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Advise me. Recharging things from the car?

(10 Posts)
HonestyBox Tue 31-May-11 14:07:08

Could you seasoned campers please let me know how recharging things from the car works with camping? Not sure if I'm being idiotic here but, for example, a rechargeable lantern that plugs into the car would take approximately how long to recharge? And I assume I could only recharge whilst the car was switched on/going somewhere. Do you have experience with this and could you let me know? And if you have a coolbox that recharges does that mean you have to drive around with it to cool it down? The 12v coolboxes and rechargeable lanterns are not cheap so it would be good to get a bit of advice.

I won't often be going anywhere with electricity btw.

Butterbur Tue 31-May-11 14:17:57

We got a coolbox that is dual electricity/gas cooled. It's a bulky bugger though. We cool it down in the garage before we go, from the mains, plug it into the cigarette lighter for the journey, and use gas on the site. The fridge then stays outside, under the trailer, because I don't want us to be poisoned if the gas goes out while we're asleep.

We use battery driven lanterns, torches, and have a gas lantern, which we don't use much because I'm terrified of it falling over, and setting the tent alight.

Our car definitely only recharges things while switched on.

Tangle Tue 31-May-11 20:55:17

We looked into coolboxes and found quite a lot of info suggesting that you're better off with a good passive coolbox than a powered version - and that the ones that run off cars are not much use. One of the big reasons is that powered coolboxes tend to work to a given number of degrees below ambient air temperature (often 10 or 15 C IIRC) - if you consider many people go camping on the continent where daytime temperatures may well be in the mid to high 20s, your "cool"box may not be so "cool". The also make noise! A passive coolbox is at least quiet, and if you manage it carefully (fill up any gaps with cube ice/towels/ANYTHING, replace icepacks regularly and open as little as possible) it will stay cooler.

We had a rechargeable lantern (although used power in the tent to charge it). It took >8 hours to recharge every day and after 2 weeks even that wouldn't give it enough juice to last an evening. We took it back and got a battery one.

Please don't charge things in the car unless the engine is running. We did that over a weekend. We had to have a jump start to get home... blush

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 01-Jun-11 08:25:25

We have an electric coolbox we never plug in as it's too noisy!

Planning to replace it with a decent normal one soon.

The only things we use the car charger for are phones and nintendo's. We do charge while the engine is off but only for short periods. Not all cars will do it without the engine on, our last car wouldn't.

Tangle Wed 01-Jun-11 18:56:58

Our car won't let the cigarette lighter do anything unless the ignition is on - but the engine doesn't have to be running...

SeaShellsHasSandInHerShoes Wed 01-Jun-11 19:41:17

Flat battery here too this weekend! Beware of charging coolbox and phones AND having a toddler that turned the inside light on with out me realizing blush

ihearthuckabees Thu 02-Jun-11 18:49:31

You don't need a coolbox to go camping. Buy milk everyday, cook stuff out of tins or boil in the bag, or pasta+pesto type combos, cheese and butter keeps for days without going off, and bread, biscuits etc are all fine without fridge.

We usually take something like a frozen bolognaise for the first night (let it defrost on the way in a coolbag) then do the above for the rest of the hol.

Also, eating out once or twice is allowed too!

ihearthuckabees Thu 02-Jun-11 18:50:44

Sorry, realise that wasn't the info you requested, but I know that I used to go camping with tons of extra paraphernalia with me, and discovered that it's easier to try to live as simply as possible.

needanewname Sat 04-Jun-11 11:27:51

Flat battery here too after using the car battery to deflate vacuum bags, charge phone, cool box etc - will be a lot more careful in future!

StanHouseMuir Sat 04-Jun-11 13:06:00

As always, it depends smile

For running/charging high-power items - cool boxes, heaters(!), or multiple items than you need the engine running. for small things like lanterns, phones, DS, ipods etc, then the power required for those is usually insignificant, so provided you don't go mad charging 50 items over the course of a week without running the engine, you should be fine.

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