You are logged in as a guest. 
  Home Forums Home  Search our Forums Search our Forums    Log in to the Forums Log in to the Forums  register Register on the Forums  

 Forums ->  Caravans -> Towing Chat
Jump to page : First 1 Last
Format:  Go
continual battery charging
AuthorMessage
userembee
Posted: 1 December 2008 7:55 PM
Subject: continual battery charging
 
Having a look around

Posts: 31
25


I would appreciate suggestions regarding battery charging whilst I have the caravan parked at home.

Is it acceptable to keep the battery on charge permanently or should I top-up charge - say once a month for a day or two?

Mike
userOcsid
Posted: 1 December 2008 8:29 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
A posting machine

Posts: 387
100100100252525
Location: Hampshire


I feel it depends on how sophisticated the van's charger is; if its like my van's Schaudt Electroblock multi stage charger leaving it on is the ideal.
If its not a multi stage unit then its likely to stabilise at 13.8 volts and this will cause a slow loss of electrolyte , so I would not leave it on.
The third alternative is to fit a portable high quality multi stage charger such as the C-TEK 3600, leaving this on with the existing unit either not powered or the battery fuse removed would keep your battery in optimum condition. That charger is a very useful bit of kit to own.

Edited by Ocsid 2008-12-01 8:30 PM
userembee
Posted: 2 December 2008 2:54 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
Having a look around

Posts: 31
25


Many thanks for your advice Ocsid. I only have the basic ECM and ESM4 trip set up in my 3 year old Ace - so nothing as grand as your van.

Have sourced the C-TEK 3600 and now require help regarding installing it in the van.

I understand one has to be careful and not let any battery gas into the van and the charger seems only to be used indoors. I have problems getting at the battery after I have used the motormover to slot the van beside the house so removing the battery is some thing I would not be able to do due to the lack of space.

Any suggestions please?

Mike
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 2 December 2008 6:59 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
50005000500050001000500100100


Mike,

As long as a caravan battery is in good condition, is fully charged to begin with and is not powering anything, then its charge-state should not diminish rapidly. If you charge your battery once per month for 12 hours using the caravan's on-board charger, that should be plenty adequate to maintain its charge while your caravan is parked at home.

The CTEK charger is aimed more at continuously charging a vehicle's 'starter battery' safely than a caravan's 'leisure battery', but the following link suggests that it should be very straightforward to install, just needing a connection (permanent or temporary) to the battery's terminals and a 230V power supply. Battery gassing, apparently, is not considered a potential problem.

http://www.calamander.co.uk/batteryconditioners/ctek3600.htm
userembee
Posted: 2 December 2008 7:45 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
Having a look around

Posts: 31
25


Many thanks Derek - looked at the site and see the extension lead.

Should be simple enough to fed back into the van from the battery box.

I take your point regarding "starter" as apposed to "leisure" battery and you have answered my points very clearly - I'll go for the 12 hours per month firstly and see how I get on, saves me £50 as well - thanks again.

Mike
userOcsid
Posted: 2 December 2008 8:36 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
A posting machine

Posts: 387
100100100252525
Location: Hampshire


embee - 2008-12-02 7:45 PM

Many thanks Derek - looked at the site and see the extension lead.

Should be simple enough to fed back into the van from the battery box.

I take your point regarding "starter" as apposed to "leisure" battery and you have answered my points very clearly - I'll go for the 12 hours per month firstly and see how I get on, saves me £50 as well - thanks again.

Mike


The C-TECK chargers are suitable for leisure batteries. Their own site quotes that they are for use on caravans and specifically for exactly what you need it for.
http://www.ctek-chargers.co.uk/?gclid=COPZo43hopcCFQFqxwodh1p6dA.
However the route you are electing to go down will be nearly as good.
I made up an adaptor to connect a C-TECK via the cigarette lighter DC socket on one of my cars, you could do something similar in the van if the battery is not accessible.
John
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 3 December 2008 9:32 AM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
50005000500050001000500100100


My comment on the CTEK charger really related to its applicability rather than its suitability.

