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2nd leisure battery for Chausson Flash 04


whatsupdoc

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Hi - we've just taken delivery of our Chausson Flash 04 - and very nice it is too!

 

I'd like to add a 2nd leisure battery. The one fitted is rated 95Ah, but has no distinguishing features except that is open lead acid and vented outside the vehicle. It's a Ford, so sited under the passenger seat, dimensions 35 x 18 x 18 (L x W X H) and there’s space for another of the same size.

 

I understand that the second battery needs to be similarity rated – but does it also have to be open lead acid? Would a sealed lead acid be ok?

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for a low height battery?

 

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Yes i have fitted a second battery to my Flash 04 it is quite snug under the passenger seat but easily done. you will have to get rid of the battery strap that holds the existing battery in place and move the battery to the rear of the under-seat space. then you may have to un-tape the wiring harness to spit the heavy duty cables to enable one to enter through the hole on the rear right hand side of the pedestal to clear the battery , making sure it wont chafe. Then the second battery will fit at the front of the space and you can fit wooden blocks into the spaces in between and around to stop the battery's moving around. Then a strap and plastic covers need to be fabricated to hold the battery's down and ensure the terminals are covered to insulate them from the seat frame. Also i fitted a 50 amp fuse in each positive feed near to the positive terminal on each battery as no fuse was fitted originally and also ventilated them outside as no vent tubes were fitted. I purchased my second battery from ebay i think it was this one do check the dimensions as i purchased mine 18 months ago

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/90-AH-LOW-HEIGHT-12V-QUALITY-LEISURE-BATTERY-4YR-GTEE-/170915537179?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_BoatEquipment_Accessories_SM&hash=item27cb5c211b

Hope this helps

Dave

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Dr Dave - 2013-03-19 9:10 PM

 

Yes i have fitted a second battery to my Flash 04 it is quite snug under the passenger seat but easily done. you will have to get rid of the battery strap that holds the existing battery in place and move the battery to the rear of the under-seat space. then you may have to un-tape the wiring harness to spit the heavy duty cables to enable one to enter through the hole on the rear right hand side of the pedestal to clear the battery , making sure it wont chafe. Then the second battery will fit at the front of the space and you can fit wooden blocks into the spaces in between and around to stop the battery's moving around. Then a strap and plastic covers need to be fabricated to hold the battery's down and ensure the terminals are covered to insulate them from the seat frame. Also i fitted a 50 amp fuse in each positive feed near to the positive terminal on each battery as no fuse was fitted originally and also ventilated them outside as no vent tubes were fitted. I purchased my second battery from ebay i think it was this one do check the dimensions as i purchased mine 18 months ago

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/90-AH-LOW-HEIGHT-12V-QUALITY-LEISURE-BATTERY-4YR-GTEE-/170915537179?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_BoatEquipment_Accessories_SM&hash=item27cb5c211b

Hope this helps

Dave

 

Thanks Dave - that all makes perfect sense and, as you say, reasonably straightforward.

 

But could you give me a pointer on how to do the fuses (I'm a complete novice in all of this ...)

 

 

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whatsupdoc - 2013-03-19 6:16 PM

 

Hi - we've just taken delivery of our Chausson Flash 04 - and very nice it is too!

 

I'd like to add a 2nd leisure battery. The one fitted is rated 95Ah, but has no distinguishing features except that is open lead acid and vented outside the vehicle. It's a Ford, so sited under the passenger seat, dimensions 35 x 18 x 18 (L x W X H) and there’s space for another of the same size.

 

I understand that the second battery needs to be similarity rated – but does it also have to be open lead acid? Would a sealed lead acid be ok?

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for a low height battery?

 

The largest battery that SHOULD go under the passenger seat of a Transit Mk6/Mk7-based motorhome is (roughly) 354mm(L) x 175mm(W) x 190mm(H) and it SHOULD be possible to shoehorn in two of these if the space beneath the seat is completely empty to begin with. In my Ford-based Hobby's case the under-passenger-seat leisure battery is that size, but I can't install a 2nd battery there because the battery-charger and 12V distribution/fuse-box occupy the remaining space.

