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Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 7:09am
by Tango
What is the most cost effective way of charging my iphone whilst cycling in France. My bike doesn't have a dyno hub

it does have a weather proof handlebar mount so I guess I could mount a solar panel thingy next to that.

Do they work though and are there any recommendations?

Thanks

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 7:56am
by rualexander
Forget solar, it won't produce enough power. Without a dynamo, your best options are either pay for a powered campsite every couple of days and carry an suitable adaptor lead for the standard campsite outdoor power socket, or get an external high capacity battery such as http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Trent-Sensa ... 82&sr=8-70 which will charge your phone several times and which can then be charged at an indoor socket at a campsite once or twice a week.

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 9:21am
by leelovesbikestoo
Do you really need to take your iPhone? I use a HTC DHD which needs charged every day, and for an upcoming cycle tour have dug out my old Sony Ericsson phone; its tiny and the battery has lasted for about a week on one charge, even with making calls and text messaging! It's function is limited in terms of GPS and camera, but then I'll be taking a small Garmin and a high-pixel weatherproof camera.

My HTC is too precious to take on a trip in case it got damaged - being self employed I rely on kit like this and would be in trouble even it was sent away for repair!

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 9:49am
by John-D
For my Samsung phone I bought a very cheap charger (eBay) - which came with 2 spare batteries. The batteries fitted into the charger, which I was happy to leave in the shower block to charge. It was quite common to see expensive phones left on charge but I was happier just to leave the £7 charger and battery.

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 10:54am
by simonineaston
I've used a Motorola F3 (the one with the e-ink screen) with a French payg SIM. One charge lasts yonks. It was less then a tenner from Tesco a couple of years ago.

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 7:26pm
by Tango
Thanks guys will have a look.

The micro sim won't fit in a cheap phone I don't think, will look at spare battery :)

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 8:03pm
by johnb
One of these should see you right. Can be charged from mains or computer USB socket.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003 ... ull-site=1

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 25 Jul 2012, 12:19pm
by Millhouse
The most effective way I found of charging my phone whilst cycling and camping in France was to ask one of the British caravanners on site if I could re charge my phone using their electric. No one ever refused and it often lead to a chat and a free COLD beer out of their fridge! :D

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 27 Jul 2012, 6:26am
by Tango
Millhouse wrote:The most effective way I found of charging my phone whilst cycling and camping in France was to ask one of the British caravanners on site if I could re charge my phone using their electric. No one ever refused and it often lead to a chat and a free COLD beer out of their fridge! :D


Genius, pure genius :)

Looks like my problem may be solved :)

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 27 Jul 2012, 12:43pm
by AlisonH
Just back from two weeks cycle camping in the Dordogne area of France and managed to charge my phone in campsite offices and restuarants (whilst eating there), without problem. People were happy to help.

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 28 Jul 2012, 6:14am
by Tango
Thanks Alison, very reassuring

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 30 Jul 2012, 7:54am
by bikes4two
All of these methods have worked for me:
- ask fellow campers (in caravans or camper vans) to charge phone (never been refused)
- ask reception staff (Never been refused)
and for this year for the first time
- use separate charger (cheap off ebay) and spare battery and leave plugged in in the washroom (never had one stolen)

I don't think the last option works for iPhones as you can't swap the battery (?) (something to consider when choosing a smartphone)

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 16 Aug 2012, 10:34am
by willem jongman
There are indeed many places where you can charge your phone. It also helps if you keep it turned off. I only switch it on briefly in the evening, and that is it. Now this all changes when you really want to use it for processor intensive duty, like as a gps system. Do that, and the battery is empty before you can bat an eyelid. This is the main reason smartphones loose out badly against dedicated gps systems. If you need that kind of functionality, a generator hub becomes very desirable (and/or a dedicated gps system).
Willem

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 25 Sep 2012, 2:21pm
by andymiller
As other people have said, ask the reception staff. I'm sure they would rather you left the phone with them than in the bathrooms where it would be at very high risk of getting nicked.

I also have a New Trent power pack which charges my iPod several times over - it's an excellent piece of kit, although if I were buying again I'd get a power pack that used a standard USB charger.

I unfortunately have had chargers stolen (how cheap is that?) - although a cheap charger is easy to replace and not something to lose much sleep over.

Another alternative is to buy an adapter to convert the three pin euro-standard socket used in campsite electircal hookups to two-pin (there may be a British equivalent with three-pin sockets). These are commonly available in hardware shops in Italy so I assume you could get hold of them in France as well. You should then be able to put the phone inside the cabinet. Obviously you need to keep and eye on it and not wander off.

Re: Phone charging whilst cycle camping in France

Posted: 25 Sep 2012, 2:33pm
by tonythompson
Don't waste any money on a solar charger, I tried to use one going across Australia, utter waste of money, having said that at one point I was passed by a bunch of solar powered cars(?) racing N to S of Australia but then they had far larger panels than mine.

As everyone has said just ask someone and I'm sure they will help out.
Have a great trip