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 new member - leisure battery question

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gsxr-jonesy
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Model and year : 92 Camper
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PostSubject: new member - leisure battery question   Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:04 pm

hello

i've just joined up. i've recently bought a lovely long-wheel base semi-high roof camper. i've wanted one for years and finally got one Very Happy .

it's all been converted to UK electrics, but the only thing missing is a leisure battery charger. i managed to wreck the old leisure battery by using a car charger....which i had been told was suitable for deep-cycle recharges, and clearly wasn't! i've now replaced it with a whopping 115amh battery.

i'd like to fit a suitable charger (to supplement the split-charger) as i'm often parked up for 3-4 days at a time and hence need to boost the battery with a generator to keep the charge (i race motorobikes, hance i'm parked up for long-weeknds and have agenny or powerpoints handy to top up). there seems to be a huge price difference in chargers, and a huge range out there, all claiming to do different thigns, so i wondered if anyone knew of any good ones for reasonable money please?

also, i've read so many different perspectives on what you should/shouldn't do to charge a leisure battery, that any other guidance would be appreciated. e.g. some things i've read say that you should disconnect the terminals to charge a battery, whilst some chargers seem to suggest that they stay connected all the time and move from charge mode to maintainance mode when the battery is topped up.....all very confusing!

thanks all

nick
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alfazar
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Model and year : 3.0TD 4WD camper 1995
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:22 pm

Hi gsxr
No prizes for guessing the bike you race!
I'm not a battery expert but have been looking into this too and I've found the www.sbmcc.co.uk forum very useful and some of these guys really know their stuff about chargers etc.
I keep hearing about Sterling chargers used for motorhome and marine leisure batteries so might be worth a look. Search also for 3-stage and 4-stage chargers.
Al
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Spud_Gun
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:04 pm

Hello,
The more important question is how often you spend time with the genny on tow, and how often you are on mains hook up. I work for a large Motorhome electrics company, who use Sterling Chargers and Elecsol Batteries which we believe to be the best on the market, they have certainly won the most awards in the leisure and marine industries.

Sterling mains chargers offer different levels of charging based on the demand from your Batteries and 12v system. With a good pro digital charger, you can expect great performance without sacrificing the leisure battery in the process. It will maintain and charge your battery whilst supplimenting the demand from the van i.e lights/fridge/TV equipment etc. The one I have used recently on my own build is a Pro C charger rated at 50A max input, which was connect to 2x Elecsol 125ah leisure batteries. If you carry the genny all the time this is the ideal piece of kit.
I didn't bother with a generator nor was happy with the current split charge relay set-up, so I fitted a Sterling Battery to Batttery Charger. The problem with a convensional split charger set-up is that it mearly connects your engine and leisure batteries in parallel, which if the engine battery is rated at only 75ah (which most are) and you are carrying a 110ah leisure battery, it will take a long time running the engine to recover any charge to the leisure battery if not to full capacity at alll. The Battery to Batttery Charger fools the alternator into thinking their is a discharged battey present, raises the alternator power (in a very safe way) and issolates the additional output and feeds it to the leisure battery as required. In short fast charging the leisure battery even at idle speed, without making the engine battery or alternator suffer in the process. Again being a 4 stage unit, this will suppliment any demand from fridge/lights on the leisure side. With this fitted I was able to recover the batteries to 89% capacity in 25 mins, so I suppose I was treating my engine as a 12v generator.
Elecsol Batteries were what I used as they are carbon lined between the plates keeping the cells strong when given punishment, have 3x times the cycle life, hold a 50% guarantied capacity (most leisure batteries only have 35% over 12v) and come with a 5 year warranty. In short they are the muts nuts!!!

If you need more info let me know. This will be my 4th conversion I have done and I realy believe the above products gave the best results, however I have a bit of a confession, I have recently removed the Pro C charger and ftted a Sterling 1.6kw Inverter/charger which gives me either a 1600w inverter or mains charger pending when i'm hooked up, mind you I dont have much room left under the seats anymore Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:45 pm

Thats why I didnt reply !!Smile)
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gsxr-jonesy
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:32 pm

crikey...thanks for the proper reply....i only wish i knew what most of that meant! electickery isn't my strong point!

spud - if i just wanted to have a charger that i could fit to the camper, and more of less forget about - i.e. leave connected to the battery at all times, and one that would take a 240 input to charge the leisure battery, is the sterling the way to go?

