cab battery charging via control panel

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by themountaintiger, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Not ran the engine on my motorhome for 3-4 weeks. Noticed cab battery was a bit down at 11.9v. I plugged motorhome into electrics and thought I would try the cab battery icon with zig zag on the swift control panel, which turns it red. The cab battery then shoots up to 14v which is charging the cab battery.

    My question is, how long should I charge it for, to top the battery up. Is this something I should do for 5 mins, 15mins an hour?? Longer??? Im not sure if leaving it for any length of time would be detrimental to longevity of cab battery. Any help appreciated...:Smile:
     
  2. keith

    keith Funster

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    First work out why it dropped to 11.9v in only 3-4 weeks, something must be draining it. At 11.9v it's almost fully discharged.

    I leave mine plugged in all the time, it should never be allowed to drop below 12.6v unless you have a drain from something. Mine are now over 3 years old and still working 100%.

    You will need to leave it to charge for at least 24 hours, then see how fast it drops, it may be time for a new one.
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    With modern chargers you just leave them on all the time. Ours has been on probably 2.75 out of the last 3 years.

    Still on original habitation battery. I changed the starter battery then found it did not start any better on a new one, it was a faulty engine earth lead.
     
  4. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Hi keith can you confirm your talking about cab battery rather than leisure batteries.......
     
  5. keith

    keith Funster

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    Both, mine are charged through the ECU. The Cab is a wet Lead Acid & the habitation/leisure batteries are gels.

    You will also have seen Brian gives the same advice.

    The only time I plug out is during the summer when the solar panels can keep them all fully charged without any cost. :Cool:

    Looks like Brian may have a spare he wants to get rid of.
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    No, handed the old starter battery in to the shop I got the new one from.

    It was a NASTY fault. Poor starting, cleaned all connections but under the nearside is the massive engine earth bond to the chassis. I removed the chassis side and cleaned it. The engine side was solid - "Right, must be OK I'll buy a new battery". Only when the new battery failed to start it did I apply some real grunt to the engine earth and it snapped despite my best efforts. When it came off I saw the tell-tale corrosion. This connection is in all the water spray.

    Luckily there was a spare hole close to the original so the earth went back with a shed load of copperslip, started like it was a new van.
     
  7. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Im still unclear then when plugged in, if the charge is going to both habitation and cab battery. I have a feeling that it doesnt automatically charge the cab battery at the same time, unless I select it on the control panel. Ive checked instructions, but it doesent seem to cover this topic in any great depth.

    When your charging both habitation and cab battery, does it charge the cab battery at a high level i.e. 14v for a long period of time?
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi not sure about your unit but on my old zig unit you had to switch it over to charge either cab or L/batt ,it would not charge both at the same time

    terry
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Then you need to get a voltmeter on the job, just meter them and it should be obvious if on charge.

    Our Electroblock always does both together with a bias towards the habitation, which does not help you one bit but lets me sit here with a smug grin.
     
  10. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Hi terry, thanks, that sounds right. Going back to my original question, would you know how long is it ok to leave cab battery charging? My concern was charging it at 14v for any length of time could damage the cab battery in some way. Did you charge it up for any length of time via this method?

    I appreciate Brians and Keiths comments but am unclear if their cab battery is being charged at a sort of trickle charge via their ECU.
     
  11. tony_g

    tony_g Funster

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    My Burstner Nexxo T620goes to 14v+ on both hab and cab when on EHU but the handbook tells me that the habitation battery will charge first then a float charge only will be applied to the cab battery. It goes on to say that neither the alternator, when driving, or the EHU will ever achieve maximum charge on the cab battery but does not seem to indicate what maximum charge would be. It recommends the use of a battery charger periodically.
    As I am very new to all this I am still experimenting with EHU for differing periods to see what happens. I have assumed that the moderate drain I experience is from the alarm system.
    I must say it seems odd that even driving will not fully charge the cab battery.
    Perhaps I could finish by asking a question? If I wish to use a battery charger like the Aldi one mentioned elsewhere, do I clip it to the red(+) post under the bonnet of my Transit and to pretty much any metal part of the body/chassis? The battery is under the driver seat.

    tony_g
     
  12. keith

    keith Funster

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    OK, we must have different ECU's. Mine shows voltage of all batteries & whether they are charging or fully charged. After a trip away using only 12V power & no EHU when I plug in the charger wacks in what appears to be a large charge, 14V & high amps. then when it has settled down the charge rate drops quite quickly & settles around 13V to 13.5V & keeps this up until all batteries are full. It then keeps all batteries fully charged all by it'self until I disconnect the EHU when the voltage settles down to around 12.6-.8V i.e. a full charge.

    If yours is a manual system you will have to do the monitoring yourself.
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi 24 hours will not hurt it :thumb: I have the original specs on the charger somewhere.If I find them I will post on here :thumb: but if memory serves me right I do not think it was a 3 stage charger ie plug in and forget.If that is right I would say leave it on for a couple of days when stood and keep turning it on for a day or two every 3 / 4 weeks
    Other than that if you are lucky you may find a Aldi x5 OR a Lidl Tronic £12 If they still have stock :thumb: These are plug in and forget 3 stage type that are great value for money
    terry
     
  14. Terry

    Terry Funster

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  15. keith

    keith Funster

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    I saw these Terry but wondered if they are as good as they claim?
    I have a very old charger & wondered if I should buy one as a replacement.
    Anyone else tried one?
     
  16. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Keith they are excellent bits of kit for the money :thumb: Only charge at 4 amps ( 3.8 )but they de- sulphate and are 3 stage so you can connect and forget :thumb: I have one on the engine battery 24 /7 because my alarm flattens the battery after about 4/5 weeks of it being stood :thumb: Not that I like her stood for that long :Rofl1::thumb:
    terry
    PS you can always pay £40 for the small CTEC if you want posh
     
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