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Advice for new caravanner


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Lets hope that I get further with this thread this time!


My daughter and husband are new to caravanning, having bought their first caravan at the end of last season. Up to now they have only been to sites with hook-ups. This coming season they are planning to use CCC Temporary Holiday sites, which will not have mains electricity. Their concern is how will the leisure battery stand up to not being charged for up to a week at a time.


My son-in-law will be off site with the car for the best part of the week. So the ocassional charging of the leisure battery via the car starter battery is not an option.


As far as I am aware, only the TV, water pump and lights will be the only drain on the battery. As we are talking about summer use, the lights should not be much of a problem.


Can any of you experienced caravanners out there offer advice (and reassurance).

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I would suggest that you consider a Solar Panel. Works quietly and unobtrusively.

I would recommend about 60 to 80 watts connected direct to the Leisure battery via a solar panel controller.


If it is fixed to the roof using aluminium brackets (these can be glued on using Sikaflex) it is more secure than standing on the ground. If you change the van the panel can be removed leaving just the brackets glued to the roof. I have done this changover on five vans and still use the origional panel.


Also there are no problems with storage if it is roof mounted and it will continue to charge when in storage (unless under a cover)

Dealers will do the work for you although it is possible with care to DIY. Ensure that the cable is of an adequate size to avoid voltage drop.

I would not recommend the generator route because most people find them anti-social.

If you go on to the MMM Motorhome Forum and do a seach "solar panels" you will come up with a lot of information and opinions.

Hope this helps

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You can do the maths by working out the wattage used daily and compare that with the battery output, but life is too short.


As a reasoned guess i would suspect you would be fine with what you are using as none of them are high wattage items. The water pump is the worst and I assume you plan to use the onboard shower. Also as you state the lights will only be on for a short time, but maybe do not use all of them. Of course the size of the leisure battery and condition, will also affect it but if it is a 110 amp beast then you should be fine. Any chance of getting a 2nd battery and swopping them out?


The solar panel charger idea is a good one as well.

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Many thanks to both John and Dave for your response. I am a motorhomer and I know that what you have both said is sound advice.


Posting this thread was a way of showing her the usefulness of the outandaboutlive forums and also to give her the reassurance from fellow caravanners that you do not have to depend on mains electricity (after all, how did we cope before hook-up became a way of life!).


I am at present in Spain and on my travel down through France in January the weather was cold and the heater had a lot of use. No sites are open that early so the leisure battery took a hammering and showed its deficiency. So,ironically, when I get home a new battery is a must and possibly and a solar panel. My wife has been on to me for years to get one. The moths in my wallet are likely to get an airing at last.



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No disrespect but I suspect if I had been in a similar situation either my wife, or more likely myself would have suggested a night at a Travelodge or equivalent. Yes, a bit more expensive but a happier marriage and my feet get cold anyway.


Anyay you are now in Spain and it is 17 degrees or at leasta cording to the internet We head that way in 5 weeks time so hope it gets even warmer. As a tugger we have to use sites so EHU is usually always available.


By the way, if all else fails, as it did to me 2 years ago, you can buy a cheap good battery at Carrefour or wherever. I bought a 110 amp for 90 euros and it is still fine. OK, not a leisure type but did the job till we came home 3 months later.

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