Battery chargers

Nov 16, 2015
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I have a 2013 Coachman and this year we haven't been able to get out much. And when we get the van out, from storage, and get it on the drive way , hook up to the mains, battery indicator shows around 12.4 volts, , battery gets charged fine useing the caravans charger. Up to 13 .8volts. And will be about 12.9 volts when off charge. So all is good. It's a Gel battery .

A couple of times the battery has been really low so I have charged it up using my old charger , maybe 15 year old so nothing fancy. My question is what do theses CTEK chargers do.?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I’ve got quite an old CTEK XS 3600 but it still maintains the battery very well. Although it’s max current isn’t quite high enough to recharge a flat battery very quickly. There are other multi stage intelligent charges around but CTEK always seem to jump to the fore. Their website gives a full description of how they work.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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Hutch. ......I would be very surprised if your caravan wasn't fitted with a smart charger.
This should initially show a charge of 14.4 amps before falling back to 13.8.
......should show charger specification in your handbook.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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Gafferbill said:
Hutch. ......I would be very surprised if your caravan wasn't fitted with a smart charger.
This should initially show a charge of 14.4 amps before falling back to 13.8.
......should show charger specification in your handbook.

That's 14.4 Volts falling back to 13.8V :lol:
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly.
Yes the caravan charger does all the fancy stuff upto the 14.4volts then down to the 13.8 volts.

Its my home charger that I was interested in, its an old Halfords one that charges at about 13 volts. And it works well, on the odd occasion when I bring the battery home to keep it charged,

Should I be buying one of these CTEK chargers. Would it be of any advantage.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly.
Yes the caravan charger does all the fancy stuff upto the 14.4volts then down to the 13.8 volts.

Its my home charger that I was interested in, its an old Halfords one that charges at about 13 volts. And it works well, on the odd occasion when I bring the battery home to keep it charged,

Should I be buying one of these CTEK chargers. Would it be of any advantage.

CTEK and other smart chargers will allow the battery to be continuously connects and then automatically charge, float, maintain etc.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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EH52ARH said:
Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly.
Yes the caravan charger does all the fancy stuff upto the 14.4volts then down to the 13.8 volts.

Its my home charger that I was interested in, its an old Halfords one that charges at about 13 volts. And it works well, on the odd occasion when I bring the battery home to keep it charged,

Should I be buying one of these CTEK chargers. Would it be of any advantage.

Hutch, it would be an advantage in that the good smart chargers will not overcharge a battery, they will set the charge rates and time durations for optimum charging and least potential for damage, they can desulphate a battery and can in some cases recover batteries that have been severely depleted.

Some smart chargers will restart automatically following a power cut, another nice touch with the better chargers is that they constantly monitor batteyr condition and can be left attached to a battery for long periods of time without damaging the battery.

I have both Optimate and CTEK and I am very pleased with both of them, both of mine are of low amperage output and can take a long time to fully charge a deeply sulphated battery, I have on one occasion left a battery on charge for several days before it recovered (I almost gave up on said battery but it is been functioning really well since - that was over a year ago).

My Optimate has been in use for about 5 years (I maintain the motorbikes batteries with it) and the CTEK is about 1.5 years old and used a few days per month, so far so good.

Another possible advantage is that they are small and relatively light and could be used as a caravan backup charger if say going away for a long trip or going abroad.

I regularly give the car and the caravan batteries some TLC with the Optimate or the CTEK as I think they do a better job than the car or caravan charging systems with regard to optimising battery maintenance.

If you do decide to get a new smart charger then keep a hold of your existing charger as it will probably have a higher amperage output for those times that you need a quick charge.

I did have a Lidl smart charger and I was reasonably pleased with it, but it commited Hari-Kiri after 3 years.

Hope this helps.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Thanks John and others, just thought this might also help others and well.

