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  1. #26
    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    Because of the voltage drop likely to occur between alternator and trailer battery, the ideal is to fit a DC-DC battery charger. This takes the 12v (or 11 or 10v) input and boost it back up to 14v.

    https://www.australiandirect.com.au/.../DCDC-Chargers

    I don't specifically recommend any of these units - just offered as an example of what I am talking about. The ones on the above link are designed to take input from solar panel and/or car alternator. In fact have a good look at any electronic gadgets in the van - it may have already have what you need.

    As to wiring, use these Anderson plugs: https://www.australiandirect.com.au/...ctions/TVACPK7

    Again, your trailer may already have suitable wiring and plugs. On the 406, suggest run a heavy duty wire +ve directly from battery to Anderson plug at rear, and a -ve wire of same gauge from a good earth point at the back to the Anderson plug.

    Apart from electrics - how is your rear suspension set up? I know you already tow a car carrier, so I imagine your rear suspension had no trouble with the camper. When I brought our camper home behind our 406, not only did the back of the car sit very low, but the ride was pretty uncomfortable - a lot of shock from the trailer was transmitted back to the car.

    Cheers

    Alec
    Thanks for the information. Except not happy about mooooore money lol! Yeah I've heard about dc to dc chargers. Hopefully the vans already got one, it might since it has a solar panel. I was going to use an Anderson plug they seems easy. As previously stated I have an amp in the boot wired through distribution blocks. So I have 4 gauge battery power in the boot. So power to the camper won't be a problem.

    Yeah the car tows remarkably well. It's lowered and stiffened with koni shocks and eibach springs. It's sits nearly perfectly level with the camper on the back. Kept having to look in the mirrors to make sure it was still there!!

    This picture shows the whole car (Well most of it)

    Electric trailer brakes-1529236026902.jpg

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  2. #27
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    If you think the inside looks, er, .... "Well used" .... You should see the outside It sure is safe in carparks

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    That's an Avan Aliner. They have a standard 4amp charger under the bed. You want to throw that to the shithouse. If the battery dies, none of the internal lights will work. Fit a power supply rather than a battery charger. You need to fix an isolator to the towcar.

    I like this guys stuff as it allows you to take a percentage from the main battery as well. I have an SC40 fitted to my shitbox to run the 2nd battery. The SC80 will run a 2nd battery AND the trailer battery.

    DT90 | TRAXIDE - RV | Traxide - RV

    most poeple probably just fit a redarc battery isolator (look on ebay). Do NOT RUN WITHOUT AN ISOLATOR. If you forget to unplug the trailer battery when you stop. If you crank the car to start it, you may pull enough current from the trailer battery to fry all your wiring (or drain the car battery as well as the trailer battery when you in the caravan).

    buy yourself a bunch of anderson plugs. ... eg: here they are wtih cable

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ready-to...YAAOSw0wBZwOZo

    but buy a bunch of them like this:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10X-ANDE...item36189c1074

    run the wiring the full length of the car beneath it (your old man should have a hoist handy to make it easy) and mount an anderson plug beside the trailer plug. Now drill a hole in the floor of the Aliner beside the battery, and run the cable beneath the Avan and up through the hole (silicon around the wire so mice can't get in around the wire). and wire it to the battery (use the anderson plugs again if you want to make it quick disconnet, they are good for 50amps). Also Tee off from here and fit anderson plugs inside the caravan ... or along the door side so you can plug a caravan fridge (or battery charger) in remotely without having to fold the caravan up.

    You can also easily fit solar panels to the Aliner as well. Just fit them between the vent windows in the roof. Better these days it to get portable panels ... and plug them in through your anderson plugs so you can place them in the sun (without putting the caravan itself into the direct sun).

    There is so much you can do quite cheaply these days. Given the Aliner is a 12volt 'van ... you can free camp quite easily if your setup solar (solar controllers are cheap on ebay).

    Don't worry about suspension or level bars or anything. Aliners are so light I can move them around by hand. If you have a double bed at the back, be VERY careful you don't make it tail heavy by loading a lot of stuff under the bed.

