Leisure Battery Charging

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by PeteandJules, May 8, 2013.

  1. PeteandJules

    PeteandJules Read Only Funster

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    We have a T reg Auto-Trail Cheyenne and I am puzzled as to why my leisure batteries are not being charged at 14.5 volts or thereabouts. I have replaced all the relays, checked that the batteries are correctly earthed. Hence scratching my head. Needless to say the vehicle battery is getting the full charge. Can anybody give me an idea what is wrong? :cry:
     
  2. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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    charging

    Hello, dont know too much,:Smile: but I have a cheyenne and over the hab door is a console you have the choice of charging hab batteries or engine battery by pushing button is yours the same ?
     
  3. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I assume your leisure battery is being charged, but at a reduced voltage?

    That will be a volt drop caused by the inadequate thin cabling fitted by many manufacturers.

    Electrical cables resist current flow to a greater or lesser extent, depending on cross-sectioal area and length of the cable. A thin cable running the length of a van will cause a massive drop of voltage at the leisure battery at the back of the van.

    If you want to achieve a fully charged leisure battery from running the engine, you need to drastically increase the size of wiring to it and/or move the battery closer to the front of the van.
     
  4. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Do I assume you have more than one leisure? If so, then the cable as Jon says, may not be suitable. It may be that it is suitable to carry the charge for one battery, but not two - especially if they are charging at the same time and not switched.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if the cable cross sectional size is adequate to charge one battery, it will also charge two or more.

    the amperage will be the same regardless of number of batteries being charged.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    it would appear (correct me if i'm wrong) the op is referring to the alternator not charging the leisure battery when driving.

    once the engine battery is fully charged (most of the time) the alternator reduces current output so the leisure battery will only be getting a small trickle charge.

    split charge is to maintain a fully charged leisure battery....not charge a flat one.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  7. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Um, the OP quoted 14.5V which he's presumably measured at the leisure battery. (Of course, that is only a presumption but what else would you measure that's relevant?). This would indicate that the wiring is reasonably adequate and that the relay is working.

    Surely the likeliest answer is a knackered battery? From reading the other battery threads it would seem that not all leisure batteries are created equal and it may be that the OPs batteries have done too much deep cycling for their construction.

    Simple answer is to put the leisure batteries on a trickle charger and then get them tested at a garage with a proper battery tester.

    Tim
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There is a bit of confusion here - are you meaning charge from the engine or charge from a mains charger ?

    14.5V is tops.

    13.5 is more like a continuous voltage on charge.

    12.6 is fully charged when not charging.

    12V is effectively flat.
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I beg to differ Tim.....

    quote.....why my leisure batteries are not being charged at 14.5 volts

    which points to the engine battery being checked (14.5v) while running then the leisure battery being checked and showing a lower voltage.

    onboard charger is unlikely to charge at 14.5v....13,6v being nearer the mark.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  10. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    I thought that the current regulationss limited the voltage of the charging current and of the 12V power supply to about 13.5V so as to protect 12V equipment plugged into the van's 12v supply.

    This is why so many owners fit a good quality multistage charger to overcome this problem.

    My van's fitted charging system overcomes the problem by disconnecting the 12V power circuit when charging at higher voltages.
     
  11. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    That sounds like dealer bull***t!:BigGrin:

    The reason your 12v electrics in the back of your van switch off is because it is an ill-conceived National Caravan Council design requirement. The only place you find this feature is on British-built vans.

    A typical alternator charges at around 14.2-14.5 Volts. That is an automotive standard adopted by vehicle manufacturers worldwide. That voltage provides adequate charging but does not gas a battery excessively to avoid problems with sealed batteries.

    I hope this clears things up!:thumb:
     
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  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    certainly does Jon, and i fully agree.

    my Chrysler charges at 14.8v constantly and has been as high as 15v.
    this is the norm for the cars 'smart' charging system.

    everything still works....bulbs, 7" lcd screen radio/satnav, ECU, PDC etc.
     
  13. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    I think we need the OP to clarify. He could have connected a charger direct to the battery for all we know. I still reckon it's a knackered battery though. ;-)

    Tim
     
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  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    agreed Tim, half a question gets half an answer
     
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  15. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    There is certainly confusion! From what I understood, I was thinking he had two or more leisures - but it can also be read that he is referring to the engine and leisure - which is a different thing altogether. If there are two leisures, then for fast charging you need them switched, otherwise they will be charged as one battery which will take a while longer to reach capacity.
     
  16. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Another way of looking at it is that it is exactly the same charge rate. In other words, you dump 16A for an hour into 100Ah battery or 16A into 200Ah battery and in both cases you add 16Ah of charge. The energy stored is identical even of the state of charge is lower on paired batteries.
     
  17. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Your comments sound like bullshit to me. Please do some research before writing poosts in future.

    Most chargers in modern van limit the voltage to protect 12V equipment using the vans 12V whilst on charge.

    I hope this is not too difficult for you to understand.

    By the way what has the maximum alternator voltage got to do with the regulated output from the van's power management sytem!!!!!!! Absolutely nothing.

    I hope this clears things up!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  18. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    See red.
     
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  19. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    You are entitled to your opinion as is everyone on here. I only expressed mine based on many years of training and experience of automotive electrical systems.
    I feel your reply is a little bit harsh given that I put a smiley after my comment about dealer bull, thus making it a point of good humour, nothing else.
    Anyway, I must rush out to my van to put in some voltage-limiting resistors, remove the Sterling charger and see about removing the on-board charger (which bulk charges at 14.4V incidentally) in case everything goes up in smoke!:BigGrin:
     
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  20. Phill D

    Phill D

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    i didnt think the comment i have highlighted was directed at Oldun as a personal slight but more a comment that, thats what some dealers might fob you off with.
     
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