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Leisure Battery Charging


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#1 Hayden

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:52 PM

Hi All, Just a quick and maybe a silly question, Im told I cant use my car battery charger to charge my leisure battery? it this true, if it is can anyone recomend a good but cheap charger, A lot of the sites we are planing on staying at dont have hook-up so I want to make sure the battery is 100% full

Thanks
Stuart

#2 TedNewman

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:27 PM

Get a Lidl battery minder - then when you connect it to the battery you leave it until you next move the van - CTEK chargers are even better but a huge amount more to buy. Unfortunately Lidl only have theirs on a time to time basis.

#3 TD 42

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:35 PM

firstly it depends on what car charger you have & what type of leisure battery. A cheapo basic charger will charge your battery, provided it is not a Gel filled or sealed battery as these need different charge rates. If your charger has a choice of leisure or sealed battery charging its ok, but you will need to check your battery condition with a meter or hydrometer & remove it from charger when it is fully charged as it may boil dry.

Idealy a Smart charger or multi stage charger is the way to go as these automaticaly adjust the charge rate to the state of charge in the battery & the battery can be left attached to the charger for instance over winter.some wil even recondition the battery.

these can be bought for as little as 14 when lidl or aldi have them in,or A CTEC charger is very popular around 40 http://www.ctekcharg...CFcod4Qod81ApEA



HOPE THIS some help

#4 Lefthand Down

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 02:20 PM

I have a car charger but find it difficult to use for the caravan because the instructions suggest that as soon as the Ammeter shows near zero it must be disconnected.

With a multi stage charger this is not the case and the battery could be left 24/7 until you need to use it.

Yes the car charger you have is fine if you keep checking the state of the battery.

If the battery has acid and you remove the plugs in each there will be gas escaping at full charge and it is explosive. If the car charger is automatic the risk is less but still needs care.

I am surprised you have not got an on-board charger but you have not given us details of your van so maybe that maybe the reason you refer to your car charger.

The CTEK is well supported as THE charger to use as it is easy to use and small to pack away when not in use. (It can be fitted and left connected in the van 24/7)

#5 Hayden

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 02:29 PM

I do have a on board charger but where I keep the van I can not get power to it :(

Im guessing I can leave the battery in my garage with this pluged in all winter? http://www.ctekcharg...CFcod4Qod81ApEA but what model?

Edited by Hayden, 15 March 2011 - 02:30 PM.


#6 Lefthand Down

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

Price is the key I think. Mine was about 50 but if you only have an 80 amp to 100 amp battery to charge the xs3600 looks OK

It handles frost as well. There is a lot of talk about 24/7 charging but this is not always required. The battery if not connected to anything will not deteriorate even after a month.

A multimeter check should show 12.7 volts on a resting battery (less than this should be charged). If less the CTEK will charge up to 14.2 and then hold around 13.2 until you remove it.

After a weekend away you may read a voltage of 12.1 volts (or even less) and this means a charge is required.

#7 Hayden

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:12 PM

How can I tell what battery I have? there is nothing witten on it? its quite a large one, just fits into the space on my 2007 baliey ranger 510/4

#8 DeeTee

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:18 PM

Without wishing to high-jack this topic I have an associated question. My caravan for the first time ever will have been in storage for 4 months without it being hooked to mains supply or being towed to a destination some distance from the storage site when I next use it. I will be taking it out of storage and staying on a touring pitch on the adjacent site without the opportunity to re-charge the leisure battery.

As far as I am aware my caravan does not have a "smart charger" so when hooked up to the mains, as I understand it, is unlikely to restore the battery to full capacity during my stay.

I have a Lidl charger which has recently given the kiss of life to my 11 year old vehicle battery.

Any suggestions how I can use either the caravan's charger or the Lidl charger to restore my battery to full health during my stay would be welcome.

#9 Lefthand Down

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:22 PM

It must have a label on it?

Maybe its on the side inside the box?

If it just fits the box it could be 100/110 amp even.

Don't drop it on your toes. Make sure it is held in by good straps as well.

An 75/85 amp would have a couple of inches of space on top and side. (normally)

#10 TD 42

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 04:39 PM

Without wishing to high-jack this topic I have an associated question. My caravan for the first time ever will have been in storage for 4 months without it being hooked to mains supply or being towed to a destination some distance from the storage site when I next use it. I will be taking it out of storage and staying on a touring pitch on the adjacent site without the opportunity to re-charge the leisure battery.

As far as I am aware my caravan does not have a "smart charger" so when hooked up to the mains, as I understand it, is unlikely to restore the battery to full capacity during my stay.

I have a Lidl charger which has recently given the kiss of life to my 11 year old vehicle battery.

Any suggestions how I can use either the caravan's charger or the Lidl charger to restore my battery to full health during my stay would be welcome.

A unconnected 12v battery will lose its charge over a period of time so should not be left for more than 3 monthe before charging again

when your caravan is hooked up to the mains you can disconnect your battery from the van charger & connect your smartcharger to the battery with it pluged into the van

#11 DeeTee

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:09 PM

A unconnected 12v battery will lose its charge over a period of time so should not be left for more than 3 monthe before charging again

when your caravan is hooked up to the mains you can disconnect your battery from the van charger & connect your smartcharger to the battery with it pluged into the van


TD 42

Thank you for the advice. Since my post above I have stayed in the 'van and my fears would seem to be unfounded as the battery would appear to have been in a healthy state as when I switched on the battery power switch before connecting EHU, the voltmeter read 12.8v.

DeeTee

#12 John Radford

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:10 PM

Our lovely new shiny Bailey has a 100A battery fitted and although it's in and out of use during the main season it's quite likely it will stand for a few months without being used (and the storage site is basically a field!!).
Our tracker / alarm needs constant power, so it's not allowed to disconnect the battery to bring it home to charge, but I can bring it home for the odd day here or there.

My questions are:

1) if I have solar panels fitted to the roof would they keep the battery in good condition - and if so which ones?
2) when we do bring it home for a day here or there, and when it's in use on a site does the on-board charger do all the battery conditioning

It might be a Bailey specific question or this might be quite generic, but thanks in anticipation of your advice

John

#13 BOAC

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:52 PM

Our lovely new shiny Bailey has a 100A battery fitted and although it's in and out of use during the main season it's quite likely it will stand for a few months without being used (and the storage site is basically a field!!).
Our tracker / alarm needs constant power, so it's not allowed to disconnect the battery to bring it home to charge, but I can bring it home for the odd day here or there.

My questions are:

1) if I have solar panels fitted to the roof would they keep the battery in good condition - and if so which ones?

I would go down the route of getting a spare cheap battery and swopping the batteries during the winter every couple of months and bringing one home and using a C-tec charger. Cheaper option than solar cells, and less trouble.


2) When it's in use on a site does the on-board charger do all the battery conditioning.

In my handbook Bailey state 'Do not leave the charger on all the time' . (Check your handbook) By this I take it to mean that the voltage does not drop as the battery charges therefore it does not condition a battery. Only a charger similar to a C-tec will do this.

It is fine to leave the on-board charger going all the time while you are out caravanning on a site, but not on a storage location for any length of time unless your handbook says otherwise. (Mine is 2003 so things might have changed)

A good charger is the C-tec XS3600. I have had one for years and have had no complaints.


BO



Edited by Bailey Oklahoma, 01 April 2011 - 10:03 PM.


#14 John Radford

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:03 PM

Many thanks for your advice, it's much appreciated.
I would never keep it on permanent charge whilst in storage because it's basically a field - but I like the idea of keeping a spare battery on the go.

Have a lovely weekend

John




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