Good idea for winter?.....Or not.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by DP_JAY, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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  2. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    I like the item, but the problem I see is that if you have a heater inside the MH to warm the INSIDE while the thermostat is OUTSIDE the MH controlling the power to the hook-up cable then the INSIDE temperature of the van can continue to rise if the OUTSIDE temperature stays below the switch point of the thermostat.

    Going the other way and having the thermostat on the INSIDE of the van controlling a small heater means the INSIDE temp is regulated, but then your still charging the batteries full time.

    Only way I see to get what I think you want, the batteries put on charge when it's cold AND give some heat to the inside, is to have two thermostats. One on the outside to control power to the hook up lead and thus charge the batteries when temp is under switch point AND another thermostat on the inside to give a regulated heat to the MH.
     
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  3. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    Am I right in thinking your say leaving the van/battery on hook up therefore charging all the time is bad, if so why
    Thks
     
  4. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    I left a motorcycle battery on all winter, coupled to a special bike battery 'intelligent' charger........It wrecked the battery. :(:(
     
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  5. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    I'm leaving the motorhome on EHU over winter without the on board battery charger being switched on. Instead I'm using 2 CTEK battery chargers to maintain the leisure and starting battery....CTEK MXS 10 on the leisure batteries - capable of maintaining batteries up to 300ah and a MXS 5 on the starter battery.

    The inboard Sargant is far from "intelligent" when charging and is very crude; with a winter lay-up I'm not confident that 4 months with an either full- on charge or nothing charge that my batteries will be in good condition next year.

    I've been using CTEK chargers for something approaching 10 years on a small collection of little used cars and the batteries are all perfect when it comes to starting.

    There are cheap intelligent chargers (Lidl and Aldi) which are pretty basic and there are the more costly, but very much worth the money, CTEK chargers which are capable of correctly maintaining and if needed, restoring near dead batteries. Clever bits of kit which I wouldn't be without.

    Worth a look, I'd suggest, for healthy batteries...won't do anything to stop your van becoming a deep freeze over winter though!

    David
     
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  6. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    I`m thinking your battery must have been on the way out anyway, I have my bike connected to a optimate trickle charger all year round when not being used and have never had a problem.
     
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  7. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Not sure about that Rob, it was a six month old BMW battery, (not that makes much difference). It started the bike once, then that was it, despite the Optimate saying it was fully charged. Bit miffed really, as the battery was top money, and as you know, the chargers aren't cheap. Anyway, bought a cheepo 'fire alarm' type, you know what I mean, and that was five years ago. Now I just charge it once a month over winter.
    You can only speak as you find, and I have heard similar tales from other bikers. o_O
     
  8. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    In my experience any form of contiuous charging is bad. Batteries seem to like some activity.
     
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  9. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    I think it a great idea, plug it in inside the camper attached to a small heater and simply turn the battery charger off if concerned about that issue. Job Done.
     
  10. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Exactly right, I'd venture that most,if not all, on board charging systems simply provide a steady but unregulated current supply which can lead to overcharging (dry cells) or undercharging (sulpha ting, dead cells & reduced battery life)

    Though, I've not measured the current supplied by my on board charger I reckon it's pretty high...if my leisure batteries were being charged they were alarmingly hot. Using the MXS 10 on the my pair of leisure batt's, the charger has a temperature probe that I strap to the side of the battery, barely warm when charging.

    I think it cost me around £150 for the two chargers and in my eyes that's a price worth paying to protect my investment in batteries...based on past experience, it will be a long time before I need replacements.

    Even use them in preference to the on board charger when on site with EHU

    David
     
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  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Good. As long as it's a modern charger which will just float charge the battery and not harm it.
     
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  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Question to our insurers: "If I put an electric heater in van and it catches fire will I be insured ?"

    Answer: "No, this departs from van spec and we do not know if the installation is safe, by all means use your built in heating".
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I'd venture the exact opposite in this day and age, but the point is when we comment we don't know what is in the other van. I do encourage the use of a voltmeter when this topic comes up. Leave on charge for a day or so and measure the voltage on charge then post that and a sensible answer can be given.

    Can't argue with you fitting a top quality charger. Can argue that modern van should have a top quality charger.
     
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  14. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    leave our van plugged in all the time were at home, and have the heating on low in the winter as well

    Been doing this for 4 years and not had a problem at all

    The van does have a 4 stage charger built in, so no issues there - batteries are 5 years old now and still V healthy
     
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  15. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Think I might phone Saga on this point, I would argue that if our camper has mains hook up with 13 amp sockets inside, presumably they're obviously intended to have appliances plugged in to them. Hairdryer, kettle, toaster etc. Why not small heater of some type.

    I would be using exactly the same system as in my house, aims 240 volt RCD protected with sockets into which a heater can be plugged.

    Saga could loose two lots of insurance cover if they take the view quoted as its a nonsense.
     
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  16. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    Be interested in what saga say
     
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  17. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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    I bought a 4 foot long "tube heater" which is about 2 and a half inches in diameter, screwed it to a flat piece of wood 6 inches by 4 ft 6 inches using the two 'stand-off' brackets supplied.
    this I stand on the floor in the middle of the van and plug it into one of those temperature operated plugs, set to 5 or 6 Degrees and bingo, job done... The tube heaters are about 40 watt per foot, so a nice 160 watt heater running ,occasionally, for pennies and no fear of a fire !! Works well for us if this helps any one else.....
    PS.. the tube heaters can be bought "by the foot" so get any sized heater you think suits you.. Mitch..
     
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  18. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Why lay the van up? USE IT!!!!!!
    Cheers, Dave(y)
     
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  19. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Our van stays on hookup when not in use.

    The CBE 16 Amp charger is a four step type and floats the batteries.

    The batteries are 6 1/2 years old and still have full capacity.
     
  20. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Me too, bar steward. And it was a new battery too :eek:
     
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