    I wouldn't bother with the cost of a DC to DC charger unless you intend to do a huge amount of free camping. With a Traxide isolator you end up with quite fast charging compared to flattening one single battery either way.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Last edited by DoubleChevron; 17th June 2018 at 11:28 PM.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    That's an Avan Aliner. They have a standard 4amp charger under the bed. You want to throw that to the shithouse. If the battery dies, none of the internal lights will work. Fit a power supply rather than a battery charger. You need to fix an isolator to the towcar.

    I like this guys stuff as it allows you to take a percentage from the main battery as well. I have an SC40 fitted to my shitbox to run the 2nd battery. The SC80 will run a 2nd battery AND the trailer battery.

    DT90 | TRAXIDE - RV | Traxide - RV

    most poeple probably just fit a redarc battery isolator (look on ebay). Do NOT RUN WITHOUT AN ISOLATOR. If you forget to unplug the trailer battery when you stop. If you crank the car to start it, you may pull enough current from the trailer battery to fry all your wiring (or drain the car battery as well as the trailer battery when you in the caravan).

    buy yourself a bunch of anderson plugs. ... eg: here they are wtih cable

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ready-to...YAAOSw0wBZwOZo

    but buy a bunch of them like this:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10X-ANDE...item36189c1074

    run the wiring the full length of the car beneath it (your old man should have a hoist handy to make it easy) and mount an anderson plug beside the trailer plug. Now drill a hole in the floor of the Aliner beside the battery, and run the cable beneath the Avan and up through the hole (silicon around the wire so mice can't get in around the wire). and wire it to the battery (use the anderson plugs again if you want to make it quick disconnet, they are good for 50amps). Also Tee off from here and fit anderson plugs inside the caravan ... or along the door side so you can plug a caravan fridge (or battery charger) in remotely without having to fold the caravan up.

    You can also easily fit solar panels to the Aliner as well. Just fit them between the vent windows in the roof. Better these days it to get portable panels ... and plug them in through your anderson plugs so you can place them in the sun (without putting the caravan itself into the direct sun).

    There is so much you can do quite cheaply these days. Given the Aliner is a 12volt 'van ... you can free camp quite easily if your setup solar (solar controllers are cheap on ebay).

    Don't worry about suspension or level bars or anything. Aliners are so light I can move them around by hand. If you have a double bed at the back, be VERY careful you don't make it tail heavy by loading a lot of stuff under the bed.

    I wouldn't bother with the cost of a DC to DC charger unless you intend to do a huge amount of free camping. With a Traxide isolator you end up with quite fast charging compared to flattening one single battery either way.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Thanks for that Shane. That's what I wanted to here and pretty much how I wanted to do it.
    Pretty good eyes to tell its an aliner! It ticked all of our boxes very well. Light, easy to tow and doesn't have canvas.

    Is this the right battery isolator? I like the price! I dont mind using second hand.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Redarc-S...MAAOSwruxbDma6

    The van has solar but not sure how well it works. Its been in the sun and still says charging not charged and the lights aren't as bright as I would have thought. We have a receipt that the battery is about 6 months old.

    Those Anderson plugs look like they are only one side of the plug, but I don't actually no what I'm looking at. Can you confirm my suspicions? We have a 3 way fridge but we haven't learnt how to use it yet. (Only just figured out the stove top and its simple!) Can the fridge run whilst driving, charging from the car?

    I have big thick wires in my boot and a capasitor so should be able to tap into them and fit the isolator behind them. The main thing I was concerned of was charging the battery from the car whilst having the solar panel also going. Will this do any harm?

    Its got a levelling bar with it, but not sure how to use it and most likely wont. It sits fairly level behind the 406. I'll buy a taller tow ball anyway.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cav91 View Post
    Thanks for that Shane. That's what I wanted to here and pretty much how I wanted to do it.
    Pretty good eyes to tell its an aliner! It ticked all of our boxes very well. Light, easy to tow and doesn't have canvas.

    Is this the right battery isolator? I like the price! I dont mind using second hand.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Redarc-S...MAAOSwruxbDma6

    The van has solar but not sure how well it works. Its been in the sun and still says charging not charged and the lights aren't as bright as I would have thought. We have a receipt that the battery is about 6 months old.

