VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I have no intention of being a serial camper just the odd wild weekend in my trusty van, the only electrical equipment I have invested in is a WAECO U26 coolbox which works a treat. Thought of fitting another battery with a split charger but you are talking £££. Then the thought of a solar panel came into mind.
I was looking at a 30W panel so I could run the cool box for a few HRS a day and top up my battery at the same time.
Do I need a voltage regulator as I have no intention in combining both panel and altenator at the same time.

for example

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/370544242538?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

thanksT:
 

·
Full of Cr*p....
Joined
·
10,202 Posts
Coolboxes usually take around 50 watts...so the panel won't manage to keep the battery charged...and it's daytime you want the coolbox....at night you get zero output from the solar panel....so that extra watts you took from the battery won't come back.
Unless you have a cheap source of good panels, I'd think a split charger would work out cheaper in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coolboxes usually take around 50 watts...so the panel won't manage to keep the battery charged...and it's daytime you want the coolbox....at night you get zero output from the solar panel....so that extra watts you took from the battery won't come back.
Unless you have a cheap source of good panels, I'd think a split charger would work out cheaper in the long run.
The coolbox in question is 47W, my current battery can run it for up to 4 hours before the volts drop to much to start the engine.
I was looking at just keeping a bit of life in the battery over a short weekend.

As for the night time it would be off, the beer is still cold enough in the morning for drinkingLOL:LOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
if you only want it for 2 days just put a good layer of ice in the bottom and put the food/beer in cold and you will be fine.dont mess around with solar panels or 2nd hand batterys if you dont have to.If you need it for longer you can buy ice or frozen peas from tesco much cheaper than buying solar panels etc.Ice has been used for hundreds of years to keep food its no different in a t4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,655 Posts
Iv been running a smartcom for the last 2 years......charges my leisure batteries a treat and never had any issues.....i know some have had issues trying to run stuff direct from it.....but mines been fine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
i started with a 20a charger on 2.5mm cable (5m)and it just didnt work an 12 hr drive with a coolbox running in the back by the time i got there the leisure batt was 1/2flat.Gone for 16mm with a 100a relay and its so much better.but i steer clear from di electric coolboxes as they just hammer a battery too much.I use ice or a 3 waycoolbox in an awning now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
My campervan has a 110 AH leisure battery which powers the fridge, interior lighting and the odd charging of the camera/ mobile phone.
It has kept us going for couple of weeks wild camping without any problem.
My mate has a solar panel on his van's roof and believes anything less than 40W is a waste of money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
dont ever buy a second hand battery, they are good for recycling or an emergency but that's all. If you want to keep any battery in a performing condition you really need to know that its been used and maintained properly. Your cheapest option would probably be to buy your leisure battery and a voltage indicator and a 12v socket so that you could make up a portable power box. Charge it up before you leave then run it until its low, but not flat then charge it back up when you get home. After a while when you have the money to exapnd your set up you can get your split charge and cabling and your existing components can get permanently fitted into the van. Only then would I personally consider introducing components such as a solar panal and regulator to help top up your battery when the van sits idle. I personally think that in the real world you are not going to get enough power from a solar panel to keep something like a coolbox running indefinitely. A 100ah battery that would keep your cooler going for several hours would take days to fully recharge with those solar panels.
B.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top