1997 Swift Sundance 500 2.5D Split Charging

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by G1YDQ, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Hello All,

    Denise and myself are quite new to motorhoming, and now that we are both retired, I have a little more time for the hobby/lifestyle. I was looking to upgrade the leisure battery that is located under the drivers seat, daft place as you have to take the seat out to get at it. With the seat removed, I found that it was only a 61 AH battery. I thought I would increase the size up to something like 100/110 AH and also stick another one, and link them under the other seat. Whilst I had the seat out I thought I would stick a multi meter across the terminals to check the state of the battery, not bad, 12.4 v, Right, lets see what 'tis like with the engine running, 'twas the same. Silly me, I automatically thought there must be a split charging system. Apparently not, I looked in the hand book, and there is no mention of it there, just the fact that there is a 240/12 V charger that you can use whilst connected to a hook up. Not the best if your on at a site thats not got a hook up. Am I right in assuming that this year of van didn't come with split charging capabilities?

    If I'm right, is it very involved adding a split charging unit and what type or brand would you recommend.

    Kind Regards,

    John.
     
  2. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    I can't give you a full reply, but if nothing else this will put you back on the front page & maybe someone else will notice...

    Like you, I would have expected a split charge system to be fitted, but I wouldn't be overly surprised if it turned out not to be the case. The other possibility is that it is there, but the relay has failed, or a fuse has blown.

    If you do need to fit one, it's not a particularly difficult job. A good kit aimed at the DIY market will come with instructions. But first you need to access your likely use of 12v power. A basic split charge system is not terribly efficient at keeping a leisure battery charged up. The trouble is, a sophisticated system that will make full use of your battery's capacity will be more expensive & if you just need the occasional 24 hrs away from hook-up, it will be over kill.

    If you want to be away for days on end, but move frequently, then a system that extracts the most from your alternator while you are driving is what you need. If you will be off-hookup but stationary for days, then solar panels are probably the answer, with a more basic split charge system.

    So it's a case of defining the requirement first, when people will be able to give better & more specific advice.

    About the most difficult part of installing any of these systems is deciding where & how to run the wiring, which can be a real pig unless you know all the tricks - which I certainly don't. :unsure::oops:
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    There will be a split charge relay next to the engine battery....and one for the fridge supply when the engine is running.

    Possibly the relay has failed.

    If you can find them swap them over and check the battery again, engine running.

    There may also be an inline fuse feeding the relay supply near the relay.

    if that cures it replace the faulty one or you wont have a fridge supply.
    its a common 30amp automotive relay so any motoring shop will sell them.
     
  4. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all that info, certainly it's food for thought. We usually go to sites with hook up but from time to time (as with the Bristol Balloon Fiesta) the rugby field is not equipped,and for that price we are not moaning in any way.. Just don't want to fall foul of being parked up for 4 nights without the opportunity to give them a boost up! Having said that, I have worked out that I can get 2 x 110ah batteries under the 2 front seats and link them together. I have also decided today to do away with the fluorescent lights and use the self adhesive strips of led's where the tubes were. I know there is a formula for working out the amps drawn by the various bits of equipment we will be using.. more likely to be ohms law. I will try to sort out what I can expect to use roughly and where to economise. Thank again, regards John.
     
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  5. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    thanks for that too Paps ... my first check then :)
     
  6. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Open your bonnet you will see the engine battery on the left hand side immediately adjacent to the battery you will see either two or three relays.

    Fuses will be located beside the relays if you are unsure you have found the correct fuses and relays the wire from the engine battery is brown with a green trace and the wire from the leisure battery is brown with a blue trace
     
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  7. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Lovely, thank you very much, I did have a look this afternoon before I got your "dit" There are two relays, both with the same number on them, there is also a green fuse holder with two 25 or 30 amp fuses that I checked and were both okay this is above the two relays. In front of the relays there is a four bank fuse holder covered with a see through cover, there are 3 small value fuse within and 1 space empty. I'll have a look in the morning, weather permitting, and duly report back re the colours of the wires.

    I did phone Swift this afternoon, but they "knock it on the head " at 14:00 on a Friday, I wish they did that where I worked before I retired in August.

    Thanks for all your help, and this is a cracking site, just need to get me head around where to look and where to post. I did pick up a lovely tip re replacing fluorescent tubes with LED's, to this end, I placed an order with Mr Ebay for a roll of 50 self adhesive lights.

