Bloody electrics how do you decide?

Hi all

I’m currently (haha) researching electrics its a minefield, I don’t want to go down the solar route ha I live in the Uk.
As I understand this there is a battery to run/start the van and then there is a “house” battery to run all the appliances in the van and this can be charged with the alternator when driving yes?

I plan to have a couple(?) of deep cycle batteries to run all my “in house” appliances.
These would be as follows;

laptop/ computer /screen (large for my editing)
chargers for phones etc
not sure yet about a fridge I’m looking into this . .
Don’t need a water pump as I’m going to use a portable shower and heat the water I need on the stove and I’m using a marine pump in the sink to conserve water usage

I’ve heard inverters are not a good idea and 12v really uses a lot of power so is there a happy medium out there I’m not aware of?

Do I need an inverter to run all the 3-way house type plugs?

currently looking on youtube but its all gobbledygook at the moment

many thanks

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To run household things, yes you need an inverter, and yes they are very inefficient.

Car chargers (12v) are usually easy to find for phones, laptops, etc. Other stuff might be more difficult.

With an isolator you can charge your house battery(s) while driving. With a cheap generator and a battery charger, you should always have power.


"_INCOME_FIRST_ is _ALWAYS_ the _BEST_ADVICE_!" ~ CashTalks


You mentioned “car cords” on another post what are those and how might I use them
Im guessing these are the 12v “cigarette lighter” plugs
Im currently looking at generators

one problem is the noise looking at wen and predator atm maybe some kinda soundproofing? have it outside under the van in a soundproofed waterproof box would i run an extension cable from the gen to the inside of the van?

Im only gonna run a tv a laptop/computer & screen chargers etc

looking at the reviews for inverters on Amazon there are horror stories of them catching fire what safeguards are there to prevent this if any?



I just bought an el cheapo no name generator for $99, then took it to a muffler shop and they installed a scooter muffler on it for $18. The result was the quietest generator I’ve seen. 12 years later it still runs like new and is still very quiet. I just store my generator under my bed, then set it up outside to run it, and just run an extension cord through a window that has a 6 outlet power strip attached to it. My battery charger is always plugged into one of them, and typically connected to my house battery. If it’s raining, I just slide my generator under the back of the van to keep the rain off.

I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about inverters too. The only ones I really have any experience with are the ones that came already built into the motor homes I’ve had. They seemed to be good, but I have no idea what brand they were or anything.

Car cords are also sometimes called car chargers. They’re basically specifically designed to charge your electronics from from a ciggy lighter plug or accessory plug. For some things you might need a ciggy plug to USB adapter…


"_INCOME_FIRST_ is _ALWAYS_ the _BEST_ADVICE_!" ~ CashTalks

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hi there

thanks yeah car usb chargers are a possibitltiy i will look into

im probably going to have an inverter but i will do my homework and put some kind of breaker on it and make sure i run the proper wire- i will consult an electrician

i will of course have plan b and c a12v system and a generator

so who makes the gen you have or is that a closely guarded state secret . . . come on cough up im invoking the uk - usa special relationship here hahahah


i just found this on amazon sounds good but as liker everyone im very reticent to trust reviews on this platform

but on paper this looks promising and its a good price

the search continues

just found this on you tube this has to be the quietest ive heard


That Wen genny looks pretty good.

The brand of my generator is so secret, the only clue is that was made in Japan. No other telltale signs of a brand. The engine and other parts appear to have Japanese writing on them. It had Japanese writing on the box on one side, English on the other. On the Japanese side it may have had a brand name that I couldn’t decipher.

"Gutting or stripping a rig is usually a very bad choice." ~ VanLife