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12v transformer

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jh

Posts : 4
Join date : 2014-07-12

12v transformer

Post by jh on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 5:37 pm

Hi,not long after buying a destiny high side,1995 I think,its got no mains power so I got 1 of those camping suplys ,sunncamp rcd with 3 sockets and 20metre cable,sorted,there are 2 12volt lights and the water pump ment to be ran of the car battery i think,could I use a 12v transformer worked of the mains to run them?anyone do this,recomended types etc
thanks
John

navver

Posts : 995
Join date : 2013-01-03

Re: 12v transformer

Post by navver on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 8:09 pm

Yes my designer has a power supply unit which does just that. Just be careful because some units require/recommend a battery and some are OK without.

A battery will regulate the voltage under differing load conditions and prevent the unit being overloaded if you exceed its rated capacity.

Unfortunately I can't find one online.
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: 12v transformer

Post by Tow Itch on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 8:28 pm

jh wrote:Hi,not long after buying a destiny high side,1995 I think,its got no mains power so I got 1 of those camping suplys ,sunncamp rcd with 3 sockets and 20metre cable,sorted,there are 2 12volt lights and the water pump ment to be ran of the car battery i think,could I use a 12v transformer worked of the mains to run them?anyone do this,recomended types etc
thanks
John

The short answer is yes you can but there are a lot of different answers depending on how often you camp, where you would like to camp and what facilities you want. Plus I never do a short answer.

Why there are multiple answers: Camping is very individual some people want a basic experience, some want relatively little but also decent lighting heating and food chilling, others want home from home. So there are different desires and different ways to fulfil that desire. If you camp less than say 14 nights per year then the expense of a site with ehu is marginal whereas a full time motorhome wildcamper may well have spent more than £20,000 or £30,000 on their camper but won't pay site fees.

I have a Designer that I tend to use on basic sites. I have a 3 way fridge freezer, and tend to use Tilley lamps for lighting allied with LED wands and LED battery powered lights. The Tilley lamps are an extravagance. I like them but the LED lights are eminently practical.
Occasionally I want to use my laptop while camping. I've run it off an inverter when camped or occasionally upgrade and use a site with an EHU. I've never bothered with my water pump for the amount of water I use I just pour it into pans or a plastic washing up bowl.

At the opposite end of the scale peridot wanted 240V and 12V in his Destiny because he has fitted an entertainment system and also a motor mover [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] So for him it was easier to fit as he has done electrical contracting and a battery system was necessary for the motor mover.

A simple transformer will power the pump and the mini fluorescent lights but transformers aren't cheap say £60.00 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and dependent on the quality of the supply the lights may flicker. An old battery charger will suffice but this will definitely let the lights flicker unless you connect it across a battery.  If a Dandy were a caravan the battery charger might not be of suitable specification. See the end of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] where it refers to isolating transformers.


 So do you want lots of electrical goodies or not?
If not 2 or 3  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] will provide adequate light. I don't even use rechargeable batteries a pack from poundland will last for ages. If used in conjunction with a gas lantern you also get a bit of heat to take the chill off of an evening. (do you have an underfloor heater?)  Pour water into the sink or fit a Whale hand or  foot pump [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Or use a small capacity battery for the pump. e.g. motorcycle battery.


Intermediate Use
You find the LEDs a bit stark and you want to use the pump. Why not use the 12s cable on the Dandy if you have a 12S or 13 pin connector on your car? If you are driving every day or every second day the car battery will easily power the lights and a pump.
I was short of mantles for my Tilley Lamps and so camped for 5 nights with 2 mini fluorescents connected to my car with crocodile clips.   
N.B. You must check out the wiring on the 12S connector and on your car. This is not just because of the condition of the wiring as found by peridot but also because 12S connectors were wired in two different ways. This is a legitimate change in wiring and not just miss wired. See pages 4 to 7 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
You should check this out anyway if you are driving with the 12S connected to keep the fridge cold. 


You might chose to use a leisure battery and charge up at home or fit a split charger and charge the battery by putting it in the car whenever driving.
Leisure batteries need constant attention though, they don't like to be left for months uncharged. They are expensive and heavy.


Large Demand Use
You want a TV and gaming stuff for the kids.
Go to a site with EHU run everything 240V get a small transformer to power the whale pump. Dependent on the pump it will need to supply between 2.5 amp and 4 amp.
Being on EHU will allow you to run the fridge off mains and will allow you to run an additional coolbox for beers. A convector heater may be used. Mike has had the same gas bottle for years as he uses EHUs.   

