Posts Tagged ‘Electrics’

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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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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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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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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