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Subject Topic: My battery woes Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Reptile Smile03/2/2016 at 6:10pm
Outfit:  Elderly Swift Challenger 390 2     Location:  Bristol UK
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Hi all,

I'm fairly new to caravanning, so forgive my stupidity.

I've got a cheap caravan and have had a load of fun in it (last year towed it the length of France!).

The charger in it has never worked (I don't think...) so I've just used a regular car battery from the scrappers with a regular car battery charger.

This is all well and good, but over winter, it's not plugged in in the storage yard, and the battery slowly over time loses charge until it's knackered.

I don't think there are that many solutions to this, but wanted to ask if I'd missed something. I presume the best way to avoid this is to connect it to a solar charger, though I don't see many people doing that. That, or just bring the battery home with me and connect it to a conditioning charger.

Have I missed something? What does everyone else do?

Message posted by malbarker03/2/2016 at 6:14pm
Outfit:  Hobby 650 wfu caravan     Location:  sunderland
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like me a lot of caravanner s now have a solar panel on their roof,but you can get a small trickle charge panel connect it to the battery and put it in the van window which will help.

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Mal

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Message posted by Colin2103/2/2016 at 6:50pm
Outfit:  1992 Elddis Wisp 450CT + X Trail     Location:  East Herts
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Personally, I think if I had my caravan in storage I would bring the battery home when I wasn't using the van. It is much easier then to keep an eye on the state of charge and top it up when necessary. Solar charging panels are an excellent idea, but they need to be angled very accurately to get maximum effect from them. That isn't always possible in storage sites, and if you put a panel in a window you may go back to it and find another caravan or vehicle blocking it.

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Colin

Message posted by Johnnie Boy03/2/2016 at 6:54pm
Outfit:  Swift select 164     Location:  Cleveland
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I bring mine home and trickle charge it.

Message posted by Hairywol03/2/2016 at 7:03pm
Outfit:  Challenger Sport 524 + Volvo V90 D5     Location:  Teesside
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My 'van came with a 40 watt solar roof panel which has worked brilliantly.

The 'van is stored in a non-shady spot (sunny is going too far in NE England) and the panel has kept the battery topped up to max. Since July 2014 when I bought it, the battery has never been off the caravan and is always fully topped-off when I visit - even through the winter.

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Message posted by freeatlast03/2/2016 at 7:21pm
Outfit:   Mitsubishi ASX4     Location:  Teesside
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You can recover failed batteries quite often, however, you need a decent quality computer charger that will restore it.

A decent battery should not drain over the winter unless something is still connected in the van. A prime culprit is the TV booster box. The answer is to always disconnect the battery when not in use. If you do remove the battery and take it home, it only needs a couple of sessions top up from a battery charger over the winter. Leaving a trickle charger on all the time is simply not necessary.

Message posted by Hairywol04/2/2016 at 7:00pm
Outfit:  Challenger Sport 524 + Volvo V90 D5     Location:  Teesside
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Looking back at the original post again it sounds like you've had great fun abroad in your caravan. It must be worth spending a few quid to get a proper charger and a proper battery.

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Message posted by Reptile Smile04/2/2016 at 7:51pm
Outfit:  Elderly Swift Challenger 390 2     Location:  Bristol UK
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Quote: Originally posted by Hairywol on 04/2/2016
Looking back at the original post again it sounds like you've had great fun abroad in your caravan. It must be worth spending a few quid to get a proper charger and a proper battery.



You have me bang to rights there. Yes, we had so much fun in it that in theory I'm saving up for a bigger, better van so don't want to spend much on this one. I accept, of course, that a new battery/charger probably falls into the 'not expensive' category...

Message posted by boff04/2/2016 at 8:16pm
Outfit:  Hymer Nova 590GL     Location:  N Wales
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At the risk of being controversial. If you spend all your time on a ehu then what you probably need is a second battery from a scrapper. Our first caravan wasn't fitted with a charger btw.

Message posted by Reptile Smile04/2/2016 at 9:04pm
Outfit:  Elderly Swift Challenger 390 2     Location:  Bristol UK
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What's an ehu?

[edit] Sorry - electric hook up. Am being an idiot...

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Message posted by boff05/2/2016 at 8:10am
Outfit:  Hymer Nova 590GL     Location:  N Wales
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Sorry I shouldn't assume prior knowledge. It is to easy to be a smart ass and throw in loads of TLA's to show how clever I am.



TLA = Three letter acronym btw

Message posted by Rob Johns09/2/2016 at 10:41pm
Outfit:  1991 Elddis Vogue SL     Location:  Portsmouth
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My van is in storage over winter, but I do leave the battery in place. I use a 10watt solar panel charger connected directly to the battery (a 75AH one. The panel sits in a south facing window and trickle charges the battery very well. Many people here seem to be obsessed with maximum output from the panel, well you don't need much for trickle charging!

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The Sun always shines on TV.(and not on my caravan!)

Message posted by jjgderbyshire10/2/2016 at 12:01am
Outfit:  Bailey Unicorn Valencia     Location:  Nottingham
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Reptile, don't bother spending a load of money. I blew 22 grand on a new Bailey a year ago. They allowed it to leave the factory with a wiring loom which did not connect to the built in solar panel, which must be just for show. Just take your battery out and keep it charged up if you want it to last. That's what I have to do because I keep the caravan in storage in France.

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jjg

Message posted by rcpilot27/2/2016 at 3:24pm
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  ne of uk
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Basic rule of thumb take your batteries capacity and multiply it by 11% and that is the size of solar panel that you need to keep your battery topped up WITHOUT needing a solar controller, a little under or over does not matter

Message posted by naturlist12328/2/2016 at 10:18am
Outfit:  Adria Adora Premium Yeti 4x4 run about     Location:  Southport
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Just take battery home and put on charge with RAC charger from ARGOS 20( maybe 2/3 more since I bought mine).

check acid level if not maintance free and top up with distilled water to just above plates, replace plugs and connect crocodile clips to correct poles, plug into mains and switch on, press button on charger for car sign(middle one) and leave.
When battery come to fully charged about 13.7 volts charger will turn off till battery drops about 11.4 volts and then trickle charge till back to about 13.7 volts.

I had a Numax 110AH Battery (green cased) which lasted over 10 years till I over topped in a hurry and knackerd it using above method and never failed to be tip top at beginning of season.


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