Electrics and Battery charging conundrum

Discussion in 'Top Tips & Tricks' started by gazza280, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. gazza280

    gazza280 Read Only Funster

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    Advice needed please.
    My camper conversion (I use the words loosely) When connected to hook up I can use power points for tv etc but the hook up will not charge my vans starter battery. Could somebody tell me if there is a charger that can be put on the system to charge the vans battery when connected to hookup and alternatively a way I can charge leisure battery when driving from site to site.
    I know in a Motorhome there is a zig unit and such like but this is a small scale camper conversion and the electrics were done previously by someone else.
    Please bear in mind I am completely stumped when it comes to electrics. Though it would be comforting to know that when I'm hooked up I can still drive away with a charged battery and when I'm driving I don't need to worry that the leisure battery has no charge.

    Many thanks in advance
    Gary
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    you could add a suitable zig unit that incorporates a charger and fit a split charge relay for the leisure battery, however the simple way would be to just hardwire in a 4 stage charger, as in cheapo from Lidl and plug it into a spare socket so that it will charge when power is applied. If you are unsure about electrics then you will have to rely on someone to do it all for you.
     
  3. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    any charger can be wired to you 240 electrics and your battery best to get one that is smart or intelegent chargers that will go to float charge when the battery is full or you can get a power supply from a caravan
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    not the cheapest option but it is a 'fit and forget' item...no plugging in and unplugging and it even works without mains hookup.

    Battery master
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Search on ebay for

    Caravan charger

    Battery Master - other makes available.
     
  6. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    charging your leisure battery whilst travelling is easy see here for all you will need
    http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG.../d58__voltage-sensing-split-charge-relay.html

    you shouldn't really need to charge your vehicle battery as all the 12v power you use should be from the leisure battery but there is no reason you couldn't just plug in a standard battery charger and connect it to your vehicle ,or just have a good charger with several isolated outputs so as to charge your vehicle battery and the leisure battery seperately via the one charger look at sterling power products or waeco perfect power chargers both good quality manufacturers
     
  7. kevin

    kevin Read Only Funster

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    isolator

    can any one tell me if this is normal the 12v isolator switch was turned off so there were no 12v in the habitation area when engine is started i have 12v working in habitation even when isolator is turned off
     
  8. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I have a self build also. I used the 25Amp version of this

    http://www.amperorassociates.co.uk/Category/c-battery_chargers.html

    It has been working fine for 3 years now on my 500Ah battery bank.

    Just needs connecting to the battery and mains. Nothing complicated. However I would recommend a fuse at each end of the 12V cable as close to the battery and as close to the charger as possible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if i understand correctly what you wrote then you already have engine to leisure battery charging.via a split charge relay under the bonnet.

    basically when you start the engine the relay connects the engine and leisure batteries together so charging both but someone has connected the "charging" wire to the wrong side of the isolater switch so the power is going to the hab 12v instead of to the leisure battery so it wont be charging the battery unless you leave the isolator switch turned on when driving.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  10. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    It seems to be UK law that the 12V hab sockets, lights etc (not the fridge) must be turned off when the engine is started. Not sure why.
     
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  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    It is nothing more than a National Caravan Council regulation which is not enforcible in law.

    Many, if not all, foriegn manufacturers wire their vans to provide 12v to the hab area even with the engine running.
     
  12. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    and there was me thinking the habitation battery was the leisure battery, hee hee
     
  13. Babs13

    Babs13 Read Only Funster

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    Could someone tell me where my split charger would be and what it would look like please. I have a 1997 conversion by Holdsworth on a Fiat Ducato. I do have a Zig unit in the back of the van with 2 relays and I find one relay is getting hot when the engine has been run, could this be the split charger.
     
  14. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    For anyone interested, linked is the EMC directive, relevant to this issue,which is enforced by the VCA, a division of the Department for Transport:
    http://www.conformance.co.uk/adirectives/doku.php?id=autoemc

    Presumably, isolating the 12V installation in M/Hs precludes the requirement to comply with the directive, in respect of all equipment served by the circuits of the installation. An alternative solution, for compliance, would be to test everything!!
     
  15. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    It is a possibility, from memory one relay would be for the fridge 12v supply whilst driving the other for charging the leisure battery,
     
  16. Babs13

    Babs13 Read Only Funster

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    Thank you I think you may be right, I think I need to change the one that is getting hot as it may be something to do with the charging from the engine battery to leisure battery. Could this be the split charger do you think.
     
  17. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    yes that is what a split charge relay does. if one is getting hot, it has failed. not expensive though
     
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