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When Is A Battery "old"?


mechs

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Ok as most of you know my caravan is on a seasonal pitch. Any previous caravans we've had have either run on EHU / Generator but haven't had a battery in which never bothered me.

 

I now have 2 85A leisure batteries charging with solar panels as EHU goes off over winter on this site. I purchased a dual solar charging regulator and wil get it fitted up on Friday as we're away Fri-Sun.

 

Anyway I was just reading the instructions (when I eventually found the English section) and it was saying even if the batteries are charged the light meaning they are not fully charged may come on if the batteries are OLDER and may not be able to fully charge.

 

Then if got me thingking, when id a battery classed as old? and is it advisible to change them after a certain age weather they work or not?

 

I can't remember the make of mine but one was new in 2002 and one 2004. Is that too old? They still hold a good charge and now i've got the multi meter to keep an eye on the charge so just wondered what you all thought? :)

Compass Shadow 1988

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A battery is 'old' - or beyond further use when it will no longer hold a charge after being taken off charge several hours ago. In the past I've had a battery fail on a new car when it was only on its third birthday. On the other hand, my daughters 2002 reg car is still on its original battery.

 

If a battery can be charged and still maintain the level for 12 hours, then it still has a useful life - however old it is.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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My 110a battery was bought in 2003 and still doing what I need it to do, a lot of mover use to get it off the drive for hitching up. I have mains connected to the van at home all the time but only switch the charger circuit on about every 3 weeks for a couple of days as the tracker / alarm does drain a bit and I want it topped up ready for any last min trips etc. I usually swap the 110a battery with an old car battery once a year for a few days when I give the van battery a good charge with the aldi charger and I have no intention of getting a new battery until this one wont hold a charge and I would say save your £'s until your battery wont hold a charge.

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Caravan batteries in my experience have a hard life the forums are full

of "my battery won't hold a charge" " it was ok when I put it into storage

in September"

Get it load tested after charging it, then put it onto a C-tek or similar

smart charger when it's not being used

My garage said a good battery will last around five years if looked after,

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Thanks for the replies, was just wondering as i'm the usual "If it aint broke don't fix it" type so just wondered if it was the same with batteries.

 

Mine seem to be doing well then :) Usually when the caravan's in storage over winter it slowly dies over a few weeks when I go up and check the caravan as it usually is always on charge when plugged into EHU. We then got a second battery off someone was scrapping their 'van so also charged this off the mains and been fine so will keep an eye on the charge of them.

Compass Shadow 1988

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Is it worth taking the battery off during the winter months and putting it in the garage slightly warmer place ??

Batteries can freeze albeit at a slightly lower temperature so yes if you are laying up the van for the winter rather than using it then it is worth removing the battery and storing somewhere which will not get quite so cold.

 

There is no need to keep it continuously on charge during that time, just give it a full charge when you remove it then a top up after 3-4 months. If storing it in a garage or workshop cover one of the terminals securely with something non conductive to prevent the risk of something metal falling on it to cause a short. Mine have some gaffer tape on them.

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I've just (well OH) wired up a dual regulator charger as we're charging them both now off a 20w solar panel. I'd imagine they'll talke ages to charge properly so just a waiting game to see how long they hold a charge as it's usually a mains charger we use.

Compass Shadow 1988

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Hi All,

 

I have a 85 watt panal which is fixed on the roof, so is keeping the battery charged all the time.

 

To "look after" the battery, should I be dis - conecting the panal to the battery, if I am not useing the van for a little while, or just leave it connected all the time.

 

Thanks

 

Tim

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With an 85w panel you should be using a charge regulator anyway which should protect the battery from being overcharged. With a suitably regulated charging system there is no specific harm caused by keeping the battery on charge and this is how most standby power systems work.

 

Conversely there is no real problem with disconnecting completely while in storage and providing a top up charge every 3-6 months. A good flooded lead acid battery will self discharge by about 1-2%/month and allowing this to happen will not be detrimental to the battery provided it does not fall much below 90% of full charge. In fact one of the indications of a battery getting to the end of its life is when the self-discharge rate significantly exceeds 2% and how would you know that if it is kept continuously on charge?

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Hi,

 

Thanks for reply, we still use our van in the winter, not so much though, and on ehu sites.

 

I will leave things as they are then, if its not doing any harm

 

Thanks again

 

Tim

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