 

As Dave says, you will need to adapt the existing fixings to secure a pair of batteries. If you want to closely match the dimensions of your current battery (which would be a logical thing to do), a few batteries are advertised on-line. For example:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VW-CAMPERVAN-100AH-LEISURE-BATTERY-175MM-OVERALL-HEIGHT-UNDER-SEAT-FIXING-/170843872943

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/XV110MF-Powerline-Leisure-Battery-P8959.html

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/Lucas-LL25MF-Leisure-Battery-P7828.html

 

In terms of choice, the limiting factor is the 175mm height. There are plenty of leisure-type batteries available that have a 175mm width, a nominal length of 350mm and a height of 190mm, but there don't seem to be many 350mm(L) x 175mm(W) with a height of 175mm.

 

There should be no problem parallel-connecting a completely sealed lead-acid battery to your present vented battery (though many batteries that are advertised as 'maintenance free' will - and should - accept a vent-tube). 'Gel' and 'wet' batteries should not be mixed, but the cost of a gel battery would rapidly deter you from purchasing one!

 

Whatever battery you decide on, make sure the terminal position suits your requirements. The norm (as shown on the above links to the two Tayna-marketed batteries) is for the '-' terminal to be on the front-left of the top of the battery when you look at the front of the battery, but some batteries have the "-" terminal on the front-right.

 

Some diagrams for installing fuses for a pair of batteries are here:

 

http://www.motts.org/second%20leisiure%20battery.htm

 

(Received wisdom is that it is inadvisable to connect a 'new' battery to an 'old' one. In this respect, 'old' means more than 1 year old.)

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Is it possible to post a photo of your battrey. The majority of 95 AH rated open leisure batteries I know off are budget quality ones so the above suggested batteries would be a good match. However it may not be and if a premium quality I would match with similar. A photo may be very helpful in identifying it. The majority of budget batteries are really starter batteries with deep discharge capabilities and do not have the cycle life or performance of a semi traction leisure battery.
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Looking back through whatsupdoc's earlier postings, apparently the Chausson Flash 04 was purchased new only a few months ago, so battery age should not be an issue.

 

I wouldn't expect Chausson to fit a really cheap 'bargain basement' battery, but you never know!!

 

Presumably, if the battery is as fitted by Chausson, it will have been sourced in France. There seems to be little doubt from on-line information that Chausson fits a 95Ah battery as standard., but I can't find anything to indicate its make.

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Hi Derek, I would not expect them to fit a really cheap one either, hence why I asked for a photo if possible. If it is a good one then I would only pair up with something like a Banner, Bosch, Varta or Moura, certainly a European supplied one and not an asian import. Nothing fundamentaly wrong with the budget batteries but they are mostly marine type batteries for dual starting and deep discharge.

Great as what I call a buffer for coffee stops, or when you mainly use hook up so are never really being discharged much. However as whatsupdoc is looking tio doubnle up capcity then I assume its because they will be used more than many are.

Whats more important than matching capacities is to match the depth of discharge and life cycle characteristics so they age together. Going one or two capacity size differences is fine.

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Many thanks to everyone for taking the trouble to help.

 

I'm not sure posting a picture would help, because it's basically all black (no labels - even underneath). "EIBC" is (lightly) printed on the top, but that's it.

 

The existing battery is new, and I agree (hope!) that Chausson wouldn't fit a cheapo ... but you never know. I asked Lowdhams (where we bought it) if they could find out the make, but nothing as yet.

 

There's nothing under the seat but the existing battery, so there's definitely space for a second - and I think I'll get a reasonably decent one ...

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One question. Why are you looking for a non-vented battery when the one it will sit beside is already of vented type?

 

Flooded, vented, batteries require their electrolyte levels checking periodically, so you will have to access the original for this from time to time. So, is this access reasonably straightforward for the one, but not the other?

 

My experience of swivel seats on a Transit is that it is necessary to remove the seat for battery maintenance. If so, why not just use a vented battery and kill the two birds together? Re the vent, I have seen (though I don't know if it is good practise), paired vents from paired batteries, where the two vents connect to a T piece, with only a single tube then continuing to the outside.

 

Might considering another vented battery make the range of suitable candidates that bit broader?

 

I assume the starter battery is in any case flooded and vented and, if that, too, is under a front seat (ours is!), necessitating its removal for battery access, you'll have to bite the same bullet for this one as well. Under those circumstances, I think you'll find the garage won't check its electrolyte level within a standard service, because they won't take the seat off.

