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Subject Topic: Maintaining a Leisure Battery Help Post Reply Post New Topic
06/8/2012 at 11:52pm
 Location: PRESTON
 Outfit: Bailey Ranger 550 6
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Hi,

New to the Caravan Game, Just purchased a new battery for the Van,Someone has told me to A trickle Charge is better to maintain the Battery,Can anyone point me in the Right direction,Which Charger do I require and how much will it cost approx??

The battery is 110 amps. And I take the Battery off the Van when it is in Storage.

Cheers In advance

Stu



06/8/2012 at 11:55pm
 Location: Lichfield
 Outfit: Coachman Amara 450
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That's why I asked in your other thread regarding the water pump as it could very well be a battery problem.


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06/8/2012 at 11:59pm
 Location: PRESTON
 Outfit: Bailey Ranger 550 6
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Hi Tango 55,

The battery was fully charged when i fitted it to the Van,Would the Pump not run Off the EHU??

Cheers

Stu



07/8/2012 at 12:01am
 Location: Lichfield
 Outfit: Coachman Amara 450
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No, the pump is a 12 volt power unit so it operates from the leisure battery.


07/8/2012 at 12:29am
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You should have a charger in ur van.You may have a switch to turn it on or like mine it turns on when connected to the Ehu.You dont need a trickle charger just now or smart charger their called till the winter.You take the battery out the van home with you and attach it.It will keep the battery fully chargered over the winter.Lidle now and again do them for around £12 rather than £34 ish in a car accessory shop.

-------------
Animals have feelings..

JEFF................


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07/8/2012 at 8:00am
 Location: Hampshire
 Outfit: Hymer Nova S
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Trickle charging is not ideal for optimising your batteries charge capacity or its longevity.

With few exceptions most inbuilt chargers dont get the battery to high enough voltage to fully charge it; and trickle chargers must limit the voltage to a low level to avoid breaking the water in the acid solution to gas.

What is ideal is a so called "smart" charger; these charge in phases that optimise the various requirements the battery needs, including a pulsing frequency high voltage stage that ensures peak charge capacity.

Like many things there are various quality and level of sophistication "smart" chargers on the market, one of the better of the moderately priced range is from CTEK. From their extensive range the CTEK CTE-MXS5.0 5A 12V Car Battery Charger is one well suited for our needs.

As mentioned in the above reply both the Lidle and Adli chains do their own version of a rather basic "Smart" charger that represents exceptional value if you are on a budget. Certainly very much better than using a trickle charger.


08/8/2012 at 5:06pm
 Location: elland west yorks
 Outfit: crown regent
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A SMART CHARGER IS WHAT YOU NEED RING MAKE A GOOD ONE ALSO HALFORDS OWN MAKE ARE NOT BAD, BUT DO NOT  USE A NORMAL CAR CHARGER .IT WILL DESTROY YOUR LEISURE BATTERY

HOPE THIS HELPS A LITTLE

 

 



08/8/2012 at 6:07pm
 Location: Lichfield
 Outfit: Coachman Amara 450
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I bought a 'Maypole' trickle charger when I started caravanning about 7 years ago but I wasn't a member of UKCS at the time so I had no guidance on battery chargers. Anyway, the instructions stated that the product was suitable for trickle charging many types of batteries so I bought one for just over a tenner. Just over 2 years later my 85ah leisure battery that which cost me £65 became defective so I bought an identical replacement which was now £75. Still using the same trickle charger, low and behold, just over another 2 years later another leisure battery replacement. So this time I bought a 110ah leisure battery at £90 with a 2 year guarantee. Just over 2 years later the battery was failing yet again so I paid a visit to my local auto electrician who checked to see if the battery had sulphated. He asked me to go back the next day and to bring my trickle charger with me to see if it was functioning correctly. He said that my battery had sulphated slightly but nothing serious so I just about got away with it this time. He tested my 'Maypole' trickle charger to which he returned within minutes, placed it on the counter and said, "That my friend is a total waste of time, it's pushing out 3,200 MILLIiamps which woukld take around 28 days to charge my battery. So basically after all the years of using this trickle charger and £230 spent on batteries my leisure battery was never fully charged therefore leading to a short life of just 2 years plus. He showed me the charger that I required which was a smart charger made by 'Durite' at a cost of £45. I stood there thinking about the cost to which he said, "Do you really want to spend another 200 quid on batteries?" so I bought the 3.5 amp charger which charges in 4 stages which indicates by a green and red light what stage the process is at. My 'Maypole' charger only had one red light that was constantly lit so I didn't ever know if my battery was fully charged or not. Since having the smart charger I have had no problems whatsoever so to me it's problem solved and a lesson learned. The battery is now on it's third year so being blind to what equipment I really needed I subsequently learned the hard way all because I didn't ask anybody. This forum is priceless regarding tips and advice so take the advice from me and others on this thread and buy the right charger for the job otherwise it could cost you a hell of a lot more in the long run.


08/8/2012 at 11:04pm
 Location: PRESTON
 Outfit: Bailey Ranger 550 6
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Hi Guys Once again thanks for your Input,I am new to all this,And with these forums I am learning something new everyday.

One problem I have encountered When looking for a smart Charger is that the Limits are 7amp-75amp, When my Mattery is 110amp.

Can anyone reccomend a charger for 110 amp??

Thanks again Stu



-------------
SLEEPS FOR WHIMPS!!!!!!!


