Fitting new batteries

Discussion in 'Auto-Trail' started by NigeandGill, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. NigeandGill

    NigeandGill Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    STOCKTON-ON-TEES
    Hi! We have a '55 plate Arapaho that we bought just before Christmas & the battery that came with it (75ah) is shot. I am going to replace this with 2 x 120 ah one's, but I'm not sure about the wiring in the battery compartment.

    I have what appears to be two battery harnesses. The old battery is connected to one set, with the second set tied up out of the way with 'leckie tape covering the connectors. I know it's a daft question, but do you just connect one battery to each set of wires? Or is the second set for something else?
     
  2. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,261
    Likes Received:
    7,881
    Location:
    West Norfolk
    The extra harness is for a second battery.

    Don't expect miracles from your new batteries though, without beefing up the cabling, you won't charge them very quickly when driving.

    The voltage drops created by the painfully thin Sargent wiring loom mean you will not get the best from your new batteries.

    If you are planning on being off-grid on a regular basis, a charging system upgrade would be required.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    The two new batteries should be connected together in parallel.. ie positive terminal connected to positive terminal .. same for the negative. .. You can buy ready made battery cable links from most motor factors.. this effectively gives you ONE battery with 240ah ..

    Re connect the cables that came from the old battery ... ensuring you keep the same polarity.

    NB... Safety.. when connecting/disconnecting batteries: always do in this order

    When disconnecting ... remove negative FIRST
    When connecting.. replace positive FIRST

    Re the other taped up cables..
    Without inspecting, I would be reluctant to guess what they are for.. they may be redundant, perhaps went to an old solar panel controller.... Try tracing them and see where they lead .. if they are redunadant then I would remove.
     
  4. NigeandGill

    NigeandGill Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    STOCKTON-ON-TEES
    At the moment, getting new batteries up & running is priority. We've been away twice so far & the second time the site electric went off for 20 mins & our battery almost died!

    So all I have to do is connect up a battery to each set off cables - thanks very much for that.

    We're currently just going to be away on sites with EHU, but may do some off-grid stuff later, but would get a solar panel then.

    I'm lucky in that I can keep the van at the side of the house, so I can keep it on EHU & that way the batteries will be fully charged when we leave.
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    'morning .. :Smile:

    you have obviously a better insight to the set up in the Arapaho van than I have.. what you say makes sense if the van had two batteries originally ..
     
  6. NigeandGill

    NigeandGill Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    STOCKTON-ON-TEES
    I forgot to mention that I've checked both sets of cables with a multi-meter & the set with the original battery has 13.3V & the 'spare' set is 12.8V. There is also two sets of battery securing straps in battery compartment & it all looks like original equipment. The two cables are also taped together as they disappear under the van. These are my reasons for thinking that each harness is for a battery.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    ah ha.. :thumb:

    thanks.. all is clear now.. sorry for the misdirection.. my advice was based on limited info..
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Hi see how you go before splashing out on solar --with two battery's you should find you will do 3 or 4 nights without too much problem :thumb::BigGrin:
    terry
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,461
    Likes Received:
    16,896
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    depending on your personal battery usage of course.

    prolonged use of heater blower and unnecessary use of lights (halogen) will hammer your batteries
     
  10. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,482
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    Location:
    Stokesley, North Yorks
    I have an Auto-Trail and they are built with space for a second battery.
    A ready made connection is fitted to the van so that you can, as I did, buy the purpose made harness from Auto-Trail that plugs straight on to the single battery harness. Then connect to the second battery. You can't connect them incorrectly as they will only fit one way.

    If in doubt go to www.auto-trail.co.uk where you can contact them direct and they will attempt to answer any queries. They are normally pretty prompt at answering e-mails, or you can ring them and ask to speak to someone who can sort out your particular problem.

    I have two 110amp batteries and a solar panel (standard factory fit) and have never had a power problem when off hook-up.

    Hope that is of some help.
     
  11. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,747
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Location:
    Mid Cornwall
    You can put two batteries on board - be careful of sizes when ordering to ensure they both fit - but put themin parallel for a far longer cycle. You should last a good few days with normal use.

    120ah you will be looking at around 100-140 each for a reasonable brand. Dpeneding on how you use a twin battery set up, you should easily get a week or near as out of them.

    If you wild quite a bit for extended periods, or use a bit or power -- then there is no reason why you can't take these up to 230ah each as long as you have space.
     
  12. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    577
    Location:
    Ribble Valley
Loading...

Share This Page