As a follow up My charger at home has a "Maintaine" mode, so in its day it was probably was semi Smart battery charger, I will just stick with it as I only use it when I know I am not out for a couple of months, which hopefully now should be seldom.

20190820-180629.jpg
 
Jun 17, 2011
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Your Coachman has an intelligent charger that is suitable for gel and agm batteries. You can buy an intelligent charger for about £50 for use at home that will have settings for gel and agm. They can be left connected and won’t overcharge. With so many cars having stop go technology the price of suitable chargers has dropped. You might find if a battery gets below 6 volt the cheaper smart charger won’t recover it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
Thanks John and others, just thought this might also help others and well.

As a follow up My charger at home has a "Maintaine" mode, so in its day it was probably was semi Smart battery charger, I will just stick with it as I only use it when I know I am not out for a couple of months, which hopefully now should be seldom.

20190820-180629.jpg

My CTEK is chuntering away at the moment and the battery will be shipped to the caravan tomorrow in anticipation of a get away.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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It's just when we haven't been out for a couple of months due to dental, health and family stuff, and the battery gets low, I dont want to hit the caravan charger with a big voltage replenish. .

I would rather use the good old Halfords one. . For a day or so.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have an Ctek MSX 10 (12V 10A) 8 stage rejuvenator and charger for batteries, but it also can be run as a power supply where it supplies 13.8V at up to 10A continuously - good as emergency battery replacement in several circumstances, or testing 12V appliances such as portable cool boxes etc.

In conjunction with a healthy battery I suspect this would be sufficient to run a caravan almost indefinitely.

It has been invaluable to me. A little bigger and about twice as heavy as 3.6A models. Not cheap, and not widely available. Best deals found on line.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
It's just when we haven't been out for a couple of months due to dental, health and family stuff, and the battery gets low, I dont want to hit the caravan charger with a big voltage replenish. .

I would rather use the good old Halfords one. . For a day or so.

If you were to disconnect the battery then the vans charger would be Isolated.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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quote otherclive
My CTEK is chuntering away at the moment and the battery will be shipped to the caravan tomorrow in anticipation of a get away.[/quote]


I am envious of you having that particular CTEK model variant OC, only the most expensive chargers have 'chuntering' mode, a NASA development I believe B ;)
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Anseo said:
quote otherclive
My CTEK is chuntering away at the moment and the battery will be shipped to the caravan tomorrow in anticipation of a get away.


I am envious of you having that particular CTEK model variant OC, only the most expensive chargers have 'chuntering' mode, a NASA development I believe B ;)[/quote]

Your so spot on. You can always use their meter to keep an eye on its performance. Volts a bit low, current awesome. :whistle:

E5-AB511-B-1178-40-EF-A035-6-FE39-B1-B30-B8.png
 
Sep 29, 2016
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EH52ARH said:
Thanks John and others, just thought this might also help others and well.

As a follow up My charger at home has a "Maintaine" mode, so in its day it was probably was semi Smart battery charger, I will just stick with it as I only use it when I know I am not out for a couple of months, which hopefully now should be seldom.

20190820-180629.jpg

I'm with you on that Hutch, if it aint broke don't fix it, seems like you bought a good charger in your Halfords one and it is serving you well.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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ProfJohnL said:
I have an Ctek MSX 10 (12V 10A) 8 stage rejuvenator and charger for batteries, but it also can be run as a power supply where it supplies 13.8V at up to 10A continuously - good as emergency battery replacement in several circumstances, or testing 12V appliances such as portable cool boxes etc.

In conjunction with a healthy battery I suspect this would be sufficient to run a caravan almost indefinitely.

It has been invaluable to me. A little bigger and about twice as heavy as 3.6A models. Not cheap, and not widely available. Best deals found on line.

Dear Prof,

I am a toolgadget junky, please keep your (sound) recommendations to yourself. My wallet is hurting.

(Hmmn, I could put it on the xmas prezzzie list as a suggestion :p)
 

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