Leisure battery confusion

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by kelpbeds, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    I posted a week ago or so about problems with my Webasto heater not lasting too long due to low voltage issues.
    I have now decided to go ahead with traction batteries to solve this.

    Since then I was looking at the van (Chausson flash 14 on transit 59 plate) and noticed another battery under passenger seat that I didn't know was there,( in addition to the starter battery under the drivers seat and the leisure batteries under dining area seat). This other battery had a sticker next to it saying 'auxillary battery'. I wondered if this was a back up to the starter battery or another leisure battery. So I figured I would see what it was wired to.
    I made a circuit with a bulb, battery and wire and connected one end to aux battery postivie terminal and one to the starter battery pos terminal. It lit up, therefore showing me they were connected. I then did pos of aux battery to pos of leisure batteries, again it lit up. And then pos of starter battery to pos of leisure batteries, again it lit up.
    Telling me that all the batteries are connected together (this was with engine off) Now my understanding was that the split charge relay should ensure that the leisure battery side of things is not connected to the starter battery/s when the engine is off or am I not understanding something correctly?
    Thanks
    Tim :Blush:
     
  2. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    On our Chausson Welcome 35, the Ford fitted Auxillary battery is in parallel with the rest of our 'leisure' (actually traction) batteries.

    The 'starter only' battery is isolated by a large relay on the Ford battery compartment fuse board.
    This, in effect is your split charge relay and energises when the ignition is switched on.
    The bonus with this setup is that your radio and vehicle road lighting run from your leisure battery bank if you engine isn't running.

    The Chausson-fitted 'split charge relay' simply isolates your auxillary/leisure battery bank from your caravan electrics, nothing else! This is energised by your switch on the control panel over the door.

    You will note the Chausson-fitted relay mentioned above and leisure battery are connected to one of the three 'customer connections' fitted on the left rear of the driver's seat/battery box. On your model, the relay might be connected directly to your leisure battery (the effect is the same).
    These are all fused at 60 amps each. And will supply charging current when your engine is running.

    If you fit extra batteries, just connect your positive lead to a spare one of these.
    Use a heavy duty cable to help with voltage drop if your new batteries are a distance from these connections.

    Doing this works fine on our MH, no issues to date and three days,below zero, off hookup with our Webasto Dualtop going 24 hours/day.

    We aren't sure when the Ford battery will expire, but don't expect it to last forever with continual deep discharges!!!!

    Hope this helps!:Smile:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    pos to pos on any two batteries it shouldnt light up at all...it will just act as a link.

    it needs a pos and neg to light.
     
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  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    He made a circuit using a bulb and a battery.

    In effect a continuity tester!

    Although it is not mentioned if he disconnected the MH battery terminals!
    Even if he didn't, it would still work.
     
  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i know where pappa is coming from it says one end on positive other end on positive. where is the earth. seems like op didnt know what they were doing. might be safer to let an auto electrician diagnose.
    mind i just read it again and think you maybe right .but it did sound confusing. think i,ll shut up before i put my foot in my mouth . ha ha.
    i must learn to read properly.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i have an excuse......8 bourbons :Rofl1:
     
  7. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi john ,i havent had a drink yet today ,my hands are shaking too much to open the new bottle .must get some cartons of red out of the truck ,much easier to open.
    had to get new batteries for truck today 217 quid no wonder i,m shaking. been on 3 yrs but even so thats still over a quid aweek just to have batteries . that was only the start ones . god help when the leisure ones go down. have a good new year and dont get sozzled much. regards to all .alan
     
  8. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for your replies especially Jon for his erudite explanation.

    It is correct that I have made a continuity tester i.e. the same thing as using a multimeter set so that when you touch the terminals the buzzer sounds, only in my case a light goes on.

    Jon you are spot on in that when I touch the pos terminals of the leisure batteries with the pos of the starter battery the light will come on as the circuit will complete through the earths to the vehicle chassis (something I didn't figure out yesterday - so vwalan you were right in saying I didn't know what I was doing in this case! )

    So I figured that if I disconnect the negative terminal of the leisure batteries and then connect the tester to the pos of the leisure batteries and the pos of the starter I would now assume that the light should not come on, because the starter battery should not be connected to leisure batteries with engine off. But it does! (this is the case when the control panel is on or off)

    What seems to be the case to me is that when I am parked up and using caravan electrics I am also connected to the starter battery and therefore draining that too, which the testing seems to support. I am doing the testing to check that this isn't the case and to see how the auxillary battery is wired in.

