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Beachport

Discussion in 'SA' started by BrianK, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    Just be careful that your insurance company will cover you if you have a gas bottle in the vehicle. Some refuse to and it would be terrible if they used it as an excuse to avoid paying you out if the unthinkable happened and your Kombi was written off in an accident. Following a serious accident, the police gets very uncomfortable if they notice a gas bottle in the wreck. In fact they'll make so much fuss over it that your insurance company will definitely find out about it.

    Food for thought, but it would certainly pay to ask your insurer beforehand.
     
  2. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
  3. chris taylor

    chris taylor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    adelaide sth aust
    hey Brian, just saw your pics and they are great ,i still havnt worked out how to do it although i have been shown a couple of times, lol. Saw the pic with your gas bottle in it,seems to be a bit dangerous isnt it, being exposed to the inside of the van like that, not to sure whether thats quite legal or how you would get on with an insurance claim.I took my camper down to get the fridge fixed at Dario Caravan Centre and they told me that the law is quite specific about the placement of a gas bottle and they also mentioned that you have to have a sticker on the outside showing where the bottle is so in case of an emergency ,rescue crews are aware of it.would not like to see you go out in a blaze of glory you know:umm:. Hey mate do you ever have any trouble with your fuel lines, mine seem to leak on a regular basis, have just had them replaced again and am wondering whether using a higher octain fuel has any thing to do with it...:eek:............chris
     
  4. chris taylor

    chris taylor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    adelaide sth aust
    Ran into an old chap the other day,{ bad choise of words} i mean i was talking to an old chap who owns a 74 model camper , he wants to sell it but i dont know how much he wants for it, he has owned it for 33yrs ,interior not to good but the body looks not to bad if any one is interested....cheers chris
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  5. BrianK

    BrianK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,746
    Location:
    Port Kennedy WA




    Aime what do you usually cook with in your van?:) I just purchased a power inverter, so maybe now its just 2 minute noodles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  6. BrianK

    BrianK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,746
    Location:
    Port Kennedy WA

    No probs here with fuel lines Chris, they were last changed 6 months ago, according to receipts in bus. Mate maybe you are not using the correct lines. Maybe need to get genuine German fuel hose.
     
  7. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    I have a single burner butane canister type stove like the one you threw away. I got it back in '09 from a caravan place and it was quite expensive. Then I noticed them popping up at Bunning's, Coles and Wollies for $30. I think I paid double for mine at the time, but couldn't find one anywhere else! So far I've never had any problems with it and it's all I ever use now.

    As for your inverter, I have four 200Ah deep cycle batteries running my small stand alone solar electricity system and on a cloudy day, my computer will flatten those huge batteries in 6 hours. What that means is that I seriously doubt you'll boil enough 2 minute noodles on one battery charge to feed you. Inverters are notoriously heavy on batteries, especially one big enough to boil water (just once).

    The other side of that is, you can no longer buy kettles of less than 1800watts, therefore you need a pretty big inverter to boil it. I have a Xantrax 1800 pure sine wave inverter and I was using it to boil a small 200mm kettle of around 800 watts. I found it flattened those huge batteries fairly quickly unless it was a sunny day. That inverter cost me upward of $2,000 and with the set-up I have, it's useless to run a fridge or freezer if the power died. It's something David started when he was alive and I just continued it on, but I replaced the batteries a few years back and they alone cost $1,400 at the time and they're nearly buggered again now. They're not holding charge as well as they used to.

    I say things in a very round-about way. Some say I talk in riddles, but what I'm trying to say is if you need power, then get a powered site. If you're going bush, then buy another canister stove or one of those metho stoves. I've been checking them out and I think they'd be great for off-road excursions. Yes, they are pricey, but better than carting propane gas bottles all around the country. The law and insurance companies are quite clear about such things.

    Hope that helps,
    Aime.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  8. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,055
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Ditto on that Brian

    large resistance loads[cooking element] are not good for battery systems.

    gas [or fire/bbq] is the option if no acess to 240V[either mains or generator]

    thought it was legal to carry lpg without any issues if container was less than 2.5 kg and not fixed. might have to check.

    col
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  9. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,055
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Aime

    are the batteries 12v or smaller. sounds like the system is not handling things well.
    Know you are fairly clued up on these things but if you want a sus of alternatives drop me a pm or pm t4 camper.

    cheers
    col
     
  10. BrianK

    BrianK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,746
    Location:
    Port Kennedy WA

    OK then, looks like the inverter goes back. havent taken it out of the package yet. Seems i might have to give the butane another go.
     
