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Leisure battery advice please


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I'm about to replace my leisure battery and would welcome advice from an expert on how to be kind to it.

Our usage is slightly unusual. We look after Gîtes here in usually sunny south-west France so our summer usage is limited - maybe a few days away twice a season with the van sitting in an open-fronted barn the rest of the time. The barn's north-facing, we have solar and there's daylight but no direct sun.

Late November /early December, still in the barn but less daylight and I leave our diesel powered hot water on at 40° if the temperature is forecast below about 5°

We then spend mid-December to mid-March in the Algarve and Southern Spain, 90% of the time on Aires and sites with EHU.


Summer and Autumn/Spring ? Leave main swith 'on'? Leave EHU connected in the barn, if so programme the timer?

Winter in the sun? Always hook up the EHU?

Any expert advice would be most welcome.


As a 'PS', any recommendations for the change over? I'd thought to cover the solar panel with a blanket and switch the internal control panel off to minimise any current at the time. Again, advice most welcome.


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This 2016 forum discussion related to changing a starter battery of a motorhome fitted with a solar-panel system




but - with regard to the leisure battery - Allan Evans said


If you need to isolate the habitation battery, remove the 50A and 2A fuses near the habitation battery.


though that advice might be most appropriate to motorhomes with Schaudt equipment.


The fuse in the leisure-battery cabling of my Rapido is in holder immediately above the battery and very acccessible, so isolating the battery presents no difficulty. I’ve no idea whether Challenger have done the same with your motorhome.

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Cover the panel with a blanket or carpet is sufficient (or do it after dark). Pulling a fuse is easier, so why not do both? :D


Belt and braces innit.


PS On my last van I rigged up the solar wiring so that I could add a freestanding solar panel to the roof mounted one on cloudy days. The freestanding one had a 12 volt plug fitted and was connected to a junction box in an external locker. You could do something similar to maintain your batteries when the van is not being used in Summer. Fix it to the sunny side of your Barn.

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