    Those Anderson plugs look like they are only one side of the plug, but I don't actually no what I'm looking at. Can you confirm my suspicions? We have a 3 way fridge but we haven't learnt how to use it yet. (Only just figured out the stove top and its simple!) Can the fridge run whilst driving, charging from the car?

    I have big thick wires in my boot and a capasitor so should be able to tap into them and fit the isolator behind them. The main thing I was concerned of was charging the battery from the car whilst having the solar panel also going. Will this do any harm?

    Its got a levelling bar with it, but not sure how to use it and most likely wont. It sits fairly level behind the 406. I'll buy a taller tow ball anyway.
    Your solar controller is probably dead. Cheap on ebay. Your stereo wires should be perfect. Don't forget a fuse that is at the working current for your wiring through to the trailer. The redarc isolator will be fine. I purchased the Traxide SC40 2nd hand on ebay too. Don't go cheap on the brake controller though. Make sure you get a new proportional controller.

    3way fridges are shithouse on 12volts and huge currents... The are brilliant on gas ... and usually quite good on 240volts. If your going to freecamp. Run it on gas. You can run 12volts while you are travelling, but don't forget to turn the sucker off when you pull up. You wouldnt' be the first to have a 2hour lunch and find the car won't start (though in theory you should only kill the trailer battery as you have an isolator fitted).

    unplug the solar panels, and see if you have voltage at the wires. If there is good voltage there, just fit a new solar controller. They should all work fine together (ie: battery charger, solar controller and cars charging system).

    Don't fit levelling bars to an Aliner. I've tried to stamp a chassis number into ones drawbar in the past... and the drawbar is so frail and lightweight I dented it rather than stamping the number in. I imagine you would bend the drawbar to a pretzel if you went through a dip with weight distribution bars on. They have next to no nose weight either way (you can pickup the drawbar easily right ? ).

    The 12volt lighting will be very dim if it is using incandescent bulbs. I suggest fitting some quality LEDs. It will transform the lighting!

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  5. #30
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    I think perhaps there may too much focus on the current draw.

    After all, for a two axle trailer we talking around 10-15 amps or less.


    On each individual electric brake magnet the amperage draw would be 3.0 to 3.2 max amps at 12 to 13 volts on 7-inch brake magnets and 3.2 to 4.0 max amps at 12 to 13 volts on 10 and 12-inch brake magnets.

    The max amperage draw for the brake magnets on a single axle trailer (2 brakes) would be 6.3 to 6.8 max amps on a 7-inch brake system and 7.5 to 8.2 max amps on 10 and 12-inch brake system. The amps will be higher if using a tandem axle or triple axle trailer.

    I am including a link to a FAQ page on Electric Trailer Brake Magnets that will show you how to test them and list the numbers I mentioned above.

    On a 7-Way connector the suggested minimum wire gauge for the White (ground) wire, the Red or Black (power) wire, and the Blue (brake power) wire is 12 gauge..
    https://www.etrailer.com/question-42798.html

    So let's forget the need and complication for DC-DC converters.

    IMO WITH anything involving brakes the KISS is most appropriate.
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I think perhaps there may too much focus on the current draw.

    After all, for a two axle trailer we talking around 10-15 amps or less.




    https://www.etrailer.com/question-42798.html

    So let's forget the need and complication for DC-DC converters.

    IMO WITH anything involving brakes the KISS is most appropriate.
    He has moved onto charging a trailer battery. If the battery level is low it can actually pull considerable amperage! So you need to run an isolator and self resetting circuit breaker to protect the wiring.

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  7. #32
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    According to my learning the cable connecting the two batteries acts a series, current limiting resistor when charging.

    So in this case the link between the batteries may be better off not being a really heavy cable.


    However a self resetting CB is not a bad idea.

    Unnecessary complication in braking systems is a formula for disaster.

    FWIW I can't see the need for a second battery for a braking system that only draws 15 amps odd.
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  8. #33
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    According to my learning the cable connecting the two batteries acts a series, current limiting resistor when charging.

    So in this case the link between the batteries may be better off not being a really heavy cable.


    However a self resetting CB is not a bad idea.

    Unnecessary complication in braking systems is a formula for disaster.