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Browsing through on-line comments indicates that Chausson has, in the past, used "Vechline" batteries with a nominal Ah of 95. These apparently come in "Full Start" or "Full Energy" variants, with the former being 'dual purpose' starter/leisure batteries and the latter being 'slow discharge' types intended primarly for leisure-battery duties. On one French motorhome forum, a Chausson owned claimed that Chausson had fitted his vehicle with two Vechline batteries - a "Full Start" as the leisure-battery and a "Full Energy" as the starter-battery!

 

Mel B used to own a Chausson Flash 04 and the following 2010 thread refers to the vehicle's leisure-battery and includes photos:

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Stinky-battery-/19805/

 

What may be significant where whatsupdoc is concerned are the battery dimensions Mel quotes - 354mm x 175mm x 190 mm. As I said earlier, these are the dimensions of my Hobby's leisure-battery and this battery size is significantly more commonplace than a 354mm(L) x 175mm(W) x 175mm(H) battery.

 

I'm asking myself whether the battery in whatsupdoc's Flash 04 is actually 175mm high or 190mm. Even if a motorhome's cab-seat has a swivel mechanism, it should be not too hard to measure an under-seat battery's length and width reasonably accurately. But it may be less simple to measure the battery's height. Whatsupdoc's 35 x 18 x 18 battery won't be 180mm high, so it could be 175mm or 190mm. An accurate remeasurement of the height would be wise.

 

If whatsupdoc's battery is indeed 175mm high and he wants another battery with the same dimensions, there's not much choice. If the battery is actually 190mm high and he wants another battery with the same dimensions, there's a good deal of choice. Even if the present battery is 175mm high, that won't prevent a 190mm-high battery being added as long as there's room for it in the under-seat space. For example:

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/Banner-Energy-Bull-Leisure-Battery-95751-P8270.html

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/LFD90-Varta-Professional-DC-Leisure-Battery-930090080-P3638.html

 

http://www.justcarbatteries.co.uk/index.php/leisure-batteries/moura-leisure-batteries/moura-mib017i-intelligent-battery.html

 

Although whatsupdoc's battery apparently has no immediately obvious distinguishing features, it's probable there will be labelling-data on one of its sides to indicate the brand, name, capacity, etc.

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Brian Kirby - 2013-03-20 2:21 PM

 

One question. Why are you looking for a non-vented battery when the one it will sit beside is already of vented type?

 

Flooded, vented, batteries require their electrolyte levels checking periodically, so you will have to access the original for this from time to time. So, is this access reasonably straightforward for the one, but not the other?

 

My experience of swivel seats on a Transit is that it is necessary to remove the seat for battery maintenance. If so, why not just use a vented battery and kill the two birds together? Re the vent, I have seen (though I don't know if it is good practise), paired vents from paired batteries, where the two vents connect to a T piece, with only a single tube then continuing to the outside.

 

Might considering another vented battery make the range of suitable candidates that bit broader?

 

I assume the starter battery is in any case flooded and vented and, if that, too, is under a front seat (ours is!), necessitating its removal for battery access, you'll have to bite the same bullet for this one as well. Under those circumstances, I think you'll find the garage won't check its electrolyte level within a standard service, because they won't take the seat off.

 

Hi Brian - I'm not specifically looking for a non-vented battery, in fact I was actually looking for a vented battery (to match the one already there) and came across non-vented and wondered if that would be ok.

 

I take your point about seat removal - a necessary pain - and I will have to remove the driver's seat to see what lies beneath.

 

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Derek Uzzell - 2013-03-20 2:33 PM

 

Browsing through on-line comments indicates that Chausson has, in the past, used "Vechline" batteries with a nominal Ah of 95. These apparently come in "Full Start" or "Full Energy" variants, with the former being 'dual purpose' starter/leisure batteries and the latter being 'slow discharge' types intended primarly for leisure-battery duties. On one French motorhome forum, a Chausson owned claimed that Chausson had fitted his vehicle with two Vechline batteries - a "Full Start" as the leisure-battery and a "Full Energy" as the starter-battery!

 

Mel B used to own a Chausson Flash 04 and the following 2010 thread refers to the vehicle's leisure-battery and includes photos:

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Stinky-battery-/19805/

 

What may be significant where whatsupdoc is concerned are the battery dimensions Mel quotes - 354mm x 175mm x 190 mm. As I said earlier, these are the dimensions of my Hobby's leisure-battery and this battery size is significantly more commonplace than a 354mm(L) x 175mm(W) x 175mm(H) battery.