08/8/2012 at 11:57pm
 Location: Lichfield
 Outfit: Coachman Amara 450
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You don't have to worry about the size of the battery, all you need is a smart charger like I said which is specifically designed to charge leisure batteries whatever it's capacity by it's computerised technology. The batteries are actually measured in 'amp hours' which is what 'ah' stands for. Basically what is meant by this is that an 85ah battery will last 85 hours and a 110ah battery will last 110 hours so the capacity between the two is a difference of 25 hours so the 110ah battery will hold it's power for longer compared to an 85ah battery. Both operate on a 12 volt supply so it doesn't mean that the 110ah battery is more powerful because it isn't, it's exactly the same as the 85ah, it just holds a charge for a longer period. The charge input from a standard charger will feed the same pulse rate continously instead of reducing during the re-charge cycle therefore the greater feed can warp the internal lead plates eventually causing a duff battery. The smart charger restricts the amount of feed rate by it it's computer and registers this on the two built in illuminated lights. Mine is a 3.5 amp smart charger and does the job satisfactorily but what you have to consider is the fact that a trickle charger can supply an insufficient charge and a standard charger can supply an excessive charge therefore the smart charger is manufactured specifically to charge a leisure battery satisfactorily without causing any damage to the internal lead plates or over-heating the acid content that charges the plates.


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09/8/2012 at 12:25am
 Location: Lichfield
 Outfit: Coachman Amara 450
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To explain the different size batteries is a little complex but I was just as confused as you when I first started out until I understood how it all works. To simplify the matter, it is like having two separate water tanks with a drain tap at the bottom, one tank holding 110 gallons and the other holding 85 gallons. When you turn on the taps of both tanks simultaneously, the 85 gallon tank will empty sooner than the 110 gallon tank so when the 85 gallon tank is empty there is still 25 gallons left in the larger tank. I hope this information will simplify and understand better the difference between the battery sizes.


09/8/2012 at 7:13am
 Location: Hampshire
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Quote: Originally posted by STUPOT69 on 08/8/2012

]Can anyone reccomend a charger for 110 amp??





CTEK MXS5.0


09/8/2012 at 1:20pm
 Location: West Yorkshire
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Stu
Any charger that gets the battery up to 12.7 Volts (after a rest from charging) is the one to maintain your new battery. Cheap, expensive, trickle, boost, barely matters. A bonus is a charger that has 3 genuine stages - bulk, absorbtion and float - to bring charge levels up quickly without over-stressing the battery
What REALY matters is:
1. Not allowing electrolyte levels to drop below the top of the plates. Doing so allows plates to oxidise and permanently reduces capacity, and;
2. Not letting your battery discharge more than 50% (that's 12.2 volts with no load connected) and especially not leaving it discharged but recharge fully as soon as possible after discharge.
Time left depleted allows lead sulphate to accumulate on the -ve plates of the cells, reducing the surface area and hence battery voltage and capacity to drive current. Lead sulphate is not broken down by normal charging even at high boost levels (which causes evaporation of electrolyte in vented batteries and can cause blow-off even in sealed ones).
Several chargers are available that provide a 'desuphation cycle' - a pulsed charge current designed to break down the sulphate.
The Ring SmartCharge+ range of chargers are well programmed 3 stage chargers and good value. The 8/12/16 Amp versions are 7 stage chargers with additional desuphation stages and a 'recovery' program to aid rescuing abused batteries. I can't comment on how effective this is in practice, but the theory is sound and they are good value for money.
I have no connection with the manufacturer.


09/8/2012 at 1:52pm
 Location: Wigan
 Outfit: VWSharan. Sport 442.
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Quote: Originally posted by JTQU on 09/8/2012
Quote: Originally posted by STUPOT69 on 08/8/2012

]Can anyone reccomend a charger for 110 amp??




CTEK MXS5.0



My mate and I both bought the chargers that Aldi and Lidl sometimes sell. They lasted about 18 months.

I have now bought the one mentioned by JTQU, which has a 5 year guarantee. Buy well; buy once.

Jim.


09/8/2012 at 2:41pm
 Location: Teesside
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Quote: Originally posted by tango55 on 08/8/2012Just over 2 years later the battery was failing yet again so I paid a visit to my local auto electrician .... He tested my 'Maypole' trickle charger to which he returned within minutes, placed it on the counter and said, "That my friend is a total waste of time, it's pushing out 3,200 MILLIiamps which woukld take around 28 days to charge my battery. So basically after all the years of using this trickle charger and £230 spent on batteries my leisure battery was never fully charged therefore leading to a short life of just 2 years plus. He showed me the charger that I required which was a smart charger made by 'Durite' at a cost of £45. I stood there thinking about the cost to which he said, "Do you really want to spend another 200 quid on batteries?" so I bought the 3.5 amp charger which charges in 4 stages which indicates by a green and red light what stage the process is at.




You have been beautifully conned!

Firstly a trickle charger is just that, it provides a low current to keep the battery topped up. It is not a battery charger. Your trickle charger provided 3200 milliamps, or 3.2 amps. Ideal for the job.

Now you have been persuaded to buy a 3.5amp charger with a few novelty lights on. Instead of 28 days to charge, this one will take about 25.

A decent multi-stage leisure battery charger will be capable of delivering 8-16 amps to recharge a leisure battery.




09/8/2012 at 4:04pm
 Location: Somerset
 Outfit: Hobby 560 Prestige +VW Touareg
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I bought a Ring smart charger (7-stage) a couple of years ago.  After a few hours of charging, the display showed an error code which was not in the manual.  I contacted Ring, and they wanted me to send it back to them.  As I had bought it from Amazon, I returned it to them and got a duplicate.  It was indeed a duplicate as after a few hours charging, it came up with the same error code.

Sent it back to Amazon, got refund and bought a CTEK - slightly more expensive than the RING but at least it works!!

Del

 




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