Vehicle battery (1 Viewer)

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Apr 29, 2014
143
222
isle of man
Funster No
31,214
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
since 2011
HI I am new to Motorhoming. Can I charge the Motorhome vehicle battery with a charger while it is connected to the van electrics (ref possible ECU damage etc) and if so can I use the old type of battery charger ie not the modern pulsing type.
Thanks Steve
 

Moodybrook

Free Member
Jul 7, 2013
802
651
Wet and cold place outside of M25
Funster No
26,824
MH
4 wheels and a pointy end
Exp
still in nappies
I use a Lidl one when in her winter quarters no problems up to now. I am fairly sure yours would be ok too. They do advise to disconnect the negative lead from the chassis to save any problems. A techie should be along soon to explain why. :)
 

Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,868
73,744
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
Hi Steve,
in the early days of out motorhome ownership I had a totally duff cab battery for about a month.. It was some weird size and rather than fit something non original I ordered the exact one from our local outlet.
Trouble was, we were about to leave for a three week jaunt

I used a really old 6 amp battery charger that was originally used to keep the Ark batteries topped up !! ( And yes, still got it and still use it ! )
All I did was extend the wires a bit so I could plug the thing in to a socket in the motorhome and dangle the wires out of the window and under the bonnet..
Kept us going no problem..

Since then I fit a split charger box in every van we have.. That way at least the solar panels stick a bit in to the cab battery when it ( the split charger ) detects the hab batteries are fully charged :)
 

scotjimland

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 25, 2007
2,656
11,757
Funster No
15
MH
None
Car or Motorhome.. makes no odds.. most vehicle manufacturers recommend you disconnect the engine battery before connecting a charger, there is a very small risk you could fry the ECU ..

The Lidl / Aldi smart chargers are very good, I've used mine to charge my Honda CRV and never disconnected the battery ... but wouldn't risk a 'bog standard' bench charger.

The down side is when you disconnect the battery you will need the code for the radio and some ECUs default back to factory settings.. the one on my Fiat Seicento did just that when I fitted a new battery .. but it soon 'learned' again.

My advice.. don't risk using a bog standard charger without disconnecting the battery earth lead ..

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Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,868
73,744
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
It has been pretty much the norm in the trade for as long as I can remember..
I even use my 50 amp charger ( tis on wheels as a little large ! ) straight on to battery terminals in an emergency and never yet had a problem and never disconnect a terminal..
Realistically it is no different to using one of the better starter packs
 

JockandRita

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 2, 2007
11,593
152,765
Lincs/Cambs border
Funster No
49
MH
N+B Flair 8000i
Exp
Since May 05 (Ex Tuggers).
HI I am new to Motorhoming. Can I charge the Motorhome vehicle battery with a charger while it is connected to the van electrics (ref possible ECU damage etc) and if so can I use the old type of battery charger ie not the modern pulsing type.
Thanks Steve
Hi Steve,

If you have EHU to operate a bench type battery charger, could you not just plug the MH in, and let the 3/4 x stage on board charger do the job for you? If a Zig unit, you may have to alter the switch settings for "cab battery"

HTH,

Jock.
 

scotjimland

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 25, 2007
2,656
11,757
Funster No
15
MH
None
Jaws is correct.. it has been trade practice, and no doubt thousands of others have charged without disconnecting the neg lead, with no ill effects..

However.. I prefer to play it safe.. an ECU is loadsa money, it takes less than a minute to pull of the neg cable..

When in doubt, read the owners manual .. all give similar advice..

Fiat Ducato

Charge the
battery as follows:
❒ disconnect battery negative terminal;
❒ connect the charger cables to the battery
terminals, observing the poles;
❒ turn on the charger;
❒ when you have finished, turn the
charger off before disconnecting the
battery;
❒ reconnect the terminal to the battery
negative pole.
 

mjltigger

Free Member
Nov 12, 2014
1,619
2,672
Trowbridge
Funster No
34,213
MH
Autotrail Dakota Max
Exp
2012
I plan to fit a second split charge relay to top off me vehicle battery from the built in charger when on mains. I also intend to fit a small solar panel specifically to keep it topped up when parked off the mains.. in both cases the battery will stay connected to the vehicle at all times.
 

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