 

I'm asking myself whether the battery in whatsupdoc's Flash 04 is actually 175mm high or 190mm. Even if a motorhome's cab-seat has a swivel mechanism, it should be not too hard to measure an under-seat battery's length and width reasonably accurately. But it may be less simple to measure the battery's height. Whatsupdoc's 35 x 18 x 18 battery won't be 180mm high, so it could be 175mm or 190mm. An accurate remeasurement of the height would be wise.

 

If whatsupdoc's battery is indeed 175mm high and he wants another battery with the same dimensions, there's not much choice. If the battery is actually 190mm high and he wants another battery with the same dimensions, there's a good deal of choice. Even if the present battery is 175mm high, that won't prevent a 190mm-high battery being added as long as there's room for it in the under-seat space. For example:

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/Banner-Energy-Bull-Leisure-Battery-95751-P8270.html

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/LFD90-Varta-Professional-DC-Leisure-Battery-930090080-P3638.html

 

http://www.justcarbatteries.co.uk/index.php/leisure-batteries/moura-leisure-batteries/moura-mib017i-intelligent-battery.html

 

Although whatsupdoc's battery apparently has no immediately obvious distinguishing features, it's probable there will be labelling-data on one of its sides to indicate the brand, name, capacity, etc.

 

Hi Derek - I'll have another look at it in the morning. I did take the battery out, but measured it only after I'd put it back, so it might be 190mm high (although I doubt it), but in any case there did seem to be sufficient leeway for a slightly taller battery so a 190 one would probably fit - but I need to be sure before ordering! I'll take it out again before measuring.

 

I'm amazed there's no label on it - certainly nothing like the one Mel B published in the above thread, although it does look like the one with handles in the link he provides - albeit black. I'll take some photos in the morning and put them up.

 

Maybe I'll remove the driver's seat and have a look under there (as Brian said I really need to check it anyway to see what type it is in respect of maintenance). It may be that the vehicle battery does have a label, and it then might be safe to assume they are both the same make.

 

Bit worrying about the Chausson Vechline mix-up 'though ...

 

 

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whatsupdoc - 2013-03-20 5:54 PM

 

Bit worrying about the Chausson Vechline mix-up 'though ...

 

 

I was wrong about this being on a French forum - it's actually a 2011 thread on the MotorHomeFacts forum and the original poster apparently lived in Bordeaux.

 

http://www.motorhomefacts.com/forum-printtopic-1-111583-0-0-asc-viewresult-1.html

 

Bit strange, as I'm very dubious that Ford would have factory-fitted a Vechline battery as the starter-battery, let alone fitting a 'slow discharge' variant. Wouldn't greatly surprise me though if Chausson (or the motorhome dealer) had been beggaring about with the batteries.

 

Vechline batteries are available in black. There's a 110Ah example here:

 

http://www.cosyclassics.ie/Vechline-110AH-Leisure-Battery_AWLYW.aspx

 

Mel B is female incidentally (Melanie Bucknell).

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whatsupdoc - 2013-03-20 6:03 PM

 

I've just read Dr Dave's initial posting again, and the battery he fitted to his Flash 04 was indeed 190mm high - so that certainly widens the choice!

 

I've got two Gel batteries under the passenger seat (complete with swivel) of my Mk7 Transit.

 

I'm certainly not going to try and measure them (it's a tight fit), but from checking what they are, I think they are specified as 353Lx175Wx190H.

 

 

 

 

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Robinhood - 2013-03-20 6:57 PM

 

whatsupdoc - 2013-03-20 6:03 PM

 

I've just read Dr Dave's initial posting again, and the battery he fitted to his Flash 04 was indeed 190mm high - so that certainly widens the choice!

 

I've got two Gel batteries under the passenger seat (complete with swivel) of my Mk7 Transit.

 

I'm certainly not going to try and measure them (it's a tight fit), but from checking what they are, I think they are specified as 353Lx175Wx190H.

