Here to help
Lifetime VIP Member
- Bedworth, United Kingdom
- T5 Beach
An excellent and informative thread.
So next time, is it leave the dogs in kennels and go naturist then?
Unlikely we will leave them but I would love a holiday without them, they make everything harder work as much as I love them. I don't think I could persuade my good lady but I may try.
V likes to pack for every eventuality and I like to pack lots of gadgets. We need to shed a lot of stuff and technical clothing may be a good way to get our bags a lot smaller. Often on shorter trips I'll have a tiny cube and V a massive canvas bag.I hadn't heard of technical clothing before. It's something that we shall now look into as like you we always take too many clothes. In fact, storage in the Beach is still something that we are refining. The main issue being that we have to learn to be ruthless and only take the very bare essentials. Something that neither of us is that good at.
We didn't have any problems regarding battery power whilst touring in our SE but as the Beach only has one leisure battery we are going to have to consider solar panels. Altough many people swear by them, I have never been very keen on the roof mounted units as they involve drilling holes for the gubbins that's mounted internally. Its also necessary to puncture the rubber umbilical connection between boot lid and the body in order to run the cables inside. My experience on previous vehicles, is that any split in this rubber component can lead to corrosion in any nearby electrical connections and water ingress. My reservations may sound daft and be unfounded but I would prefer to at least start looking into something that is self contained before going for these fitted units. It would only be of use on extended trips to the remoter parts. Normally, we have found no need for solar panels as we either book an electric hook up or when wild camping, we stop when it is very late, go straight to bed and leave very early so as not to cause any hassle. Therefore we don't use the battery much when stealth camping.
The battery monitor has given me massive confidence in my leisure battery and I think solar only really works well when you are in one place for a long period. If you are driving daily or even every other day (maybe even every 3 days) you will never run out even on one battery unless you hammer the heater.
That said you can fit solar without drilling and always on is a bonus for lightly used vehicles as well as security aspect. I have noticed differences between my old van's 80w permanent roof install and this 50w suitcase one but in real world they arent far apart. Although peak is much higher on the 80w, the average not as far apart if I keep the suitcase in the sun.
Even a simple/partial shadow on a panel from a roof bar can decrease its power by 40%, putting anything over it too like glass or clear material will reduce its output too, that is just the nature of the tech. Then combine direction and angle and it can reduce further. So a permanent install means less control about having it in the right place for the sun, more chance of the output being degraded (not a problem if you have a bigger panel than you need) and it will only be optimum during the time of day when it happens to be facing the sun at the right angle. The suitcase one I turned occasionally through the day and it pretty much kicked out it's max amps the whole time when the light was available. It's just a matter of what suits you best.
We did love the off grid comms too but when we wanted to research online it was a frustration, the book filled the gaps adequately and we actually started navigating by signs and seeing where we ended up, just like the good old days