this may sound daft and naive....but i'd seen some chargers in halfords that claim to be suitable for lesiure batteries, so i was just going to fit one of those. again, forgive my ignornance, but they looked dead simple....i.e. a 240v 3 pin plug and then +/- connectors that could be attached to the battery. the charger has a charge and mainitaince mode...so my understanding was that every time i was connected to the mains, it woudl charge the leisure battery as required, without over-charging

from what you've said above...this now sounds overly simplistic!

any help...in numpty language...and any links to appropriate chargers, woudl be much appeciated

thanks

nick
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Spud_Gun
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:35 pm

Sorry for the 5 months delay in replying, have been away for a while!
You can indeed use the chargers that are in Halfords etc, but you also have to bear in mind that you are likely to be using power whilst charging, so the question i'm going to ask is what stuff wiull you be using whilst on hook up?
You will also need to look at safety as in a trip device, as if MrInsurance gets involved in the event of a fire claim, you have no leg to stand on and 9/10 campsites will not always have trips on the post that you plug into on site.
Sterling is certainly the way to go if you want to forget the van is plugged in but give thebest results to ya battery,
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Vulcan558
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PostSubject: Which Battery Charger   Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:00 pm

I have 2 x 740 amp batteries in parallel (I think that's what they call it), which I can switch from Battery 1 to Battery 2 or both. As I am going to put mains in it as well and use 12 volt stuff off it which is the best charger to use for them. Is it still the Stirling/
Thanks
Graham
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alchemy67
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:53 pm

My camper has 1x 220ah leisure battery with a ctek 7000 multi stage charger permanently connected so when on mains hookup the battery keeps topped up. The van charges both the main van and the leisure battery while I'm on the move via a split charge unit. Works great!!
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jazmax
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PostSubject: leasure battery   Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:38 pm

hi here's another question my camper has a zig cf8 unit plus new 85 amp hr leisure battery
it charges when hook up to 240 supply ok and takes along time to charge when running the van when it`s flat,also goes flat when van is not being used.
i have been caught out thinking it would fully charge after a 2 hour run
i think the fridge runs straight from the alternator,the battery lasted about two days
when fully charged using gas blown heating and lights.
is this normal or something wrong,
any info much appreciated
jaz confused
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Spud_Gun
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Sat May 09, 2009 8:48 pm

Most of the time, the CF8 will only transfer 6-8amps which would take a while whilst driving. This is also asociated with most standard split charge systems. If you are wild camping more, then you either need to uprate the split charging by increasing the size of relay used, or look at some form of diode block or better still a Batt2Batt system which is much eaier to fit and can soon be taken out to put to the next van.
Another factor is that a single 85ah leisure battery will only work to a portion of it's capacity (average is 35% on most lead acid batteries), this means you would only have 29.7ah, which with fridge, heating and lighting running would not last long (have made a very rough calculation of 340W drain on your van, which would last roughly 3-4hrs without hook-up flat out).
First suggestion...............more battery/bigger battery without a doubt!
Second suggestion...........improve the leisure battery charging idealy the B2B!

Any other help, come back to me. Very Happy
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jazmax
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Sun May 31, 2009 9:50 pm

thanks for info, ive gone for more batterys,with another split charger on the back up battery ive fitted two isolator so i can choose the battery with the most power and the fridge runs of gas when parked up.ill see soon how the works out.
cheers jaz Smile
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bredzy
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:34 am

Hil. all. I'm looking for a battery charger/booster for my 3.0 tubro van which has two batteries. What specs should I Look for? any help? THANKS MUCH!!
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WGWarburton
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:18 am

Hi,
See reply to your other post.

What are the two batteries designed to do (now) and what do you want to do with them?

Are you looking to run 12V electrics while hooked up to Mains power, top up a starter battery, set the leisure battery up before a weekend away? Split charging between starter & leisure batteries?

Cheers,
W.
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bredzy
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:30 pm

Just looking for a charger to charge my batteries when they are getting weak. i don't run the van to often. maybe like 2 times a week for about 1hour a each day. Schumancher XP750C. would that be strong enough to charge up my batteries?
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WGWarburton
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:42 am

Hi,
Probably will do the job. It's not it's main job, though, so you might be better with a purpose-designed battery conditioner if that's all you want to do. If you want the other features this offers, though, it'll probably top up the batteries OK. You'll need a seperate mains cable by the looks of it, and beware of leaving it connected, as I don't see any over-charge protection feature listed and you can damage batteries by over-charging them.

Cheers,
W.
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bredzy
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PostSubject: Re: new member - leisure battery question   Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:45 pm

Well i'm not looking to charge them while they're connected in the van. I'd have to take them out to charge. So i guess it wont be a prob but the question I really wanted to get answered was if this charger has enough power to charge up these high CCA battries..
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