Jump to content
B3nnl

What are people doing with their leisure batteries during lockdown?

Recommended Posts

 I've just taken my leisure battery out of the van and brought it home and chucked the CTEK on it to top it back up.  I last used the van at the start of Feb and we aren't due to use it until end of July (If we're allowed) Am I worrying about nothing, are they fine being left for 6 months?  Or have I done the right thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the same boat only haven't used since October. Trouble is i haven't got access during the current climate due to it being a club site storage .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, B3nnl said:

 I've just taken my leisure battery out of the van and brought it home and chucked the CTEK on it to top it back up.  I last used the van at the start of Feb and we aren't due to use it until end of July (If we're allowed) Am I worrying about nothing, are they fine being left for 6 months?  Or have I done the right thing?

 

Personally I wouldn’t worry about the battery, but with these 2 provisos - was the battery in good condition when you last used it, and is there anything which may be putting a drain on the battery in storage, eg an alarm ?

 

I would assume you don’t have a solar panel fitted - if so you definitely didn’t need to worry

 

OOI, when you put the battery on charge, what was it’s voltage ?  And what does it read 24 hours after coming off charge ?

 

Of course had it been 3 months in the depths of the winter, the whole scenario would have been different.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I connect hook up for a couple of days now and then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I would leave it on the smart charger or charge it every couple of weeks.I most definitely worry about batteries!

Edited by Jezzerb
  • I agree completely 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

At 05:20 mine was at 12.7v.  
solar panel is doing its thing

Same here - 12.8V just now.  Our storage is closed due to lockdown, so I check remotely using the tracker occasionally. Small solar panel on the roof keeps it trickle charged during the day.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past I have left our caravan for between 6 and 8 months in storage and never had a problem. But that caravan had no tracker nor alarm so there was no drain. The problem arises with trackers, alarms and any other device drawing off the battery. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am doing nothing  whatsoever as our van is in storage and we are still in Lockdown, I am hoping that the Solar Panel is doing it's stuff and keeping the battery topped up until we are released from captivity, it has really been frustrating as on Tuesday we were leaving home for a holiday somewhere in France  :mellow:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leisure batteries which aren't being maintained by onboard charger or solar panel need re-charging every 3 months otherwise the self-drain will start to flatten them to a point of damage.

 

The OP has done right by removing it and using a smart charger.

  • Like 1
  • I agree completely 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I did ask this question a while ago, but relating it to insurance  as depending on what the policy states, some insist on the alarm being active as well as having the locks  fitted or whatever. 

 We have a solar  panel now but before that  on previous vans we would take the battery home to charge every 6 to 8 weeks, never letting it fall below 12.5v,  I suppose those  who cannot get to their van may have to write off the battery  and get a new one when they start touring again

Edited by joanie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

Leisure batteries which aren't being maintained by onboard charger or solar panel need re-charging every 3 months otherwise the self-drain will start to flatten them to a point of damage.

The point is that ideally the battery should be kept working on discharge/charge cycles - however after the enforced lockdown there was frankly nothing that could be done remotely to protect the battery. Those with nothing  using the battery power when the caravan is unattended, will probably find the battery will be just fine. If you have an alarm or tracker though, unless you have a solar charger or can arrange for a periodic recharge from the mains, then there is a possibility if the battery is allowed to remain discharged for some time then permanent damage may occur. 

There is no point in worrying though, if there is nothing yo can do to alter the situation. Just recharge the battery as soon as you are able, then discharge/recharge a few times and hope it recovers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fully charged new lead acid battery has a self discharge rate of  around 3% per month, this increases when stored subject to higher temperature and age of battery, as a battery ages there are two main causes  1) plate sulphation caused by occasionally being left in a low state of charge for a time and 2) sludging, this is where plate deposits settle in the sludge traps to the extent that they reach and bridge the bottom of the plates and cause a soft discharge.

 

Add to these parasitic drains from such as alarms, trackers etc and an older battery can discharge at a surprising rate over several months.

 

So then to keep them healthy and reduce the discharge rate, keep them charged, keep them cool, reduce, if possible, any parasitic loads.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like others I used to take my battery home every 6-8 weeks and charge with my CTek charger. Fortunately, now we have a solar panel fitted and this has kept the battery full even through the depths of winter with the alarm/tracker/etc on. Portable solar panels have become much cheaper and it might be worth attaching one of these to trickle charge;

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ECOWORTHY-Solar-Panel-System-Polycrystalline/dp/B07KHRBY4Z/ref=psdc_4370161031_t1_B07TY3HGF7

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ours is years old and seems to have failed at last, so I am just waiting until I can get another, although there is no point until I can use the caravan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally the best way to look after a lead acid battery is to give it a freshening charge every month to six weeks but make sure you leave the charger on for decent amount of time - at least 12 hours preferably 24 for smart chargers as it takes a long long time to get the last 20% back into the battery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to belay anyones concerns. Being in the forces we have the bonus of having some pretty secure storage facilities. The van is parked on the base so I took the battery out whilst at work. No unnecessary trips required 😁

Don't have a voltmeter so didn't check prior to connection, but CTEC showed 3 of the seven lights lit on connecting and 24hrs later went from full charge to maintenance mode.  I should add, it's a sealed gel battery as its in a Hymer where the battery sits in the habitable area as opposed to its own cupboard with ventilation. 

I'll look into a solar trickle charger though as that would probably be a good shout. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

At 05:20 mine was at 12.7v.  
solar panel is doing its thing

And at 11:55 it’s showing 13.6v. That’s on a cloudy overcast day

  • I agree completely 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At 08:31 ours is 13.8V :)

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I found  a few years ago when we had a Phantom Tracker and no Solar Panel was that the Tracker flattened  a fully charged battery in 10 to 14 days, I was getting phone calls in the middle of the night from Phantom's Mission Control telling me that the battery was "down" I got so cheesed off with this I disconnected the Tracker.

 

So for those who's vans have a Tracker and no Solar Panel and is in storage, you probably would have had the call from Phantom by now

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Les Medes said:

One thing I found  a few years ago when we had a Phantom Tracker and no Solar Panel was that the Tracker flattened  a fully charged battery in 10 to 14 days, I was getting phone calls in the middle of the night from Phantom's Mission Control telling me that the battery was "down" I got so cheesed off with this I disconnected the Tracker.

 

So for those who's vans have a Tracker and no Solar Panel and is in storage, you probably would have had the call from Phantom by now

 

 

They're even quicker to drain the battery if the tracker is in a poor phone area as it constantly tries to contact the main base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

At 05:20 mine was at 12.7v.  
solar panel is doing its thing

At 05.20 I was fast asleep in bed!!

  • I agree completely 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

 

They're even quicker to drain the battery if the tracker is in a poor phone area as it constantly tries to contact the main base.

 

Yes BG. that was my problem as when we had one Phantom were using Vodafone and in our area Vodafone is rubbish, when I went to the NEC I had a chat with the Tech Director of BCA and he confirmed that 14 days would be the max amount of time I could expect from a fully charged healthy battery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My caravan battery is in excellent condition. Since mid March I have lived in my touring caravan with a "serviced pitch" 90 miles from my home. Eighteen months ago the charger module of a BCA power supply unit was replaced by a 20 amp BCA charger and the battery has kept in such good condition that I have always been able to use the motor mover when retrieveing from storage after dormant intervals of up to three months.

The car battery is also in good condition as it has been recharged by a CTEK smart charge quite recently.

Edited by DeeTee
added word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solar panel keeps ours nicely topped up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...