If one owns a classic car or sports motorcycle that spends most of its time under a protective sheet in one's garage and is only driven/ridden when the road is dry and the sun is shining, then the CTEK charger should prove particularly useful. Such vehicles will not have an on-board battery charger as standard, so the CTEK charger can be left connected and running continuously and, when the weather is fine, one can be sure (in principle at least) that the car's/bike's starter-battery is well charged.

But most caravans do have standard on-board battery chargers and these are perfectly capable of maintaining the charge-state of a caravan's leisure-battery if employed on an occasional basis while the vehicle is standing idle.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of having an unsupervised battery charger continuously active in a caravan or motorhome. Bitter experience has led me to distrust machines on the basis that, given the least opportunity, the beggars will savage you (the Terminator Syndrome). I much prefer to check the charge-state of a battery regularly and charge it only if it needs it. This philosophy minimises the likelihood of a problem occurring due to the battery or charger developing a fault when the charging process is not being monitored. Also, if the battery does spontaneously become faulty between charges, I'll be aware this has happened when I next check it.

I fully accept that 'clever' chargers like the CTEK model (and the CBE-made charger in my Hobby motorhome) are designed to do no harm if used continuously, but I see no reason to test that premise when I don't have to. Plainly, if a vehicle's battery is running electrical equipment continuously (eg. an alarm system), then continuous charging is probably the best option: otherwise I'd rather do it only when necessary. Seems to work for me, as the original leisure and starter batteries in my last motorhome were still going strong at 8 years of age when I sold the vehicle.


Some throw-away general caravan-related observations...

Batteries are like horses - they benefit from a bit of TLC and, seriously maltreated, they'll die. If a battery's electrolyte-level can be checked, then check it regularly and top it up if it's low. Make sure that the connections at the battery terminals are clean and tight. Don't let your battery discharge to the point where the caravan lights go dim: the battery won't appreciate it and, if you do it habitually, you'll shorten its life dramatically.

Add to your Xmas-present list an inexpensive digital multi-meter that will allow you to confirm a battery's charge-state and what a battery charger is doing, check fuses etc. Also invest in a copy of John Wickersham's "The Caravan Manual" (Haynes Publishing) that contains lots of excellent advice for novices and old-stagers.
userembee
Posted: 3 December 2008 6:34 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
Having a look around

Posts: 31
25


Thanks Derek - guess what is on my Christmas present list - a digital multi meter !!
userPaul-
Posted: 3 December 2008 8:25 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 


Lives on the forums

Posts: 549
50025
Location: Yorkshire


I leave my caravan attached to the mains & haven’t had a battery problem; I do occasionally put the spare battery on the caravan & put the 110 battery on charge in the shed on a proper charger

It seems to be ok as the 110 battery is nearly 9 years old, but just like the car battery, check the levels every few months

It will do the battery more harm if you let it go flat, than leaving it on charge

er……..to be on the safe side check your caravan charger, it should charge about 13.8 volts

Paul
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 4 December 2008 7:21 AM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
50005000500050001000500100100


Something to get your mental teeth into if Xmas TV becomes unbearable.

http://www.mpoweruk.com/chargers.htm
userembee
Posted: 4 December 2008 2:37 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
Having a look around

Posts: 31
25


Whow - just down loaded the info !!! Printer ran out of paper after 12 pages.

Very interesting material.

Never thought there could be so much detail regarding the humble battery.

Regards - Mike
userembee
Posted: 4 December 2008 4:05 PM
Subject: RE: continual battery charging
 
Having a look around

Posts: 31
25


Hi guys,

Just had this email from from Swift Customer Services. Any one with the same concerns continual charging as I have had, will find it interesting.


"It is fine to leave the battery on all of the time. Modern day batteries
are manufactured to accommodate this".

Thanks again to every for sending me very interesting reply's and cross reverences to get my teeth into.

Mike
Jump to page : First 1 Last
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread
Jump to forum :


(Delete all cookies set by this site)(Return to Homepage)

Any problems? Contact the administrator