 Buy about 100watt of solar cell this will allow unlimited camping and maintain a charged battery even with sizeable power demands. It would provide substantially less over winter camping. If you didn't know your Dandy is very suitable for winter camping.

 Connect to EHU but run a leisure battery. Why? You get additional weight, battery maintenance requirements and the increased risk of fire that running 12V brings. Why would anyone who doesn't use a motor mover do it? Yet so many large camper owners and virtually all caravan owners do it.

I see naver has already answered your basic question. Hopefully you can see why I'm saying the that the answer for you depends on what you want.

jh

Posts : 4
Join date : 2014-07-12

Re: 12v transformer

Post by jh on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 10:37 pm

Tow Itch,thanks a lot,you certainly answered all my questions,I agree,will prob never use the pump so wii just go with mains lights(my mates reckon I'm a kinda perfectionist(if ya no wat I mean)if an electric appliance is there i want it to work)but after reading wat you said....it makes sense...

thanks

John
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: 12v transformer

Post by Tow Itch on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 12:54 pm

Thought of some other options plus explanations of attitudes held. Don't know what your experience of camping (sic?) is so starting from the beginning.

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A good basic guide. I might disagree slightly with. 

 The main hazard is from overloading supply cables. This causes heat to be generated and could lead to a fire.


Yes it is but apart from the use of inverters that cause a massive current demand I'd say that the really dangerous overload is an accidental one. A short circuit. These demand massive amounts of power cause cables to get white hot and can even cause the battery to burn or explode. I know of one dandy user who had a short and was within moments of a bad fire. Hence we're keen on fuses as close to any battery as possible.


 Short thread on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

 Very long thread with much of the thought on 12S wiring negated by the link to the Caravan Club Fact Sheet [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] I included in my previous post. Still it shows how we got here.

  Being of more delicate sensibilities I'm sure Mrs jh might like a tap. So other ways to skin a cat:

 If all you  wanted to do was run the tap then a small transformer would allow this [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] it would power either the lights or the pump. With fused outputs the 12V would be safe.

Battery power for the pump; a small motorcycle battery, two 6V lamp batteries (4R25 or PJ996) wired in series but these are expensive and not rechargeable or a pack of 8 1.5V AA batteries like this.

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There are several battery holders on this theme you could use rechargeables but at charge of 2,900 mAh per battery http://www.kodak.com/eknec/documents/f4/0900688a8019d7f4/KAA.pdf you have what is roughly a one time use 3Ah battery for £1.33 or a 1Ah battery for £0.73 Poundland Battery Range  Kodak Zinc Chloride battery Kodak Alkaline battery Note to get the energy outut of the batterys you have to select "Technical Information" and the PDF will be downloaded.

One stage short of using a Leisure battery I normally regard these as junk but I can see a place for them here. 

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Why am I considering the use of a battery pack when it's the same price or possibly more than a leisure battery? It's a convenience. If you are on an EHU once plugged in it can provide a smoothed 12V supply for the fluorescent lights and the water pump. 
If you fancy the odd night away without EHU it would give you enough power for one night: N.B. I've only looked at 2 power packs with 17Ah batteries. As always you don't want to discharge the battery by more than 50% so you are looking at a useable 8.5Ah Say just short of 3 hours of both lights or both lights for an hour and one light for four hours. This should be adequate for summer. Obviously the light times are less if the pump is used.
The battery pack can then be plugged into your car when you go out the following day to recharge but this could take four hours however they are light and portable. If going out for lunch or a couple of drinks ask can you plug it in as you're off mains at the moment.
Why is this different than just buying a very small capacity battery? If you remember our fondness for putting fuses near the battery terminals. Well on this the 2 12V outputs are fused so it's simpler than wiring up a battery. It has a usb port for charging phones and it has the light and compressor functions which could always come in useful. Not forgetting that once charged it can be used as an aid to starting though I'm not convinced that these are every very competent at this task.
Auto Express' review of power packs then links to descriptions of the two best performers. Auto Express Power Packs Halfrauds Power Pack 200 RAC Power Pack At Argos

 Though I'm not sure I've presented it successfully this was meant to give a sliding scale of the possibilities of providing 12V power to your Dandy.The next step of attaching your Dandy to your car battery via the 12S or 13 pin connector requires more of an effort to check through wiring and the ultimate step of using a Leisure battery requires you to wire up the Dandy. You then get to questions about how you charge that battery if you're not on EHU (As stated previously if generally on EHU why the battery) do you remove the battery daily, or every trip or every other trip to recharge in the car or do you consider the ever cheaper solar panels. 

I'm sure someone could tidy this up and i'm curious if anyone can think of more possible ways to provide 12V.
At least it's a bit more positive about options than my 1st post.

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