What Battery to Battery Charger to Buy?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Abacist, May 21, 2016.

  1. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    What manufacturer? What amp charge rating?

    What should I expect to pay?

    The battery bank will be 220 Amp Hours.

    Base vehicle is a Fiat Ducato 250 Maxi 3 litre 2010 and it will be a 12 volt system.
     
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  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Worth reading..

    http://www.motorhomeplanet.co.uk/archives/3603

    in particular this paragraph

    The B2B charger is a serious piece of kit that does a good job. However, it is not cheap and it does need to be installed as part of a balanced, well-designed system. Its fast charging regime also means that open lead acid leisure batteries (and starter batteries?) will need to be topped up fairly regularly, due to losses from gassing.

    Price: At the time of writing, Sterling Power is selling the BB1250 model that most motorhomers would choose for £349. It was considerably cheaper when I bought ours but it still cost us around £200, a couple of years ago. This makes it a pretty expensive battery charger.

    12V System Design: The second consideration when choosing a B2B charger is that it is a powerful piece of equipment that can place a heavy load on your van’s electrical generation system.

    What this means is that if your leisure battery is too heavily loaded for too much of the time, the B2B charger will transfer that load onto your van’s alternator and starter battery by maintaining a very high rate of charge for long periods of time. Based on my experience with the charger, I can envisage situations where this might cause problems. This is one reason I would recommend that you fit the alternator temperature sensor.
     
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  3. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    I have used the Cak Tanks little jobby for the past 7 or 8 years on all my vans, my sons vans and my daughters..
    About £30 and as easy to fit and using a knife and fork..
     
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  4. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Well I have the B2B fitted and have for past 2 years and it works great. It charges my 330 amps worth of batteries in no time. Trouble free to date and the article above is dated 2010. I would have thought if there was a problem Mr Sterling would have gone bust by now! as they are fitted not just to MH's
     
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  5. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    http://leisurelines.net/battery-charge-manager-leisure--main-battery-3334-p.asp



    basically both the same as Vanbitz battery master

    but it's not what the OP is asking about.. completely different animal
     
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  7. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    OOOoooppps. Sorry only trying to help ..




    All I know is it charges both batteries at the same time once the leisure battery has reached 12.5V..

    Any way they are identical sept my ones cheaper :D
     
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  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    no problem Charlie .. I do the same with van detailing threads.. .. ;)

    the battery maintainer sold by Vanbitz, eBay and Cak tanks, provide a trickle charge from the leisure battery to the engine battery ..

    the Sterling 'battery to battery charger' , charges the leisure battery using the alternator https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0..._ef287d8b-71f6-4ac3-90ba-951240713d83.pdf?751

    http://sterling-power.com/collectio...chargers/products/battery-to-battery-chargers
     
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  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Sterling, definitely.

    Rating? 50 Amps will be ideal, but a bigger one is the same price and allows for a bigger battery bank upgrade.
    Your batteries will only absorb what they are capable of and an oversized B2B won't cause any problems.
    B2B chargers work best with open lead acid batteries and their benefits diminish with AGM and gel types.
     
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  10. Revolvor

    Revolvor Funster

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    I have just fitted a CTEK D250S Dual. http://www.ctek.com/gb/en/chargers/D250S DUAL

    "The D250S DUAL is a fully automatic 5-stage charger that supplies 20A to 12V batteries of 40-300Ah. The charger is IP65 classified (water jet and dust protected and approved for outdoor use), protects vehicle electronics and is suitable for all types of lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, Gel, AGM). It is supplied with a 2 year guarantee."

    It doesn't have the same output as a Sterling unit (only 20 amps), but is significantly cheaper.

    Edit .... the addition of the add-on SMARTPASS unit, caters for 80 amp charging of battery banks up to 800 Ah

    I don't spend a lot of time "off grid" but the main benefit for me is that it charges the leisure batteries more efficiently, and should prolong their life. It also has an integral MPPT Solar Controller for the leisure battery, and will keep the vehicle battery topped up from solar.

    I believe CTEK have a good reputation, although the first unit I received was faulty...... replaced within 48 hours, by Amazon.

    I am still in the process of installing my solar panel ... I have tested it loose, beside the van and it all works fine. I have noticed that since I fitted the D250S, my leisure batteries are charged far better after a drive than they were with the standard split-charge relay.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  11. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    Well as you might have noticed from another thread I have made up my mind and done the deal on a selection of stuff. I have not yet sold my Autotrail but am not prepared to have another month long holiday with an inefficient and inadequate electrical system.

    I have bought the Sterling 50 Amp B2B as I won a brand new one in an Ebay auction for much less than their normal retail price. I also bid on one of their pure sine wave inverters but didn't get it so bought a chinese one sourced from Germany and chose a 1500 watt model with a max rating of 3000 watts. The idea is to have a separate system to provide mains electric when we are off the grid for anything that we want to plug into it. I am not wiring it into the van to be available from any socket as the van is going to be sold and all this will be removed ready for the next one. It will also supply 12 volt power in the hab lounge area which has no available 12 volt sockets and the cab ones are dead unless the ignition is on.

    I was originally going to use the matched pair of original van electrosols which I had replaced so these were sat idle in the garage but still charged up. Sod's law took over and one has now given up the ghost at 6 years old so I have bought a matched pair of Varta LFD 180's as these are sealed units and can be used in the hab part of the van by all accounts as they don't gas or if they do its sealed. Charging will only take place when we are driving or the engine is running and at night there will be plenty of ventilation in any event as we sleep with all the roof vents open and windows when its hot. I have no plans to add more solar to the van before I sell it so the existing solar panel charges the existing van systems via the Sargent.

    I have been buying the serious cables and fuses required to wire this lot together and planning the installation as not everything has yet arrived. Part of the purchases includes an 8 ton rated pair of hydraulic terminal crimpers - Good old Amazon! I should get it all done before we go away in 10 days time - here's hoping! I have promised the wife that she will be able to dry and curl her hair when we are not on a hookup and she remains sceptical so that makes me even more determined to get it all done!

    I have also bought the book "Managing 12 Volts - How to upgrade, operate and troubleshoot 12 volt systems" written by Harold Barre an American so talk of mains electric needs to be doubled from 120 volts to 240 volts but apart from that its aimed at RV'ers and yachtsmen and is a handy and easy read with lots of guides on how to plan and design or upgrade your system - again from Amazon.

    Many thanks for all your contributions and I would say that I already have a Vanbitz battery master so that the cab battery always gets a trickle charge when we are on a hookup. How can people get away with designing such poor systems that only do half a job and you have to buy a shed load of stuff to make it remotely useful!
     
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