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bconnelly

Fitting a leisure battery to a Hobby.

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Posted (edited)

As my Hobby 575 VIP didn't come with a leisure battery I needed to fit one for the new motor mover. My solution was pretty simple but it has passed a safety inspection so I thought i'd share it with other Hobby owners.

 

  • I bought the battery together on eBay HERE.
  • I screwed the box to the floor under the seat next to the door.
  • I drilled an 8mm hole through the bottom of the box and the caravan floor to  the outside.
  • I ran the battery breather tube through the hole leaving roughly 5cm hanging under the van and sealed any space around it.
  • I secured a normal smart charger next to the battery box, connected it to the battery and plugged it into the van's 230V supply (added a new socket for this).

 

The battery now charges whenever the van is hooked up to mains power. Being a smart charger it conditions and charges the battery without overcharging. If the battery does produce gas when charging, that gas is heavier than air so drops out the breather tube to the outside. As you can see from the photo (box lid removed), the motor mover controller was fitted next to the battery box keeping the power run short. In all (not including the motor mover of course, it cost about £140 and took about an hour to do.

 

II don't have a need to connect the battery to the caravan 12v electrics but this is obviously an option.

 

Hope this is useful.

 

 

20190615_150429.jpg

20190615_150414.jpg

Edited by bconnelly
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I am a tad perplexed by your post. Is this a new caravan? If so surely it came with a dedicated battery box and a built in charger/distribution box that also supplies 12v to the power the lights/water pump etc?  

 

You do mention that the caravan HAS a 12 volt system, so what powers that? 

 

Andy 

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Our neighbors have got a hobby caravan and they have not got a battery, they carry a generator and use that. So guess hobby caravan is not geared up for a battery.

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Is it a European 'spec' import or a UK model?

 

geoff

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Posted (edited)

The battery system is an option on some Hobby ranges. Lots of people have no need for 12v. Others have no need for gas. The installation looks neat and simple.

Edited by Ern

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2 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

I am a tad perplexed by your post. Is this a new caravan? If so surely it came with a dedicated battery box and a built in charger/distribution box that also supplies 12v to the power the lights/water pump etc?  

 

You do mention that the caravan HAS a 12 volt system, so what powers that? 

 

Andy 

 

As I understand it there's no such thing as a UK spec Hobby just standard European models with some UK specific wants added. Typically eurovanners (I made that word up) rely on mains hookup that feeds a 12v transformer that in turn powers the interior lights, toilet etc and don't have a leisure battery as standard. To be honest I was a wee bit surprised at this discovery but soon realised how very practical it is unless you do a lot of off-grid touring which I don't.  If it wasn't for the fact that I wanted a motor mover I wouldn't have bothered with a battery.

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Posted (edited)

The hydrogen gas produced when charging a battery is lighter than air. The battery box should be sealed to prevent any gas escaping

 

I would advise you change the battery clamps for original style ones with bolts as these ones have been known to fail

 

Smart chargers aren't really that smart, it's one of these names that the industry seems to have adopted for an item that doesn't live up to the name. If left on constantly it will eventually kill the battery

Edited by JayTea

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I thought the gas given off when charging a battery was Hydrogen which is lighter than air,and with the type of battery box you have that gas will escape via the moulding in the lid and into the locker. Many batteries have a discharge tube that can be fitted to the battery and routed to the outside.

 

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2 minutes ago, JayTea said:

The hydrogen gas produced when charging a battery is lighter than air. The battery box should be sealed to prevent any gas escaping

 

As always JayTea you are absolutely right. I took it off for the photo but the box lid stays on and is close fitting. I'm not convinced it is totally airtight but there is a breather tube attached to the vent nipples on both sides of the battery that vent through the floor to the outside. I also made sure that the carbon monoxide detector I installed above where the battery is fitted is capable of detecting other gases including propane, butane, hydrogen and hydrogen dioxide. As you know we've just been away for 10 days, i was hooked up and had the charger on throughout - no alerts and we're both still alive.  I agree you can't be too careful though.

