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Leisure Battery Charger


Pa1N
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Hi all,

I only brought my caravan about 6 months ago. So Im new to all of this.

It does not already have a charger installed so, Could anyone recomend a good cheapish battery charger for use in the van?.Whats the difference between the expensive ZIG chargers and normal chargers brought from the argos?.

Which leads me onto my other questions. Under what conditions can the battery be charged?. i. e. a.) Can u charge the battery whilst it is in use on the van?. b.) Does the charger need to be well ventilated ( Fire Risk? ).c.) Do the plugs have to be removed from the top of the battery before it can be charged?. etc. etc.

Any charger recommendations or do's and don'ts when using battery chargers in the caravan would be appreciated.

 

Pa1N. :unsure:

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Hi all, 

I only brought my caravan about 6 months ago. So Im new to all of this.

It does not already have a charger installed so, Could anyone recomend a good cheapish battery charger for use in the van?.Whats the difference between the expensive ZIG chargers and normal chargers brought from the argos?.

Which leads me onto my other questions. Under what conditions can the battery be charged?. i. e. a.) Can u charge the battery whilst it is in use on the van?. b.) Does the charger need to be well ventilated ( Fire Risk? ).c.) Do the plugs have to be removed from the top of the battery before it can be charged?. etc. etc.

Any charger recommendations or do's and don'ts when using battery chargers in the caravan would be appreciated.

 

Pa1N. :unsure:

2148[/snapback]

Hi Pa1N

First a Zig is also a 12v power source and a charger

Personally would recommend a cheapish battery charger. Did this on one of my vans years ago when the zig unit jacked in. You can charge the battery while it is in use. No you do not need to remove the tops. Yes it really wants to be ventilated. Both the charger and the battery. Having said that years ago the battery used to be under a front seat locker and so did the charger. As long as it has a floor vent near it that should be sufficient.

 

Hope this helps

Pete

Volvo
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The big difference between the two are caravan chargers as Pete says do two jobs while a cheap one from Argos is only for charging. The caravan charger is set at a lower 13. 8 voltage which amongst other things allows continuous connection without fear of 'over charging'...however for this reason it will never fully charge the battery. It also gives a fairly high output of about 12amps which for the most part does not require a battery to be fitted at all, if you have mains hookup.

The 'proper' battery charger has a higher voltage of 14. 4 volts and dependent on cost an output off only a few amps, once the higher voltage is reached at the battery terminals and the battery is fully charged, the charger must be switched off unless it has the more expensive facility to do this automatically. ..in which case it will switch down to a 13. 8volts 'float' or 'maintanance' charge. .(See the connection?), and not off. Leaving a charger set at only the higher voltage connected after full charge is reached will ruin a battery in no time.

A side effect of charging and over charging particulaly is gassing as the fluid inside 'boils' off. ..this gas is lighter than air and must be guided with a pipe though the floor to the outside if used under a bed bunk. ..reason apart from something off a fire risk is the gas is corrosive and will attack the underside of the cushions and any other soft furnishings??. 13. 8 volts produces little gassing while providing a reasonable state of charge in the battery. ..plus it is OK to use it without a battery hence the decision to use this voltage in caravans and the like.

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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Thanks alot for youre advice. I do have a zig unit installed in the Van. But as far as im aware this doesnt allow me to charge the battery. I thought it just allowed me to choose between which power source i wanted to use. i. e battery or mains on a switch.

What year or thereabouts do you reakon they made built in chargers common place. Because My Van is a 1990 Elddis.

Do all ZIG units have a battery charger built in?. And how would u recommend I find out what my unit is actually capable of?. ( Is there a charge switch on the unit, or should my battery automatically charge when the electric hook up is connected to the van? )

Thanks again for ur advise, much appreciated.

 

Pa1N :unsure:

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Thanks alot for youre advice. I do have a zig unit installed in the Van. But as far as im aware this doesnt allow me to charge the battery. I thought it just allowed me to choose between which power source i wanted to use. i. e battery or mains on a switch.