  11. BrianK

    BrianK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,746
    Location:
    Port Kennedy WA
    If you cant carry gas bottle, whats the diff carrying the butane ones. Cant they blow up 2? Dont answer that, i think i got it. They dont do as much damage. Just lose a hand instead of waking up no more.
     
  12. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,055
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    the inverter can be useful for other items.
    Its just heating is very power hungry and the batteries dont have the energy density.
    you would also need a few batteries to deliver power at a rate needed without causing serious damage or hazzard .
    Lpg does have the energy density. ie lots of energy in a small/light package compared to small rate/total amount in a heavy battery.

    battery can deliver a lot of Amps for starting engine but this is only for short bursts

    trying to find current legistlation on carrying gas.
     
  13. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    Yes. It's a 12v system. My late partner David first set it up without really knowing what he was doing back in 2002. We immediately embarked on a steep learning curve. We went from a Dick Smith inverter, which died in a spectacularly loud bang whilst he was using a small microwave powered from it (lesson to Brian here) to a brand of unknown origin from Evilbay. This one was a sq. sine wave of 2400Watts. I still have it, but it's really scrap. I then bought the Xantrax, but in 12 volt form because I'd already purchased an expensive 12 volt Plasmatronics regulator while the old square sine wave inverter was still functioning. In hindsight, I should really have sold the Plasmatronic regulator/controller and bought a 24 volt model when I purchased the new Xantrax inverter. 12 volt is crap.

    If the batteries die, I might even give the thing up as a bad joke. The weakest link in solar set-ups in are the batteries. The other alternative is to buy a set of ex Telstra batteries (to 12 volt) and charge them off the mains power as I have an Origin grid feed system of 1.5kWh. That way the batteries can charge during the day with minimal extraction from the grid feed and if I disconnected the charger after the sun went down, it will still run my computer all night. I really don't think it's worth my while selling both the 12 volt regulator and inverter and going 24 volt. The cost doesn't justify the end result.
     
  14. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    I have something like that in the back of my mind too Col. When I first bought the Kombi, I also bought a little gas bottle from Rays Outdoors. I think it's a 2.4. It was the smallest they had that suited my portable B-B-Q. I didn't have it long and swapped to the canister type cooker, but I'm fairly sure it was because of the insurance. I'm with Shannons and I seem to remember they wouldn't cover me if I had any sort of propane bottle in the vehicle. Might have to ring and check with them as the propane was a better set-up.

    Aime.
     
  15. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,055
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    My thinking would be that insurance companies dont like fitted gas hence the confusion with some over insuring campers even if no gas. usualy ok once thats sorted.
    based on the premise that its legal to carry smaller containers in any vehicle then gas in camper would be legal and not void cover as long as there has not been a declaration of no gas or any complication due to 'disclosure' requirements.

    can carry up to 2 x9kg lpg bottles in any vehicle for purposes of transport for refilling.
    havent found anything else yet.

    sounds like you have a grid connect on the house.

    Assuming a rate paid to you for solar above the tarrif for 240V in.

    best to run off the 240V as much as poss . basicaly the grid replaces batteries in the system.
    no advantage charging and running of batteries unless you have a cheap 'off peak' rate. then you would need to allow a rate of no higher than 30% to cover losses and costs of equipment. Maybe 60% if having gear anyway or want it as a UPS.

    I would suggest an audit by yourself to determine loads and costs.
    first look for savings in power consumption.

    *good savings with evacuated tube hot heating at low installation costs. [Personaly not a fan of flat panel on economic grounds]
    *obviously lighting is easiest and cheapest item and expect you have already sorted that.
    * the usual, turn off everything thats not being used.
    *cooking ,its a matter of gas or 240V. depends on preference/what you have/ total cost.
    *if you have a fridge with rear radiator . savings are significant if you insulate the sides and top with polyurathene foam and a nice exterior finish.

    then evaluate what needs to be on the battery system. Can it be converted to primarily a Uninterupted Power Supply

    not bad for getting of subject:)

    col
     
  16. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    Thanks for the input Col. I really only use the stand alone 12 volt solar because it was "David's thing" and after he died in March 2004 (MVA) I just kept it going basically in his memory, but we also used to get a lot of power black-outs out here in my rural area and when I was working lots of morning shifts, it proved to be damned handy on many an occasion.

