australia in a converted bus has been a great experience – one we intend to continue for some time. Lots of people ask us how this came about and what we did to prepare for life on the road. In this article we will look at what is involved […]

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Basic Electrics for Motorhome and Caravan Owners (Part 2)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

This is the second (and final) part of my introduction to basic electrical theory – for owners of motorhomes and caravans.  In this section we will look at watts (and we all know that solar panels are rated in watts) and also the connection of batteries in both series and parallel. But before we launch […]

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Basic Electrics for Motorhome and Caravan Owners (Part 1)

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Presented here, in a very easy to understand format, is basic electrical theory. This is the stuff that I learned in my first year as an apprentice electrician (and that was just after they invented digital watches). This basic knowledge is an absolutely essential grounding if you are to have any hope of installing, repairing […]

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