    Now I'm also a bit confused about what Jon said about the fact that the Chausson relay isolates the leisure battery from the caravan electrics. Shouldn't it isolate the caravan electrics from the starter battery so that the starter battery is not drained when parked up and you are using caravan electrics powered from the leisure battery?

    And finally is the auxillary battery a standard 'leisure' battery that comes with the transit and is not added by Chausson?

    Really appreciate the help and apologise for any ignorance on my behalf, but I am keen to learn!

    Tim :RollEyes:
     
  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Hi Tim

    A picture paints 1000 words so here goes!
     

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  10. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    This is better!

    You will see your starter battery is completely isolated with the ign off, so no worries!

    On our Welcome, the Chausson relay is connected to the Ford 'customer connections'. The effect is the same.

    If you remove your drivers seat and take off the battery clamp, under the black plastic cover lies the battery fuse board.
    It is under here that you can actually see the arrangement described, including the starter battery isolator relay.
    To make access easier in the future, I have removed part of the plastic cover so that you can remove it with the battery clamp in place. It will make changing fuses easier on a cold windy night!
     

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  11. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    hey it would be if we could see it, hee hee aha you improved it. Thanks
     
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  12. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    LOL, I need a tutorial in Microsoft Paint Wildman!!!!:BigGrin:
     
  13. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Jon,
    Very good of you to take the time to draw the diagram, spot on when I enlarged it and made it very clear.

    I totally understand it all now, however (sorry!) the diagram shows that the pos connection from the leisure bat and the pos connection of the starter bat are isolated via the ford relay when ignition is off. However when I tested it (with earth of leisure batt disconnected from chassis so circuit couldn't go complete through there) I found a connection between the 2, when I shouldn't have - which makes me think there is something wrong in my setup. Which is the only bit still confusing me!

    Thanks again
    Tim
     
  14. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    There is a fused wire from the starter battery which is connected at the caravan distribution board.
    I didn't include this in the drawing to keep things simple!

    I have tested the function of this wire and it seems to do 2 things.......

    1. It supplies power directly to the distribution panel so you can initially switch on the caravan relay for leisure battery power.

    2. When the mains charger is running and the leisure battery is fully charged, it allows trickle charging of the starter battery.

    It might be that you are showing continuity through this wire because of this. It shouldn't discharge though. Ours never has!
    On ours, when you start the engine, the Chausson fitted relay clicks in to allow 12V running of the Fridge.

    The Ford Aux battery by the way, is just an extra Ford branded starter battery.

    Please bear in mind that ours is a different model, however we do have the twin Ford battery setup and I expect Chausson wire their vans similarly!

    The best way to be sure of the setup you have, given the complexities of the Ford twin battery arrangement, might be to have that seat off and take a look! Its only four screws!
    The battery clamp is the worst bit!:Smile:

    Think yourself lucky too! Our original leisure battery is under the passenger seat!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  15. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Great stuff Jon you're a top man! Clear at last. Complicated stuff eh, glad someone is up to the job!

    Well I've just ordered 2 x T105 Trojans so that should sort out my heating's lack of staying power. Have also sussed where to vent the hydrogen out through the floor.

    I presume that leaving the ford auxillary battery as part of the leisure battery bank won't compromise the effectiveness of the trojans when I put those on?

    Thanks

    Tim
     
  16. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Hi Tim

    Our original Ford aux battery is still there and doesn't seem to affect our two traction batteries in the garage at all despite being connected to them in parallel.

    Having read your original post again, I might have misunderstood.
    Have you got 2 batteries under your driver's seat?
    I ask because Transits come with Ford-supplied single and twin battery systems under the driver's seat. It makes a difference to the split charge arrangement.

    Our van in it's original configuration had a leisure battery under the passenger seat. The starter and Ford 'aux' battery are under the driver's seat.
     
  17. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    That's good re auxillary connected to the Trojans.

    No, I have one battery under the driver's seat, which is a 'Ford' battery, and another battery, which has a sticker next to it labelled 'auxillary' under the passenger seat - similar to yours yes?

    thanks

    Tim
     
  18. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Ah Ha!!!

    Not the same as ours LOL!

    I need to draw another picture!!!!:BigGrin:
     
  19. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Read Only Funster

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    Sorry! But just think, you will be an expert in Photoshop when you've finished!:BigGrin:
     
  20. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Does this make more sense????:BigGrin:
     

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