    As for my energy usage, I grow organic veggies just for my own use and have a 180lt freezer of economical design, yet that's where most of my power goes. I also have a big fridge in the kitchen which chews up a lot of power during winter as it competes with the wood heater. I've actually thought to turn if off and put a smaller one (which I have in storage in the shed) out in the laundry. It's always cool out there. I do a lot of cooking on the top of the wood heater in winter and it also heats my hot water, at least enough to have a bath. The pipes to the tank run too far for it to be totally effective, so I still need to heat water on top of the wood heater to do the dishes. In short, I don't use a lot of power. I rarely have the TV going either. "More channels, more choice" they spruiked when we went digital. More channels, more crap I say:umm:

    I'm currently getting a FIT of .66cents per kWh and my last power statement had me $149 in credit. The meter was read just last Tuesday, so I'll be getting another statement within the next couple of days. I expect to be well over $200 in credit by now. How long that will last....... who knows? The FIT is at the mercy of the State Government and they could can it without any consultation at the drop of a hat. I was fortunate to get in when I did, or I'd only be getting less than half of what I currently get.

    The solar hot water David and I had installed back in 2003. It's unfortunate in that it requires a small pump to circulate the water. Just another thing to go wrong somewhere down the track! When we had it installed, evacuated glass tubes weren't compliant with Australian Design Standards and weren't really heard of in Australia at the time, so we got two Beasley panels retrofitted to the hot water storage tank in the ceiling. The biggest problem with that is on really hot summer days, they over produce and I have to get up on the roof to put a piece of old carpet over one of them in order to stop the water boiling through to the tank. It's very loud and shakes the pipes. One will eventually break and flood the ceiling with boiling water one day I fear, so during summer I keep the carpet over a panel and I'm up, down, up, down that blasted ladder from late October through to March. At almost 60, it's only a matter of time before I break my fool neck, but I've tried every plumber for miles around and none of them are interested in coming out to look at it. Once I explain the problem, they can't wait to get off the phone and almost always add that they'll be out next week, but they never turn up.

    It's just lucky I was born to aging parents who had both come through war and the Great Depression, but parents who instilled in me the need to be self reliant. "If something breaks, fix it" was dad's motto. He'd roll in his grave if he could see how people live in this throw-away world. So I make do, I fix things and my greatest delight is giving as little as possible to privatised utility companies :mad: Unfortunately it has one great drawback in that I think I actually scare people away. A person my age is suppose to be weak and helpless, but I'll be a battler to the day I die............ and loving it:lol:
     
  17. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    Oh, and my apologises to Brian for totally hijacking his thread. Luckily he's a pretty understanding guy :lol:
     
  18. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,055
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    sounds good. :)

    hopefuly the pump wont have a big draw if its just circulating. a controller could be fitted easily and is cheap [$30?]. other option could be try leaving the one panel shaded for most of summer and spend the little needed on power to maintain temp.

    Guessing freezer and fridge have radiatord internal in the sides?

    UPS handy in the bush. need it here as well for pumps etc

    maybe we will have to sort Brians energy supply as well:lol: found some 240v fridges with rear radiators so with added insulation they can be as efficient as a 12v in the kombi.
    He can cook on a fire:)
     
  19. BrianK

    BrianK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,746
    Location:
    Port Kennedy WA

    Thats OK mate, :) and i will get another butane set up and see how this one goes.
     
  20. VanAime

    VanAime Active Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Location:
    Primate Gully Vic.
    The pump does have a controller, but that's just another thing to break down eventually. I was hoping the solar installation was of a design that would allow heating without the use of a pump of controller, but as the top of the panels are higher than the tank, we had to go with the pump and controller. I had ten kinds of trouble with that for years, but eventually figured it out, but that's another story.

    The freezer has an external radiator. The fridge has it internally fitted.

    As for Brian, he doesn't need anything fancy. He can always plug his power lead into a nearby tree and wait for lightning to strike :lol:

    Off now to get some gravel for a concreting job,
    cheers,
    Aime.
     

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