 

Where a gel battery is fitted to a motorhome (usually a German-made motorhome) as part of its standard specification, it will normally be Exide-branded. This is true for Hobby motorhomes (which we both own) and the battery Hobby has historically fitted is this one

 

http://www.tayna.co.uk/ES900-Exide-G80-Marine-and-Multifit-Gel-Leisure-Battery-P7693.html

 

The dimensions are as you've stated and, as I needed to replace my Hobby's Exide gel battery last year, I can confirm that they are correct.

 

I suspect there may be various Ford 'hold-down' fixings for under-seat batteries. When I replaced the Exide battery, the hold-down was clearly appropriate for a battery 175mm wide and 190mm high and I didn't think the hold-down had been fabricated by Hobby.

 

The Ford factory-fitted starter-battery, under the Hobby's driver's seat, is 315mm(L) x 175mm(W) x 175mm(H) and the metal hold-down (undoubtedly a Ford part) is sized to fit those battery dimensions. It's not practicable to replace this battery with a longer one, as the Ford-installed cabling prevents this. In fact, a 278mm(L) size seems to be more common for Mk 6 Transits.

 

The significant thing perhaps is that one of the Hobby's hold-downs is sized for a battery height of 175mm and the other for a height of 190mm, and this might suggest why Chausson might have chosen a 175mm(H) leisure-battery for whatsupdoc's Flash 04, matching the battery-height to the available hold-down rather than vice versa.

 

Ford used to factory-fit "Motorcraft"-branded starter batteries (which is what my Hobby had) but I'm not sure that's still the case. These are not 'leisure batteries', so there's no reason to expect a Transit-based motorhome's leisure-battery to be the same make as Ford chooses to fit as the starter-battery. In fact, there's every reason to think the leisure-battery fitted by the motohome manufacturer will be a different make to that of the starter-battery. That's why the MHF comment about a Chausson having Vechline starter and leisure batteries was peculiar.

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whatsupdoc - 2013-03-21 8:38 AM

 

I have some pics of the battery - if someone could tell me how to incluse them ... thanks!

 

Posting photos to this forum can be a pain, as there's a 100kb limit to the file-size of the photo. I've copied below my earlier advice.

 

ATTACHING PHOTOS TO A POSTING

 

When you post a reply or start a new thread, below the box into which you will type your text you'll see four 'buttons'. The lowest button has "Attach a file after posting" alongside it. If you plan to attach a photo (or photos), you should tick that button. When you click "SUBMIT" a window will appear that allows you to browse through your computer files and select the photo(s) you want.

 

Note that the file-size of a photo MUST NOT exceed 100kb.

 

If your photo's original file-size is larger than 100kb, you'll need to reduce that size to below 100kb otherwise the photo will not transfer. (Plenty of ways to do this - for example Windows Picture Manager.)

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Derek Uzzell - 2013-03-21 8:45 AM

 

whatsupdoc - 2013-03-21 8:38 AM

 

I have some pics of the battery - if someone could tell me how to incluse them ... thanks!

 

Posting photos to this forum can be a pain, as there's a 100kb limit to the file-size of the photo. I've copied below my earlier advice.

 

ATTACHING PHOTOS TO A POSTING

 

When you post a reply or start a new thread, below the box into which you will type your text you'll see four 'buttons'. The lowest button has "Attach a file after posting" alongside it. If you plan to attach a photo (or photos), you should tick that button. When you click "SUBMIT" a window will appear that allows you to browse through your computer files and select the photo(s) you want.

 

Note that the file-size of a photo MUST NOT exceed 100kb.

 

If your photo's original file-size is larger than 100kb, you'll need to reduce that size to below 100kb otherwise the photo will not transfer. (Plenty of ways to do this - for example Windows Picture Manager.)

 

Thanks Derek - pics below (hopefully ...)

1183730897_battery1.thumb.jpg.45fc1361b20f000a0878c0c922858f8e.jpg

2134329767_battery2.thumb.jpg.670554be9c2adfd5cba50648cebc8903.jpg

215659708_battery3.thumb.jpg.f527e6e1e617ca93f2fc5300b3e007c3.jpg

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Your photos appear tp be of a common-or-garden 'maintainable' battery (ie. the caps to the cells can be unscrewed to check and, if necessary, top-up the battery's electrolyte) and it looks like there was a large label on the front of the battery that presumably identied its make/type/capacity.