    Kind regards,

    John.
     
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  8. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Yes. Divide the Watts written on the appliance by 12 to get the Amps it will draw. Then multiply by the number of hours per day you will have it running to get the Amp Hours (Ah) it will take out of your batteries per day.

    Not all appliances draw their full rated amps all the time - a compressor fridge or a heater fan being good examples, as they turn on & off as required.

    Your batteries should always be rated at twice the Ah you need, because it damages most common battery types if you let them discharge more than 50% on a regular basis.
     
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  9. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    As I said in an earlier post, tis a lovely site. Thank you very much, and yes I'm ashamed to say I should just have applied ohms law. Twas a long long time ago I needed to think about that., and I put me hand up, 'twas Denise "that marked me card"

    Regards,

    John.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Always use a meter to check fuses as a visual doesnt alway show a fault....they can 'slow-blow' near the end where it cant easily be seen.
     
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  11. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Did that Paps, I cleaned each one before I checked with the multi meter. I just wish I could take a picture and "post " it, it would make things so much easier. The photo is not the problem, tis the fact that I don't think you can "post " pictures on here. I'll have a look in the morning, and report back.

    Regards

    John.
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Yep, no problem.

    Take the pic then save it to your computer, i use desktop if its just one pic....easy to find.
    in your reply look at the bottom of the text box you will see 'upload a file'
    Click that then a pop up comes up.
    click 'choose file'
    Go to where you saved it and click on the file....thats it, just post your reply
     
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  13. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Okay paps, got it, dear old Denise is a past master with her Canon 60D, I'll get her out there, flood lights and all. We will, Denise and me, be on here with pictures tomorrow. Oh, there is the weather to think about, what's the chance of a fine day tomorrow, cos I need one?

    Kind regards,

    John.
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    The forum software can reduce the file size of pictures but you may need to reduce them if the forum cant.
    most digi pics are around 2 to 5Mp....the forum is limited to something like 190Kp.
    if you can set the file size to low on the camera it will help

    Try it and see, it will either work or not.
     
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  15. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Hello paps, Denise is as, I've got to get this right, a past master with the camera. I'll try and get the photo on tomorrow,

    Regards
    John.
     
  16. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    if they are as i suspect 4 terminal relays one terminal will be earthed the one opposite will be power from an engine run signal usually from alternator or ignition light its the other pair that are either side of the internal switch so with power to the one opposite the earth you should have power on both the other terminals without power the switch will be in the off position and you will only have power at one terminal
     
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  17. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    anyone used to running an older motorhome will tell you that keeping a standard relay spare in the glovebox with a selection of fuses is a wise move. relays have moving parts inside and these wear or short very easily as they age. so what you describe is a common fault

    on the subject of LED lighting, all the spotlights et can be upgraded to LED bulbs. well they are not really bulbs but most folk understand them as such. LED "bulbs" cost from 99p each on ebay. only using LEDs will give you longer on battery power. but the worst thing for flattening the battery quick is the old fan in the back of the gas fire
     
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  18. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Morning, morning, as I said last night I'll get Denise out with her camera later, so you all know what I'm looking at. Trouble is being a good "old Londoner" living in deepest darkest Cornwall, and I have since 1978, you can't just nip round the corner to the "spares" shop, tis 14 miles away. Anyway, thanks again for all your help, and I think I'm right in the test I'm doing with the multi meter, engine off 12.3 V engine running 12.3 V.

    More later,

    John.
     
  19. G1YDQ

    G1YDQ Read Only Funster

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    Hello All,

    No need for a photo, I took the "bull by the horns" and pulled out the two relays, twas a bit of a job as they are very near the top of the inner wing on the drivers side with very little room to get yer hand in. I was going to swap the position of both of them, but managed to break the outer casing of one of them. So a trip into Liskeard fourteen miles away and two new ones were purchased at the Princely sum of £5:98. So just got back plugged em both in and now have 13.2V with the engine at tickover, I would have liked to give it a bit of a "rev" but I couldn't hold the multi meter on the battery and "rev" the engine at the same time. Not sure what reading I should be getting but tis better than it was before the relay change.

    So to one and all I say a very big thank you for all your help and advice and with a bit of luck we can put this "thread" to bed, unless you know different?

    Kind Regards to all,

    John.
     
  20. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    13.2 is ok but a bit on the low side think i see 14vs out of mine where are you measuring the voltage?
     
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