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2 hours ago, bconnelly said:

As always JayTea you are absolutely right. I took it off for the photo but the box lid stays on and is close fitting. I'm not convinced it is totally airtight but there is a breather tube attached to the vent nipples on both sides of the battery that vent through the floor to the outside. I also made sure that the carbon monoxide detector I installed above where the battery is fitted is capable of detecting other gases including propane, butane, hydrogen and hydrogen dioxide. As you know we've just been away for 10 days, i was hooked up and had the charger on throughout - no alerts and we're both still alive.  I agree you can't be too careful though.

What on earth is Hydrogen Dioxide?:unsure: HO2 does not exist.

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And there's me thinking that I can leave a smart charger attached to my battery throughout the winter without killing it.

 

I'm going to write to CTEK and complain :ph34r:

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13 hours ago, JayTea said:

The hydrogen gas produced when charging a battery is lighter than air. The battery box should be sealed to prevent any gas escaping

 

I would advise you change the battery clamps for original style ones with bolts as these ones have been known to fail

 

Smart chargers aren't really that smart, it's one of these names that the industry seems to have adopted for an item that doesn't live up to the name. If left on constantly it will eventually kill the battery

 

Shouldn't any gas be vented to the outside to the outside air to disperse, rather than be allowed to build up to a combustible level in a confined space?

 

The clamps used are more than sufficient if fitted correctly!

 

Funny that I have a Sargent multi stage smart charger on my caravan that takes very good care of my battery.

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17 hours ago, Odd days said:

Our neighbors have got a hobby caravan and they have not got a battery, they carry a generator and use that. So guess hobby caravan is not geared up for a battery.

Until my present and passed caravans were fitted with movers I think they would be isolated from the inside of the caravan for gasses to be expelled to the outside, but after fitting of mover cables that isolation will have been lost.

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59 minutes ago, David 38 said:

Until my present and passed caravans were fitted with movers I think they would be isolated from the inside of the caravan for gasses to be expelled to the outside, but after fitting of mover cables that isolation will have been lost.

 

My cable entry was sealed with proper cable entry joints (one for each cable) similar to the ones below to maintain the integrity of the battery box.

image.png

 

 

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Thanks Grandpa Steve I'm happy to report present caravan does have two of those.

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20 hours ago, bconnelly said:

As always JayTea you are absolutely right. I took it off for the photo but the box lid stays on and is close fitting. I'm not convinced it is totally airtight but there is a breather tube attached to the vent nipples on both sides of the battery that vent through the floor to the outside. I also made sure that the carbon monoxide detector I installed above where the battery is fitted is capable of detecting other gases including propane, butane, hydrogen and hydrogen dioxide. As you know we've just been away for 10 days, i was hooked up and had the charger on throughout - no alerts and we're both still alive.  I agree you can't be too careful though.

 

You haven't stated the model year your Hobby which does help to those who may give advice.

 

The battery will be sealed if there is a vent tube nipple fitted and any gas generated will be vented by pressure to the exterior so the battery box does not need sealing.

You can modify the standard electrics quite simply to charge the battery when towing.

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19 hours ago, DeeTee said:

What on earth is Hydrogen Dioxide?:unsure: HO2 does not exist.

 

Sorry, should read "Hydrogen Sulfide".

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On 17/06/2019 at 17:26, beejay said:

 

You haven't stated the model year your Hobby which does help to those who may give advice.

 

The battery will be sealed if there is a vent tube nipple fitted and any gas generated will be vented by pressure to the exterior so the battery box does not need sealing.

You can modify the standard electrics quite simply to charge the battery when towing.

 

Getting my beejay, deetee and jaytea's mixed up now :blush:

 

I mentioned the van in the first post beejay, it's a Hobby 575 VIP only made in 2010 but the post should be helpful to any Hobby owner without a battery. There are two vent tubes routed outside the van so quite safe,

 

I'd be grateful for any advice you can give on your last point (charging  when towing). If possible I would also like to link the battery to the vans 12v electrics to power the lights, toilet etc, do you know if that's possible without major changes?

 

Cheers.

HOBBY ELECTRICS.jpg

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On 22/06/2019 at 20:31, bconnelly said:

I'd be grateful for any advice you can give on your last point (charging  when towing). If possible I would also like to link the battery to the vans 12v electrics to power the lights, toilet etc, do you know if that's possible without major changes?

 


You will need to have the Autark pack fitted to enable full function of the battery into the main system.

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