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New to Motorhomes - Battery Charging?

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Old 13-07-2009, 18:14   #9 (permalink)
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Well, we've had the Leisure battery on charge for most of today and so far so good, first thing this morning it was at 8.6 volts and even after a short charge it was registering at over 13 volts and holding. Am going to check it again in a while as we took it off charge before tea and it was reading at a steady 12.9 volts.

I suppose I now need to put some sort of a load on it to see how it fares with that and how quickly it recovers?

The levels in all cells were quite low but the plates were still covered, so have topped them up with ionised water.

We're still hoping the battery is ok with it having been allowed to drop to such a low voltage by the previous owner.
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Old 13-07-2009, 18:57   #10 (permalink)
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I suppose I now need to put some sort of a load on it to see how it fares with that and how quickly it recovers?

.
connect a volt meter across the battery THEN connect a 12v bulb across as well.

the battery will show 12v/13v when it comes off charge but i bet it drops to next to nothing within seconds of connecting the bulb.

a good, fully charged, 85ah battery will last maybe 20+ hours with a normal 12v 21w indicator bulb as a load.
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Old 13-07-2009, 19:03   #11 (permalink)
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We hope to be staying on various sites over the 2 weeks that we're away so if we aren't on Mains the Vehicle's battery will hopefully suffice (we only intend to use it for lighting and the water pump anyway). The MH will be driven most days which should in theory restore any power taken out by using the lights & water pump.

take some jump leads with you just in case the engine battery gets too low to start it.

anyone will give you a jump start but if you dont have leads they cant....
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Old 13-07-2009, 19:05   #12 (permalink)
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I haven't been out to check it yet (raining again!). Earlier, after I had finished charging the battery I disconnected the Mains Power and selected the Leisure Battery on the Control Panel and switched on one of the Internal Lights. No dimming of the light occurred and the Needle on the Panel showing Battery Power didn't budge either. I checked the voltage again afterwards and it was at 12.9 Volts. I must admit I didn't have the light on for very long though so it does need more testing.

I will report back once I've re-checked the Battery Voltage again with my Meter.
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Old 13-07-2009, 19:07   #13 (permalink)
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take some jump leads with you just in case the engine battery gets too low to start it.

anyone will give you a jump start but if you dont have leads they cant....
Good idea pappajohn, thanks for the tip. I must remember to get them out of the car.
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Old 13-07-2009, 19:56   #14 (permalink)
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Well, I just went out to the MH and realised I hadn't switched the charger off! Tested the battery anyway with my Digital Multimeter and the battery was reading 13.36 Volts.

I turned on every single light in the MH which includes 3 x Single fluorescent tube lights, 2 x Double Tube fluorescent lights and 2 x 10 Watt Reading lights. I left these on for a full 10 minutes. The reading went reasonably quickly down to just below 12 volts then seemed to stabilise at 11.74 volts but towards the end of the test it actually crept up gradually to 11.77 Volts.

On switching all the lights off after the 10 minutes 'load' test the battery went back up to 12.14 Volts.

I don't know how a good battery would cope under these conditions, I feel the battery is not 100% but not as bad as we initially thought it would turn out. The fact that it recovered afterwards I think is a good sign as well.

Given that it was completely flat I think it possibly needs charging further? For the moment I'm happy with the result, we never have that many lights on anyway, ok we use the water pump mainly so that is going to be the biggest test. I think for now we see how we go with it while we are away, if we do need to get another Leisure Battery so be it, this one could always come in as a reserve battery. The fact that we will be touring and not staying on one place will help as well, as the Engine should keep it topped up. (I presume we do this by merely setting the rocker switch to the Leisure Battery?) Do we need to turn off the MH's Battery Charger or does the Vehicle Charge the Leisure Battery through it?
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