leisure battery

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by pigginchilli, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. pigginchilli

    pigginchilli Read Only Funster

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    Hi, new to motorhoming, first question, do we need two as we will be staying off sites most of the time, how long does the charge normally last? and what cables do we need to hook up at home, we pick up our van soon from dealers and hope they will explain all this to us, but experts opinions would be a great help, nade and steve.(y)
     
  2. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    We frequently stay off site, but usually one or two nights at a time. We have done 5 nights without hook up, but the battery was close to being drained by the end. We only have one leisure battery.
    Depending on the rating of the battery, and providing you are careful with the use of appliances then you can expect to easily achieve 3 days without a charge.
     
  3. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Piece of string question that.
    In mid summer you may be sat outside talking and drinking while watching the sun go down. Then pop inside and have a few lights on for maybe an hour then into bed. under those conditions a battery could last a week. Now consider in the winter with the blown air fan on most of the day and lights, tv etc you would be lucky it it last a full day.
    A lot of folks extend the life of the battery with solar panels, even in winter they can help a lot. Best to have a battery monitor so you know how things are going.
    To hook up at home something like this will do the job.
    assuming you already have a hookup lead.
     
  4. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Get a solar panel or two, I haven't had the battery charger on for about 9months now.

    But yes it does all depend what you are taking out vs what you have in the battery bank or what you can put back in (solar).

    Martin
     
  5. pigginchilli

    pigginchilli Read Only Funster

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    thanks for your replies, sounds like we need a solar panel, how difficult are they to fit? does the vehicle engine charge the leisure battery whilst running or just the main engine battery. sorry for the dumb questions but we are complete novices, nade and steve.
     
  6. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Alternator should charge leisure as well when travelling, to check its OK just read the voltage of the leisure battery when the engine is running, if you don't have a meter/gauge put a voltmeter across the battery.

    Solar panels are easy to fit if you are half practical, search the forum and you will find loads of information, most of it from @Techno100.

    Martin
     
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  7. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    As said you need to start with what your going to run and for how long,
    Work out how much battery power you need/what space you have 1 or 2 batteries.
    Work out how much you want to spend, how much space you have for solar panels, fixed or portable.
    Yes the alternators will charge the leisure batteries but you would need to run engine for a long time to put back if you take a lot out.
     
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  8. pigginchilli

    pigginchilli Read Only Funster

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    One step at a time we think, get used to driving the van first, then add stuff later, we shall be away for weekends first so hopefully a fully charged battery will be ok, gas bottles etc next thing to worry about, also another two weeks of torture and things to worry about before we pick the van up.:(
     
  9. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    We bought our van in April 2013 and thought we would need Solar etc......... decided on 2 leisure batteries.......... never use hook ups and never ran out of power (now over 550 nights total).

    However, we use minimal power and tend to move on the next day (or 2).

    It's horses for courses really.......... as you say try it and see how you get on :)
     
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  10. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Yes should have mentioned that, the blown air really kills the batteries, if we are off grid, we tend to run the fans for a little while to get the heat in, and then just let the heater run on low with no fans.

    This is the best advice, if you find that you are forever running out of battery, then you need to examine your options, until you find out, put the money towards important things, like Gin & Beer! :D

    Technically not difficult at all, you need to attach the panels to the roof, run wires through a grommet into the habitation and wire it all in. However, if you get it wrong, you have to fix it. @eddievanbitz would do the job along with a funster discount, and you get a warranty! I know which I am doing! :D
     
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  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Another thing to think about is how good is your existing battery?

    If it's been on the van a few years it will be past its best and may not last a day.

    First option would be a new battery before solar.

    You may buy a panel and still have to buy a new battery.
     
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  12. pigginchilli

    pigginchilli Read Only Funster

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    thanks for all the advice, its all a minefield for us, as we have spent what we can afford without finance hopefully we can enjoy and not worry too much. I worry, my wife doesn't.:LOL:
     
  13. pigginchilli

    pigginchilli Read Only Funster

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  14. pigginchilli

    pigginchilli Read Only Funster

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    beer yes, gin no thanks, :LOL:
     
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  15. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    Previously posted regarding 240V inverter use.

    It depends on how you use them.
    From my two 95A battery's I can watch TV ect for 3 hours a night without flattening the batter'y.
    I don't consider a 4W loss to be significant.
    I have 240V Smart TV and I am pretty sure you couldn't buy one on 12V at twice the price.
    This TV also allows me to connect all kinds of USB devices with an HD picture and HD sound. A 100Gb hard drive full of films and TV series is a great bonus when you can't get a TV signal.
    Driving to our next stop over the next day always fully charges battery's again.
    We never use sites but have been known to run the engine at tick over for a couple hours if necessary and its still cheaper than a £20+ a night camp sites.
    I wouldn't be without one because it provides so many more power options.
    I would guess for each hour of use, I need to run the engine for the same amount of time
     
  16. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    This is excellent advice. If the battery has been overly discharged or left in a discharged state for any length of time it will have lost its capacity to store power.
    Measure the battery compartment carefully, allowing for any radius in the corners, and buy the biggest battery that will fit.
    Many find this battery will just fit. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hankook-DC31-125Ah-Leisure-Battery-12V-100-Maintenance-Free-/252033690439
    Having fitted a new battery make sure you keep it fully charged. I.E. when the MH is not in use ensure everything, including the control panel, is switched off, or have it on permanent hook up.
     
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