    FWIW I can't see the need for a second battery for a braking system that only draws 15 amps odd.
    For the batteries, you want a proper isolator. Otherwise you will flatten the car battery if you leave the car coupled to the caravan overnight. There is no "easy" out for this one. Unless you are someone that can trust yourself to isolate the batteries when required (I certainly wouldn't trust myself !).

    seeya
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  9. #34
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    How about something really basic, like a relay powered by the ignition switch ?

    Of course idiots could still leave the ignition on all night.

    These days too many people forget about the simple way to do things- every device needs to be complicated and fully of electronics.

    The simplest way to isolate the batteries is diode, but that is impractical because the diode's 600mV voltage drop stops the battery fully charging.
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post


    ....



    Unnecessary complication in braking systems is a formula for disaster.

    FWIW I can't see the need for a second battery for a braking system that only draws 15 amps odd.

    Keep up Rob! As Shane said, the topic has changed! We are now discussing charging a campervan battery which is used for lights and the fridge - not brakes.

    There is of course one situation where a battery is needed on a trailer to operate the brakes - breakaway emergency brakes - but obviously this trailer is not heavy enough to need that!

    Cheers

    Alec

  11. #36
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    How about something really basic, like a relay powered by the ignition switch ?

    Of course idiots could still leave the ignition on all night.

    These days too many people forget about the simple way to do things- every device needs to be complicated and fully of electronics.

    The simplest way to isolate the batteries is diode, but that is impractical because the diode's 600mV voltage drop stops the battery fully charging.
    I like the Traxide one. Its simple ... a basic relay with voltage sensing that will allow you start battery to be partially drained as well. The idea is a flat trailer battery will take many hours to recharge. However two partially discharged batteries will charge far more quickly.



    If you wire this up nicely, you can just move it from car to car as you buy/sell cars. So buy a good quality brake controller and isolator, and they should last you for many decades.

    seeya,
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    Keep up Rob! As Shane said, the topic has changed! We are now discussing charging a campervan battery which is used for lights and the fridge - not brakes.

    There is of course one situation where a battery is needed on a trailer to operate the brakes - breakaway emergency brakes - but obviously this trailer is not heavy enough to need that!

    Cheers

    Alec
    He won't have a break away system on the Aliner. You require a break away system when the GVM is greater than 2tons. Its really just a small battery that is trickle charged from the house battery ... that will power the trailer brakes when the hitch coupling pin is pulled. I think they need to work for XXX number of minutes after breakaway. They sure would be a life saver if they were ever needed!

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  13. #38
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    I think they need to work for XXX number of minutes after breakaway. They sure would be a life saver if they were ever needed!
    Unless the brakes are arranged to be fail safe. The small auxiliary battery seems pointless.

    Once the hitch coupling is the "lost", the wiring and control signal are lost milliseconds later.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Unless the brakes are arranged to be fail safe. The small auxiliary battery seems pointless.

    Once the hitch coupling is the "lost", the wiring and control signal are lost milliseconds later.
    You have a switch on the drawbar with the a small cable attached to it... If you pull the pin out of the switch, it activates the trailer brakes. So ideal is you clip the cable to the bodywork or the chassis of your car. Then even if the entire towbar on the car fails ... the pin will pull from the switch as the trailer moves away from the car.



    they should work well. so long as you clip the cable to somewhere outside the tow assembly (eg: clipping it to the tongue won't work if your hitch pin drops out... as the cable with stay attatched to the now decoupled tongue). It also obviously requires a battery replacement every few years (which would likely never happen as unless you are aware of it .......)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    You have a switch on the drawbar with the a small cable attached to it... If you pull the pin out of the switch, it activates the trailer brakes. So ideal is you clip the cable to the bodywork or the chassis of your car. Then even if the entire towbar on the car fails ... the pin will pull from the switch as the trailer moves away from the car.



    they should work well. so long as you clip the cable to somewhere outside the tow assembly (eg: clipping it to the tongue won't work if your hitch pin drops out... as the cable with stay attatched to the now decoupled tongue). It also obviously requires a battery replacement every few years (which would likely never happen as unless you are aware of it .......)

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    So the brakes are fail safe, ie activated if the power from the vehicle becomes detached.

    Not overly convenient when the trailer is parked, the battery will become discharged.

    Or is manual invention needed when parking the trailer ?

