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Removing And Charging Battery


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Now sorry, I hate electrics. My caravan is unfortunately not at home, and is about 10 miles from home. Hence, I can neither charge the battery in situ, nor go and investigate what it is.

 

The van is a Coachman Pastiche 460/2, 2007. I know from connecting up the electrics when I go away (last year was our first), that the battery is pretty tight in the side box, indeed wires have to be 'stuffed' in to lock it back.

 

So, I am a little nervous about removing it to bring it home to charge it. Also, I have not got a charger yet, so need to get out and buy one. ...Maplins/Halfords?

 

Any general thoughts please, do we think it has a suitable battery in there etc.

 

Ta very much.

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I'm not completely sure I understand the problem you're facing. Is it that you want a solution to charge your battery whilst it's away from home or are you concerned that the battery might be 'the wrong type' because it doesn't fit well? Let me know but here's some info based on my understanding of your query.

 

The easiest way to charge the battery in storage is to use a small solar panel. 30W should do it. In winter, position is southerly and on the side of the 'van, rather than on top. Outside is better than behind a window inside. You won't need a controller, just connect it to the terminals of your battery. This should keep it topped up (charging capacity : 30W / 7 = 4. 3W / 12V = 0. 4A x 6 hours = 2. 5AH per day, which is more than your battery will self-discharge)

 

As for the fit, that really is just down to type. There are many sizes of leisure battery. Some will fit better, others wont. What's more important is whether or not it's actually a leisure battery (car batteries are no good for deep discharge use) and it's health (electrolyte levels, ability to retain a charge etc - loads of threads on here about battery health).

 

If I've misunderstood your query, please do forgive me, simply clarify and I'll see if I can help further.

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You really will need to look at your battery to see if it's any good or not, but ours is a very tight fit and it's a proper knuckle scraper to get it out. However, it's the right battery for the job but next time round we'll get one that's a bit smaller in size (but not in power). Not so small that it rattles about though.

 

We didn't bother last year, but this year have taken it out and put it on charge. We have both a Lidl and an Aldi smart charger and it's one of them which is charging up the battery. There was a thread about these chargers quite recently. They're a good price, do the job and have a three year guarantee. Lidl had them about three weeks ago - I have no idea whether there will be any left in your local branch but it's worth a visit.

 

I agree with the tictag about the solar panel but unfortunately we can't chose which way round to store the caravan and it doesn't get enough light in winter to make it worth while (it's in a valley so in shadow for much of the day when the sun is low). We have one to use between trips once the sun is higher in the sky.

The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see (GK Chesterton)

 

There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong equipment (Alfred Wainwright)

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The self discharge on a battery is quite low so assuming fully charged when you put into storage the amount required from the solar panel is quite low to maintain it is good condition ready for the next trip. Even if the solar panel does not provide enough it will slow down self discharge. I use a very cheap one around 1A but that's enough. No regulator just simple panel.

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We leave the charger in the van all winter but have no alarm or tracker to discharge it.

Then I charge it in the spring with a car charger (others here don't like these chargers) for 24 hours and that's it.

Been good for 8 years and its a cheap eBay battery (was £40 and 110VA) and we have a mover.

Never been a problem.

Under cover inside so a solar panel is no good to us.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Take it out and check the electrolyte level !! ( assuming it's not sealed)

 

If its been stuffed in the locker, uninspected yet used for some time with EHU, the on board charger could have flashed off some water. Top up with deionised water.

 

Get a ctek charger (not a cheapie) or similar that will recondition the battery.

 

Make sure all connectors on the terminals are clean and tight.

 

Use the caravan step to support the battery in front of the locker. ..it helps when lifting it back in place.

Edited by ericfield
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You don't say if you have an alarm or Tracker fitted. This makes a big difference as to how long the battery will last in storage.

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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Now sorry, I hate electrics. My caravan is unfortunately not at home, and is about 10 miles from home. Hence, I can neither charge the battery in situ, nor go and investigate what it is.

 

The van is a Coachman Pastiche 460/2, 2007. I know from connecting up the electrics when I go away (last year was our first), that the battery is pretty tight in the side box, indeed wires have to be 'stuffed' in to lock it back.

 

So, I am a little nervous about removing it to bring it home to charge it. Also, I have not got a charger yet, so need to get out and buy one. ...Maplins/Halfords?

 

Any general thoughts please, do we think it has a suitable battery in there etc.

 

Ta very much.

As others have said if you simply wish to keep the battery topped up in storage then just simply use a small solar panel like this - http://www. caravantechnology. com/4W-Solar-Briefcase--P179C27. aspx. obviously if you have a tracker or alarm take the draw into consideration.

 

Regarding a stand alone charger to use at home then you want a multi stage smart charger to ensure you get the optimum performance from your battery. .

 

This 20A smart charger is suitable for up to 200AH battery is great value -

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As others have said if you simply wish to keep the battery topped up in storage then just simply use a small solar panel like this - http://www. caravantechnology. com/4W-Solar-Briefcase--P179C27. aspx. obviously if you have a tracker or alarm take the draw into consideration.

 

 

Is a 4 Watt solar charger used in the winter for our caravan applications any use at all?

Even if optimally placed as opposed tucked behind a plastic window, even if that faces south will it yield enough to warrant £30 investment?

I can't see it doing enough to do more than cover the battery self drain through the winter.

 

The same investment, plus a bit of DIY gets 2. 5 times as much, [thought with alarms and trackers I would be going even larger] :

http://www. lake-renewable-energy. com/solar-technology-10w-solar-panel-770-p. asp?gclid=CIO24rm0srwCFUT3wgodv10A9A

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Agreed. I usually work off 15% solar output during winter when compared to ideal conditions in summer. 15% of 4W is 600mW, that's 50mA or 0. 3AH per day assuming 6 hours of glorious winter sunshine. Self discharge on it's own will be around 0. 4AH per day, then add alarms, trackers etc. I'd recommend a 40W panel. They're on eBay for £40 as a Buy It Now so probably cheaper if you go via the auction.

 

If you didn't want to bother with a solar controller, then a 20W panel might work (doesn't require a controller). You can pick them up for around £20 e. g. here.

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I'm not sure I would run a 20 watt panel into a battery without an intervening controller. Any more than 14. 8 volts and there is a risk of losing electrolyte from the battery, and a panel will generate 20 volts on a sunny day.

Land Rover is now back towing.

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There's some PV output threshold that's based on a percentage of your battery capacity that it's OK to connect directly to your battery. I can't remember the details but 20W sticks in my head for some reason. Anybody know for definite?

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