 

This 2012 French forum thread discusses Chausson leisure-batteries

 

http://www.aidecampingcar.com/forumO/viewtopic.php?t=55568

 

with complaints being made that the 'leisure-batteries' fitted were, in fact, 'starter batteries'. One poster claims that (in France at least) Chausson motorhomes are delivered to Chausson dealerships without a leisure-battery and the dealer installs an appropriate (or not!) battery from his own stock. I've no idea of the truth of this or, even if true for France. whether there might be a similar practice in the UK.

 

I don't know if Brambles can identify your battery based on your photos, but I certainly cannot. It might be possible to guess if it's a slow-discharge battery or a starter-battery on a weight-to-size basis, but not with any real certainty (Have you now confirmed its height as 175mm or 190mm?)

 

What I'd want to see on a new motorhome is a leisure-battery that's identifiable as to its make, type and capacity. The Vechline battery in Mel B's Chausson Flash 04 was labelled "Full Start" and 92Ah, which identifies it as a dual-purpose starter/leisure type and (as it happens) also confirms its dimensions and weight (354mm(L) x 175mm(W) x 190mm(H) - Weight=23.5 kg)

 

I'd also like some indication on the battery of when it was manufactured. Battery age is trickier to confirm nowadays than in the past but, if there's a bar-code label on it, or a code sequence stamped into its casing, it should be practicable to track down the manufacturing-date if it's suspected that the battery is elderly.

 

You said earlier that the battery was new, but how do you know this? With nothing visually obvious to identify the battery's manufacturer, I'm not sure how one can be certain how old the thing is.

 

You've mentioned that "EIBC' is on the battery's top surface and this may somehow link to it:

 

http://www.mieibc.org/

 

As Brambles advised earlier in this thread regarding linking multiple batteries, "...What's more important than matching capacities is to match the depth of discharge and life cycle characteristics so they age together..." Unless it can be ascertained what such characteristics are for your battery, it will be pot-luck as to whether a 2nd battery would match your present one.

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Derek Uzzell - 2013-03-21 2:43 PM

 

You said earlier that the battery was new, but how do you know this? With nothing visually obvious to identify the battery's manufacturer, I'm not sure how one can be certain how old the thing is.

 

 

.....I have to say that from the photos alone, I wouldn't have said that was a new battery. My doubts would be further reinforced by the fact that it has no label(s) giving either the identity or the initial charge date.

 

It's probably not what you want to hear, and you are better placed to judge in the flesh (so to speak).

 

It's not at all uncommon for dealers who allow unfettered "showroom" access into their 'vans to find that the leisure battery in particular is too flat to be regenerated when the time comes to ship it to a customer

 

"Tyre kickers" are also inveterate switch pushers, and many's the stock van I've looked at that has had little left in the leisure battery.

 

As a result, 'vans are shipped with batteries cannibalised at the last minute from other vehicles (quite often trade-ins) or whatever (new or second-hand) spare which is left around in the stores, and which fits.

 

If that has happened in this case, then it is not going to be the easiest of things to prove, and the inherent (or remaining) capability of the existing battery is going to be difficult to assess if you wish to immediately double-up. I must admit that, unless I could find some convincing background for the existing battery, I would be inclined either to run from 1 for the time being, and test its real-life capability, or replace with two new identical batteries to fit the available space.

 

The battery pictured is patently intended to have plastic covers which insert into the holes against each of the terminals (to provide a level of insulation above them). They may well have been removed in order to extract the battery, but if not, then their absence would further raise my level of doubt.

 

 

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Robinhood - 2013-03-21 3:36 PM

 

The battery pictured is patently intended to have plastic covers which insert into the holes against each of the terminals (to provide a level of insulation above them). They may well have been removed in order to extract the battery, but if not, then their absence would further raise my level of doubt.

 

 

I think you'll find that the lack of covers for the battery terminals is a red herring.

 

As a precautionary measure, earlier this week I replaced my 2005 Hobby's original Motorcraft starter-battery with a Varta Silver Dynamic F18 as shown below:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Varta-Silver-Dynamic-110-Battery/dp/B005XVUNCQ

 

As will be apparent, this battery has terminal covers and they attach to the battery using holes in the top surface as evident on whatsupdoc's leisure-battery. However, the covers are there to protect the terminals during transit/storage and are not designed to be refitted once the battery has been installed in the vehicle.

 

You'll note that the Varta covers come right down to the battery's top face and make no allowance for battery connection cabling. There should indeed be a cover for the live (+) terminal to prevent accidental shorting, but this should be a 'proper' cover, not the lightweight bits of thin plastic the Varta battery comes with.

