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Old 01-26-2019, 01:30 PM   #1
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Charging an Electric Bike

Wondering how members with electric bikes manage to keep them charged when off the grid. We camp at many campgrounds without electricity to individual camp sites. We recently purchased a 2.0 Specialized Como. We expect app. 60 miles on a charge depending on a variety of factors such as speed, terrain (hills), temperature, etc. We expect a full charge to take 4-6 hours. Clearly, when we do have electricity to our camp site we will take advantage and hopefully fully charge the bike's battery; however, in the past we have camped without electricity for up to 10 days (although there may have been electrical outlets at bathrooms or pavilions). We have 160 watt solar panels, but no inverter. We would rather not deal with a gas powered generator.
Thanks in advance for any ideas, suggestions, etc.
Bob
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:40 PM   #2
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Usually we will go for a drive to explore further destinations from camp. This is when we plug our iPads into a heavy duty 12 to 5 volt charger and plug the bike charger into the 120 volt plug in the truck.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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In your case you need to know your bike charger requirements. In my case I contacted RAD about the subject. I wanted to use my 300W modified sine wave inverter ( about $30). They recommended using a 400W Pure wave inverter ($75+) they are also a permanent mount inverters but you can get cables to clip onto your battery for the 400W inverter.
My RAD battery charger only calls for 120w A/C input and the output is 48V 2A. I think the attached inverter would fit my need and let me plug into a cig lighter. I have 300W of solar panels to support my 220 A trailer batteries.
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https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-Power-...+wave+inverter
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bob in Bend View Post
Wondering how members with electric bikes manage to keep them charged when off the grid. We camp at many campgrounds without electricity to individual camp sites. We recently purchased a 2.0 Specialized Como. We expect app. 60 miles on a charge depending on a variety of factors such as speed, terrain (hills), temperature, etc. We expect a full charge to take 4-6 hours. Clearly, when we do have electricity to our camp site we will take advantage and hopefully fully charge the bike's battery; however, in the past we have camped without electricity for up to 10 days (although there may have been electrical outlets at bathrooms or pavilions). We have 160 watt solar panels, but no inverter. We would rather not deal with a gas powered generator.
Thanks in advance for any ideas, suggestions, etc.
Bob
If it was me, I would retrofit the trailer with a 1500 W inverter and twin 6v batteries. I did that on our 2013 19" and it wasn't too hard. The retrofit was not wired into the panel, instead powers a dedicated outlet. Retrofitting to the panel to power the whole trailer is a whole other level of complexity.

Or another approach would to buy extra batteries for the bikes. Then you would have spares to extend your range.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
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Charging an Electric Bike

Look at your bike charger itself to see what it says under “output”. It is probably DC at a higher than 12V output. If it were me, I would find a 12V to whatevervoltyourbikechargeris boost converter, making sure the converter puts out sufficient amps (as listed on the stock charger), then wire up a dedicated outlet with a fuse somewhere near your batteries. This would save energy by avoiding the DC to AC then back to DC conversions, which use and lose more energy in the conversion process.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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Look at your bike charger itself to see what it says under “output”. It is probably DC at a higher than 12V output. If it were me, I would find a 12V to whatevervoltyourbikechargeris boost converter, making sure the converter puts out sufficient amps (as listed on the stock charger), then wire up a dedicated outlet with a fuse somewhere near your batteries. This would save energy by avoiding the DC to AC then back to DC conversions, which use and lose more energy in the conversion process.
Good idea!
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:10 PM   #7
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I take one of these with me camping and can generally get at least one full charge on an ebike battery with it (and/or multiple charges of many other doohickeys).

Jackery Portable Power Station Generator Explorer 240

But I also carry a 2kw inverter generator
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:27 PM   #8
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Specialized says...
  • BATTERY Specialized U1-460, On/Off button, state of charge display, 460Wh
  • CHARGER Custom Specialized 42V2A Charger w/ Rosenberger plug, AC power cord included

soooo.... its a 42V 2 amp charger, so thats 84 watts, so a 150-200W inverter would be fine (and MUCH less wasteful than a 1500W inverter).

the Como owners manual says 7 hours to fully charge with the supplied 2A charger, there's an optional 4A charger that would be 160 watts (best to use a 300W inverter) and will charge in half the time.

assuming the inverter + 84 watt charger draws effectively 100 watts, thats about 8 amps at 12V, so 7 hours would be about 50AH off your RV battery. thats pretty much all a single marine/rv 12V is good for safely (~50% of its ~100AH total capacity), and about half the usable capacity of a dual golf cart setup

so, solar panel charging your RV battery, and RV battery powering inverter, and inverter powering bike charger.
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
Look at your bike charger itself to see what it says under “output”. It is probably DC at a higher than 12V output. If it were me, I would find a 12V to whatevervoltyourbikechargeris boost converter, making sure the converter puts out sufficient amps (as listed on the stock charger), then wire up a dedicated outlet with a fuse somewhere near your batteries.
Okay, but just don't bypass whatever controls charging in the bike, including stopping when any cell reaches the maximum permitted voltage. Overcharged batteries are bad; overcharged lithium ion batteries can be very bad.
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:50 PM   #10
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I see from this closeup picture of an unobtanium car charger for these bikes that the connector has at least 3 pins, +, -, and T ... so a simple DC-DC supply won't cut it.
https://www.emtbforums.com/community...1c1-jpeg.1954/

thats from this thread, https://www.emtbforums.com/community...-bmw-levo.766/ the Levo is compatible with the Como, and apparently BMW announced a special package of a car with a BMW branded Specialized Levo and this car charger, but as of that thread hasn't actually delivered it, nor can it be ordered from either Specialized or BMW.

edit: ah, that uses a "Rosenberg" RoPD power-and-data connector. the charger talks to the battery pack, and doesn't power up til it passes self tests. so yeah, using a generic DC-DC would not be a good idea.
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