What year or thereabouts do you reakon they made built in chargers common place. Because My Van is a 1990 Elddis.

Do all ZIG units have a battery charger built in?. And how would u recommend I find out what my unit is actually capable of?. ( Is there a charge switch on the unit, or should my battery automatically charge when the electric hook up is connected to the van? )

Thanks again for ur advise, much appreciated.

 

Pa1N  :unsure:

2186[/snapback]

 

We have a '92 Elddis XL which has a Zig TX 2000. The GTX and Crusader are listed as having an X2. Gary will be able to tell you more about the outputs.

 

PS He fixes them as well.

 

Mike

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Hi again,

 

On closer inspection of the mains unit. Ive found it has a CEC 225 RCCB/MCB Mains supply unit, installed into the bottom of one of the wardrobes. And under the seat I have a sealed box which has a vented pipe coming out of it, for the battery ( Leisure battery Installed ). Next to the battery box under the seat There is a 3pin plug socket which Im assuming maybe there for a battery charger of some sort. This Is all controlled by switches On a zig panel mounted on the side of the wardrobe.

I've searched for more information on the net about the CEC 225 Unit, and been able to find nothing as of yet. So im totally unsure what this unit is capable of, if it does charge the battery or if i need a seperate charger.

If i do need a charger I've found a charger in argos which says its suitable for leisure batterys. But has 11amps RMS charging rate, with this charger would i be overcooking the battery??

These are the details:

 

12V fully automatic battery charger suitable for all 12V normal, sealed, leisure or GEL batteries.

 

Charging rates of 11 amp RMS.

 

With battery tester, suitable for normal/sealed batteries and car/motorcycle.

 

Automatic change to maintenance charge.

 

Reverse polarity, short circuit protection and temperature limitation.

 

230V AC LED display.

 

Plastic carry case.

 

Base container for storing conecting cables.

So once again any further help would be much appreciated.

 

Pa1N :unsure:

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Hi Pa1N,

 

The whole function of the Zig unit is to charge the battery when the caravan is connected to a mains supply. There is usually a mains ON/OFF switch on the unit and this can be left in the ON position continuously. If you give the Zig model number, I am sure that someone will be able to tell you what the outputs are. If there is a 12v voltmeter on the unit, or somewhere in the caravan, you should see the battery voltage increase slightly when the unit is switched on.

 

To answer your other questions

1. The battery should be left in its designated housing all the time, which is ventilated. You do not need to remove the plugs.

2. The Zig unit does not control or switch the 240v mains circuits.

 

Note that the battery does not power the fridge under any circumstances. The fridge can only be run on 240v mains, when available, or gas. The fridge 12v connection is used when towing when power is fed from the car system. You should ensure your car electrics are compatible with the caravan electrics as the standard was changed around 1997, otherwise your fridge may not work when towing.

The only other mains item on your caravan is probably two mains only lights, usually near the front. All other services, lights, water pump, gas controls, etc are supplied from the battery.

 

Trust this helps, but if it makes you more confused come back and ask

 

Brian

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Years ago, I used a power pack for a CB in the van, this was connected to the battery.

This kept everything running at 13. 8 volts, with no problems, and they are not a lot of money.

 

just a thought

Paul

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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At the moment I think the CEC unit which is the same firm as 'Plug-in-Systems' is just a mains 'fuse' box and should be about 7" tall by 4" wide by 3" deep. The 'zig' unit if it is a ZIG could have a charger built in or just a switch panel. If you can see at the back it will have a large box attached which will contain a charger of some sort or just the switches and fuses poking though from the front.

ZIG make/made dozens of different units a picture or type/number would be useful.

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Many Thanks for youre advice, I will find out the ZIG panel number asap, when im not at work. Sorry for such a long wait for some kind of reply. I found the original Handbook for the Van, and inside it said that it does have a built in charger, which gives it a trickle charge when connected to the mains hook up. But ill make further investigations into the type of ZIG panel, and to see if i can see the charger.

 

Thanks for you're time and advice once again, hope to get back to you asap.

 

Pa1N :)

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