 

In fact there is such a cover fitted to the "+" connector on my Transit. It's a chunky red sturdy thing with a top that hinges up and, because it's quite bulky, it would be impracticable (and also unnecessary) to use the relevant Varta cover as well. I have fitted the Varta cover over the earth (-) terminal post-installation purely for tidiness (there was no cover there originally) but I had to cut the Varta cover about to accommodate the connector/cabling. As the Varta protective covers will also fit directly to my old Motorcraft battery, I assume attachment-hole positions are standardised.

 

I too have strong reservations about whatsupdoc's battery being new. and the lack of identification certainly suggests it's a changeling. In this instance I believe it shouldn't be necessary for whatsupdoc to prove the battery is 'wrong'. If his motorhome had been supplied with 3 shiny wheels carrying new Continental tyres, and the 4th wheel was rusty and had a well-worn Nankang tyre on it, it would be plain something was up and there would be no question of needing to prove the 4th wheel was a duffer.

 

If a motorhome dealership were to suggest to me that this unlabelled, dowdy-looking battery was new and fit-for-purpose on the brand new motorhome I'd recently bought, I'd say "OK, humour me by swapping it for another new battery that's properly labelled that I can be sure is suitable for leisure purposes and that I can be confident of linking a 2nd battery to without problems being likely." I wouldn't see that as an unreasonable request.

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Thanks very much for the comments.

 

I am a motorhome novice - and certainly a battery virgin - so I'm not in any position to judge a battery by its looks, but what you both say does make a lot of sense.

 

The positive terminal did indeed have a sturdy red plastic cover - but from Dereks's most recent posting that doesn't seem to be a problem. (The negative terminal had no cover).

 

The lack of label, however, is a different matter - and I am taking it up with Lowdhams. Maybe there's a perfectly reasonable explanation ... not sure what it could be ...

 

I'll wait a while to see what transpires, but maybe the most sensible course of action is what Robinhood suggested and buy two new matching ones.

 

At some stage I'll look under the driver's seat and see what awaits there ...

 

Incidentally the height is definitely 175mm.

 

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Derek Uzzell - 2013-03-21 5:03 PM.................If a motorhome dealership were to suggest to me that this unlabelled, dowdy-looking battery was new and fit-for-purpose on the brand new motorhome I'd recently bought, I'd say "OK, humour me by swapping it for another new battery that's properly labelled that I can be sure is suitable for leisure purposes and that I can be confident of linking a 2nd battery to without problems being likely." I wouldn't see that as an unreasonable request.

In a similar vein, the battery casing appears dirty and somewhat scratched, and unless I'm reading too much into the images, there appears to be water marking on the top, above where the ghost of the label shows, and ditto in the same place on the other side.

 

So, FWIW, I agree that this doesn't look new. Might be worth asking Lowdhams whether they fit the leisure batteries themselves, or whether the Chaussons are delivered with leisure batteries already fitted and, in either event, what brand is used. As the van is new, you are entitled to expect it to come with a new leisure battery. If you find out what they fit, I suggest you get the full details and come back on here and post them up, and I'm sure someone will be able to advise you whether it is adequate to the task. If they concede that it is not as it should be, unless they are offering a good product, I think I'd be a bit inclined to ask for a refund of the value of whatever they would fit, and then get a pair for myself from someone like Tayna.

 

In the meantime, it may be worth taking the precise dimensions of that battery and playing around a bit on Tayna's excellent website. You may have noticed that it is possible to search batteries by dimensions, which will then throw up all suitable candidates. When you get the candidates look at weight (which should emerge if you "drill down" into the battery details) and price.

 

I seem to remember Brambles once saying the weight is the rough guide to quality: the heavier the better. I would also advise caution regarding quoted Ah until he has had a chance to advise, as there seems to be a wide difference between what is claimed, and what is actually available, and he knows which is what! Batteries by Varta or Banner are generally held to be of good quality and to quote their capacity reliably, so they could be used as a rough yardstick against which to compare the others. I also seem to remember Brambles saying that, for a given size and weight of battery, the capacity will be broadly similar. So, any make that claims significantly greater capacity than a Banner/Varta battery of similar size/weight, is likely to be exaggerating.

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