    Which turns the whole system into a manual process.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    So the brakes are fail safe, ie activated if the power from the vehicle becomes detached.

    Not overly convenient when the trailer is parked, the battery will become discharged.

    Or is manual invention needed when parking the trailer ?

    Which turns the whole system into a manual process.
    Its a completely separate system. The "break away" system has its own power supply. Usually trickle charged from the caravan batteries. It's just wired parallel to the existing brake system. So even if the caravan pulls the electrical connection, you will end up with the brakes "stuck" on. The only way you will be able to move the decoupled caravan is to either wait for the battery to drain down so the brakes release.... or find the pin and put it back into the breakaway switch.

    Yes fail safe.... as fail safe against stupidity as possible (I've seen them clipped to the small clip that stops the hitch pin falling out ).
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    We have been towing our Aliner with a 406 Hdi and had an autoelectricion fit the electric brakes.....cost $600.I use the stabiliser bars and have no problems. Have yet to fit a mobile solar panel, the van battery being charged by the car. Fridge works well on gas and 240v but not on van battery. We are very pleased with the way the car tows this van.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calgooley View Post
    We have been towing our Aliner with a 406 Hdi and had an autoelectricion fit the electric brakes.....cost $600.I use the stabiliser bars and have no problems. Have yet to fit a mobile solar panel, the van battery being charged by the car. Fridge works well on gas and 240v but not on van battery. We are very pleased with the way the car tows this van.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using aussiefrogs mobile app
    they weigh the best side of nothing .... Only about 725kg emtpy .... You actually legally tow it without brakes when its empty!

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  19. #44
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    So far so good.
    Wired up some 6 gauge wires through the van direct to the battery. Via an Anderson plug at the car. Wired the car for the charge cables. Including a shut off solenoid so not to flatten cars battery. Tinkered with the avans battery charger now that works as it should. Bought an inverter and a small heater so we can use it next weekend! Bought today so not fitted yet. Still waiting on the brake controller to Arive should be here this week! However whilst I had the rear of the car apart ran some wires to the front for the controller. Ended up with a primus iq controller simply because of the price. Shouldn't be much of a job to fit it! Happy days

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  20. #45
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    excellent. Unless you are free camping ..... Just take a fan heater. You have already paid for the power, so use it. Nothing is better than a fan heater (other than possibly a diesel heater). YOu will decimate your battery system is you use any sort of electric heater through it (it'll be flat in mere minutes). Don't use any type of unflued heater in the caravan (eg: oil/hero/gas). Poeple die doing that.

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    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    We bought a small 800 watt heater. https://www.bigw.com.au/product/gold...r220/p/667891/
    Should last a little while. It has a deep cycle battery. We just want it to take the chill off the air before going to sleep. I've also fitted a volt meter next to the bed so I can monitor the battery. Yes when using camp sites we'll definetley use their electricity!

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    An 800 watt heater, powered off 12 volts , factoring in some losses in the 12 V DC to 240 AC inverter, you would expect a current draw from from the 12 volt battery to be around 75 amps .

    So the battery won't run the heater for very long.
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  23. #48
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    An 800 watt heater, powered off 12 volts , factoring in some losses in the 12 V DC to 240 AC inverter, you would expect a current draw from from the 12 volt battery to be around 75 amps .

    So the battery won't run the heater for very long.
    Look on the bright side.... The wiring should get nice and toasty and warm ... So extra heating!
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  24. #49
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    CAV 91 could power it with 3 hp generic Chinese engine and 100 amp alternator.

    Personally I'd go for 9 kg gas bottle and generic radiant heater.

    Probably about the same bulk and weight as a battery & inverter combination and you can cook toast on the radiant heater.

    The gas bottle will last for ages and top ups are available at most servos.
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  25. #50
    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    CAV 91 could power it with 3 hp generic Chinese engine and 100 amp alternator.

    Personally I'd go for 9 kg gas bottle and generic radiant heater.

    Probably about the same bulk and weight as a battery & inverter combination and you can cook toast on the radiant heater.

    The gas bottle will last for ages and top ups are available at most servos.
    Could also power it with one of these:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SupaSwif...QAAOSw8mpbJbu3
    Regards Col

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