Leaving the hook up hooked up

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sift, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Sift

    Sift Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,

    Quick question please: will leaving my MH hooked up to 240v cause any damage to the leisure battery?

    Regards,
     
  2. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    in my experience "No"
     
  3. grasscutter

    grasscutter Funster Life Member

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    Mines been permanently hooked up for five years on my drive apart from when we go away. Never had a problem.
     
  4. shunter

    shunter Funster

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    We leave ours on hook up all the time when on the drive and haven't had any problem's either
     
  5. ludo

    ludo Funster Life Member

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    I expect it depends on what type/make of charging/power unit that you have.

    The extract below is from one of the technical pages produced by Atlantic, suppliers and repairers of power systems. http://www.atlanticmotorhomeservices.co.uk/schaudt-elektroblock.php

    How to look after your EBL:-
    1. Don't continue to use a battery that is past it's best. See our separate page, 'Battery Technology' on how to save money on batteries. When a new battery can cost just £50 it isn't cost effective to damage the EBL by continuing to use a battery that is not at it's peak.
    2. Don't cover an Elektroblock with a Duvet, keep the EBL cool.
    3. Do disconnect it from the mains/battery before switching the device from Gell to Wet battery type: See the separate Battery Technology page for information on the suitability of Gel batteries in Motorhomes/Caravans.
    4. Don't connect the Car to Caravan tow hitch while the Car engine Ignition is 'on' making the 12n/12s charging circuits live and prone to reverse polarity issues.
    5. Don't run the 'Mains' supply from an unsmoothed generator supply: The output on these can vary by as much as 100 volts.
    6. NEVER run without a battery connected, some Caravan chargers can work in this way, but the strain is significant.
    7. Do make sure the mains hook-up is unplugged when you attach/detach the battery cables.
    8. Do not leave the Motorhome connected to the mains 240V for long periods when not in use. The units are designed to be connected to the mains for just a couple of months a year. Hooking the MH up to mains for long periods of time will shorten their life.
    9. Do play safe during electrical storms. If you are in the vicinity of an electric storm, particularly abroad, cut the mains supply to the Motorhome either by using the RCD or pulling the Mains hook-up lead until the storm passes. Lightning can hit overhead power cables which may lead to higher than normal voltages in the immediate vicinity.

    I have spoken to Atlantic about this subject, bearing in mind some of us "live" in our vans during extended holiday periods, i.e. Benidorm lovers, and the hookup can be connected for a signifiant period. They told me that provided 12v appliances are being used and power is being drawn from the system, and the van isn't just standing idle for months, that is OK.
     
  6. LAM

    LAM Funster

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    Why would the battery need to be permanently connected to the mains and what is an EBL, please ?
    :think:
     

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  7. ludo

    ludo Funster Life Member

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    The opening post asked, "will leaving my MH hooked up to 240v cause any damage to the leisure battery?", so you need to ask the OP that question.

    In my particular paste, I do have our van connected to the mains throughout the winter because I have a thermostat controlled heater in the van maintaining a 10-12 degree C temerature. However, I switch off the charger and switch it on again overnight every 4 weeks or so to maintain the batteries.

    "what is an EBL, please ?" Look here: http://www.atlanticmotorhomeservices.co.uk/schaudt-elektroblock.php

    ELB is the prefix to the model numbers of the Schaudt Electroblock range. These are commonly installed in German vans, and are extremely good, in my opinion.
     
  8. LAM

    LAM Funster

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    Phew, a great deal to learn ! Thank you for the above info ludo
     
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  9. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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  10. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    The permanent EHU question, an old chestnut!
    There are as many answers as there are motorhomes.
    I have read here and other places that some motorhomes have intelligent chargers build in, I can't comment on those as I've never own such a vehicle.
    The two motorhomes I've owned in recent years have been of British manufacture (Elddis and Bailey), it may be significant that both companies have a long history in caravan manufacture but who knows. In both these motorhomes the "chargers" are in fact just simple PSUs (power supply units) their purpose seems to be to supply 12V power to appliances from a mains power supply. These PSU are connected in parallel with the leisure battery so the 12V power can come from either the PSU or the battery. It also means that if the voltage from the PSU is higher than that of the battery a charging current will be applied to the battery.
    I have attached a battery monitor to my current motor home and can see the operation of this charging mechanism. I can therefore see that the voltage from the PSU varies with the 12V load applied. When there is no load the output voltage is 13.7 Volts, as the load increases the voltage drops. For the technically minded its drops about a tenth of a volt for each Amp supplied.
    This voltage of 13.7 Volts is idea as a float charge for lead acid batteries, and I find after an EHU is connect to the motorhome on my drive the leisure battery voltage is 13.7V and the current is flashing between zero and 0.1 Amps. IE about the internal discharge of the batteries.

    My conclusion is that in the case of my Motorhome permanent EHU connection is both safe and preferable to keep the leisure batteries is tiptop condition, but as they say on the internet YMMV:unsure:

    Gordon
     
  11. richr

    richr Funster

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    I dont have experience with permanent EHU on a MH but all my road bikes had permanent EHU when in the garage

    i used a special type of charger that would condition the battery and keep it topped up

    I presume a MH has a similar system
     
  12. Sift

    Sift Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all the responses. There's no specific reason for wanting to leave the EHU in place, other than to be able to switch a fan heater on in the van regularly over the winter. It just saves me wandering in and out of the garage with the lead if there's no reason not to leave hooked up. I will read all the above though.

    Thanks again all.

    Regards,
     
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